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Maverick Hunters 3: B-Spec [M-VSL]


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[center][font=Impact][size=4]MAVERICK HUNTERS 3[/size][/font][/center]


[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=dimgray]Dr. Inoue stood at the podium and dabbed his brow with a white handkerchief. An enormous holographic projection sat on a larger podium just behind and above him. Thousands of eyes were fixed on him as he spoke.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"And so, we must come to understand that our society is cyclical. Where various human minorities were oppressed in the twentieth century, we are now seeing similar kinds of oppression and institutional discrimination in the twenty-sixth century.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]It took several centuries for our own nation to overcome culturally-enshrined xenophobia. It wasn't until 2012 that America had its first female president and it wasn't until 2034 that its first gay president appeared. At that point in time, we realized -- perhaps incorrectly -- that we had reached a point where we were no longer fighting ourselves, but instead focusing on the betterment of society at large. Today, as we face the result of reploid advancement, we are encountering an identity crisis. Where once we considered ourselves superior to other beings on this planet, we must now acknowledge that the reploid is very likely in a position to take the lead in numerous fields of endeavour. Space exploration, medicine, genetic research; these are all fields where reploid researchers have dominated for the last few years."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Dr. Inoue paused to sip a glass of water as the thousands of students gazed over his holographic model, which represented a visual timeline of human history and development. Before he could continue, he noticed a single hand rise up in the audience. "Yes?" he said.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]The student stood up. The ageing Inoue found it difficult to see him.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"Doctor, I really must question your motives when it comes to this presentation," he said.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Dr. Inoue immediately recognized both the voice and the question's implication. The student was none other than Satoshi Asuda, one of New Hokkaido University's most controversial activists. He had consistently put forward a view that reploid independence was damaging to human society; he had even once suggested that reploid reproduction was an "abomination".[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"My motives are clear," replied Inoue, "my intention has always been to promote understanding between both reploid and human alike."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]A[/color][/size][/font][font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]suda shook his head slowly. "You are also contracted by the UN Defence Department, are you not? Clearly, you have an axe to grind. The UNDD has always been interested in reploids for military purposes. You incorrectly assert that the UN supports reploids as actual beings in society, where instead they simply tolerate them due to their military use."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"I would ask you," said Dr. Inoue, "how you can deny years upon years of cultural advancement? Reploids have achieved much for our society, in many fields. Without reploids, many human beings would not be alive today, thanks to their groundbreaking medical research. You only have to look at Proteus Carter's neurological research to---"[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"Proteus Carter was the biggest mistake in human history," Asuda hastily interjected, "he should never have been permitted to leave the Maverick Hunter Headquarters. He is a [i]product[/i] and not a [i]person[/i]."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]At this, audience members began to shift in their seats. Some exchanged excited looks, while others began whispering amongst themselves.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Dr. Inoue raised his arms. "Please, let us be rational. As much as I abhor Asuda-san's view, we must acknowledge that these halls are all about free exchanges of opinion."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Inoue's comments came too late, as a great deal of the audience had already exited the auditorium. Satoshi Asuda glanced at Dr. Inoue once more, before following much of the crowd outside into the auditorium's foyer.[/color][/size][/font]


[center][/color][/size][/font][/b][font=Impact][size=4][color=#708090]"X-HUNTER PRELUDE"[/color][/size][/font][/center]

[left][color=dimgray][font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]The silence was broken by the soft patter of footsteps on a cool wooden floor. Origin to these footsteps was a young reploid man, who stood with the unmistakable poise of an artificial lifeform. He stood still, legs slightly apart, hands clasped behind his back. His legs were spaced evenly and his feet stood parallel to one another. Everything about him was a demonstration of unparalelled symmetry; a demonstration of exquisite artistry. Every line that traced his shape was undoubtedly sublime. Could God Himself pen a better creation? Arguably doubtful.[/size][/font][/left]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]The silence was again disturbed, but not by the reploid. A combat drone was the purpetrator this time. And by comparison, it was as simplistic and obsolete as one could ever imagine. Its skin was harsh and metallic -- devoid of colour and sublime surfaces. But this impression was deceptive. A series of soft clicks and humming sounds signalled the beginning of the confrontation. The drone rose slightly from its rubber treads, on a series of thin hydraulic pistons. Its arms, a web of complex wiring and hydraulic parts, unfurled to produce two very sizeable automatic weapons.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]The reploid responded by unsheathing a thin katana from a leather pouch attached to his shorts. He wore minimal clothing purely for the purpose of movement -- the drone he had chosen to face was notoriously challenging. It had severely injured several other reploids in recent months.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]As moonlight filtered in through the enormous rectangular windows, the reploid stood before the drone and bowed. The drone also knelt down on its piston-filled mid-section. And within a mere fraction of a second, bursts of explosive gunfire filled the room. Flares of orange and yellow darted from the smoking barrels of the guns as thousands of projectiles snaked through the air all at once. Pieces of plaster, wood and synthetics crumbled from the ceiling and walls, pounding all over the wooden floor like giant raindrops. Whisps of dark smoke filled the air as round after round of titanium-capped bullets sped between columns and furniture.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]But the target was elusive. The reploid darted between objects, leapt between vertical surfaces and deflected unavoidable projectiles with swift movements of the katana.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Finally, the drone paused. Its gun barrels cooled ever so slightly as smoke poured out of them. A single painting on the far wall collapsed in a heap on the floor, sending its shattered glass facade in all directions. The drone began to roll over the floor slowly, while simultaneously rotating its torso and head independently. No matter where the target was, the drone would find it. [/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Suddenly, a gentle patter of feet became audible once more. The drone pivoted around immediately but it was too late; the long, thin katana was already deeply lodged in the machine's torso. [/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]The drone, gathering the last of its energy, raised a single gun and placed its barrel against the reploid's right temple. The deploid could hear the internal chambers initiate their rapid spinning motion with high-pitched whirring noises. At any moment, a flurry of projectiles would erupt from the barrel and escape through the opposite side of the Reploid's skull.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]But the barrels stopped spinning. The katana had been dragged from the lower torso to the upper torso, through the top of the head. One entire side of the drone's body spluttered a couple of blue sparks and collapsed awkwardly onto the floor.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]The lights in the great room flickered momentarily before erupting in a brilliant white glow. The reploid didn't squint, as his eyes did not require light to receive visual information. His lenses merely refocused automatically in response. He stood and resheathed the katana.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]"Nice redecoration," said a deep voice from behind him. It was Dr. Inoue. The Reploid turned to him and offered a restrained smile.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Dr. Inoue looked around the room and finally, his eyes paused on the damaged painting. He shook his head slowly and glanced back at the reploid.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]"Oh dear, Zaeon. That's no good...you ruined my lovely painting. It's a famous piece, you know," he said, not without a hint of fun in his tone.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Zaeon cocked his head inquisitively as Dr. Inoue approached the painting and carefully pulled it from the shards of glass. He raised it and held it up to the light. [/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]"This is a painting of Mt. Fuji. It's very old...painted long before the disaster. It is one of mankind's most famous paintings," said Dr. Inoue.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]"Why did you keep it housed in glass?" asked Zaeon after a moment's silence. "You almost cut your hand when you picked it up..."[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Dr. Inoue smiled warmly. "I have a certain affinity for these things, my boy. Force fields are nice, but they would hardly match the decor of this room, would they?"[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Zaeon shrugged. He didn't know the answer to the question. But nonetheless, he was fascinated by Dr. Inoue's interest in antiquities. It was both impractical and nonsensical to him, but he understood that human beings had a greater attachment to time long past than reploids.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Dr. Inoue carefully lay the painting on a dresser nearby and walked over to Zaeon. He put his arm around the reploid and began to escort him from the room. Whenever Dr. Inoue did this, Zaeon knew that he was pleased.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]"You did such a fine job in there, Zaeon. I'm very impressed. You continue to define the benchmarks by which your peers judge themselves," he said happily.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]Dr. Inoue escorted Zaeon through a large hall and out onto a terrace. The terrace overlooked a beautiful xen garden, with a small creek weaving through the trees beyond. It was a warm, moonlit night. Both Zeon and Inoue-san were feeling quite pleased with themselves.[/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2]For his part, Dr. Inoue was the Head of R&D at the New Hokkaido branch of the Robotics Engineering Administration (or, REA). REA was a large organization, established by the United Nations several years earlier. Dr. Inoue had been chosen to head the Research & Development department as a reward for his many years of service to the Scientific Research Council, which was centered in New Hokkaido. He also regularly lectured at the New Hokkaido University.[/size][/font][/color]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"You look tired," said Zaeon.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"Yes," said Dr. Inoue, "I think that the rigors of the lecture circuit are taking their toll. Such added stress is probably not good for an ageing scientist like myself."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Zaeon nodded. "Hopefully the new recruits will cheer you up," he said.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"Oh? Where are they to assemble?" asked Dr. Inoue.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"They've been asked to go to the [b]Maverick Hunter Headquarters[/b]," said Zaeon, "it's a good opportunity for us to stock up on armaments too. I also have a meeting to attend there."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Dr. Inoue rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I have not been to Novus Concordia in a long time, maybe twenty years."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Zaeon smiled. "Would you like to join me on the trip? A brief holiday might do you some good."[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Dr. Inoue grinned and stood up. "Excellent," he said. "I look forward to it. But now, my boy, I must sleep. These old bones can not stay up a moment longer. [/color][/size][/font]
[left][font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]Goodnight."[/color][/size][/font][/left]

[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=2][color=#696969]"Goodnight Inoue-san," said Zaeon, as he watched Dr. Inoue hobble back into the mansion.[/color][/size][/font]

[left][font=Franklin Gothic Medium][color=#696969][/left]

[center][font=Impact][size=4][color=black]OOC NOTE[/color][/size][/font][/center]

[left][size=2]Okay, so...now you guys can introduce your characters. At the end of each post of mine, I will create a basic overall short-term goal. This way, you guys can still write whatever you want (you can start where you want and introduce your character however you like), but this way you've got a slight goal to work towards.[/size][/left]

[size=2]These goals are much more general than what you'd generally see in chapters, so I encourage you to have fun and write your posts in your own style.[/size]

[b][color=red]Current Goal: All recruits must reach Maverick Hunter Headquarters.[/color][/b]
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[color=darkslategray][i]A slash to the sternum. A dodge, leaning backwards against an unseen kick. A parry, fending off the thrust of an invisible sword. A slash with both wakizashi, slicing an "X" into the air. A snap kick, followed up by another, higher one, connecting with the chest and throat. A blocked and caught punch, followed by a shoulder throw. A three punch combination to the stomach, chest, and side. Five kunai, piercing perfectly through five hidden hearts.

Hikage settled into a loose stance in the middle of the Hawatari dojo, sheathing his wakizashi into a pair of scabbards strapped to the small of his back. He retrieved the kunai from the wall they were embedded in, reabsorbing them into his system. He took a deep breath, making certain that he hadn't once lost his center. He nodded and removed his mask, bowing before his grandfather's shrine. He clapped his hands twice and stood, bowing once more, before replacing his mask and heading into the main house.

His mother, a gentle soul of a reploid with kind eyes, hugged her son. Hawatari Kasumi loved her son dearly, and was very, very proud of his accomplishments. Hikage smiled and hugged his mother before heading into the kitchen, beginning to prepare sukiyaki for the family supper. He looked up once, his hands flying fast and sure, when his father, Hawatari Konatsu, entered the room, a letter in his hands and a smile on his face. He smiled up at his son, and gave him a gentle hug. His family, though upstanding and proper in public, were well known to be very affectionate behind closed doors.

"Sai, I have a letter for you. It's from Novus Concordia."

"Truly, Otousan? A letter for me?"

"Hai." The elder Hawatari smiled at his son and kissed him on the forehead, withdrawing one of his son's wakizashi and walking into another room with it. Before Hikage could react, Konatsu walked back into the room, holding the Hawatari honor blade. Hikage's eyebrows raised high.

"Sai, in the past in Japan, it has been customary for the head of a household to pass on the mantle when they have deemed their heir worthy. For bringing honor to our family name, I have deemed you, Hikage Hawatari, worthy of this, the Hawatari family honor blade."

Hikage took the blade, held on to of his father's spayed palms, in the same way the blade was held. He nodded once, bowing to his father as one bows to a respected elder, and sheathed the blade in his empty scabbard. He opened his letter, of which he noticed the seal was broken. He read three lines before a smile broke out under his mask. He stood up, slipping the letter under his scar and bowing to his parents.

"Okaasan, Otousan, I must depart for the [b]Maverick Hunters Headquarters[/b]. I believe I shall be gone for a sizable amount of time."

At this, his father smiled and kissed his forehead, pushing a money pouch into his son's hands.

"Go, sai. We will always be able to talk with you. Here, take this money. It will be enough for your needs. There is an account card in there should you need more."

Hikage, overcome, hugged his parents tight and proceeded to pack what he could. Schooling his emotions once more, he exited his family's home, his birthplace, and set out for the airport, his destination the [b]Maverick Hunter Headquarters[/b].[/color][/i]
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[COLOR=Navy]Soft footsteps padded quietly across the wooden floorboards. There was a soft 'sching' as a katana was pulled from its sheath, the blade was old and had been used for many years. A girl stood there, facing a man. She gripped her katana tightly and started to circle. Her mixed eyes watched him carefully, waiting for any sign of an attack. He lunged forward quickly and she flipped out of the path of his weapon. She spun and rushed forward, jumping into the air and releasing a spray of throwing stars. He blocked them all with his katana and slashed at her to find she wasn't there. She slashed at him from behind and made a cut along his back. She tackled him and flipped him to the floor, she had him in a captured position and he was without weapon.

[B]"Very well done Aria."[/B] he said.

[B]"Arigatou sensei."[/B] Aria said getting off him and bowing.

Aria moved in a smooth movement, after all, it was her desire to be as her namesake. She would strive to be like the wind in everything she does. She sheathed her katana and retrieved her throwing stars, absorbing them.

[B]"Tomorrow's lesson will be hand-to-hand techniques, so you may leave your weapons. Today was good for your weapon lesson."[/B] he said.

Aria nodded and brushed away the hair from part of her face showing that her two eyes were of different colours. Her left eye was a crystal blue, while her right eye was emerald green.

[B]"Hai sensei."[/B] she answered.

Then there was a knock at the door and it slid open.

[B]"Sumimasen, there's a letter for you Aria, it looks important."[/B] her father said.

Aria got up and walked over quietly and swiftly. She took the letter from him and thanked him. Her mother also came to the door to see what the letter said. Aria opened it and read it quickly. As she read she smiled.

[B]"Otousan, Okaasan, sensei. I have to go to Maverick Hunters Headquarters. Gomen sensei, I won't be able to attend the hand-to-hand lesson tomorrow. And by what it says, it seems I will be there for a long period of time."[/B] Aria said scanning the letter again.

[B]"Nevermind the lesson. I'm proud to have you as my student. Congratulations."[/B] he said hugging her.

Her parents left quietly and returned her father was holding two sheaths. He held them out to her and she took them.

[B]"Arigatou, but why?"[/B] she questioned.

[B]"They were to be your birthday gift, but now that you're leaving, we see fit to give them to you now."[/B] her mother answered, then she placed a small scarlet pouch on top of the sheaths that Aria held on her palms.

[B]"That has money in it, and a money card for more. If you need more you can call us and find a way to get it to you."[/B] her father said.

Aria had tears in her eyes and hugged her parents, then her sensei. She thanked them again and went off to pack, when she was done, she went to the door, where her parents and master were waiting. She put her new sheathes on her back and approached them.

[B]"Ja matta, ne?"[/B] she said.

[B]"Ja."[/B] they all replied.

Aria hugged them once more and left her home, leaving for the airport. She was so excited, she was actually going to [B]Maverick Hunters Headquarters[/B].[/COLOR]
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[size=1][I]Not a sound there was to break the silence of the night. Well, not a sound out of place, that is. The distant drone of the the airways still cut through into the derelict suburb of Malberry, the old Industrial region of Frankton.

Tonight it was the meeting place of two highly-placed drug-lords. A tip-off by a grasser [informant] had led them to this place, on this night. At 3AM.

The two drug-lords meeting here were responsible for the death of several high-level human and reploid community members. Which is why the forces of the NCEP [Novus Concordia Elite Police] and the UNPG [United Nations Para-Group] had been merged for this operation.[/I]

At precisely 3:07AM, the forces swung in through the glass windows of the derelict warehouse. With his gun sight pressed against his eye, Josh landed lightly on the ground, his scope panning around the wide room. As shouted reports came back; "
Storeroom clear!", "Office clear", "kitchens clear", it became apparent that something had gone very wrong.

And then, Josh saw them. Out of small vents situated all around the perimeter of the building appeared small drones. As the invasion group backed slowly into a circle, they heard the first sound.

[I]Whiiirrr chk.[/I]

And barely a fraction of a millisecond later, the very air itself [i]hummed[/i] with hot lead.

Josh dropped straight to the ground, as all around him reploids were blown apart by the incoming fire. Assailed on all sides, there was only one option for escape. With a mighty yell, the Red Baron rocketed his way into the rafters, courtesy of advanced hyrdaulic technology.

"I think you all have an appointment with a little friend of mine" grunted Josh, as he whipped out his gun. Pressing the targeting lens to his eye, he squeezed the trigger and let loose with a devastating burst of Liguid Nitrogen filled bullets. As they connected with the drones, they burst. The blue ooze smoked gently for a fraction of a second, before it contracted, and twisted and destroyed whatever it touched. This unforseen problem was of no concern to the drones, as they lifted their gattling guns to the roof, prepared to pummel the upper tracts of the warehouse with a withering burst of fire.

But it was too late. He'd already moved. Josh literally flew through the rafters, lightly stepping from beam to beam, propelling himself across gaps untraversible by any human. As the fire of the drones caught up to him, he leapt forward, stretching for the nearest vertical beam with his hand. And then, [i]with his body parallel to the ground[/i], he executed a neat U-turn around the beam, and flew through the air, back the way he had come. He landed directly on top of one drone, using the butt of his gun to punch a hole through its central CPU as he did so.

As he sprang off, he was surprised by further fire from the centre of the warehouse. Those reploids who had survived the initial drone attack were up and firing, working together as a group. They swept around the centre of the room, a swirling circle of gunfire, spewing out lethal fire deadly waves. Drones were torn to bits, but there were many losses too on the Reploids side.

Josh dived out of the central warehouse, and into one of the side rooms, flimsy constructs that were merely partitions, made of fibro and aluminium. As he prepared to re-enter the fray, he realised that using the butt of his gun to destroy that drone had not been such a good idea... te alloyed metal had been bent, only slightly, but it reached all the way to the firing mechanism, affecting the firing pin. Damn. He discarded the gun, and reached for a handy beam of wood nearby.

[i]Whiirr chk[/i]

"Please, no" Josh thought. But his thoughts were confirmed by the crunch of treads on glass outside of the room.

Ferociously, suddenly, the walls of the room began to splinter, as the drone on the outside drew his gun in a line along the wall. Josh puleld his blow-torch out of the pocket on his vest, and layed low on the ground on his back. Timing his attack, he pushed himself head first through the wall, and slid [i]between the treads of the drone[/i] and out the other side. A simple flick of a switch produced a long tonuge of blue flame, bordering on white as it reached 1000 degrees. With a hiss, the flame cut through the back of the drones head. Yet with the last of its fading power, the drone spun its torso around indepedently, slamming into Josh chest, and knocking him onto his back. As the drones firing chambers began to load, he was faintly surprised to see the drone's torso explode. But only faintly surprised. As the reploid who'd killed the drone appeared, he tiredly announced that all the drones were dead.

But now it remained to see why their informant had lied to them...or if there was another explanation...

[i]Upon their return to UNPG HQ, the Invasion Team was greeted with the news, that at precisely 3:07AM their informant had murdered the Vice President of Billetin Minerals, and then jumped to his death off of the Gnisis Tower.

The next morning, a Confidential Email was sent to the Red Baron. It ordered him to present himself to his boss at 11AM.

Josh let himself into the office, and closed the door behind him.

General Mitchell Grant, the [human] head of UNPG leaned forward at his desk and clasped his hands.

"Son, I have been informed of a job proposition for you...but you'll need to travel..."[/i]


OOC: I hope this was OK. I haven't Rped for a good few months, if not longer.[/size]
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[/color][i][color=Gray]Shaun, you can do this, just go to Maverick HQ, and present yourself. Nobody will know you were once infected, nobody even knows that it can be beat! you can do it!
no! wait! it's bullshit, you don't even know how you got the virus out of yourself! what good are youy to them anyway?

[/color][/i][color=Gray][color=Teal]A sudden knowck at the door interrupted Shaun's train of thought, a thought confliction that he had never gone through.

"courier delivery for a Mr. Sanza"
"yeah, that's me"

Spyder signed for the package and placed it ont he table. He was too busy in his minds thoughts to be worrying about such things.

The real guts behind his indecision, should he really go and seek out the Maverick HQ? Could they possibly know about the infection, and what would they do with him if he was deemed a threat?

It was all very confusing, on one hand, he may prove to be resourcefult ot he squad, an then he would be able to, in any shaoe or form, seek retribtion and justice for his family.

On the other, however, those X-Hunters could see him as a walking threat, and exterminate him straight away. He might not even be able to knock at the door! who knows what their virus-inyterception and diagnosis capabilities were?
[/color][/color]One word echoed out of the scramble, bomb, and he knew exactly what it meant.

Shaun made a mad dash for the exit, as a storm of drones burst in, in an attempt to block his escape. The package had vibrated itself off the table by some wierd contraption and was falling to the floor. "what the...who the....fuck sent them!" Spyder said aloud as he dodged more drones, put a few bullets in others, and rolled toward the exit, as the package fell futher toward it's goal.

As it hit the apartment floor, it let out a loud beep and burst into flame, which rapidly exhaled to ingite the whole room, spyder just made it, diving out the door as a gush of flame sped out after him.

Some drones which had survived the explosion adhered to their new goal to push the frontage of the building down onto Shaun, they, withhout a hint of procrastination, pushed throught he flame and sent the wall crumbling.

As he walked through the streets pondering this bizzare assasination attempt, he coudl not help but feel his urge to join the X Hunters growing. I It may have been bounty hunters, but they [/font][/size][/color][color=Teal][size=1][font=Arial]generally [/font][/size][/color][color=Teal][size=1][font=Arial]don't use explosives and ususally want their prey alive. Whoever had orchestrated this had wanted him dead, perhaps it was because he was a threat to whomever after surviving the virus, he didn't know.
On his travels, a drone happened to startle him, and reacting on impulse, he layed waste to the would-be assasin. Unfortunately that drone happened to be one used to help old ladies cross the street, and nothing more.

That's when Shaun stumbled upon Maverick HQ, he knew that he hadn't been walking in that direction, had he? Either way, he decided to join the fight, if they annihilate him for being a possible threat, he was willign to accept that. After all, being dead was startign to look a little more meaningful than runnign scared form drones and letter bombs.

He knew he needed a callsign, identitiy, and fast. They may be able to cross-referrence Shaun and discover his secret that way, noticing a spiders struggle against an insect, he found an inspirational name ot call himself by.

Staring straight at the Maverick HQ, Shaun felt awash with a renewed confidence, yes, cofnidence to fight wihtt he X Hunters for their common goal, as he went to enter.

"Enter the [b][color=DarkSlateBlue]Spyde[/color]r[/b]"
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[color=darkred]"That's it, I'm broke." Spoke Mr. Twanton to himself as he slammed down a fluorescent-green shot glass. He wasn't quite sure why he had started talking to himself, but alcohol had it's weird effects on him. If there would be anything that would survive the ages of time, it would be alcohol.

The man wore a black, long-sleeved top, it's turtle-neck covering everything between his shoulders and his chin, and his hair was formed meticulously as it had been years before. His blue jeans had disappeared from fashion centuries ago, but he continued to wear them, he liked to develop his own styles.

He was in one of the many bars scattered around the streets of Wan Chai. And funnily enough, he was on a holiday. On holiday in a floating city that was once known as 'Hong Kong', centuries ago. Now it was the technological metropolis known as [b]Peking Heights[/b].

The bar created a soothing atmosphere by blowing out the gentle notes of Jazz. And the idle chit-chat of couples and tappings of singles against the rustic bar-surfaces blended together to form a typical harmony that would be found in any MVQ Jazz Bar.

"Thanks for the drinks." Spoke 'Chris' to the suited bartender, as he decided to retire for the evening due to lack of sources of finance.*

"No problemo 'Kid'," The bartender replied back, his large chest obstructing his arms movement when cleaning a tumbler. The curly moustache offered only more comfort when accompanying his friendly wink.

Spinning on the traditional bar stool, 'Chris' jumped to his feet after leaving a few Credits as a tip, and walked out into the cool streets of Wan Chai.

Arcades, capsule toy dispensers, bars and various shops were littered about everywhere, for he was in the Gold Quarter District, notorious for it's touristy and money-swindling charms. These of course, only donated towards the moonlit glow, for their neon lights illuminated the back alleys and main street. The street itself was bustling with activity, despite it being past midnight. Humans and reploids alike flowed along their way to whatever leisure facility they were seeking, cheerily or sullenly keeping to themselves and their acquaintances. Whilst hover drones floated around, acting as couriers for the night shifts of those who wanted to take a break from work.

Walking seemed like too much of a hassle to get back to his apartment (Mainly because he couldn't be bothered), and thus he tried to pick out a vacant taxi that zoomed across the main road to the right of the bordered pavement.

And just as one pulled into a 'Waiting Cab Booth'*, "Ranger!"

He turned to watch a floating drone zoom over the heads of pedestrians to catch-up with him. [i]Great,[/i] he thought.

"Ranger! Ranger!" Finally the droid had reached it's destination. "Good evening Ranger."

"Mr. Twanton you malfunctioning...drone." Replied Ranger in frustration, lacking any witty insults, not that they'd matter to a robotic device anyway.

"Mr. Twanton, I don't think you are keeping to your real identity well. After all, you do have a blaster for your right arm." Indicated the drone by tilting towards Ranger's blaster.


"I have a message for you from [b]Novus Concordia[/b]. Do you choose to accept?" Questioned the droid, it's programmed voice morphing into a more robotic identity for the business-like question.


"Ranger. Please meet at the Maverick Hunters Headquarters as soon as possible. We cannot distribute the reason due to risk of interception. We have pre-booked your Submersive Channel Vehicle for tomorrow morning. Good night. [i]End message.[/i]"

"Thankyou." Replied Ranger gratefully, though he wasn't too fond of cutting his holiday short.

"Have a good evening." And so, the robot elevated a few more feet into the air, and zoomed off into the courier-air-channels, it's dome body glowing a bright blue at the base of it.

With a new goal in mind, Ranger decided it would be best to get to bed as he had an early start tomorrow. Punctuality was what he was well-known for, and he didn't intend to start tinting his reputation now. And so, looking towards the Waiting Cab Booth, Ranger tried to set his sights on the taxi that had pulled up only previously. But as was his luck, it was gone.


[size=1]*In reality, 'Chris' had a number of credits left in his bank account from savings, but his adoptive father ensured that he would have a limit placed on his account before he passed away. In fact, Michael Twanton's last words were giving Ranger a stern telling off for his spending habits.

** 'Waiting Cab Booths' are similar to bus stations, however there is a special tube fixed into the glass chamber for a taxi to lock into, where a passenger can sit in the chair that travels through the tube and gently be carried into the vehicle. [/size]

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[FONT=Arial][COLOR=Indigo][SIZE=1]Trey wandered through the sprawling streets of Novus Concordia, a knapsack over his shoulder and a bemused expression on his face. He'd been called to the city by Maverick Hunters HQ, who were interested in hiring him. For what, he hadn't yet been told. This wasn't as big an issue as one might make it out to be, though, as very rarely did Trey care what he'd been hired to do. He was a mercenary for the sense of adventure, not the fine print.

This often proved to be a problem, however, as it did now. The instructions had been so ambiguous that they didn't actual outline where Maverick Hunter's HQ - a place of destination - was. In other words, he was hopelessly and fantastically lost.

His weak human eyes scanned the area for any kind of directions for a moment, before he bit the bullet and did what he didn't want to have to do. He asked for directions.

'Err, excuse me sir,' he said to a passing reploid. 'Could you point me in the direction of Maverick Hunters HQ?'

The reploid stopped for a moment, it's cybernetic eyes scanning Trey up and down to determine what he was - human or reploid, before it spat at Trey's feet and walked on. A pained expression crossed Trey's features but he didn't say anything in return. Such was his status in society, as a legal cyborg.

Cresting a rise, he stopped when he realised his stupidity. How he could've missed the facility when he stepped off the plane was beyond him, (though he was willing to bet it had something to do with the fact he was cracking jokes with the security instead of paying attention) as it jutted out into the sky like a mountain, a fortress of metal that could only be missed by the most ignorant of people. Small lights covered it's walls, lights that flashed every fifteen seconds or so, just in case someone forgot that it was there. It was truely a wonder to behold.

Trust Trey to not notice it.

From that point on he just walked in the general direction of the facility, weaving through streets that alternated between pristine and disgusting. At one point he almost ran into a large group of black hooded reploids, members of a sect of cyborg haters who modelled themselves off of a 20th century cult, but avoided confrontation at the last minute with a well time street crossing.

In this city, it seemed (or at least the sectors Trey inadvertently walked into), there was a thin line for cyborgs, and Trey was walking it.


The sun was just setting behind the fortress of Maverick Hunters HQ when Trey finally found an entrance into the facility. The building has generated an artificial sunset that cast everything to the east of the facility in false darkness, and Trey could feel goose bumps raising on his arms as he stared at the massive, closed gates before him. He should've worn something warmer, his thin black singlet just wasn't cutting it in this kind of cool.

'Name and identification please' a robotic voice suddenly said, shocking Trey out of his skin. Looking around he saw noone, but answered anyway, assuming it was just some security protocol.

'Trey laRogue, ID #453397.' A whirring sound seemed to come out of the darkness, followed by a click.

'You seem to be far from home, cyborg,' a more natural voice said from behind him. Trey spun to see the very cultists he'd avoided earlier emerging out of the darkness, their hands - the only flesh shown - holding large brutal looking weapons.

'What do you want?' Trey managed, keeping the fear out of his voice.

'You're an abomination, cyborg,' the closest cultist said. 'A crime against nature.' The cultist paused. 'And we have decided it is our job to destroy you.' With little more warning the cultist leapt at Trey, their reploid bodies powerful and lean.

Trey dropped his knapsack and thrust his hand into it, pulling out a laser twice the size of his own head. His metallic arm hissed as it adjusted itself for the recoiling of the gun, then he pulled the trigger, sending out a bolt of energy that fried the closest cultist's head. It staggered around drunkenly for a moment before collapsing like a sick caricature.

Now completely 'in the zone', Trey's arm aimed at the next cultist immediately, blowing it away much like the first, then the next, and so on till only two remained, shuffling around him in circles warily, one to his front and one to his back. The one behind him leapt, but barely made it off the ground before Trey's arm let loose a hiss of steam and twisted around, the trigger on the laser pulled before the cultist could react. It exploded mid air, covering both Trey and the final attacker in it's remains.

Not turning, Trey listened to the final cultist run off into the darkness, yelping like a hurt pup as it did so. A small smile crossed his features as he bathed in the warmth of a victory, scanning the ground for anything of value as he did so. His eyes twinkled as he recognised the identity scanner the cultist's used, and he reached down and stuffed it and his laser in his knapsack, mere moments before the gates behind him finally groaned open.

Standing up straight and twisting about, Trey greeted the two guards who surveyed him with quizzical expressions.


'Err... what's this and who are you?' the first guard asked.

'This is an unfortunate mess I happened to stumble upon as I got here,' Trey informed them, lying through his teeth. 'And I'm Trey laRogue. Maverick Hunter HQ sent for me.' The second guard scanned both him and his records for a moment before confirming it.

'You check out. Come with us, we'll get you to where you need to go.'[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]
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[font=courier new][color=white]"Caduceo, this is the last part of your induction into military training, so there is no room for error."

Caduceo, unshaken by the warning amplified by the speakers in the coridoor, proceeded to remove his sunglasses and polish the lenses with his index finger. A thin solution then spread out from the pores in his finger and made the black lenses shine against the walls.

"I'm sorry, but I still don't see why you use the name Caduceo, my name is..."

"That is unimportant, as Acontium Pharmaceuticals' release model of Reploid, you have to be able to survive in live combat as well as take orders with the utmost efficiency. Your programming is still slightly incomplete, so you will have to gather data and develop experience in the field on your own, which means that you must be able to take orders under your code name or your actual name with the utmost importance and attention, is this clear?"

Caduceo stared at his reflection in the black lenses, his pupils dialated rather large due to the low amount of light in the room. His eyes had smaller, but more numerous numbers of synthetic fibres to dialate the pupils with greater effeciency, so he could work under adverse light conditions. In lieu of iris in his eyes, Caduceo stared intently at the transparent, almost imperceptible Acontium Pharmaceuticals logo embedded in his left eye. Putting the glasses back on, he stared intently down the corridor.

"That is clear, I am ready to begin."

All at once, the corridoor walls began shining with yellow lights, intertwined and linked at numerous 90 degree angles like a massive maze. Caduceo stared at the lights on the walls before becoming aware of the fact that the coridoor was moving. Wals began twisting and spltting apart neatly and with a minimum of noise, until the straight hallways now became a messy looking labyrinth of sorts, with edges jutting out at odd angles and grooves in the walls just barely large enough for a person to fit into. Caduceo stared around at this mess before the voice came through the walls again.

"The stage is set, and your objective is to find your 'victim' and get it and yourself out of the area undamaged."

Caduceo turned his head towards the maze and heard the sound of several engines starting up and some movement occuring in the maze. He could identify a few treads and could guess more or less what he was up against. The voice came through again.

"The 'victim' is to be considered your mission priority, like a wounded ally in combat. It is the same drone model as all the others you will see in that maze, but it will not try to fire at you and it will follow you once you find it. Enemies will shoot at both it and you, and you must both get through undamaged, is this clear?"

"Clear as ever." Caduceo pushed his sunglasses up his face for a moment to attempt to plot a route among the edges and grooves in the room, but soon heard the sound of gunfire deep within.

"The drones are moving towards the victim, you have to hurry." Caduceo paused and then launched himself at one of the top corners of the hallway maze, flying over several large blocks in his way before ducking down into a tunnel. From there, he began crawling around on all fours using both the floor and walls for maxiumum speed in the tight quarters. With all the agility of a lizard, Caduceo crawled around a corner and dropped down into a more open area, where he saw a small treaded drone with a chaingun on top. Caduceo stared at it, it made no move to fire. Pushing his sunglasses back up, he turned around to look for an exit for both of them, when a small whirring issued from behind him, and he launched himself at the right wall just in time to avoid a spray of chaingun fire. Attaching himself to the right wall, Caduceo then threw himself at top speed towards the drone, ducking under a hail of bullets aimed for his head before the stun sword on his wrist sprung to life and he quickly dug the tip of the prongs into the gun, twisting his wrist to make sure he hit the firing mechanism. A fine stream of smoke from the gun told him that he had hit his target, and pulled the weapon out, which retracted into his wrist.

"So, they know how I'll react, they'll try to get me off guard." Caduceo told himself before crawling into a corner tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, however, he could see that there was a drone in the way. He prepared himself to lunge at it, before the thought occured to him that this might be the "victim" drone. Looking out carefully at it, he waited for it to turn the treads parallel to the exit before making his move. With one push on all fours, Caduceo exploded out of the exit and grabbed the underside of the drone's chassis, hiding underneath its treads. The drone swivelled around in confusion as it obviously detected movement nearby. On a closer look, however, Caduceo noticed another one on the far side of the room. Since neither of the drones were firing at each other, it was obvious that neither drone was the victim. With another push, Caduceo launched himself out from underneath the drone, and slid halfway on his back towards the other one. Flipping himself onto his feet, Caduceo jumped back to avoid another stream of bullets, before ducking behind the second drone and driving the stun sword into the ammunition clip. Both the sword and the gun had been jammed, so Caduceo simply ducked behind the drone and let the other one finish it off with it's fire aimed at the hidden Caduceo. Caduceo then pulled the sword out of the clip and kicked the wrecked gun at the other drone, giving Caduceo an opening to drop down into a hole. Upon landing, he saw one more drone at the far side of the room which did not seem to notice him. Caduceo took the opportunity and raced across the room and draw the sword a third time, this time aiming for the drive system. Before plunging the weapon into the drone's back, he paused as the thought ocurred to him again. He then reached out and tapped the drone on the back of the chaingun, and it swivelled around and looked at him with the camera lens. The lens dialated a few millimetres and swept Caduceo over once, but it made no other movements.

"I guess you're my victim."

Caduceo looked behind it and saw another alcove, this one larger and at enough of an angle to lead upwards and allow the drone to follow. He looked at the drone, and it seemed to understand as it began moving towards the entryway, Caduceo leading. He then proceeded to crawl up to the top where the tunnel flattened out again, and he could see some movement at the end. Thinking quickly, he began crawling more rapidly on all fours and pounced at the machine, driving the sword into its engine. Fuel slowly leaked out of the bottom of the immobilized drone, and the victim was still quite a ways behind. Caduceo looked at it as it reached the top of the slope, but then flashed his palm at it and it stopped. Caduceo looked to his left, to the end of the tunnel, where the exit seemed to be, and one more room was en route to objective. This one, Caduceo could tell, was a little more occupied, as he could make out at least four or five pairs of treads from his vantage point. Thinking carfully, Caduceo looked back at the drone behind him, still leaking fuel, and crouched himself on top of it, holding on to the grooves in the walls, aimed horizontally at the exit. Almost as an afterthought, Caduceo ripped Devin's shirt off his body and tossed it to the victim drone, leaving it hanging off the side. He then looked at his arms, as they were now being slowly covered by a clear liquid that began enveloping his body. He braced himself, eyes intent on the hallway ahead.




Caduceo reached down and drew the stun sword again, driving it into the fuel tank a second time and generating a few sparks which fell dancing to the floor. In that same instant, the clear liquid on his body began to smoke and generate a gas. The ignited fuel then exploded in its tank and shook the walls with a concussive blast that sent Caduceo rocketing out of the tunnel into the room, where at least eight or nine drones pointed their lenses at him to acknowledge this entrance. Caduceo inhaled deeply in midair, then used his arms and forward motion to spin around once, the white fluid on his body then burst into clouds of gas, which sprayed to all corners of the room and enveloped it in a thick mist. Caduceo landed on the far side of the room and held his breath, waiting for it to happen. Withing moments, the drones which had their guns pointed at him during his entrance were now making a peculiar hissing sound, and their guns began jamming on them. Furthermore, the metal on their bodies had begun to corrode almost instantly. Turning around, Caduceo then launched himself at the nearest drone, kicking its camera lens off and destroying the hydraulic controls with the sword. He then crouched behind it and grabbed the chain gun, jolting the firing mechanism with his sword. The drone now began spraying bullets all around the room, the gun being guided by Caduceo's other arm. Each shot hitting the other drones in the room did massive damage, their armor having been weakened by the acid already in the air. Several of them exploded after a few rounds, some of them sparked and their guns ceased to function, and, within moments, the acid bad begun corroding the treads, rendering all the drones completely immobile. Caduceo looked around as the acid fumes began to thin and float up to the ceiling. Within a minute, the victim drone entered the room after it was safe, still dutifully carrying Devin's shirt. Caduceo removed the shirt and slipped it back on, before both drone and reploid walked through the sliding double doors, and the maze rearranged itself back into a regular corridoor. The double doors closed slowly, and Caduceo felt the floor vibrate as the platform carried the two of them up.

"Well done, Andrew O'Reilly."

"I thought my name was Caduceo now."

"That is unimportant, you are a successful graduate now as an elite Acontium Pharmaceuticals field medic. This is cause to celebrate."



"Hey Dad, how is the work life?"

"You should be the one to ask, you practically live it yourself."


"That was just a joke, son. I..."

"Did Caduceo pass his test?"

"Yes, Caduceo passed, and he was phenomenal. I wish you could have seen him."

"So do I, but did he destroy my shirt?"

"No, your shirt is fine, he took great care of it this time. It might smell a little of rocket fuel, though."

"Haha, I bet he did great."

"Of course, he would never let you down like that."

"No, I guess not."

"...Devin, you do understand, of course, that this means we will be sending him out immediately for his new mission..."

"Yeah, I know, and I hope he does his new job well."

"I'll be sure to give him your wishes, then."

"Maybe he can write sometime?"

"Hahaha, maybe he will, but this new job will be very important to him, so he might not have time."

"That's okay, I'm sure he'll be thinking of me, too."

"I'm sure he will, Devin. I have to go now."

"Ok, but could you tell Caduceo that I'm happy he passed, and that he can keep my shirt?"

"I'll tell him that, so long, Devin."

The C.E.O. of Acontium Pharmaceuticals looked out of his office window, where a small dropship shot by in an instant, carrying his son's best friend.[/font][/color]
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[COLOR=Black][LEFT][FONT=Verdana][size=1]I had a first version of this post already written when Word crashed and took it with it, I really hate when that happens.


[I]Malcolm sat on one of Novus Concordia?s many public benches, there were hundreds if not thousands of benches exactly like this one spread across the colossal city. Between his combat training and surgical schedule Malcolm had very few days off, so when he did have them he tried to make the most of them. A group of children were playing in the park opposite of them, human children, at least most of them were, he watched them for a few moments, it reminded him of his own childhood back with his father. He gaze returned to the data pad he?d been reading for the past few minutes, data ran across the screen at a high speed, but slow enough for his reploid eyes to read it all. The pad was the equivalent of an old age ?daily paper?, living in Novus Concordia it was important to keep up with daily events, though for Malcolm his lack of free time meant that he often missed a lot of the less important things that went on in the city. He watched the cars move passed at high velocities, the new road system, as well as new car designs meant that car crashes were now as common as someone getting struck by lightning.

He got up off the chair, placing the pad back in his pocket, the sun was shining, children were laughing, and were it not for the fact that he could neither hear nor see them he was sure the birds were singing. He drew in a quick breath before moving on from the bench, his thoughts moved back to his father, he thought about him pretty much every day, his death had caused incalculable pain to Malcolm, but the pain of having to kill his own sister was worse. He stopped for a moment, rubbing his forehead with his left hand, thoughts like this were never helpful, his family was gone and there was nothing he could do about it... His application to join the X-Hunters had been more out of a sense of justice than vengeance, his father had always told him that vengeance never got anyone anywhere.

Because of the infrequency with which he got days off he almost always spent them the same way, first he?d go see a film, then he?d go buy some new clothes, and then he?d go back to his apartment and read one of his father?s books. It amused him that his cycle of days off were pretty much as routine as his working habits, although lately he?d been more involved with his combat training for the Maverick Hunters. Although Malcolm was a reploid he had been quite inexperienced when it came to combat, and even then he swore he?d only ever use the training to defend himself. He found himself well over two hundred meters beyond his destination by the time his attention returned to what he?d been doing, however just as he was about to turn around and go over to the cinema his beeper* went off. Malcolm already knew that it was NovCon General, NCG was the biggest hospital in the world and one of the biggest buildings in all of Novus Concordia. Malcolm had worked there for practically all of his time as a civilian doctor and still got calls to perform surgery in there on occasion.

Sighing slightly he returned to his car with haste, setting the auto-drive he sat back while the car pulled out and headed towards the hospital, he took a bit more time to study the message. It was from Paediatric Surgery section, Malcolm had only rarely worked in there and thankfully he?d never seen any injury that he?d regard as horrific. The data told him that a young human female, approximately ten years old had been brought in with three broken ribs and a broken ulna and radius, cause was that she?d fallen out of a tree. Chuckling to himself Malcolm estimated that the surgery would take no more than a half hour?[/I]

[b][center]Two Hours Later[/b][/center]

[I]Malcolm watched as the young girl regained consciousness, the surgery had taken exactly 32 minutes and her recovery had been excellent, scarring was almost non-existent after the operations to reset her ribs and arm. She?d be stiff for a few hours but after that she?d be just fine, there wasn?t event any need for a gel-cast**, she blinked for a few seconds before her featured focused in on Malcolm. She smiled and he smiled back, his white coat gave away that he was the doctor, she looked around the room, obviously for her father who had gone out for a minute to get a drink.[/I]

[b]Girl:[/b] Where?s my Dad ?

[b]Malcolm:[/b] He?s just gone for a glass of water.

[b]Girl:[/b] Are you the doctor who fixed me up ?

[b]Malcolm:[/b] [[I]Laughs[/I]] Yes I am, how do you feel ?

[b]Girl:[/b] I feel OK, a bit sore but otherwise fine.

[b]Malcolm:[/b] By this time tomorrow you should be good as new, just try and not fall out of any more trees.

[I]The young girl laughed, her father was smiling as he came back into the room, Malcolm thought this would be a good time to get a move on, he was expected in Maverick Hunters HQ within the hour. He waved once to the girl before leaving the room, he sighed before taking off his coat and signing off, he?d left quite explicit instructions that from now on he was not to be beeped for surgery. He was going to miss his old life but for the next while it was his job to make sure that the X-Virus didn?t get a chance to kill any more people than it already had. He shoes clacked off the highly polished floor as he left the building, he?s car had already been set to auto-drive to the Maverick Hunters HQ, now it was just a case of getting there.

The car came to a dead stop outside the main structure that was MHHQ, a security probe enquired as to the nature of Malcolm?s visit to the military base. Taking out the pass card he?d been giving the small droid flashed a green beam of light over the serial number before clearing him for entrance, his came now moved slowly through the gates before moving into what he assumed was a parking zone. Exiting the vehicle he moved through a set of doors on the other side, and into an transport of some description, the were quite similar to the transports installed in NovCon General so he assumed they worked in the same way. It was getting to where he wanted to go was going to be the trouble, a middle-aged man stepped into the elevator with Malcolm, seeing the confusion on his face he responded by asking if Malcolm was new.

Replying that he was, the man chuckled kindly before telling Malcolm that he needed to go to X-Hunters barracks and wait there with the other recruits. Chuckling himself Malcolm thanked the man and set the destination...[/I]


I have to admit that was a pain to rewrite.

*Device Used among medical personal for communication of patient details, called beeper because of it?s resemblance to 20th/21st century piece of equipment.

**Medical equipment used to keep broken bones in correct shape as they heal, usually used over a 24 hour period. Gel prevents infection and itchiness while keeping swelling from operations at a minimum[/size][/FONT][/LEFT][/COLOR]
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  • 4 weeks later...
Could I request that y'all post in size 2 text? I find size 1 annoying to read, especially if there's significant bulk/length to the post.

[font=georgia][size=3]Novus Concordia's skyline had changed over the years. The skyscrapers were taller than ever and factories had popped up all over the place. Due to the end of the major wars (particularly the Protogen war), the United Nations had felt free to spend more money on big infrastructure projects and on city beautification. The number of museums and libraries had remained mostly the same, but the number of shopping malls and commercial plazas had increased substantially.

Zaeon and Dr. Inoue sat quietly aboard their UN transport. It was carrying only them and Dr. Inoue's personal assistant (Inoue had never hired a PA, but the UN apparently felt that the two needed monitoring; they were intensely interested in how the X-Hunter program was to be run). The presence of the PA made both Zaeon and Dr. Inoue quite uncomfortable and the two barely spoke during the entire journey.

The bright lights of the city soon gave way to darkness. This was primarily how they knew that they'd approached Maverick Hunter Headquarters. Where once the building had been flooded with internal lighting, it now stood as a relic. In a sense, it had become an eyesore on the otherwise spotless Novus Concordia skyline. In the past there had been an acceptance -- perhaps even a fondness and proudness -- of the structure itself and everything that it represented. It stood between the citizen and the Maverick. But many years had passed since the last great war and as a result, the complex had lost much of its funding and had become a symbol of the past more than anything else.

Of course, MHHQ was still home to the Maverick Hunters, who were fewer in number (and far less elaborately equipped) at the present. The X-Hunters had the luxury of finer equipment and vehicles, if only because they were at least partly privately funded and because they were not [i]entirely[/i] under UN jurisdiction.

Zaeon thought it strange that the recruits had been asked to meet at the HQ. He cynically suspected that this was the result of the HQ's commander wanting to ensure that his organization still had some relevance; he had argued that the recruits could be better assessed at the HQ and that the UN would have the opportunity to see them in person. Zaeon felt that this was simply an excuse to give the Maverick Hunters something to do, considering that Mavericks no longer existed and thus, the organization no longer had any reason to exist.

The UN transport slowed and descended between the blacked-out buildings that made up the bulk of the enormous Maverick Hunter HQ. Finally, a set of landing lights became visible on the ground. But almost every building, save a dozen or so, appared to have no lighting whatsoever. Several buildings also appeared to be severely damaged, having never been repaired since the war. It seemed to both Zaeon and Dr. Inoue that the entire facility was operating on perhaps only 25% of its original capacity.

The doors opened and the two men stepped out on to the black tarmac. Cool, sharp wind bit at their faces and Dr. Inoue quickly pulled his collar up.

A gruff-looking man in some kind of military uniform emerged from the darkness and shook their hands. He introduced himself as Commander Brooks, second in charge of the facility. The first order of business was to visit the High Commander and then to inspect the X-Hunter recruits.

"They haven't all arrived yet," mentioned the Commander casually, as he led them toward the nearest building, which seemed only barely operational. "But you are both slightly ahead of schedule, so do not worry."

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