Lina, Part 7

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DukeNukem 2417
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Lina, Part 7

Post by DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:22 pm

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Again, tremendous thanks to DollSpace for helping with ideas and, in this case, editing....also, the page count went over 20 again, so it's going to be another multi-post part.
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One minute, I was on Cloud Nine—I'd reunited with Lina, and found out that she was otherwise unharmed after having been shut off at Uncle Frank's shop—and the next, I felt like the floor had fallen out from under me. Adrienne, the ALPA liason with our group, had just been thrown into a crate—over the “rescue party” my Uncle Frank had convened to help me find Lina. Oh, and she'd been damaged, and was suffering from a slight malfunction, too.

Not long after Adrienne had hit the crate, the one who'd thrown her—a 6'4” android with a mohawk and entirely too many damn muscles—turned the corner, seeing us.....well, seeing me.

For some reason, as this jacked-up android beared down un us, I found myself thinking about how all the porn star fembots had just been drones. Their eyes had been...lifeless, almost empty. This guy was a different story. His eyes held a definite emotion, or at least a definite objective. As soon as he locked eyes with me, I knew he wasn't going to leave until I was a bloody pulp and Lina was locked in a capsule again.

If it'd just been me in the warehouse, staring down this Goliath of an android, I probably wouldn't have left the building in one piece—let alone alive.

Good thing it wasn't just me facing this beast.....

“Well, I guess we can forget about not bein' in a fight,” Millie stated, sighting the pistol she'd retrieved from some kind of compartment in her right thigh (seeing as how she was a combat gynoid, I wasn't all that surprised that she was packing heat). “Lina, you an' Matt stay back.”

“Or get in the van,” Uncle Frank suggested.

“I'm not leaving you here to get mauled...” I managed to meet the mohawked android's stare, even as he bared down on us. “...besides, I'm pretty sure he just wants to stomp me.”

“We're not letting him 'stomp' you,” Ashwyn countered, moving into a fighting stance. “He'll have to stomp us, too!”

Officer Rachel Drew stared at the mohawked android, her eyes flashing between blue and gold for a second. “Sentience level within arrest parameters. Proceed with Detention Protocol 1138.” Her voice had gone into this weird, synthetic monotone as she spoke—but the next words out of her mouth sounded like her usual self: “Stop where you are and put your hands above your head!”

The mohawked android paused....and smirked. Obviously, he wasn't about to comply.

“I'm thinking your 'detention protocol' isn't gonna do us jack shit against this guy,” Lucy mused, never taking her eyes off of the hulking android.

Officer Drew's eyes narrowed. “Stand down, deactivate and put your hands above your head!” Her voice still sounded human, but was now amplified as if she'd spoken into a bullhorn or something. “This is your last warning! Stand down, deactivate, and—”

The android grabbed a crate and lifted it above his head, in one smooth gesture.

“Shit—HIT THE DECK!”

Lina and I both dropped, while Uncle Frank, Lucy, Millie, Ashwyn and Officer Drew scattered—just in time to avoid the crate that slammed into the floor where Officer Drew had been standing. A half-clothed gynoid form, buried in those stupid styrofoam packing peanuts everyone hates, rested in the midst of the wooden wreckage.

“Okay, we need to get out of here, NOW—”

It was Lina who interrupted me, pulling me into the pile of styrofoam (and inadvertently burying my face in the cleavage of the gynoid from the crate) when the mohawked android threw another crate at us; this one sailed past, eventually hitting the far wall and shattering.

“Matt, we need to...” Lina trailed off, probably after seeing where I was “resting”.

“....for the record, you pulled me down here....”

“...just get up and come on!”

She didn't need to tell me a second time. We pulled ourselves out of the peanuts, abandoning the gynoid still nestled within them to haul ass as far as we could—at least, that was the plan. The “hauling ass” part was going well until that android prick with the mohawk threw something that smashed into my shins, sending me to the floor with a pained yell of “AAAAGYUUH!”

“MATT!”

“....haaaahhhhhh....” I winced with every attempt at taking a step. “....I think....he broke my shins....”

Millie and Officer Drew were emptying their pistols into the android, but he wasn't slowing down. Lucy, meanwhile, was throwing everything she could lift at the bastard; over by the crates, Adrienne was trying to stand up, only to sieze up and slide back down to the floor, one hand drifting to the hole in her side. Ashwyn, on the other hand, was completely out there. She jumped from one crate to the next, springing towards the android and slashing at his face before landing on all fours, poised to jump again. I'm pretty sure she slashed him right across the ass at one point.....

….but of course, it didn't stop him. Nothing did.

Millie and Officer Drew got knocked aside like they were nothing. Ashwyn was plucked out of the air mid-jump and thrown, by the leg, into a capsule. Uncle Frank had apparently retreated to the van—I didn't blame him.

Granted, this did nothing to keep him away from Lina and me. If anything, he was gaining on us.

Hoping against hope, I pulled out my phone and selected FCon. It'd already done wonders on the gynoids in this stupid place; maybe—just maybe—it'd stop this behemoth from flattening me.....

Incompatible. FCon not designed for use with male androids.

Well, shit. So much for that brilliant idea...at least my shins were just bruised, instead of broken—

“GET AWAY FROM HIM!”

Lina's scream snapped me back to reality—she was actually standing up to the mohawked android ready to do battle with him all by her lonesome if need be. I didn't find it weird that she was defending me—I'd already done my part in rescuing her, and she was returning the favor...or at least trying to.

“Matt, run.”

“I'm not leaving you here! I won't lose you again!”

“You're not going to lose me, just RUN!”

“Lina—”

The mohawked android batted Lina aside like she was cardboard, sending her flying into a crate. An all-too-human groan of pain left her lips as she crumpled to the floor, even trailing off into a whimper as she tried to stand again.

“LINA!” I turned to glare at the android. “You fucking BASTARD—”

The first time I'd ever been punched in my life was in a “fight” that took place...probably two decades ago. I'd shoved someone in front of me, turned around (in the hopes that I'd look like I was looking somewhere else), and upon turning back around, I saw a white flash—the impact of the idiot's fist in my face. Having avoided any physical confrontations in the years since (for the most part), I'd expected something similar when the android punched me in the stomach—a white flash, maybe, and then me on the floor.

That's.....not remotely what actually happened.

For starters, it hurt. I could tell bones were broken, and that something else might've collapsed. I could barely talk, let alone breath; not helping at all was the fact that my lips were staining with red when I went to open my mouth. The only noises I could make were weird gurgly sounds.

MATT!” Lina tried to scramble to her feet, but that android prick wrapped a hand around her throat....

At this point, everything got blurry. I was aware that I was staggering, but I had almost no control over my feet. I did my best to stay upright, if only to somehow, hopefully, stagger towards Lina...but I was fading fast. “Liiii......”

“MATT!” I could just barely make out that Lina was crying. Something was sort of hovering in front of me; it took a full minute for me to realize that it was, in fact, my own right hand—I was reaching out, trying to touch Lina again, to hold onto her hand.....

….instead, I fell forward, barely able to hold myself up.

My hearing was starting to fade, by that point—I could tell Lina had been thrown again, possibly into the capsule I'd taken her out of. Her fists banging on metal pretty much proved me right...not that I could take any comfort in that, what with feeling like my stomach, lungs liver, spleen and possibly kidneys were all about to crap out on me.

“Lina....” My voice came out in a faint, wheezing cough. I didn't want to close my eyes, even for a second....

A shadow passed over me. That stupid android prick was probably about to stomp my head in, or something—kill me right in front of Lina before leaving with her, just as a final dick move. I made the mistake of looking up—lo and behold, I found myself staring at the sole of the android's boot. The sick bastard really was going to stomp on my skull, and I'm pretty damn sure he was smiling.....

I looked down, willing myself to stay awake. If this was how I'd bite the dust, so be it....

...except I didn't. Obviously.

Gunshots rang out—well, I can only assume they rang, because from what I heard, it was like someone had stuffed half a bag of cotton balls in each of my ears. Everything sounded dull; my vision was turning red, and the inside of my mouth was entirely too damn dry. I tried, as best I could, to draw upon that pick-me-up Millie had blown into my face outside, but even that wasn't helping. The mohawked android was heading for whatever was shooting...not that I really gave a damn. Personally, I was too busy trying not to die..

“Lina....” I reached out, trying to will myself closer to the capsule. If I could just......

Nope. Blacked out, right then and there.

Ever been put under? Anesthesia, for surgeries....stuff like that? I was. Had to have a wisdom tooth removed, once; they told me to count backwards. Didn't even make it to ninety-three. One minute, I was counting, the next minute I was tripping balls and asking if I could take the wheelchair home with me—they didn't want me walking back to the car, otherwise I'd have tripped and broken my whole damn face.

This...was different.

About the only thing I can compare it to is passing out on a stairwell and then waking up on some rando's couch wearing a Medina Sod baseball shirt instead of whatever you had on when you left the house....well, if waking up on said rando's couch was accompanied by searing pain in the chest and uncontrollable coughing every time you tried to sit up. Also, I didn't wake up on some rando's couch—I woke up in a bed, covered by clean white sheets. My senses took a while to get going—I mean, you don't get knocked the Hell out by a 6'4” android with a mohawk and then just pop back up like you're no-selling—but eventually, I recovered enough to realize there were tubes in my arms, a paper bracelet on my left wrist and bandages around my midsection.

Also, James Bond was sitting in a chair on the other side of the room, staring at me.

Obviously, he wasn't actually James Bond, but he damn sure looked like the last guy who'd played him. Dressed the part, too—nice suit, complete with a tie.

I've been knocked out by an android, and now I'm in a hospital with James Bond staring at me. For some reason, in my utterly-wrecked state, I found it hilarious that James Bond was in the same room. I must've looked like a total lunatic, laying there with tape on my ribs and tubes in my arms, giggling like an idiot.

“I see you're awake, Mr. Harker.” James—okay, okay, the guy in the suit got out of the chair and crossed the room.

“....you look like James Bond.” Yep. First thing out of my mouth when I woke up. Followed by giggling, of course—which was a stupid idea, considering it hurt like a son of a bitch every time I laughed.

“Not the first time the comparison's been made...probably not the last.” The guy in the suit pulled up a chair closer to the bed I was in. “Probably a side effect of all the painkillers and sedatives, more than anything else. In any case, you should consider yourself lucky to be alive, Mr. Harker. Plenty of people in the same shape you're in....well, the same shape you were in would've died, taking a direct punch like that.”

The giggling trailed off. “.....where....”

“You're in hospital, if you're wondering. A combination hospital/repair center, ALPA-owned....your uncle will have told you about the ALPA, yes?”

I nodded, or at least attempted to.

“I suppose it's only fair to introduce myself, in addition to explaining why you're here.” Not-Bond leaned forward in his chair, offering his hand. “My name is Simon Caine, and I'm the Regional Director of Operations for the ALPA.”

“...Matt Harker.” I shook Simon's hand. “I, ah....guess you already knew that.”

“Indeed. To be quite honest, you've been on our radar ever since you received your 'new' phone.”

“...you're taking the phone back.” I leaned back on the pillow, feeling like total crap. “You reviewed what went down at the warehouse, and you're wiping the phone....” I glanced over at Simon, expecting him to be staring dispassionately.

Instead, he was regarding me with an arched eyebrow. “....you're....not taking the phone back?”

“Under different circumstances, in a different time, we would indeed take the phone back and send you on your way, to 'let the professionals handle things'.” To my surprise, he actually smiled. “Given the significance of the phone in your introduction to Lina....” He retrieved his own phone from his pocket. “The gynoids you disabled at the Greensfield Warehouse Complex were, in fact, not sentient,” he stated, sliding his thumb down the screen a few times. “By contrast, the android whose punch landed you here was sentient.”

“...I tried to use FCon to disable him,” I muttered. “Got a notice back that it 'wasn't compatible'....”

“Your actions would've been justified as self-defense,” Simon assured me, “given the circumstances. As it stands, you'll be keeping the phone. Additionally, once you've recovered from your injuries, you'll be allowed to rejoin your...friends, I suppose, to continue your search for Lina.”

This...was a bit of a shock. “You're not just writing this off?”

Simon stowed the phone, leaning forward to regard me. “Mr. Harker,” he intoned, “what you uncovered down at the Greensfield Warehouse Complex is nothing short of the proverbial 'gold mine' of information in a case that the ALPA has been working on since the start of this year. Since January, we've been investigating a rash of gynoid abductions carried out across the state—even a few elsewhere in the New England region....and until the reinforcements requested by a certain Officer Rachel Drew arrived, law enforcement had no reason to investigate the complex at all....”

“....so they were smuggling gynoids...” My eyes went wide. “Holy shit....”

I realized Simon was staring at me with a rather stern look. “....sorry. My uncle's been trying to get me to quit swearing so much...Lina's told me that, too...”

“...you need not worry about self-censorship here, Mr. Harker,” Simon assured me. “Plenty of the officers on-scene had far more...colorful reactions than your own. Regardless, they did indeed recover enough evidence to implicate the staff of the complex in a far-reaching abduction and smuggling scheme.” His tone turned grim. “Unfortunately, they also found further evidence...enough to reveal that the actual smuggling is the least heinous offense being carried out at Greensfield.” He handed me his phone. “Only parts of the apparatus and incomplete software were found on-site,” he explained, as I scrolled through the photos. “But all of it builds to the rather unsettling revelation that all 'inventory' on site was to be completely and utterly wiped—or, as documents found with the apparatus termed it, 'drained'—before being shipped to their final destinations.”

“....drained?” I felt less stupid for repeating what Simon had said, in this particular case—mainly, due to how horrific the implications were.

“Personality files, memories, all custom programming....completely and totally erased. Apparently, after this 'draining' took place, the gynoids would then be either stored for later transport or auctioned off to interested buyers, more than likely in countries where the concept of 'android rights' is virtually non-existent—”

Out in the hall, someone tripped over something, uttering rapid-fire apologies.

“...more than likely your uncle,” Simon mused, his grim frown giving way to an amused smile. “He's been asking to see you ever since we brought you in here. No time like the present....nurse?”

A nurse opened the door—her skin had the slightest sheen to it, and her eyes glowed softly. “Yes, Mr. Caine?”

“I believe it's safe to admit Mr. Holmwood to see his nephew, now...” Simon nodded, as did the nurse, who retreated to the hallway and ushered someone towards my room with a polite “He's in here, sir.”

“...just wanted to be sure, nobody gave me his room number...Matt!”

I gave a weak nod. “...'sup, Uncle Frank?”

“Oh, Matt...” Uncle Frank sidled up to the bed, looking more than a bit shaken. “You look like Hell!”

“....I'd say I feel better than I look, but...” I gave a half-shrug. “...how're you holding up?”

“I've been tryin' to get in here to talk to you, ever since we got here!” Uncle Frank glanced at Simon. “....can we, ah...”

“Of course. I'll let you two converse in private for however long you need to.” Simon rose from his chair. “I'll be in the briefing area in about an hour, to discuss the situation...” He nodded at me. “Mr. Harker.”

“I'll be there, if I can.”

“And Mr. Holmwood?”

“You can call me Frank, I told you already...” He shook Simon's hand with both of his own. “And thanks again, for this...”

Simon nodded, said something I couldn't quite pick up on, then left the room.

Once the door closed, Uncle Frank turned his attention back to me. “Well, I suppose you're gonna want to know what happened, after you, ah....”

“Just tell me, Uncle Frank.”

“Right, right...”

Uncle Frank didn't bother mincing words—Lina had been taken, again. This time, I didn't so much feel like crying, hitting someone or just swearing as I felt defeated; here I was, laid up in bed, and the android prick who'd taken Lina was...God knows where. At least he didn't just walk out of the complex with her, though; Uncle Frank told me, in great detail, how Adrienne, Ashwyn, Lucy, Millie and Rachel had all done their best to keep the bastard from leaving.

“Oh, it was crazy, Matt...Ashwyn kept doing that jumping thing, off the crates, and slasing at him when she passed! Lucy threw a whole crate at him—lifted it right over her head and chucked it! And Millie started fighting with him, punches and everything! At least, until he grabbed her arm and bent it out of shape in three places....” He made a face, but kept going. “And Officer Drew—ho, ho, ho, Officer Drew! You wanna talk about precision firing....wow.”

“And did any of them do anything to slow him down?”

“.....no.” Uncle Frank's shoulders sagged. “They tried—believe me, they tried....but he just kept going. Nearly tore the doors off my van, too....then the cops showed up. Oh, they brought the firepower....not enough to take down that big guy with the mohawk, but....well, he ran off pretty quick.”

“With Lina.” I sighed.

“...well, yeah...took the whole capsule she was in, held it over his head like it was nothing...and he RAN with it!” Uncle Frank illustrated his point with his trademark hand gestures. “Just plowed through a few crates...I didn't see him leave, y'know, 'cause the EMTs were there to put you on the stretcher, y'know, and get you into the ambulance—and I followed in the van, y'know, since there wasn't enough room in the ambulance...”

“I get that.” I sighed. “How long have I been out?”

“Oh, ah....I'd say five or six hours, tops.”

I wanted, more than anything, to swear. For all I knew, Lina had already been “drained”, packed up and shipped off to parts unknown, while I was laying in a hospital bed....

“They put an APB out on the big guy,” Uncle Frank stated—probably to ease my mind, thanks to how pissed off I must've looked. “And the capsule...he's not gonna get far, Matt, believe me. And they're monitoring warehouses, storage units and all that stuff, too!”

“....nowhere to run to,” I muttered. “And nowhere to hide....where have I heard that before?”

Uncle Frank nodded, giving a thumbs-up for good measure. “So once you're healed up and the girls are repaired, we can get back out there and do what we need to do....” He glanced back over his shoulder. “He tell you anything about what they found?”

“...just that they were running a smuggling operation, and how they 'drain' gynoids before shipping them off.”

“....yeah, well, that's not all they found.” Uncle Frank wrung his hands. “In that office, at the warehouse complex,” he explained, “they, ah...well, they found something. I mean, someone...” He leaned in close. “...did she—Rachel, I mean, Officer Drew....did she ever say anything about a guy named Singleton?”

I nodded. “....Chester Singleton, yeah. She said she went into his office...something about a disturbance—”

“Oh, there was a disturbance, all right!” Uncle Frank stated. “That big guy, the android with the mohawk...he only hit you once, right?”

The bandages on my ribs were an all-too obvious reminder of that fact. “....yeah.”

“Well, they found tapes in the office—and they found that Singleton guy....well, ah....” Uncle Frank ran a hand through his hair, exhaling a nervous breath. “That guy with the mohawk killed him, Matt. Crushed his throat, caved in his skull, collapsed his ribcage—with just his bare hands! It was all on the tape! A few security guards, too, just....” He winced. “It was...oh, Matt, it was like something straight out of a nightmare! I haven't seen anything that bad since...” For a second, I thought he was going to say something, but he seemed to catch himself. “...never mind.”

“...so Singleton's dead,” I muttered. “And the warehouse is...what, under new management?”

“I dunno, I really don't....” Uncle Frank pretty much fell backwards into the same chair that Simon had pulled up to the bed earlier. “All I know is , whoever took Lina has that big guy with the mohawk on their payroll, and now that the ALPA is on their case....” He winced. “...there's gonna be trouble!”

“And what about us getting Lina back?”

“Oh, we'll get her back, Matt....I just don't know what we're gonna do about the big guy!” Uncle Frank leaned back, one hand over his face. “Millie's combat-rated, and Adrienne's got field experience with the ALPA, but....”

“If we have to, we'll let the ALPA handle the prick that put me here. For now....” I sat up, slowly—the aching in my gut was still there, but it didn't feel as bad. “....for now, we get a nurse to get these tubes out of my arms, we go check on Adrienne, Ashwyn, Lucy, Millie and Rachel, then we go to the briefing room.”

“...right, right.” Uncle Frank nodded. “...you, ah, need any help?”

“To put my shoes on, maybe...” I tried to bend—bad idea. “....yeah, you're gonna have to get my shoes...”

“I got 'em, I got 'em....”

A few minutes later, Uncle Frank and I were heading for the “repair center” area of the building I'd been brought to; I was able to walk at a pretty decent pace, and apart from one or two moments, I didn't have any overwhelming bouts of pain that forced me to stop and hold a hand to my stomach. A few helpful staffers, all wearing ALPA badges, actually went so far as to point me (and Uncle Frank, who kept stopping to check the signs) towards the repair center.

The repair center itself was...incredible. I'd read a story on the forum that described a maintenance center as looking like “a cross between a strip joint and a factory”; this place had less emphasis on the “strip joint” half, nor were there any gynoids being fingered to completion or anything like that. Yes, there were plenty in various stages of undress, but a lot of them had what I could only call battle damage—bullet holes, scorch marks, ragged lines where some idiot had tried to stab them, etc.—all of which gave the place the air of a triage center.

“Mr. Holmwood and Mr. Harker?” A blonde in a gleaming silver-grey tunic/skirt combo, with matching heels and a hat that looked like the kind nurses used to wear walked up to Uncle Frank and me, a tablet PC clasped in one hand.

“Yeah.” Uncle Frank nodded. “I'm the one who, ah, brought in....”

“Miss Murray, Miss...Ashwyn, Officer Drew and the ART-8030 MILIE...er, Millie.” The blonde checked the names on the tablet, nodding. “And Miss Sievers, as well.”

Uncle Frank nodded. “OH, before I forget...” He ran a hand through his hair. “Ron had a prior engagement, and he had to leave your place an hour ago, Matt...but these fine folks got someone else to go and tend to the cat.”

The blonde nodded. “Theresa's great with animals.”

“And you made sure to tell her not to let the cat out?”

“We did....here's Miss Murray's room.” The blonde ushered us towards a door. “Did you, ah, want the cat to be bathed at any point today, Mr. Harker?”

“...you can call me Matt, and, ah...” I chuckled. “Last time I tried to bathe her, she scratched the Hell out of me.”

“....well, Theresa's probably going to have to get a touch-up or two when she gets back.” The blonde rolled her eyes as the door hissed open. “Just let us know when you're ready to talk to one of the others, please.”

I nodded, as did Uncle Frank—though he nearly headbutted the blonde in the process; thankfully, she played it off like it wasn't a big deal, and we entered the room without further incident. I couldn't help but notice, even as she walked away, that the blonde kind of looked familiar.....

My thoughts about where I'd seen the blonde before trailed off as I followed Uncle Frank into the room where Adrienne was being repaired. She looked a bit bored, laying on a table with her shirt off, her jacket opened and the hole in her side clearly visible to anyone who entered the room.

“Glad to see you're up and about, Matt,” she called out, grinning. “Trust me, this isn't as bad as it looks...”

“You say that now,” Uncle Frank mused. “I had to help stabilize you before I started wonderin' where Matt was!”

“It was just a motor control fault,” Adrienne countered. “It wasn't anything to—”

“She was twitching all over the table,” Uncle Frank informed me, prompting a sigh from Adrienne. “Jerkin' around, her arms and legs goin' this way and that....”

“It wasn't a big deal,” Adrienne insisted. “Still, though...thanks.”

“Not a problem.” Uncle Frank nodded, pausing as two females in matching, form-fitting coveralls strode up to the table and looked over Adrienne. “...ah, are we...interrupting anything?”

“They're just making sure I won't throw sparks if I try to stand up or—” Adrienne stiffened briefly; one of the women who'd approached her had apparently stuck her finger in Adrienne's ear....or so I thought. I made my way over to the table, taking a closer look—the woman's finger had split apart at the tip, revealing a sophisticated-looking...something, I couldn't really tell what.

“...that's helping her, right?”

The coverall-clad gynoid turned to regard me, her slightly-stilted movements accompanied by servos whirring.

“...I've, ah, never seen a repair procedure up close before,” I admitted. “I'm just wondering.”

After a few seconds of silence, the gynoid gave an understanding smile, accompanied by a nod. Whatever was built into the tip of her finger retracted, and the tip closed; instantly, Adrienne relaxed on the table. “....anything like that,” she continued, as if she hadn't been interrupted. Noticing that I was still staring at the blonde who'd just stuck something into her ear, she sighed. “She was just accessing my memories from the warehouse...”

A click from the other side of her head puctuated the remark, followed by the other gynoid lifting her face up and away from her head. “...and this one is just making sure I didn't take any massive cranial damage,” she continued, apparently not caring that I was getting a first-hand glimpse of the servos, wiring, armatures, ocular sensors and internal framework that made up the interior of her head—even weirder, the lips on her “mask” moved in time with the armatures they connected to within her opened skull. “Standard procedure to make sure I didn't take any damage that'd catch up to me later on.”

“.....right....” I glanced at Uncle Frank—who was casually chatting with the other gynoid, apparently about some event at the local theater. “...and this doesn't, ah....”

“I don't feel pain during repair procedures,” Adrienne assured me. “It's...an inconvenience, more than anything else.”

“What about when that big mohawked prick put that hole in your side?”

“...that one did hurt, a little.”

I glanced over my shoulder, just to check if Uncle Frank was still talking to the other gynoid about the local theater, and leaned in close to Adrienne when I saw that he was. “I was, ah, told about what happened to Chester Singleton back at the complex,” I muttered.

“...and?”

“And that's not going to throw me off from doing what I can to get Lina back.”

The coverall-clad gynoid re-attached Adrienne's face, which was a bit of a weird lull in the conversation; Adrienne spent a few seconds rolling her eyes, moving her lips without speaking and generally testing out her facial motors to make sure they were all working. Once she was done, she nodded, and the gynoid in coveralls stepped away. “I just want to make sure that you don't get in over your head with all of this, Matt. Don't get me wrong—I'm glad you want to keep looking for Lina, but...after all, you're only human.”

I smirked. “....you say that like it's a bad thing.”

Adrienne grinned. “With you, it's one of the best.” She laid back, sighing. “Just don't get yourself killed.”

With that, Uncle Frank and I wished Adrienne a speedy recovery from her repairs, heading back into the hallway where the blonde with the tablet was waiting . “Ashwyn has been asking for you, Matt,” she informed us, “ever since she found out that you left your room.”

I wasn't sure whether I should frown or chuckle. “...and how, exactly, did she find out about that?”

“She wouldn't stop asking if you were 'up yet',” the blonde replied, an almost sisterly grin on her lips. “To be honest, Matt, I think she might have a crush on you.”

That prompted a chuckle. “...well, I'm, ah, committed to a relationship already, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

The blonde led us to where Ashwyn's repairs were being carried out in a room on the other side of the hall. “She's, ah, not exactly in an ideal position for a chat right now,” the blonde admitted, “but she insisted we let you talk to her as soon as possible....”

Just what the blonde meant by “not exactly in an ideal position” was all too apparent as the door hissed open.

“Hi, Matt!” There was something utterly weird about how cheerful Ashwyn sounded in contrast to her condition: her head, upper torso, abdomen and pelvic area, arms, legs and even her tail were all laid out on a work table, some with opened panels. Both her upper and lower halves were actually still dressed; her facial expression indicated that she saw being disassembled and worked on as just a temporary inconvenience.

“...hi.” I approached the table, looking over her limbs with a mixed air of disbelief, amusement and slight arousal. “You, ah, feeling all right?”

“Oh, they wanted to make sure that the big idiot with the mohawk didn't break anything when he threw me,” Ashwyn replied, as casually as if she'd merely sprained her ankle. “They said I hit the wall kinda hard, and they wanted to make sure the interlocks didn't get messed up...”

“....did they?”

“Nope!” Ashwyn grinned; another coverall-clad gynoid passed by behind the table and looked into an open panel on the back of her torso, but she didn't notice. “Once I'm back together, and we get the briefing, we can all go back out and look for....oh....” Her eyes crossed slightly, her lips forming an “O” of surprise. “Oh....oooohhh, that feels GOOD!”

I glanced over to her torso—the coverall-clad gynoid was adjusting something in it, prompting responses in Ashwyn's still-disconnected limbs. Her hands clenched into fists, her toes curled inwards, and even her tail was going crazy. “Oh, I LOVE that! I—I—I—I—I—” Her face briefly froze, as if she was about to sneeze, then relaxed, a contented sigh leaving her lips. “....oh, that was great...”

“....what exactly was 'that'?”

The coverall-clad gynoid turned the torso around, gesturing with a power screwdriver towards a set of dip switches in a small box, nestled rather deep inside the body (right near one of Ashwyn's breasts, to be honest); a few spaces away, another gynoid had pulled up and re-zipped Ashwyn's shorts, crumpling up a used moist towelette in the process. It didn't take a genius to figure out that she'd just done her part to provide for the cat girl gynoid's much-needed “relief”, in the middle of our conversation.

“I couldn't handle it myself,” Ashwyn admitted, “since, well...” She rolled her eyes, indicating her limbs laid out all over the table. “Anyway, I'm glad to hear you're okay, Matt.”

“Well, apart from still feeling a bit sore—”

“That blonde, out in the hall,” Uncle Frank cut in. “She told us you've got a crush on Matt.”

I facepalmed, and Ashwyn's cheeks went nearly as red as her hair. “....well, I, ah....”

Uncle Frank's eyes went wide. “You were thinking about him, just now?!”

“.....yeah....” Ashwyn's ears drooped. “I just....he's so handsome, and he and Lina already had sex twice, and I couldn't stop thinking about it—”

“Ashwyn,” I cut in. “It's....not a big deal, okay? I just...I'm in a relationship with Lina, already, so....” Not wanting to make her feel like complete crap, I reached over and scratched behind her ears—pretty much the only thing I could think of that made any kind of sense. “I don't mind you, ah, 'thinking' about me or anything like that...and be glad you're seeing me right now instead of me from five years ago. I wasn't so much 'handsome' back then as I was, ah...”

“A portly fellow,” Uncle Frank prompted. “A bit long in the waistband...”

“Thank you, Uncle Frank.” I tried to glare at him, but ended up chuckling. “Anyway....”

“So, you're not mad at me for....”

“You let a thought process get away from you after all the craziness at the warehouse, and I'm not going to get pissed off about it.” I scratched behind her ears again. “I mean, you were, ah, designed, built and programmed to be in a theme park tailored, for...well, fetishists....” I shrugged. “Pretty sure a high sex drive comes with the territory.”

“....well,” Ashwyn admitted, “I was...thinking about Lina, too...I mean, she's so beautiful, and you and her just looked great together, and....”

“I'm not pissed off at you, Ashwyn. Just...you might want to turn down your settings after they put you back together.”

Ashwyn nodded—or at least tried to, until her head nearly pitched forward off the table. I caught her (well, her head) as she gave a panicked yelp, and set her head back on the table. “....thanks, Matt.”

“Not a problem....and, ah, how much did Frank tell you about me before you met me?”

“Weeeeelllll,” Ashwyn replied, “he mentioned that you were into robot girls, and that you have a cat...”

I turned to regard Uncle Frank—not so much glaring at him as I was trying not to laugh. “Did he, now....”

“All I told her was the kinda stuff you'd put on a dating site profile!” Uncle Frank insisted. “That's all I said! I didn't tell her anything you wouldn't have told her yourself...well, I mean, apart from the robot girls thing—but she is one, y'know, and I just figured, y'know, that she wouldn't get upset about it....” He trailed off into a half-shrug, all while I continued losing my composure—the whole thing was just so damn goofy, after all.

“Oh, Matt,” Ashwyn pleaded, “don't get mad at him! He didn't think I'd ever meet you, and he never could figure out how to lower my arousal settings....” She stopped, noticing me giggling. “....what? What's so funny?”

“....a few years ago,” I managed, “I'd have been all over this. Now, though....” I took a deep breath. “This thing, with Lina and me....it's the first thing remotely resembling a real relationship that I've had in ages, and I don't want her getting the impression that I'd just get freaky with the first piece of synthetic ass that I stumbled across if she wasn't available...” I gently picked up Ashwyn's head from the table. “....but if it helps....”

Without another word, I kissed Ashwyn as deeply as Lina and I had kissed right before she left at the end of the party.

...granted, it was a bit awkward to not have shoulders to hold onto or anything like that, but I did the best I could, given the limitations of the situation.

Slowly, I pulled Ashwyn's head away from mine. “....feel better?”

“....yeah.” Again, it was obvious that Ashwyn wanted to nod, but seeing as how she'd been taken apart, she went with a simple, grateful smile. “So...you're really not mad at me for....well...”

“I'm not angry, Ashwyn. If anything....as weird as it may sound, I'm kind of....honored, I guess....” I grinned, gently setting Ashwyn's head back down on the table. “And I really hope that you can find someone of your own, someday, the way Lina and I, well, found each other.”

“You could introduce her to Fenton,” Uncle Frank offered.

“....he already has a girlfriend,” I replied. “They've been saying they'll get married for...what, five months now? Anyway, that's not even remotely connected to why we're here...” I glanced at the coverall-clad gynoids. “...d'you still need her in pieces, or can I, ah...”

The gynoids turned to regard each other, before looking at me and nodding.

“Right, thanks...Uncle Frank...”

Uncle Frank retrieved Ashwyn's legs, reattaching them to her lower body; the cables, tubes and internal connectors all lined up and locked together with satisfying clicks and hisses, also prompting Ashwyn's ears to tremble with some kind of satisfaction. I reattached her tail (after a few seconds of her making it snake around my arm), and then set about getting her torso lined up with her lower body, once again getting everything in place with clicks and hisses.

“...shouldn't you be deactivated for this stuff?” I asked, midway through connecting her left arm to her torso.

“As long as there's not a power spike or anything like that,” she replied, “I'm good.”

“....right...” After a quick check, I attached her left arm, while Uncle Frank did the same with her right. Finally, I lifted her head off the work table—of all her components, it was the easiest to reconnect.

Once her head was back on, Ashwyn blinked a few times; a few beeps sounded from inside her torso, probably from some kind of systems check just to make sure everything was hooked up correctly. After a sort of trilling, musical thing to announce the end of the check, she looked up at me (she was effectively sitting on the table, by virtue of how her legs had been connected), then leaned forward to wrap her arms around me in a hug. “Thanks, Matt.”

“Not a problem.” I patted her shoulder, doing my best to ignore the fact that her nipples had gone hard through her tank top (apparently provided by the repair center). “Ah, about that 'turning down your settings' thing...”

“...oh..OH, right!” Ashwyn backed off, blushing. “...sorry, I...”

I held up a hand. “It's okay. Like I said, you may end up finding someone yourself, one day...”

Ashwyn nodded enthusiastically. “I hope so...and I hope you can get Lina back soon, Matt.”

“I will...we will.” I smiled. “You, Adrienne, Lucy, Millie, Officer Drew, Uncle Frank...and me, obviously.” I gave her another scratch behind her ears, prompting her to smile as her tail curled up. “See you in the briefing room!”

“I'll be there!”

Yet again, the blonde was waiting for us in the hall. “So how'd she take it?”

“....what, me telling her that Lina and I are in a relationship?” I shrugged. “I told her she'd find someone for herself one day, hopefully....”

The blonde seemed surprised. “So you two didn't....”

“I kissed her, if you're wondering. What, you wanted her to...”

“Just checking to make sure you've got a firm grasp on the concept of fidelity.” The blonde grinned as she gestured for Uncle Frank and me to follow her down the hall. “Millie's doing her own repairs...part of her military-spec programming, from what I can tell. Some kind of contingency for if she was stuck behind enemy lines without a squadmate who knew how to fix her. Lucy's in the room with her, too.”

“And what about you?” Uncle Frank asked. “I mean...what exactly do you do around here?”

“....kind of a weird question,” the blonde admitted, “but..” She shrugged. “I volunteer whereever I'm needed, pretty much. The repair center, the front office....I'm fully qualified to do field work, as well, if need be.”

“A real Jane of all trades, eh?” Uncle Frank grinned.

“..something along those lines.” The blonde turned away, giving a quick wink—I could've sworn I saw one of her eyes flash purple for a second, but before I could bring it up, we reached another door. “You'll probably want to get to the briefing room after this, by the way.”

I frowned. “We can't talk to Officer Drew?”

“Well, she's already in the briefing room, actually....”

Uncle Frank and I thanked the blonde for the help, and entered the room where Millie was already in the midst of her own repairs. The panels of her right arm were laid out on the work table; Millie herself was dilligently working at a few servos and other mechanisms with some kind of precision tool I didn't recognize. “So you're feelin' better,” she mused, not looking up from her repair work. Lucy was sitting nearby, reading a magazine.

“...apart from still feeling incredibly sore, yeah.”

“I'm surprised you're feeling anything, after the beating you got handed.” Lucy didn't look up from her magazine.

“Yeah, well...” I chuckled. “I don't stay down after just one punch.”

My attempt at bravado earned me a scoff. “You very nearly did stay down, hon...not that I find that amusin', or anythin' like that.” Millie sighed, reattaching one of the panels to her right arm. “...I'm just hopin' you're not fallin' into the trap of 'more balls than sense'.”

“I'm not going to pick a fight with the bastard who nearly collapsed my lungs, if that's what you mean.”

“But we will get Lina back,” Uncle Frank declared, clapping me on the shoulder—and instantly regretting it as a sharp hiss of pain left my lips. “....sorry about that...sorry....”

“....s'alright,” I muttered. “Just....try not to to it again. Anyway...”

“We were talkin' about sense,” Millie promoted, calmly regarding her arm as she soldered something back into place.

I nodded. “...that we were. And I do have sense, believe me...I want to get Lina back, but I also don't want to get my skull caved in by that android psycho....”

Either Uncle Frank said something, or Millie turned around and pointed it out, but it took a few seconds for me to realize my fists were clenching. I muttered something about “he'll pay”, and it was then that I noticed a bit of a tremble behind what I'd just said...

Next thing I knew, Millie was drawing me close, holding me as if to protect me from...something.

“We'll get her back, Matt. We're gonna get her back for you....”

As weird as it was that I was being hugged by a military-spec, combat-rated gynoid, I did find it...comforting, to be honest. I could only guess that I hadn't cried when Simon and Uncle Frank told me that Lina had been taken again due to being doped up on painkillers and my own personal numbness to it at the time...but now, thinking about it again, it all just burst to the surface—or it would've, had it not been for Millie.

“We'll get her back for you, Matt,” she murmured. “Because when I say I'm gonna do somethin', I do it.”

“....thanks.”

“...so, ah....how's your arm, Millie?” Uncle Frank's question was enough for Millie to break the embrace, pulling back and looking at me with a smile that, in all honesty, seemed more maternal than martial. “Better than it was,” she replied, glancing at Uncle Frank. “I'll be ready to get back out there once we're done with the briefing.”

“...well, ah, good to hear it.” Uncle Frank nodded. “And Matt?”

I took a deep breath. “...I'll be ready.”

Uncle Frank nearly said something, but setteld for nodding.

“And I'm guessin' you'll be ready, too, Frank,” Millie stated, one hand still resting on my shoulder (she'd planted the other on her hip). “It won't do any of us any good if you're goin' out there half-cocked.”

“Oh, you don't need to worry about me,” Uncle Frank assured her. “When I have to be, I can be a real Hell-raiser.”

I couldn't help but laugh—something about how serious he was (or at least tried to be) just made that particular phrase sound hilarious to me.

“..as long as you keep your Hell-raising out of here,” Lucy mused, rolling her eyes as she got out of the chair, “we'll be good.” She walked over to where Millie was standing next to me. “I'm guessing you two didn't come down here just to check up on us...”

“We were wondering how Millie's repairs were going,” I admitted. “I mean, Ashwyn was in pieces—”

“They wanted to check her interlocks,” Uncle Frank clarified. “Matt and I put her back together...she's good to go. Oh, and, ah....” He glanced at me. “She kind of, ah, had a...uh.... “

“She had a crush on me.” I chuckled. “Apparently, she thought I'd be upset about it.”

Millie arched an eyebrow. “And?”

“I told her she'd find someone of her own one day....gave her a kiss and a hug, and that pretty much settled it.”

“She was thinking about Matt and Lina, though....” Uncle Frank would've continued, had it not been for Millie's stare and my own effort (and, surprisingly, Lucy's own effort) at glaring at him. “....ah, never...never mind.”

“We can only hope that she figures out how to lower those arousal levels of hers before we go back out,” Millie mused, casually flipping her hair as she spoke. “In the meantime...” She gently stroked her right thigh, opening it to reveal the pistol she'd used to try and slow down the mohawked android. “You're gonna want somethin' of your own before we get goin' again, hon,” she advised me. “I'm pretty sure that harsh words won't do much against that big brute who laid you out at the warehouse.”

Uncle Frank snapped his fingers. “They've got SCEMP stuff here, don't they?”

To say I was a bit confused was an undestatement. “....ess-see....what?”

“Supressing Compact ElectroMagnetic Pulse,” Lucy explained, rolling her eyes. “Standard-issue ammunition for ALPA Field Agents—”

“But it'll put down that creep with the mohawk real quick!” Uncle Frank added. “At least, it should....”

“Pretty sure the only way to take that guy down is an anti-tank rocket,” I muttered. “Or just a tank.”

Millie rested her hand on my shoulder again. “Pretty sure it won't come to that, hon—an android like him can get cut down to size without bustin' out a bazooka.”

“Speaking of, ah, bazookas...” Uncle Frank cleared his throat, prompting Millie to turn her attention to him. “Y'know how two of the drones back at the warehouse had, well, guns in their....” He waved his hands in front of his chest in the vauge outline of twin hemispheres—prompting a groan from me and an arched eyebrow from Millie, who replied with a surprisingly calm “I did notice those...attributes on those particular two units, yes.”

“....well, I was, ah....just wondering—”

“If I possessed an identical ordnance to theirs?” Millie had sashayed up to Uncle Frank, regarding him warily.

“....I wasn't gonna say it directly, but....” Uncle Frank shrugged.

Instead of slapping him or generally getting pissed off, Millie leaned in close, giving him an up-close view of her bountiful bosom. “Why don't you just check for yourself?” Lucy looked like she was about to fall over laughing.

“....ah....well, I, uh.....”

A few feet away, I was biting the insides of my mouth trying not to crack up. Even if Millie did have the same kind of “machine gun jumblies” as the drones from the warehouse, I had a feeling she wasn't going to bust 'em out just to mess with Uncle Frank.

“Pretty sure she doesn't have guns in her tits,” Lucy chuckled, finally setting the magazine down. “And for the record, Matt, I'm glad that prick with the mohawk didn't take you out with a single punch.” She walked over to where Millie was conversing with Uncle Frank (and, of course, me). “And Millie, you might as well tell him whether or not you've actually got the 'ordnance' he was asking about....”

“....I don't,” Millie finally admitted, rolling her eyes and straightening up. “I was designed with efficiency, practicality and adaptability in mind, and that particular kind of 'ordnance' didn't exactly fit any of those guidelines.”

Uncle Frank nodded rapidly. “Right, right...I was just, ah...”

“On the subject of something other than Millie's boobs...” Lucy sighed. “Seeing as how I created her and approved of the whole thing of her living with you, Matt...”

“You think we wouldn't want your help to find Lina again?” Uncle Frank frowned. “Why would you—”

“Call it a hunch. I'm not combat-rated, I don't have claws or tit guns or ALPA training or anything like that....” Lucy groaned. “I just...I still feel like I let her down, is all. It's not as bad as it was, before we left for the Renfield place—”

“Greensfield Warehouse Complex. The sign was just missing a few letters.” I sighed. “And you don't have to—”

“No, I do.” Lucy walked up to me, staring into my eyes. “Back at the complex....I found notes, in that dead guy's office, about a program they'd used to keep the 'inventory' in line. Corona Ansata.” She turned away. “....I wrote that program for the Institute—and before any of you hit me with the stink-eye, it wasn't meant to slave gynoids to one user's control or anything like that!”

I nodded. “....so what was it used for?”

“A replacement for FCon, for gynoids and androids.” Lucy shook her head. “It was only ever meant to be used in very specific controlled environments at the Institute....I shouldn't even be telling you about it.”

“An' I suppose the ones runnin' the Warehouse complex aren't meant to have it?” Millie inquired.

“Again, specific controlled environments at the Institute. The ALPA was even monitoring the tests to make sure it wasn't being used improperly....” Lucy turned her attention back to me. “I'm shielded against it, by the way. So's Lina.”

“Which explains the 'off switch' treatment she got back at the shop,” I scowled. “And that redhead had mentioned a guy showing up at her office with a tablet—he did something with it, and the next thing she remembered was booting up in the lab under the hangar....” I glanced at Lucy. “Would anyone at the University have any reason to leak this...Corona Ansata program for their own gain?”

Lucy scoffed. “Unless they wanted to lose their job and get blacklisted, they wouldn't even bother trying...” She paused, frowning. “Why're you looking at me like that? You think I—”

“NO, no, no....not that! I was....I just noticed that, ah....”

“I haven't said 'fuck' since you two got in here?” Lucy smirked. “I decided to take Lina's advice and change a few of my internal settings...figured it'd be a nice change of pace from what you've heard before. I haven't turned on a swear filter or anything,” she added, “so don't expect me to just stop swearing out of the blue—”

Matt Harker, Frank Holmwood, Adrienne Murray, Lucy Sievers, ART-8390 MILIE, Ashwyn and Officer Rachel Drew, please report to the briefing room.

“I guess that's our cue,” Millie drawled. “Shall we?”

Lucy shrugged. “Eh, it's not like we've got anything better to do for the rest of the day...” She turned to follow Millie out, only to stop and glance back at me—or rather, at Uncle Frank. “And just in case you're wondering, I don't have any kind of 'ordnance' in these...” She slapped her own breasts. “...either.” She turned away, chuckling as she walked out of the room.

“....she's not gonna let me live that one down, is she?” Uncle Frank muttered.

“Eh, at lest you didn't go for the feel test....c'mon, let's get to the briefing before they run out of chairs.”

(next bit incoming, PLEASE DON'T REPLY UNTIL THE NEXT BIT IS UP!)
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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:34 pm

By the time we got to the briefing room a few minutes later, Ashwyn, Adrienne, Lucy, Millie and Officer Drew had already taken their seats; Ashwyn waved at me, Adrienne nudged Officer Drew in the side and grinned, while Millie just nodded in my direction. Lucy gave me a solemn nod as I took my seat—I could tell she was already thinking of what we were going to have to do to get Lina back again. Simon was standing at the front of the room, by a projector; the rest of the seats were occupied, or in the process of being occupied, by people I didn't recognize, all of them in uniforms that looked vaguely similar to what Officer Drew was wearing.

Simon looked out over the room, nodding. “If everyone's taken their seats, we can begin.”

The lights dimmed, and the projector kicked on. “As you all know, at around 1:00 AM this morning, law enforcement personnel were alerted to a disturbance at the Greensfield Warehouse Complex by Officer Rachel Drew. Agents of the ALPA were also alerted, due to the nature of the disturbance. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the complex played host to a group illegally reprogramming and smuggling gynoids...the shipping and receiving manifests have been turned over to the relevant agencies to determine where, exactly, each shipment was meant to go.”

A few people around the room were taking notes, and such—but all of them saw the next slide in Simon's presentation.

Uncle Frank's description of what'd happened to the late Chester Singleton had only vaguely registered with me when he first told me. Now, seeing the full-color photos projected up on the wall....yeah. I actually found myself being glad to have been unconscious for the last few hours, otherwise I'd have ended up like Singleton—the guy's chest had basically been caved inwards, his neck had been compressed to the size of a flashlight grip, and I didn't even want to think about how hard he'd been hit in the back of the skull.

“The brutality of what happened to Chester Singleton,” Simon intoned, “may bring to mind echoes of some of the more heinous killings carried out by the self-professed Butcher King, but rest assured that the culprit behind Singleton's slaying, as well of those of two security guards, is a different beast entirely.” I thought about asking Uncle Frank who the Hell the “Butcher King” was—a vague memory of some guy in a mask tearing up a barbecue with a hedge trimmer, as seen on the 10 PM news from around...2011, or so, briefly surfaced, though I'd long since forgotten the specifics—but another slide popped up, this one showing the android prick with the mohawk who'd KO'd me with a single punch. “Original designation, BC-43517. Manufacturer unknown. Currently registered designation is Ivan Cage, though it's come to the understanding of the ALPA's national offices that he has, over the past three years, used multiple aliases.”

The slide changed again, to some official-looking form. “BC-43517 has, in the course of his operational lifespan, shown a rather disturbing tendency towards violent behavior,” Simon continued. “A personality profile and the few software tests carried out on BC-43517 have revealed that these tendencies are not byproducts of a virus, or being hacked—he does, in fact, enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on others.”

Mutterings and quiet discussions went up, throughout the room, as the picture faded out to a video clip: BC-whatever was sitting at a table, wearing what looked like prison denims, while someone asked him questions. “...and why is it that you 'enjoy' what you did to—” The name of whoever had been mauled was covered with a beep.

BC-whatever smirked. “The way he squirmed...all you meatbags do that, at the end, right?” I'd expected his voice to be deep—which it was—but there was something...off about how damn casual he was with that answer.

“....in moments where a person's life appears to be in imminent danger—”

“Spare me the bullshit. I killed [redacted] because he tried to cross me, but what I did to [redacted]....I did because I damn well FELT like it.” BC-whatever leaned back in his chair. “You couldn't understand it.”

“...we're making an attempt to understand it, BC-43517. We honestly—”

“Oh, you wanna understand it?! Lemme help you understand—”

The video froze just as BC-whatever started to stand up, before fading back to the form. A quick look around the room gave me reason to suspect that whatever came next in that clip hadn't been pretty; the mutterings and quiet discussions were decidedly grim, with at least a few people looking like they were about to puke.

“That footage,” Simon stated, “was recorded the last time BC-43517 was in ALPA custody—one year ago. For those wondering how the video ended, he critically injured the interviewer, killed two guards and evaded facility security for three hours before his escape, with four more staffers dead and six wounded in the process. This form—” He gestured back to the wall. “—is the official DeCommission On Sight order for BC-43517, which all Field Agents should have in their possession. Anyone who encounters him in the field is advised to make an effort to collect his memory, any internal storage devices and central processing units....otherwise, you all have Agency permission to terminate him with extreme prejudice.” He paused for a minute, giving everyone time to check their notes, before nodding.

“BC-43517 has allied himself with those in charge of the operation that was, until this morning, utilizing the Greensfield Warehouse Complex. Security footage shows that Singleton met, frequently, with a male and female...” The projection of the form faded out to show the tape in question—the now-dead Singleton's office, occupied by Singleton, some chick in an old-fashioned raincoat and a big hat, and some guy in a hooded jacket. “We believe these two,” Simon intoned, pointing at the guy and the girl, “to be in charge of the operation....or rather, we did.”

Throughout the tape, the body language of the lady in the raincoat was...weird. She stood off to one side, letting the guy speak for her, and when she did speak...it was hard to tell if she was trying not to look at Singleton or not, thanks to that big-ass hat she wore, but I could tell she wasn't all that fond of being there. It was all a bit...familiar, to be honest...

“We have reason to believe the female of the pair may have been..coerced into her role in the operation,” Simon stated, as the video froze. “Singleton's own records indicate that he was suspicious of the pair, and had no further desire to do busines with them...which is more than likely why BC-43517 was ordered to kill him.” The frozen video faded out to a shot of the warehouse complex, presumably from after I'd been punched in the gut. “ALPA operatives currently have the entire complex under surveillance, and all 'inventory' from the complex is being sorted through in relation to reports of abducted gynoids over the course of the year.”

The projector clicked off, and the lights came back up. “One individual in this room is actually responsible for drawing our attention to the Greensfield complex...”

Uncle Frank nudged me in the side. “...he might not be talking about me—”

“Mr. Matthew Harker.”

I rolled my eyes. “Right, right....” I stood up. “Sir?”

Simon nodded for me to join him at the front of the room; despite feeling incredibly conspicuous—I was probably the only one there, apart from Ashwyn, Millie and Uncle Frank, who didn't look like they were supposed to be there—I went up to the front and nodded. “Mr. Harker,” Simon stated, “was in a rather unique position to discover exactly how and why the Greensfield complex was tied to the reprogramming and smuggling operation.” He glanced at me, waiting...

“My...girlfriend, Lina, was...taken, by a bunch of...drones, I guess, that showed up at my uncle's shop—” The projector kicked on again, and I nearly shielded my eyes until I realized it was projecting off to the side of me, rather than right at me. Sure enough, Units One, Two and Three (or images of them, at least), were up there on the wall. Unit One was still intact, and the redhead formerly known as Unit Three was being interviewed; the pic of Unit Two showed her halfway taken apart. “Two other drones—both male androids—were also there...one of them took Lina.”

The images of Units One and Two (and the redhead) faded...but the lights didn't turn back on.

“I, ah....I don't have any images of Lina to share with you all, but—”

Another image was projected onto the wall—a picture of Lina, smiling, sitting in Lucy's house.

“The image you're all seeing was given to us by Lina's creator, one Lucy Sievers,” Simon stated, his tone somewhat less businesslike than before; out in the audience, Lucy was wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. “She was among the gynoids stored at the Greensfield complex, and had we been alerted to the situation sooner, we may have been able to retrieve her ourselves...” He paused, and I'm pretty sure he actually gave a bit of a sigh before he went on. “Unfortunately, BC-43517—having already killed Chester Singleton and engaged Agent Murray in a battle in another building elsewhere on the grounds—located the storage capsule Lina had stored in..and let out of, by Mr. Harker....”

I barely registered that he mentioned my name. Seeing Lina's image on the wall....it made me swear that I'd do anything and everything I had to do to get her back from BC-43-who the Hell cares anymore, and from the pricks who'd taken so many other gynoids already.

“...we'll all do our part to put an end to this heinous operation, terminate BC-43517, and recover Lina safely.”

The lights kicked back on, but the image of Lina didn't fade out. Everyone was filing out of the room...not that I really paid all that much attention to them.

“Mr. Harker....” I felt Simon's hand on my shoulder a second before he said my name. “You will see her again.”

“...I know, I know...” I nodded, even as the projection of Lina faded out thanks to someone having turned the projector off. “I'm just...” I turned my attention to Simon. “You said—”

“Sir.” The blonde from earlier had approached, her expression grim. “They've found more at the warehouse.”

“More gynoids?” I realized I'd spoken my thoughts out loud a second after the fact.

The blonde turned to glance at me. “We can't tell yet....” She frowned. “You're going back?”

“If it helps us find where they may have taken Lina, we have to.” I nodded, turning my attention to Simon. “...at least, if it won't cause any problems...”

“As long as you're feeling fit enough to travel, Mr. Harker, the ALPA won't dissuade you.”

“...right.” I nodded again. “I am, by the way...feeling fit, or whatever.”

“This discovery actually coincides with our own plans to return to the complex,” Simon continued, as the blonde turned to leave. “We were persuaded, for lack of a better term, by Miss Sievers to wait until you were up and about to hold the briefing...given your improved condition, it feels only fair to invite you to take part in the raid.”

I didn't hesitate. “Count me in, sir.”

Uncle Frank clapped me on the shoulder—and yes, I winced. “I'll go tell the others, make sure they're ready to hit the road and get back to the complex....” He paused. “...you're sure you want to go back there, Matt?”

“Like I said, if it helps us get Lina back...” I nodded.

“We'll have another briefing about these new findings within...” Simon checked his watch. “Half an hour. For the time being, Mr. Harker, I highly recommend you continue to recuperate, if need be. The commissary is already open, if you'd like a meal before the next meeting.”

“.....I think I'll take you up on that one, sir.” I nodded. “Shall we?”

Five minutes later, Uncle Frank and I were enjoying lunch in the commissary—which was a lot more along the lines of a more upmarket buffet restaurant than a typical cafeteria. I was a bit surprised to find that the food was as good as what we'd had at Troughton's, right down to the soft drink selection. It helped me focus on the positive (that we now had even more help in our fight to get Lina back) instead of the negative (that she'd been taken again)...which, given the circumstances, was only a good thing.

Once we'd finished lunch, the blonde—as if on cue—met us at the tray collection area. “Mr. Caine asked me to tell you both that the briefing will be in Briefing Room 28—not the one you've already been in, if you're wondering.”

“Right....” I frowned. “....you haven't been...”

“Following you?” The blonde actually giggled. “Well, Mr. Caine did ask me to keep an eye on the two of you...safety reasons, all that stuff.”

“I get it.” I sighed. “So...this briefing....”

We followed the blonde to Briefing Room 28—Lucy, Adrienne, Ashwyn and Millie were already there, and were in fact the only others in the room, apart from Simon.

The actual briefing was...surprisingly casual, given the circumstances. From what the surveillance report showed, the warehouse complex had been cleared of all “operational personnel”, but there was no way to tell if the “inventory” had been cleared as well. Also, an ALPA database check had revealed the names of the two from the footage in Singleton's office—the tall guy was one Andrew Sommers, and the girl was apparently Ellie Quinn. Neither were registered with the ALPA, not that I really had any idea what that meant..

As far as the return to the warehouse complex, the plan itself was pretty simple. Adrienne, Ashwyn, Lucy, Millie, Uncle Frank and I would head back to the place, without any ALPA assistance (Simon mentioned not wanting to alert the ones running the smuggling operation from there to flip out and open fire as soon as we showed up...or start destroying any of the “remaining inventory”). Basically, our whole reason for being there was to investigate the complex, retrieve what we could (if possible) of the “remaining inventory” (and any pertinent information about the whole smuggling thing, if there was still any info there), and then report back. If that android prick with the mohawk turned up, the official order from Simon was to ignore him or—only if the need arose—engage him.

Predictably, a few questions were asked—would we be getting any guns, would we have access to reinforcements, what would we have to do if a lot of the drone fembots were still on the premises, etc. I didn't ask anything questions myself, seeing as how the prick with the mohawk wasn't expected to be back at the complex. Millie asked a question I didn't quite get—something about whether or not “the King” would be there...either she had a penchant for listening to Elvis music on the way to her missions, or she was asking for someone by their nickname. I couldn't tell, and I didn't ask her.

Simon suggested we not use ALPA vehicles, for the same reason that we wouldn't have a battalion of their people with us—the sight of ALPA livery would send the defenders of the complex into a frenzy. Thus, yet again, it'd be a “convoy” consisting of Uncle Frank's van and Lucy's car...with one ALPA retrieval vehicle going with us. No more, no less.

The meeting adjourned, and we all headed off to go prepare for the raid....which, in my case, just meant “waiting”.

Another half an hour passed before we finally left—again, I was in the van with Uncle Frank, with Millie and Ashwyn in the back seats. Lucy was in her own car, as always; Adrienne got behind the wheel of the retrieval vehicle, joined by two of the gynoids from the repair center. None of them had any additional weapons or equipment with them, and even Millie wasn't packing any new heat (I assumed that pistol she'd used against that prick with the mohawk was still stowed away in her right hip.)

Nobody said a word as we left the ALPA building—I know I was too focused on what we were about to do.

The drive itself took...maybe 45 minutes or so. The radio wasn't turned on at any point, and nobody made any attempts at small talk. Everyone in the van—and probably in the retrieval vehicle—was focused on what (and/or who) we might find at the warehouse complex the second time around.

By the time our “convoy” had arrived at the warehouse complex, it was obvious that the vast majority of “inventory” had been moved. A grand total of two trucks—not semis, but not vans, either—were just sitting in the parking lot, under a faded awning.

“Well....” Uncle Frank stepped out of the van, appraising the scene. “This looks, ah...forlorn.”

“Forlorn” was putting it mildly. The lights set up in the parking lot hadn't yet kicked on, since it wasn't dark yet...but the place still had a really weird feel to it—or as Fenton would've said, an “eerie ambience”. I could only guess what had happened since we'd left—the place had been cleaned out, either by the ones running the smuggling operation, or by the ALPA.

I pulled out my phone, hoping against hope that FCon would be able to detect something....and it did! “Three signals! One closer to a door, two all the way back.”

The ALPA retrieval vehicle made the decision for me—or at least, Adrienne did. She gestured to the two gynoids, and both of them climbed back in and started the thing up. Uncle Frank and I watched as the retrieval vehicle—basically a flatbed truck, but with some kind of construct made to turn the flatbed into an actual trailer—drove through the opened side door of the building.

“They picked up the signal from your phone.” Adrienne walked over to where Uncle Frank and I were still standing. “It's been upgraded, by the way....FCon, I mean. Simon gave the authorization to put the latest version of it on your phone.”

I held up the phone, “aiming” it at Adrienne...and my eyes went wide. Her internal power cell readouts, among other stats, were on the screen! “...so you fully charged up before we left the base....or am I supposed to know about that?”

Adrienne rolled her eyes. “As long as all you're doing is looking at my stats...”

I “aimed” the phone at the others, and decided to see what their charge levels were—the phone showed those with no problems, and also gave me a brief readout of their basic line of thinking. Millie was apparently going over multiple strategies to use against the mohawked prick, in case he showed up again; Ashwyn's thought process was apparently going between thoughts of taking a cat-nap and how bored she was, and as for Lucy—

“Point it somewhere else, unless you want to see it fly.”

I shut off FCon and returned the phone to my pocket. “....sorry, I was just, ah.....”

“You want to know how I'm feeling, you can ask me.” Lucy sighed. “This place.....it's just depressing. Nobody else here, it's....not even dark, just abandoned.....” She shook her head. “I hate it.”

“You're not the only one, believe me.” I sighed. “I just....”

“You wish you could've stopped that prick with the mohawk when he took Lina.” Lucy rested a hand on my shoulder. “I know how you feel, Matt—believe me, I do.”

“And you're not swearing up a storm over it...”

Lucy chuckled. “What, you want me to start cussing again?”

“No, I just—”

The sound of the retrieval vehicle emerging from the building cut off my protest. “....rain check,” Lucy mused, winking as she turned away. Adrienne climbed into the back of the retrieval transport, examining the three crates. “....locks are shot,” she muttered, going over each of the three crates in turn. “We'll need to get back to base....they've got tools to deactivate damaged locks so we can actually open these.”

“Which just leaves the trucks.” Millie sashayed over (seriously) to the trucks, looking them over.

“You might not want to try scanning those yourself,” Adrienne warned. “They could be rigged.”

I frowned. “...they left a pair of booby-trapped trucks here on the assumption we'd be coming back?”

“Stranger things have happened...” Adrienne moved to the rear of the nearest truck, frowning as she tried to peer into the window. “....I can't tell if anyone's inside. We'll have to—”

The engines kicked on immediately, drowning out Adrienne's musing in a roar. The rear headlights kicked on, forcing both Adrienne and Millie ot shield their eyes—though Millie still had the presence of mind to reach for her right thigh and retrieve her hidden pistol. Adrienne had drawn her own sidearm (I'm guessing hers was hidden in a coat holster, since I didn't see it on her belt or anything like that), and as soon as the lights kicked on, she started squeezing off shots at the rear window. Millie started firing not long after.......but it was no use. The trucks were already well on their way to...wherever the Hell they were going, really.

Even though FCon had only picked up the three signals, when I got my phone out, I couldn't help but wonder if we'd just lost Lina again, or if the vans were a part of something else. The question of “did anyone get the license plates on those things” came to my mind, immediately....but I didn't ask it, mainly because I'd heard something on the other side of the building where the trucks had been parked.

“...coulda hit someone! We should....Matt? Hey, Matt!” Uncle Frank apparently hadn't heard what I'd heard; I could tell he was rushing to catch up with me. “You okay?”

“I heard something.” I nodded to the one building where the trucks had been. “There's someone else here.”

“...you, ah, think we should—”

“Let me handle this one.” I cracked my knuckles, half for effect and half to show how serious I was about taking down any prick who was involved in Lina's abduction. While Millie, Lucy, Ashwyn and Adrienne discussed the trucks that had just left, I headed for the corner of the building, with Uncle Frank right behind me. I pulled the phone out again and loaded up FCon as I held it aloft, just to make sure we weren't about to get jumped or shot at by another porn star fembot drone...

One signal. A bit odd, but at the very least it wouldn't be a Bolivian Army ending.

I rounded the corner, fully prepared to throw down....

….and nearly tripped over my own feet instead.

For starters, across the car park, there was a girl just standing there—about as tall as Lina, and probably the same “emulated” age (or close to it) as her, but with auburn hair (done up in a half-ponytail with a fringe at the front), hazel eyes, and wearing sneakers, socks, those capri jeans that sort of end mid-calf, and a t-shirt for a band I'd never heard of before, the Starlet Dolls (a vague memory of a cartoon series with that name briefly emerged, but faded shortly after). She was just standing there, blinking really fast and shaking her head....

...but that wasn't the part that confused the Hell out of me.

No, the confusion hit when I saw none other than my own brother, Fenton, standing near her.

Uncle Frank half-jogged to a stop behind me, a question dying on his lips as he saw what I was seeing. I couldn't help but wonder just what the fuck was happening—we'd shown up here to find Lina, and instead we stumble on some other girl (a gynoid, given the lone signal from FCon), and now Fenton's involved?!

Before I could say anything, or even walk up to the pair of them, Fenton sort of poked the girl in the back of the neck and took a flash drive out of his pocket. Apparently, there was something on it that he had to press, which he did, before sticking it in the port he'd just revealed.

“.....so he....Matt....MATT, WAIT!”

Uncle Frank's protests did nothing to slow me down. My fists were already clenched at my sides as I strode across the lot to “meet” Fenton; I wanted, needed to know what his connection to all of this was, who this girl was and why he was sticking a flash drive in her neck—if he had anything to do with this whole “draining” thing, or the smuggling.....

I was about halfway to Fenton and the girl when I heard a loud beep. Fenton pulled the drive out from the girl's port....

….and instantly, her posture relaxed. She turned to Fenton and—I shit thee not—jumped into his arms, giving him one whopper of a kiss.

My “ass-kicker” walk trailed off into a confused shuffle, and I felt my fists unclench. “.....what?”

Fenton was midway through returning the girl's kiss when he noticed me. “Matt!” He actually smiled at seeing me, and ran over to shake my hand—I was still thoroughly confused as to what was going on. “You never did met my girlfriend before, right?” He gestured to the girl he'd stuck the flash drive into. “Matt, allow me to introduce you to my fiancée, Danielle—”

“Dani, please.” She walked over to shake my hand, just as Fenton had. “I’m Dani,” she repeated. “I-I-I’m Dani,” she struggled as her face twisted into a scowl. She shook her head again.

“Babe, are you all right?” Fenton asked, concern on his face.

“No, I’m Dani, I will do what you want me to do Andrew”--at that point our eyebrows raised--”Hi, I’m Dani!” Then she gave my brother another big kiss, leaving him gobsmacked.

“Programs are taking...are t-t-taking time to...Hi, I’m Dani!”

“What’s your Serial Connect Code,” Fenton ordered as I watched in amazement, and I could tell Frank was watching, too.

“One-Zero-Two-Two-One-One-One-Five-Two-Zero,” she stammered out.

That seemed to placate Fenton and showed that his program or whatever he put into her worked and she wasn’t under anyone else’s control.

“Hi, I’m I’m I’m I’m….” she repeated with her voice getting higher in pitch. Finally, Fenton pushed the drive back in and pressed a button which restarted her.

“U.nit One-Ze.ro-Two-One-One-One-Five-Two-Ze.ro re.start.ing.” She moved in a stiff manner at first while she silently tested her joint and limb connections and senses.

I found I was staring but then she blinked her eyes and shook her head again, swept her fringe away from her eyes, and looked much more relaxed.

“Took a lot for that program to restore my whole personality,” she explained as Fenton removed the drive. “I had to integrate everything back into their proper place, and sentience is a tricky thing. It was a close-run thing. So now, yes, I’m Dani.”

After a display like that I was a bit stunned but she seemed right as rain now.

“.....Dani, right.....ah....” I immediately felt like a total asshole for thinking Fenton was with the pricks who'd taken Lina.

That brotherly connection between us must've kicked in at that moment, because the next question Fenton asked was, of course, “SO, ah, where's Lina right now?”

“I came here looking for her.” A bit of the old anger came back to the surface. “And you're.....”

My eyes went wide, as did Fenton's. “....they took Dani from you?”

“And they took Lina from you...” Fenton's eyes were as wide as mine were. “....damn....”

“Lina's a gynoid, right?” Dani piped in. “Like me?”

“Dani!” Fenton turned to stare at her, aghast. “We don't—”

“It's all right....” I sighed. “Yeah, Lina's a gynoid....and yeah, she was....taken. The bastards who took her had stashed her here, and we nearly got her back....”

“'We'?”

Before I could answer Fenton's question, Uncle Frank startled me as he nearly bowled me over with a clap on the back. “I just knew you two would see eye to eye again!” he declared, grinning. “Never could stand the sight of my nephews fighting....and who is this?”

“Dani, sir. Fenton's girlfriend.”

“Fiancée,” Fenton corrected—and, as if that brotherly connection kicked in again, retrieved the flash drive from his pocket. “This was to restore her memories, her personality...and luckily, her sentience,,” he explained. “That stuff I was working on, back at the apartment....it was a census, for the Bureau of Artificial Lifeform Management—counting registered and unregistered gynoids, all that stuff. I didn't think anything of it, at first—”

“Wait, wait, wait.” I held up a hand. “You were counting gynoids?!”

“For a census, yeah! It started off innocuous, nothing sinister....and then Dani went missing.”

Uncle Frank snapped his fingers. “That explains it.” He nodded, clapping me on the shoulder again for effect. “Doesn't it all make so much sense now, Matt? Him throwing the party, him being so 'out of it' all the time over the week, him nearly shoving us out of his apartment when we got there to apologize....he was worried sick about Dani here!”

Fenton nodded. “I was....I didn't know what to do. And I noticed that several other gynoids I had reported to the census also disappeared, so when you showed up with Lina—”

“What about all that crap you accused her of the night you shoved her?!”

“.....Matt, I was working on no sleep and a mixture of too much caffeine and too many energy drinks. I was so wired and ready to snap when I showed up at your place—I never meant anything I said to Lina that night. I just needed to take some off and it ended up backfiring spectacularly.” He extended his hand again, as if to shake mine, and I accepted—allowing him to pull me in for a quick hug. “I'm sorry she got taken, Matt.....I really am.”

“Well, if you hadn’t decided to hold that party, I would never have met Lina, so I have you to thank for that.” After that realisation I was too stunned to really say anything, and so were Fenton and Uncle Frank...so we didn't.

After a few seconds, Fenton sighed and pulled out of the hug. “...seeing as how I've found Dani again, I don't need to worry about the whole census thing anymore.” He nodded at Uncle Frank. “....and, ah....sorry if I was too curt with you, back at the apartment....”

Uncle Frank shook his head. “Water under the bridge, Fenton. You've got nothing to worry about.”

“I hope you can get Lina back soon,” Dani piped up, probably noticing the forlorn look on my face. “What was she like?”

I sighed, scrolling through the phone to find the picture of herself she'd left on it. “That's her. She actually left this on my phone the day we'd met.”

Dani's eyes went wide. “She's beautiful!”

“.....yeah.” I couldn't help but smile. “She is....”

“Am I interrupting anything?”

Adrienne's question prompted a worried look from Fenton—which was easily dismissed when Adrienne told him she was with the ALPA. “We've got a BOLO on the trucks that left here, so for the time being, all we need to worry about is food and rest.”

“Yeah,” Uncle Frank agreed. “Y'know, I've got plenty of room under the hangar where Dani can stay the night!”

“....under a hangar?” Fenton looked a bit weirded out by the prospect.

“It's an ALPA-certified lab,” Adrienne assured him. “Dani will be perfectly safe there...pretty sure the place has rooms fit for humans, too.” She grinned.

“.....right, right...” Fenton nodded, relaxing a bit.

The drive back to the hangar was definitely less tense than the return trip to the warehouse complex; even though we hadn't found Lina, it didn't take a social scientist to tell that the mood was a lot lighter. Lucy, of course, met Fenton, and congratulated him on getting Dani back (and had a rather, ah, interesting discussion about clothes shopping with Dani on the way to her car), and, as it turned out, there was plenty of room in the facility under the hangar for all the members of our team to find rest and recharge, so we ended up back there around seven in the evening. Some of us made dinner, some of us watched game shows on the television, some of rested and recharged, and my brother and Dani stole some private time in another room. I decided to leave them be for the time being.

Towards the end of the night it ended with me, Uncle Frank, Lucy and Fenton (while Dani was charging) sitting around a kitchen table with a phone on speaker in the middle. “So, the androids we brought back were a 25-year-old named Olivia Ransom, which is a strangely appropriate name, and a 23-of-so named Kimiko Koizumi, and we’re still working on piecing together their systems to see if we can salvage them,” explained Simon through the phone. “Fenton, I’m glad you found Dani. We knew she had been missing but never linked it to this operation. But you were one of the lucky ones that had all those back-ups and even luckier she retained her sentience.”

“Don’t I know it! I was so nervous she wouldn’t recognise me and I’d just get a shell of my fiancée,” he said as he swallowed hard.

“Fiancée?” There was a hint of surprise in Simon's voice, barely there under his usual stoic...ness, I guess.

“Yeah, she, umm, proposed to me the day before she disappeared. I knew what she was, but it didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I love her either way.”

"The ALPA extends its congratulations, Fenton.” I could tell Simon was smiling on the other end of the line. “Our agents are still working on locating the other gynoids at the moment...we should have more information in the morning. I take it you're holding up well, Mr. Harker?”

“Apart from missing Lina...." I sighed. "Can't really complain too much."

“We'll do our best to get her back, Mr. Harker. The parties responsible for running the smuggling ring will, in fact, be brought to justice. You can rest assured that the case is our top priority. We’re going through any properties owned by Mr. Sommers or Miss Quinn, among other things...I suggest you all get some sleep and we’ll all look at this with fresh eyes in the morning.”

After I'd bathed, changed and had a few quick chats with Millie, Ashwyn and Dani, it was obvious that there wasn't a whole Hell of a lot left to do for the day, so I turned in for the night in a spare room—the lab did, in fact, have sleeping quarters for humans available, seeing as how trying to sleep on a freaking work table would've been an absolute pain. In any case, I laid back and settled in for a good night's sleep, hoping the next day would bring us all closer to getting Lina back from the pricks who'd taken her...

Stay tuned...
"No one steals our chicks.....and lives!"

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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by DollSpace » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:02 pm

Where's the roar? Aside from this, pretty darn good.

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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by Baron » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:22 pm

DollSpace wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:02 pm
Where's the roar? Aside from this, pretty darn good.
**R*O*A*R**!!!

That good enough for ya, M'ilady? :wink:

Somewhere, at this very moment, good old Uncle Bram is crying his eyes out with joy {over his third cigar, and fourth snifter of the high-class hooch} - it is SO nice to be remembered....... :bighug:
Assemble the ladies? I didn't know that they were broken......

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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by Baron » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:26 pm

liliwinnt6 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:33 am
damn, we lost Lina again
Try wiggling the rabbit ears a bit, Mate! :devil:
That's how it always is with these old cathode-ray receivers! :lol:
Assemble the ladies? I didn't know that they were broken......

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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by liliwinnt6 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:34 am

Baron wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:26 pm
liliwinnt6 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:33 am
damn, we lost Lina again
Try wiggling the rabbit ears a bit, Mate! :devil:
That's how it always is with these old cathode-ray receivers! :lol:
hmmm...
by the way, i remember you the Baron was with the coalition in the V.I.C.I. diary universe, right?
Fellas, you may address me as Boris, my ID could be troublesome for you to call me.
BTW, my stories would be updated without notifications.
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Re: Lina, Part 7

Post by Baron » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:24 am

liliwinnt6 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:34 am
Baron wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:26 pm
liliwinnt6 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:33 am
damn, we lost Lina again
Try wiggling the rabbit ears a bit, Mate! :devil:
That's how it always is with these old cathode-ray receivers! :lol:
hmmm...
by the way, i remember you the Baron was with the coalition in the V.I.C.I. diary universe, right?
No, the Baron in the VICI Diaries is a totally different entity - same name, WAY different personality.
Assemble the ladies? I didn't know that they were broken......

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