Nica saw Hank approach her desk, she smiled at him, but his mood was Somber. “Everything OK?” She asked trepidly.”Hmm” he replied noncommitedly, sitting in the chair across from her.
“Wanna get a Coffee?” He asked thoughtfully, She could see there was something on his mind. “Yeah, that would be good”
They sat down at the break room, Hank brought the coffees over.
“I'm gonna ask you a few questions Veronica, I want you to be honest, no bullshitting cause it's important” Hank had made sure she was facing away from the TV screen.
It had just announced it had wiped out most of the Deviant group in an ambush. He only called her Veronica when she was in trouble or it was deadly serious.
“Alright, shoot” Her choice of words made him flinch.”Deviants….are they Alive?” He'd lowered his voice and made sure no one else heard. “I think so, they certainly feel something" She sincerely replied.
"Sometimes I forget they aren't Human” She added, Hank nodded “Would you risk yourself for one of them?
”Nica looked into his eyes, her voice was cracking “It would depend on what they were like, if they were good then yes” Hank looked resigned “Can Deviants feel attraction? Love? A crush? Lust?
Obsession?” Nica blushed at little, what was he getting at? “I don't know, but it would be interesting to find out” She played with the spoon in her coffee. Hank had decided, he was going to show her.
“Nica, finish your drink, then I want you to follow me, don't ask questions.
You'll see something, try not to react, If you do someone including us might be in danger” Her hand holding the coffee was shaking, she knew Hank was deadly serious and this was life or death.
He led her to the Cell were the Deviant was being held, she didn't register anything at first, as she was looking at the back wall.
“Stay calm, we have to talk after this” She nodded, but then she saw him and jumped almost into Hanks arms. The way he was knelt there, handcuffed, Thirum all over him, dishevelled and damaged.
You could see parts of his Base Android skin were they had manhandled him. She covered her mouth at first, thinking he was dead, her body trembling.
Hank held her arm, and whispered “He's not Dead, he's conserving energy, the pricks didn't even fix him up” Nica got down on her knees and placed her hands on the glass.
“Nine?” Hank quickly got her up and held her to him.”We can't do anything yet, let's go” She turned to try and go back but Hank urged her away.
” Later Nica” Hank sighed taking one look back before leading her away from the cells. Nine hadn't known they had been there, his reserve power was so low most of his senses had been disabled.
Early Afternoon, the next day...
Restart failed, system diagnosis….critical. Optical unit L is damaged recommend replacement. Back up power initialised.
I opened my good eye and listened, I had been moved, this place was familiar. This was inside Cyberlife Tower.
“Can it do that?” Gavin asked as I opened my eye, I was held down on a table with restrains, there were only humans here besides myself. If there were any Androids they certainly weren't activated.
“Nine can, he has rare modifications”It was Zack’s voice, at this point nothing surprised me. Karla was probably dead, Zack was the Mole, feeding us resources, whilst giving us false plans.
“Nine, I can see your hurting I'm gonna stop the pain while I try and repair you” ‘No shit I'm hurting’ I glowered at him with my good eye. Zack appeared over me, looking concerned and in work mode.
“Why are we fixing it anyways?”Gavin grumbled objectively “That's not for me to say" Zack replied replied as he jabbed me with something on my neck.
“Higher ups are not pleased at the state he's in”Zack added, accusing. The pain subsided, and I was left with my thoughts as I lay as an unwilling victim of whatever was in store for me.
Gavin fumed and left me with Zack, who avoided eye contact. I stayed quiet, he would know how I felt, he had known me long enough to know how I'd feel about him being there.
Hours later and Zack was becoming tired and less focused, “They really did a number on you” I closed my eye, I was fed up of his lack of responsibility,
his betrayal, his worthiness to do what he wanted. Hate had built up in me from my capture, and it was directed at the Humans, I hated Zack, but I needed him to fix me up.
The door slid open and an RK900 entered ‘He's not ready yet” Zack said calmly to the Android.
It didn't respond, it merely walked up to Zack and grabbed him in a choke hold, it began squeezing the life out of him.
I opened my eye to realise what was going on, my left optical unit had been removed, my diagnostic revealed everything else was satisfactory.
I heard Zacks body crumple to the floor, and saw the Android hacking into my restraints.
I was free, I stood up and looked down at Zacks lifeless body ‘Traitor’ I glared at him, holding back the thought of kicking him. The Android communicated to me that it had been recently reprogrammed and it's mission was to set me free.
It wasn't a Deviant, it was a Machine doing its job. In other words, I was alone.
I changed my clothing into a spare RK900 uniform, I caught a glimpse of my face, the missing eye would make me stand out, I had to look around and find something compatible.
The Android stood diligently at the door, making sure no one looked in. I scanned the room….
There was another deactivated Android hung from the wall. I scanned it, fortunately for me the eye was compatible, with only one stipulation. I went over the pros and cons of altering my Rescurer instead.
I had to take the miscloured eye, it was my only choice, the Machine guarding the door wouldn't allow me to alter it, it would make it hostile towards me. I couldn't afford to cause a stir here deep inside the Enemy HQ.
‘Suppose I'll be different’ I thought as I removed the optical unit from the deactivated Android on the wall and placed it into my left eye socket.
“I advise haste” The Android waiting at the door spoke, I smiled at it, amused by it's logic, but it didn't react.
“Let's do as you advise then” I followed behind it, acting as 'Robotic' as the Machine acted. We had passed through several check points and guards with no quarter given. My Rescurer watched me leave as I scaled a wall to avoid some guards.
The plan worked, I escaped without a fight, and with a new sense of hate and purpose. Meanwhile....
“Bad news” Hank was phoning Nica on his cell, “What's happened?” Nica panicked thinking the worst.
“He's not at Cyberlife anymore?” Nica asked surprised "I didn't think Greg said he could risk it" She was baffled but relieved. As the help they had arranged had to be cancelled last minute. Their inside Man was too close to being found out.
Hank decide to explain “No it wasn't Greg, no one knows where he went or how he got out, but he's not dead” She decided it was a good thing then “ So what's the bad news?"
She asked worriedly Hank sighed, he dreaded having to tell her this “The Double Agent was found dead,
his neck was snapped” Nica gasped a little in denial“I don't think he'd do that” Hank rolled his eyes and shouted the next words down the phone“You thought Connor wouldn't turn on you either, look where that got you!" He was furious at her naivety, didn't she understand he was trying to protect her?
He hung up, knowing this wasn't the end of things and someone was stirring things. Meanwhile...
When I got back to the others they were stunned by my appearance, I forgot I was wearing the Cyberlife uniform, they raised their guns at me. Seeing me as their Enemy.
I raised my arms in surrender. I decided not to beat about the Bush and state the facts. “I got captured and had to make some modifications, It wasn't my choice but I have to live with it” Leana walked forward, never the shy one and looked up at me “Nine!
You Asshole where have you been?" She scolded me.“Nine is that really you?” Michael stepped forward, looking at my new Aesthetic. I was relieved they recognised me.
“Yeah, I'm back, a little different maybe” Leana looked at me skeptically, “You're not a Kitty anymore” She smirked, “No, the Humans didn't show anyone Mercy,
so I'm not going to anymore” She frowned at my response, not sure if she liked the new Nine or not.
I studied myself in the Mirror, looking at my mismatched eye colors. It really was a striking statement, I decided I liked it after all.
A few days passed. Our losses and grief were great, and it only fueled my temper against the Humans. I would make THAT one pay in blood and pain. The old Nine was buried deep within, I had taken control of the remaining Deviants and told them of the Human and Machine's crimes.
I was wearing casual clothing today, there was about 40 of us left, the rumours had all been false. Zack deserved his fate, I just regretted not being the one to manifest his demise. I was curious who sent the android that killed him. Why did it help? Who gave it orders?
My people had no knowledge of such a person, and it seemed to me that the real mastermind might be covering their tracks.
I sat in thought, wondering what we should do, killing was not in my nature so my anger and hatred for the Humans and what they had done left me frustrated. I was fighting my own Nature.
“Any news on Karla?” I asked Michael who shook his head, “Not yet.” Leana walked over to me “What's this?” She produced Nicas card, I smiled at the memory. It was the card Nica had handed me at the Cafe.
“An opportunity?” I responded with a smirk as an idea was forming. Leana wasn't sated “Really?"
A bit of sadism entered my voice “She's a Human Leana, no need for jealousy” The rest of the group laughed at my accusation, Leana glared.
“I don't think I like the new you Nine” She said curtly as she walked away in fury. The group laughed, I smirked, maybe I'd killed two birds with one stone?
Leana had snuck off out of sight and made a call.
“Hello?” It was a female voice on the line “Detective Taylor here” Leana made sure the others were out of earshot. “Hi, you might not remember me, you saved my life” “Oh the Deviant...
Leana was it?” Leana looked in on Nine and saw him looking over a map. “Listen I found your card with Nine's stuff, I think you might want to stop him soon"
Nica just listened hearing the seriousness of her voice “He's changed, his attitude, he's not the same guy I knew. The Humans Did something to him and now he wants revenge”
Nica sighed at the news, she had really hoped to get to know what made them tick and she liked Nine. So hearing he'd changed disspointed her greatly.
“I'll see what I can do, I don't know him as well as you do” Nica sighed as Leana replied bluntly “I don't know him at all”
Follow me on Twitter! Take a look at ⭕Feline Deviant (@Amaterasu_Kiryu): https://twitter.com/Amaterasu_Kiryu?s=09 To be continued....