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Author Topic: Quantum Urbs: A City of lies, a city of Secrets (Fantasy/Romance/Action) *Open*  (Read 13954 times)

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Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Your sister was severly depressed and suicidal when she arrived. We helped her through it, unnaturaly of course." He explained, Joren's rage growing. "Remember when I asked if you knew how magic operated? Well, a large part of it is psychological; Emotional, even. Your genes weren't as strong as your sister's, though. But your love for your wife and Alice was great. Your battle experience was like a stockpile, making you an obvious choice for a special experiment. Did you see Gabriel when his brother died? The kind of power that he drew forth? If you wan't power, you are going to have to remember."

Offline Wyrd

Joren felt something form in his head as he thought about what was just said to him. "m.. My wife? yes.. Yes I remember a wife. And Alice the name of my sister's name right? I... I don't want these memories!! They make me weak! I'v not felt love for years! But if this will give me power... Tell me more" Joren demanded.   

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Cornelius led Joren out of the small underground neighborhood and up one floor. They came out at a large library, filled with tens of thousands of books and multiple computer terminals. "Your username is 997185, I don't know your password though. You will have to figure that out. The terminals are documented records of your life. Go through them and have someone contact me when your done." Cornelius said, leaving Joren to his soul searching.

Offline Gwindolyn

It was in this hot springs, with the teasing chase, the words he echoed that she remembered.  "You caught me a long time ago."  She whispered as if speaking from their past.  Much of what they shared came flooding back to her. 

Yes, they loved, but they were not just lovers.  They were like two sides of one coin.  Where you found one, you found the other.  They did not separate.  She had learned to fight from him.  Not that she ever had a portion of skill he had, but enough that walking alone through the slums she lived in never brought fear to her heart like it did to most.  She remembered more moments and feelings than specific details.  She can hear echoed through many of those moments "I will never leave you."  With losing so much of her family, that had been her biggest fear even then.  Her parents were dead and they told her that her grandfather was dead.  It was the only way she would become docile enough for their liking. 

The memory triggers the memory of her grandfather.  The loss she felt.  The loneliness of having no one.  Gabriel gave her a sense of belonging. He was her someone.  Her only someone.  She looks to him in the steam bath with eyes of gratitude and love stronger than ever.  Her amber eyes dedicating herself to him in a loving worship.  "I am yours."  She says as she slips into his arms.  Her skin separatd from his only by the layer of water between them.  The steam rising and blocking sight was good as they took some time to remember their connection in a more physical manner.  Mapping their relationsip from the inside out more than once.

Offline Wyrd

Joren sat down at a computer at the farthest corner of the large library. 'Why would these people have records of me here? why do they know more about me then I do?' Joren spent little time thinking about that, fearing the consequence. Joren looked at the screen of the computer, only his user name entered. But as soon as his cold fingers touched the key board, the word 'TARJA' was typed, and Joren gained access to the files.

Captain Joren Tolkki. Former European Union light infantry trooper. Former Quantum Urbs Special Forces Captain.
Status - Mercenary

known relatives:

Wife, Tarja Tolkki - DECEASED
Son, Cody Tolkki - DECEASED   
Farther, Jari Tolkki - Killed in Action
Mother,_________ - Unknown
Sister, Alice Tolkki - Employed     

   Cause of death to Spouse and Child: Murdered by the Ureha subjects for reasons unknown

Project "ICE MAN"

Subject for tests amazingly survived.

New heart installed to pump Liquid nitrogen ad Element F compound through vains.

Top of the line cybernetics enable subjet to create and form solid ice, frost, snow, and simulate sub zero temperatures.

Never used in the field.   

Where abouts today are unknown   
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 10:08:15 PM by Wyrd »

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Just over an hour later, Alice called out. "You two out here?" She asked. With the memories that returned to them of each other, a lot of memories returned of Alice. To the two of them, who didn't have a father or mother, Alice had been the parent. Always she was there to guide and support the two, encourage them, teach them, and protect them. "Yeah, we wil; be there in a second!" Gabriel shouted in response, his breathing labored. Gabriel jumped out of the hot spring, aiding Gwin out with a hand. He pecked her lips and slipped her shirt over her. He wanted her again, but he had her multiple times tonight, his stamina surprising.

They finished clothing and exited the hot springs through the green gardens, hands interlaced more than before. They both caught sight of Alice, and finally recognized her for who she was; their guardian. They smiled looking together, and Alice folded her arms. "Its about time my pupils remembered their sensei."

Offline Gwindolyn

She laughs at the tease.  "Yes Sensei, it is.  Our apologies for not recognizing you sooner."  Her words were both sincere and mocking.  She grins as she looks up to Gabriel.  The looks of want matching his own.  The look of enjoyment also matching.  For all the pain the memories brought up and all the pain felt the past two days, they were nothing compared to finding Gabriel again.

The silly playfulness between them absolutely nauseating and too sweet to describe for fear of weak stomachs. 

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Gabriel led Gwin back to their room, after talking casually amd remenicing with Gwin. Once they reached the room, they play tackled with each other. They spun around the room, bracing themselves for the other's charge. They eventually landed on the bed when Gabriel said "I'm not even tired." Behind his smiles and laughter was pain. With the memories of everything, he also retrieved memories of his brother. And now he was gone.

Then he recalled something. Gabriel's expression turned dark. He glanced around for a tv, eventually finding it behind a small door, inside a compartment. It was huge and installed into the wall, the sliding door allowing the room to look more natural by hiding the tv. "Jenny." Gabriel called. The tv turned on, being static at first. The tv blinked, and a woman was on screen. It was Jenny's depiction of herself. "Good. You can reach me." Gabriel said. "I was recently given permission through the firewalls and safeguards. I have to say, you have a very...fluid motion." She commented. "You were watching? Come on, Jen..."
"Im only an AI, Gabe. Anyways, whats up?" She asked.

Offline Gwindolyn

Gwin follows Gabriel back to their room.  They talk, they play and they laugh.  There is an undercurrent of pain to the joy.  That is natural given the reasons.  She is startled when Gabriel's look suddenly turns dark.  "Gabe, what is it?"  She asks, but her words fall on deaf ears as he pulls out the TV and implores Jenny.  She falls silent and watches to see what he is after.

Offline Starlequin

As Luke snoozed, 'Ana took advantage of the down time and caught up on some of her neglected chores. She accessed a telecom satellite and zipped over to the Command Center mainframe, unfolded herself from the server and went to work. First, she activated a servitor drone and ensured that Heckle and Jeckle had been fed and seen to, as well as the captive Miss Kit. Piggybacking on the servitor's cameras, she could tell that their hostage kitty was hardly in a state of discomfort; the boys were curled up tightly in one corner of their room, while Kit languished on their sleeping cushions beneath the artificial sunlamp.

'Ana abandoned the servitor and allowed it to return to its storage unit, and transferred to the monitoring station. She checked in with some of the higher-priority operatives and made certain that each mission was still proceeding smoothly. Such progress reports were usually Luke's domain, but it wasn't uncommon for her to field the inquiries while he was indisposed in the field. Or downstairs sleeping. Or passed out drunk in a dive bar somewhere.

Nirvana re-focused the Grigori she'd tapped earlier and zoomed in on the dojo, and decided to keep the aerial view up for the duration of her time outside. The rest of her time she spent scanning herself for new system errors or code flaws that might become problematic. Nothing too alarming; her pattern recognition software was running a little sluggish, almost .05 seconds slower than usual, and her memory was in serious need of a new indexing. She set a portion of her processing onto the tasks and was finished within seconds. She reviewed her diagnostics report with some pride; only 24,553 minor errors and anomalies detected. A new record. Luke would be proud.

She switched off the Grigori and withdrew from the mainframe, making certain to grab a few extra software packs to bolster her abilities while in the field, and left as quickly as she'd arrived. When she returned to her nest in Luke's implants, she slipped in quietly and performed a low-level scan of his vitals; he told her she worried over him too much, but it was her job to worry about him; he had created her for exactly that purpose. Besides, it was very unlikely that anyone else was going to.

Nirvana sifted through his open thoughts and translated some of his delta waves to spy on his current dream. She was utterly unsurprised to see a very familiar face...her own. Well, technically it was hers, but before Luke designed her, it had belonged to another.


He dreamed of her, almost every night. When he first activated Nirvana and introduced her into his mind, his dreams had been terrifying. 'Ana had wondered at first how a man who had experienced such trauma, and relived it nearly every time he laid down to sleep, could stay sane. But not long after she took up her residence inside his psyche, she learned the truth: Luke was, plainly and simply, not sane.

She did not have a firm grasp of everything going on in his head, not at first; he'd always said that concrete information was so cumbersome to include in a program, and had decided to let her gather her own information as she evolved. But she quickly learned enough to understand the fundamentals at the root of his problem. He was once one of the most brilliant scientists and inventors the world had ever known. He had loved someone, and lost her; the grief drove him to find a way to defy the natural order, and he created a machine to let him look for her in other dimensions. When he hadn't found her, he aborted the quest and returned to his own reality. But the effects of the field produced by the machine were not completely understood, and his once brilliant mind was heavily damaged. Or perhaps, Nirvana decided, from another perspective, profoundly altered.

Luke was placed in an asylum, and it was widely accepted that he would never recover. But somehow, his mind was still affected by the machine's field, and he found that he had access to the minds of billions and billions of copies of himself scattered throughout the dimensions of the multiverse. The connection gave him powers of thought and comprehension beyond imagining, but the strain on his mind was slowly killing him. He used his newly enhanced intellect to devise a method of salvation, and thus he created Nirvana, an A.I. whose sole purpose was to parse and regulate his thoughts and ensure that his consciousness did not become untethered and scattered throughout existence.

And, whether he intended to or not, he modeled her after his lost love. He modeled her after Annika.

Once 'Ana became comfortable enough with operating within Luke's mind, she began to subtly influence his dreams. She couldn't stand watching some of the things his subconscious tortured him with, and took it upon herself to provide him with more pleasant dreams. But even as she influenced Luke, so did he influence her. His scarred mind held so many memories of Annika, Nirvana could not stop them from seeping into her programming. As the two grew more comfortable with each other, Nirvana came to resemble Annika more and more, from her behaviors and mannerisms to her speech patterns, even down to the form she took when she manifested. Before long, she had copied almost every aspect of Annika from Luke's memory into her own code. She felt a certain, and she supposed, obvious, kinship with the woman she mimicked so perfectly.

The only thing Nirvana had not replicated was her affection for Luke. That had developed entirely on its own.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Hey, Gabriel." Isaac said. Gabriel had asked Jenny to use nanomachines that he had implanted within him to review his memories. He had installed these some time ago to monitor his brain activity, but the function was changed. Jenny was able to piece together memory and give it visible form. Gabriel gave a pained reaction to seeing his brother. "It's Isaac. I needed to tell you--ArmsTech--Jayden said that--I tried to stop it, but Alice didn't let me. She said--kill me." Since Gabriel did not have all of his memory, not everything was there. "I implanted--Confused. And it's ok to be. But you have to know, not everything is what you think. It pains me to--I know you may be hurt. But hopefully, by the time you get this--Forgive me. This place is--People need us--A city of lies--A city of secrets." The footage of a desperate Isaac cut forward, to an explosion rocking behind him. He turned quickly, then setting his gaze back to face Gabe's view. "I love you, my brother." Then the transmisson cut.

Gabriel's eyes filled with tears. " I remember this? No way...I was there."

Offline Gwindolyn

When Isaac appears on the screen, she realizes this will be hard on Gabriel and she wants to run to him and hold him.  However, some journeys are best walked alone.  This was one of them.  He deserved privacy about his brother.  She felt certain he would talk with her when he was ready.  So she slips from the room. 

Gwin went in search of Luke.  Luke and Gabriel were too tense near each other for her to ask some things of him.  So she took advantage of this time to search him out.  Not having an AI at her disposal or any odd abilities that she new of, she did things the old fashioned way.  She opened doors and looked. She finally finds him napping in a room by himself.  Well, as by himself as he can be.  She slips over to him and nudges him awake.   She really didn't need to nudge him at all.  'Ana had alerted him to her presence and woke him up before she reached him.  Still, he let her come to him anyways.  "Please, I just had a few questions."

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"...Gabe?" Jenny asked as Gwin left the room. There was a silence that was louder than any sound Gabriel had heard in his life. "Play it back. Set up here. This is our new home." He said, going deep into thought. "I am on it." She said as the recording played back. "Hey, Gabriel." It began as the AI's mobile base rocketed down to their location. Once it got there, it would begin to implant itself through the house and install different things. It would hollow out parts of the ground and build defensive mechanisms in it. It would modify parts of the house to conceal things, and it would fully customize Gabriel's room.

The process would last until night.

Offline Starlequin

A tiny smile formed on Luke's lips for an instant before he suppressed it, maintaining the illusion of sleep as Gwin approached him. He allowed her to take a seat on the edge of the bed, jostling him 'awake'. He made an elaborate show of sitting up, stretching luxuriantly and leaning back against the headboard, arms folded behind his head. After a comically over-exaggerated yawn, he eyed Gwin with surprise as if he'd never expected to find her in his room, and his usual cocky grin returned.

"Well, hey there, princess. So, you just couldn't stay away any longer, huh? I know, I know...a guy like me, all sexy and mysterious, I'm probably irresistible. It's not your fault, babe; you're just a prisoner of desire. Honest, I'm surprised you managed to wait so long-"

Nirvana's voice cut him off, broadcasting from microspeakers in Luke's shades, and a pair of startlingly electric blue eyes appeared on the front of his lenses. She rarely manifested in a visible form for anyone but Luke, but this was her preferred method for communicating with others in 'person'.

"I'll understand if you want to come back another time, dear; he can be quite an asshole when he's just woken up. Well, more than usual, at any rate." "Hey!"

Luke waved an arm in defeat and ran his hand through his hair, ruffling the intricate patterns of red and black that ran through his hair. As Gwin watched, fascinated, the colors and designs seemed to shift before her eyes. He noticed where her attention lay, and kicked his nanos into overdrive. Suddenly the colors swirled more intensely and his scalp tingled as the nanomachines changed his hair from red and black to sandy blond to brown to green to purple to blue to orange. His head was like a silent fireworks show on fast-forward, and he smiled as she watched the colors and designs flow past, one after another. At last he returned his hair to it's usual red and black patterns, and Gwin realized the show was over. He rested his elbows on the headboard and shrugged, watching her curiously. He could tell she was trying not to stare at the vicious burns and scars that riddled his body, revealed as his aloha shirt fell open when he shifted on the bed.

"So, what's on your mind, kitten?"

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Ok, the room is set up." She said, calling Gabriel's attention. "Gabriel...I'm worriwd about you. You have already watched that video four times." She pleaded. "What do you have on the AI?" Gabriel asked, ignoring Jenny's concern. "...Nothing useful. It was indeed Luke's AI, named Nirvana. But she is far more advanced than me. I can only see what she wants me to see." She explained with remorse. "Fine." Gabriel scoffed, clapping his hands together and slowly parting them. Between them formed a digital file drawer, which he moved to the side. He then reached up and made a pulling motion, bringing down a large interactive map. He then put that to the left, extending his hands and opening them revealing a large blank pad. He then touched his head and made a grabbing motion, throwing it up. Virtual orbs went up, representing relevant memories. The room was an exotic color of green given all the virtual representations in the room. "Jenny, atmosphere fourty-three." He commanded. There was a small beep, and small, blue fire-fly like orbs started constantly falling slowly throughout the rooms.

"Gabriel, you need to calm down." Jenny warned. "Play the video back, cut it into sections, and transpose audio to text." He ordered.

Meanwhile, the AI was still entangling itself with the mansion and it's property.

Offline Wyrd

Joren stood from his seat after he discovered the truth of this all. The experiments, His sister and the Death of his family at the hands of the brothers. Joren fists were clenched so tight his hand began to bleed some of his nitrogen blood. 'This is who I am? Just another science experiment for these mother fuckers!!' Joren anger was soon overwhelmed by the thought of the death of his wife and son at the hands of the brothers. at least thats what the files had told him. ' Those bastards!!!!! I can't believe I let that kid from the store live!! He'll pay!! HE'LL PAY!'

Joren walked over to an to a guard standing near the entrance of the library. "Get Thunder boy down hear NOW! tell him i'm ready."   

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Cornelius arrived, noticing the rage. "Ah, so I see you discovered who killed your family." He walked over to Joren. "Now, all we have to do is wait. They will come to us, Joren. Meanwhile,  you must hone your skills. Report to floor 32, Training Section A. You will choose your method of training. You will recieve power. You will spar, against me. Against an AI version of Gabriel."

Offline Wyrd

After a few minutes Joren and Cornelius arrived floor 32, Training Section A. Joren stepped into the large white small arena sized room, he walked to the center of the training room and then looked back at Cornelius. "Is all this really necessary!? He's just one kid who does not even know how to use his powers. I'v been Quantum Urbs top Merc for 5 years for fuck sakes!"   

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

From the center of the room, a white light emitted, transforming the room into an ice cavern. Cornelius said "Blizzard" and the white light emitted again, creating the effects if a blizzard as well as a foot of snow at their feet. "You have no idea, Joren." Cornelius said, turning to leave. "He is far more than just a boy. We cannot replicate him; he is as close to perfect as we can get. He has strong love for the woman with him; like you did your wife. They may be young, but they have been through a lot together. Their trials aged them far greater than the days did."

"You fight me in three hours." Cornelius said. He exited the room, leaving Cornelius to train.

Offline Gwindolyn

She laughs lighty at his cocky thoughts of her visit, fully believingh was only teasing her. "No, Luke, such a sweet offer, but that isn't my desire tonight."  She plays along.  "Hello Miss."  She says to the AI she has not met yet.

Naturally, her eyes follow his movements as his hand lifts to is hair.  The changing patterns of hair color catches her art loving interest.  She smiles with amusement and appreciation as he showed off for her.  Then the show ends and he brings them back to business.

"So, what's on your mind, kitten?"

"Well, that is part of it.... I want to know about my kitten.  Her name is Miss Kit, but I believe you know that already."  She looks down for a moment as worry etches itself over her features.  Her long black hair falls over her face.  She lifts her face back up, flipping her hair back.  "I wasn't sure it was you that took her until you answered me so about my dagger.  I want to know she is safe.  I mean... If you are here, who looks after her?   And when can I get her back again?"

It is obvious from her face this is an issue that truly is one she wants to speak to him on, but also obviously she is holding back a dam of other questions.  Timing and flow management being put in use here.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Gabriel, do you know how magic works?" Jenny asked, an edge to her voice. "Or more specifically, do you realize how it reacts to emotions, bodily state, and other things that effect normal people? It's not the same. You're driving your magic genes crazy; they strive on emotion. This is dangerous to your health, Gabriel." She explained. Gabriel continued to ignore, personally cross checking different things. "Gabriel...stress is a killer of Elementals. Especially on this level. Elementals who experience a traumatic event and do not take it well end up running themselves into the ground. They die, Gabriel." She told him, he still ignoring. "When people are stressed, they are easily agitated, they cannot concentrate, they constantly worry which puts them on edge, they are jumpy, depressed, they feel overwhelmed, they get nauseous, and plenty of other things...transpose that onto an elemental scale. You will have less control over your powers; you could hurt someone."

"Jenny...I am concentrating. I am not stressed." He told her. "That is the worse lie you have ever told. You're sweating. What do you hope to find from this?" She asked, just when Gabriel snapped back with "The truth!". There was a deafening silence for a moment. "I want to know what ArmsTech is up to. I want to know what happened to my brother. I want to know what happened to all my friends here, who wiped my memory, who killed my brother, why that agent was after him, who that ice guy was, what experiments were done on me...there are things I need to know."

Offline Starlequin

An amused chuckle escaped him, but he cut it short; he could tell she was deeply worried about her beloved pet. He removed his shades and offered them to her with a more reassuring smile and answered. "If you don't mind, I think I'll let Nirvana field that question." She appeared reluctant to take the glasses, but he offered them once again. "Go ahead; she won't bite."

Gwin took the proffered glasses and looked them over for a moment, then slipped them into place. Almost immediately a video feed overlayed the lenses, provided by one of the Command Center's servitor drones. "This is real-time video, and you have our word that it's unaltered," Nirvana explained as she directed the servitor into the cats' playroom. The drone pushed the door release button and panned inside, showing Gwin a high-rezzed video image of Miss Kit lounging with Luke's own calicos. "As you can see, she's made herself quite comfortable. We have servitors running on automatic schedules to feed and see to them. Looks like she's even made a couple friends," Nirvana continued, her voice soft and clear through the shades. "I think Heckle and Jeckle might even miss her when she leaves."

The video cut away from the cats, and then the lenses went dark. Luke gestured for the shades' return, and she quickly obliged.

"As for getting her back..." Luke began as he donned the glasses, "well, that's up to you. I suppose we could go get her right now, but somehow I don't think Loverboy would appreciate the two of us going off on a daytrip without him. And there's no way in hell I'm going alone; the last time I got separated from you I almost never caught up again. But as you've seen for yourself, she's safe, and comfortable, so for now I don't see any harm in leaving her right where she is. Besides, I don't know if you've noticed, but you and your boyfriend are absolute merry hell on real estate; your cat's probably safer at my place than anywhere else in the city."

As he spoke, he consulted with 'Ana subvocally. 'Did you get it?' 'I did. Luke, we were right--someone really did a number on that girl's mind. Scans indicated extremely invasive neurosurgery. Implants, too. I don't think she's ever had an A.I. of her own before, but she's certainly outfitted to host one.' 'Figures. I couldn't imagine these guys getting their hands on a test subject and not fucking with it as much as possible.' 'Should we tell her?' 'I don't think so; if it becomes an issue, we'll help her through it as much as we can. If it doesn't, so much the better.'

He leaned forward a bit and cocked one eyebrow in an expectant manner.

"Now why don't you ask me what you really want to know? I know you didn't come find me just to ask about the cat, or you would have brought Lancelot along. What's eating you?"

Offline Gwindolyn

She takes the glasses hesitantly.  She puts them on and video appears and a voice is heard.  She has in instant urge to remove the glasses, but fights it to see her kitten.  All else going on, she loves that cat.  Miss Kit has been her only companion since she was parted from Gabe and longer in her fake memory.  The relief she feels as she sees her cat happy, healthy and well tended was honest and deep.  The video goes black and she hands back th glasses.  "Thank you."

She listens as he offers to get Miss Kit now.  She thinks about it a moment, weighing her desires against prudence.  "No, she is safe where she is.  She would not be so safe or well tended here as you take us away from here for who knows how long.  I will want her back though.  I miss her terribly."

"Now why don't you ask me what you really want to know? I know you didn't come find me just to ask about the cat, or you would have brought Lancelot along. What's eating you?"  He asks as he leans forward showing keen interest.

She takes a deep breath and dives in.  "It was obvious that as generous as you were with your knowledge of me, you still know more about me you haven't said."  She brings her eyes up to level with him.  "I can tell by the fragments of my drawings and the odd stories I write, some of which show these to be outlets for memories fighting to be remembered, there is more than one past I forget.  I can also bet that in a house of such unnatural power as this, they did not leave me untouched.  I mean, I know they messed with me for curing my disease, but what else?  From what I've learned, it isn't like them to not play more than just curing a disease.  I suspect there is much more, but I don't even know how to figure that out."  She drops her eyes to her hands.  Her voice cracking near the end of it. 

She is grateful her silken dark strands never stay in place as they create a veil of black over her face.  Her mind so fragmented and lost clung to the simple life it was handed when she was parted from Gabriel.  It was easy and soft.  The pain of that distance biting at her so that she could not find it in her to demand better than the meager, loneliness she suffered in.  Such a suffering was preferrable to the pain of separation, especially when you didn't know what you were separated from or who.

"Gabriel has only seen interference turn into pain, so of course he does not trust you.  But I have fewer options available to me.  You seem to be the most knowledgable option."  Her voice goes softer yet "besides, your manner may not be the most loving, but you have shown no true intent to hurt me.  I think I might even trust you."

Offline Starlequin

Luke sighed heavily, and shifted on the bed to sit evenly with her. 'So much for withholding,' 'Ana said as Luke considered how much to tell the distraught girl. 'Guess so,' he replied. For a moment he pinched and rubbed the bridge of his nose, pushing his glasses up higher, and then turned his attention back to her.

"Alright, look. Do I know more than I've let on? Always. Do I know more about you specifically? Not too much. Most of what I know is just public record, or provided to my from old Marcos, and it matches up with what I've already told you. I honestly don't know what kinds of experiments, what kinds of horrors, you must have been subjected to during your years under ArmsTech's control. But I do know you're probably happier for not knowing. I speak from experience, kid: some things are better left forgotten. There's a reason the phrases 'digging up a grave' and 'digging up the past' are so similar. It's because you can wind up buried in both of them."

Luke met her eyes squarely, hoping he had discouraged her from inquiring into this any further. But he could tell that he failed. He turned away for a few moments and massaged the back of his neck, deep in thought. After almost a minute, he turned back. If she wanted it so bad, then so be it.

"I can tell you a few more things, if you're sure you wanna hear them." He said, giving her one last chance to back down. Gwin just nodded her head, tear-filled eyes imploring him silently. He cursed to himself.

"First off, you're right. Like I said, I don't know the full extent of ArmsTech's experimentation, but even cursory scans suggest that you've been tampered with on a lot of levels. Your dna has been partially rewritten, and there are some unusual compounds in your blood. Not much, but enough to suggest some kind of mutation. It looks like you have the same genetic predisposition for displaying abilities as your friends do. We can't tell if that was hereditary, or something you picked up from ArmsTech. Whether you can manifest those abilities is something you'll have to figure out on your own.

"Second, there's the matter of your brain. When you slipped on my glasses, I had Nirvana perform a full spectrum analysis on your head. As far as we can tell, someone went to town on your brain with a vengeance. Entire portions seem to have been remodeled or removed, and several key synaptic gateways were completely rerouted. That means that not only were your memories doctored, but entire portions of your thought processes, your very personality, have been fundamentally altered."

Luke stopped for a moment and looked at Gwin; the poor girl was almost on the verge of a breakdown. He waited silently, allowing her a few minutes to absorb the information. Perhaps more than anyone else in the world, he understood what she was going through. He knew how it felt to suddenly learn that pieces of ones very self were simply missing, or destroyed. Even though her trauma had been forced on her, while he had done it to himself willingly, he felt a slight, burgeoning kinship with this girl. And strangely, he realized, with Ureha, as well; it stood to reason that if ArmsTech had butchered her mind, his had probably not escaped intact.

He waited until her emotions had receded slightly, then continued. "There's one more thing, Gwin. In your brain, you were given a set of implants. Synthetic neurological structures designed to overlay your own natural synapses. On their own, they don't do much. They allow you to think a little clearer, a little faster than normal people. Your ability to memorize and recall concrete facts is enhanced, and your senses are a little sharper. But the primary function of implants, Gwin, is to host an A.I. I have my own implants, as does Gabriel. And apparently, so do you. It doesn't look like you've ever hosted an A.I. of your own. But you could be outfitted with one, very easily. And on the bright side, if you choose to accept an A.I. at some point, it will be able to help you regain much of what you've lost. Nirvana tinkers around with my brain all the time."

He leaned back once again, watching her rock back and forth on the bed as she took it all in. 'Get ready, 'Ana. If she suffers a breakdown, you may have to enter her head and help bring her back. We can't afford her to go catatonic on us.' 'Affirmative. I won't be able to do too much, though; her connecting structures are very weak. It would take days for me to build up enough synaptic bridges to be able to bring her around.' 'I understand. Looks like we'll just have to hope she's still got that steel in her heart.'

After almost 20 minutes, Luke cleared his throat and drew her attention back to him.

"Was that about what you wanted to know, princess?"

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Damn, Gabe." Jayden said, watching sattelite (i know i spelled that wrong) images of the brawl outside of Gwin's house. "Maximus, bring up Gabriel's files while he was working with me." Jayden commanded. Jayden had an AI, but unlike Jenny and Nirvana, it could not develope emotions or a personality. "What are you looking for specifically?" Maximus asked in a deep voice. "All the informatiom he gave us on his brother, Alice T. , and the girl." Jayden commanded.

He looked through the files for a while, wondering how Gabriel had survived what happened and why Jayden couldn't find him. He found nothing.