Society of Justice 3: Crisis on the Earth

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 . . . 74 NEXT
 

Ignoring Bishop's intention to take the lead - his reaction to the additional help was downright rude, and no-one got away with that, regardless of whether they were a Resistance member or of superior rank to her - Catherine stormed into the prison block with her clones, eyes locked down the barrel of her rifle. The clearly defined formalities she usually employed had been set aside for the duration of the mission: they impeded clear communication. Not that she needed communication: she was acting independently of Bishop, she had memorised the map he had provided.

Two prison guards raised weapons, alarmed. Catherine put a round through the unarmoured throat of each and one each to the chests. The latter was more to put them down through the kinetic impact rather than to cause injury. Quick, efficient and effective, she left no room for error. As she advanced further into the building, she heard additional shots fired behind her. Execution shots, fired by her clones to put down the guards that Catherine hadn't already killed herself.

Catherine led her squad towards the maximum-security wing, leaving a trail of dead in her wake. Anger was behind every pull of her trigger: at Bishop for bad-mouthing her, at United America for its uncompromising dictatorship and at her inability to overcome what looked like a simple obstacle on the surface. But the latter was irrelevant at present. The ten identical women powered through the prison block, advancing in practised formation and killing, killing, killing.


"I have no idea... I just hope it doesn't happen to - what was that?" Katie cut herself off. Something was causing the floor to shake a little... yes. Definitely shaking. An earthquake, maybe? She didn't know. She did her best to stay upright without staggering, confused. Something was going on out there, and Katie had no way to tell what it was.


±I'll deal with that later, Tommy. Right now...± Spoon stopped as he felt the ground move beneath him, instinctively lifting himself six inches off the ground to counteract this through telekinesis. ±Something is wrong. We need to move, now. Fuck the cameras, I'm getting us out of here.± With that the psychic grabbed Tommy and Richard and dragged them over to a cell wall. He hesitated briefly, recalling the thickness of the walls... there. He had it.

±Hold on. And may God help us all,± he thought-spoke before he teleported the trio. Spoon dared not open his eyes after he felt himself settle back into reality... but he didn't feel different, nothing was wrong. He opened his eyes to reveal a lone man huddled in the corner of the room, while he, Tommy and Richard all stood in the center of the cell. His teleportation had worked through a solid wall: the thought was almost unbelievable.

Spoon turned to the man in the corner. He had no time for subtleties. ±Hey, you there. Get up, we're getting out of this hellhole while we still can.±

"Alright since subtlety is out the window, what is that rune and what do I need to do to disable it Tommy." Richard asked after stumbling a bit from the teleportation. His body still not very used to teleportation, magical or not. With his suit offline at the moment he wasn't exactly getting much help staying stable or even standing up. The weight of the suit was definitely slowing him down.

"This glyph is a symbol of sealing, it acts like a plug it stops magic energy from entering my body by sealing the place where it enters." Tommy said right before noticing Brian in the corner, " Brian is that you!" He asked as he ran over to check, " Yes it is! Alright, this changes things, new plan: Richard, can you cut these chains? I figured earlier that if these things had any-sort of logic to them they'd have a mechanism to prevent it from just being taken off, probably something lethal. But now that Brian's here he can jump-start my own regeneration with his, so you cut it, get it off quit, and Brian keeps me alive until my powers kick in again. Sound good?"

"Can you see anything? I don't really know how you work..." Garrus asked Ethan from atop his bed as he watched him move the other bed to reach the camera up above them. The plan was to have Ethan try to see what was going on in the other cells via the cameras, though Ethan's reluctance of the plan made Garrus unsure of whether he'd actually try it. A few beeping sounds was the response to his question. 'I don't understand why he doesn't want to have anything to do with the electronics here. I understand he doesn't like it, but we need to see what's going on with everyone else,' Garrus thought, leaning his head back against the cold metal wall.

That's when he felt the first explosion. He instinctively put his hands against the wall, feeling the resonating vibrations from the following explosions. "Change of plans Ethan. Move out of the way," he told his brother, who seemed more than happy to oblige. Garrus moved off the bed and towards the door, punching it a few times to get a feel for it. "This should be easy. Stand back," he said, slowly drawing in a deep breath to calm himself before sending a shock wave through the door. The first one managed to warp the thick metal of the locked door, another being sent and forcing the door off it's hinges.

"I guess we're the first ones out," Garrus muttered as he stepped out of the cell, ducking back in as a guard started to fire at him. The guard was easy enough to deal with, a simple shock wave taking care of him, but the hard part was now to get out of here. "Ethan, take care of any other guards around here while I start getting people out," he ordered, Ethan nodding and heading off down the hall (picking up the fallen guard's gun before vanishing). With that out of the way Garrus focused on getting people out; starting to break down the metal cell doors one at a time.

The walls of the cell were rumbling. They moved as if there was an earthquake, yet the ground below offered no clue as to what was happening. Brian inched himself away from the corner as he fear the collapse of the walls at any second.

And then, as if by magic, people appeared in his cell.

"Brian is that you?" One of the figures ran over. It was Tommy. Tommy and it appeared Richard were there, with the mysterious man from earlier. That was confirmed when he thought at him.

±Don't have to tell me twice. Let's get out of here.± Brian stood up and went over to his teammates, intent on leaving this hellish place. He answered Tommy's question. "Yeah, I can do that, man. If that'll get us out, you know?"


The transportation was grating on Briān's nerves. It was dicey getting through the Dorval security, and adding to that unpleasant trip was Monique going on the entire way about how he was just foolishly risking himself for old flames when he was needed to free the homeland. How she wanted him to stay with her. It was so annoying.

At least Jean-Philippe was a quiet pilot. He just stuck to his flying and that's how Briān like him. The flight wasn't smooth however, turbulence over New York shook the small plane up a bit, and Briān hated every bump in the sky, but Jean-Philippe had a steady hand and soon enough, he brought the plane down to a landing at the airport in Landover, Maryland.

Briān looked out the plane. Near the gate of a chain-link fence at the back of the field was a car parked along the side of the road. The brunette standing there in the formal attire indicated that the car was awaiting his arrival. As the plane ground to a halt and the stairs were lowered, Briān turned to his pilot. "Merci, Jean-Philippe. Je sais que votre prochaine livraison n'est pas jusqu'ą demain. N'hésitez pas ą partir sans moi. Je vais survivre."[1]

Jean-Philippe, still wearing his aviators, nodded. "Bien sūr," he affirmed. "Mais qu'est-ce que je dis ą Monique? Vous savez qu'elle va se demander oł vous źtes."[2]

"Do not tell 'er," Briān replied, switching to his accented English. "I do not need 'er coming down 'ere looking for me."

Jean-Philippe laughed and nodded again. "Oui, oui. C'est ca. Au revoir Briān."

Briān gave his friend a firm handshake and headed over to the fence with his duffel bag. Tossing it over without a care for the contents, he scaled the fence avoiding security all together and going over to where Catherine stood. A quick scan of her attire revealed no gold patch, so it was certainly a clone.

"Hello Briān," Catherine greeted him, coming over to give him a hug. Briān resisted at first, knowing this wasn't the Catherine who he partnered with those years ago, but he relented and let her come in. As he let go, he felt the clone's face brush against his, and he could feel the effect of his powers activating, even with that soft touch. As she pulled away the blood vessels on her cheek were briefly raised before sinking back into her skin. It just reminded Briān why he had left her behind. "How was your flight?" she asked.

"It was exacly as I expected. Rough and unwelcome. But I am 'ere. Let us go to zis facilitee. If it is as 'eavily guarded as it sounds, it could 'old some interesting tings."

"Of course. Right this way." The clone led Brian into the front seat of the car, before taking to the drivers seat and ushering Briān towards the breakout that was now in progress.

[1] Thank you, Jean-Philippe. I know your next delivery is not until tomorrow. Don't hesitate to leave without me. I will survive.
[2] Of course. But what do I tell Monique? You know she'll be asking where you are.

"- what was that?"

"Let me try to find out." Taryn answered Katie. She kicked the remnants of her restraints across the floor. Shifting her gaze to focus on the door Taryn scanned the area. The cameras outside became bright though slightly fuzzy outlines of themselves. Once hidden wires became distinctive lines connecting each device embedded in the walls. Those were all to be expected. But then down the corridor came a bright green flag Taryn didn't expect. Unguarded and clear it carried a recognizable blend of her own signature and another. "Ethan!" Taryn exclaimed. But the indicator that was Ethan continued moving at a brisk pace. Taryn spun towards Katie to explain. "He's-"

But before she could finish her sentence the door to their cell was ripped off its hinges. Pulled backwards by a great force or weight until the door impacted something unseen. Taryn stepped backwards, electricity gathered at her hands ready to defend against-

A familiar figure. "Garrus?" Taryn asked. In this world they couldn't be sure.

"Garrus?"

"Hey there Taryn! And Jason, and Katie. Are all of you okay?" Garrus asked after hearing his name, taking a moment to readjust to the lighting inside. From what he could tell they seemed to be alright, hopefully everyone else proved to be the same. "We're breaking out of here now. Those vibrations you probably felt were explosions from outside. I think something is going on, and this might be our only chance to get out. So let's go," he explained to them before moving onto the next cell door. There was no time to waste; especially since they had no clue what was causing everything going on outside.

Jason was affixed on Katie as she talked, listening intently to what she had said. Before she could finish however, the ground below them began to shake, taking the keyholder by surprise. He sprung to his feet, armor quickly wiping across his face. Tense and alert, Jason decided it was best to move away from the heavy metal door and further into the cell.

"An earthquake? Possibly. Or we could get lucky and it end up being our cavalry." Jason replied as Taryn worked, senses perking as she rose in alert. Repositioning himself on the wall opposite the door, Jason also braced for an impending attack, lowering his guard somewhat as he realized who it was.

"Garrus! Looks like I was right about the cavalry." Jason said, a positive remark despite the tense, unpositive moment.


The Lieutenant Colonel's gunship found itself steadily en route with the prison. The imminent flight became increasingly urgent as a patch came through saying the establishment was compromised, several casualties already reported. Smoke could be recognized from the smoldering rubble that used to be the tall concrete wall and lookout posts that surrounded the prison, a convoy of humvees parked hastily amongst one of the entrances, heavily armed soldiers standing guard beside the vehicles. The heavier guns eyeing the sky quickly spotted the incoming helicopter and began firing upon them. The Lieutenant looked on with malice, quickly unstrapping himself from his seat.

"Arm yourselves Epilson Squad! We need to provide suppressing fire to ensure a safe landing, or should I say, as safe as we can get. Sergeant, get on the .50 cal! Captain, we're landing on the roof. We're gonna need this ship to still be in one piece if we're to get out of here." The Lieutenant announced in alert, swinging open the heavy door as his soldiers loaded and cocked their guns. As the appointed soldier manned the heavy turret, the remaining soldiers managed to open fire on those firing upon the helicopter, some aiming for the defensive team, other aimed at the manned turrets aimed to take down the aircraft. The sergeant open fired as well, the .50 cal ripping through the vehicles and those unlucky enough to be in the attack path. The opposing forces retaliated, anti-air sentries and ground soldiers returning fire on the helicopter, bullets ricocheting against the aircraft's underbelly. The much heavier bullets of the sentries were able to penetrate the ship defenses in a much easier fashion, causing the airborne soldiers to duck for cover, the more unfortunate sergeant manning the heavy machine gun receiving the gist of the attack. The Lieutenant managed to pull the deceased sergeant away from the .50 cal, moving him into one of the seats before replacing himself as the ship's gunner.

"Captain! Get us to that LZ, now!" He yelled through gunfire, large casings falling from the gun as he opened fire at the ground troops. He succeeded in taking out some of the anti-air sentries, but not without receiving fire of his own, bullets ripping through his uniform. Admist blazing gunfire, the helicopter eventually managed to land. The Lieutenant stepped from the ship, with the remainder of Epilson Squad quickly following behind him.

"Hold the line here Epsilon Squad. Provide cover fire for your fellow soldiers. I will retrieve the package. Stay tight; this'll only take a minute." He said assuringly, cracking his knuckles. With a blast of air, the Lieutenant disappeared through the roof's entrance. Slowing down within the block, the Lieutenant took a whiff at the air. The stench was stronger and much more definitive. He sped through the dark halls, slowing as he noticed another being roaming the corridors, the face and head covered in metal and lights. Before the Lieutenant could let out any word of warning, the being open fired in his direction. With that act of hostility, the Lieutenant rushed towards the metal coated man at increasing speeds.

"Alright let's do this then," Tommy said as he kneeled to give Richard a better angle. Richard aligned his blades, then activated the springs, which shot the blades out of their sheaths and sliced clean through the chain. The plate fell off Tommy's chest and hit the ground with a clank. Tommy was puzzled when he noticed there wasn't some sort of sharp object sticking through his heart. He picked the plate up and examined it, and already he could feel his powers coming back.

"What gives? No barbs, no heart-seeking blade, no immolation," Them Tommy flipped it over to the underside attached to it was a package of explosives that Tommy imagined would be enough to kill everyone in the cell, "No fucking around apparently."

With his strength mostly returned but his durability still low, Tommy ran and punched through the wall, feeling every bone in hand crack as he did so. He then through the plate through the hole, sending it into the hall. A second later it exploded, sending dust and debris through the hole. Tommy then regarded his pulverized fist, " Huh, that's not good at all," He said with some amount of shock in his voice, " C-could I get some help?" He timidly asked Brian.

"I killed Lector..."

Levi waited for the feeling of relief that was supposed to come, but there was nothing. There was no peace. The biggest threat to him and his friends, the physical embodiment of his nightmares, had been eliminated, but it didn't serve to bring him any kind of closure.

"...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."

But there was no time to dwell on that. They had an opening and needed to exploit it. Find a way to break everyone out of here. There would be plenty of time to think about this later. Levi rose to his feet and focused on the metal cuffs behind his back. With a little bit of effort, the lock was undone and the restraints clattered to the floor. He accepted Tyson's extra vest and put it on. A little extra protection definitely wouldn't hurt. Levi followed Tyson out of the cell, averting his gaze from the bloody mess that had been the soldier watching over him.

"Okay, where do we go from here?" he asked as he readied energy in his hands.

Ethan had been steadily clearing out the area the group would have to go through to escape the prison; making sure to grab the fallen guard's weapons and ammo along with their headsets to hear what was going on. He wasn't too surprised that there were less and less as he moved farther along, coming up to the general population area when he noticed something through the visor. Quickly locking onto the foe he fired away in bursts, retreating while continuing to fire as the enemy approached him with haste.

----

"Enough with the greetings, we need to get out of here as soon as possible. We have to be on our toes, who knows if the people attacking this place are friends or not. Just be careful everyone," Garrus explained from the hallway, hearing and feeling a smaller scale explosion coming from a cell nearby and heading over to it. He took the door off with a few punches, looking inside to see a big hole instead of a wall. "Uh," he started, entering the cell and seeing Tommy, Brian, Richard, and Spoon through the whole, "Hey there guys. Come on, we're getting out of here."

"Let's keep moving. We want this over quickly," Catherine tersely ordered as she and her group continued down the halls, eliminating guards as they did so. They were nearing the entrance to the max-sec wing... but something was making noise up ahead. A series of bangs, slightly muted by the soundproofing the building possessed. There was also gunfire coming from the same area, audible through the open doors. Catherine picked up the pace, her squad following suit.

Upon entering the max-sec wing, the Catherines were met with a sight that none of them expected to see in such a place. People were sprawled all over the floor of the corridor, many of them dead or dying. The logical explanation was that someone had begun to break out from the inside... whoever they were, they were doing a good job of it. The original Catherine took seven of her clones and pressed on, while the remaining two began to put the guards that had not yet died out of their misery.

More gunfire could be heard up ahead. Pistol shots, fired quickly by the sound of them. And there was no cover to be had in the corridor. Catherine slowed down a little, wary of whoever was shooting... the gunfire was aimed at someone with their back to her. The someone was wearing some kind of uniform... perhaps he was unfriendly. Taking no chances, Catherine sent four copies of herself after the man and the figure shooting at him. She continued to lead the other three down through some side halls, until...

There. More people in the main corridor, unfamiliar... Keeping her rifle up in case they too were hostile, Catherine cautiously approached with her three followers. Two of them, walking out of a cell, were each clad in armour. But was one of them, the female, wearing a suit made of plant life? That was insane, unless she had a reason for it. One of the others walked into another cell as Catherine and her clones advanced.

"You there, who are you?" she demanded of the people that remained in the corridor. The four women did not lower their weapons.


±Brian, was it? Do whatever you need to as we go; we cannot afford to waste time,± Spoon stated before the door of the adjacent cell burst open. Another face poked through it: Garrus. "Hey there guys. Come on, we're getting out of here."

±It seems I am not the only one with a plan to break us out,± the psychic commented before he teleported himself and the other three through the wall. Garrus's head didn't occupy the entire gap; teleporting was much easier with the ability to see where he was going. Spoon strode out of the cell to check the coast was clear. It appeared to be... No. Four identical minds were advancing; they came into view soon enough. The identical minds belonged to women identical in appearance, each armed and armoured. One bore a gold patch on her shoulder, while the other three behind her wore silver.

So Catherine Southe had come calling. What was her purpose here, though? It was an interesting development. Perhaps she was behind the shaking that had started before Spoon initiated his escape.


Rowan had flinched as the door to his cell burst open: Garrus merely gave him a look before moving on to the next one. The shapeshifter had gotten up and hurried out after him and Requiem, remaining silent as more and more of the Society's cells were smashed open. He felt that he was in no position to make any suggestions, nor to comment on the situation. His job was to fight when the time came, plain and simple.

He shot a glance at Spoon, still slightly unsure of the psychic, even though the two of them were almost exact doppelgangers. Rowan resolved to speak with Spoon at a later date, once they were free of the prison and safe from retribution.


"We're okay, more or less," Katie answered Garrus as she followed Jason and Taryn out of the cell. "Good to know we're getting out before these bastards hold us any longer." She didn't fancy being subject to interrogation or torture, especially since the prison block was insanely tight in terms of security. They would probably have had some twisted tortures in store if the Society had been kept without escaping.

As Garrus entered another cell, and the guy named Spoon walked out, she caught sight of four armed women moving down the hall. Soldiers, most likely. They didn't open fire on sight, which was good, but it didn't mean they were friendly. They weren't wearing the gear owned by the prison guards, either.

"You there, who are you?" the leader of the four called out in a no-nonsense tone. At her words, Katie froze, her eyes widening behind her plant mask. Was that... was that her own voice? It sounded exactly like hers... and looking past the armour, Katie easily recognised her own body shape in that of all four of the soldiers. She stepped forward to respond, hesitating before letting the words leave her mouth.

"Call me Demeter," she answered, studying the soldiers as she did so. "Are you here to break us out of this prison?"


Catherine was confused. Why was this woman speaking in her voice? She didn't leave clones locked up in prison - an advantage of cloning oneself was that she could destroy her clones easily - and certainly not wearing plant armour or calling themselves strange names. None of the four lowered their guns, and nor did they answer immediately. Each was trying to grasp how a plant-bedecked clone had come to be in Prison Block Theta.

The Second Lieutenant sighed as he entered the prison. Four men dead before they even made it inside wasn't a good sign for this mission to start out on. On top of that Catherine just rushed ahead with her troops, leaving him with his five squad members to go about their own priorities on this mission.

Based on the direction Catherine was heading Tyson could only assume that she was heading for the main maximum security cell hallway. This meant that the alternative tasks were up to himself and his squad for now. Lifting up his hand he signaled his team to follow him as they moved forward into the prison.

The half together corpses from the initial blast area of the antitank missiles disappeared and fresh corpses took their place along the path, as Tyson and his squad confronted and killed anyone that was in their immediate path. It didn't take long till he found the room that he was looking for, a simple restroom. Ordering his team to stand guard while he went inside, Tyson placed three explosive charges on the far wall and set the timer, before running outside of the room.

Three. Two. One. A single blast could be heard as all of the explosives went off at the same time. Quickly Tyson and his team raced inside of the restroom, through the new hole in the wall, and into the security command room. Several corpses filled with holes from the rock fragmentation littered the room.

A quick look around revealed that most of the equipment had stayed relatively undamaged and Tyson began issuing orders. "Johnson, check the prisoner information computer. I want a copy of the information from the processing of the group in the maximum security. I also want you to delete and destroy it; if we are lucky they haven't transferred it into the main database. Michaels, find the control module for the general population area. I want all of the doors leading in and out unlocked along with the cells. Everyone else take up defensive positions."

Tyson walked over to, and inspected the security camera monitors. He found that only two feeds were being displayed by the damaged machine. One showed a soldier and Lector both appearing dead on the ground of a cell; the other camera showed a feed of an empty hallway. Luck was in their hands. It appeared that someone had done them a favour by killing the Head of the Department of Information and Security. Brief sounds of gun fire could be heard, as some guards turned a corner it the sights of a defense position soldier.

Tyson was about to request a speed increase on the information removal when his radio chimed in. "Sir, we just had incoming fire from a helicopter. All vehicles are still functional but we lost four Catherines and Monroe. It appears that they are landing on the roof," reported a disgruntled sounding soldier. "Shit. Snipers, priority on our new friends on the roof. Defense team hold steady a little longer," Tyson ordered to his troops.


The snipers heard Tyson's orders loud and clear. They averted their aim to the roof top for the helicopter accordingly. It was a bit disappointing but they just missed a soldier as he ran at inhuman speeds into the prison. "We can't see the helicopter due to a tower on our side," one sniper said over the radio. "Same story," replied the other. "Hold on," was said by both of them at the same time. Four of the soldiers from the helicopter waked into the snipers' views. "I'll take north. You take south," was said by one of the snipers. "Sounds good," replied the other.

After readjusting their sights both snipers took aim. "On the count of three, we fire. One, two, three." Two bullets were fired, one from each gun, and sailed through the air. One ripped through a soldier's throat, severing his jugular. The other made a clean pass and passed through another soldier's visor before embedding itself in his skull. Quickly moving their guns both snipers fired upon the two other soldiers, but missed before they returned to the blind spot that housed the helicopter. "Sir, two hostiles down on the roof. The rest of them are hiding in a blind spot. What are your orders?" Asked one sniper.


Tyson liked the sound of the good news. "Snipers, keep watching for anyone who's stupid enough to stick their head out. Spotters watch the sides of the buildings, and inform the snipers if anyone comes that way," Tyson commanded. As soon as he finished talking, Michaels gave him a thumbs up, signaling that his task had been completed.


The fighters responsible for freeing Echo Company from the general population wing were facing tough resistance. There were a much larger number of guards located in this building, and they were doing a damn good job at containing and funneling the fighters throughout the area. So far two Catherines had died, two had received minor bullet wounds, and two of Tyson's resistance members had received minor bullet wounds as well. Things weren't looking good as they slowly pressed forward.

The sudden sound of a lot of clicks and automatic sliding bar doors was a mood changer, after the scout had just barely made it back behind the wall; avoiding fire from the guards. This meant that the number of possible routes in just increased exponentially and the group immediately ran back to the last intersection and took a hallway that was previously blocked off by one of these doors. This cut back allowed them to move forward faster, and even catch some of the guards off guard. The momentum didn't last long before they were pinned down by superior numbers again. Things weren't looking so good again.


The cells in the prison unlocked and slid open out of nowhere. With the sounds of gun fire and the rock of the explosions, most prisoners were already on their feet, waiting to see what was going to happen next. This meant that there was almost no delay in their attack, as they poured out and rushed the guards in the cell area. The members of Echo Company, although beaten and in bad shape, were in the lead of this assault and quickly armed themselves with the guard's guns, before heading the source of the explosion and the current gun fire.

It wasn't long before the squad found the security forces that were pinning down the general population group. By catching the guards by surprise it wasn't a fight, but a mere slaughter as the hot lead flew in one direction, creating a nice silence when Echo Company stopped firing. "You were stopped by a bunch of pussies like these guys? What the hell is wrong with you? Having to be saved by the people who you came to save. What are you a bunch of woman?" One member of Echo Company shouted out.

The members of Tyson's resistance group and the Catherines came out from behind the wall they we pinned behind. "Sorry, about that woman comment. I didn't expect for anyone besides our group to be part of this prison break." The same member said quickly. "How about we just get the fuck out of here?" Asked another Echo member rhetorically; as he jogged past the group that broke in. This prompted everyone else to follow him as they started to make their way out.


Tyson got a report that Echo Company has been secured and that they are evacuating the building to the defensive teams. This fit in perfectly Johnson informed him that he had retrieved the data and deleted the record on the prison's computer, but was unsure if it had been uploaded to the Patriot Network.

It didn't matter at this point and he ordered his team that they were moving out towards the maximum security cells. Some background gunfire stopped at his command and a flash bang went off. The fighter from that direction quickly ran back in. He joined the rest of the squad as they exited out the bathroom, joining up with the other two soldiers, and headed off towards the maximum security cells.


"Left. However if you want a more in-depth answer; we go to the other cells where everyone else are likely being kept. This was a private office and holding area by the looks of it, so they probably have a whole hallway somewhere, lined up with maximum security cells. Well, there's been one in every large prison like this I've been in so at least. I figure we should start looking for it," Tyson replied to Levi, as he checked hallway leading back into the prison.

The coast was clear so he walked forward down the hall with his gun raised ready to kill anyone who looked hostile, before reaching the next intersection and checking that hallway. Tyson repeated this process several times without running into any guards. He simply ruled the lack of hostile contact, to be the result of a primary focus of personnel towards dealing with whoever was attacking the prison.

Suddenly after turning a corner Tyson's power triggered out of nowhere. It was just a small burst, but it was more than noticeable and his eyes turned pitch black again. Shocked by what happened Tyson quickly sidestepped to the wall beside him and leaned against, gun still pointed down the wall. His powers were acting up and he had no idea what he was going to do about it.

Before he could think of anything it triggered again and Tyson shut his eyes and gritted his teeth in frustration. When he opened them again he was looking down the hallway to himself and five other soldiers. Is this a delusion, or is that the man that Lector thought I was? Tyson took notice of the weapons that they were holding. All of them were raised except himself, so he lowered his own as a sign of good faith. It felt strange but something inside his gut said it was okay to do so.


The scout looked back at Tyson, and signaled for him to see the next hallway for himself. As he approached and checked the corner, he immediately knew why. Down the hall there was a man that looked near identical to himself. There was also one, who looked like Lector, but Lector was already dead; he had seen it on the monitor.

Raising his hand Tyson commanded his troops to move forward with an additional signal to hold their fire. Tyson followed them out as he was hit by the tail end of a blast of sound. His ears rang a little as he recovered from the unexpected noise. Still he didn't raise his weapon like the rest of his group. Instead he focused on looking at the two men down the hall.

It took being out in the open, but he could clearly see the few differences between the two people down the hall, and himself and Lector. The man who looked like Lector lacked the hardened look and the murderous black eyes that his enemy held. The light scars and difference in roughness between himself and the man down the hall could be seen as well. Well those and the jet black eyes as the man opened them. A breath of relieve was also held as the man lowered his weapon.

"Catherine, I don't know if you've reached the prisoners yet, but when you do be careful to watch for small differences. I just found an almost complete copy of Lector and myself over here. There could be more people who look like our enemies, or ourselves with them. If you find the other people we are looking for, retreat back to the vehicles with them. Echo squads already been secured and are retreating. I'll talk with the ones I found and if the others can confirm that we found all of them we'll retreat as well and get out of here," Tyson said to Catherine over his communicator.

Changing his attention back to the people before himself, Tyson settle himself. "I'm not exactly sure who you are, but we're here to get you out of this prison. I'd like it if you would come with us," Tyson said in his most calming voice possible.

"Thank God, Garrus-" Tommy didn't have enough time to finish before he heard Catherine outside. Tommy stepped out of the cell and saw the four well-armed women. His eyes narrowed and his good fist clenched. He recognized them as Katie but he wasn't about to trust them on that account. He felt his powers returning, his damaged hand began to repair itself, the bones were starting to realign and the cuts stopped bleeding. He moved until he was sure he was in between them and his team-mates. "Lower your weapons, we are not from here, we are trying to get out. " He said, as he slowly inched his left foot back. He began sizing the four of them up. Definitely Katie, doesn't seem to have the plant powers. They could be dopplegangers or illusions, either way, shouldn't be too hard if they try anything.

" Are you here to stop us?" He asked, tensing up the muscles in his leg to pounce, anticipating if they open fire.

The Lieutenant rushed at the metallic being that fired at him, running into the gunfire with wide eyes and a crazed, toothy grin. Bullets rebounded and ricocheted from him, leaving his uniform further damaged. He gained further ground, and found himself within arm's reach of his opponent. However, before he could lay a hand on the the young Ethan, he stopped, realizing the four identical beings closing in on he and the cyborg's position. Surrounded, the Lieutenant Colonel stood up straight, his hands rising to where all could see them, a sign of surrender.

"What a predicament this is, huh? I come here to pick up a package that should be rightfully mine, and I find myself at the mercy of the clones of a familiar face, and a war criminal without a face or name." He said with a small smirk, his confident gaze never breaking sight of Ethan as he shadowed over him. As he talked, dark tendrils slid up his hands and neck, stopping short of the thick hair of his chin. As he stared into Ethan's visor, his eyes grew black and cold. Within the second, he sprung into action, his left hand reaching for and yanking at Ethan's pistol. As Ethan lurched forward, the four clones jumped back, firing at the Lieutenant. He flipped backward, landing behind the clone closest to his back, digging sharp claws into her face before snapping the neck at its base. As the clone slumped, the Lieutenant grabbed her rifle and began firing upon the remaining clones and Ethan. As the gunfight raged on, The Lieutenant found himself greeted through means of his communication device by his pilot. His voice was eager and alert.

"Lieutenant sir! We've undergone major fire! They have snipers sir! There's been casualties, two confirmed! We need to go!" He yelled from his end. Teeth clenched in sheer anger, he rushed towards the nearest clone, dropping the gun as he neared her. He stabbed her with the tips of his claws, penetrating the Kevlar vest as he pierced her torso. He closed his hand and pulled out slowly, hoping the clone felt every second of pain. The other clones looked on in horror as they watched their sister become a victim of mutilation and continued firing at the Lieutenant. His jacket and shirt began to reduce to shreds, cracks of varying blues and greens showing from where the bullets connected. He tossed the dead clone at the remaining two, knocking them to the ground. As they began to scramble to their feet, the Lieutenant was upon them, slashing deep into their jugular veins. The last two were dispatched, blood gurgling from their mouths and necks. He looked up from the clones, breathing heavily as his head viciously swung back and forth in search of the last target. Realizing that Ethan had disappeared, the Lieutenant patched into his comm-link.

"Captain, prepare the bird. I wasn't able to retrieve the package, but I won't allow any more casualties. I will return shortly." He replied bluntly, his manner much calmer than it was a mere second ago.

"That damn robot cost me my company and my mission. If I see it again, I will personally dismantle it." He said under his breath, looking around once more before breaking into a sprint towards the exit, returning from whence he came.

Catherine had her rifle trained on the plant-wearing clone, the woman calling herself 'Demeter'. The voice and body shape was identical. But she wasn't a clone - Catherine felt no connection to her in the way that she did her clones. And who were the people standing with her? One of them she recognised by his cloak and clothing: the psychic vigilante, Spoon, who occasionally helped Resistance efforts free of charge. The rest of them, she had nothing on. They were an unpredictable force, and would need to be questioned. Preferably by Catherine herself, in the case of this Demeter girl.

Catherine's earpiece burst to life: Bishop's voice. "Catherine, I don't know if you've reached the prisoners yet, but when you do be careful to watch for small differences. I just found an almost complete copy of Lector and myself over here. There could be more people who look like our enemies, or ourselves with them."

So there were more of these copies... who were they really? And why were they here? This green-clad person must be here for some other reason, Catherine guessed.

"If you find the other people we are looking for, retreat back to the vehicles with them. Echo Squad's already been secured and are retreating. I'll talk with the ones I found and if the others can confirm that we found all of them we'll retreat as well and get out of here," Bishop continued.

"Understood. I've just encountered more of these copies. We'll bring them with us," she answered, turning her attention back to the group further down the hall. One of the others spoke: a six-and-a-half-foot-tall brute, by the look of him. "Are you here to stop us?"

"Far from it. We're getting you out of here. If you can fight, so much the better. Are there any more of you?" she asked. The woman in green looked around, doing a quick head-count. "We're missing three. A magnetic, a cyborg and an ex-military guy. Other than them, everyone's here," she answered. Presumably she was using vague descriptions to avoid giving away too much information.

"Good. My associates have picked up two others and are bringing them in. The third we saw earlier; he might still be alive. Now let's move," she said to the group. "You two, form up behind them in case they try something," she added quietly to a pair of her three remaining clones; Catherine wanted to take no chances, even if Spoon was with these strangers. The clones nodded and got into position as the much larger group began to head back the way her squad had come.

As the group headed out, Catherine felt a familiar sensation in the back of her mind. Someone was killing her clones... the four she had sent to investigate the two people fighting. Whoever their killer was, they were good to have taken down four of her clones.


The answer to Tommy's question made Katie raise her eyebrows. The Society was doing fine in their escape, and these people - four of them, exactly identical in every way apart from the patch on the shoulder - just happened to show up? It didn't seem right somehow, even though they were offering an escape route that the Society hadn't thought of. And listening to people speak in her voice was simply unnerving, like the few times people had spoken directly into her head. The brief conversation was like talking to a mirror... only the mirror was capable of independent thought and apparently had military training.

Nonetheless, she prepared for battle in case it came to a fight, growing a large shield from her left arm and producing a bank of razor leaves from the shield in turn. The armour of her right hand and forearm morphed into a mass of vines, ready to lash out at close-range targets.


Both Spoon and Rowan acquiesced to the armed woman's statement; the former because he trusted Catherine and knew her capabilities, the latter because he was in no position to argue. Rowan knew very well that he was outranked by anyone else in the Society, except maybe Tyson and Brian, to whom he considered himself equal in the hierarchy since the three of them had joined at the same time. The only time he had made an effective contribution to a mission was the raid on Cadizki's place with Richard and Alex... and that was only because he had a personal involvement with the man in question, the man who had stolen his humanity.

The two walked side by side: or at least, the shapeshifter walked. He noted that his near-double hovered an inch or so above the ground, gliding slowly across the floor rather than walking with the others.

±These people can be trusted: Catherine is a member of the resistance against United America,± Spoon said to the group. ±Though, Ms Southe, I have to ask: what brings you here at this time? It seems a little coincidental.±

"That's because it is. None of us had any idea that you people were here. But that's all I'll say for now. Need-to-know basis, standard procedures apply," Catherine answered the psychic without looking round. She had other priorities: now that the resistance strike teams had gotten what they wanted, there wouldn't be much point in bringing Brian into the fight... he would not be happy to hear that. Still, Catherine needed to inform the clone driving him around. Setting her communicator to a different frequency, she spoke again. "Catherine, the break-out is almost finished. Bring our friend to the camp instead of the prison block: by the time you get him there, it'll be over."


At Spoon's words, Katie flinched, and not just because of the thought-speaking. Catherine Southe... was this her double, like Spoon and Rowan? She'd heard the psychic before, back when they were under arrest, and it had been Rowan's voice sending the message in her head. After shooting a glance at Spoon, she had noted that he strongly resembled Rowan's usual form. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to suggest that, since they did appear to be in some type of parallel universe, she did indeed have a counterpart here.

Brian had to rub his eyes for a moment. There were so many doubles floating around here, it was hard to keep track of who was who and what was going on. Whatever, or whoever it was, they were getting them out of the horrible prison that was for sure.

"I really don't know what's going on here, you know," he admitted. "But whatever, eh? I mean let's just get the heck out of here and then just figure out what the heck is going on elsewhere there, eh?"


The ride in the car was taking far too long for Briān's liking. Landover wasn't that far away from the Prison, or at least not as far away as he thought it was. The the call came in. The Catherine clone held up a communicator to her ear as some garbled noises came through the other end. Just as suddenly she returned the device to her pocket.

"Wat was zat?" Briān asked his travelling companion.

"There has been a change in plans," Catherine told him. "We are going to be heading to the temp base outside Washington. We are going to be meeting there with with the group breaking out of the prison there before making the next move."

"Stop ze car."

"I can't righ-"

"STOP ZIS DAMN CAR NOW!"

Briān made a move for the steering wheel but Catherine had already pulled over to the side of the road, tires screeching as the car ground to a halt. She looked over at a now seething Frenchman.

"I came along on zis leetle break-in, under ze promice zat I would gain ze access to ze government facilitees and see if zose batards 'ad any progress made on zeir cure, and now you tell me I don't even get zat?"

"The forces already have the captives secured," Catherine explained. "It would look suspicious if we went there now, and you would be captured-"

"I DON'T CARE!" Briān screamed. "I DON'T CARE! Don't you see? Zis curse 'as been plaguing me for too long! Zey 'ave a cure! Zey 'ave to 'ave a cure! It is right up zeir alley!"

"Brian, you have to understand-"

"Understand? UNDERSTAND! You do not understand!" Brian flung his seatbelt off and positioned himself over the clone. "You do not even know ze pain! You are but a clone!" He put his hands up to Catherine's face, the fingerless gloves coming into contact with her as the veins on her face started to rise to give up it's energy. "'Ow can you possibly understand what torture zis is! HOW!"

A pained look spread across the clone's face. "Brian.....you're....hurting me...please," Catherine got out between choking gasps.

As she spoke those ailing words, a flashback occurred in Brian's head. The night that finally forced him to leave Catherine in the first place. She had sounded just like that. Just as this part of her did in the car right now.

He removed his hands from Catherine's head, the clone lurching forward, panting for air. Briān sat back down on the passenger side and started to fumble around in his pockets. "I...I am sorry," he apologized. "It was not right to snap at you like zat."

Catherine was finally getting her breath back. "You think? You don't think Catherine wants you to keep living like you do? She cares about you Brian. She really does. I would know. She wouldn't be giving this order unless it was in everyone's best interest, including yours."

Briān finally produced a pack of unfiltered cigarettes from his pocket and pulled one out. "It 'as been zo long...it is nice to 'ave such confirmation. You may continue driving. Allons-y." He pulled out a lighter and lit the cigarette, inhaling deeply as the smoke hit his lungs. As he let the drag flow through his body, he rolled the window down, to allow the smoke to disperse into the cold winter air. It has been too long.

With looming figure before him stopping mid-strike to look at the four identical figures, Ethan took the time to reload his weapons as quickly as he could before the attacks began. As soon as he raised up his pistol to fire on the man it was quickly snatched away from him. Ethan let go once he was being pulled towards the man, backing up and taking aim with his new assault rifle as the man started to take out the identical soldiers.

The decision to retreat fully was made when he saw just how outmatched the five fighting the man, and Ethan quickly slipped out of the fight after he overheard the communication to the "Lieutenant" from the communicator. There was no feeling of guilt as he left the last two soldiers to die by the Lieutenant's hands; instead he focused on making a lot of distance between himself and where the Lieutenant was just in case he decided to give chase.

A plate on a door made him pause and take note of it's location before he continued to make his way back to the maximum security wing.

----

Garrus was not as surprised as he thought he would be meeting another alternate version of a Society member, though the fact that there was four identical ones did make him raise an eyebrow. 'There will be time to figure this all out later. We have more important things to focus on now,' he told himself, stepping forward from the cell and following as they were led out. Ahead of them he saw Ethan approaching, quickly saying, "Don't fire! He's the cyborg that is with us."

He ran past the group and over to Ethan, raising an eyebrow at the number of weapons he was carrying on him. "Hey, glad to see you're good. We're following them and heading out. Is the area clear?" Garrus asked, reading Ethan's response before turning around and saying, "There might be some resistance if we head out through the general population section; however, there is a room that has some of our stuff that way. We definitely need to head that way first to grab that before getting out of here."

"I'm not exactly sure who you are, but we're here to get you out of this prison. I'd like it if you would come with us."

The mirror image of Tyson beckoned them to follow him. With no better option, Levi was inclined to comply. They definitely didn't look like the people who had imprisoned them. In appearance, the men before them were nothing like the clean-cut and fully armored government troops. Their camouflaged uniforms were mismatched, accompanied by miscellaneous bits and pieces of armor. Even their weapons looked older and significantly more beat-up. Given their appearance, they looked a lot more friendly than any of the government soldiers.

He turned to the Tyson he knew. "Looks like that's our way out of here," he said. "Wherever they're going back to is probably better than this place." Directing his attention to the other Tyson, he continued. "How many of you are here? We have others that are imprisoned somewhere in this compound as well." Including Taryn.

"We'll explain everything later, but right now we need to find everyone else."

"Other people from our side who are engaged in this attack, have already found your friends. I'm not sure if it is all of them yet. As for our remaining numbers, I can't tell you exactly what they are. However I do know that there are more than enough of us here; so you don't have to worry. So right now, instead of finding everyone else, we need to retreat to our escape vehicles. There we will rendezvous with the other fighters, who will secure and guide your friends back to the vehicles as well." the Second Lieutenant answered the man in the beat up Victorian-esque clothing.


Tyson was holding his breath. He had no clue about what to do and was doing what he could to prevent another trigger. Because of this he simply nodded in agreement with Levi's statement and stopped leaning on the wall. As his doppelganger spoke the other men around him pointed their weapons away, but still had them raised in case guards appeared. Tyson instantly had a problem with what the man was saying. He had some places they needed to stop first before leaving.

"We can't leave just yet," Tyson's voice was a bit hoarse; as he was trying to make sure his powers didn't go off while he was speaking. "We need to destroy our processing records, I need to get my armor and weapon back from there storage room, and I want to look up some people in their system."


The Second Lieutenant would have rather liked to directly leave, but he still hadn't heard back from Catherine in regards to how many that were still left to find. Meeting this look-a-like halfway might be a good way to kill of time waiting for a response.

"We already took care of those records. However we don't have enough time for you to look into their system, but we are relatively close to their storage room. I'm willing to take you there," the resistance leader replied to the copy of himself.


Tyson knew he wasn't in the shape to argue and caved right away. "Fine. Lead the way," Tyson replied a bit bitterly, as he followed his double throughout a few halls.

The five man team before them moved in front of them and cleared the hallways at an alarming rate. The Second Lieutenant was staying behind his team while keeping an eye on the other two as they continued to move forward. After a few intersections the group took a right down a hallway and came to its end, another adjacent hallway, with a door in the wall faced them. "In there," the commanding officer stated, pointing to the door.

"Around a dozen of our forces stormed the general population sector at the same time I and my followers entered the maximum security wing. They will most likely be ready to leave on command," Catherine answered Garrus, recalling the map of the prison block as she did so. The prisoners wanted a storage room... there. She knew the route, more or less. If they ran into her squad in general population, that would be good.

"Let's go. We can't hang around here forever," she said, picking up the pace a little. The four Catherines shepherded the strange prisoners through the prison block, encountering no resistance that wasn't solved through quick, precise shots. Catherine and her clones were skilled enough to not require aid from the prisoners... though she briefly wondered if Spoon was affecting the guards' minds enough to let her take them down quickly.

After a minute or so of navigating the halls and corridors, the group rounded a corner to find the correct storage room. 2nd Lieutenant Bishop and his team were already there, and they had more strangers with them... Lector did not wear that kind of clothing, in Catherine's experience. And there was what looked like another Bishop there with the group. These people were clearly the copies the 2nd Lieutenant had mentioned: they were the two that were missing from the group, according to Demeter.

Catherine stood aside to let the prisoners pass, figuring that a reunion would be in order, and gestured for her clone to do so as well.


As the group moved through the hallways, Katie marvelled at her counterpart's skill with a gun. She was good. Really good. She wondered who would be better in a fight: herself, with her verdant abilities, or this Catherine person who had a considerable amount of military training. Granted, she could jam Catherine's gun with plant life, so that gave her the advantage...

But then there were Catherine's identical copies to consider. How had they come into existence? And were they anything like the gold-patched one, or did they have similar training too? She had so many questions to ask, but now was not the time.

Katie breathed a silent sigh of relief when she caught sight of Levi and Tyson later on. Both of them looked like they had been through a fair bit under Lector's hand, Tyson more so than Levi. Hopefully they were both alright.

Garrus and Ethan followed the group led by Catherine, the latter helping lead to where the storage room was. Garrus turned away from the few prison guard corpses that laid against the floor, preferring to stare either ahead of him or slightly above at the lights. A surprise was around the corner, the group from the maximum security cells meeting up with the ones who had been taken by Lector earlier.

"Levi, Tyson! Good to see that Lector guy didn't do either of you in. What exactly happened?" Garrus asked, making his way to the two Society members who seemed much worse for wear than the rest. He looked over the other people with them, making the connection that these were the other Resistance members. 'And here's another counterpart of one of our own. So many things we'll have to ask once we get out of here,' Garrus thought, turning around and telling the Society to grab any of their stuff that had been taken from them. "Then we can get out of here, right? Where will we be going?" he asked Catherine.

"So right now, instead of finding everyone else, we need to retreat to our escape vehicles."

The squad moved forward before Levi could ask any further questions. With reluctance he followed them down the halls, ready to dispose of any threat that came their way. Although the duplicate Tyson confirmed that the others were in the company of his comrades, he refused to leave before having the chance to be with Taryn. The last thing he wanted now was to be separated again in the midst of a battle.

Going through the compound at a rapid pace, they arrived at their destination, a door along an adjacent hallway. The entrance to the storage room. There Tyson could recover his equipment...and Levi could recover some personal effects. The left vest pocket where he kept his pocket watch was noticeably empty. He stepped past the other Tyson and headed towards the door. Hopefully he could manipulate the locks from the outside and open the door.

When he looked down the hall, he was greeted by the sight of more armed soldiers...and the rest of the Society team. Leading them was who appeared to be an exact copy of Katie. Rather, four of them. Once they were out of danger, there would have to be some question and answers. The alternate Katie who seemed to be the one in charge stepped aside, allowing Garrus to step forward.

"Levi, Tyson! Good to see that Lector guy didn't do either of you in. What exactly happened?"

"Great to see you okay, Garrus," Levi replied. "Okay, long story short, he wanted information out of us. Tyson managed to kill him. I'll go into detail later, but..."

Over Garrus's shoulder, he caught a glimpse of the familiar red-tipped hair. "Taryn!" he called as he moved to embrace her. The effort aggravated his injuries and sent out fresh shock waves of pain, but he didn't care at that point. Taryn was okay and that was all that mattered right now. Levi kissed her and held the contact briefly before pulling away.

"Are you okay?" he asked quietly.

"I'm better now." Taryn assured Levi. For a moment the mysterious clone group and the prison confinement ceased to exist. Taryn leaned forward again, putting her hand on Levi's arm to reassure herself of his solidity. He was really there. They were really here. Together. Taryn's slight grin faded when she observed Levi's battered condition. Her hand moved up to outline a particularly dark bruise on the side of his face. "You..." There were bruises, shallow cuts, and remnants of blood. Taryn dropped her hand down to rest on Levi's chest. The once pristine and pressed vest was torn. Reality snapped back into existence. With it came the low hum of nearby machinery. The top button of Levi's vest was missing. Ripped from its rightful place. A small detail that was magnified in Taryn's revived anger.

"You're hurt." The two words were a quiet declaration. Almost an accusation. But not one directed at Levi. No, it was directed at the unknown foe that dared harm Levi. Or perhaps not unknown. Garrus had given the name. "What did he do?" Taryn asked. Lector. Victor. Whatever that man was called here. 'Wait.'. Taryn mentally rewound to what Levi had told Garrus. 'Lector's dead? What happened?' Her anger lost its target and spiraled into confusion. There were too many unknowns. Taryn shook her head. "Tell me later." she countered her own question with a sigh. Too many unknowns, but at least Levi was here.

"Levi, Tyson, you're," Tommy hesitated to use the word Okay, " Alive. I mean I didn't doubt that you would be it's just that you can't really say your fine because you guys are all bruised and hurt and stuff, and I'm rambling out of joy so I'll shut up now." True his word Tommy stopped and busied himself with searching the room. He found a door marked "Storage", and tried the handle to find it was locked. A quick punch knocked the door off its hinges and Tommy checked what was inside.

"Hey guys I think I found all the stuff they took from us." Tommy informed the rest as he entered and found his gloves, knuckle-dusters, and chain belt. He slipped the gloves on and tried to summon some fire with them. To his pleasure the flames seemed relatively stable, indicating the power fluctuations seemed to have passed.

Tyson's head was throbbing at this point. His shoulder blades felt like they wanted to shift backwards. It still kind of hurt to breath as well. Despite this Tyson tried to keep his composure, as Catherine moved aside and the rest of the group became visible. "That's everyone," he said to his alternative self, while Levi gave a brief update to Garrus.


Perfect. Now we can get out of here. The Second Lieutenant was more than happy to be able to leave this building now. Although he liked destroying it, he simply didn't like to spend a lot of time inside Patriot controlled property. He made a small gesture to his counterpart towards to the door, as a sign to hurry things up.

"Then we can get out of here, right? Where will we be going?"

"We will be leaving as soon as everything gathers their belongings. As to where we are going is to be known to us for the time being. This is a United America building, and they can still have active audio and video feeds," Bishop replied to the eldest looking member of the group. I think it would be accurate to assume he's their leader or commander. I'll deal with the formalities with him later, if this assumption is correct.

Shifting his mind back into the focus on the group, he watched the newly reunited couple embrace each other. Must be nice to be able to see the one you love again. The commander was a bit envious of the couple, but he could sympathize the want, and was willing to give them a few more seconds.


Tyson watched Levi and Taryn and felt an overwhelming amount of jealousy. The feeling that they had right now was something that he'd never get to feel again. Tyson needed a distraction and Tommy's kicking the door off its hinges worked. He still had his things to get and quickly retrieved them. There wasn't enough time for his armor, but he exchanged the pistol for his own rifle and was out of the room.


Feeling that he had given them enough time the Resistance officer decided it was time for them to move out for good. "Retrieve anything that they took from you. You have thirty seconds before we move out," Bishop ordered towards to the group that they had rescued. There was a slight delay before the order was reissued, in a nicer and more familiarized tone, by the oldest appearing member of the group. I guess that confirms my assumption.

The remaining members quickly retrieved their items. As soon as the last person left the room, the Catherines took point and lead the group back to the entrance point. Bishop and his covered the rear and the commander received confirmation that Echo and the rescue group had returned to their vehicles. Upon exiting the whole in the wall the groups had found themselves in an active firefight between the Resistance members, and the guards and soldiers of the prison cell and United America military.

Everyone quickly rushed to the vehicles and quickly got inside of them. Tyson had chosen to join his counterpart on a turret. An order to retreat was issued by the Second Lieutenant, as Tyson's powers auto triggered again. Working with it this time he swept his head with it and caused a brief pause as some of the enemies were confused by the sound that had just been made. The Resistance took advantage of the situation and gunned it away from the Prison.

The Lieutenant inevitably reached the roof, his pace much slower than how he initially advanced. The door leading to the roof swung open, and the Lieutenant found his soldiers ducked in cover at the helicopter. He began to order his soldiers into the vehicle, only to be interrupted by a shot taken by one of the still posted snipers. The bullet embedded itself in his shoulder, a loud crack being heard as a result. The Lieutenant looked up, darkness crawling up his face. A low snarl crossed his lips as he noticed a small gleam on the horizon, coming from one of the tall posts. He approached his soldiers, and asked for one's rifle. Walking from beyond the helicopter, the Lieutenant spotted the gleam yet again, a spark appearing from the location. The Lieutenant threw up his free hand, the whizzing bullet deflected. He raised the rifle in both hands, and took a shot. The gleam fell away from the post within the second. Picking up his fallen troops, the Lieutenant boarded the whirring helicopter, the surviving soldiers falling in. As they boarded, the Captain couldn't help but gasp at the Lieutenant's present form.

"Sir, your uniform-" He began in shock at the Lieutenant's tattered clothes.

"I'm fine. Just get us back to the base please." He interrupted with the demand. The Captain complied and sat into his seat. As the Lieutenant strapped himself in, the helicopter quickly retreated to the skies. His hands began to quiver in anger, his simple search mission a complete failure.

"Dammit...Damn it all! Half my squad's dead, and I didn't even get what I came here for. This'll be a pleasant report to type...the letters that'll have to be sent to the deceased's families...ARGH, GODDAMN IT ALL!" He thought in a quiet fume, looking from beyond the helicopter's window. Looking towards the ground, he spotted a convoy of humvees speeding away from the prison, brow furrowing even further.

"My Keyholder is in one of those jeeps. I can just tell. He's getting away from me...dammit!" He thought, practically pressed against the window as the whirling dervish soared over the convoy.


Jason took a short breath as a sharp sensation poked at his mind. Blessed with acquiring the window seat, he looked from beyond it, barely catching a glimpse of the helicopter that flew overhead. As the helicopter drew further from the vehicle, the sensation grew weaker.

"Did you feel that?" Erebus asked.

"Yeah, that annoying little feeling."

"Think it was your father?

"Well, either him, or someone just as powerful." Jason replied lastly before looking on at those affiliated with the resistance, those that sat up front.

"I wonder if there are any Keyholders in the Resistance... He pondered after a brief pause.

"Well, I would like to think that some Keyholders stood up against the reintegration. Who knows? If this universe is anything remotely like our universe, then we might find an alternate version of you at our destination." Erebus replied hopefully. Jason decided to not elaborate more on the idea. He didn't want to think about all the potential alternatives to his counterpart's fate. Whether he was alive or not, or if he even existed in the first place.

As everyone was loading up in the get-away vehicles, Tommy asked the driver, about the other resistance fighters.

"They're holding off the Army so we can make our get away." The Driver told him as he began warming up the engines.

"Ok, so let me get this straight, a small band of poorly armed fighters is going to get shot at by a much larger and much better equipped force while I drive to safety without doing a thing?" He asked this time in a slightly incredulous tone.

"I wouldn't put it like that," The Driver responded, " They're trained, they now how to fight government troops, and they volunteered for this."

"Ya, well, so did I." Tommy unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car. The Driver yelled after him, " What the hell are you doing we need leave now!"

"Just get going, I wont be minute." Tommy dismissed the Driver as he began running towards the fire-fight. He didn't want to take long, just help enough to boost the survival chances of the resistance fighters. He spotted a gun-ship that had a squad pinned down behind some cars and decided it would make a fine target. With one jump Tommy got on top of nearby building, with a second he launched himself at the chopper like a rocket.

The pilot saw the Tommy rocketing at them and swerved to the left to avoid colliding . But Tommy used his chain to extend his reach to grappled onto the fuselage and pulled himself on top of the cockpit. As the Co-pilot struggled for his side-arm, Tommy punched through the glass, grabbed the pilot and yanked him out of his chair. As the co-pilot let loose round after round into Tommy, he smashed the controls and bailed as the chopper began to spiral out of control. As it crashed and subsequently exploded, Tommy landed in a nearby street.

Brian was thrilled to see his weapon again. He felt powerless in the current situation without that lethal scythe in his hands, but now, now there was a method for fighting back against these bastards. Too bad it was apparently time to go.

They ran for the vehicles, Tommy decided to pull off some Just Cause moves on one of the prison choppers, a regular escape. Brian just wanted to get out of there, away from that cold, heartless place.


"Here we are," the Catherine clone announced as she pulled the car up to what appeared to be another abandoned warehouse type set up.

Briān looked at the run-down place. "Zis is a joke, non?" He flicked his cigarette onto the pavement outside. "Zis looks even worse zen ze base we 'ave in Montreal! Zis is were you expect to fight ze American bastards from?"

"Of course not." Catherine informed him. "This is a temporary base to allow us to meet up with the group escaping the prison. We will then be heading to the true base shortly after. This is to make sure we are not followed. Besides, it's a lot nicer looking on the inside. You should know that's usually the case."

Briān took the scolding. He knew what the clone was inferring to. "Fine. Let us entre. Aprez-vous." He followed the clone inside the building.

'I should help our little retreat here,' Garrus told himself from inside the Resistance's vehicle, telling the driver to hold up for a second to let Tommy catch up. The driver seemed to not be sure whether to follow Garrus' order or not, but slowed down the vehicle anyway allowing Tommy to get back inside after a couple of super-jumps over. As the driver started to speed up, Garrus turned around to see the prison going further away. There was a small convoy of prison guards that had started to follow them, the vehicles catching up to the escape vehicles quickly.

"Dammit! We have to get rid of them," the driver said after spotting them.
"I've got this," Garrus replied from the backseat, raising up his hands before closing them into a fist. The resulting shock wave hit the ground in front of the prison convoy, the earth shifting up and downwards causing the convoy to crash. Garrus sat back down after making sure none would be following them anymore, a small smile on his face after the driver reacted to his attack with shock and awe.


The drive to wherever they were headed was much quicker than Garrus thought it would. 'I thought we'd be driving for hours, but from what our driver told me we'll be there shortly.' The drive over had been unexciting after they got out of the city, the most exciting thing being when they started to go off road.

Garrus had tried to ask a few questions, but was told that now wasn't the time. He was starting to get annoyed at not knowing what was going on, and he knew everyone else was feeling it too. 'We'll get those answers soon enough,' he told himself as he stared at the trees, the sudden jerk as they went back on the road snapping him out of his daydream.

"We're here," the driver announced, pointing to an abandoned-looking factory just ahead of them.
"That's it?" Garrus asked with uncertainty, not particularly impressed by location.
"It's not supposed to look good! It looks better inside anyways," the driver spat out, seemingly offended by the way Garrus reacted. He accepted Garrus' apology, saying that it was alright as they drove inside the factory. Everyone got out once the vehicles were parked inside the factory, and Garrus couldn't help but think the inside didn't look much better.

"This isn't the inside I was talking about," the driver explained after seeing Garrus' incredulous look. The driver got an 'okay' as a reply before Garrus headed over to where the two people he knew were in charge were. He noticed that there seemed to be a bitter sweet feeling in the air, with most of the Resistance members permeating a quiet sadness under a somewhat happy exterior. From what he could tell the Society wasn't the only reason that the prison break had happened due to the fact that there were a number of people wearing prison uniforms being welcomed back.

"I appreciate the rescue, and I'm sure everyone else in the group does. Is it safe enough to ask some questions now though? Because we really need some answers," Garrus asked Catherine and the man who was this universe's Tyson after approaching them.

"Questions..." Catherine mused, having set her rifle down on one of the tables scattered around the place. With the prison break more or less over - all that remained was to return to her camp, while Bishop took his own men back - her formal nature was back in business.

There had been another car inside the building when Catherine, Bishop, their forces and the liberated prisoners arrived: it had been the transport she had sent to bring in Briān. He was here. Again, Catherine felt something she hadn't felt in at least a year. Two things: nostalgia for the old days... and the odd sensation of her heart skipping a beat. It would be good to see Briān again, even if he had been denied the promise of an investigation into a cure for his problem.

Catherine had other matters to deal with first, however. She turned her attention back to Garrus, and stood as straight as possible as she focused on him. "Well, that depends entirely on what you want to know. Name your request," she answered. "We have a while before we move again."


At one side of the room, Katie was watching the place and the people within. She had retracted the plants covering her head, as well as the weaponry she had intended to use in the prison block: there was no real need for them now.

Just looking around the Resistance base, she could tell that something was up. She felt that the people were missing something... some crucial component that Katie remembered from back at home. She couldn't quite put her finger on it.

Katie's musing was interrupted by her own voice speaking to her. "Excuse me, Demeter?" She looked over to the speaker to find herself facing... herself. The other Katie had removed her helmet and attached her gun to a clip on her armour, but her armour remained. Other than that, the military Katie looked exactly the same as the original, except her hair was short to fit under her helmet. Katie's was kept long under her plant armour: she liked it at its current length.

"Um... God, I'm sorry, but I just find this a little weird, is all," she began to answer. "Talking to an identical copy of myself... But then, there's more than one of you, so I guess you don't have that problem. What did you need?" She gave the strange Katie an awkward smile.

"It's all right, we're used to it. As to your question, Ms Southe wishes to speak with you when the opportunity arises," Katie's counterpart answered, indicating where the gold-patched Catherine stood. "She's over there with Second Lieutenant Bishop and one of your colleagues, and will likely send one of us to remind you when she is free to speak with you."

Katie was confused. The woman standing before her had addressed the other one as 'Ms Southe'. Was she superior in some way? But they were identical... she decided to ask. "Alright... but I just have one question for you," she answered as the other Katie turned to leave, stopping her. "Why is that one, Ms Southe, so special?"

"She is the original," the other woman said enigmatically, as if it explained everything - which it most certainly didn't. "I must take my leave of you. Excuse me," she added as she turned and walked away, joining a conversation with some of the other Resistance forces. Katie watched her go, scratching her head with one hand... it was all so confusing, having so many of herself around. What had the soldier meant by the gold-patched woman being the original?

Katie went back to her watching and waiting, her eyes jumping from group to group. She spotted Taryn and Levi standing together on the other side of the room, and felt cold all of a sudden. For the second time that day, her thoughts drifted to Leland. Katie missed him, and wished he were there with her.


Rowan and Spoon were sitting together up against one of the walls, talking quietly. Or rather, Rowan was talking, and Spoon was thought-speaking back to him. The two had completely different backgrounds: Spoon had been born with his powers while Rowan had had them forced upon him. Spoon acted alone rather than joining the active resistance, where Rowan was working with the Society to combat the threats they faced. Many other questions and answers about one another's pasts were traded.

The psychic listened appreciatively to the tales Rowan told: of learning to control his abilities; of the times he had occasionally used them to dissolve conflicts; the event that had caused him to think about joining the Society; and a couple of the missions in which he had participated.

Spoon 'spoke' little, letting the shapeshifter do all the talking: occasionally he interjected to ask a question or make a small comment, in much the same way Rowan himself did. The familiarity of it wasn't lost on Rowan: it was somewhat creepy.

"So, Cadizki shot me, and I remember a warmish feeling spreading through my body as I passed out on the floor. I woke up the next day to find that Alex had killed him, and my abilities had been, well, upgraded, for lack of a better word," he concluded.

±I see... I do not know an Ivor Cadizki myself,± Spoon mused. ±Perhaps he lives outside of United America. Regardless, you did the right thing. The man was clearly out of his mind in some fashion... though I would have enjoyed taking a part in such a fight. Or any of the battles you described, really.± His voice sounded bitter in Rowan's head.

"Is... is something wrong?" the shapeshifter asked, concerned.

±No, no... Well, yes. I don't feel as if the fights I participate in are actually making much of a difference in the long-term,± Spoon explained. ±As a vigilante, I focus on the people of the cities. They are stepped on by the country's leaders, eternally watched, every action catalogued and filed. It is almost as if they are nothing but mere data-points on a screen.

±The people need someone to fight for them, from the shadows of obscurity. That is where I come in. But... is there more to it, I wonder.±

"Where do I even begin?" Garrus asked rhetorically with a slight chuckle, whistling to get the Society member's attention and beckoning them to come over. He took a deep breath and paced around as he thought of how he should explain how little they knew about this universe. 'They seem trustworthy so far, at least more then the officials of this 'United America'. And they did help us escape,' Garrus thought, thinking about how exactly to explain the situation.

"We're not from this dimension I suppose you can say. We were accidentally sent here, and we have no idea what is going on. Our world is a lot different then yours to say the least. Like this war that is going on, there isn't one in our world," he explained to Catherine and the alternate version of Tyson, taking another moment to think of what questions to ask.

"This was, how did it start? Can you give us the basic jist of it? Is there anyone here that can help us get back to our own universe? We basically got sent here due to a problem with some really hi-tech machinery made by a crazed scientist," Garrus explained, recalling his last thoughts of their own universe. Mordtoten explaining how magic affected his machine and then his brother appearing before them. 'I need to give him a good punch to the face if I ever see him again,' Garrus thought, wondering if there was a version of his brother here in this world.

He turned to the rest of the Society and asked, "If you guys have anything else to ask, go right ahead."

Tommy breathed a sigh of relief when the cars stopped. He took off his mask and stuff it in his jacket pocket, then went inside the base. It was exactly the kind of dilapidated shack one would expect a resistance effort to use, the windows were cracked, the paint was either peeling or discolored, and the scent of mold permeated the entire building. Tommy found a sink and began washing the dirt and blood off of his hands and face, as he cleaned he examined his damaged eye in the mirror. He hadn't noticed it earlier but in the confusion of the escape it had finished healing, however now it was completely white, with only a thin black ring around where his pupil had been.

"Huh..." He sighed, dumbfounded by the transformation. He hadn't seen, read, or heard of anything like this. He closed his other eye and saw nothing but black, until he looked down at his hands. Against the black void they seemed to glow with a silvery-blue light, Tommy continued to be utterly baffled by what was happening. He finished washing his hands and left the bathroom, closing one eye then the other as he went and joined everyone else. When he looked at around with the white-eye he could see more silver hued light come from within them. He noticed the light coming the from Garrus was slightly brighter, and the same light that came from Catherine also came from her clones.

"Alright this is officially weird," Tommy muttered to himself, before realizing he had just spent half a minute staring cock-eyed at Garrus and Catherine. He hastily apologized, " Sorry, my eyes acting up and not in a normal way."

Some questions? How about a fucking introduction. We just broke you out of a prison run by the United America Government. And Catherine gives them the give as well.

The Second Lieutenant sighed and leaned back against a wall behind him. He listened to the man's brief description of how they got here and wasn't exactly in the first place to belief him. Still since it was only basic knowledge that he was asking; it wouldn't hurt to give him some answers in exchange for answers to questions of his own.

"You really can't get a gist of events that helped make the war but I'll make it as brief as possible," Tyson answered, and let out a sigh, before taking in a deep breath and speaking again.

"After World War Two a lot of countries were torn apart by war and in shambles. So in order to improve security between the nations of the major war fronts, the European Union and the Asiatic Alliance formed. Things were relatively peaceful till about thirty years ago, when Robert Buchanan gained the Presidency in The United States of America.

That man was a power hungry beast. He invaded, slaughtered, and enslaved the rest of the countries in both North and South America. That's when things started to look bad. Battles over land between the three super powers started. Most of them were held between the European Union and the United America forces. It was looking like another World War was going to break out, but that would have meant disaster for both sides. Naturally they reluctantly backed off, drew their borders, and started preparing in case it came back to that point.

A Cold War started raging between both sides, but no one was stupid enough to directly attack each other. Terrorist attacks happen from time to time, but proving who was behind it is impossible. Espionage, weapon generating, and political games made up all of the other noise for a while. Actually only two major changes happened between now and then.

Eleven years ago Robert Buchanan died, and a man by the name of Collin "Patriot" Smith took over control of United America. Although that bastard blames the other super powers, it's pretty clear that he wanted power, and took Robert's life for it. Not saying that I missed the man, but he was a normal human, and therefore a hell of a lot easier to kill.

The next major change was with the Asiatic Alliance. Throughout the years they managed to stay a lot lower key. Not a large amount of noise and they stayed out of a lot of land battles in the beginning. Well this changed about eight years ago when they suddenly entered the Cold War on scale with the European Union, and United America.

I'd like to ethicize, that that was a brief modern history of the three super powers. Since you had the pleasure of having your asses saved by us I figure you might like a bit of our own history. We are the Resistance. We are groups of fighters who fight against the United America Government. As long as there has been a United America Government there has been the Resistance. We have a loose chain of command where ranks exist, but most groups are left with a ranking officer, and the order to make being the United America Government hell in a given area." The Commander stopped talking for a few seconds, and let the information sink in a little.

"As for help getting back to your dimension, well I'd be lying if I said that I believe you. However if what you are saying is true, the only suggestion that I could have is to seek out this dimension's version of whatever sent you here," there was a clear sense of disbelieve in the leader's voice. Still he looked back to his look-a-like and started to think to himself again. If he is from another dimension, what must his life be like? Does he have a wife? Children? If he does, are they the same as mine were? Did he lose them as well?

Before his mind could finish wondering two last vehicles could be heard pulling into the building. A few seconds later, the two sniper teams had appeared in the room with them. "Sir, we're the last of us," the one soldier reported to Bishop. A small nod was returned as the commander turned around and pulled out a hidden panel in the wall behind him. He hit a button behind it and the wall opened up revealing an industrial service elevator.

"Now that everyone's here, we can continue onto the actual base," Bishop announced as he stepped onto the elevator and waited for the others to follow before closing the door and choosing his desired basement floor.

The lift began to move down, and Bishop turned to address the group again. "Although I will answer your questions, it is rude to do so without a proper introduction. It is even ruder considering we put life and limb, and some of us even lost life, to save you," the resistance commander paused for a second, before continuing, "I guess I will start. I'm Second Lieutenant Tyson Bishop. I would request that you tell me your name and any powers that you have in your introduction."

As soon as Bishop finished his request the left stopped and the wall behind him opened. A large open room that had a large number of chairs, couches, tables, desks, and an open kitchen were revealed. There were three doors at the back of the room. One indicating a lady's restroom, one indicating a men's restroom, and one indicating a changing room. There were a few completely filled bookshelves, but no computers, or TVs.


Tyson's powers had stopped triggering on the way over to the base. Whatever was setting them off seemed to have stopped, although frequent bursts of pain were often sent throughout his body. His eyes had returned to normal, although with each pain burst, the black seemed to pulse out and back in again.

Once at the base he stuck close to the group while keeping his distance, until Garrus whistled for everyone to regroup. The history of this universe didn't do much to faze him, and he chose to stay quiet and save his questions for later, in private, with the Commander who shared his appearance. The brief eyeing down was a little unnerving but that was broken quickly by the return of the remaining members.

His silence continued as he followed the group, hoping to find something useful for other questions that concerned him at the true base. The reveal that his look-a-like shared his name was concerning to say the least. A whole different torrent of questions filled Tyson's head, and he stepped backwards, away from his doppelganger as he requested their introductions. Tyson was completely out of his element here and it was showing across his face.

Catherine elected to wait until Bishop finished speaking before contributing to the conversation herself. It turned out that the Second Lieutenant had covered everything that she would have explained... the two of them more or less shared opinions on the concept of alternate dimensions, now that she thought about it. It kind of made sense, though... The strangers were not from these parts, that much was obvious, but to not understand anything that had gone on was near unbelievable. Unless they hailed from a secret installation in Antarctica or something. The group stepped out of the elevator as she spoke up.

"Since we are introducing ourselves, I shall do the same. My name is Catherine Ella Southe, though I prefer to be addressed by Ms Southe or Catherine," she began, standing at attention just outside the elevator as she would in the presence of a superior officer, despite the fact that there was no-one within the Resistance with a higher rank than her: Bishop was her equal. "I too hold the rank of Second Lieutenant, though I do not normally use the title. The other versions of me around the place are products of my power: I can create living, breathing, independent replicas of myself."


Katie was somewhat bemused by Catherine's demeanour... she seemed overly formal towards both the Resistance's Tyson and the Society as a whole. The ability to clone herself explained all the other Katies - no, Catherines - around the place. The idea of having a squad made up entirely of the original Catherine and her clones seemed a little... narcisstic to Katie, but she put that thought aside. Introductions were in order.

"Katie Southe, alias Demeter. In case it wasn't clear, plant manipulation is my claim to fame," she stated, demonstrating her power by causing the 'glove' of her left hand to sprout a bouquet of thornless roses, a vibrant blood-red in colour.


"Rowan Ward, call-sign Silhouette. I am a shapeshifter and very minor psychic," Rowan introduced himself, knowing full well that his bolt ability was a mere ant compared to the psychic prowess of his counterpart, even though it was a potent ranged weapon.

It was interesting - and considerably concerning - to hear the history of this United America. Spoon's explanation on board Lector's helicopter had been a basic one covering the simple details of the present setting. The psychic's commentary on his objective of defending the people personally had begun to make him think about the world as it was, both here and back home...

If they could get back home. Rowan said a silent prayer that that was the case.


±For those who do not know, I shall reiterate. I am Spoon, psychic vigilante,± the black-clad Rowan said telepathically. ±I am not exactly with the Resistance against United America, per se, but I do fight alongside them, and for the same causes. Ms Southe has often found herself assisted by my mental efforts, when I am not watching over the citizens of the cities.± He twirled his cloak with a flourish, teleporting from his place in the middle of the group into the center of the room, calmly taking a seat to watch the proceedings from there.

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 . . . 74 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked