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(Contains: violence/gore)
The sun had set as I look around the airfield, some patrols here and there, with several warbirds combat ready on launch pads, which sat on the middle of the airstrip. The plane had started it's engines and taken off as I walked towards the entrance, I still had the dog tags on the front of my shirt and anytime a military patrol would ask I would just flash them and say I was headed off base... while this was partly true, I wanted to get something first.

The moment I was out of sight of the third patrol I wrap my arm around the duffel bag and rush over to one of the nearby warbirds and check to see if no one saw, it was clear and I move the cargo hatch/only entry point of the middle warbird and hit the emergency release handle built in to the top right after dropping the bag, the seals and locks blew silently and it would have fallen back and crushed me if I hadn't been prepared for it. The hatch door was heavy... no doubt about it, but I stumble back and lay it silently on the ground... another check shows no-one around so I toss the bag inside and head in, the cockpit was dark and it needed to be that way so that I couldn't be seen.

"Now onto this." I grab the "Emergency kit" located under the pilots seat... a set of bandages and painkillers plus a...where is it? I rummage some more and find a small mag-light that was included in the kit... and now for the hardest part.

A system of tracking chips was used so it was pretty much an anti-theft, anti-loss system; there was a good flaw though that recall had helped me with. I get on my back and shift my left hand draconic and rip off a panel under the pilot's seat, exposing some serious circuitry. I move some wires around after shifting my arm back and find the circuit boards that I was looking for, I take one out and with very slow movements break off a tiny piece, it controlled the over-ride, now they couldn't take control of the vehicle. I take the other chip out and work on it, several more later I get off my back and pop my neck... was getting a painfull crick in it.

"And... Why am I talking to myself?" I mutter. It was a good question, but I couldn't focus on it now. I step out and look, a two-man patrol was coming this way, though they were on the other side, and couldn't see the downed door. I keep low as they pass... they looked bored, but it was guard duty so it figured... I almost expected a guard dog to be around too... but those were probably patrolling the fences.

I hear the roar of a jet, and I look to see a F-94, it's VTOL mode activated as it descended on a pad at the hangars... what if? I might need a distraction.. I watch the pilots climb out and start talking to each other animatedly, must've been out on a flying lesson. They go off into the barracks, and I make my way toward the hangars, more specifically one with a host of hawks on standby... war tended to make you prepare for immediate attack, and that made them keep hawks loaded and ready... just what I needed.

I get a cold smile as I round the door and see one of the drones, all prepped and ready to go. I check and see a guard just on the inside, smoking. Tobacco had been banned officially on 2036 and the replacement product, a mix of stuff almost as bad, was what they used now... the sick smell of peaches held in the air from it... he didn't notice me. So I creep behind the ammo crate he was leaning against... and he gets the odd chill in your spine that made him turn around to see if anyone is there... I hide behind the crate and I soon hear him sigh and mutter something about "Nerves" before he turns back... poor guy didn't know what was about to hit him. I stand and say...

"What's up?" He whirls around and I yank him by his collar onto the crate and slam my clenched fist into the back of his head, I hear a crunch as his nose broke... he was out... and I see he was still breathing. I roll him off the crate and snuff out the "cigarette" before turning my attention to the drone.

I look at the sleek paneling... no way could I replace it if I took it off. "There goes one idea... or maybe... Aurora check for remote access to nearby drones." I see a little text box open up [Searching... three drones found.] "Alright... Aurora display connection capable drones on visual display." My eye gets shocked again and the things highlight in red, the one I was standing next to along with two others light up... okay, might need to improvise on the plan.

"Lonner, you there?" I hear another guard approach, I duck out of sight behind the drone, dangerously close to the engines, and I grab the edge and hoist myself up… keeping an eye on the new arrival.

"Lonner... I know you're here, I can smell that damn smoke." I get on top of the drone and walk towards the front. He was looking around the munitions pile for the other guy, he was way off.

"Damn it! Stop hiding jackass." And now I was in range, I slide off the edge and get up behind him

"Fine the-ghhhhkkk" I wrap an arm around his throat and start choking him, after a minute or two he stops struggling. I hold on a few seconds more to make sure he's out before tossing him on the floor. I unseal his helmet and take it along with his rifle, going to need these later.

"Great, what's next? Half the base?"  Then I think... "Probably." I needed to improvise here.

"Aurora, establish connection with all three and start diagnostic." I hear a little ding, and the tiny mobius reactors on each one whir to life, a screen pops up and shows the run-through, I see the miniguns spin up, and the flaps and stabs check themselves... I get a basic report on the screen... only the lead craft had ammo for the guns loaded... and now I needed to figure out what to do with.... wait I don't have time for this.

"Aurora, override all outside signals to drones and open command queue."

The drones were controlled by a command-line like way, post a command and once it's done it moves on, it was really easy when there was a small-scale battle going, but they could also be remotely controlled... useful thing to know. Three lines open up on a black background, okay... I tap the middle one and a little keyboard pops up,

[Start engine] And I watch the one in the back's engine fire up... wrong one, I type it again and this time the right drone starts... onto multi-tasking. I head out the hanger after checking there was no one, and I make a run for the warbird, still undiscovered. I l slip the helmet on and seal it. It turns on and gets a good lock, I sit in the pilots chair.

[Activate remote control] And the screen shifts, I get a camera view of the nose of the drone, a little bar sat on my right, which must have been the throttle... lets see how this works out. I drag the bar up a notch and it starts rolling forward... okay now to see if it can turn like I think. I touch my finger to the center and drag it to my right, and it goes left... inverted controls... huh. I correct and get it lined up on the runway. I do the same with the other two, and put them ahead of the first one.

"Time to party." Now guards were noticing, and a pair starts rushing towards the plane... what did they think they were going to do? Shoot at it? I open the control screen and throttle a drone to max, the roar of the engines sounds all the way across the base, I drag the screen and get airborne in seconds, but I aim for the best target, the tower, I hit it halfway and the screen goes dark, I type in a command to the two jets and they take their engines and go airborne... now it was my turn. I hit the engine and the thing purrs to life, Good thing I watched the jet pilot closely. I hit the throttle and lift into the air, once I get high enough I flick out of VTOL and start flying low across the landscape, I see turrets power up but it's too late, I was out of range, the noise from the engines was loud, and that's with the helmet on. I throttle back and slow, the drones slow beside me, following the typed command to escort an airborne warbird. The flight-nav was disabled because of my tinkering, but I didn't need it, I just use aurora and get a course set for the facility... Should be there in ten minutes.

I sigh and set the horizontal "cruise control" for the craft, most of this place was flatland, and it would auto-level out if there was any change in the terrain... unless it was a mountain.

"Aurora check for all IAP users within a hundred miles under the name Locke."

[Checking.... checking... user found, low signal.] "Display location."  And a map of the immediate area shows up... yep it was him, still at the facility... I really didn't expect to get a signal.

"Aurora contact, but cut the connection if they start a trace or listen in." It paid to be careful.

-Beep beep beep- I listen as the connection is made.

"Who is this?" I hear Locke's voice, still the same old gruff sound.

"An old friend."

He stays silent for a few seconds.

"I can't believe it! You actually got out?"

"Yes, interesting fact, I was a clone."

"I knew you were, some of the details of the project were disclosed, but it didn't seem like a good idea telling you that... and i saw the original's body back here, Darwin is keeping the fact that it isn't you a secret. Why are you calling me?"

"You think I was going to run off and disappear didn't you?"

"Yes actually... what are you doing?"

"Oh, just about to raid a highly guarded research facility."

"You're actually going to... scratch that, you're crazy enough to come here again?"

"Not without a little planning... any help you could do on your side?"

"No, not unless you want to delay the ground troops... how are you even going to get into the facility?"

"Oh, my little friends are going to help with that... meet me at the bottom of the lift, around the first corner... oh and get ready-" I see the connection terminated sign light up the menu, at least I got enough through to him, still getting a little peeved at him knowing I was a clone... but then I wouldn't tell myself either.

I bring up the menus on the drones menus "Aurora open mobius generator settings on both drones." A little warning sign pops up, saying [Warning! tampering with mobius settings can cause overload.] "Aurora, display anyway." and several output meters and slides start popping up, I just max them all out and I see the needles slowly climb into the red. I quickly back out and head to the command queue. After typing several commands in I watch as the drones speed off towards the facility.

"Bet that'll be a wake-up call."  I take off the jacket and put it in the bag stowed under the co-pilot's chair. I needed the most maneuverability possible to get in. I hear two faint booms and know the drones had found their mark. I pick up and check the rifle, full clip... hopefully I wouldn't need it, the goal was to get in without anyone noticing, but I needed something to do exactly that. I get back in the pilot's chair and flick off the little cruise control setting and get lower to the ground and flick the throttle wide.

I soon see the facility, a crater taking place in the middle of the wall and cutting off access, and another in between the first story buildings and all the lights were dark... looks like it worked. I pull in and almost shut the throttle completely off, I pull up and level out as I switch into VTOL and land right on the wall, balanced like a coin, I shut the engine off and rush out, You could hear boots pounding across the ground, any soldier outside would have heard or seen the warbird, I glance and see the crescent moon, shame it wasn't a new moon. But I hit a button on the side of my helmet and the world lights up in a crystal green. I look around and see about a dozen going around towards the crater dug and blown by the drone, but I hear someone run under me and I hop down on top of them, it was a guard... alright, I slam the butt of the rifle into the back of his head and it's lights out for this guy. I check him and take his chest armor, putting it on was a good idea, the rest of my clothes wouldn't disguise me but It'd be better to get hit by a bullet and have metal deflect it than the other option.

I kick him up against the wall for good measure and make a wide circle for the three-story building housing the lift... which wasn't hit by the EMP surprisingly because a reaper tank just rolled out onto the field, I could hear the clink as the co-axial miniguns spun... like he was trigger-happy, I had to keep out of that thing's sight, a blast from those cannons or miniguns and I was dead, dragon or not.

"Tanks... what the hell is next? A nuke?" And I didn't doubt it, but- whoah! A guard rounds the corner and gets the same surprised look that was on my face. I flip the gun, grab it by the barrel and slam it on his helmet, the visor shatters and the helmets dented, He drops with a small cry dying on his lips. I flip the gun back and keep running. I make it to the lift, I look out and see that they were looking around the bas still, someone calls out and a large group heads toward the wall, must have found unlucky bastard number one. I hear someone take a step away from the lift and I see an EVO walk past me, his vest the most obvious give-away, He was acting tired, probably got dragged out of bed for this... good thing he didn't notice me pressed against the edge of the entrance.

I whirl in and see no one, I find and hit the panel's big down arrow button and the lift silently comes to life and starts sliding diagonally. I check the rifle again, still workable. Now things were going to get violent if I'm right, and there's another group at the bottom of the shaft... hopefully there isn't. I slowly breathe in... out... in... out... I could hear my pulse begin to slowly rise, adrenaline beginning it's one-way trip through my body... fuck, there was a group at the bottom, five at least, one of them takes a look at me the moment I raise my rifle.

Boom, boom boom

I drop three with neck shots, the helmet would have protected them from a normal headshot, they go down as the survivors take to cover behind the walls at the T-junction at the end of the bay... then I realize I was completely exposed to return fire, I roll over the guard-rail and slide down the remaining space, the moment my feet hit the floor shots ring out, and I roll behind a cargo crate in the room. I hear the bullets bing into the metal, and they were taking turns, gap, fire, fire, gap... they were trying to draw me out from behind cover by mixing up the timing on their shots. I hear one of them start to reload and a final shot rings out before I hear the crunch of a neck snapping, then the thump as a body hit the ground. I roll out and see the guards both dead, one with his head twisted all the way around sickeningly and the others twitching leg gave me a sign that he was also dead.

Clink

I whirl and fire at the sound at see another soldier drop over by a powered down tank… how many of those where there? I turn back to the intersection to see Locke clear the T-junction, blank look on his face. He gets up a few feet from me and stops…


"Why did you come back?" First words out of his mouth, not how are you? Or long time no see… just the question "why did you come back?"

"Oh to do a few things I said I would do, but I need your help to do that."

He gives a frown for a few seconds before saying "Where to?"


"The pit, I need to get there first."

Then he realizes part one of the plan. "You're going after the dragons aren't you?"

"Of course I am, the only problem was that you need to clear out when I get them, at least until I get them on their way."

"You realize that you might be sending them into a situation worse than before right?"

"I do, but being free and die young might be a better option than sitting here waiting to be experimented on."

I does his trademark huff and starts down the hallways, I follow up close behind him, I knew the path… but if they saw him first they will hesitate, and that would be the end for them… wonder why the alarm hasn't gone off?

"What else has happened since I was shoved into the military?"

"You don't want to know, they have been getting… creative, with their experiments, and keeping us further removed on their successes."

All right, years of progress at work, made my stomach churn at the thought. We round a bend and see three soldiers at a door. I don't stop as three rifle rounds find their mark. We reach the elevator and it opens to see an EVO inside, fully shifted into a… what the hell is it! It looked like a cross between a tiger and a cow, white and black stripes with big muscles and a set of short, forward pointing horns along with a tiger's head… but more importantly clawed hands and feet. he looked focused, which was a problem. He roars and charges us, we both dive out of the way as he reaches us and I roll over and start firing, I catch him in the leg and it's a full penetration shot, He goes down… and then somehow gets back up! I look at the wound and see it already healing… that's crazy!

"COME HERE!" He shouts and heads straight for me, much faster than a minotaur could, and I get a good shoulder bashing from him, I go and slam into the wall.

"AAACK." I hear a rib crack... the same one from earlier,  He rears back with a clawed hand to rip my throat out but before he could deliver the blow he gets a sword shoved through his chest. This apparently annoys him because he drops me and whirls on Locke, sending him flying with a backhand. He crashes into the wall, but I focus back on the EVO I shift my arm and swipe at his leg, I tear out is calf with the strike and he goes down again... at least this time when he tried to get back up it was only to a knee. I leap on his back and wrap my arms around his throat, and THEN does he start bucking like a bull. I hold on my arms get wrenched badly, I about do a three-sixty on him from the force, This wasn't going to work so I let go and get flung across the ground... I scrabble my way to my feet and see the sword that was stuck in his chest fall to the ground as he stands again... what the hell is this guy made of? Nothing is supposed to regenerate that fast!

"The fuck are you?" I croak out.

"Something better than you obviously." he about growls it out, but he forgot one thing... Locke. Several shots hit him in the legs and he goes down roaring in pain, Locke steps up by my side and hands me a sword.

"Best way to kill a freak of regeneration?" He asks.

"Let's see if decapitation works, keep him down!" The rifle bursts into full-auto and rips holes in the EVO, still roaring in pain, but he was getting up nonetheless. Locke runs out of ammo and I rush forward, wincing in pain with each step, I draw the sword by my waist in a reverse fashion and put the full force into the swing, and he stands up just and the swing connects.

SSHHHHINNK

I missed... but I don't think it mattered, because I cut him in half... ish at any rate, he spasms and drops, nothing in this world could replace the blood as fast as he was losing it, Locke walks up and puts a bullet between the eyes of the EVO.

"You forget to mention THAT little detail." I say as I pick up my fallen rifle,wincing  in pain as the rib made itself perfectly clear it was going to be a problem.

"I didn't even know there was a thing like that here, I thought hybrids were wishful thinking by the scientists."

"You realize that technicaly I am a hybrid right?"

"Yes, but I am talking about fused DNA, this and that here and there and get this, mix half and half and get all the ups but none of the downs sort of things. We had better hurry... and shift your arm back, you're trying to keep incognito remember?" Okay, I shift my arm back and we enter the elevator, we still had to go down and do a lot more.

"There might be a detail I forgot to mention." He says as the elevator decends.

"What?"

"I only know ONE of the passwords, the guards are only entrusted with one part of the code." Wrench in the gears. I think for a second.

"Will there be any other guards down there?" I ask.

"It's a lockdown, guards at every possible post until the threat is found... which they probably have."

"How loyal are these guards?"

"That's an odd question, probably up until they are faced with a painful death, why?"

"Let's see if they are willing to talk, so try and keep them as alive as possible."

"You sound like my old CO. Ruthless bastard he was." I think that would be counted as an insult, but he was right, I was being ruthless... sadly sometimes you have to be. I get the sudden urge to get away but instead I strep to the side, leaving the door  edge coering me, Locke loooks over and sees me do this, he mimics and stands on the other side... 3... 2... 1...

Ding

And a casscade of shots plow through the door as it opened, must have been several using the automatic version of the rifle.They stop and wait for something to pop it's little head out so they could shoot it off. I look and Locke holds up three fingers, and I nod, he edges forward, 1...2...3...GO!

And we both swing out with guns blazing, we were trying to be non-lethal but at least half of the dozen dies at the first volley, three go down in pain, bullets in their arm, leg, or foot... I even shot the gun out of one of their hands, the last ones drop their guns and pull out their swords, great... SS project.  I barly had time to get a shot off before they were on us. my shot gets one and brings him sliding across the floor but he recovers and gets at me, I edge a sword off of the rifle and take a step back before hopping forward with a kick and sending him rolling. the second strike I had to block, and I lose the rifle completely,but when his sword clangs into the ground I chop him in the throat and grab him, then throw him overhead, I get a chill in my spine and sidestep, the slodier faltering as he missed with the full-force stab, I roundhouse and catch him in the visor, his head snaps around but he takes the momentum and delivers a round house of his own. I block it and he does a quick switch and tries to trip me, it works and I go crashing to the ground.

"Motherfu-" I roll and dodge his sword stabbing into the ground, I kick his knee and hear shearing metal, before he yells and goes down. I glance and see one of the regular soldiers in a crouching position aiming with his gun at Locke, who had wrapped an arm around one of his opponent's arms as theys stabbed at him, He breaks the guys arm and moves with him in the way of the downed guard's aiming, several bullets slam into the SS guard and he falls to his knees before collapsing on the ground, he was down to the last guard. I get back to my fight and grab the sword on the ground and make a good strike at the second guard, who somehow managed to get up after his throat got crushed by the chop. He slashes at me with the sword and I block, sparks flying everywhere I slide back a foot from the strike, I push back and kick him back, he stumbles and I follow with a upward slash. It connects and black oil sputters from the gash... what the? Sparks fizzle and he flails back before going into a twitching frenzy, I turn around to get greeted by the sight of the downed guard aiming right at me, the bullet hit straight onto the armored plate of the armor and the force makes me stumble back.

"HEY KENNY!" He looks back at Locke just as torn off robotic arm slams into his head, he goes down out cold. Locke's last opponent was laying on the ground with his head at an odd angle, and it was twisted pretty badly too. He stomps on the my third opponent and the SS jerks before going still, the first guard had grabbed a gun and was trying to aim it at us with a dislocated arm, I lift the sword over my head and throw it, It was a good toss, but he tilts sideways and it misses.

"Damn it just die!" Locke picks up a rifle and slams a bullet into the helmet, then a second bullet gets through and he goes down.

"Fighting for every inch aren't we?"

"Pfff, This is nothing compared to La Havanna, had to fight literaly for every inch. Who do we "persuade" first?" We go to the nearest one, he backs away when I approach, scared out of his mind.

"Pit door password, NOW!"

"I.. I....Icarus. Don't kill me!" He sputters out, I think he was about to faint.

"Wrong password, That's the one I already have." Locke wispers into my ear.

"Thank you for your cooperation, have a nice dream." I slam my fist into his helmet and he goes down with a big dent in his helmet. We walk over and find that one had bled out from a shot on his inner thigh, I sigh and move on, this was brutal, and I didn't like doing it... that video of me going berserk kept coming back to me. What hell would be unleashed if I went that way again? This one had a hole in his shoe, and subsequently his foot, but he kept a calm voice... somewhat layered in hate as well.

"You will get nothing from me, alterists."

"And you think we're alterists? Hey, he thinks we're alterists, how about that? Listen, tell us the password to the pit and I leave you alive, it's the best deal you will get, alterists wouldn't have even given you a choice... so what's your decision?"

"Go fuck yourself."  I stomp on his knee, it cracked based on the scream and the little crunchng sound.

"How about I just toss you into the pit after I open it?"

"Still, go to hell." He was losing resolve.

"Would you like the other knee broken as well? Or shall I start on the arms?" I wasn't really going to break them, but when you can scare somone with a threat, I was hoping it would work."

"Is that the best you can do? I'd-" And that's when Locke slams his boot into the guards head, and he goes slamming into the ground.

"How about we just forget this one and move on?" I nod my head and he punts the guard in the head, lights out buddy. We look at the rest, most of the guards with leg wounds had died from blood loss... I didn't like looking at them, the stillness leaving an odd chill at the base of my head... we finally find one still alive, a dent on her helmet, and a bullet to the arm... she pretended to be dead, but made a poor job of it.

"We know you're alive, so stop pretending."

"Just kill me then."

We look at each other before back to her. "You know what we want, you heard from the others,  tell us the password and you get to live."

"Then why didn't you kill Zeke?" I look over at the KO'ed guard "We are going to give him a second chance if we can't get a straight answer that works."

"You're bullshitting, I can hear it in your voice." Ok, new approach.

"What's your name?"

"Not going to tell you that."

"A shame that you have dogtags then." I grab the edge of the chain and rip them off. "Well... Kaylie. What would you do if you found out you were experimented on, sent to your death in a war you barely understood, only to find out you are not even the real you? What would you do if the people who tortured you for years kept children and experimented on them? What would you do if you found out you were their only hope to avoid a long and painful death? ANSWER ME!"

I couldn't see her eyes behind the tinted visor, but I could feel her tense... she keeps quiet and I almost think that she would be dead if it hadnt been for her breathing.

"Pandora."

"What?"

"You wanted the fucking password, it's Pandora."

"Thank you then, but you should stay here." I stand and walk to the doors.

"Which one do you get?"

"Icarus."  We stand on the far sides of the door and the little menu pops up, asking for the unlock code, I type in pandora as Locke does his... and the doors slide open.

"Locke, I need you to take the ones who aren't dead yet and get them out of the way, and I mean behind sealed doors."

"Are you sure that will be enough?"

"No, that's the problem. But I'll try to deal with that, what I need you to do is head toward the cells were they keep the phase-2's at afterwards."

"How are you going to find me?"

"Aurora lock onto Locke's IAP and track." A little text pops up [Tracking set.]

"Looks like you found a little toy, be careful." He says as I head out into the light of the pit.

I stop and look at him with a serious expression that I doubt he could see "You should be the one taking that advice." I say and start at a good run toward the forest below. The cracked rib was hurting less now but it still slowed me down, I get to the edge and start for a nearby clearing,  I couldn't see any of the dragons when I get there and I was running on the clock here. I pull the helmet off and decide to do something and see if it would work, I feel heat spread it's way up my neck and head as I shift my head fully draconic. I let out a roar at the loudest I could go, which about made my pointed ears bleed. I shake my head as the ringing subsided some, I shift my arms too and lay against a tree, and wait.

I didn't have to wait long before a teal dragon with white scutes appears. I heard the wingbeats before I saw him, he came from behind and landed in the clearing, he turns and looks for where the sound came from, it took him a good ten seconds to notice me sitting against the tree. He gets a suprised look on his face as I get a better look at him. two horns curved ram style around his head and where as white as the scutes, and he was maybe a good 26 feet long... I also spot a collar around his neck made of black steel.

"Who are you?" He asks with a tone that said "Answer or I attack."

"Let's see, several years ago, kid that didn't get mauled by you dragons."

"I don't know what you are talking about, I've only been here for a good month... at least."

"Was hoping somone who knew me came here, but... Do you know where any of the other dragons are at?" I think I was creeping him out.

"Um, sure. they are all talking about the bunker doors in a clearing nearby." Now he was getting nervous, you could tell by the way he was shifting his feet... gotta bet that having something looking like me talking to you would be unsettling.

I stand up and brush the seat of my pants off "Mind heading there and telling them about me? Wait, better yet take me to them."

"What? How do you to expect to get there without-"

"Wings? I'll just hop on your back and hitch a ride." And he gets this look on his face that just said "This is completely crazy."

"Um, hop on?" He lowers his wings close to the ground, I hold the helmet, and leave the rifle, I would jsut get another one once we got to the doors again. I walk up and leap the distance up to his back, good thing the spikes were distanced far apart, I grab one and brace for the take off leap.

"And off we go." He takes to the air and I get to see the pit from a flying view, it didn't last long though... And I was sorely wanting wings after we land in a clearing of suprised dragons... I didn't see some of the others from my time before, and plus there were more of those collars, I had a bad feeling about them.

"Who's this?" Asks Jason, an eye ridge raised.

I shift my arms and head back to normal and say "Recognize me now?" I still takes him a second to piece two-and-two together, got to admit that years didn't exactly go well to me.

"You? We thought you were dead."

"Close, sent to a warzone to die after some brutal events... but... I managed to escape." That suprised them, but Jason contained his suprise with a question.

"Then how are you here? Or why?"

"Remember what I said before I left?" Those who had heard me that day think back and remember.

"You're breaking us out of here?" He says with a look of disbelief on his face.

"You and a lot more that are held here, why did you think the door's stayed open this long?"

"But what will we do if we get out?" Asks a maroon dragon.

"That's for you to decide, I said I'd take you out of here and here's what maybe the only chance."

There was some low mumbling, particularly from the collared dragons... starting to wonder what that thing did. I watch one break off and walk into the woods, no one noticed except Jason and me. Slowly another three leave, headed their own directions.

"Forget it, outside will be better than here, i'm going." Says one dragon... I recognize it as the eight year-old that I saw my first time here, he had grown much bigger over the years, over three-fold in size to maybe about 18-feet long... and he waas the only one of the old group that I saw had a collar on. Several others are quick to agree with him, and a two more leave, together this time. Slowly most of the others agree to go except one that was more vocal than the ones who left before him.

"The life outside isn't going to be any better than this. The humans fear us and will try to kill us on sight!" A dragon mumbled something that sounded like "Shut up." but this dragon doesn't seem to heed it.

"This isn't worth it!"

"Shut up! I would rather die outside in the actual world than sit here waiting to become a experiment for some insane doctors!" Says the one dragon who mumbled earlier.

"Take a look, you already ARE an experiment-"The other one rushes up and get's inches away from the other's muzzle and growls "How about you stay here while we all go outside and die then? Can't wait to see what they have planned for you." He makes one little snarl before turning away and flying towards the bunker doors.

The dragon just gives mme a glare, "You're leading them to their death hybrid."

"It's their choice, I'm not forcing you into coming, I saw enough leave to give you some company for however long you're alive in here." I turn to the rest of the dragons "Head to the bunker doors, I'll meet you there." The thunderous sound of wings filled the air and in less than a minute they were gone except Martin, Jason, and another dragon plus the objecting one.

Without another word the nameless dragons walk back into the forest, leaving us in the clearing.

"You know, I never got your name." Martin asks, I expected Juan to be here then I see the look in Martin's eyes, and I could guess what happened."

"And I just about never got one... but I guess.... I guess my name is Shane."

"Well Shane, you given me some hope, care for a ride to the bunker doors?"

"I need one, lacking wings and such" I flip the helmet back on and start it before hoopping onto Martin's back. I see Martin get ready to leap, but then stop when he see Jason laying down.

"Aren't you coming Jason?" He shook his head "No, I know anything of my past life is gone, and the other... downsides. Besides, someone has to keep an eye on any new arrivals around and help them out. Goodbye  Martin."

Martin let's out a slow breath "Goodbye then, Jason." And we take to the air, a lot less energetic. We land at the base of the doors and I dismount and see them all looking at me. The bodies of the living had been dragged away, painfully at that, but they weren't here. Still, four out of a dozen seems to be a feat to them.

"You killed all of them?" I hear one dragon say to me from the crowd.

"With a bit of inside help, do any of you know the hallways enough to lead the others out?"

"No, We were usually doped to the point of dreaming when we were moved around." One small orange dragon says.

"Then how about somone who can remember everything that's said to them?"

"Not sure about the everything part, but I could remember enough." Says a yellow dragoness.

"Then I hope this is good enough." I start explaining the hallway's path that  they all had to take, the lift to the surface, and to keep an eye out for tanks when they get out, also warning them to take the auto-cannons out when they make it to the surface, they might as well have fixed the damaged parts of those and got them running again. I take the lift up with them and they storm out into a set of very unlucky guards... Ever seen a group of vengefull dragons attack? Well trust me on this one and know that it was beyond vengefull, they storm off and I grab the rifle of one of the fallen guards, I check and see it was a full auto. I double check to see if anyone is around before saying...

"Aurora, Set LPS to Locke's position." The little yellow line shows up and takes a right. I follow the hallways and almost miss the sign, it was a computer server with a blue hexagon around it. I stop and back up, data storage? I couldn't pass an opportunity like this up so I try the door to find it locked< I kick it and make a small dent in the steel.

"Ragh! Aurora, open this door." A little text box pops up [Level three security detected, bypassing... bypass complete, altering restrictions... complete.] And the door slides open, revealing a large black screen on the right... wait the screen WAS the wall, it took up the entire space and there was a command menu on display.

I hear screams, gunshots and above all roaring... but I stop focusing on that and turn my attention to the room, black rectangles with no visible surface hold on the left in rows of two, they must have been storage servers... but the amount here would hold over a billion terra-bytes! How long have they been storing information here?

"I knew I would find you here." I whirl and point the gun, and see Darwin, even frailer than before standing in the doorway.

"And I knew you somehow would make an appearance." I say as I lower my weapon.

"Natrualy, I bet you're wondering what is on those servers?"

"And I bet you're wondering how I got away for europa." I tried, but matching his little words is a hard thing to do.

"Not at all, I already knew when they brought your donor's body in. Disgusing yourself as yourself, it's really something that hasn't been seen in a long time, be glad that they didn't want to autopsy your body... or should I say your donors."

"I really don't like that fact."

"We rarely do." He walks past me and slowly moves his arm to the board and types a password in along with the user I.D.

"There, take what you want, but your specific details will be in all files labeled DSP. I recommend hurrying." And with that he walks out the door, which shuts behind him... what is with him?

"Aurora download all files labeled DSP." I watch a text pop up [Downloading... Ecryption detected! Continuing download... two minutes remaining. Download speed at 2 gigabytes a second] Wow, two minutes... lot of files.

I hear pounding boots and I sidle up to the doorway, the stomping passes and I breathe a slow sigh. I check and see one minute remaining... wait this is wireless, I can keep going and not worry about the connection breaking! I facepalm and ready myself... and go! I open the door with a quick touch of my hand and rush out, the yellow line continuing to point it's way to Locke. I charge down that path hoping that I had a lot less people to deal with. Somone casualy walks out of an intersection and checks the wrong way, and add that t him being alone, yet another poor guy. I run by and grab his helmeted head and slam it into the wall, not even slowing down. He goes to the ground as I take a quick look back, out cold. I close distance and start to hear gunfire, I get close and see that Locke was pinned down, there was lines of doors streching left and right from the T-junction.I pass by an open door and see controls inside, I back up and take a closer look, these controlled the doors, A set of hovering displays held above the controls, showing mostly empty cells, but a good ten were occupied. I hit the buttons for them all, not being picky. I come back out and take a shot at an SS firing at Locke, I hit him in the back of the neck and it sparks before he goes down, I start firing and now the guards were caught in a cross-fire... it didn't take them long to go down.

"Locke! Looks like you were a bit occupied there."

"Don't be a smart-ass, we need to get these people out of here." I walk up to him, the people trapped in their cells coming out.

"I thought there would be more of them."

"There was."

"Explain was."

"The... Lockdown puts all phase one and two projects on ice... or for lack of a better term, liquidation."

It takes me second to figure it out "You mean that-"

"All the phase one and two's are dead, these are the phase three subjects... the ONLY ones left." I feel ice along my spine, how many did I kill just by attacking this base? The remaining subjects were close enough to hear me now...

"Do you all want to get out of here?" The two teenagers and the five adults nod their heads, the kids... kids only maybe six or seven in age also nod.

"Then follow Locke here." Then I turn to Locke "There is a warbird on the eastern wall, literaly, get them on and if I am not there in two minutes leave without me."

He doesn't argue. And as they leave I take the rifle and reload.

"Aurora, Locate Darwin." Somehow aurora locks onto the nickname and it shows a map, he wasn't far. I follow it to a room with double doors, I push one and it opens to reveal a breakroom, vending machines lined the back wall and Darwin was sitting at a table drinking coffee.

"I thought you would have left by now." He states bluntly after a sip from the cup.

"I'm wondering why you are still here, I'm sure you wanted to leave... so why not?"

"I'm old, there's no denying that, but I have nowhere to go, even if I got outside the Moderate's territory, the Advantists would crucify me and the Alterists would all but worship me and force me to create more twisted monstrosites... you should go now, I will be fine." And with that he makes a small cough, directed at someone behind me. I whirl and slam the rifle into a guards head, it snaps back as the visor shatters. He goes down and I take one last look at Darwin before leaving. I rush through the hallways and find the lift, it was already down and a squad of guards were about to board, I shoot all of their legs out as I run by and slam the up button on the lift, it gets  to the top to see a picture straight out of a disaster movie, the tank had it's turrent ripped off and tossed into a building, guards lay around slain, brutally. The cannons were non-existent except for one that managed to get a little scratched. I see Locke at the doorway, taking down a wolf EVO that tried to climb the wall. I rush forward and get to the wall as the EVO crashes to the ground, headless.

"You're a minute late!" Locke says... well I expected him to wait for me... hoped was a better term.

"Too bad, we need to leave before reinforcements arrive."

"Then hurry, we're targets sitting up here." He lays down and extends his arm. I get a good sprint and leap at the wall with everything I had, I barely catch onto his arm I feel the muscles strain to lift deadweight off upwards, I manage to scrabble over the wall,  we get up and we step into the cargo area of the warbird, Then we both hear the report of a rifle. I get shoved out of the way as A massive round ripped through where my chest used to be... and where Locke's now was. I watch him go down in a shower of blood as the rifle pinged out the front window, shattering even the bullet-proof glass, I look to see where the shot came from, over by the last auto-cannon he stood there, with a massive rifle, it was obviously anti-tank from the length of the barrel, he holds the rifle and gives me a look, I look back at him, he was wearing EVO armor, He was maybe just as old as me with the same black hair, though it was somehow a shade darker than mine and it was much longer, the bangs just above his eyes, which were an icy blue. We make eye contact, even from this distance, and I could see him smile, it sent chills up and down my spine, then he cheerfully leaps off of the wall. I roll over and see one of the adult phase 3's looking over him, I scramble and get up to him, the wound was large, and I was guessing the exit wound was larger, he wasn't going to make it... A blind man could see it... then why did I not want to beleive it?

"He's going." Says the man in a calm voice like he has seen this before. I see Locke's eyes, they were losing that spark of life, and he kept trying to say something, he wracks a massive cough that should have been impossible, but he manages to say...

"Wor.... worth it." And with that he moved on. I just crouched there, numb. The others were shocked into silence, and so was I. I feel my arm twitch... we were so close, so close to getting away, and he pays the ultimate price, and the bullet was meant for me...

"We should go before anyone shows up." Says the one phase three, it breaks me out of the numbness, and I stumble forward to the pilots seat, and start the warbird, the engines making a roar as we pull off, I just aim for the lights in the night, and was about to switch out of VTOL when the auto-cannon powered up, I could hear the lock-on alarm, I hit the throttle as we get forward motion, but we weren't fast enough to get out of range and several rounds pound into the left side engines, and I could vaugely hear a scream as we wen't down, but I tried to keep her in the air as long as I could, maybe a good forty miles away we crash, and my helmeted head slams into the control panel, now you know why helmets are always needed. I get star-struck as we hit again, and this time I grab the overhead rail and my arm get's wrenched but at least my brains wouldn't get scrambled any more. we make a last, weaker hit before sliding across the ground and create a trench. The rest of the window shatters and I get pelted by the glass... then silence.

I could hear my own breathing, heavy and slow, I could hear my ears ringing. I fall out of the chair and scramble to get up, I find cuts all over my body, splinters of glass were stuck in my arms but luckily nowhere vital. I hear somone groan behind me, I turn and realize I wasn't the only one in the crash... I see that most had died, or weren't here at all, probably bounced or sucked out the back, two took shrapnel and are more than likely dead, the only survivors were a little girl and the teenagers. The boy was Ko'ed and the little girl was too, the other teen was trying to get them up, he looked worse off than the others with the cuts across his face, but he didn't seem to notice.

"Are they...?"

"Alive, This one has broken ribs and a good amount of damage to the arm, the little girl will make it with rest, I sheilded her from most of the flak but the force still hit hard enough for a knockout and possably a concussion." He says this coldly, like he could care less... wonder what they did to him... Then again I don't want to know anymore.

"Where should we go from here?" I ask.

"Dallas is less than a sixty miles from here, we need a medical transport... that may be the only way to save him." I know they could trace and locate us but I was tired... beaten down, I didn't care anymore.

"Can we move him?"

"Possible, but it would take both of us to minimize damage... and we shouldn't leave the girl here." I get an idea and grab the used emergency kit, and hand it to him, which he starts methodicaly looking through the contents. I pull the duffel bag out also, it was still in good condition, which suprised me, but hose seats are ment to be secure and it did it's job.

"This should work." He pulls out something and holds it under her nose, the moment she breathes in she jerks awake, panic on her eyes. The teen calms her down with suprisingly effective words, he puts whatever it was back into the kit and pulls out the painkillers, he breaks a third off and hands it to the girl, who takes it, and she suddenly acted somewhat less injured.

"We can move him now, help me with him." I sling the duffel bag over my shoulder andhelp pick him up at the mid-section he got the chest and broken arm, I got the bottom half, we make it a slow movement across the plain towards the visible highway, the boy hisses in pain when the terrain changes height, and it did that often, We reach the side of the road and set him down.

"Aurora, call emergency services." I hold the device in the air as I get an immediate response.

"911, what it your emergancy?" Says a computerized voice.

"We found somone with heavy injuries, broken ribs and arm, and he maybe concussed also."

"Locking signal... a transport is on it's way, please wait for it to arrive." and the connection closes.

"What are you going to do now?" I ask the kid

"Go with the medical transport, the girl needs to be checked also, we can handle anything that may come our way... thank you for freeing us."

"No thanks are needed, I was in there once before." I tear off the armor and punt the helmet off into the grass somwhere along with brushing off most of the glass embedded in my skin.

"I.. I'll be leaving, headed towards Dallas."

"Why?" He asks.

"I need to be alone for a while, and I'll be a lot less noticed if I don't have anyone with me."

"Then that's your choice. Goodbye then." I turn to leave when I hear something unexpected.

The little girl says "Are we ever going to see you again?"

"Probably, just keep an eye out." I sling the canvas bag over my shoulder again and start walking towards the distant lights of Dallas.
Yep, another action-packed episode, this may be the last one of these for a while, but now... onto civilization!

The ending... probably a bit extreme, but it's sad. And that was what I was looking for.

And who is the prick who shot Locke?

Thank you for reading, giving faves, and watches.

Story is (c) to me
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:iconthecrazy13:
thecrazy13 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Student Writer
Just like a classical end, friend dies as usual
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:iconrobinton:
Robinton Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Nice Chapter, freed everyone that wanted to be free and avenged a few things. Hated Lockes death though, kinda liked that Charakter.

Keep it up.
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:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Intense and vivid. Promise repaid. Locke going as stoically as he lived. Hate the idea that so much of the complex was intact after the warbird departed.

Chapter 4 will be interesting. Take your time on it, you have set the bar very high.
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:iconrucarnutz:
RuCarNutz Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Keeping a promise... Boy, that was a good chapter. ^^ And now its off to the world itself... and finding the guy who shot Locke, then avenging him.
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:icondrakeagle:
Drakeagle Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
this a great story so far! I will look forward to the next part!
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