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virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
Xecktos Looked up at Jimmy.
"Yes i understand, but you'll need to turn my arm back on. What you want Shadow for is unknown to me and i do not care, this is a one man show; for which I am more then capable to do." Xecktos said cooly. Shadow sneered at him. Xecktos then agreed to the terms and took the payment.
Xecktos bowed before Jimmy and left the room. Shadow followed suit.
A man in a suit and glass came up to Xecktos and fiddle with his arm for a minute with a small device. The arm made a small beeping noise then Xecktos could move it again.
Xecktos began to walk back down to the crowded bar.
"What are you doing? Dont you remember the mission?" Xecktos was puzzled by this. This person must have been a rookie who got a street name by being lucky.
"You have much to learn." Then Xecktos walked out into the bar area. He scanned the horizon and saw Mary in a mosh pit looking horrified, and a woman slowly walking towards her... with a gun.
Suddenly, miraculously, the whole place froze. The whole floor was filled with blinding white light. Breaths were held in desperation, no-one moved, not even Eva, nor Crystal, nor Mary. The only thing moving was the rising dry Ice from the stage.
And then, like heroes riding out throught the surreal mist, Identity Zero took to the stage. Lady Zero on Vox/Guitar, Elf Dexter Flange on Synths, Ork Brans Stahlmutter on Heavy Ork-Guitar and Traci Reid on her big combo Synth Drum/Laser Artillery Battery.
They strode over the stage to plug into their instruments. The crowd roared, the roar of noise was like a hammerhand to them on the stage, shielded by a feedback wall so as tp protect their sonics. To the crowd it was all but deafening.
There was a tremendous rush towards the stage. Grown men were carried by the press of the crowd. Cylinder Head and Crash got carried and smacked into some woman who dropped something on the floor and went under the press of bodies. It didn't look good...
"Whoah! Sorry, babe-dude!" Cylinder Head shouted. No-one heard. Crash was wide-eyed - He saw it was Eva. It was her gun that she had dropped. He couldn't see her now.
When the commotion had died a little, Lady Zero spoke quietly, delicately into her mic.
"...This place, this city is like a warzone. Forget that crap here. We just want the music."
It was barely a whisper, but the crowd caught it - Cheers and yells filled the air. People shouted to their favourite band members. Lady Zero, mostly. People called out saying they loved her. Cylinder Head was one of those, and so was Badjimmy.
But then Identity Zero had gone into their first song - It was a slow builder. Etheral, wispy vocals over a low layer of distorted synths in the background.
Then WHAM! Dex hit the synths, whacked them up to full. Brans hunkered down with his axe, laying down a riff that could fell men and kill boys, while Traci put on a light show that could have sliced a Star Destroyer in two in some film. Over a blistering Vortex of distortion of soundwaves a tune emerged, a cascade of emotion. Lady Zero began her singing proper, one half poetry, one half measured screaming. She controlled her waves with such precision she had the crowd helpless from the first word. She enjoyed playing them with every note, so much so that they were like an extension of her.
All of a sudden, everyone there - Crash, Mary, Ash, Crystal, Eva, Mac, Xecktos, Shadow - even the fiercely resisting Chance - knew what it was about this band that made them so valuable. It might have been just a fleeting moment, a golden unreadable communication, one vision of purity that might never come back, but they were hooked. People laughed and cried. It was like an epiphany of sorts, but in a way, their lives would never be the same again.
Cylinder Head had a smug *I told you so* smile all night.
The bouncers were specially chipped to be immune to the music. They immediately began recovering the 'casualties', as they called them. Kids who were drunk and passed out, crowd surfers, unlucky slags who couldn't breathe, even the odd case of tramling. They had one of those now.
"Man, this one sure is a sorry sight. Pretty girl, too, looks a bit harsh though." One bouncer said to the troll beside him.
"Wot dat? Hr, lt me tak luk." And sure enough, he recogised her. The woman who had shot him earlier. He chuckled, rubbing the itchy spot where the bullet had touched his flesh, making a hole in his suit. Then he scopped up the unconsious woman and slung her over his shoulder.
"Hur hur. I tels ya 'gain, lady. Now Daisaka boys hav word with you."
He walked out the back, where the Daisaka-cops were laying on the bonnet of their car.
"Soz fr the wat, boyz. I foundz her. Ya wan' 'nother drink on da houz?" He asked them.
"Nah, we're on duty mate. But cheers anyway. We'll take the bitch away, give her a good seeing to. Nice one, you'll always have a friend at Daisaka, Del!"
Del the Troll bouncer was pleased. He watched as they put the unconsious woman in the back of their car and drove off.
Identity Zero's set was going on forever, but that was okay with Crystal. She didn't want it to stop, ever. But then, she could sense it winding down. Even Lady Zero - so different on stage than from real life - had to be tiring now, after a full 15 songs. She looked at Cy, grinning like a lovesick fool - Hmm, may be something to that Crystal thought. - And next to him, the strange, tall yet oddly attractive elven woman with Blue hair and sinister black cybereyes.
Crash was all but foaming at the mouth. She gave him a hug but he didn't notice.
"If only Raven was here to catch this show..."
"What the frag do you mean, 'if only?'" Someone screamed at her.
She turned, annoyed at first, but then...
"Nah, I'm the fragging dragon N'zar. Whaddaya think?" He winked.
Frag, can I really go through with this? Xecktos though to himself. After the music, he was trembling all over, with emotions in all honesty he thought he'd never used before. Were they using fragging magic or something in there?
He looked at his new 'accomplice', Shadow...
Eva woke up. Se didn't know where she was, some kind of moing vehicle...
"Hey, Hans, our 'passenger' is awake." One rent-a-cop told the other rent-a-cop, driving. Eva opened her eyes - She was battered and bruised all over, but she could open her eyes.
She was in a Daisaka car. An inch of IWS armour-III glass seperated her from the cops and the outside world at the windows, and the doors didn't have handles. She'd have to talk her way out of this one...
Crash felt he knew what it must be like in a warzone after a major battle.
The club was emptying now, Bouncers were pushing everyone outside to close up. Empty and broken bottles littered the floor. There was no more music, harsh bright lights had been turned on. He couldn't see Crystal, Mary or the others.
All he could see were drunks lying on the floor and girls sitting down, sobbing, make-up running down their faces. A group of Robo Goths hung around shouting at each other, This was why he thought of a warzone - In his mind's eye, all the drunks resembled dead or wounded casualties, the women their grieveing wives, the Goths the bickering victors...
"Urrghh... Feel so rotten...And I didn't even drink!" He didn't intend to anytime soon, either, not after seeing this.
When the music was over, Shadow looked at Xecktos. He walked up to him, helped him over to a nearby chair and whispers in his ear: "You stay here... I will be back."
He turned away and saw Lady Zero go backstage. He made his way through the people and sneaked after her.
Shadow hid behind some crates, peeked over and saw Crash and Lady Zero. He stayed low and just sat there for a while.
Then, he noticed an opening in the curtain. When he looked through he saw Xecktos. He ponders to himself quietly, "Very interesting person... he is indeed..." Shadow smirked and continued to wait backstage.
After everyone had been 'ushered' out of the club, feeling very under the weather, the 'runners said their drunken goodbyes before collecting their weapons (The bouncers had misgivings about giving so many weapons to drunks).
Or at least, Crystal said her drunken goodbyes, staggering into her car. The canopy closed and the autonav took her home...
The last thing Crystal heard before that was Chance's (sober) voice saying "She's going to be surprised when she wakes up in the morning..." But he could have been speaking about any 'she'.
Crash saw the bouncer strolling over. He expected a fist to come slamming into his face at any moment...
"Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes yes, I know. I'll leave."
"No you fragging muppet." The bouncer said. "Someone backstage wants to see you."
The bouncer took the youngster backstage. In the hallway, he saw Billy and Jimmy - the brothers double act from the Jovis and Mary Chain having an insame argument with each other. They both had the same sideshow-bob stle floppy mushroom haircuts, it was impossible to tell who was who.
Futher on, he saw a guy speaking on his wristphone - He recognised Jimmy Lefixit - ID0's manager.
Finally, the bouncer let him into a dressing room marked with a gold star on the door.
It's like getting let into the free simsense arcade at the Zaibatsu megadome! The kid in him thought, but then the adult took over - No man, no. Gotta keep cool for the ladies...
And then he was face to face with the band - forget them - and Lady Zero.
"Hey." She said. "I saw you out there. Um, you were kind of, um, cute, yeah?"
Xecktos and Shadow hung around, noticing Crash being let backstage. A hefty Ork with a stun baton stood guard.
Chance and Ash got home safe and sound, sober and with their weapons.
"Man, that crap does my head in. I can't believe you liked it!" Chance muttered. Of course, he meant the Jovis and Mary chain... ID0's music, on the other hand... Chance tried not to think about how it affected him.
"Well then, my love," Ash grinned, "Why don't you let me take your mind off things for a while?"
Shadow got up and snuck back out to Xecktos and noticed everyone had left but them two and Crash...
Shadow said, "What should we do now, Xecktos?"
He looked towards the backstage and pointed there.
Xecktos followed Shadow. They both hid near the entrance of the dressing room.
"What's the plan?" Shadow asked.
Xecktos shook his head. They just waited for about half an hour. Then, they heard the sound of the door opening.
Emerging from the other side of the alley, Jyl's ears picked up the sounds of Lady Zero singing. Slapping himself open-palmed right in his face, he mumured
"Stupid races, call that music?! Bah! I've heard monkey babies sing better."
Yawning and stretching, Jyl latched onto a corner of a 3 story building and scaled the side of it. Sitting on the corner, he sighed slightly. "Bob, no. Of course I know what I'm doing. Don't you? I'm sitting here on the corner of a building, looking for something to do."
He sratched his right eyebrow for no other reason than just to scratch it. Listening, he picked up the conversation about Eva that he judges to be about 3 blocks in front of him.
That band, that band... Why did I never hear of them before? Firearm pondered. And where the frag is Raven?
His thoughts were interrupted by some guy scaling a three-storey building so he could scratch his eyebrow. He looked familiar...
Firearm clutched his battered nose, pulled a pistol from next to Curim's sleeping form on the van's floor (still bloodstained from the sniping earlier in the day) and yelled up at the guy...
"I love your music!!!" Crash blurted. "I'm gonna buy all your records!"
Everyone had left to get into the van but Crash and Lady Zero, and two Ork bouncers.
Lady Zero put a finger to Crash's lips to silence him.
"Its great you feel that way. Um, I just, um, want to make music, you know?"
They were both sitting close on a battered couch in the dressing room. Lady Zero continued
"Hey, um, do you want to come back to our place? We can take the van?"
Before he knew what was going on Crash had follwed her out of the room. They opened the door to backstage, to where Traci sat in the ID0 van loaded up, an Ork bouncer in front of them.
"What the frag was that guy doing there?" Firearm thought. "And how the frag did he get up there in the first place? He looks like that guy we hit a while ago..."
"Uuh, Raven? Where are you?"
"Mmm, Crystal... yeah..."
Raven had scored big time. He remembered Curim agreeing to stay and guard the van somewhere - Wherever he'd left it. He had taken a car home with Crystal. He stuck his tongue down her throat and put his hand under her dress. Pretty soon they'd go to the bed and...
Since when did Crystal have black cybereyes? He shook his head. There was so much smoke and narcobeer in him, it was hard to tell what he was seeing. He looked at te woman he was copping off with.
"Y-y-y-you're...You're an Elf! You're not Crystal!!!"
The woman got up suddenly, throwing him off. She had just snapped out of whatever drunken state she was in, too.
"Frag! Gotta go!" She said, crawling out of the capsule - They were in a 'Coffin Hotel' made of small sleeping capsules, or coffins - Sliding down the ladder and sprinting out the gate to her car in the car park outside. Pretty hard to do in a dress and high heels, Raven thought, before collapsing back into drunken sleep.
Jyl covered his ears - His excellent hearing could pick up the sounds of conversation blocks away. The war going on at Aztech and Daisaka was almost deafenng to him. But now a helicopter was coming close... It was coming his way.
He also heard some guy shouting on a loudspeaker: "Citizens! Please go to and stay in your homes! This area is dangerous! There is now a state of curfew! All transgressors will be arrested on sight!" Before repeating again and again. It was definitely coming closer.
Shadow and Xecktos sat there and saw Crash, Lady Zero, and the ork go out and close the door to the dressing room.
They then both got up and snuck quietly behind the three, without being noticed.
Shadow waited until Crash got into the van first, and saw the ork standing by the door of the van.
Then, he ran outside like a flash and grabbed the heavy revolver, which he had hidden in a nearby trashcan under a piece of cardboard, and shot the ork in the head, dead center.
Xecktos shut the door of the van. Shadow ran up to Lady Zero, grabbed her quickly and covered her mouth as they both ran down the street and disappeared in the night.
When it was safe, he took Xecktos and Lady Zero into an old abandon rundown house, on the northern part of town were it was rather dark, and tapped a phone number on his wrist watch. It was Jimmy's number.
Jimmy's face appeared on the watch, "We've got her..." Shadow said to Jimmy. "Were is the pick up point?"
Xecktos was standing outside, on guard duty.
Shadow had tightly bound Lady Zero with a rope as he sat next to her.
Woah! That was just fantastic!
Silvia was walking away from the club, still thinking about the incredible music she just heard.
I wonder why ID0 keeps performing in these small clubs... they could be world-famous if they wanted to!
She walked on. After a few blocks she saw a man sitting on the corner of a building... on the third floor! She immediately sensed that it wasn't a normal being. He looked like an Elf, but that magical bit about him wasn't just normal Elvish magic...
Sleg... a vampire! You don't see many of those around here...
She stopped, even though she knew it was probably better not to get involved with vampires. But this was the first time she actually got this close to one...
She felt the adventurous excitement inside her... and before she realised what she had done she had already spoken to the Vampire.
Jyl turned his head. He had been so busy with his thoughts he hadn't even noticed the girl before.
"Hey, where's Lady Zero?" Crash said. Taking a peak outside, he saw two men who had bound lady Zero up with rope. Something was going on... he had to tell Crystal.
"Crystal, this is Crash. Somebody kidnapped Lady Zero! There were two men who took her somewhere... oh, i'd say north... One with a gun, looked like a heavy revolver... I'm in the van with the rest of the band. Call me if anything comes up..."
The concert was over. Identity Zero had been great, but Mary couldn't see anyone she knew anywhere, since she had thrown the bottle into the woman's face. Now, the tide of IZ fans had turned, and she was being slowly dragged out of the club. She slid past a hugely obese Ork, and narrowly avoided getting thrown up over by a woman with running black makeup, from the stairs above her. The Dwarf she did hit looked less than happy.
Then a another huge Ork bashed into her, she fell, and was dragged under.
An hour later, the place was almost deserted, apart from the final leavers. Mary had been rescued by a bouncer, and dragged into a spare room with other injured beings. After a while, they realised that she wasn't actually hurt, and let her go.
The streets were dark and almost empty, she avoided the Ork selling fake Identity Zero t-shirts, and looked around. No-one she recognised. She'd have to get home herself - even Xecktos seemed to have deserted her. Running her fingers through her pockets, she noticed that her wallet was missing.
Some dirty fragger's stole my cash!
She looked around. How the hell was she going to get home now - it was a very long walk, across some of the most unfriendly areas of Geneva and all she wanted was to lie down.
She threw up, the alcahol she herself had consumed coming up.
A concerned Elf turned, from conversation with another, who didn't look quite elven, somehow, but clearly was.
"Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I... think so..." Mary threw up again.
"You look like you need some help..... I'm Silvia."
"Mary". She extended her hand. "Thanks"
The elf caught sight of her slightly-pointed ears...
"Oh. You're a half-breed too"
This elf was FAR too talkative.
"This is...." Silvia turned around, too look at the other scowling elf. "Sorry, he doesn't seem that friendly, and won't tell me his name..."
As usual, Chance pondered the past two day's events as he lay on the brink of sleep, Ash already lost in dreamland with a slender arm thrown carelessly across his chest.
The mission was done... But many loopholes remained. What was Ery's ulterior motive? Who was that mad sniperwoman? Why did Tank go beserk? ... He ran through the list with methodical precision, mentally ticking off possible theories and reasons as he prepared himself for what may come in the following days.
His fingers absently played with Ash's long hair, brushing it back behind her ears. Geneva was under threat of a binuclear strike... Whether it was true or not didn't matter, as a false alarm might only result in a wasted trip out of the country. A real alarm, on the other hand...
He wondered how the members of the party had managed to keep awake so long without sleep, aside from the superelf Xecktos and that terminator-clone Dragon. Before the soldier finally surrendered to two days of continued exhaustion, he gave a little smile.
It was a gift from him of sorts... Seeing Crystal and Mary knock back the glasses had alarmed him. Knowing just how tiring the events of the past two days had been, the soldier had subtly slipped mind-clearing pills into their drinks. Orginally meant to relieve troops of pounding headaches after long operations or drinking binges, Chance had saved them for possible future use.
They would be surprised in the morning when they woke without the associated hangovers, but Chance reckoned that he would be working with them in the possible near-future and decided that a little pre-emptive strike was needed... Crystal could be horribly cranky when hungover and lacking sleep.
As for Raven and the other males... Well, he guessed that they (like most males) would rather bear stoically the effects of a hangover than wimp out on pills. No problems there.
With a little amused smile on his face, Chance drifted off to sleep.
Silvia looked at the half-elf in front of her.
She looks pretty messed-up... I'd better get her home.
"Do you live around here?"
"Not really... I was here with a group of friends, but i lost them in the crowd after the concert."
Ah... she went to the ID0 concert too.
Silvia smiled. "Well why don't we go looking for them then?"
"What about your 'friend'?", Mary said, pointing at Jyl.
"Well, I think he wants to be alone anyway..."
Silvia's voice suddenly souded excited. "He's a vampire. A real vampire! Have you ever seen one before?!"
Mary looked even more pale than before.
"Umm... no... but I don't think I'm that keen on meeting one."
Hmm... looks like I'll be home a little later than expected. Mom's gonna be angry again.
"We'd better go back to the club then. Do you know if your friends had a car parked around here?"
"Okay, these idiots didn't even recognize me..." said Mac as he had faded out after his play. He had appeared as extra in the middle of the play, but everyone didn't pay attention. That noisy ID0 had hypnotized everyone. He suddenly ran towards the exit, with his real guns... The weapon detector flashed as he went outside. The bulky bouncers did not reacted until it was too late.
Crap. Absolute crap. Those runners were the less reliable teammates he had trusted. Mac was really upset.
"FRAG YOU NEON BITCH! FRAG YOU ELF PUNK!"
He kicked a concrete wall. Several cracks appeared in it.
He was going to catch them and ask why in hell they did not try to trust him.
He quickly called Crash. While he was talking to him, he almost broke the phone.
"For god's sake! I am the only ticket to survive the buclear run, so don't avoid me!"
He thought twice.
"Forgive me, I got a bad day, that's all. All this buclear stuff is really stressing"
Eva carefully inspectionated the vehicle. The separation glass was an inch wide and there were no chance of escaping...
She needed to plan something...she looked at her head. She had bleed from her wound, and there was little blood. And she found a crystal shard, too.She carefully pulled the shard towards her wrist, as if she were about to slit it. She also placed a little of blood, to create a better efect.
The Daisaka guys stopped, in a ditch attempt to prevent the prisoner's suicide. Both two felt shocked when the prisoner was still OK. But it was too late. Eva caught them by surprise, and died quickly. She took tehir pistols and ammo, and snatched the Daisaka vehicle, leaving the corpses in the streets.
That Daisaka guys had good weapons, as she had snatched two brand new Myths from them... She was in action again. She was a perfect assasin.
Jyl was talking to himself, as usually, as Silvia approached him "Yes Bob, I know that fraggin helicopter hurt Eric and his brother, but these cursed races just don't understand that."
Shifting his head downwards from the building to look at Silvia, he raises an eyebrow slightly. "And who are you, you sexy slitch you?"
The helicopter continued to come closer, but Jyl ignored it, his eyes were upon Silvia, three stories down from him.
"My name is Mac, but I am not a slitch, punk."
A voice suddenly appeared from behind's Jyl's neck.
"I was not talking to you... Get lost!"
Mac suddenly groaned, and continued his walk... "Frag, Frag frag!" He mumbled, and then kicked a wall. A crack appeared. A cat ran towards the junkpiles.
Jyl turned to Mac, as he seemed to be hostile.
"Excuse me, mister." Said Mac. "I had a really bad day that's all."
Eva's phone rang... it was N'zar.
"You have not much time left, Bitch! Catch that guy!"
Eva sighed, Greater Dragons were really exigent customers, but their payments were really better. Besides, there was something personal...
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