The street below is filled with the wreckage of the WO chopper, in a hail of debris Raven and Hargrave use an alternate route to the Mining equipment. Their army almost complete, the two men gear up for the inevitable, the two cities the paradox and home all they can think about is the renewal of their new home Earth. Quiet and faint a scuffle goes on back at the base were Inkblot and Bloodstain unleash havoc, Whiteout still alive somehow manages to break free and get to her base of operations.
“Madeline, come-on wake up lets go.” Pausing she shakes her partner “come-on get up.”
Nothing, no movement she picks her up and slowly makes her way to capital square, there her droids and army will help her. There she will plot against the day’s injustices both sides are now the enemy.A persistent pain resonates throughout Serinnah’s body as she lays in bed, looking around she is glad to be back in her home, her bed a warm feeling of safety overtakes her. The group all there safe continues searching for more evidence of what transpired. Learning that there is much more to this than meets the eye, they rummage through the library, files and data they picked up after going back to the facility, Elle, Kyonna and Wendy stayed behind. While the brothers went back, to gather more data, “lets head back to the room with the extraction machine is, I saw rows of individual pods- children where in there.” Searching through several of the holographic maps- they trace their steps.
“Right, good idea the more we find out about the machine and the pods the more we can understand Raven.”
“Red, look down here.”
“What is it Trey?”
The machine is still running, and pods are pumping Abanthium into each of the pods. Curious both Red and Trey, tear open a pod and discover no kids, but a synthetic life form. Stripped of any pigment these pods sustain this unusual imitation.
“What the hell, these aren’t kids.” Red exclaims shocked like his brother.
“What is going on?”
“I don’t know Raven didn’t mention this, he did say however that they were ensuring their race.” Trey says, with a menacing tone.
“Red, it looks as though these entities are feeding of the Abanthium, look their blood is black like…”
“So it seems that the Auscillium is being displaced.”
“More like a byproduct of the process look at the computer readouts here. They suggest that the nutrients are displaced- huh curious.”
“Yes indeed brother- all too curious. Stranger still is it’s from a centralized source the pods in the other room are connected to the machine and then fed into here.”
“Well, only one way to find out, crack one of the other ones open and have a look see.”
Opening it they discover 4 humans, a middle aged family devoid of pigment- a husband, wife and two boys.
“What the hell is going on?”
Thinking the two brothers shocked rethink the scenario that has played out before them. These aliens aren’t building new life at all. Looking back at the other pods computer readouts, in the other room. Searching more the two find, the truth more ominous then the plot to take over –“Vampires, god dam vamps they need the human race to sustain life.” Red says
“I fear that’s not all look they live off of the pigment in everyone’s skin.” Seeing racks of humans laid out like laundry these are the unlucky ones, the torment and suffering too much to bare. The facility is still up and running days after their fight with Raven, and Hargrave.
“They have got to be stopped, no one deserves this treatment, I say we destroy this machine and these pods.”
The two brothers get to it and wreak havoc on the facility, destroying machine after machine. Armies of droids and all; until its all brought down crumbling, Xero facility is now a dust and rubble pile. Strewn are subtle reminders of the terror here. The ground quakes, shivering the rumble too much to bear as they run for safety the ground swallows them whole. Serrinnah now fully awake tries to get up out of bed and is frozen ridden with burning pain all over her body. She looks at her arms noticing bandages peaking under the sheets even her torso and legs are fully encased in field dressing. What the hell happened to me? She ponders.
“Careful mom, you’ve had a rough go of it” Kyonna says comforting her.
“What the happened, why am I covered in wrapping?” The pain now increases her head spinning.
“Oh, god I feel like shit my head is spinning, I’m nauseated can’t sleep and I feel as though sharp needles are sticking me in every inch of my body.”
“We don’t know exactly what has happened to you the medical diagnostics are still being evaluated.”
Looking around she sees the medical equipment hooked up to her, her bed is a solitary self-sustaining and fully autonomous medical facility. The screen’s read out are project body temperature, heart rate and everything else needed to monitor her health. The steady beeps and whining of the machines, continues to fill the room with a soothing calm. Serinnah falls asleep again. Kyonna getting up walks downstairs, and into the library.
“Find anything more on the great mystery?”
“Not yet, still trying to piece it all together yet there is still a large amount information missing. I can’t seem to trace two leads.”
“Well where can I help?”
“I’d start here with the research of the kids in the SBS labs, and the history of Xero labs. Wendy and I are each working on the elements, she is working on the Abanthium and I’m working on the Auscillium.” Elle says confidently then asks “how’s mother doing?”
“Mom is good well stable, she woke up briefly asking about the bandages.”
“Nothing I don’t have the heart to tell her anything yet, I’ll wait for her to get healthier after more rest.”
“Ok, sounds better that way to me, I agree.” Wendy chimes in searching hard her head buried in her work.
The facility destroyed the two brothers head back to the Manor, just past were the inner wall of Xero facility would be the brothers fall deep into a sinkhole, falling down for 45 feet they discover a hidden corridor.
“What the hell is this?”
Going through their maps they have the two fumble through holographic imagery, in all 23 maps on file of Xero labs, military and satellite imagery, inferred “I don’t know bro, It’s not on any maps we have.”
“Same here this is unregistered and uncharted part of the faculty.” Red adds, looking through the old data.
“Dam nothing, well looks like we’ll have to do this the old way. Red you ready to get dirty?”
“Too late for that already dirty.”
“Let’s do this- which way?” Red asks.
“Hang on- listen.” Trey interrupts his brother’s train of thought.
“Sh, you hear that.”
“Just quiet, you hear that?” Trey states again hoping his brother can pick up on the faint hum.
Listening more they are silent, the steady humming and pounding in a rhythmic fashion. Whining, pounding, humming in almost musical fashion, the faint sounds increase as the two get closer to the source, the sounds blending together- machines maybe. The faint humming and whining turn into massive rumbling and crunching sound that swells almost to a deafening noise, the whining is large drilling heads.
“Yeah, for what?’
“I don’t know- brother.”
“Families and humans, being sucked of their pigment feeding synthetics intravenously, now add in mining.”
“Just what is going on here?” Red asks, as they head down the narrow corridor just past the drilling, they both happen upon another facility, more labs, only were Xero was large this one seems larger, in unison the two speak.
“I don’t know one things for certain they have been mining for some time. Look up over there another facility.”
“Yeah, well let’s go check it out.”
The two continue down closer, discovering a heavy fortified wall, with two large grey towers on either side of the central building. Trey getting closer still is almost in view of the heavy enforcers of this new area.
Meanwhile, back at the manor the three sisters rummage through countless documents and articles, Serinnah still in recovery, “Looking through all these articles there is a pattern I’m now seeing, so far I’ve come across and influx of articles about Vampires. Stranger still is they all seemed to be linked to the SBS, and Whiteout.” Kyonna says with a discouraged voice.
“Over 70 articles of Vampire invasions all around the start of the fourth World War, could be a possible link to the current events. The SBS and WO both at the fore front of this War. We should look into that see if there are any direct links to these events and the vampires.”
“Yes, I will; here is something unusual in the last 7 articles there is mention of a group of assassins, and an agency tasked with the protection of both Paradise city and Leethan. The Agency is headed by…”
“What, Kyonna- who is it that heads this Agency and what’s their name?”
“Hang on I’m still checking and proofing the information and its accuracy. Yeah, ok its accurate it’s not an article per say, it’s a top secret file.”
“Well, turns out we will have to ask mom about this Agency.” Kyonna opening the black folder and setting it down in front of Wendy and Elle- “She, is the head of this agency and its founder.”
“Yeah according to this file, the agency is in charge of protecting Inkblot and Bloodstain.”
Reading further they discover Serinnah their mom is the appointed guardian and she used to work with both the SBS and WO.
“How is this possible, mom used to work for both entities long before the wars. According to the file she was head of Research and Development.” Wendy asks aloud starting in on the files, “It says here she started it two months after Trey and Red extracted the elements from the wreckage.”
“What the hell was mom doing working with the SBS, and WO?”
“Elle and Wendy I don’t know why; but one thing is certain if she broke away from them right before the war which according to these files suggests- then there is a valid reason.”
“Yes there is a reason; I left both because of the direction the two powers went. They wanted to use the found elements for the War. Profiteers, insisting that they found a way to rid us and Leethan of the evil that infested her streets, so Hargrave and Raven took over and reinvented the WO, and SBS. Serinnah, says walking down the stairs she continues to tell her daughters this story. “By rights there are some facets of the information that have been falsified; I never was the director of either group- that is Whiteout.” Now down stairs her white dressing, covering her entire body she finds a seat in front of Kyonna and in between Wendy, Elle. “The WO and SBS both started WW IIII, since they researched the wreckage the two have been collaborating to use the war as a cover up, for the research. The two, felt the pressure from local authorities: from the CIA, NSA, and FBI- even the SIS, and MI6 were involved. So as a counter measure I created Sparrow, the agency was an intelligence conglomerate. We had to know what the SBS and WO were up too. With the rise of the super soldiers, Whiteout, Clorox, Lei, and Blaze I took precautions; steps to ensure the cities safety and ours.”
Leaning in to listen, Elle asks “Mother what steps- what precautions are you referring to?”
“Inkblot and Bloodstain- they were my project. Sorry I kept the truth from you please understand, Elle I did it for your own good. The two were given these powers, after they came into contact with the wreckage were exposed, it was killing them both so we merged it with them internally.”
“Merged what with them, mom?” Wendy asks as her two sisters listen intently, while Serinnah continues.
“The time machine, the two elements keep the clock ticking, the device was taken from the wreckage thusly when Trey and Red, lifted it and moved it the two respective hemispheres of the device spilled. On one side the Abanthium, the other side Auscillium both came into contact with them. We rushed them to the ER; but by then it was too late the transformation had already begun.”
“Hang on, so you’re telling me that both Inkblot and Bloodstain have the ability to reset time.”
“Yes, the said trait is to prevent the two elements from killing them both, Trey’s Auscillium was eating away his flesh, which is one reason he looks the way he does; the same goes for Red. So the ability to reset time is minute it only affects them, time resets their bodies thus renewing their lives.”
“Yes; but what about the two cities remember they are in a massive time paradox as Raven said.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t say anything sooner- I was afraid that if I told you the truth you would stop loving me, or worse yet you would stop loving them.”
“Mom its ok, no one is mad In fact you saved their lives.”
“Well, I still could have done better, I think. When the time comes I will see what else I can do, for them.”
“Right now you’ve done the best you can, they are alive that’s more than enough.”
“Yes I agree with Kyonna’s statement mom; but you said the two of them got contaminated from the contents of the time device. So, why blame yourself- the contents they came in contact with are what caused they’re condition.” Elle says reassuring her mom, who’s now hunched over in pain.
“Mom you should not be down here, you need your rest come one let’s get you upstairs.” Wendy helping her back upstairs, halfway up they pass a mirror and Serinnah notices the field dressing covers her entire body. Too afraid and in too much pain to take a peek she heads upstairs, Wendy holding her hand guiding her, With Elle and Kyonna behind. Reaching her bed she plops down, as the three help her into position for the night, by the time they tuck her in she is well into sleep. A haze fills the air as Trey and Red, fall asleep in a dreamy state
“Hang on Trey look, the three guards up there.”
“Yeah is see them, what are they carrying? It looks like the same device, in the pictures of that article we saw.”
“Whatever they are up to I have a bad feeling about it.” Trey confirms to his big brother, as they watch the three carry this large heavy device Red breaks silence still looking on with his brother. “Remember, that day?”
“Yeah somewhat it’s still foggy as the actual events are still unclear, why?”
“Well I have a hunch that you and I are familiar with this device.”
“Yeah, well remember the pictures in the last article you and I were standing with it in our hands.”
“Yeah, hang on I do remember it was heavy, so much so we both had a hard time.”
“Yes that’s right Red, I vaguely remember.”
“Well, we have got to get inside there find out what’s going on we have to search for the best way in.” Trey whispers to Red who agrees. The two crawl along the outskirts of the facility climbing over debris piles. The area is filled with mountains of rubble, a grim reminder of the endless bombing raids. Fresh the facility is new out of place, the dark grey walls and towers; grim in appearance the asymmetrical designs are strange yet precise. The massive base is still under construction, pieces unfinished reveal an intricate web of plumbing and electrical that is unusual. Hordes of drones and workers most likely human are bustling to finish the large structure. Walls are towering over 300 feet; the two towers that overlook the entire area are 1200 feet high. The busy bustling of guard’s workers and drones is almost too much for Trey and Red to hide successfully.
“Look over there on the landing platform, it looks like Hargrave and Raven; are talking to someone.”
“Who in the hell is that?”
“Trey, I don’t know never seen the likes of him anywhere.”
“Neither have I, looks like he is important and may run things as the others bow to him.” Red suggests to his brother.
“Well whoever he is, we better steer clear of him, and his posse.”
“I too agree, come on looks like we can enter over there, in the exhaust ports.”
Moving past the guards on patrol, in the area to the right of the building, the two brothers proceed with caution through the exhaust ports. Moving quickly they spot more squads inside the tunnel where they are, warm wind howls through the large duct. Haziness fills the air again the dream continues.
“Shh, wait just ahead more guards- Trey.”
“One thing is for certain, they don’t want anyone getting in, and look they’re everywhere.”
Inside the WO and SBS negotiate a truce that caused the third World War, “Alas we can finally come to an agreement- Lord Balcham. It has been far too long; the two entities are now finally joined as one.” Hargrave confidently says.
“Yes, indeed it has been long overdue.”
“Lord, sir what is to become of the WO?”
“Yeah, it’s as if they are expecting company.” Unaware of the threat they are now in they move forward slowly and methodically to the guards in front of them they reach out, ready for the kill.
“On your knees, don’t even try it.” An enforcer says from behind them, loud enough for the other guards to turn around and assist in the capture of the brothers. Taking them to a cell, encased in a glass shell allowing any one to see them and from any angle, the cell is a cubed triangle.
“Great just great, how do we get out of this one?” Red asks his brother. Inkblot is a master at the escape, perfecting it in training though he is unaware that it ever took place.
“Yeah, Red hang on I’m thinking.” In response to hearing the conversation the lead enforcer drives an electro-stick into his abdomen.
“That’s enough keep conversations to a minimum.”
“Move, get in.” The enforcer shouts, spearing Trey in-between the ribs. Sharp burning pain spreads throughout his body as they both enter the clear room, large the pyramid shape is immense. Surrounded by three guard stations that look directly into the cell- Red looks to Trey helping him to his feet.
“Well, no room for subtleties these guys play for keeps.”
“Yes it appears so, that and I have a strong premonition that they were expecting us.”
The door seals shut, as they look around the stations, “What the hell is this place?”
“I don’t know Trey, yet I have a feeling we have been here before.”
“Right you are, you have both been here before- I welcome you both. Welcome to your birth place, Westfall Academy. This will be your new home from now on everything here in this cell is at your disposal.” (Whining) A door opens in the floor and up comes a table with a large array of weaponry on it, “these are your possessions they belong to you.”
“Who are you?”
“Shame really you do not know.”
“After all that this lab has done for you- I have done for you this is all you. To remember is to forget, I doubt you would know me and what they have done for you. I am Lord Balcham, the vehicle you happened upon belongs to me including all of its contents, the time device and the two known elements, Abanthium and Auscillium. All of it mine, it must be returned to me at once- as I must carry out my orders.”
Faint visions of hit Trey, flashbacks he remembers this- Serinnah, sitting at the very desk where Lord Balcham resides. “The day’s orders here you go- Inkblot and Bloodstain you are to assassinate Blaze.” The orders come in the form of a black folder with white lettering and the distinct emblem of the WO. They lay out the exact locations of the stronghold. The satellite imagery hard to mistake- “Serinnah back at the camp she didn’t know either of us.”
“You, still quarrel with your memories- or lack thereof, you have no idea who I am? Sad, we used to be friends- I was your trainer.”
“Don’t know and don’t care you threaten our cities and Serinnah including her family- that makes you an enemy. You may have traveled here and maybe you did crash; but Inkblot and I swore an oath to protect Ashen, this includes Paradise City and Leethan. My brother and I were chosen to protect it.”
“Well, it seems we’ve come to a disagreement, an impasse. If you are sworn to protect this city then you will die!”