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[Fanfiction] Children


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Yea but he's name isn't John.







You call THIS sneaking?


It wasn't...exactly...standard procedure. Actually, it wasn't even close. It was a good thing Violet was supposed to be not able to talk. If it wouldn't have blown their cover sky-high, she would giving him an earful right about now. He tugged the leash and Violet followed, her posture seemingly subdued. Unless you knew exactly what she was, and then you read a very different emotion. Readiness. He ignored the stares of the few workers on the landing pad and started for the door of the facility. He could feel scrutiny on himself and the... other. He ignored it. He had to stay in character. As long as they didn't get a good detailed scan on him or Violet, they were golden.


Admittedly, he thought that Violet had been responsible for his wardrobe choices. The outfit was...distinctly Executive. If said executive was color blind anyway. No one sane mixed the nasty shade of purple that suffused his clothing with the god-awful blue of his hat. Then again, he was in character and he had know a few whose taste in colors had been worse. Not many mind you.


He passed the two MOAs at the door and neither so much as twitched. Mentally he blessed the deviousness that Special Forces techs had gone through to make operative augmentations nearly invisible to most forms of sensor. It took a very close range or very high power scan to see anything wrong at all. By then? It was usually too late. The doors hissed and he entered the lobby, his hand twitching the leash.


"Can I... help you?"


The female voice was perplexed. Horatius turned to look. The secretary at the desk was fairly good looking. According to everything the team had been able to discover in transit, there was a full outer shell of personnel who were probably dupes or decoys. Actual company employees who were just doing their jobs. Her eyes lingered on Horatius for a moment, but then travelled to Violet. He couldn't really blame her.


He had to admit, Violet looked stunning in white. That was definitely the right word. Not a centimeter of Violet's skin was uncovered. The standard issue Corpus space suit had been replaced by a much more form fitting suit that left very little to the imagination. The mask that she wore wasn't even remotely close to standard issue. It wasn't vacuum resistant for one thing, not with the holes in it that showed skin through transparent parts. Then there was the small matter of the covers over her eyes. Violet had complained nonstop about the outfit until they had put the gag in. With her hands bound on front of her in cuffs that she could get out of in seconds if needed and her feet hobbled by short, utterly fake chains, she definitely looked the part. Horatius knew he would pay for this. Probably sooner rather than later if they survived this mission, but for now it was just too fun watching her squirm.


"I hope so, darlin'." Horatius let the last word drawl out in a deep accent he had heard in holo somewhere. The character had been... slime. He needed to act the part. "I am here about a debt."


"A debt." The woman swallowed hard, but retained her poise. "I am afraid you may be in the wrong place, Mr...?" She let the sentence fade, an inquiry.


"My name is Lector." Horatius said with a sigh. "I have an appointment, darlin'. Go on." He waved for her to look on her computer. She did, obviously glad not to be looking at Violet. It was pure coincidence that Violet's eyes -and the goggles that seemed to blind her- turned to where the woman was tapping keys. Of course it was. It wasn't like the goggles could read electronic transmissions or even allow her to see through solid objects to see the woman key in her passcodes. Of course not. "It was a long flight from Venus."


It had taken a little bit of sleight of hand and a few favors called in. But the team had managed to get an appointment booked. Not that the facility had a clue what had been booked. For all that the team had discovered, the outer shell knew nothing about what was actually happening. Just doing their jobs. Nothing illegal or immoral about what they had been hired to do. Nothing at all. On the outside anyway.


"Ah... yes. Mr. Lector." The receptionist said in a weak voice. "I see you were added in today. Um... Sir..."


"Good." Horatius said with a nod. "Then you can get her in today. I need to get back. All kinds of things go wrong when I am not there to... What?" He demanded as the woman shook her head.


"Sir..." The woman swallowed hard. "I need to call my supervisor."


"All right." Horatius put just the right amount of 'put upon' in his tone. "But if you make me miss my return flight, I will file a lawsuit."


"It...shouldn't take long... sir..." The woman said as she hit a command that would probably summon her supervisor. "Um... Can I get... you anything?" Horatius just looked at her and she gulped again. "Um..."


"You are cute." Horatius said with a wide smile. "If you are ever in the Red Light Sector on Venus, give me a call." He smiled as he sent her a set of utterly fictitious contact information. From her expression, she would wipe it as soon as she could without giving offense. He hoped so anyway. She didn't seem a bad sort, just clueless as to what actually went on inside the inner doors to the facility.


"Mr... Lector?" A man dressed as a supervisor stepped out into the reception area and did a double take worthy of an ancient entertainment holo as he saw the spectacle. "What... is... this...?" He asked slowly.


"Supervisor? This is Mr. Lector and his... He has an appointment." The receptionist said weakly. "But... Sir..."


"I have this, Tania K-31." The supervisor said with a sigh. The I think was mental, but loud. "Go... get lunch."


"Yes sir." The girl just about bolted out a side door.


"Okay." Horatius said with a sigh. "I think I see. We have a failure of communication?"


"Sir." The supervisor spoke slowly and carefully. "We only take consenting adults into our program." Horatius stared at him, widening his eyes carefully. "I... get the feeling... she isn't consenting."


"Who? V here?" Horatius jerked the leash and Violet made a noise. "She is all about consent. You think I could get her into this stuff without it?" He asked, incredulous.


"I..." The supervisor shook himself. "Sir... I understand you came a long way. But... If anyone from security sees you... and her... here... We will have big problems!"


"Aw geez. We do have a failure of communication." Horatius said quietly. "V was the one who asked me to bring her." The supervisor stared at him and then at the oddly garbed woman. His disbelief was plain. "You think I like travelling through a bunch of Grineer patrols? Sleeping in cargo pods? Do I look like I can afford a portal transit?"


"I... wouldn't know, sir." The supervisor said with a wince.


"Okay..." Horatius said with a sigh. "Let me start at the beginning. V here is...a bit of a... strange one." The other male did not look at the woman, he kept his eyes on Horatius. "She is in debt and I am a...friend of her family." The other cocked an eyebrow at him and Horatius sighed. "Yes, I know how this looks. But V did consent. V!" He snapped. Violet nodded her head sharply. "See?"


"Sir..." The supervisor said slowly. "You know I can't take your word for that. Do you have any idea what security would do to me? To the whole staff if we started to take just anyone? And if any of them complained? You know who they would call."


"V!" Horatius said sharply. "Show the nice man." Violet stood up, her 'chains' falling away from her wrists and ankles. She reached up and pulled the goggles off her eyes. Then she undid the gag.


"I want this." Violet said in a soft, sultry voice. "I need the funds."


"Let me see those!" The supervisor said sharply. Violet kicked the chains to him and he reached down to touch them. "I..." A hiss and crackle of electricity sounded and he fell limp. Stun charges were so much fun!


"Vent!" Horatius snapped as he moved to the man's side, checking his vitals. Violet nodded and tossed her 'gag'. It hit an air vent cover and... broke it into pieces. It flew inside, out of sight."Cass?"


'We have had control of the outer facility cameras for the last two minutes.' Cass' voice came through their auditory implants. 'Administering gas... now.' A hiss came from the vent. Neither operative was affected. Their implants rendered them immune to most common -and many uncommon- knockout agents. 'No facility personnel unaccounted for. Man...that girl was upset. She was actually crying!'


"Cass, if a single holo of me in this... this crap gets out, winds up on the net... I will find you." Violet promised. "Computers are ours, boss. No alarms. No notifications. Sending all other appointments cancellation notices now. We will have at least an hour. Maybe two before security starts looking at why the ship hasn't left."


"Right." Horatius said sharply. "Come on in. Get the supervisor secured and in with the others and let's get changed."


"Can't be soon enough!" Violet said with a snarl. "I have let you talk me into some crazy things, boss! But this...?"


"It is for the Company, Violet." But Horatius was ducking as she threw the goggles at him. If she had hit him, it would have hurt. The other three of his team entered the facility.


"It is not like anyone would recognize you!" Horatius dodged again as Violet threw a pen at him with one hand while working the computer with the other. "Landing area?"


"All surveillance is ours." Obmar said calmly. "All personnel asleep and secured. Tranks will last two hours." He held out a duffle. "Your gear."


The others picked up the supervisor to move him with the others. All would be secured and left. If the best happened? Security would find them and release them when the team had left. They would be questioned and released. Likely none had any records. All were loyal employees in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the worst? They would likely never feel the blast that killed them.


"Right." Horatius said as he took the duffle and headed for the room marked 'refresher' with a male symbol on it. "Don't let her have a knife until after I am in armor, please?"


"I am not going to use a knife, boss." Violet said as Chris tossed her own bag to her and she headed for the refresher with the female symbol on it. "I will use a fork."


She wasn't kidding. He knew that. Maybe the chance to blow stuff up would calm her down.






Horatius felt better in gear. The Special Forces armor was far better than any of the rank and file could boast. But it was the other tool that really made him feel better. The Penta, Marlok and... he had changed his mind. He had chosen his Prova again. The Prova had been his first weapon, way back when he had first joined the Corpus military, even before he had joined the Special Forces. There was something to be said for simply beating the crap out of things with an electrified stick sometimes. But he did prefer long range work. Safer. Usually.


He raised a hand and made a circle in the air. A gesture and the team split, three to one side of the door, two to the other.


"Cass?" Horatius asked quietly as they each checked their gear.


'Inner facility is on its own network.' Cass said, his voice worried. 'No scans. Once you go in, I will lose you.'


"One hour, Cass." Horatius said firmly. "If we are not back or send word, lift in one hour from my mark. Mark. You know what to do."


'Give them hell, Boss.' Cass said, for once subdued.


"With pitchforks." Horatius said as he nodded to his point who worked the door controls. The doors opened to... an empty corridor. "Corridor clear. Advancing."


The team stacked up and moved in. Just after Violet, the rear guard passed, the door hissed shut behind them and all of the Special Forces soldiers froze. The whole team waited as Violet examined the door. She shook her head as Horatius stared at her, her hand pointing to the door. His guts froze as he realized it had not just closed. It had locked. They were trapped!


'Demo?' He motioned and she shook her head. Too big and too well reinforced. He shook his head, aware of the chrono counting in his HUD. They had no choice. He waved a hand and his point moved forward. They had to find  a way out. And hopefully what they had come to find as well.


None of them saw the oblong white and golden drone that hovered in a vent near the ceiling. Watching.




Well, that sucks. The Nekros shook his head as he moved slowly through the ducts.


It seemed every Corpus facility had large ducts intended to carry air throughout it. They were far larger than seemed to be needed. The Tenno wasn't sure why they were that way. He didn't really care. The team was cut off from their coms and time was ticking away. Ordinarily, he wouldn't have given a flying rat's @$$ about a team of Corpus soldiers no matter how skilled. These were not ordinary circumstances. He had to talk to the team leader. Explain. Somehow. And to do that? He had to follow through with this insane 'plan' that the lunatic had come up with. Of all the silly ideas... He didn't like fanatics of any stripe. The thought of helping the Corpus made his skin crawl. But he had to. He had to help. So he could talk to the human named Horatius.


He had no idea what he was going to say. Or how. What had happened was a matter of record. But... he hadn't thought... He shook his head. The past was past.


Nikis. The voice of what was left of his son spoke into his mind. It isn't your fault.


I know that, Dustin. Nikis felt... calm. Sort of. He wasn't angry at the moment. But it was fake. That calm. Maybe the calm before a great storm. He wouldn't go crazy. Janet had and did help him. A lot. He did love her and she returned the feelings. Pity they could only do things virtual, but it helped. So did his sessions with Iriana. But he had a lot of rage saved up. Lots of things to be angry about. Now? One more. If anyone is at fault, the Enemy was and Phoenix put paid to the latest incarnation of that. But I feel responsible.


I know. For once, Dustin did not joke, or laugh. I don't remember. But I feel responsible too.


Yeah. Nikis paused as he entered larger area and several other Tenno stood, checking weapons. He nodded to Karl. "They are in. The door sealed. Are the others sure they can open it?"


"I don't argue with you about marksmanship. I am not going to argue with Miguel about firepower." Karl said mildly. "If he says it will open the door, it will open the door." He shrugged. "Now...as to what will be left on the other side afterwards..."


"According to the plan... The team will move into the facility." Nikis said firmly. "Look for a way to open the door. Look for way to shut down the portal. That whole thing about 'getting proof' was a pile of crap." Karl made sour noise and Nikis shook his head. "Placated the politicos for a bit, but they will get antsy. And then? They will want the way for themselves."


"I know." Karl agreed sourly. "So we can't let them do it. Can't leave anything behind this time."


"Yeah." Nikis said with a snort. "You bring it?"


"You don't have enough weapons, Nikis?" Karl asked softly, taking in the Nekros' primary, secondary and melee weapons.


"You forget, boy." Nikis said quietly. "I was there with Serene when we sealed the tower off during the war. I know that tower. It knows me. As soon as it sees me, all hell is going to break loose. So, we let it loose first."


"Nikis..." Karl said with a sigh, but then he moved aside and let Nikis see the long cylindrical object that lay on the deck behind him. "This thing is heavy. You won't be able to move fast or dodge."


"There are times for mobility, Karl." Nikis said as he bent down to check the device. "Flipping, dodging, parkour...all of that. And then there are times..." He hefted the long device and it gave a whine as it powered up. "...to kick @$$." He chuckled sourly.


"What?" Karl asked, worried.


"I am reminded of a really old, really bad entertainment holo." Nikis said with a wicked smile in his voice as he lowered the huge weapon back to the floor. "Good guy walks into a room filled with bad guys and says 'I have come chew bubblegum and kick @$$. And I am all out of bubblegum'."


"What the hell is 'bubblegum'?" Karl asked, confused. Nikis sighed.


"Never mind." The Nekros went still as the Lotus' voice sounded. From their postures, all of the Tenno heard her.


Corrupted detected. Heading for the Special Forces' ship.


"Mine." Nikis said in a tone that brooked no argument as he walked back into the ducts. "Don't forget my BFG. Time to run out of bubblegum."


All of the Tenno stared after him. Then they all looked at each other.




Edited by Kalenath
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Eeeep... Nikis with something he considers a BFG... Welp, bunker is now liable to become more a crypt.


And Violet's scaring me a little too. I like her, but she makes me quiver a little. I mean... a fork?


Can you BLAME her?


That was... a fairly spectacular diversion. More than a little demeaning. But spectacular.

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'I have come chew bubblegum and kick @$$. And I am all out of bubblegum'."


Of all the possible....


Will YOU want to argue with him about his choice of battlecries? But it isn't over. Not even close. We will see more bad movie references.


Would you rather he be raving and frothing at the mouth or quoting bad movies?


I KNOW what the other Tenno prefer, even if they DO find it weird. No one will say a THING...

Edited by Kalenath
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Will YOU want to argue with him about his choice of battlecries? But it isn't over. Not even close. We will see more bad movie references.


Would you rather he be raving and frothing at the mouth or quoting bad movies?


I KNOW what the other Tenno prefer, even if they DO find it weird. No one will say a THING...

Alright alright point taken no need to threat me.

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Hiya Karl!  Long time, no see.


*sits back and reaches for popcorn*  This'll be fun *evil giggle*



*Munches on Temp's popcorn in the next bunker over*


Undeniably. *Grins to himself*


*Corpus bunker buster drone guided munitions inbound*

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Uh oh...


It was a trap. Every member of the team knew it was. But... nothing was happening. The corridors were clear. Every room they checked was empty. Some had cloning machines, dormant now. Others had tables with unidentifiable things on them. Some had jars with things that Horiatius wished he couldn't identify in them. Then they heard it. The whole team froze as they heard soft crying. Someone was crying. Someone... young.


"Please..." The voice begged. "Don't..." The voice turned into a female scream and the team flattened themselves against one wall. Horatius waved  a question to his point and the point nodded to an open door nearby. Horatius eased up to it and slid a tiny mirror up past the edge of the door to get a look. No tech at all, undetectable. What he saw froze his blood.


A form in a Corpus space suit was working at a table. A Tech. On that table lay a familiar form. A Fusion MOA with a violet hull. A Command and Control MOA! Someone had built another one! That was bad. But what was worse? The Corpus Tech's suit was half red, half golden. It was changing as he watched. The outer fabric was turning into golden calcified flesh. He didn't need to see the golden hoops on its forehead to know what it was. Corrupted. Brand new Corrupted.


They were too late. The portal was open.


Horatius took a deep breath and waved to his team. He holstered his Penta and took careful aim with his Marlock. Obmar shook his head, took a hand from his bow and tapped the side of his helmet. Horatius paused and then nodded. The pistol itself might be suppressed, but the projectile breaking the speed of sound and then impact would make noise. Likely lots of it. He didn't see any more Corrupted. He waved a question at Obmar, but the point shook his head. Only one? That made no sense at all.


Trap? He motioned and Obmar shrugged. Another scream came from the MOA and Horatius grimaced under his helmet. The team leader made a throat cutting gesture and Obmar nodded, slinging his bow and drawing his Prova.


"I... won't... help you!" The voice was very young. Female and very young. From her stance, Violet was about to get &!$$ed. Horatius knew the feeling."I won't!"


Obmar slid into the room. He was very good. His armored boots made no noise on the deck as he crept towards the Corrupted that was doing something. A golden orb was in its hand now and Horatius willed Obmar to move faster.


The rest of the team kept a wary watch as Obmar slid up behind the Corrupted. Even fully formed Corrupted Crewmen could be taken out with the proper technique, which Obmar was a past master of. This one was only half corrupted. Before it could even realize Obmar was there, it was being lowered to the ground, it's neck twisted oddly. Leverage with a Prova made all kinds of things possible. Even breaking Corpus spacesuit helmets and the necks underneath them. What was better? No noise. No alarms. Just instant, silent oblivion.


"No..." The female voice sounded weak and scared. "Run..." Horatius waved to Violet who slung her Ogris and stepped forward, her scanner whirring. "Please... run." The voice begged. "It knows you are here!"


"We know." Horatius said quietly as Violet worked. "You have a name?"


"I am S-19." The MOA said with a whimper. "Hurts..."


"I know." Horatius said softly. "Violet?" He asked as the female soldier's shoulders fell. Even before she turned, he knew.


"Not a chance with what we have, Boss." Violet said sadly. She laid hand on the MOA's hull. "I am sorry, girl. I can't fix what is wrong with you."


"You have to get out of here!" The MOA sounded fearful. But not for herself, itself. Whatever. For them. "They... they made me open it... I didn't want to! They hurt me, made me open it... I... I can't..."


"What happened?" Horatius said, feeling every second. "It is very important. Did they open the portal?"


"They..." The MOA hesitated and then spoke in a firmer voice. "I woke up. They said I was needed. A key. I... Some were nice. Others were mean. The nice ones wanted me to rest. The mean ones told me to touch a golden thing. They argued and one of the mean ones hurt me. I did what he said... But... it hurt. I fell over and... a bunch of golden people came out the circle on the wall! They were shooting... Everyone was falling and screaming and... I... I couldn't do anything!" She was crying again. "Everyone fell over and the golden people were putting things on them and... I saw... the room was changing..."


"Nanites. It isn't your fault, honey." Horatius said soothingly. "We can stop this. But we need your help."


"My help?" The MOA asked, worried. "What can I do? I can't even move! It... I can feel something... it is trying to get in. It has been since I touched the golden thing. I... I don't know how long I can hold it out."


"Could you move before?" Horatius asked as Violet unslung her rocket launcher. From her fingers tapping on it, she was mad. And getting madder.


"Yes?" The little girl's voice said dubiously. "But... I can't now." Violet looked at Horatius and nodded slowly. Only one being had a chance to close the portal now that it was live. The MOA.


"Honey." Horatius said softly. "You opened the portal. Only you can close it without destroying this whole facility."


"But I can't move!" The girl MOA protested.


"We can get you to the portal." Horatius said quietly, silently hoping that what he said was the truth. "But then you have to close it or everything in this place will die."


"I didn't mean to..." The violet robot begged.


"It is not your fault, honey." Violet said with a sigh as she moved to the table, her scanner out again. "I may be able to get your locomotion systems going again, but it will likely hurt. Simon?" The other Special Forces soldier moved to assist.


"This is too easy, boss." Chris said in a monotone as the other three gathered just inside the door. "Why would it want us to repair the MOA?"


"It doesn't." Horatius said firmly. "It wants the MOA to want to help us. Part of the... programming." He swallowed. He had seen...reports on how the C&C MOAs were to be trained. Corpus had brainwashing down to a science but brainwashing a being who was part organic and part robotic was not easy. Pain was the chief motivator for the psychos who had started the project. "She is programmed to serve. To obey any lawful orders. And to protect any Company assets she can. If the sentry takes us prisoner, uses us to coerce her... it can make her set the portal so it can't be closed."


"Oh S#&$..." Chris said as that sank in.


"Yeah." Horatius agreed. "Oh S#&$. Keep an eye out." He paused and nodded to the ceiling. The sniper looked up and froze on seeing a vent. The drone inside the vent. His rifle moved as if to aim. "No. We need to end this." He stepped forward and spoke loudly. "We have no quarrel with you." He said firmly. "The ones who ordered the trespass will be punished." If it wasn't the insane one...


You will serve.


The voice came from everywhere. Every one of the Special forces froze and then Simon and Violet went back to their work.


"No we won't." Horatius said with a sigh. It was the insane one. Figured. "You will fight. You will lose. Even if you corrupt us, even if you corrupt everything here... The Board will nuke this facility." He hoped so anyway. He wasn't so sure. Greed was endemic to the Board. It was what they were. And this? This promised astronomical profits. Access to a functioning Orokin tower. If they could just get past the insane AI that guarded it. Not an easy prospect if possible at all. "You cannot win here."


You will serve. All will serve.


"Ah well..." Horatius said with a sigh as he unlimbered his Penta. "I tried the easy way. But... We are Special Forces. We don't do the easy way." He nodded to Chris and the drone disintegrated under a silent Latron shot. "We are going to have company. Violet?"


"How is that?" Violet asked and the MOA gave a cry of pain. "Sorry, sorry, honey..." She bent back to her work.


"Please run." The MOA begged. "I can't... I can't stop it... It... I feel... No..."


"You can." Horatius said firmly. "You are strong. Stronger than any AI. We are trapped in here." The MOA gasped and then started to cry again. "It is all right..." He soothed her. "Do you mind if I call you something other than S-19? That is... impersonal."


"I am just a robot." The girl's voice said sadly, then she gave another cry as Violet did something. "I... I can..." Her legs twitched. "I can feel them now. That is working. Some."


"We can get you moving, girl." Violet promised. "The rest is up to you. We need to shut the portal."


"I don't know what I did." The MOA sounded abject.


"We will figure it out." Horatius said with a nod. "But for now... 'S'... 'S'...." He mused. "You need a name. You are not just a MOA. How about... Shawna?"


"Shawna?" The MOA sounded confused. "I am not human."


"No." Horatius said with a shrug. Was that movement in the distance? It was! Corrupted. He nodded to the door and the other two took aim. Chris with his Latron and Obmar with his bow. "But you are also not just a robot. You have organic parts and feelings."


"I... I don't understand." The MOA said softly. She gave a gasp as he legs twitched again and then Violet and Simon backed away as it rose up off the able to stand upright. "I am a robot." She said, looking at herself.


"But they made you with the brain of a little girl." Horatius said softly. Violet looked to the side and gasped. Horatius looked and yes, a tiny form lay under a sheet near one wall. Where the head would have been was...deformed and soaked in red. The MOA looked as well and gave a small sound of grief or pain. Hard to say which. Violet laid a hand on the robot's hull. "You are not just a robot, honey. Samantha, Sabrina, Stacy?" He asked, his tone just a little silly as he took aim at the leading Corrupted with his Penta. "Incoming."


Violet and Simon joined the team in position as the MOA stood, obviously thinking hard. Both took aim at the ranks of Corrupted. All of the golden forms were half gold skin and half Corpus colors.


"I don't understand." The MOA finally said. "Why are you being nice? You are soldiers, yes?"


"We are." Horatius said firmly. "But we need you and we don't have to be mean. Savannah, Shiloh, Susan?"


"Susan..." The MOA said slowly. She mulled it around. "Susan. I like that name."


"Okay, Susan it is. Stay to the side, Susan." Hroatius said with a nod. "Pick your targets, people. This is just the first rush. A probe. The heaviest come later. Save your best stuff for that."


"You cannot escape." The newly named MOA -Susan- said slowly. "So... what?"


"We do what we do." Horatius said with a smile as he slung his Penta and drew his Marlock. "We make a mess." He fired and suddenly the room was filled with the roar of weapons as the team unloaded on the approaching Corrupted. "I just hope Cass is okay..."




Cass was cursing when it happened. One moment, he was sitting at his console, working frantically to unlock the door that had just sealed itself behind the team, the next he was lying on the floor, staring up at the... golden skinned form that stood over him. Corrupted! A Corrupted Corpus soldier! It was bending down towards him, an odd golden sphere in hand. Was it his imagination that a part of it was extending into a spike? That the end of said spike was glowing? His side and back hurt and he couldn't move as the orb came closer and closer. Then the golden form was catapulted away to the sound of a gunshot. He stared up... at a Tenno!


"I..." Cass tried to move, tried to speak, but he couldn't as the Tenno held a hand over him. But instead of energy... green mist fell. He held his breath, but the mist...soothed his side and back. It stopped. "What the-?"


The Tenno raised a hand to his -yes, a Nekros warframe, so a male or... maybe- well... where lips would be on a human and shook his head. He tapped where ears would be and the tech nodded. They were under observation. Someone was listening. Someone hostile. The tech pulled a portable jammer from a pocket and keyed it on. It wouldn't last, but for the moment they were secure.


"We are blown, aren't we?" Cass asked softly, stunned. The Tenno nodded. "Aw no..."


The Tenno pointed at Cass and then to his console. Cass stared and the Tenno made the gesture more urgently. The warframe tapped a chrono on the wall and looked at Cass.


"An hour..." Cass said softly. "I... I don't want to." To his amazement, the Tenno laid  a slow hand on his shoulder and gave a squeeze. The Special Forces operative stared as other Tenno appeared, each carrying a pair of unconscious workers from the outer ring of the facility. In moments, all of them were slumped in the small transport. "What the hell?"


The Nekros stepped back and nodded to Cass as the other Tenno left the ship. He pointed at the chrono and then at the ceiling.


"I can't leave them!" Cass protested, but then his eyes were drawn to the screen. The other Tenno were gathering near the door to the inner facility. His eyes went huge. The Nekros mimed an explosion. Then he nodded to Cass, then pointed at where ears and eyes would be on a human again. "You are going to blow the door. I will have coms again." The Nekros nodded. "But..."


Cass swallowed whatever he was going to say as the Nekros shrugged. Cass shook himself and sat at his panel. He saw several brand new signals -Orokin style signals- and jammed them. When he turned back, the Nekros was gone.


"There is no way that just happened..." But he saw a familiar form on the video screens moving towards the door.


And... what was the Nekros carrying?




"Nikis..." Karl said quietly on a private channel.


"He was going to go in after them, Karl." Nikis replied just as quietly. "I know the type. I don't hold with the whole 'we never talk' bit anyway. But I didn't. So there." He said snidely.


"Nikis." Karl said softly. "You all right?"


"What kind of a question is that?" Nikis demanded as he set down his BFG and checked his other weapons. He had...a lot of weapons on his person. "No, I am not all right. But the noncombatants are clear."


"We can't go in yet, Nikis." Karl said quietly. "The plan..."


"I know the plan, numbnuts." Nikis snapped. "It is a good plan. But you know the first rule of combat." Karl nodded. No plan ever survived contact with the enemy. "The others?"


Everything seemed to stop as a golden flash dazzled everyone and suddenly the large corridor seemed filled. A dozen forms in familiar uniforms nodded to the five Tenno. A large weapon sat in the midst of them and two moved to check it. It reoriented a bit to aim it at the door. The Tenno... got out of the way. No one sane got in front of a heavy plasma cannon. Not even warframes could repel literal firepower of that magnitude. The door? It might last for two shots. Maybe.


The Tenno switched to a short range encrypted channel so the Marines could hear.


"One Special Forces tech in their ship." The Nekros said with a snap as the Marines deployed. "Keep him honest." Two Marines nodded and loped out the door. He hefted his main weapon and chuckled a bit grimly. "Now we wait."


"And hope." Karl said softly.


"One way or another..." Nikis said quietly. "I ain't leaving until I can talk to him. Lousy stupid lying..."


"She didn't lie, Nikis. She didn't know. No one did." Karl said mildly as the Marines looked at the irate Nekros and his huge weapon. "What would you have done if she had told you the whole truth? Stormed the place? Again?"


"Dunno." Nikis said with a sigh. "But Karl... I owe him an explanation at the very least. Probably an apology too."


"Nikis, it wasn't you." Karl said quietly. "You know that."


"Yeah." Nikis agreed. "I do. But that doesn't change that fact that someone I need to talk to is in there. That tower is not taking him." He hefted the ancient style chaingun in both hands and death itself seemed to smile. "I got a lot of mad to work out. Good thing we will have lots of targets. I could even say 'It's payback tyme'..." The phrase came out in an odd accent. "...but none of you would get the reference."


"Oh I do." One of the Marines said with a snort. "'Predator'. Not too good a movie, great lines." Nikis raised a hand from his weapon to give the Marine a fist to bump. Which the guy did.


"What is with that, Nikis?" Two asked from where she stood well behind the plasma cannon. "Why are you suddenly acting like Ric?"


Ric's penchant for acting out scenes from his favorite move, something called 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' was a well known oddity among Tenno. He was a good sort, a very skilled knight in shining Vauban warframe. But he was... odd.


"Iriana wanted me to try to find funny things to think of every time I get mad." Nikis said with a shrug. "It... works. Sort of. Therapy." He said offhand. It would have gone better without the huge weapon in his hands.


"Therapy?" A couple of people asked, incredulous.


"Yeah." Nikis said mildly. "Helps to get the mad out."


"Wish I had said 'I'll be bak' last time. But it is the thought that counts."


Edited by Kalenath
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Eeek, Nikis hauling about a chain/minigun type weapon & quoting Arnie lines. I'm both giggling with humour & hysterical fear. I can't wait for his 'physical therapy' to begin.


Although I'll be honest, I might tend towards some other 'portable' heavy weapons myself. Astartes type stuff.



And how many do we have in this bunker-come-impromptu-crypt full of snacks now?

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Eeek, Nikis hauling about a chain/minigun type weapon & quoting Arnie lines. I'm both giggling with humour & hysterical fear. I can't wait for his 'physical therapy' to begin.


Although I'll be honest, I might tend towards some other 'portable' heavy weapons myself. Astartes type stuff.



And how many do we have in this bunker-come-impromptu-crypt full of snacks now?

I'm not in a bunker i'm just standing on my good ol' cliff.

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