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Old February 24th, 2019, 04:17 PM #1
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> scikaiju
Power Ranger
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261
scikaiju
Power Ranger
scikaiju's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261



Kamen Rider Fusion

A/ N This is the first fic I posted, and honestly up until recently I thought there was nothing but PR fiction allowed in tjis section for the most part.A couple of things to keep in mind, I first started this after Faiz aired, and yes I realize some of the writing here is not to best. I like to think I've at least improved since then. Any way, to any one checking this out I hope you enjoy
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<Episode 1>

His senses slowly came back to him. He eyes were refusing to focus for him. There were people around, he could tell that much. At least his other senses were working. What were they saying?

"... rate normal..."
"... brain activity spiking..."
"... gonna wake up."
"He's already awake."

Suddenly there was a blur in shape of a man over him shining a light in his eyes, "Oh geez!"

"Mr. Davidson, can you hear me?"

"Yeah."

"How do you feel?"

"Cold."

"That's understandable. Somebody get him another blanket." He started to sit up. The blur helped him, "Careful, you’ve been out for awhile. You're going to be a little disoriented for a bit."

Sitting on the edge of the bed he waited for his head to stop spinning. As his eyes finally cleared somebody put another blanket around his shoulders. After another moment he realized he was on a metal bed. Out of habit he ran his fingers threw his hair. It was shorter than he remembered and it was wet. What happened to him? "Where am I?"

"All in due time Mr. Davidson."

"Jack."

"Excuse me?"

"That was one of your questions right? If I remembered my name?"

The Doctor smiled and nodded, "That's one I don't have to worry about. Forgive me," he held out a hand, "Dr. Harold Freidman. I've been with you ever since you been in here."

"Howdy." He noticed his arm as he extended it. There were scars he didn't have before. He glanced at his left and scars were covering it too.

"I'm sure you have a lot of questions. Unfortunately I'm not the one who can answer them for you."

"The non-medical ones anyway," somebody else said. "One of your assistants called me the moment he woke up Doctor." A dark haired man in a suit walked toward them. Jack was getting more confused by the moment. The suit looked him over the turned to Friedman. "Everything is in working order I trust."

"So far, but we haven't tested..."

"Doctor."

"Right." He clapped Jack on the shoulder, "I'll see if I can find you some clothes."

"So Mr. Davidson, you should consider yourself a very lucky man. Not a whole lot of people can live after what you went through."

"Live through what?"

"Let's go a little easy on him sir." Jack sat up a little straighter when he noticed the green eye blond in the room. The suit smiled at his reaction. "He just woke up after all. I'm sure all of this is a lot to absorb all at once."

"I suppose you're right Miss Haily. I'll let you two get acquainted. You will be spending a lot of time together after all."

Jack watched him leave the room. He couldn't quite figure that guy out. A nurse brought him some clothes. Miss Haily excused herself so he could get dressed. He was a little wobbly after getting off the table but he was standing without any problem. Jack saw a mirror on a wall and looked himself over. Hair and eyes were still brown, but scars of various sizes covered his upper body and legs. What happened to him? He wanted some answers and he wanted them now.

"Are you decent?", Haily asked from the other side of the door.

"Give me a moment." he dressed as quickly as he could. Grey sweats and a T-shirt along with the mandatory slippers. Jack had been in hospitals before and he never wore anything like this. "Miss Haily..."

"Call me Rachel."

"Ok... Rachel, where exactly am I?"

She came back into the room. She sat in a chair and motioned for him to do the same. Jack turned it around and straddled it. "I can answer your question," she began, "but I need to ask you one more question." He rolled his eyes but waved it on. Anything to get some answers. "What's the last thing you remember before waking up here?"

"The last thing I remember?" Jack thought about it. Various things floated through his mind. A lot of them didn't make any sense. "I was hiking with my buddy Richie." He thought about it some more. "And I think... there was... a... blue monkey?"

The memory of what happened came back to him.

***
"Come of Jack your falling behind," Richie called back to him. Jack swore under his breath and quickened his pace. Never bet with a guy when his family owns a casino, that was his new motto. "Hey do you see that part of the mountain over there? Do you know what that reminds me of?"

"You say one thing about those stupid Japanese shows you watch and I swear I'm kicking your butt."

"Dude I knew you were a sore loser but come on. Besides you don't know quality programming when you see it."

"Let's just climb the stupid mountain."

Richie chuckled as they headed toward it. They walked up it for awhile when Richie pointed at something, "Hey what's that thing?" Whatever it was it was jumping all over the place. Gunshots could be heard right after they spotted it. "Maybe we should go now."

"Smartest thing I ever heard you say." Before they could turn around the thing stopped. About then they saw the guys dressed in black further down from whatever it was. They were trying to fire at the thing, which from his vantage point looked like a large blue monkey. "What in the world?". The monkey looked at the scene before him then at the mountain around him.

One of the guys said, "Shoot it!". The monkey jumped up and back to avoid the shot. Jack wasn't sure but he thought it was holding something. Several section of the mountain below it exploded causing a rockslide.

"Run!!" Jack turned to run when another set of explosive went off about twenty feet above them. A rock the size of a baseball hit him between the shoulder blades. He went down but Richie picked him back up. Richie looked behind them eyes going wide. He pushed Jack away from him before a mass of rocks covered him. A boulder landed on his legs pinning him to the ground. Jack screamed in pain as he laid there. Another boulder came down and crushed an arm. His vision started to go blurry when the monkey landed by him. Jack looked up at it. Before everything went dark he thought it turned into a blond haired man. The next thing he knew he was waking up here.

***
"Richie." Jack shot out of the chair, "Where's Richie?"

Rachel looked down slightly, "I'm sorry..."

"No! You saved me."

"You were barely alive when we our search team found you. Your legs and left arm were crushed." He looked at his arms, that explained the scars on one.

"So you people thought I want a matching set!" She didn't say anything. "And my legs were crushed, you said so yourself. Why am I still standing?" During his rant he realized something. "Wait, why would you have search teams out? You were after that thing weren't you?"

"One of our teams were."

"What in the hell is going on? Why am I not in a wheelchair? Why are there blue monkeys blowing up mountains? Who are you people?"

A little too calmly for his taste she answered, "I can answer two of those question for you right now. Like I told you, you were in pretty bad shape. You already lost a lot of blood when they found you. Nobody thought you were going to make it much longer. Mr. Anderson suggested a project R&D was working on."

"Anderson, that was the guy in the suit right?"

"Yeah that was him. We developed an experimental treatment for cases like yours. Well not exactly like yours, it was a military application. Look you have to understand nobody knew if the Fusion Project was going work. Mr. Anderson took a..."

"Fusion Project?"

She let out a breath, "A fusion of man and machine."

Jack laughed, "So am I worth six million dollars now? Or did that price go up because of inflation?"

"I’m glad you're finding this funny," she snapped. "I'm sorry, I realize this is a lot to take in. I mean I spent the past couple month getting ready for this. Before you ask it's been six months since your accident."

"Six months." He dropped back in the chair. "But my mom...?"

She looked down at the floor again. "She thinks your dead."

He shot out of the chair again, "What!?"

"After we identified you somebody sent word to your mother that you died in the avalanche."

"So everybody I know thinks I'm dead?" She nodded as he walked away. "So your boss decides to put my nearly lifeless carcass in a program nobody knew was going to work. That's just really convenient for you people."

"You're right." Jack looked at her as she got up and joined him by the window. "Somebody messed up badly here. I'm going to everything in my power to get this fixed."

He calmed down a bit after hearing that, "Thanks."

"Hey not everybody here at World Inc. is trying to mess with you."

"Never heard of it."

"World Inc. policy is to stay away from the public eye as much as possible."

He snorted, "A major corporation that doesn't want publicity. There some rotten stuff is going on in here alright."

"I don't get down to R&D much, so you might be right. They could be growing a vampire down there for all I know," she said with a smile. "You hungry?"

"After six months you figured I'd be starving."

"That was the nutrient bath we kept you in. It basically feed you and kept your muscles from atrophying." He shook his head as they headed for the door. "We’ve made a lot of advances in the medical field the world doesn't know about. We want to make sure things are close to perfect before they are released. The bath seems to work just fine, it should be in hospitals before you know it. Probably should be in hospitals already."

"They might be using it to feed the vampire."

"Maybe we'll see it in the cafeteria. Besides there still some things I need to tell you about the Fusion Project. And about your blue monkey."

***
Anderson entered the security control room and watched the screens that filled the wall. He looked at each screen until he found the one with Haily and this Davidson. They were talking from the look of things, Davidson seemed rather animated at times. Times like these he wished these things came with sound. He would talk to Haily about it later. The more he knew about Davidson the better. An unknown in his organization would not do.

He waved a man foreword and pointed at the screen. "I want to follow these two. They're leaving the room, hurry."

"Over here sir." He was lead to a desk in a corner that had an independent monitor. The guard typed a command into the keyboard and Haily and Davidson were on the screen. The view kept changing as the different cameras watched them. Turning back to the wall he looked for the appropriate screen. There he was, screen eighty seven. The monitor said Haily and Davidson were on camera seventy five, perfect.

He calmly walked over to another wall with a selection of phones and picked up the black one. The first ring just finished when he got an answer, "Yes Mr. Anderson."

"Mitchell, we have slight alteration in the plan. I want the target engaged in section... ," he looked at the monitors again, "section K. Don't let the situation get too out of control unless you have to terminate the target."

"Understood."

Anderson replaced the phone and returned to the monitor. Soon, all he had to do was wait.

"Sir?", the guard spoke up. "Are you sure this is wise?"

"Probably not," he admitted. "But I put a majority of the company finances into this particular project. I want to see if I got my money worth." The guard said nothing else and left him alone with the monitor.

***
"Wait show me that arm movement again," Jack said as he leaned against the wall. Rachel sighed as she raised her left arm across her chest. As he moved it to the right she brought her right arm up to her face. Then she brought her right hand down on something on her waist. "One more time."

"Let's just go," she said as she walked off. Jack caught up with her. "You need to stay serious about this."

"I'm sorry but it's a little hard to take this seriously. You just told me I have an active military prototype keeping me alive. That, might I add, I can turn on by doing that stupid arm movement."

"And saying the activator word," she informed him. Jack just snorted. "It was done to make sure that whoever was bonded to the system couldn't activate it accidently. I mean we don't want a guy to power up every time he get's angry."

Jack waited a couple of beats before saying, "Well if he gets angry couldn't he do the arm movements and say the word anyway?"

"No... well... ah... I."

"Quite a few bugs you have to work out of this system."

"I'll send R&D you comments," she said dryly. She was quiet for a few yards. "Ok it sounds really stupid. I don't know who thought that up."

"Anybody in R&D watch Japanese TV shows?"

"Why?"

"Just a hunch." They turned into another hallway and he noticed something was different. So far Jack had seen a guard or two in every hallway they been in. So where was the guard for this one? The only other person was some janitor. Jack looked at him as they passed. Suddenly men wearing black and holding guns came around the corner ahead of them. Jack looked back to the hallway they came from, there was more coming around that corner too. He held up his hands, "Whoa."

Rachel did the same thing but walk to the guy he thought was in charge. "Mitchell, what's the meaning of this?"

"We got an intruder. I have orders to take care of it." Mitchell had his gun pointed at the janitor, who was apparently going about his business like these guys weren't even here. "Hold it!" The janitor stopped where he was. "Good now lay on the ground now." He slowly turned to face Mitchell. "Don't do anything stupid." Jack knelt down in case the bullets started flying. The janitor cracked his neck and turned into a red bull.

"Oh my god," Rachel blurted.

"Holy... ," Jack started to say before the shooting started. The bull snorted and charged Mitchell and knocked him back. His men kept firing as the bull started toward the other group. The bull stopped and roared at the guard before crashing through a door.

Mitchell got back up to a knee and yelled into a microphone in his vest. "He's running! I want all teams to intercept that thing!" As his men followed the bull he looked at Jack and Rachel. "Is that guy in the project?" Jack nodded. "Well get on the case dummy."

"He's not ready yet," Rachel countered. "He's nowhere near prepared for this yet."

"Nothing better than on the job experience."

"Is that thing with the monkey I saw?", Jack asked her.

"Well yeah, but...:"

"What the activator word?"

"We don't have one yet. They were going to input one when we tested the weapon systems."

"So any word will do?" She nodded and Jack got up and chased after the bull. It crashed through a wall and into the next room. Was not going to be hard to follow that trail, that much was for sure. Going through room to room he tried to think of a word to use. When he caught up with the guards and the bull they were in a garage of some kind. And in all that time only one word rang through his head. "Damn you Richie."

Jack stood there and raised his left arm like Rachel showed him. A belt with a grey, oval metal buckle with a red face plate and two grey pods at the sides appeared around his waist. Moving his arm to the left he brought up his right arm. He looked right at the bull and said, "Henshin!", and slammed his right hand on top of the belt. He lowered his hands as the belt scanned his body. A black body suit with blue armor around his chest, top of his forearms, shins, feet and the back of his hands covered him. His vision had a tint of red as he looked out the helmet that covered his head.

***
In the security room Anderson smiled to himself. Everything was coming together perfectly. Now if the project worked like predicted things could go foreword.

***
Rachel had just come through the hole with Mitchell as Jack charged the bull. He punched it once and then kneed it in the side. Jack backed up then kicked it right in the snout. Suddenly he stopped attacking the bull when he saw his reflection in a windshield. "What are you doing?", she shouted in disbelief.

"I look like a bug."

"He kinda does," Mitchell said, "with those antennas on his forehead."

"You're not helping," Rachel told him. The bull recovered, grabbed him by the neck and tossed him. Jack landed hard on the hood of a car. The bull ran toward him with it's fist over it's head. Jack rolled out of the way as those fist slammed into the hood.

"Glad that's not my car," Mitchell commented.

"Shouldn't you be making sure nobody else gets involved?"

"All teams secure the area," he spoke into the mic. To her he said, "You think I'm going to miss the grand debut?"

***
Jack backed up against a railing as the bull charged again, "Oy." He dropped down and flipped the bull over his shoulder and over the railing. It landed with a sickening thud on the concrete below. But it was still getting up. "I must be crazy." He climbed the railing jumped on top of the bull. As it fell to the ground from the impact Jack started raining punches on it. One of his punches was caught and he was flung off. The bull slowly got to it's feet but Jack was paying attention to something else in his vision. "I got some kind of meter going crazy here!"

"You have a excess energy build up," Rachel shouted from the upper level. "The belt was designed to do that." The bull swung at him again. He ducked and rolled under the arm and kicked it hard in the back. It stumbled foreword and fell on it's face. "You have to reroute the energy, there's a button under the belt." The bull got up and tried to punch him, Jack caught it's arm and threw it. He reached under the belt and found the button and pressed it. Two mini turbines in the belt stated spinning. After a moment he felt a charge run down his right leg.

"No way." Jack looked up above him and said, "I'm only saying this one time for you." Jack took a few steps back and started running at the bull. About halfway he jumped up high in the air. On the way down he extended his right leg and yelled, "Rider kick!" The bull looked up and his foot came into contact with it's chest. Jack landed on his feet as the bull flew backward and exploded. He stood there and watched as the remains burned. What did he just do?

***
Anderson smiled at the scene on the monitor. The project worked as predicted. Now things could proceed as planned. "Send a clean up crew to the garage, and make sure nobody enters until they are done. Have Mitchell check the area for any unexpected witness, I don't want this getting out." He looked at the remains one more time. "And make sure he gets the proper respect he deserves. I'll handle the ceremony myself." He left the control room very satisfied with things. All of his plans were coming together.
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Old February 26th, 2019, 06:41 PM #2
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> scikaiju
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scikaiju
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<Episode 2>

A black and white recording of Davidson and the bull played on the wall. It was somewhat surprising to Davidson engage the creature so intensely. Almost as if he had something against the man. He would have to talk to Haily soon about her observation. Ah, his favorite part was coming up, where Davidson jump down a level to get the bull. His finger hovered over the rewind button. It was so tempting to watch that part again, but he doubted his visitor would appreciate it that much. Davidson had jumped into the air, aiming his right foot at the bull. Anderson froze the image before contact was made. No sense in seeing that part replayed. He memorized that particular image as soon as he saw it.

He pressed a button on the on the control in his desk and the screen went black while a panel slide down hiding it from view. Mitchell walked foreword and stood at ease. Anderson leaned back and steepled his fingers. "Somewhat impressive."

"He's a little raw for my taste," Mitchell replied." The only reason he won is because the bull underestimated him. And I'm sure the bull falling on the back of his neck helped a lot."

"He used his environment to his advantage," he countered.

"He got lucky. Personally I want to see how he does against an opponent with a little more skill."

"If things go right you may get your wish." Anderson leaned foreword and picked up Mitchell's report of the encounter. "Remind me, what did he say as he was performing that last kick?"

"He said 'Rider kick' sir."

"Any idea why he would say something like that?"

"Haily talked to him about it afterwards. Something about honoring a dearly departed friend or something like that."

Anderson closed the file and took that in. A small opening into Davidson psyche, perhaps the first link in handling him. He would put more thought into it later. Right now there were more important matter to deal with. "Have the remains been taken care of?"

Mitchell nodded, "Just as ordered. They're in store room C on the med lab floor. I already had the appropriate people called in. The ceremony will not be disturbed."

"Good, double the guard for the remains. I don't want them touched for any reason. Only the people involved are allowed in. The ceremony will take place in an hour."

"Yes sir." Mitchell saluted and left. Anderson reached for the control the moment he was alone. The panel slide down and the screen came to life. Davidson was still frozen in mid air. What was the best way to handle this situation?

***
After the battle Friedman insisted he return to his room. He told Jack he wanted to make sure nothing went wrong after his transformation. So now Friedman had him hooked up to various monitors in the room. The big surprise was a tech named Armstrong who had him rematerialized the belt so a diagnostic could be hooked up to his new system. There was nothing much he could do except lie there until the test were finished. At least somebody put a mattress on the metal bed since he woke up.

The only thing he could do at the moment was think. Think about how he’d lost six months of his life. About Richie. About the suits Mitchell and his men were wearing. Jack didn't realize it at the time but the men after the monkey wore something similar. These guys were obviously trained and prepared to take them on. Why did they need something like him?

Rachel came into his view and smiled at him, "How you feeling Jack?"

He looked at the wires connecting him to the computers in the room, "Like a string puppet."

Friedman chuckled, "You think this is bad? You should have seen how you were hooked up when you first arrived." There was an image he didn't need. "Everything looks normal on my end. How about you Barry?"

"Everything’s green," Armstrong said before unhooking him from the computer. The belt faded away soon afterward. Jack wanted to ask how it did that but he was afraid of what kind of techno babble he would have gotten. But there was one thing he just had to know.

He propped himself up and said, "So, you were one of the guys who created this system inside me?"

"One of them," he admitted. "Is there something you wanted to know?"

"Yeah, why do I look like a bug?" Rachel rubbed her forehead and started muttering in what sounded like French. He asked a couple of people a few times since he saw his reflection in the windshield. So far nobody had an answer for him.

"Is that all?", Armstrong looked surprised. "It was purely psychological. You’ve seen what you were up against. It was felt that if they saw something similar to them it would cause them to pause momentarily."

"So you turned me into a metal bug..."

"A dragonfly to be exact," he interrupted.

"... with red eyes?"

"We took a little creative license."

"And the power boost in my right foot?"

"That was Tim's idea actually.” He shrugged his shoulders, "Not sure were he got the idea."

"I'm sure Jack does," Rachel told him. Friedman had him unhooked in a matter of moments and they left the room. She pulled up a chair as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. "I looked up those programs you mentioned. Your activator word doesn't seem quite as strange now."

"If I knew what I was going to turn into I would have tried a little harder to think of something else. I'm telling you Richie's having himself a good laugh right about know." he looked up, "Maybe an ‘I told you’ so if he could get away with it."

"I'm sure he wouldn't say that."

"You didn't know Richie. I'm telling you if he was in my position he’d be grinning ear to ear while dancing a little jig."

"Sounds like an interesting guy."

"That's one way of putting it."

She smiled before getting serious again, "I suppose we should continue our little talk. I'm pretty sure nothing in here is going to turn into one of those creatures."

"If it does I'm hiding behind you."

Acting like he didn't say anything she continued, "You already know what the Fusion system can do. It enhances your strength and your speed. Not super strong or fast, we weren't sure if the human body could take it. But you're at least three times stronger than a normal human. That should put you on par with the average Drakan."

"Drakan? Is that what the monkey and bull are called."

"Yeah, they’ve been around for a long time. There have been reports that theorize that the werewolf myth was based on them." She paused, obviously waiting for him to make some kind of remark. When he said nothing she went on, "We think most of them just want to be left alone and live out their lives peacefully. It's the more violent ones that we're concerned with."

"Like the ones who places bombs and set's them off?" She nodded. "I got an idea were this is heading and to be honest with you I really don't want to think about this right now."

"Fair enough. How about after you get something to eat? I did promise you some lunch after all."

"Ok, but the first sign of somebody turning into anything and I'm turning around and heading the other way."

***
Anderson walked the hall with Mitchell right behind him. The people they past greeted them, he barely acknowledge them. Store room C quickly came into view. The guards saw them and reacted immediately, one punched a code into a keypad and the other open the door for them. He said nothing to the men or to the others people in the room. Mitchell gave them and the two guards inside orders, "Guard the hallway. Nobody, and I mean nobody get within fifty feet of this room."

"Understood," one of them said. Mitchell closed the door and stood in front of it.

Anderson walked around the group until he stood at the head of the table. He looked at each of the people standing there then at the remains of the once mighty bull. "Some of you might say it was wrong to sacrifice this one. You might be right, we lost a loyal follower to the cause. One who gave his life to the cause

"Let us not forget we currently live a life of conflict. In that life sacrifices must be made. We had a weapon that needed to be tested."

"So why him?", one of them asked. A breach in protocol but it was better to deal with this now then let it fester.

"Who better than one of the strongest of us," he answered. "Not only that, but one of the bravest as well. Would one of you have agreed to test the prototype so willingly? You all saw the tape of his death. Could any of you look at your certain demise and not flinch?" They all looked at each other but said nothing. He knew that would get them. The alpha always knew how to handle his pack.

"Let us no longer sully this solemn moment with whys or why nots. We are here to herald this ones arrival to the next life. We herald his arrival to the place were our brave and honorable are greeted by there ancestors. The place where we are told at birth peace is finally awarded to us. Let us announce that one worthy of that peace is on his way."

The other turned into various animals. A timber wolf, shark, lizard and other stood around the fallen Drakan. Anderson turned into a green cheetah, dots of various shades of green catching their eyes. He looked at each one with a look of feral superiority. Mitchell, the lone human in the room, stood a little straighter when his gaze came upon him. Anderson put his hands on the table, his fingernails making a clicking sound as they came into contact with the metal it was made of. The other soon followed suit and as one howled at the ceiling.

When they stopped Anderson spoke again, "His ancestors have been warned and are awaiting him. The example he set in death let us use in life." They nodded and returned to their human disguises. Mitchell opened the door and let them out. Soon it was just the two of them. "Is there a problem Mitchell?"

"It just freaks me out a little when you change like that."

"You can 'freak out' all you want, just remember where your loyalties lie."

"Always."

***
"Well this slop is better than I thought it be," Jack said. He picked up a spoonful of what he was eating and let it fall back into the bowl. He hadn't eaten much of it. Rachel forced it on him saying he would love it. Fortunately he was able to hold off tasting it for awhile by talking to her.

"It's not slop," she corrected him, "it's jambalaya. My aunt made it every time I visited. They get it close to her recipe but it's always a little off."

"So, what, you ask them to make a certain dish and they'll make it for you?"

"No this also happens to be one of Mr. Anderson favorite dishes as well. And you have to keep your boss happy you know." Before he could say anything a faint howl filled the air. Everybody in the cafeteria was trying to locate the source. It was low and echoed in the room.

"What the hell?", Jack looked at a vent near their table. It sounded like it was coming from there but ended before he could check.

"I don't know,” Rachel said looking uncertain. Things settled down after a few moments. "Maybe a couple of dogs got into the air ducts or something."

Jack looked at her, "This company develops military prototypes, yet you let stray animals and people who turn into monster just wander in?"

Before she could answer a guy he hadn't seen before walked up to them, "Hi Rachel."

"Hi Terry, what's up."

"Mr. Anderson asked me to find you guys. There's a meeting in his office in an hour and a half that he wants both of you at." He motioned to Jack, "He wants to discuss Mr. Davidson future."

"Nice of him to invite me," Jack mumbled. Rachel shot him a look out of the corner of her eye. "It's my future after all."

***
Haily and Davidson had walked into Anderson Office. He appreciated the way Davidson eyed the two people he wasn't familiar with. Sizing them up like a predator. He could definitely respect that. Anderson stood, "Mr. Davidson, I haven't had a chance to congratulate you on your victory earlier." Davidson remained motionless, all business he liked that. "Please have a seat."

As they sat he gestured to the man seated to his right, "Allow me to introduced Bradley Allen, my VP." Allen nodded. He then turned to the woman on his left, "And this is Heather Williams, she in charge of the Drakan situation. You already met Mitchell," he was standing behind his chair and gave him a two finger salute. "Miss Haily did educate you on the Drakans?"

"We went over the basics," Davidson told him.

"Good. Then she also told you our plans for the Fusion project then?"

"Not quite sir," Haily admitted. "Jack guessed what the intentions were but he didn't want to dwell on it at the time. I felt it was best not to push the matter."

"Why?", Allen asked suddenly.

"He went through a lot in a short period of time..."

"I mean why give him a choice. Do you realize how much money we put into this kid? As far as I'm concerned we own him. He's as much our property as that chair he's sitting on." He shot Davidson a particularly nasty look. "Of course he wants a say we could have mommy foot part of the bill."

Davidson showed his first emotion since he walked in, "Ever have a piece of property kick your..."

"Gentlemen," Anderson interrupted, "please, let's not have this get physical. Mr. Allen is in the wrong here, you can not own a human being." Anderson leaned back in his chair, "However we do own the Fusion system. We seem to have a bit of a dilemma."

"Yes you do," Davidson told him flatly.

"Jack," Haily said in a warning tone

"You’d be dead if it wasn't for us," Allen told him.

"Who asked you to save me?", Davidson shot back.

"We assumed you be grateful."

"You assumed I'd fight those things for you."

"Not all of them," Williams interrupted. "We just want you to handle the more aggressive ones."

"I don't blow things up on command," he informed her.

"You had no problem with out friend earlier," Allen said.

"I was told he was with the monkey."

"What monkey?"

"A Drakan blue monkey," Haily informed them. "If you remember one of our teams was after him six months ago. Jack was caught in the trap it set." That opening Anderson detected earlier just became larger. He leaned foreword slightly to study Davidson. How far could he push that opening before the man pushed back?

"Well I can understand Mr. Davidson reluctance. He wants to get his revenge on the person who did this to him, yet he doesn't want to become a cold blooded killer." Davidson eyes narrowed a bit. Anderson took that a sign that he hit the mark. "If Miss Haily hasn't told you we made it our business to track the Drakans, particularly the more violent ones. When we feel they become a danger to the general public we take them out. As quickly and as quietly as possible. With the resources we have I feel we can help you find your monkey."

"In exchange I take out some of your problems."

"I ask you to handle them. If you can find a more peaceful and nonviolent way to do that, then I suggest you do it. I must warn you though, the ones we've come into contact with were not so eager to find a peaceful solution." Williams' cell phone rang. She excused herself and stood by a window.

Davidson thought about it for a moment. "After I get the monkey I'm out." Allen started to say something but Anderson held up a hand to stop him.

"Agreed."

"Just in time," Williams said as she came back to the desk. "We just sighted a Drakan in a known human disguise about five blocks from here."

"Five blocks?", Davidson said in disbelief.

"What's one doing so close?", Mitchell asked

"He could be trying to find the bull," Haily offered. "It might be his contact."

"We better intercept him," Anderson said. "Mr. Davidson this looks like your first chance to find a nonviolent solution. I'll send Mitchell to back you up just in case and to secure the area. No need in any innocents getting hurt. I wish you luck."

Mitchell headed for the door, "Let's rock and roll buddy."

***
Jack stood in an alley about three blocks from World Inc. One of Mitchell's spotters saw his target enter this block from the other side. The plan was to intercept him in the middle. In order to go in alone he agreed to wear an earpiece so he could contact Mitchell in case this went bad. If he wanted to find a peaceful way out of this he didn't need an armed squad right behind him.

Of course he'd be in a better mood to find that way if his feet weren’t being crushed in these boots they gave him. They told him they didn't have time to find some in his size. A few moments to take another look, that all he asked of the guy. Jack was trying to stretch them out when he saw his apparent target walking around the corner. The guy was even wearing a dark colored trench coat, how cliché could you get? They stared at each other for a moment. "I know who you're looking for, he ain't coming. So why don't we both turn around, go back were we came and forget we ever saw each other."

The man sniffed the air. "I smell Drakan blood. On you."

"Really?", he didn't remember the bull bleeding. Either way this couldn't be good.

"You killed a Drakan." Four insect like legs emerged from it's back. As they lifted him off the ground he transformed into a blue spider.

"Ah hell." Jack needed back up now. He reached for the earpiece when one of the legs caught him the side throwing him into the wall. The earpiece was jarred out of his ear on contact. Jack knew he didn't have time to find it. He got to his feet and raised his left arm across his chest. The belt materialized around his waist, the metal glowing in the light. He moved his arm to the left and raised his right arm to his face. "Henshin!", Jack shouted as he slammed his right hand on top of the belt. The belt scanned him and he was soon wearing the black body suit and blue armor.

"You had your chance ugly." Jack charged the spider. He jumped to avoid one of the larger legs and punched it in the head on the way down. The spider staggered from the blow. Jack kicked out one of it's legs out from under it but it didn't fall. Instead it grabbed him by the neck with his regular arms and lifted him off the ground. Jack stared into it's multiple eyes and kicked it in the gut. The spider dropped him and Jack immediately jumped back up for another kick. It leaped out of the way landing halfway down the alley. It's opened it's mouth and spit something out. Jack raised his arms to block, webbing covered his forearms.

The spider cut the webbing with it's mouth and quickly pulled up on it. Jack went flying in the air before crashing on the other side of the spider. He quickly realized one thing, it was stronger than it looked. The spider repeated the throw move a few more times. As he tried to get to his feet the spider jumped on top of him knocking him back down. It's fangs were reaching for his neck and he was barely keeping them away. The spider was trying to wrestle his arms out of the way in order to finish him off. Jack risked letting go with his right arm and punched the spider in the head three times. It raised up enough for Jack to get his legs under it's belly to push it away. He rolled backwards to his feet and put some distance between them. The spider spit out his webbing again. Jack grabbed a pipe and put in front of him and the webbing caught onto it. The spider tried to throw him again but he was ready for it this time, throwing his weight back. They played tug of war as the pipe bent under the strain.

The meter started going wild again and Jack let go of the pipe. The spider was caught off guard and staggered back trying to keep it's balance. He pressed the button under the belt. Two mini turbines behind the belt's red face plate started spinning and a charge went down his right leg. The spider jumped high in the air. Jack waited for it to descend before he jumped at it. He brought his foot up and caught the spider in the belly. The charge forced the spider to bounce away and explode. Jack flipped backwards so he landed on his feet and not his head. The flaming remains of the spider landed a few yards from him in a heap. That was two he had to live with.

***
On a rooftop a few blocks away a blond haired man watched the battle through a pair of high powered binoculars. He snarled when the spider blew up and held his gaze at the metal insect for several moments. He reached into a pocket and pulled out a cell phone. Quickly dialing a number he waited for an answer, "We have a problem."
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Old February 26th, 2019, 09:35 PM #3
> AkaPrimoKanyeWest
A Dino,a Wiz & a Wardrobe
 
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AkaPrimoKanyeWest
A Dino,a Wiz & a Wardrobe
 
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I like how you deconstruct the concept in certain regard.

Keep up the good work.
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Old February 26th, 2019, 09:45 PM #4
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> scikaiju
Power Ranger
 
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scikaiju
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Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying this old fic of mine.
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Old February 28th, 2019, 08:21 PM #5
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> scikaiju
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<Episode 3>

Jack met Mitchell and his men on the way out of the alley. Several of them pointed their rifles at him until Mitchell ordered them to lower their weapons. Jack walked up to him. "What happened? I told you to call for back up if the situation went south."

He pointed back toward the alley, "Got thrown into a wall and lost the earpiece. You guys got a way to find that thing right?"

Mitchell let out a groan and waved a man foreword, "Fuller grab a scanner and find that thing before somebody else does." He nodded and went off. "So what happened? We heard the explosion and came running."

"He smelled the bull on me and went monster."

"Funny, you don't spell like bull."

"Cute," Jack started scratching were the web was attached to his forearm. "I thought I got all this crap off."

"Is that webbing?"

"Yeah, the guy turned into a spider and shot it out of his mouth." Jack headed back toward the street. Maybe one of those World Inc. eggheads had something to remove the rest of it.

"Could have been worse," Mitchell said, "he could have shot it out of his butt."

Jack stopped in his tracks and looked at him, "You just had to give me that image didn't you?"

"Hey you're the one who lost my earpiece," Mitchell told him. Then he smiled, "Come on, the coffee is on me."

***
A few blocks away the blond haired man was having a heated discussion over his cell phone. "I am not seeing things. He was taken out by a metal insect. I'm telling you Anderson had that thing created. Who else could have? I am going to tear that thing apart. What do you mean leave it alone? You didn't just see... but... it's dangerous. Alright I'll leave it alone until I'm told otherwise." He ended the conversation.

He pounded the guardrail. Didn't that fool realize how stupid that decision was? He would have to head back and discuss this matter face to face. Before he left he turned back into his original form. The blue fur covering his body moving in the wind he steadied himself. The monkey looked into the sky and howled.

***
Anderson stood there staring a hole into Allen. He forced the file he had into Allen's hand. He waited until the man finished reading the file. He gained no satisfaction as Allen's eyes went wide. "I don't understand how this happened."

"You don't understand," Anderson mocked. "Humans heard the ceremony! There is report after report of people hearing a mysterious howl through out the building. Questions are being asked."

"Mitchell assured me the room was sound proof."

"And you never thought to check?"

"Mitchell..."

"I will deal with Mitchell!", he told him. In his rage he grabbed him by the throat and forced him to his knees, "Because I respected your Father I let you have this position. And I also looked the other way on your other activities. Another mistake like this and I will look at them a little closer. Am I being clear?"

"Understood," he sputtered

"Good." He released Allen's neck and the man gasped for air. Anderson walked away and straightened his suit. "Send Haily in here on your way out. We have matters to discuss."

"Yes sir," Allen replied giving him a look.

Anderson took the few moments he had to get his emotions under control. There was no need for any human to see him in such a state. Haily walked through the door and he gave her a small warm smile, "I'm glad you could see me."

"It's not a problem sir." He offered her a seat on the couch. She sat on one end so he took the other. "I'm assuming this is about Jack."

"He's a rather strong willed individual. I wanted to make sure you're comfortable in your position as his mission operator."

"I handled people more stubborn than Jack before. He's not going to be a problem."

"Good. If I may voice another concern, how do you think he'll react when he finds out you'll be giving him orders?"

"Honestly, I don't know. In the few times we talked today I tried to be open and build a little trust. I'll guess we'll find out when it happens."

"I guess so." He stood and walk to the window. "What's your opinion of him? Based on these talks."

"Like you said, he's strong willed. It's a bit early but I don't think he's the following type. He's also very unhappy about his current situation."

"Well I don't think anyone can fault him for that."

"No we can't. But there might be something that could improve his mood slightly." Anderson gave her his full attention. "His Mother thinks he's dead. It might help if he could call her, let her know he's still alive."

"Hmm. Given the nature of his current situation that could be difficult."

"I know sir."

"But if it helps his moral it can't be too much of a negative. I'll have someone look for her. At the very least we can arrange a phone call."

"He'll be glad to hear it."

"But let's hold off in telling him for now. A lot can happen in six months. I mean there's no need in getting his hopes up and then have things turn out differently."

"You probably right." She got up off the coach, "Well I better get ready for tomorrow. It's going to be interesting to see his reaction to the rest of this stuff."

"You'll be able to handle it," he assured her. After she left he went back to the window and smiled to himself. Davidson just became a little easier to manipulate.

***
Jack slowly woke up but it felt like he could fall back asleep at any moment. He felt dead tired a couple of hours after that second fight. He was able to hold it off until he got some dinner. Then he went back to the room he was using and fell into the bed. Jack forced himself off the bed and went into the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face.

He walked back into the room and saw Rachel by the door. She was dressed a bit more causally then she was yesterday. "Morning."

"Good afternoon," she told him.

"Afternoon? What time is it?"

"One thirty."

"Oy," Jack rubbed his eyes. "Last I checked it was about eight thirty last night."

"Two transformation in one day, after you woke up after six months I might add. I wouldn't have been surprised if you were still sleeping."

"Is this gonna happen every time I take out one of those Drakans for you guys?"

"Well until your body gets used to it. The nutrient bath kept your muscles from going limp, apparently it does nothing for your stamina."

"As long as I keep it to one kill a day," he said a little bitterly.

"Let's try not to think about that unless we have to. Come on, you can use the showers in the gym to clean up. And Mr. Anderson had his shopper pick up some clothing for you."

"He has a personal shopper? Got to be nice having that kind of cash."

"I'm sure it is." She walked off with him following "You should be glad to know I talked him out of what he wanted to buy."

"Let me guess, business casual."

"Yeah, fortunately Mr. Anderson talked him into seeing things my way. I hope you don't mind, I took a few guesses based on what you were wearing when we found you."

"It's cool, as long as it covers me up." The reached the gym after a few minutes. Rachel told him she meet him in the cafeteria. Something about explaining the rest of the situation to him. Great there was more.

The shower felt better than he would have expected. He spent a few minutes under the spray trying to figure everything out. It made his head hurt just thinking about it. And there was still more to add to it. Food, he would think better after some food. Mom always said the brain worked better after a meal. Jack turned off the shower and dried off. He looked around until he found the bags the shopper left for him.

There were still some fancy and high class items in the bag. That shopper was determined to get his taste across no matter what. Luckily there were a few plain items he could wear. Sneakers, blue jeans and a plain black T-shirt, that would do for now. He also found a jean jacket with a sweatshirt hood built into the collar. That would hide the scars on his arm. Jack looked himself over in a mirror, he looked normal enough. Now if he only felt normal.

***
Rachel led Jack down the hall. He was starting to get a little more relax now. Of course he kept eyeing everybody they past. Rachel caught herself doing it a couple of times. She had seen that janitor around before and never expected anything. And if one Drakan was in here, could there be another?

Before she could show him anything else he needed a security I.D. first. Going to the cafeteria and the gym were one thing, and Mr. Anderson worked a few strings to get him into the meeting yesterday. What he was going to see next, she doubted even the boss would let that slide. Although Rachel was surprised at how quiet Jack was during the procedure. After filling out a questionnaire and taking the I.D.'s photo he spent most of the time skimming old magazines. Outside of the occasional comment like, "Britney Spears got married? Damn," he didn't say a word.

After that was over with she took him to the heart of the Drakan operation. The guard looked over their I.D.s and let them through. Jack stood there in the doorway and let out a low whistle. Heather Williams stood in a center of a circle of computers. A map of the city and the surrounding area covered one wall. Various people were either sitting at a computer or moving across the room. Hardly anybody seemed to notice them. Jack walked toward a row of monitors showing various parts of the city outside. "Kind of impressive isn't it?", she asked him.

"A bit. Do they watch the entire building from here?"

"No, there's a separate security room for that. Mr. Anderson wanted it that way."

"Again, it must be nice to have that kind of cash."

"It is," Anderson snuck up behind them. "But it's simpler to keep security and Drakan monitoring separate. It would be hard to explain why we have so many cameras outside in the city."

"I'd bet."

"Hello again Mr. Davidson," Heather came up and shook his hand. "It's a pleasure to see you in more pleasant conditions."

"Likewise," then he mumbled, "I think."

"Yes, my VP can be rather aggravating at times, of course you already found that out," Anderson clapped Jack on the back. "But he's good at what he does so I keep him around." He looked at them. "So, Mr. Davidson, why don't you tell me about what you know about the Drakans so far."

"Well," Jack began, "they can look like humans. They’ve been around for a long, long time. Apparently they can smell Drakan blood on you after you kill one. Oh, and they come in two colors."

"Three colors actually," Rachel told him.

"Three?"

"Blue, red and green," Heather explained. "Blue is the most common and green seems to be the rarest. We think their society is run on a class system based on those colors. With the rarer color being in charge."

"So green's like royalty and blue are the common folks," Jack said. Heather nodded, "So what's red?"

"More than likely the enforcers, or knights if you prefer," Anderson spoke up. "Keepers of the laws that had worked for centuries. Until a band of anarchist rebels rose up and tried to demand a change in
the status quo." Anderson stopped when he realized they were looking at him. "I'm just assuming that is the case. There hadn't been a problem with the Drakans until a few years ago."

"Right," Jack said looking at him funny. "So how long have you guys known about these things?"

"About twenty years," Heather answered. "We've been able to identify most of the rebels in the city."

"Most of them? Is that why one was posing as a janitor under you nose?"

"Actually we already knew he was a Drakan," Anderson said.

Rachel was shocked, "We did?"

"It's great being in the loop ain't it?", Jack teased. She just shot him a look.

"We were assuming he was one of the peaceful one. We were keeping an eye on him, but there was no need in pointing him out," Heather explained.

"Until we caught him in a sector he wasn't authorized to enter," Anderson added. "He was caught on video breaking into a cabinet and photographing files. Security thinks he was copying files based on the Fusion system. Unfortunately the situation during the confrontation made it difficult to know for sure."

"In other words the film went boom when he did," Jack said. Anderson didn't deny it. "Oops."

"You didn't know, "Heather said."Neither did Mitchell."

"I only told him to use force if the Drakan became hostile. Which it did." Anderson walked over to the map and tapped a small part of it. "Fortunately you were there to help out with the situation. And I'm sad to say I may need you to do so again,"

"I told you I don't blow up things on command."

"I'm not asking you to," Anderson said calmly. "I have a scout team checking out an alleged Drakan safe house. The one you encountered late yesterday afternoon was seen exiting the building in question. A simple look around is all it is. But I would like for them to have some kind of back up. Since Mitchell and his team are on a special assignment I was hoping you would step in."

Jack looked like he was mulling it over. "All I do is sit outside and wait?" Anderson nodded. "Ok I'll do it then."

"Excellent, I'll have someone let them know."

"Come on," Rachel pulled him by the arm, "I'll show you what you'll be driving to get there."

***
The doors of the elevator opened at the garage level. Jack followed Rachel down the ramp. Looking down the side he saw a section that was taped off, where he fought the bull he guessed. "So you're suppose to tag along on these assignments?", he asked her.

"I'm you mission operator. My job is to make sure you get your assignments and complete every objective they give you."

"And to make sure I come back like a good little bug." Before she could answer he added, "And if you're supposed to tag along where were you yesterday when I was taking on arachna-man?"

"Mr. Anderson had Mitchell go with you, I wasn't needed."

"Have you ever done this before?"

"Well no,” she admitted, “this is technically my first time out as an operator."

"Great." They were met by a man in a white lab coat. Jack could see he was wearing a shirt with an all too familiar Japanese character. He figured he just meet the man responsible for his weapon. "Just a guess, Tim?"

"How did...," he began, "never mind. Man I can't tell you how glad I am to meet you. I mean you would not believe how excited the Fusion team got over the live data. Nobody thought two transformations in one day was possible. But you also used the charge kick twice too."

"Charge kick," he said to Rachel, "figures."

"My little nickname for it," Tim said proudly. "Your ride's over here. It's a...."

"Wait," he interrupted, "let me guess... a motorcycle."

Tim eyes went wide and he pointed two fingers at him, "Dude, your a fan too?"

Jack mimicked the gesture, "No, I'm not."

"Jack behave yourself," Rachel told him. "Where is the KR-1000?"

"KR!?" Jack looked up," You're just rolling up there ain't you?"

"The bike's over here." Tim led them to a black and grey motorcycle. It looked normal enough, but if Tim had anything to say about it. "Here she is. We based the design on the Ninja, but it's a lot more powerful."

"It doesn't transform or anything, does it?", Jack asked a little apprehensive

"No, I got out voted on that." Jack was never so glad of anything in his life. "But you do have two lasers that pop out on both side of the headlight when you need it to."

"Good to know." Jack grabbed the helmet and got on the bike. Turning on the ignition he jumped on the kick start. The bike roared to life, he could get used to this. He revved it a few times and looked at Rachel, "Get on."

"I was going to take my car."

"The faster I get there the faster I get this over with."

"Alright, I'll navigate." He handed her the helmet and she got on behind him. Jack revved it a few more times and headed out.

Twenty minutes, and several broken speed limits, later they arrived at the meeting point. Jack was grinning way before they got there. First time he was alone he was definitely going to push the limits on this baby. Judging by the death grip around his waist Rachel had a different opinion about the trip. Cutting the engine he said, "You can open you eyes now."

She let go and took off the helmet, "You're a mad man you know that?"

He grinned, "That's what they all say." Looking around he wondered, "So where this scout team?"

"You probably beat them here." Gunshots started ringing in an old building across the street. "They went in early?"

"Knew I should have went faster." Jack got off the bike and ran to the open door. Inside was an open space were the scout team was fighting a blue elephant. It's one whole tusk was covered in a red liquid at the tip. Jack saw a man on the ground trying to cover a hole in his shoulder with his hand. Wasting no time he raised his left arm across his chest to make the belt materialize and he moved his arm to the left. Raising his right arm to his face he shouted, "Henshin!", and slammed his right hand on top of the belt. In moments he was in the black body suit and blue armor.

"Get an ambulance," he told Rachel before going after the beast. One of the scout team members went flying as one of the elephants huge arms bashed into him. Jack got behind him throwing a couple of quick kidney punches. The elephant swung an arm he was able to duck and got a shot into it's gut. He aimed a kick at it's head but it moved. He ended up cracking the broken tuck even more. The elephant screamed in pain and started swinging widely. Jack got hit with a glancing blow that still knocked him back a few feet.

He quickly got to his feet and went after the elephant again. Using his speed advantage he got in close, nailed a punch or kick and got out of range. The elephant swung an arm again and Jack rolled out of the way getting behind the elephant. Waiting for it to turn around Jack unleashed a sidekick with all the power the Fusion system gave him. The elephant barely budged. Underneath the helmet his eyes went wide, "Ah crap." The elephant knocked his leg down and kicked him in the stomach. As the breath left his body Jack was hit with an uppercut that made him see stars as he flipped over in the air. Landing hard on the ground he tried to get up. His limbs were refusing to work. He needed time to get the cobwebs out of his head. Time he didn't have as he felt the elephant come closer.

***
What was Jack doing just lying there on the floor? Oh god, could he be hurt? Rachel looked around and found one of the scout teams gun on the floor. She picked it up, aimed it at the elephant and fired. The bullet didn't have much of an affect but it turned around anyway. It started to come at her. She kept firing and emptied the clip. Rachel looked around but didn't see another weapon that was close enough. She started backing up as the elephant continued it's approach. "Come on Jack where are you?", she muttered.

Almost on cue Jack was flipping over the elephant. He forced his right foot back into it's chest on the way down. Jack landed between them as the elephant staggered backwards. He shielded her as it exploded. Then he fell to his knees and hit the top of the belt. He returned to normal and stayed were he was. Rachel knelt down beside him, "Are you alight?"

He looked right at her. His eyes seemed clear and focused. He didn't slur a word as he said, "I want tomorrow off."

Rachel couldn't help but grin, "I'll see what I can arrange." She let him get his wind back as she called for a medical team and checked on the members of the scout team.
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Old February 28th, 2019, 09:02 PM #6
> AkaPrimoKanyeWest
A Dino,a Wiz & a Wardrobe
 
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Posts: 78,802
AkaPrimoKanyeWest
A Dino,a Wiz & a Wardrobe
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 78,802



Ooh, a Duel Academy-esque tier system. Like.
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Old March 2nd, 2019, 01:16 PM #7
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> scikaiju
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<Episode 4>

Outside the building Jack was sitting on the steps. Some kind of med tech from World Inc. kept flashing a light in his eyes and asked these really annoying questions. It got real old real quick. "Would you git," he moved his head away, "I just got hit in the head, I'm fine."

"Sir...," he began before Rachel stopped him.

"He's normal, trust me." The tech snorted and packed his gear. She sat next to him on the steps and said, "That was a little close."

"What do you mean? I had me right were he wanted me." She rolled her eyes at the bad joke. "Actually it reminded me of a bully I knew back in high school. He had a mean uppercut too." He rubbed his jaw more from the memory than from the pain. "Any idea why the team went in early?"

"One of the more conscious members said they were supposed to wait for a guy on a black motorcycle,” she explained. ”One pulled up before we did and nodded in their direction. They assumed it was you. The guy was gone by the time they hit the door."

"Anderson has some bright ones working for him, that for sure."

"I'm pretty sure there's going to be some kind of investigation on what happened. Mitchell hates mistakes like this."

"Good for him." Jack got up from the steps and headed for the bike. Rachel followed close by.

"And were do you think you're going?", she asked.

Jack patted the bike's handle," I am taking this thing to the limit. I was holding back because you were on it." She paled slightly, dumbfounded by the thought he could handle a faster speed. She quickly put that plan on hold.

"Friedman is going to want to check you out after this one." He started to protest but she stopped that too. "And I'm your mission operator, so I can make that an order if I had to."

"Alright," he got on the bike. "Need a lift?"

"No I'm going to catch a ride with one of the others." She turned to watch the last car as it was pulling away. Jack was almost positive she said a cuss word in French. Keeping a straight face he held out the helmet. She took it and got on, "Keep it to the speed limit and I can guarantee you can have all day tomorrow to play with your new toy."

Jack grinned, "Deal."

***
The echoes of the howl slowly faded away in the house, and the blue monkey quickly reverted back to his human form. He had decided to wait a few hours after the humans left the building. He had come in the back way in case the front was still being watched. The moment he entered the smell of Drakan blood assaulted his senses. At that moment he knew what happened. The video footage from the hidden security room confirmed it. He popped the tape out of the VCR. That old fool would have to believe him now.

***
Anderson walked the halls of his company, nodding to everyone he met. He went out of the way to be pleasant to the one he remembered snubbing on the day of the ceremony. He always tried to keep his employees happy, Anderson saw everyone who worked for him as part of his pack. And the way he figured it an unhappy employee was practically an invite for a competitor to come into his territory. He would not have that.

He ran into Haily as he exited an elevator. How fortunate, he wanted to talk to her, "Miss Haily."

"Mr. Anderson," she said pleasantly. She was still wearing a more casual look like she did yesterday. He looked around the immediate area and didn't see who he was expecting.

"Where's Mr. Davidson? I haven't seen him all day."

"He’s taking a little R&R sir. Taking on three Drakan in two days I figured it couldn't hurt."

"Of course, we don't want him to burn put too quickly now do we?" He gestured down the hallway, "Join me for a walk?" She agreed and they went down the hall. "I'm assuming Mr. Davidson has the KR-1000 with him?"

"That would be a safe bet," she answered with a bit of a smile.

"I take it he found a part of the job he likes."

"An angry Drakan couldn't pry that bike away from him." He chuckled politely at the joke. "Have you seen my report of the incident yesterday?"

"Yes I have, very thorough Miss Haily."

"It was my first mission report and I wanted to make sure nothing was left out."

"Relax, you did fine." She was quiet for a bit. "Is something on your mind?"

"I was wondering about how the injured members of the scout team were doing. I was trying to find Mitchell to find out how they were."

"Mitchell told me about it last night. There were a few cracked ribs and other bones and that one poor fellow who was gored in the shoulder. Outside of that they're all fine. In fact I believe Mitchell is reminding them and his other teams of proper procedure right now."

"I hated putting that in my report but..."

"You did the right thing," he assured her. "Believe me Mitchell would have come after you if you didn't. I've seen him grill people, it's not pleasant to watch. In fact I would rather face an ‘angry Drakan' with a dull butter knife than be interrogated by him," he said with a smile, Haily smiled back.

They came to another set of elevators and he decided now would be a good time to part ways. "I have to check on something on another floor, so if you will excuse me."

"Of course," she said

"Thanks for walking with me," the elevator doors opened and he stepped through before he remembered something. Before the door closed he held out a hand to stop them. "Oh Miss Haily," she turned to face him. "If you can convince Mr. Davidson to stay in tomorrow stop by R&D. I believe there is something that could help him in future battles."

"I'll let him know as soon as I see him."

"Good," Anderson let the door closed. Sometimes you had to keep a potential competitor happy as well.

***
Jack parked the bike in the World Inc. garage grinning ear to ear. He'd been dreaming about having a machine like this for as long as he could remember. Now if he didn't have to be turned into a freak in order to get it. Turning off the engine he got off and headed for the elevator.

He hated coming back here, he wanted to find his mom. But he told Anderson he'd stay until he got the monkey. And he was always told to keep his word, no matter how disgusted it made you. Besides he still had questions he needed answers to, with more coming to mind every day. Like why his first assignment took place in his mom's old neighborhood. It was just too much of a coincidence to him. If the Drakan had one safe house in the city there could have been more. With all the cameras this place had watching the city that was the only they could find. It smelled a little fishy to him.

Or it could be his distrust of rich people. Either way he figured he had time to sort it out.

Jack reached his floor and walked out. The place was quiet at this time of night. He kinda preferred it that way. The fewer people in the building the less he had to worry about somebody turning into a bull or a snake or something. As he approached his room he heard voices coming from it. Jack stopped right outside the door and peered inside. A few of the guys from the scout team were inside his room. What was going on here?

"I still can't believe how high that thing jumped," one of them said.

"No kidding, who would have thought a guy who turned into an elephant could jump that high," said a second one. "Of course anything can get some air with the proper motivation."

"Yeah, said the first one, "good thing we had our..."

"Good thing Davidson showed up," said a third voice he couldn't see.

"Right," the first one said slowly. "That thing went nuts after it saw us. I thought we were going to die."

"Hey Jack," Mitchell came up from behind him and surprised him. "I was wondering when you were going to show up. Man you must have given that motorcycle quite a work out." The other three in the room came out like they weren't saying anything. No point in asking questions now.

"Yeah I got a pretty good feel for her now,” he told him. “Almost lost it a few times but I can handle her."

"Good to hear. Did you try out the lasers? That the first thing I would have done."

“I got off a couple of practice shots," he admitted.

"Make sure you do that a lot. You never know when you're going to need an accurate shot with them."

"I'll keep that in mind." He pointed to the other three, "So what's this all about?"

"The guys wanted to buy you a drink," Mitchell told him.

"Yeah man," said one he recognized as the third voice, "you saved our hides yesterday. Me and the other wanted to thank you."

"Hey just doing my job," he told them. Jack wasn't in the mood to be in a group right now. Particularly this group so he made up an excuse. "Besides I'm still a little wiped out. I'm just gonna get some sleep in."

"Ok we'll do it some other time," the one who had the first voice said. "You know, I thought they were nuts when they told us only one guy was going to back us up."

Mitchell slapped Jack hard on the back, "I told you this guy was something else. I'll see you tomorrow buddy."

"Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow." Jack watched them leave before entering his room. He took off his jacket and tossed it on a chair absentmindedly. He sat on the edge of the bed and thought about what he just heard before Mitchell showed up. Another question he needed an answer to. And he wasn't sure if he was going to like the answer to this one when he got it.

***
When Rachel returned to work that morning Jack wasn't in his room. She eventually found him in the cafeteria. Walking up to him she saw he was staring out into space, sitting in front of him was a bowl of soggy cereal. How long was he like this? She stood there waiting to be noticed. It took a few moments before he looked at her. "Never took you for the blue jean wearing type."

Rachel took the seat in front of him, "There's a lot about me you don't know about."

"I know you swear in French."

"You speak French?"

"Not a word. But I heard my Mom cuss out my Uncle enough times that I can recognize the tone."

"You can huh?"

"I may not know what's being said but I can usually tell when somebody getting cussed out." He returned his attention to his cereal. Jack looked a little dismayed when he saw the mush in his spoon and dropped it back into the bowl. "So what's in the package?"

"It's yours." She gave him the brown envelope she was carrying. "You got a new driver license, IDs, a new social security number." Jack raised an eyebrow at that one. "You're technically dead, so the higher ups said you needed a new one. I don't get it either." She wasn't looking foreword to saying this next part, "And your checks are in there too."

"My checks?", he said slowly.

"Mr. Anderson is treating you like an outside contractor. You get paid for the jobs we give you."

"So this is my Drakan blood money?"

"I know it's not a pleasant thought but you need something to live on."

"I guess Allen doesn't want me mooching off the company more than necessary." Jack pulled out a white envelope and opened it. "I wonder what a freelance Drakan killer makes." He pulled out the check and his jaw fell, "Whoa. Does Allen know they're paying me this much?"

"I think Allen would have a stroke if he knew what Anderson was paying you." He started looking depressed as he pulled out two more checks. "Does it help to know that it bothers me too?"

"Not really," he admitted.

"Let's put this in your room. We can figure out what you can do about them later. Mr. Anderson wanted me to take you down to R&D. He said there might be something down there to help you out."

"Oh joy."

It took a few minutes for Jack to find a place to put the checks. He didn't looked all the thrilled about going to R&D. More than likely he wanted to go out and play with his toy some more. Hopefully what ever R&D had come up with would lighten his mood. Judging by how anxious he was getting it had better be good.

Rachel led him to R&D. Showing their IDs to the guard she let him go in first. Like with the with the command center Jack stopped inside the door. She saw Tim talking to Barry by a nearby computer and she pushed him in that direction. Barry put down whatever device they where discussing and turned toward them. "Rachel, Jack how are you doing today?"

"We're fine," she told them. "Mr. Anderson said there was something down here that could help Jack." She noticed he was looking around the room. He looked disappointed for some reason, "Jack?"

He looked at her, "You promised me there’d be a vampire."

"Ignore him," she told them.

"It's over here." Tim led them to a table holding various objects and picked up a grey cylinder. As he handed it to Jack she wondered what use that thing was going to be.

So did Jack, "I'm suppose to poke them to death with this thing or something?"

"Snap it," Tim said while making a flicking motion with his fist.

"Snap it," Jack said more in mock as he did the motion. The top part of the cylinder extended about three feet. He snapped it in the other direction and the other end extended the same length. "Ok, that's cool."

"Glad you like it," Barry said as he took the staff from him. He twisted it in the center and it returned to it's original size. Handing it back to Jack he said, "It's only a prototype at this point. We have a few ideas on what to add to it but this should do you until we get that one finished."

"It's designed," Tim added, "to fit between the handle bars of the KR-1000. So you always have it with you."

"Cool, I'll go see if it fits right now." Jack turned around and walked out without saying good bye.

"Great," Rachel said, "you just gave him something else to play with on that bike."

***
Anderson hung up the phone. Mitchell stood in front of the desk waiting patiently. "Williams' people just spotted another rebel. She's contacting Haily and Davidson as we speak

“Are you sure we shouldn't send a team in first? I'm sure some of the boys would like to," Mitchell started grinning, “‘scout ' the area again."

Anderson didn't show any sign of emotion, "I sure they would. But we can't have these scouting accidents too often. Davidson would get too suspicious and I don't care for some of the looks he giving me as it is. Besides he was designed to operate alone, it's about time he started doing exactly that."

***
Jack brought the bike to a stop inside an alley opening. He waited a few moments for Rachel to pull up behind him in her car. Hanging the helmet on the handle bar he looked down the alley. Jack hoped there wasn't another spider down there waiting for him. "Are they sure this is the right spot?"

"Heather and her team are rarely wrong," Rachel answered.

"Huh." Jack got off the bike and took the collapsible staff from it's holder. "So how are we playing this?"

"What do you mean?"

"Do I go in alone or do you go in with me?"

"Since I'm the mission operator I'm suppose to be back at the command center talking to you through an earpiece."

Jack turned his head to look at her, "Why aren't you?"

"I'm a little more hands on than that."

Jack kept the comment he had to himself and just nodded. As he led the way down the alley he noticed this one was a lot straighter than the one he fought the spider in. He didn't even want to think what that thing could have done with a larger space. The end of the alley was bricked off, a dead end. "Guess there's a first time for everything."

Rachel pulled out a cell phone, "I'm going to call Heather and see if we went into the wrong one."

"You mean they couldn't call and tell us we went into the wrong one?"

Before she could answer Jack saw somebody on the roof above them. The person suddenly jumped and landed right in front of them. The red haired woman slowly stood straighter as she looked at them. Jack took a step foreword, ready for an attack. The woman sniffed the air, "Drakan blood."

"Not again." Before she said anything else Jack brought up his left arm across his chest. The grey metal belt appeared around his waist. He waved the arm to the left, but before he could raise his right arm she spoke again.

"The smell is on both of you."

"The elephant," Rachel said out loud. The woman face grew angry when she said that and changed into a red jack rabbit.

Jack raised his right arm to his face. "Henshin!," he shouted as he slammed his right hand on top of the belt. The moment he was in his armor Jack quickly flicked his right wrist extending the staff to it's full length. The rabbit took the time to tie it's ears behind it's head, then waved him on with one hand. Jack charged in swinging the staff at the rabbits head. The rabbit caught it with one hand. "Not good," he muttered.

Before he knew it the rabbit had punched him with her free hand. She nailed him five times with the staff before spinning in place and hitting a kick to his chest. Jack flew back and landed on his butt. The rabbit started spinning the staff around in some very complex looking maneuvers before letting it rest in a crook of her arm. With her free hand she waved him on again. "Great a kung fu expert." He quickly got to his feet and the rabbit tried to spear him with the end of the staff. Jack caught it and braced himself in case she tried to throw him. It wasn't, instead she was slowly pushing him back using the strength of her legs.

Thinking quickly Jack pulled on the staff catching it off guard. As she stumbled foreword he caught her with a clothesline. Jack tried to use the staff to pin her down but the rabbit kneed him in the side a couple of times to get him off of her. He held his ribs as she kicked herself up. The rabbit swung the staff but he ducked and got in a punch to it's stomach. The rabbit took a step back so he went in to press his advantage. He fell into it's trap as she raised her head quickly and caught him under the chin. Then she leaped at him with the staff across his chest. The rabbit had him pinned against the wall and she was still pushing. Jack grabbed the staff as close to the middle as he could and twisted, hoping she wasn't gripping the staff too tightly so this wouldn't work.

The staff returned to it's original size to the rabbits surprise. Jack nailed her with a head butt and they both dropped the staff. Not giving up the advantage he created Jack kept punching the rabbit in the gut and head. The moment the meter started flashing he spun around and hit a side kick to it's stomach. Unlike the elephant she went flying back. Quickly he pushed the button under the belt. The two mini turbines in the belt started spinning and he ran at the moment he felt the charge go down his leg. Jack jumped up and aimed his right leg at her. The rabbit saw it and crossed it's arm in front of her to block. His foot hit her arms and the charge caused her to fly back. In moments she exploded.

***
The blond haired man walked up to an old man sitting on an old porch. The old man didn't look all that pleased to see him. "I hope you don't think you're going to change my mind."

"Of course not," He said plainly. He pulled the video cassette out of his jacket, "I just want to show you what we're up against."
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Old March 4th, 2019, 08:15 PM #8
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<Episode 5>

Jack stood there holding his ribs as the remains of the rabbit slowly burned out. The armor had taken brunt of it and he could breathe with no problem, still it hurt like hell. Maybe a trip to see Freidman wouldn't hurt. Rachel spoke, "Hey," and she tossed the staff to him. "You need a little practice with that thing."

"You think," Jack hit the end of the staff on top of the belt. In moments he was back in his street clothes. "Almost lost to a rabbit. I'm never going to live that down," he muttered to himself, Rachel heard it anyway.

"You're upset because she turned into a rabbit?", Rachel empathized the word she.

"Hey if she turned into a bull, an elephant, a spider or a cobra I wouldn't have a problem. It's just the thought of having my butt kicked by a rabbit." He turned back to the remains, "But I do feel kinda bad about this one though."

"Why?"

"Her human form was hot."

Rachel looked like she was going to say something. Instead she turned around and walked out of the alley, but she did say, "You’re taking this seriously all right?"

"I am taking this seriously," he told her. "Do you have any idea how many Bug Bunny jokes came to mind when I saw her change? I kept those to myself." He hurried up after her. Maybe he should have told her the other reason this bothered him instead of that thing. No point in saying it now, she wouldn't believe it now if he did tell her.

***
Anderson waited in the command center for an early report. Mitchell was hovering near the map, studying it slightly. There were three markers now on the map, two blue and one red. If Davidson did his job soon there would be many more. A phone ringing brought him out of his thoughts as Williams quickly grabbed it. "Hello? Rachel," everyone in the room got very quiet. "You sure?" She put a hand over the phone, "Jack got her."

"Alright Jack," Mitchell exclaimed.

"Did Haily say her?", Anderson asked. Williams nodded in response, "What was it?"

"Rachel which Drakan was it? A red rabbit."

"A rabbit?", Mitchell asked as someone put a red marker on the map at Haily and Davidson position.

"Very good,” he said to the room. “Send a clean up team to clear the remains. Store them with the others when they arrive."

"I'm sending them now Mr. Anderson."

He nodded and left the command center with Mitchell in tow. Anderson waited until they were in the elevator before saying anything to the man. "This was unexpected."

"I take it you knew the rebel?"

"Only by reputation,” he answered. “From my understanding she was one of the rebels best fighters." Anderson looked sideways to gauge Mitchell's reaction. Not even a hint of a reaction crossed his face. The man had a poker face that wouldn't crack, Anderson had to give him that. It was the one of the reason why he got the job. "Maybe it's time to rethink your position on Davidson's fighting abilities."

He still should no signs of a reaction, "I still say he was lucky."

"One victory can be lucky Mitchell. Four takes a little skill."

"You can win four times and still be lucky."

Anderson turned to Mitchell in slight surprise. "If I didn't know better I would think you were jealous of Davidson."

"What's there to be jealous of? The man's a walking weapon with a lethal right foot. If he couldn't beat a rebel I'd be suspicious."

"A very good point. Still, any weapon needs to be fine tuned a little, no matter how good it is. Do you think you can add some training sessions with Davidson to your schedule?"

"I can put him in. Don't worry Mr. Anderson, I'll 'fine tune' him for you." There was something in Mitchell's voice he didn't care for.

"Just so we're clear Mitchell, I said fine tune not break." Mitchell nodded and Anderson left it there. The man was professional enough not to let it go beyond that point. He would only escalate matters if Davidson did. Given Davidson current temperament that was entirely possible. "Of course seeing how he over came one of the rebel's best I doubt much fine tuning will be needed."

"You really respect that rebel don't you?".

"I respected her reputation," he clarified.

"Are you going to herald her into the next life then?".

Anderson looked thoughtful as the doors opened. He walked out saying, "A warrior of her reputation should be shown the proper respect. On the other hand, she was a rebel. Why honor someone who chose to live against tradition."

***
The blond haired man stood behind the old man as he watched the tape. The old man said nothing as he saw the humans encounter the person on the tape and forced him to reveal his true form. After a few moments the metal insect appeared. The blond man looked down at the old him. He leaned foreword slightly as the insect took on the elephant. Neither of them spoke until the elephant died. "Nasty way to go, "the old man said. “Phil was a good man."

"Now do you see what I was talking about? We need to stop this thing now."

"I agree," the old man said while stopping the tape.

"Then let me go after it."

“Not yet,” the old man told him.

"Why not!? Anderson created that thing to mock the Drakan race."

"Maybe so, but we can't do this alone. We already lost Phil and Kendall."

"Then what do we do then?"

"I'm going to get the leaders of some of the other cells together. Maybe even Christopher if I can manage it."

The blond man lip curled in disgust, "And what is that wanna be king going to do about it?"

"Like it or not Christopher commands a lot of respect. After he sees the tape he's the one who's going to be able to get everyone together on this." The blond man snorted and left the room. The old man was right and he knew it. He just didn't like it.

***
Rachel sat at her desk typing up her mission report. Jack was quietly lying on her couch. For awhile there he was trying to be overly nice to her. He stopped trying about an hour ago, either out of ideas or figured she wasn't going to crack. Rachel didn't tell him she wasn't angry at what he said. Shocked, but not angry. If that was how he felt then it was no problem for her. Again she didn't tell him that. If making him think that she was angry kept him in line then that just made her job easier.

She looked over the screen at him. Jack still had that jacket on. It was one thing to look mad, but looking like she didn't care was another. "Why don't you take that jacket off and relax a little."

"I'm fine," was all he said.

She stopped typing for a moment and looked at him. Come to think of it she’d never seen him without that jacket on ever since he got it. Playing a hunch she said, "It's going to start getting hot pretty soon. Don't you think that jacket going to get a little uncomfortable?" She caught him pushing back a sleeve to look at his arm and quickly slide it back.

"I'll live with it."

"I never realized you were that vain."

"I'm not," he said as he sat up. "I'd figured it be easier to explain wearing a jacket in ninety degree weather than explaining all the scars."

She had to admit he had a point. "Well you can probably move to a cooler climate after you get your blue monkey."

"Whenever that's going to be."

"We're going to help you find him, that was part of the deal."

"I'm sure Anderson told his people to put a rush job on that one."

This was getting them nowhere so she dropped it. Getting back to the job at hand she said, "I'm almost done with the report. Is there anything you want to add?"

"Yeah I got a question that's been bothering me."

"You were already told why you look like a bug."

"Not that," Jack said with a slight smile. "The smell of their dead sets these thing off right?"

Rachel nodded, "So far that's been the case."

"So why send the one guy who smells like Drakan blood in first? If I was a couple of blocks away I could understand, but I was still in the building."

Rachel didn't have an immediate answer for him, she was wondering the same thing herself. All she could tell him was, "I'm sure Mr. Anderson has his reasons."

"I'm sure he does. Still doesn't mean I'm gonna like it when I hear it."

"You don't trust him do you?"

"Usually it's just rich people in general, but I trust Anderson about as far as a midget could throw him."

"Maybe you'll change your tune after you see your new place." Jack sat a little straighter and she smiled behind the monitor. She knew that would get his attention.

"My new place? When did this happen?"

"Mr. Anderson pulled some strings and got you an apartment in the city."

"Really?", he said sounding a little cautious.

"You don't have to take it."

"Ok then I won't."

Rachel sighed heavily, "At least check it out first before you make a decision."

"Alright I'll check it out. But I'm not promising anything."

"That's all I ask."

"So when do we check this place out?"

"You have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. Don't worry I know where it is." Jack just nodded and lay back down. Rachel finished her report, putting in the question Jack had. For the things he's done so far she felt he deserved an answer.

***
Anderson read over Haily report with interest. Davidson was asking the right questions. The man was obviously no fool, a blind man could see that. Anderson just had to make sure he didn't receive the right answers. He put that thought on hold as Allen came through the door, "Yes?"

"There could be a problem." Anderson sighed in response. The man was good, in that there was no doubt, but he overreacted to just about everything.

"What is it this time?"

"I just got finished talking to our contacts in the streets. Some of the rebels are starting to notice that Drakan are missing."

"So? Several of our kind are nomadic in nature. It's not uncommon for some of us to just disappear without any warning."

"Not the elephant, our contact said he was never gone from that safe house for more than an hour."

"It's not our concern."

"It's not..."

'No it's not," Anderson interrupted him. As far as I'm concerned the rebels are learning the price for their defiance. The sooner they come back into the fold the sooner the killing stops."

"Are you sure this is the right way to handle it?"

"Like I said they brought this onto themselves." Anderson leaned back in his chair and looked at Allen suspiciously. "You're not becoming sympathetic to their cause are you?"

"Of course not, "Allen fidgeted a little, Anderson smiled.

"Good, because I would hate to have to send Davidson after you."

***
Rachel stood by the building manager while Jack wondered around the apartment. It was pretty modest, a combined living room kitchen area, one bedroom and one bathroom, and fully furnished. Considering what he was getting per assignment Jack could easily afford it. The only thing that could break the deal was his attitude toward Anderson. "Well?", the manager asked.

"Can we have a few moments alone?", he asked while pointing toward Rachel.

"Of course. You know were to find me," she said to Rachel.

"Will do Mrs. Windam."

"Seems like a nice lady," he said after she left.

"Yes she is. You couldn't ask for a better landlord."

"Sounds like you know her personally."

"I should, I live in the building."

Jack turned his head to look at her, "You’re kidding."

"No, I'm going to be two floors above you. If you move in that is." Jack looked around the room some more. "Are you going to take it?"

"Let me guess, no loud music?"

"The walls are sound proof. You can play your music as loud as you like."

"Is there a laundry in the building?"

"Of course."

"Damn," she thought he heard him mutter.

"You can't have any pets though."

"Not a problem, animals don't like me anyway." He crossed his arm and looked deep in thought. "I'm going to hate myself later. Looks like I'm taking it."

Rachel grinned, "Great, we'll talk to Mrs. Windam about finalizing the deal."

"So how did Anderson get this place for me anyway?", he asked.

"One of World Inc. subsidiaries owns the building."

"Is that a fact?" Jack suddenly grabbed a clock that was on the table and looked it over.

"What are you doing?"

"Looking for the bug."

Rachel was positive he was joking. Of course she was positive he was convinced he was right. "Why would the place be bugged?"

"The way Anderson has this city wired and it never crossed your mind your place might be bugged?" He grabbed a lamp and yelled into it, "You hear that? I'm on to you!"

"You can't be serious."

"Nope," he said with a grin.

Rachel groaned as he put the clock back. "Why do you do that?"

"I get bored."

"Let's find Mrs. Windam before she finds out what you're really like." Jack acted hurt by the comment and followed her out. As she closed the door she said, "You know one of these days Mr. Anderson is going to ask for a performance review, and I'm going to remember this."

"Look, I'm shaking," he said. She liked it better when he was feeling a little guilty.

***
Jack bought Rachel a coffee and they sat on a bench. He was dividing his attention between listening to her and watching the crowd. He felt kinda bad about what he pulled in the apartment. Ok, he didn't feel that bad and it wasn't his fault she fell for it. To be honest the whole bugging thing did cross his mind, but even he wasn't that paranoid. The moment he thought that Jack looked up and saw a camera on a lamp post. What was it his uncle told him, "Just because your paranoid doesn't mean nobody’s watching you."

Taking a few moments to think it over he decided the camera didn't belong to World Inc. So he raised his cup in a toast instead of the hand gesture he was planning on. If Rachel saw what he did she ignored it. She was saying, "The best part off this arrangement is if we get a call for an assignment in the middle of the night I can make sure you actually go."

Jack didn't even look at her as he said, "Just remember I haven't signed any contracts yet. And you're not exactly saying anything that's sealing the deal."

"It doesn't matter to me if you move in or not,” she said a little defensively.” Do you think I want you that close when you decide to pull a practical joke?"

"Hey," he pointed a finger at her, "I don't pull practical jokes. I'm a wiseass, there is a difference."

"I smell death," Somebody behind them said. Jack turned to see a man in a business suit standing there. He was sneering right at him. "You killed my kind."

"Jack let's get out of here,” Rachel said looking a little worried.

"Rachel it's alright. I've been expecting this." Jack stood and looked at the man in the suit right in the eyes. "There's an empty lot over there," he jerked his thumb to a fenced in area across the street.

"It will do human." He walked off towards the fence.

"Ok it worked, let's get out of here," Rachel pulled on his arm, Jack didn't budge.

"I can't,” he told her, “it saw what we look like. It's bad enough they can smell me, and you too. The last thing either of us need is a picture going around."

She pulled out her cell phone, "I'm calling command and let them know what's going on."

"If they don't know by now somebody better get fired." Jack crossed the street and looked around. Nobody was paying attention to him. He pushed back a board he saw the guy used and entered. The guy had already removed his suit jacket and set it on top of his briefcase. Jack raised his left arm across his chest. The grey metal belt appeared around his waist. Moving his left arm over he raised his right arm to his face. The man before him turned into a green frog as he said, "Henshin!," and slammed his right hand on top of the belt. After the armor formed he said, "We don't have to do this."

"My kind must be avenged, tradition commands it."

"How did I know you were going to say that?" The frog skin glistened as he moved. Jack mirrored the movement. Part of him actually was actually hoping the Drakan would change his mind. No such luck. The frog opened it's mouth and shot his tongue at him. It wrapped itself around Jack's ankle and the frog pulled it back. Jack landed hard on his back and look into the sky. Out loud he said, "Sad part is I knew he was going to do that too."

The frog suddenly entered his vision as it feet were aimed at him. Jack rolled out of the way as the frog landed were his head was. He swung his arm back catching it behind the knees. It crashed on his back and amphibious eyes glared at him. He got on top of the frog and started punching, trying to stay away from its legs. The frog suddenly put its hands on his chest and pushed. Jack went flying off but he rolled back as he landed. The Drakan was stronger than he looked. Both of them were on a knee looking at each other. At the same time they charged each other.

He ducked a punch and kneed the frog in the gut then nailed an elbow to the back of its head. It jumped off the ground to avoid the stomp. Before it landed the frog twisted and kicked him in the chest. Jack stumbled back fighting to keep his balance. The frog jumped at him again and he back flipped to avoid the hit. He tackled it as soon as it landed. The frog used the momentum from the move to flip him off. Jack planted his hand on the ground and swung his leg around. His shin landed flush on the frog temple. He grabbed its head and kneed it a couple of times before punching it in the back of the head. He grabbed it by the shoulders and threw it across the lot. The meter started flashing and his hand went for the button. Jack hesitated before pressing it. "Get up and leave," he told the frog.

The frog slowly got up and came toward him, "Tradition demands..."

"Idiot," Jack whispered as he pressed the button. The two mini turbines in the belt started spinning and a charge ran down his right leg. Jack ran at the frog, jumped up and planted his right foot in its chest. The frog flew back into the wall and exploded.

Jack watched the remains. As with the other Drakan he waited for the guilt to set in. It did, but again it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. In fact he felt less guilt now than he did with the rabbit, or the elephant. Jack was starting to get scared about what that said about him.
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Old March 6th, 2019, 12:20 PM #9
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261



<Episode 6>

Rachel stood just inside the fence watching as Jack changed back. He just stood there watching the remains of the frog. She had called the command center and followed them into the lot. Rachel caught most of the fight and reported it to Heather. She didn't say it out loud but Rachel heard it in her voice, there could be hell to pay for this one. She turned off the phone and walked toward him. Jack looked startled when he saw her, like he didn't even know she was there.

"This day just went to hell," he said.

"We better get back to World Inc.", she told him, "there's going be some questions about what just happened. I'm not sure what Mr. Anderson is going to say about this."

"What's he gonna do, take me to the woodshed?"

"We better go."

"Yeah you don't know when I'm going to set another one off." He started to walk out there but he stopped at the fence. "I gave him a chance to walk away."

"I heard. I wish he took it."

"So do I." they exited the lot and hurried across the street.

"I didn't think you take on a green that quickly," she told him.

"What, none of the greens are that violent or something?"

"Some are."

Jack stopped as soon as they reached the sidewalk. "You're leaving something out."

"It's a rumor I heard, nothing that's been confirmed." He just stood there waiting for an answer. "I heard something about the green being trained to fight along with the reds. In some case they're actually better than the reds."

"So there're some warrior kings walking around?"

"Possibly," she admitted.

"Oy," Jack said while turning around. "This day just keeps getting better and better."

"I'll see what I can dig up when we get back."

Before going on he turned just enough to look at her. "Is there anything else I should be knowing at this point?"

"No," she said quickly. Something about the way he looked at her said he didn't believe her. Jack apparently decided to let it drop walked off. Lucky for her, but now she was wondering when he was going to bring it back up.

***
Jack found himself back in Anderson's office. They just sat there staring at each other. Rachel, Heather and Allen sat there with a couple of others he didn't recognize. Outside of Allen's ramblings nobody said anything, not that he was paying him any attention. There was something in Anderson gaze that was making the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

The effect, whatever it was, ended when Allen slammed his hand on top of the desk. Everybody but Anderson reacted in some way. "What the hell were you thinking?!", he yelled. "Going out hunting and killing Drakan on your own."

"We didn't go hunting Drakan," Rachel answered. "The Drakan found us."

"So that gave you the right to take it out without authorization?"

"Jack was worried about our description floating around the Drakan community."

"Why aren't you answering anything Davidson?"

"Why?", he asked innocently. "She's doing a good job of it."

"You think you're funny don't you?" Allen leaned foreword and got in his face. "Does it look like I'm laughing? Does it look like I'm happy? Do any of us here look happy? In fact I want you to tell me one thing you did today that made anybody even remotely happy."

"The guy at the bank looked pretty happy when I gave him the checks." The look on Allen face was priceless as he stammered for a response. Jack gave him a slight smirk as Rachel put a hand over her mouth. He wasn't sure but he thought he saw a small smile on Anderson that quickly went away.

Allen recovered his composure after a moment, "Let's see how funny you think you are after we cancel those checks."

"We are not going to be doing that," Anderson finally said.

"What else can we do to make him learn?", Allen complained.

"He earned that money," Anderson told him. Jack felt uneasy at that thought. "There's no point in denying him that."

"Well he's not getting paid for this one," Allen insisted.

"Of course not, it wasn't an official assignment." Oh yeah, like that really hurt. "But we still need to address this situation."

"We can't let this guy be a loose cannon on the streets."

"With this crap again." Jack leaned foreword this time. "Alright smart guy, let me ask you something. What are the chances that I'll pass a Drakan in disguise and he doesn't get a whiff of me?" Allen didn't look at him. "That's what I thought."

"This does put us in a difficult situation," Anderson said.

"What do you mean 'us'?", he demanded.

"Jack...," Rachel started.

"No. I'm the one who has to walk down the street wondering if somebody is going to get pissed off and turn into a monster."

"Mr. Davidson, please relax. I understand your dilemma. I have R&D working on something counteract the Drakan blood as we speak."

"Really?", that was a little out of the blue

"After your encounter with the spider I thought it could present a problem."

Jack looked at Rachel, "You knew about this?"

"I never informed Miss Haily of the project. I didn't want to disappoint you if we couldn't find anything to counteract it."

"I'm sure you didn't," Jack said. Anderson cocked an eyebrow at his statement. Jack glanced over to Allen, hoping he would say something. He didn't.

"Well,” Anderson said, "I for one consider the matter closed. I'm sure you have things to do to get ready for your move."

"Yeah, the few pieces of clothing I own are going to take hours to pack." Anderson did smile this time. Those hairs started to stand again. He and Rachel stood up and left the office and headed for the elevator. "Interesting meeting."

"It went better than I thought it was going to,” she said. “I was positive both our butts were going to be in a sling in there. We got lucky this time."

"Maybe, but it does make you wonder how much they're keeping from you doesn't it?" Rachel looked at him and quickly turned away. Yup, it really made you wonder.

***
It wasn't long before Allen and Anderson were the only ones in the office. Allen had quickly opened a window and was breathing deep the moment the last person had left. Anderson was slightly amused watching him. Finally Allen said, "How can you stand being in the same room as him?"

"With some of the people I've dealt with I've grown somewhat accustomed to it. I'll admit it's still somewhat maddening at times."

"I'm just glad you have R&D working on the smell."

"I've had Drakan and human scientists working on it for the past year." Allen stepped away from the window looking confused. "Our assassins would be more effective against Drakan targets if, as Davidson would put it, they didn't smell them coming. I only mentioned it to get him to calm down."

"Either way it'll make dealing with him easier." Allen sat back down in his seat.

"True, but it's not our primary concern."

"It's not?"

"No, the frog is. I am familiar with every green in this city. A frog was not one of them. I want to know who this Drakan was and what he was doing in my city."

"I'll get people on it right away," Allen said.

"You better," Anderson told him. He spun his chair around to look out the window. "It's bad enough the rebels have made their base here. I will not tolerate another pack coming into my territory."

***
It had been a week since there had been a Drakan sighting. Jack wasn't complaining, he had some time to try to get his head straight. The feeling, or lack of feeling, he had about the frog was still bothering him. Why would the frog be any different than the other Drakan. In fact it should have been worse, there was no proof the frog was part of the rebels. As far as he knew the thing was just on his way to work or headed home. Wrong place, wrong time, for both of them.

The only person who could possibly understand what he was going through was Mitchell. Too bad he was usually busy or on some assignment, and Jack didn't trust any of his men at the moment. Of course today Mitchell was busy too, flipping him to the training mat for the tenth time. Not the best time to ask a soul searching question, particularly when Jack wanted to punch his face in. Mitchell leaned down to look at him, "Come on Jack concentrate." That nose was such an inviting target at the moment.

He got to his feet, pushing those thoughts down. It was just a training session, not a real fight. He probably wouldn't be standing if this was a real fight. "You're enjoying this a little too much, you know that?"

"Got to keep you sharp man."

"I survived a Kung Fu rabbit, how sharp do I need to be?"

"I have seen a lot of nasty Drakan in my time. There were a few times I barely made it out in one piece."

"Gone hand to hand with a few Drakan have we?", Jack smirked.

Mitchell snorted, "Only with an armed squad right behind me. Lost a lot of good men. "Mitchell launched another attack. Jack was able to block or dodge most of them this time, "Better."

"And here I was thinking you were having a moment."

"You have to expect an attack at any time." He walked to a wall and picked up two fighting staffs that were leaning against it. Tossing one to Jack he said, "Let's upgrade a bit. Rachel said you needed some practice with this."

Jack looked at the staff in his hands. "That got around pretty quick," he muttered. He saw Mitchell's attack coming and blocked it. He was able to get a few swings in but he was mainly avoiding. Mitchell kept up the pressure until he knocked the staff out of his hands. He smiled wickedly and swung the staff. Jack grabbed it and pulled. Mitchell stumbled foreword and Jack clotheslined him to the ground. Jack used a knee to pin the staff to the other man's chest. "Just for the record, the rabbit feel for the same trick."

"Noted. And I think it's break time."

Jack nodded and got off the man. He quickly backed away from the man in case it was another trick. In the moment he had he shook his hands, "Ow." Mitchell tossed him a water bottle and sat against the wall. It looked safe enough so Jack joined him, but far enough away in case Mitchell tried something. He looked back at the session in his mind, ten to one wasn't that impressive. But damn did that one feel good.

***
Just like she thought Rachel found Jack in the cafeteria. It was almost a regular hang out spot for him. Sitting across from him Jack put two fingers to his forehead and saluted. "I see you still in one piece, so I'm assuming things with Mitchell went well."

"I held my own."

She seen Mitchell train his men before, "He threw you around a bit didn't he?"

"That's one way of looking at it."

"And how would you look at it?"

"I was keeping the mat warm," he said with a straight face. Then he rolled his shoulder and grimaced a bit "So what's on the agenda now?"

"I'm not really sure, according to Heather the Drakan have never been this quiet. I think word about you is getting around."

"If word getting around, then this place has got a leak."

"Not necessarily," she said a little too defensively. "You battled a couple of Drakan in some open areas. Who know who saw what. There could have been some other Drakan around we didn't know about."

"I still say there's another mole in here somewhere."

"Whatever." Too bad she couldn't say she didn't the same thought. So she couldn't really argue the point. Her cell phone went off, saved by the ring. "Hello? Yeah we're both still in the building."

"Quiet was nice while it lasted." She hushed him.

"Go ahead Heather. Uh-huh, ok I'll tell him." Rachel closed the phone and said, "We got a job."

"Never would have guessed."

"Heather's people got word of a meeting between some Drakans high up in the rebel's command chain. We're going to check it out and observe them.

"Geez, they're really making sure I'm not a loose cannon aren't they."

"It's nothing like that. It's a nice simple easy assignment. After all the stuff that's been happening lately I'm looking foreword to it, and so should you." As a second thought she added, "Just make sure you stay down wind."

***
The meeting place was an area of a nearby park that was rarely used. Thanks to a photo Heather gave them they quickly identified one of the Drakan. He was patiently sitting on a bench sipping a cup of coffee. The spot was relatively close to the parking area so Jack and Rachel stayed by their vehicles. So far they had been able to watch the Drakan without being noticed. Of course it wasn't long before Jack was bored out of his mind, "Is he here yet?"

"No, " Rachel said flately. It was the fifth time he said that in the last ten minute. He was surprised she hadn't snapped at him yet.

"Doesn't Anderson have teams for this?"

"Yes, but Mitchell retraining all the scout teams. He doesn't want a repeat of what happened last time. And there are no cameras in the park," she said cutting off his next question. "Besides being outside will do you some good. You can air out, so to speak."

"That goes for you too."

"I know, I know. But I don't think my smell is as bad as yours."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well," she said looking at him, "you're usually closer to the Drakan when it's explodes. The closest I've been was when you got the elephant. And you took most of that one."

"Yeah, but how do you know it gets weaker by the time it reaches you," he countered. "I don't think Anderson can find some Drakans to volunteer to find out. Not unless he took them by force."

Rachel looked appalled, "World Inc. would never do that."

"Who said anything about World Inc.?" Before she could answer a scream grabbed their attention. The guy they were watching suddenly changed into his Drakan form. For a few moments they watched as a red ox tore up the area. Finally Jack said, "The damn thing went nuts."

Rachel muttered in French as she fumbled with her phone. "Heather this is Rachel, the Drakan we were watching just went crazy. What do you mean where's Jack?"

He grabbed the phone from her hands. "I am no where near that thing." Rachel took the phone back. Something told him he had to get down there fast. He got on the bike.

"Heather gave you the green light."

"Like I was waiting for it," Jack said as he brought the bike to life. He raised his left arm across his chest and materialized the belt. Moving the arm over he brought up his right, shouted, "Henshin!", and slammed his right hand on top of the belt. He was soon in the black body suit and blue armor and peeled out toward the ox. Jack flipped the switches that activated the lasers. Two panel on the sides of the headlight opened up and two emitters slide foreword. When he was close enough he pressed the buttons under the switches. Two red beams of light shot out. The ox recoiled from the shots.

Jack swerved the bike to the right and went a few yards before turning the bike around. Racing toward the ox he grabbed the staff from it's holder and snapped it to extend one end. He moved the bike to the left and swung the staff into the ox's gut as he passed. Jack turned the bike around and charged again. This time he raised up just high enough to get his right foot on the seat and jumped. Grabbing the staff in both hands he swung on the way down. The staff caught the ox in the head and it went down to a knee.

He quickly extended the other end and whipped it into the side of it’s head this time. The ox's head snapped to the side but slowly turned back to face him, anger glaring in it’s bloodshot eyes. Why couldn't he have any luck with this stupid stick? Quicker than he thought was possible the ox wrapped a massive hand around his neck. The ox ran with Jack in his hand and slammed him against a tree. Jack grunted from the pain and was then lifted off the ground. The ox snorted as it snarled in disgust. He twisted the staff, collapsing it to its’ original size, raised it over his head and planted it between it's eyes. It let go and Jack stomped it’s knee as soon as he landed.

Jack quickly got behind the ox and tried to choke him out with the staff. The ox reached behind him, got to its’ feet and flipped him off. His chest armor scrapped on its’ horn on the way over. Jack rolled out of the way as a fist came hammering down. He got to his feet and jumped up, catching a shoulder under it's chin. The ox looked dazed. He dropped the staff and charged at it, aiming his shoulder at it's chest and knocked it back. Jack was never so glad to see that meter start flashing.

He pressed the button under the belt, activating the mini turbines behind the faceplate. The ox suddenly charged knocking him to the ground. The ox came toward him and he kicked out his right leg, his foot catching it around the waist. The ox took a few steps back before exploding.

Jack got to his feet and hit the top of the belt, returning to his street clothes. What the hell was that about?

***
Anderson looked out the window behind his desk. Mitchell stood silently on the other side as his communicator beeped. "Go ahead," he spoke into the mic. After a few moments he said, "The dart worked as planned Mr. Anderson."

He was very pleased, "Excellent. We told Davidson there were violent Drakan in the world. It's about time he was reminded of that."
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Old March 9th, 2019, 05:02 PM #10
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261



<Episode 7>

Jack checked the area. It was pretty much deserted now, but if anybody heard the explosion it wouldn't be for long. He doubted anybody would be dumb enough to believe they were filming a part for a movie. Jack grabbed the staff, got the bike back on it’s wheels and flipped the switches back to hide the lasers. He looked up to see that Rachel was still standing in the parking area. "We gotta go!", he shouted to her.

"Right!", she shouted back and got in her car. Jack rode back up to the parking area and grabbed his helmet as she pulled out of her spot. He glanced back to see a police officer come into view. She was looking right at them. He started wondering how good the World Inc. lawyers were as he raced out of the parking area. Jack slowed down enough for Rachel to pull aside him. He motioned for her to go right at the next intersection and that he was going left, she nodded. Probably not necessary but if that cop called it in one of them could get back to World Inc. if the other got caught. He had to remember to thank his Uncle for the tip.

Taking the long way around he returned to Word Inc. and pulled into the garage. Rachel was sitting on the trunk of her car waiting for him to show up. He pulled into the spot next to her and pulled off his helmet. Taking a moment to catch his breath he said, "I wonder how Allen is going to blame me for that one?"

"He doesn't have a reason to, we were no where near it."

"He'll say I rubbed against a tree and waited for the wind to change or something."

"Now that's just plain stupid."

"But would you put it past him?"

"After that last meeting, no," she admitted. "We still have to report to Heather. Hopefully Mr. Anderson will be as generous this time around. Speaking of Anderson," she got right up to him and pointed a finger in his face. "Do you mind explaining that that thing you said about Anderson and experimenting with Drakan lives?"

"I never said he would, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised."

"And why wouldn't you be surprised?"

"Whose idea was it to hook me up to the Fusion system? A system you said nobody knew was going to work. So he has some history as far as I'm concerned." She looked a little annoyed as she turned away. "I'm sure he's a wonderful guy once you get to know him."

"But you don't want to get to now him, right?"

"Pretty much."

"Your choice," she said as she started to walk off.

Jack knew he could have handled that better. Rachel was the only one here who felt like she was really on his side. He really didn't want to tick her off. As he got off the bike he noticed something the irked him even more. "Damn it!"

"What?", Rachel asked.

"I scratched the paint."

***
Anderson listened quietly to Haily's report. He wanted to hold this meeting in the Command Center so Williams could give him some instant feedback. He noticed almost right away that Davidson was avoiding looking at the map. Or perhaps the markers on the map? An interesting notion to say the least. Moving toward the front of the map he said, "Are you sure this officer saw you Mr. Davidson?" he looked in his general direction, but not directly at him.

"I'm pretty sure she didn't see the fight, but she might be able to describe the bike."

Anderson walked away from the map. Like he thought Davidson paid him a little more attention. There had to be a way he could use that. A thought to ponder on later. "I'll have our people get on it to contain the information to be on the safe side. Do you know what set the Drakan off?"

"I'm not sure," Haily answered. "We were there for a good hour before it started it’s rampage."

"Maybe a bug got into it’s latte," Davidson joked.

"Perhaps," Anderson allowed a small smile.

"I'll have somebody go over the old reports, "Williams said. “I don't remember reading that this happened before but it doesn't hurt to double check."

"Good. Miss Haily, can you write down what the two of you said today."

"You'll have the report by the end of the day."

He nodded. "Mr. Davidson, I believe Dr. Freidman wanted to see you after this was over."

"My three Drakan/ three thousand mile check up." He looked at Haily, "Which ever comes first."

"Oh, and I was told the KR-1000 will be ready by the end of the day. I realize the damage was merely cosmetic but please be more careful with it in the future."

"I'll try." Somehow he doubted that he would. Haily and Davidson left the room and Williams excused herself and went to an assistant. He looked around the room for a bit before making his exit. They had no clue about what really happened. Mitchell was personally retrieving the dart, so no suspicions would be raised. He would have to remember to give the Drakan scientist who developed it a little more power. After all, he couldn't rely on the smell of Drakan blood all the time.

***
He hated the waiting, he hated the fact he was told to wait. The abomination had to be taken out, a fool had to see that. How long were the old man and the others going to allow Anderson to laugh at them? Of course he had to hear the mumbles about their time being wasted. The old man insisted they wait until Christopher arrived before letting anybody seeing the tape.

He couldn't believe all this hinged on the wanna be king showing up. It wouldn't be so bad if Christopher wasn't a green. The blond haired man was finding hard to believe in the whole 'All sects are equal' when everyone kept bowing to one in the ruling class. Finally the man watching the door moved, he mumbled something then listened. Nodding to everybody else he opened the door. Christopher had decided to arrive. Just about everyone started to get on there knees for the brown haired man who entered, everyone but him that is. Christopher's bodyguard entered after he did and the door was closed once again. "Don't," he said to the room, "I'm not worth the effort." He gestured toward him, "You should follow Jason's example. He knows I'm no better than any of you." He walked over to him. "I'm sorry to hear about Kendall."

"He died fighting," he said trying to keep his voice calm.

"So the rumors I've been hearing are true then?"

"Unfortunately."

"This is ridiculous," somebody said. "There is no way that thing can exist."

"Then how do you explain our people disappearing lately," challenged another.

"I refuse to believe there is a Drakan killer out there."

He had enough, "You better start believing. I've seen it and we have it on tape."

"Funny how you're the only one still alive."

"He was observing Kendall during what was suppose to have been a meeting with our contact when it showed up," the old man spoke up. "The tape is from the safe house Phil was residing in." Everybody started looking at each other, hardly a word was said. His disappearance started the rumor of the Drakan Killer.

Breaking the silence Christopher asked, "Do you have any idea where this... thing came from?"

"We have a theory," the old man began.

"It's no theory," Jason interrupted. "Anderson and his company created this thing." That caused a commotion in the group. The old man shook his head sadly.

"What proof do you have?", someone demanded.

"His men are on the tape."

"Why would he do this?"

"Because," Christopher answered, "we dare to think outside the norm." Great, he gave him the opening to give a speech. He fought hard to keep the disgust off his face. "Anderson, and the ones like him, fears the change we bring. Our only goal is to live in peace with the others. Some of them have proven time and time again that they are willing to let live our way of life peacefully. But Anderson and his like have denied us even that option. So we must take this accusation seriously." It wasn't long before Christopher was back to business. He kept it short, Jason was glad of that. "Maybe it's time you showed us that tape."

***
Rachel stood outside Jack's door wondering if she should ring the doorbell again. Then she thought she heard the mumbling from behind the door and it was coming closer. Jack opened the door and stared at her. He looked like he just got up. She also noticed the flannel shirt he was wearing over a T-shirt. He thought of everything to cover those scars. Rachel gave him a cheerful, "Good Morning."

"I was afraid of this," he said wearily.

She had a feeling she was going to regret asking this, "Afraid of what?"

"That you're a morning person." That wasn't so bad. Jack moved aside to let her in. "Please don't tell me we got a job. I haven't had any caffeine yet."

"No job, I came by to give you this." She put the bag she was carrying on the counter and took out the plant. Rachel handed it to him and said, "A little house warming gift."

"I'm hoping to God it's plastic."

"It is," she informed him.

"Thanks," he put the plant on the counter. "Coffee?"

"Sure," she took a seat as he put water into the pot.

"I got to warn you I make it a little strong," he told her.

"You can strip the paint of the wall with my Dad's coffee, so don't worry."

"So why wait a week to give me a fake plant?"

"I wanted to make sure you were settled in first."

"I came in with a suitcase, it wasn't going to take that long." He covered a yawn and ran his fingers through his hair. "Has R&D fixed that smell problem yet? I'm getting tired of taking half hour showers that never seem to work."

"Nothing yet."

"Great."

"They're working on it. From what I understand they're having a hard time identifying what causing it."

"Maybe whoever working on it should go with us on the next assignment."

"You're not going to start that whole thing with Anderson again are you?"

"No," he said sounding a little annoyed. Maybe it would be better to get this out of the way now.

"Look, I realize I don't have your perspective on this. And you don't have mine. But if were going to be partners I like to think we can be open about these things."

He looked at her for a moment, "Exactly which psycho-babble handbook did you get that one out of?"

"Jack..."

"I understand, partners need to be able to trust each other. Although I thought you were my boss," he got in quickly. Before Rachel could say anything he added, "Can I start the open feast?"

"Why not." She tried to get comfortable, "This should be good."

"I can't get rid of this feeling that Anderson hooked me up to the Fusion prototype, not to save my life, but to see if it would actually work. I also think he gave me the bike and this place to keep me from saying anything about it."

"I can see how it would look like that. But did you ever think that he was actually trying to be nice?"

"Briefly, then I start wondering how many Drakan this is going to end up costing me." The phone rang before she could respond. "Yo. Heather? Hi, how you doing? Quick question before you start." He shot an accusing look toward her, "How did you get this number?"

"Don't look at me, you didn't give me your number."

***
He had just enough time to down a cup of coffee and get dressed before Rachel made them leave. Anderson's cameras had spotted a Lieutenant in the rebels command structure, or that's what they told him. Any questions he had about the whereabouts of Mitchell and his teams were quickly dismissed. Rachel kept up the inquiries when they reached the street. She wasn't having any luck either. "Look, if the Drakan is as high up as you say it is he might have some bodyguards around."

"Would a warrior king need a bodyguard?", he wondered out loud.

"Jack has only gone one on one with these things. I don't know if he can take on more than one without some kind of back up." Rachel flinched and put a hand to the phone, "Sorry."

"Don't be." He stopped at a corner and scanned the crowd. He wasn't sure if he should be worried that they spotted one so close to their building or not. "What's this guy suppose to look like again?"

"Leather coat, red bandanna, and he's got some kind of tribal tattoo on the right side of his face."

"Found him." Rachel stopped talking to confirm his find.

"I think we found him."

"We?", he deadpanned.

Putting her phone up she said, "Do you see anybody with him?"

"Not yet." Jack looked around but he didn't see anybody else dressed like the apparent target. For that matter wouldn't they dress a little differently in order to blend in better? "You think he's one of those warrior kings?"

"I told you that was a rumor." She sighed, "And most of the reports I've pulled up seem to confirm it."

"He's moving," he said as the target started walking away.

"We better follow, but let's make sure it's the right guy first." She pulled the cell phone back out and hit redial, "Heather it's me again. Do you still have the target on camera? Are we in the picture? Thanks. It's him."

"About time they did something other then tell us were to go."

***
Anderson was starting to get anxious. They had never spotted anyone this close to the elusive Christopher. He had seen picture of him and flashes of him on the screens. Unfortunately he couldn't point him out without giving away how he knew. Only Mitchell knew his frustration over the situation. No matter, they had a lead to his location now. "Make sure," he said to Williams over the phone, "they realize they are to just follow. Davidson is not to engage unless it is necessary." If this Drakan was connected to Christopher, there could be an army there waiting for them. A small loss if it got him Christopher.

***
Jack and Rachel followed the target for a few blocks. He still couldn't see any signs of a bodyguard. Definitely a warrior king as far as he was concerned. The target turned a corner ahead of them. Jack jogged foreword to keep him in sight. It looked like he was heading for a construction area. "That can't be good."

Rachel caught up with him and looked around the corner. "You think he's leading us into a trap?"

"That's what I'm thinking. He could have lost us at any time he wanted."

"Same here. Now what do you want to do?"

"He wants us to follow I say why disappoint. You better stay here though, this could get nasty."

"Sorry Jack I can't do that. You're going to need another eyewitness if he starts the fight."

"Stay out of my way then."

"Always do."

Like he thought the guy entered the construction yard. Jack wasn't sure but he thought the guy looked back to make sure they were coming. He should have brought the bike. Hell, he was wishing he had a tank at this point. He entered first, making sure the coast was clear before Rachel followed. He walked ahead looking left to right as she hung back in the shadows. Jack went about ten yards before he noticed a growing shadow on the ground. A yell of, "Die assassin!", caused him to jump out of the way as a red hawk embedded it’s hand into the ground.

Jack got his left arm up and materialized the belt around his waist. Moving the left arm out of the way he brought up his right arm and slammed his right hand on top of the belt while saying, "Henshin!" The hawk freed it’s hand and lunged at him causing him to jump out of the way before the process was finished. Jack got to a knee and noticed he was in the armor anyway. He could change on the go, that would have been nice to know before now. Wings suddenly emerged from its’ back and it flew straight up. "Wasn't expecting that one."

The hawk swooped down, clawed feet aimed at him. Jack ducked out of the way and got ready for another attack. There was no way in hell this plan was going to work. The hawk turned and dived for another attack. He jumped, grabbed the Drakan around the neck and pulled. They both rolled on the ground as they landed. The hawk pushed him off and grunted in pain as it got up. It’s left wing was broken. The original idea was to break a wing by hand, but he'll take any favors he could get at this point.

Jack cautiously approached the hawk, he should have brought the staff. The hawk wasn't backing down. They both threw a straight right punch. Jack staggered from it more than the hawk did. He threw a left hook, the hawk seemed to feel that one so he did it again. The hawk backhanded him, jumped up, grabbed his shoulders with it’s feet and flipped foreword. It’s weight caused him to be lifted off his feet and he crashed on his stomach. The hawk stomped down, forcing his head into the ground. He grabbed it’s other foot to trip it.

He jumped up and aimed a foot at the Drakan's head. The hawk moved out of the way and started to run away. Jack went after it. The hawk headed for a pillar, ran up it and jumped off to flip over him. He had seen too many martial arts movies to fall for that one. He put a foot on the pillar and pushed off. He tackled the hawk in mid air. The hawk started attacking before they hit the ground. Jack was trying to give as good as he got but the hawk was stronger than he was expecting. He got off as soon as he could, he had to think of something else. It started punching and kicking at him before he saw an opening. Jack ducked a punch and grabbed the broken wing. The hawk screamed in pain as he pulled.

Using the wing as leverage he slammed the hawk into a wall. He let go the moment the meter started flashing and pressed the button. He quickly backed up as the mini turbines spun in the belt and ran foreword as he felt the charge go down his leg. Jack jumped at the hawk, landing his right foot on it’s chest. The hawk flew back and exploded. He took a moment to catch his breath. If that thing was a lieutenant he didn't even want to think about the ones in charge.

***
He resisted the urge to pace the room. The old man, Christopher and the other spent most of the time discussing what they saw on the tape. What was there to discuss? The metal bug was a threat and needed to be taken care of.

"Jason," Christopher said as he came up to him. "You'll be glad to know that we're going after the Drakan Killer."

He only cared about one thing, "Who's going after it?"

"We decided to send you and Michael to take it down."

"I don't need help."

"I'm sure you don't, but some of the others think it might have gotten Molly." He heard that rumor too. Molly trained him, she was an excellent fighter. "We think it would be better if more than one Drakan confronted it this time."

"Fine, I'll bring you it’s head."
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Old March 12th, 2019, 05:14 PM #11
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<Episode 8>

Jack leaned against a pillar, very weary all of the sudden. He wasn't that tired, physically any way. He wasn't even sure if the guilt he'd been expecting had finally decided to show up. Hell, maybe the hawk knocked something loose. Rachel came up to him looking very concerned. "Jack, are you all right?"

"Just a little winded," he told her. You can't lie about what you don't know about, right? "That thing was tougher than it looked."

"I think it might be a good idea if Dr. Friedman looked you over."

"Yes mother." She gave him a tired look. He had to smirk at the sight. His Mom used to give him the same look. "Well that's the second assignment I've blown," he said out of nowhere.

"I told Heather he might be leading us into a trap."

"Yeah, well if Allen says anything I'm punching something in. Preferably on him."

"I'll hold him for you." They both turned to the sound of the new voice. Mitchell walked up holstering his gun.

"What are you doing here?", Jack asked.

"I'm training some new recruits. I was watching them survey the area when I saw that thing. It started attacking and I hurried over to try to try to help you out." He looked at the still smoking remains. "Figures I'd be a little late."

Jack held his finger and thumb about an inch apart, "Just a little."

"Well it's the thought that counts right?"

"You sure you saw how the fight started?", Rachel asked him.

Mitchell nodded, "If Allen starts anything I'll back the two of you up all the way. He get’s on my nerves too." He looked at Jack then got a funny look on his face too. "You ok buddy?"

"I'm fine." They just looked at him. "Really."

***
Rachel walked off while Mitchell called his men to their location. She caught Jack looking at the remains momentarily before looking else where. Pulling out her phone she called Heather and gave her the details. "One more thing, have them get Fusion diagnostic system ready. I want a full scan done when we get in."

"I'll make sure it's ready by the time you get back. There's nothing wrong with Jack is there?"

"I don't think so, I just want to double check to make sure. I'll see you when I get in." She hung up and was surprised to see Mitchell standing so close. "What is it?"

"Nothing, I just overheard what you said."

"You don't think it's necessary?"

"Hey like you said, better safe than sorry." One of his men showed up and he waved a signal at him. More than likely secure the area. "Do you mind hearing an outside opinion?"

"Let's hear it."

"Try to get him a couple of days off. There's more going on in that head of his than Jack's letting on. The last thing we need right now is for him to burn out while we're still trying to stop these things."

"I'm overjoyed about your concern." She started to walk off but he stopped her.

"Rachel look, I'm worried about him too, but I have to look at the bigger picture here. You should try looking at it yourself once in awhile." With that he walked off. Rachel resisted the urge to go after him and argue the point. She had to treat Jack as a human, not like some cog in a machine. She knew him too well by now to do otherwise. Although looking at Jack current state, a few days off might not be such a bad idea.

***
Anderson spent most of the day in his personal gym. He had reverted to his Drakan form, a green cheetah, the moment the doors had closed. His anger had nearly overwhelmed him when he read Haily's report. Allen, who had entered later, chose to remain standing by the door. He had seen him vent before, making the mistake of getting too close only once. Allen still had the scars on his chest as a constant reminder.

He could only think of how close they were to Christopher. That thought fueled his frustrations as he tore apart a human shaped practice dummy. His claw ripped through the material as he pictured various faces on the dummy: Davidson, Haily, Mitchell, Christopher. Allowing an animal rage to over take him, Anderson grabbed the dummy by the head and shoulder. Growling he sank his teeth into the dummy's neck and tore the material out. He spat it out of his mouth and looked at what was left of the dummy. Slowly he regained control of his emotions and calmed down.

Turning away from the dummy he changed into his human disguise. Allen walked foreword offering a towel. Anderson wiped his face and looked at the man. "They say venting is good for the soul. I never really believed it until now. We had a link to Christopher and we lost it." He threw the towel down, feeling the frustration rise again. "Did Mitchell confirm their story?"

"I'm afraid so."

"Lovely," he muttered. "What do you know about this rebel?"

"Not much, information about Christopher's inner circle is pretty scarce. From what I was able to find out he was an excellent tracker. Chances were he knew he was being followed the moment Davidson and Haily set after him."

"Christopher knows how to pick his lieutenants, I can not fault him on that. Hopefully this loss will hurt him in some way. Is there any thing else about the situation I should be aware of?"

"Yes. Haily, on Mitchell's recommendation I might add, is asking for some days off for Davidson. Naturally we can't..."

"Give him a week, "Anderson interrupted. “I am not in the mood to see him at the moment."

"Understood,” Allen turned to leave.

"One more thing, the frog." He hesitated a little before answering.

Then he quickly said, "I'm still working on it. Some of the Drakan I've contacted have been a tad secretive when asked if they had one of their pact visiting the city."

"Well keep on it. One of them is bound to let something slip sooner or later." Anderson looked at dummy and the pieces of equipment destroyed during his emotional state. "And make sure everything in here is replaced."

***
He watched Michael drag off the last body off. This was a level of frustration he never knew was possible. Snapping these human like the twigs they were was not satisfying, there was no challenge. "Don't worry, it'll come to us eventually," Michael said coming back into the room. "Even Anderson can't ignore these losses."

"Do you actually think Anderson cares about these humans?" Michael just shrugged. There had to be a way to make this more interesting. “Would you care to make a wager on how many more he will send before he sets the metal bug loose?"

***
Rachel paced the lobby waiting for Jack to show up. He did not sound all that happy when she called and told him Anderson wanted him to come in for a job. She told Anderson that she doubted he would come in. But she thought it would be better to head him off first in case he did. Try to lessen some of that anger that would be obviously building up on the way here. Oh hell, there he was. Jack stormed through the front doors and she got in his path. "Hi.", he went right past her, "Ah, Jack." That went about as well as expected.

He walked right past the elevator and headed for the stairs. She hoped he was going to take out most of his frustrations on the stairs. Rachel just gotten things calmed down with Anderson about that rebel Lieutenant. She did not need this wreaking that right now. Jack stood a flight above looking confused. He looked at her and she offered, "Command Center." He nodded and went on. Rachel hurried after him, maybe she could act as a buffer when they got there. If she was lucky she might calm him down before he got there. Unfortunately Jack noticed Anderson in the hallway leading to the center.

"You gave me a week," he shouted as he walked toward Anderson. She hurried up and got in front of him.

"I realize that Mr. Davidson," he replied calmly, "and I fully intended to give you the full seven days to work through your problems." Jack shot her a look before Anderson continued. "But events have occurred that made me call you in early."

"This better be good." They followed him and Jack turned to her and whispered, "My problems?"

"I had to tell him something to get you the time off." Jack grunted and left it alone. She made a mental note to work on that trust thing they were supposed to have.

Anderson let them enter the Command Center first before starting the briefing. "The situation, like I told you, is rather dire. While you were gone I sent a team to investigate a report of activities at an old Drakan stronghold. That team and the three we sent after them soon disappeared."

"Whoa," Jack features soften slightly.

"Mitchell was ready to go in with a full assault team when we found a survivor. He was in shock and a lot of what he said was gibberish, but we were able to get a description of his assailant. A Drakan monkey," Anderson studied Jack as he said, "reportedly a blue one."

Rachel looked at Jack as soon as he said that. There was a glint of cold anger that passed through his eyes. "Are we sure it's a blue Drakan monkey?", she asked.

"As sure as we can be," he replied.

"Were is he?", Jack demanded.

"Jack we don't know if he still there," she told him.

"You think I care."

"I don't want you to get your hopes up."

"Don't worry I'll get my hopes up after he's a burning pile of trash. Now where is he?"

"Surprisingly enough, the same safe house where we located the elephant," Anderson informed them. Jack's eyes narrowed for some reason.

"Figures," Jack turned and started to leave. He stopped just long enough to turn to her and say, "You coming?"

"I'll get you a report as soon as I can."

***
Jack hurried across town, or at least he tried to. Was traffic slower today for some reason, or was fate trying to keep him from the monkey? Finally he reached the safe house. He decided to wait for Rachel to pull up before heading for the house. For some reason she got in his way. "Now what?"

"You can't go in there angry."

"I like to think of it as being properly motivated. Now if you will excuse me."

"Jack will you stop and think about this for a moment."

"What is your problem? I'm finally excited about a mission for once. You should be pointing me in the right direction and saying 'Go'."

"Four teams went in here and only one man survived. This could be a trap." He looked at her. "Listen to me, the rebels were quiet for a week. One of the rebel leader's top men was spotted in plain sight without any guards. Now there's activity at a place we already know about. If they know about you this could be exactly what they want."

"If the monkey is in there then I'm not going to disappoint them." He moved passed her and went up the steps to the door. When he got there he found it was unlocked. Jack glanced over at Rachel who was standing next to him. Maybe he should take that trap thing a little more seriously. He opened the door and was immediately assaulted by a stench. "Son of a ..." he said while covering up his nose and mouth. "Think I'm going to be sick."

"That's it I'm calling for back up," Rachel told him.

"Wait," Jack thought he saw something in a corner. It looked like it was sitting up and dressed like one of the scout teams. He cautiously went for him, making sure there wasn't going to be any other surprises. Jack kneeled down next to the shape. It was one of the previous team members. "Hey, can you hear me?", he patted the man's face. It was cold, "Damn."

"Jack, is he all right?"

"Call for a wagon."

"About time you got here," said a voice from above.

Jack and Rachel looked up. On the second floor kneeling on the railing was a blue monkey. Jack felt the anger start to rise and he wasn't stopping it. It was the same Drakan, there was no doubt in his mind. He raised his left arm across his chest and the grey metal belt appeared around his waist. Jack moved the arm out of the way and raised his right arm. "Hen... ," was all he got out before something that looked like a claw came at him. Everything went dark soon after.

***
The Drakan that knocked out Jack, a blue scorpion, turned to her. Before she knew it he returned to his human disguise, pulled her in and put a pair of handcuff around her wrist. The monkey jumped down and cuffed Jack's hands around his back. Then they were taken upstairs, thrown in a room and the door locked. She sat there waiting for either them to come back or for Jack to wake up. He started to stir after what she guessed was an half hour, "Oy."

"Are you all right?"

"Was there a elephant standing on my head?", he asked while slowly sitting up.
“Not exactly,” she told him.

"Ok," he looked around the room. "Now why are we still alive?"

"I heard them say I might know something since I'm your handler." He raised an eyebrow at her. "Their words not mine. You, I have no clue. Maybe they think you know something too."

"Me? I'm just the loaded gun. Well loaded foot anyway," he said while getting the cuffs under his leg. It wasn't long before the handcuffs were right in front of him. Jack studied the cuffs for a bit. "Trust me, they're going to parade me around a bit before killing me. Hmm... thirty year old model." He started looking around the room. Jack saw something the caught his interest, "That's doable."

He grabbed two wires and bent the end on one of them. She saw him stick them into the cuff's keyhole in disbelief. "You have got to be kidding me? There is no way you can open these thing like that." Jack ignored her and kept working. In a matter of moments he had a hand free and was working on the other one. "How'd you do that?"

"My Uncle was a lock smith, well he was during his day job. Let's say he taught me a few things before Mom could stop him." Both of his hands were free, "Let me see yours."

"When were you planning on seeing this Uncle of your again?"

"Sometimes in the next six to eight years, it's gonna depend on how well he behaves." Her cuffs were off soon after.

Rachel went to the door and listened. "Did your Uncle teach you how to unlock a door?"

"Henshin!"

She turned in surprise. It wasn't long before she was staring into the red eyes of the insect style helmet. Jack walked up to the door and kicked it down. "That works to."

***

Jack led Rachel through the hallway. It didn't take him long to realize they were on the second floor. Good thing he decided to stay in armor. They reached the stairway, still no Drakan in sight. Not that deep down he was really disappointed or anything. Part of him wanted a crack at the one who sucker punched him after he got the monkey. "I don't suppose you have your phone?", he asked.

"They took it from me. The monkey threw it against a wall to make sure I couldn't use it."

"Great." Jack headed down the stairs first to make sure the floor was clear. "Head back to World Inc. and get Mitchell and his team. I'll stay here to cover you. No arguing."

"I don't like this," she told him.

"I'm just doing what you guys pay me for. Tell Mitchell I'll try to save him some of the second one."

"You," a feral voice said. The monkey was standing in another door.

Jack pointed to the upper level, “Let's take it up." The monkey nodded once and jumped to the upper level. Jack raced up the stairs. The monkey took a swing that he ducked. The stood there looking at each other.

Then the monkey said, "Now you will pay for what you did to my partner."

At the same time he said, "You’re dead after what you did to Richie." They both took a beat to figure out what the other's comment meant. Then they both attack screaming. The fight was primal, nothing fancy, no jumping, no flipping. Just straight punching and kicking. Each one was trying to tear the other apart and neither was backing down. The monkey grabbed him around the throat. Jack pounded its arms until they gave just a little, grabbing the monkey's wrist he removed its hands. Quickly as he could Jack grabbed its left arm. Then he slammed his other hand into the point of its elbow. He smiled behind the helmet as he heard the snap. The monkey grimaced in pain as it clutched it's now useless arm. Jack flexed the fingers on his left hand and said, "One limb down, two to go."

***
Rachel should have left when the fight started. But she was Jack mission operator, it was her job to see the fight through. She was amazed and a little sickened at the way Jack was fighting. He never looked that savage before. It almost seemed like he was enjoying it.

The door opened and the light blinded her. She blinked a few times and saw a man standing there. Her blood went cold, it was the human disguise for the scorpion. He closed the door quickly and a blue scorpion tail emerged from under his coat. It soon turned all the way all the way and came at her. Rachel ducked the initial strike, found a broken piece of scrape wood and turned to face it. It charged at her. Rachel raised the piece of wood over her head stabbed at it. The jagged pointed end pierced the scorpion in one of its eyes. It back up and screamed in pain as it pulled the piece out. It snapped its mandibles angrily and came at her again.

***
He never faced anything that fought like the metal bug before. There was a fury in it he wasn't expecting. It kept attacking his broken arm when it got close enough. For the first time in a long time he felt fear. Jason set himself, if he was going to die he was going to take that thing with him. He jumped up and kicked it under the chin. While it staggered from the blow he ran toward a hole in the wall. Reaching in with his good arm he pulled out a detonator. The bug hit him against the wall, making him drop it. Then the bug stepped on it and threw him to the railing.

"Nothing goes boom today!" It ran over to him quickly and started punching him down. It backed away and he spit some coppery tasting spit out of his mouth. He wasn't sure but it felt like a tooth came out with it. "Oh man," it sounded disappointed, "looks like play time's over. Guess I was wrong, one thing is going boom today." The bug reached for its belt when they heard the scream. The both looked, Michael had just grabbed the female and threw her against the far wall. He was bleeding from one eye and looked like he was going in for the kill. The bug looked at him then to the scene below and back at him. "Damn," it said before jumping over the railing.

***
Jack landed and ran at the scorpion, catching it's tail as it was throwing it at Rachel. He pulled the tail and jerked the scorpion away from her. He had to end this thing fast and get back to the monkey. It snapped its claws at him, keeping him away. He also had to remember to avoid that tail. Seeing an opening Jack dodged a claw and hit a solid punch to the gut. He grabbed the scorpion's arm and tried to break it but the tail swept his legs out from under him. He rolled away from as the stinger struck. Jack stomped the tail after it was stuck in the floor, the scorpion screamed in pain.

A sharp pain started growing in his gut. He looked at the meter, it was almost on continuous flash. That couldn't be good. Jack threw the scorpion away and pressed the button under the belt, activating the mini turbines in it. He clutched at his leg as the charge went down his leg. Jack looked down and could see the electricity go down his leg. He'd worry about it later. Jack jumped up and kicked his right foot into the scorpion's chest. Arcs of electricity could be seen as the foot made contact. The scorpion flew back hard against the wall and exploded.

Jack grabbed his leg and went down momentarily. He probably couldn't use the kick against the monkey any time soon. That was alright he would just break its neck instead. Ignoring the pain, he ran back up the stairs as fast as his leg would let him. The monkey wasn't any where in sight. He did a room by room search before heading back to the stairs. Looking down he could see the door was still closed. How did the monkey get away? Jack slammed his fist onto the railing, cracking it, "Damn it!"
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Old March 16th, 2019, 06:20 PM #12
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261



<Episode 9>

He kept to the back alleys and the quieter streets he could find. Jason didn't want to draw any more attention to himself as possible. In his human disguise his broken arm looked much worse. The last thing he needed was one of the humans asking about his condition. Leaning against a wall on his good arm he thought about the fight. He had dreamed of tearing the metal bug apart with his own hands almost nightly.

Then a few hours ago he met up with the real thing. To think he was disappointed after it went down after one blow from Michael. Jason wondered how long he lasted against the bug. Maybe Michael was able to do what he couldn't do. Then he remembered the ferocity the bug fought with and doubted it. Jason got off the wall and looked behind him. No sign of Michael or the bug, a mixed blessing.

Quickly crossing the street he was relieved that the last leg of his journey back to Christopher's temporary base was almost over. Jason was surprised he felt relieved about approaching anything dealing with the would be king. He must be desperate. The guards saw him, one went out to him and the other went inside. Soon the old man and Christopher came out. Christopher got under his good arm, always putting on a show for the troops. "What happened?", the old man asked.

"We...," he tried to catch his breath, "miscalculated slightly."

"Where's Michael?", somebody else asked, he wasn't sure who.

"The last I saw him, he was fighting the metal bug."

"What happened exactly," The old man asked him. He gave them the short version of what he knew.

"So you left Michael to face that thing alone?", someone else accused.

"He did the right thing," Christopher told the man. “We got something a little more valuable than a victory, information we didn't have before." All things considered he would rather have a dead bug. "Let's get him inside and fixed up. After you rest I want to know everything you can remember about this metal bug." He nodded, he was in no shape to do anything else.

***
Jack stared at the ceiling as he waited for Friedman, going over the things that happened in his head. After he took out the scorpion and found out the monkey got away he checked on Rachel. Mitchell and an assault team busted in a few minutes later. Jack made a joke about him being late again. Mitchell took one look at them and immediately called for a med team. Quicker than he thought was possible Mitchell and the med team had both of them in an ambulance and speeding away from the safe house.

When they reached World Inc. Friedman, Barry and some others he recognized practically swamped him the moment the doors opened. He remembered seeing a rush of hallways and faces before being delivered to some kind of diagnostic room. There Friedman and Barry performed every kind of scan they had on his leg. Then they took him to another room and left him there to rest. Eventually Friedman came back looking over some paper work. " 'Bout time doc," he said while sitting up. Big mistake, he gritted his teeth as the pain shot down his leg.

"Careful Jack," he rushed over and helped him to a sitting position. "Your leg going to be a little tender for awhile."

"So what did I do?"

"Basically you cooked the inside of your leg."

"Tell me you're kidding."

"Maybe cooked the wrong term, more like you seared it. Like you would a really rare steak."

"That's not helping doc."

Friedman chuckled, "Sorry. You have some shielding around the conductors in you leg. Normally it protects your, and forgive my phrasing, organic parts when you use the charge kick." Jack resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Tim's nickname for his weapon got around. "However because you let the energy build up get so high this time it overloaded the shielding. Fortunately the charge went down you leg rather quickly or the damage could have been much worse." He sighed heavily, "Maybe if Barry was here to explain the technical aspects."

"No offense but I failed technical mumbo jumbo in school." Friedman snorted in response. "So how long before my leg get's better?"

"Like I said the damage wasn't that bad, but it's going to take awhile to heal. Of course we could speed up the process by putting you in the nutrient bath for a couple of days." Jack shook his head, quickly shooting that idea down. "Then again it might be better to let things heal naturally."

"Tim owes me five bucks," said a voice from behind Friedman. Rachel stood in the doorway. "He actually thought you think about it."

"Like you know me that well."

"You just proved me right."

"Damn, she's right."

"I'll see if I can find you some crutches Jack." and Friedman left them alone. She came closer to his bed. Jack noticed the brace on her left wrist.

"How bad is it?"

"It's just sprained," she said while holding it with her right. "I'll be fine in a couple of days."

"That's better than what I'm doing."

"I heard." She was quiet for a moment, "Jack, thanks for the save."

He waved it off, "I owed you one from the elephant."

"Why did you pick me over the monkey? If you got him you would have been out of here."

"Yeah I..." He found the floor real interesting for a bit. Why did he pick her over the monkey? "I didn't want to listen to Anderson try to guilt me into staying longer if you bought it."

Rachel had a smirk on her face, "I thought as much. Thanks, you just won me another five from Tim. I tell you that boy needs to get out more."

"No kidding... wait, what did he say?"

"Nothing worth repeating. I’ll pull my car up front then I'll take you home." She left the room before he could argue. Jack was left alone with his thoughts again. He went back to thinking about the fight with the monkey.

"Should have broken it's legs first."

***
Anderson stood in the lobby waiting for them to show. Allen was trying to get his attention about something and Mitchell was scanning the area. He knew it was out of habit, Anderson doubted he had anything to worry about in his own building. But that was what he paid the man for. Not that he had anything to worry about from the humans.

The elevator doors opened up and Haily and Davidson walked out, well Haily did anyway. It was a little strange to see Davidson hobble out on crutches, but it meant he wasn't invincible. Just like he had the Fusion system designed. He walked up to them and the other followed. "Mr. Davidson," both of them looked surprised that he was there, "I wanted to congratulate you on your mission."

"The monkey got away."

"True, but from what I understand during the battle you were presented with two options, be a hero or be selfish. You choose the hero option and saved Miss Haily, and for that I am grateful. She would be very hard to replace." Haily blushed slightly. Davidson looked at her.

"Told you he’d try to guilt me." Haily shot him a rather nasty look. Best not inquire about that comment.

"I'm adding a couple of weeks to your time off to heal up some. I'm sure we can handle the Drakan while you are away."

"Don't worry buddy," Mitchell added, "we'll find monkey boy for you as soon as we can."

"Right now I'm just worried about getting my bike."

"He doesn't know?", Anderson asked Haily.

"He doesn't know what?", Davidson asked cautiously.

"The bike's here man," Mitchell told him. "I had somebody get it and put it in the garage while you were being checked out."

"Somebody touched my bike?!" Anderson saw a similar look when he told him they located the monkey.

"I was waiting for the pain killers to kick in before I told him," Haily explained to them.

"What's the fuss about?", Allen asked. "It's just a machine."

"Just a machine?", Davidson and Mitchell said at the same time. Both of them looked at Allen like he grew a second head. Humans.

"No offence Mr. Davidson, but you are in no conditions to be driving the KR-1000. Don't worry, it'll be safe here until you return."

"I'll have a guard on it twenty four seven," Mitchell joked.

"Triple guard," Davidson said. Mitchell smiled but Anderson was positive he was being serious.

"Well I won't keep you any longer. Miss Haily, I want you to take a week off to heal up yourself." She nodded while Davidson grunted something. As they left the building Mitchell leaned in.

"What are you going to do if he gets the monkey?"

"I'll worry about that when we get to it. It was a fluke we found him this time, and it will be awhile before we locate him again. That I am quite sure of. I'll take a look at that file now," he held out a hand. Allen placed the folder he was carrying in it. He scanned the contents briefly before closing it. "Is this information accurate?"

"I wouldn't have brought it to your attention if I wasn't sure." Anderson looked at the door Davidson went through.

"Should I get a team together?", Mitchell asked.

"No, not just yet. I think it would be better if we waited for Davidson." He handed the file back to Allen. "Keep a close eye on this Allen. I want to know the minute anything changes."

***
"Hey." Rachel looked up from her desk. Jack was standing in her doorway. She wasn't expecting to see him today.

"Hi. What are you doing here?"

"I guess my extra time is up. Heather called me this morning. Something about a big job they needed me on."

"I told them your leg was still a little stiff." She got up to help him when he started for the couch. He waved her off. So she leaned against the edge of her desk.

"Nothing I can't handle." Jack sat on the couch like nothing was wrong. But she saw he was keeping his leg a little straight. "So how big a mission is this?"

"We think we located the rebel leader."

He whistled, "That's pretty big."

"We get him and this war is close to being over. Unless, of course, he has somebody just as good as he is as second in command."

"Hopefully that was bird boy. Some how I don't think we're that lucky."

"You never know. So really, how are you doing?"

"I'm fine, well better than what I was."

"Are you still having that nightmare?"

"Why did I tell you about that?", he mumbled. Recently he been having this dream were he was fighting these various Drakan, usually the monkey. Every time, right before he finished it off, the Drakan would turn into his friend Richie. She only found out about it after she went to check on him and he woke up screaming. Rachel doubted he would have even told her otherwise. "It's been couple of days since the last one, so I guess that means I'm getting better."

"I still think it would be best if..."

"I told you no shrinks," he cut her off. "Any baggage I got," he tapped his head, "is staying up here."

She felt like giving up, "It's your breakdown."

"Damn right." He got up, she studied him for any sign of pain. She didn't see any. "So, when do we get started and where are we going?"

"We pinpointed his camp's last location in a forest just outside of the city."

"He got a camp? How many are we talking about here?"

"I'm not sure."

"You're not... ," he sputtered. "Am I getting an assault team back up this time?"

"No," she said slowly. The she quickly cut off his outburst, "Only because we don't know if he's still there. Basically we're just scouting his last know location. If he left maybe we could find a clue to where he went."

"And if he is still there it’d be nice if he conveniently went boom."

"That's one way to put it. Only problem is the fastest route to the spot isn't accessible by car."

"Could it be accessible by say a motorcycle?"

She couldn't help but grin, "I'm sure most of it is." That boy and his toy. "Come on, we can leave as soon as we check in with Heather and Mr. Anderson."

***
Anderson wouldn't let them leave until they went over everything. Jack hung around the door as the finalized the plan. He spent most of the time trying not to bang his head into the wall out of boredom. He didn't see why they were planning the thing. Usually the plan degenerated into him blowing the Drakan up. He had no doubt that was going to be the outcome for this one too. By the time they left World Inc. and reached the forest it was almost dark. Rachel pulled a flashlight and a map out of her glove box before getting on the bike. They rode the path until he couldn't see any where else to go. "Looks like we're walking the rest of the way."

"Great," she sounded unenthusiastic about the idea.

"Your Aunt didn't have any nature trails by her in bayou country?", he said throwing in a Cajun accent.

"No, she lived in the middle of Baton Rouge. And that was the saddest accent I ever heard."

"Everybody's a critic."

"No really, I've been to Louisiana a lot and that was the saddest thing I ever heard. My Aunt would have slapped you silly if she heard you just now."

"Alright already." Jack took the staff from it's holding place between the handle bars as a precaution, "So which way?"

Rachel checked the map. "That way," she pointed the light to the left. "It was pretty sad."

Jack ignored her and let her lead the way. She slowed just enough for him to walk along side her. He guessed they went a mile without seeing anything yet. Jack twirled the staff between his fingers while trying to keep an eye on their surroundings. Suddenly Rachel stopped and turned off the light. "What?"

"Over there," she said softly. He looked ahead of them. There seemed to be some kind of light. "I think we better see if it's them."

"Stay behind me." Jack took the lead and snapped the staff to extend it to the full length. He briefly considered activating the Fusion system. But if it wasn't their target he’d have a hard time explaining what he was wearing. He got close enough to see a fire pit in the middle of a clearing giving off the light. Sitting around the fire was a bunch of kids. The oldest couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen years old. Jack was about to tell Rachel they had the wrong spot but she could see for herself. Then a couple of the kids closest to him started sniffing the air, then the other did the same. "You got to be kidding me," he said a little too loudly because they all turned in his direction.

"Who's there?", demanded the oldest. Jack collapsed the staff, handed it to Rachel and walked into the clearing with his hands open. "What do you want?"

"Nothing,” he replied calmly, “just passing through. I didn't mean to disturb you guys."

"He smells funny, "one of the youngest said. Her form seemed to change for a moment before returning to normal.

"It's the Drakan Killer!," a little boy yelled and hid behind the oldest.

"I told you there was no such thing as a Drakan Killer," he chided him. The oldest then looked right at him, "But you have killed our people."

Jack quickly tried to think of a way out of this. "Look, I got some bad intel on this one. I'll just leave and forget I ever saw you guys."

"I can't take that chance." The boy quickly turned into a green wolf. He snarled at Jack and jumped at him. Jack leaped to the side but was able to kick the wolf in the head. The wolf looked stunned for the moment.

Jack raised his left arm across his chest and materialized the belt. He swung his arm over and raised his right arm. "Henshin!", he shouted before slamming his right hand on top of the belt. After it scanned his body he was in the black body suit and blue armor.

The young Drakan either gasped or took a step back. The wolf was stunned, "The story was true."

"Oh my God it is the Drakan Killer."

"I don't want to fight," he told him. The wolf eyes were a mixture of fear and anger. It charged, but again Jack blocked the punch and tossed the youth aside. "I said I didn't want to fight."

The wolf looked at the other kids again. Most of them had dropped their human disguises, but it didn't look like they were going to join in. The wolf looked concerned as he turned his attention back to Jack. "And I said I couldn't take that chance." He got up and went after him again. Jack did everything he could not to hurt the wolf. He dodged or blocked everything the wolf threw at him. Then the wolf tackled him back into he trees. They rolled before Jack flipped him off.

"Watch it." Both of them looked up. Rachel was standing close by, how did he forget about her. The wolf sniffed the air again and growled.

"Don't even think it Fido." Jack ran in and punched the wolf before it could do anything. It stumbled back then swung a fist at him. He ducked it easily and nailed the point of his foot into it's stomach. The wolf doubled over and he brought his knee to it's face. Blood started trickling down it's nose as it tried to retreat. Jack moved faster as he grabbed the wolf by it's shoulders and threw him. The wolf landed hard against a tree. It used that tree to support itself as it got back to his feet. Jack glanced at the meter, it just started flashing. He looked at Rachel and said, “Call it in."

She looked stunned that he said that, "Jack?"

"I said call it in." He pressed the button under the belt and headed for the wolf.

***
Anderson's concentration was interrupted as Williams' phone started ringing. She picked it up and after a moment said, "What the situation Rachel?" She was quiet for a long time before saying, "No." She started to pale.

"Did something happen to Jack?", Mitchell asked. Anderson interest was peaked as well. If Christopher was there surely they would have called for back up. That's if he gave them a chance.

"We were wrong about the target," she said. "It wasn't the rebel leader, it was a bunch of Drakan children. Rachel said they all looked under eighteen. The oldest started fighting Jack. She said he didn't have any other choice but to kill him."

"Whoa, Jack took out a kid?", Mitchell in disbelief.

"We sent him after...children?" Anderson leaned against the map for support. Children, Drakan children. He had nothing to worry about from the humans, but his own kind however. How did this happen? "Allen?" He was no where to be found. Somebody said he left as soon as the phone rang. He knew, Anderson was sure of it. Allen was never in here during Davidson’s assignments. He rushed out the door, almost letting his animal instinct take over. He came to an intersection and sniffed the air. He went down the one with the strongest, freshest sent, "ALLEN!"
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Old March 20th, 2019, 05:01 PM #13
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 261



<Episode 10>

"Call it in." She did not just hear him say that.

"Jack?"

"I said call it in," he told her. He pressed the button under the belt. Before she could say anything to stop him he started for the wolf. Jack grabbed the wolf by the shoulders and pulled him away from the tree. Then he turned around and kicked the tree. He backed up from the tree hoping on one foot before setting his right down. The tree cracked from the impact and started to fall. Suddenly the part he kicked exploded out. Rachel tried to shield herself as chunks of the tree flew in every direction. When it was clear she saw the wolf and the other young Drakan had done the same. Jack stood there not looking at any of them.

"Why...," the wolf started.

"Get out of here," was all Jack said.

"But I don't understand."

"I said get out of here!", he yelled. "Now, before I change my mind. Git!" Unsure of what else to do the wolf nodded and reverted to his human form. The others did the same and the young wolf led them away. They stood there and watched them go. Finally Jack powered down the Fusion system and flexed his right leg a little.

"Jack...," she began.

"Let's go," he cut her off. They walked back to the bike in total silence. His attention was on the path they were taking. Her attention was mostly on what just happened. Jack wasn't kidding when he said they got some wrong Intel on this one. She was going to make sure heads were going to roll for this one. And Rachel wasn't really caring whose head it meant at the moment. It wasn't long before they reached the bike and Jack drove her back to her car. She put a hand on his shoulder when it looked like he was going to leave.

"Jack," he still wouldn't look at her, "what are we going to tell them?"

"Whatever the hell you want." Underneath the helmet he looked really tired. "I got to draw a line some where." Then he drove off and Rachel watched his taillight disappear. She looked at her cell phone then back into the woods, her decision already made. She had to draw a line too.

***
Things seemed to fall apart as soon as he heard they had sent Davidson after children. As he expected the Drakan under him were demanding answers. It took everything he had to keep them from revolting. The fact that damnable excuse for a male Allen disappeared right after helped persuade them. Mitchell had every team he had looking for him. Williams' people were monitoring every camera stationed in the city trying to find a glimpse of him. Allen knew their set up just as well as he did, so he could avoid them for as long as he possibly could. But it would only be a matter of time before he had his hands around his throat, slowly choking the life out of him.

Then there was the other half of the problem to deal with. Haily had been seen sporadically in the building. Apparently doing her best to avoid him. The one time he was able to corner her he asked about Davidson. He apparently decided to lock himself in his apartment. Ignoring any attempts of contact by either Haily or Williams. What was going through his mind? Anderson wasn't sure what he felt toward him. He killed a child, but they rebuilt him to be a weapon. He would sort all this out after he had dealt with Allen.

But there was one hope he was clinging to. The smell on Haily wasn't any different. Usually the smell of death on her was a little stronger each time Davidson killed a rebel. She smelled the same as the last time he saw her. He knew it was entirely possible he was all in his head. A small seed of hope that Davidson hadn't done it. That discovery was the only thing that kept him from ripping into her for not stopping Davidson if he did.

If he needed any more proof the fates were conspiring against him, he got it the moment he turned the corner to his office. He knew the balding grey haired man standing next to his secretary's desk. Rodgers, the alpha of another pack. A powerful and influential one, this could not be even remotely good. Surprisingly the idea that he was here didn't worry him at the moment. The fact that he was here in his territory, in his city, in his building, unannounced and uninvited. It was the height of rudeness and that irked him.

At least it was distracting him from his current problem.

Anderson locked down everything he was feeling as he approached. Rodgers looked very open as he came closer. A trap he would not fall for like others have. "Thomas," he said while holding out a hand.

"Matthew," the other took it. "I apologize for the suddenness of all of this. But I have been hearing some rather disturbing rumors lately. I wanted to discuss them with you."

"Of course," Anderson gestured toward the door. "Let's go in my office and discuss this." If things got rough he could always call for Mitchell if he had too. Rodgers took a seat in front of his desk. He was half way expecting him to take his. Sitting down he asked, "Can I offer you a drink?"

"No thanks, hopefully we can clear this up rather quickly. There have been rumors of a Drakan serial killer in you city."

"Yes, I’ve heard them myself." Right to the point, he was afraid of that. About that time something hit him, Rodgers was a wolf. Haily's report said Davidson killed a green wolf cub. A cold knot formed in his stomach as he felt himself pale. "Probably concocted by the rebels. Anything to draw attention to my city. You know how they operate." He said anything to try to prolong this as he slid his hand closer to the call button under his desk.

"The last one concerned my son." His hand stopped momentarily.

Anderson hoped he sounded concerned as he asked, "Is he all right?"

"I'm not sure," Rodgers said as he shifted in his seat. He looked for any sign of attack. "He was rather incoherent the last time I talked to him."

"What do you mean?" He had heard stories of the seers being able to contact the dead. He never put any stock in it, he barely bought their ability to see your future. He would have never thought Rodgers put any stock in it.

"He told me he was guarding the pack of youths he was with against a Drakan insect. One made of metal if I understood him correctly. Then this Drakan somehow destroyed a tree and let them go."

"Let them go? He's alive?" Anderson felt a great weight lift off his shoulders. Davidson had more character than he was given him credit for. He covered for his outburst, "That's different from the stories I heard about the Drakan Killer."

"I know."

"So where is your son now?"

"I do not know. He wasn't sure if that thing was going to come after him again. He said he was going to seek out the rebels for immediate protection for some reason and to see if they could get him and the others out of the city without being noticed."

"So he's potentially still in my city? Don't worry, I'll put every connection I have to work on finding him and the source of this rumor. Like I said this sounds like something the rebels would come up with. Maybe as some sort of sick way to draw people to the cause."

"Possibly. If I didn't already lose a man in this city I would wonder less."

"This man," he said slowly, “wouldn't happen to have been a frog?"

"A junior VP of mine. So he did die here."

"A rumor my people heard. There was no frog in my territory so I had inquires sent out to other cities to see if they lost anybody recently."

"I didn't hear of any inquires. Although I don't see why you didn't ask your own VP about it. Allen, I believe that was his name." Anderson arched an eyebrow. "I sent my man here to finalize the details of the deal between our two companies with him."

For reason he didn't yet understand pieces of the puzzle were suddenly falling into place, "Really?"

***
Jack stared out the window. The over cast day didn't come close to matching his mood. He barely heard hard the knock at his door. He was a bit surprised, usually she would ring the doorbell a few times then quit. He just kept on ignoring it. "Come on Jack, open up," Rachel voice was muffled. "We got to talk about this."

"What's there to talk about?", he said mainly to himself. He let out a breath, might as well get this over with. Jack went over to open just enough so she could push it open. He went back to the window.

"Finally," he heard her mumble as she came in. She closed the door and sat on the edge of his couch. "How are you feeling?"

"You sent me after a bunch of kids. How am I supposed to feel?"

"I didn't know they were kids either. I was just as shocked as you were."

"Right."

"Look Jack...," he cut her off.

"I don't know if I can do this any more. If this is the price I have to pay, I can't do this. The monkey isn't worth it"

"I'm not going to talk you out of it," she told him. "I've considered quitting myself. Not before I got some answers on how this happened first. I'm still looking into it in case you're wondering."

"What did Anderson say when he found out I let them go?"

"I... didn't tell them you let them go."

Jack looked at her in surprise. He didn't think she would have done that. "So they think I went through with it?" She nodded. "That's gonna be hell to live with."

"They stopped looking for them at any rate. That was the idea when you told me to call it in."

"Yeah. Guess something good came out of this whole situation." He was quiet for a moment. "I had to be able to live with myself."

"I know. What do you want to do now?" Jack thought about it for a few moments. Then he grabbed his jacket and headed for the door. He should have done this the moment he found out what the target really was. "Where are you going?"

"First, I'm going to find out exactly what the hell happened, then I'm giving your boss a piece of my mind." She followed him out the door. "Trying to stop me?"

"I have a few things I want to say myself."

"You were there all that time and you haven't said anything yet?"

"You inspired me."

For the first time since the incident he felt a smile start to form. "More like you want to see how I get answers."

"That too."

***
"We found him in a alley of all places," Mitchell told him. A few moments prior he and his team dragged Allen into his office. Mitchell and his team apparently took a few liberties in apprehending him. Allen was sporting a black eye among other visual injuries. Not that he was disapproving of the treatment. "He was a little feisty when we caught up with him. But we calmed him down a bit before we brought him in."

"Apparently. Now if you will excuse us Mitchell we have something to discuss."

"One more thing," Mitchell leaned in close. “We're positive Jack is on his way here." Anderson nodded slowly and looked at Allen. The man would not look in his direction.

"How soon?"

"Five, ten minutes tops."

"When he arrives make sure nobody stops him on his way up here."

Mitchell glanced over to Allen and grinned, "Understood."

Anderson closed the door and silently went over to his desk. He sat in his chair, steepled his fingers and just stared at Allen. Like the worm he was he started to squirming under his gaze. There was nothing worse than a Drakan with no backbone. Neither said anything until Allen sputtered, "M... M... Mr. Anderson."

"Be quiet," Anderson snapped. Allen sunk back into his chair. "For the past few days I wondered how you could make such a blunder. Or should I say tried to make it look like a blunder. Especially when I warned you after your last major mistake."

"I… I didn't know they were children."

"Yes you did." Anderson got up and slowly circled the room. "Why else would you have disappeared all of the sudden. But for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. Why did you have us send Davidson after children? Even if they were the offspring of the rebels we could have convinced them to come back into the fold."

"I'm sorry."

Anderson ignored him. "I could not figure it out. Then I had the most interesting visit from Thomas Rodgers." Allen stiffened noticeably, he smiled behind his back. "Apparently his son was among the children we sent Davidson after. In fact he was the one Davidson fought,” he waited a couple of moments before adding, “to the death." No kind of reaction from Allen what so ever. Good, that made this just that much easier. "But it wasn't until he gave me an answer to another mystery that things started to come together. One you could not seem to solve, the mysterious frog."

"H… He did, "Allen looked like he was starting to sweat.

"Imagine my surprise when he told me there was a pending deal between our two companies. He was rather taken aback that I knew nothing about it. A merger between our two companies I would have never agreed to. Between us we couldn't figure out how you were planning to pull this off. Then I started looking through some of your personal business files." Allen looked right at him, not sure to be shocked or angry. "Don't look so surprised. I told you I was going to do as much when the humans heard the ceremony.

"And I was rather surprised myself at what I saw. I was expecting to see personal ventures, plans to carve out you own little empire, using funds skimmed from my company. I think I could have almost forgiven that. But what did I see instead? Everything you needed to take over a company. My company."

"I can explain."

"Then the deal with the children became rather clear. The other packs are already paying too much attention to my city because of the rebels. And I will admit the rumors of the Drakan Killer is not helping the situation. But if something happened to the son of a major alpha, then I would be put under a microscope. Eventually the Fusion project would have been discovered. More than likely leaked to the right people. I would have been removed and you would have been in position to buy the company right from under me. And you would have waited until I was removed too. You didn't have the nerve to do it while I am still in control. If you wanted the company so badly you should have challenged me for it, like I did your father. As you should have challenged him in the beginning."

"He wouldn't hear of it," he said through gritted teeth.

"Because he knew you were a sniveling coward. The very fact you planned all of this proved it. He knew it would not have been honorable combat, like tradition demanded."

"You don't know that!", Allen shot out of his chair. "Neither of you knew that."

"Then prove me wrong." Anderson dropped his human form and became the green cheetah. "If you want control of this company so bad than fight me now." Allen glanced at the door. "Mitchell has his orders not to enter the room, no matter what."

"Fine," Allen clenched his fist and reverted into a green shark. He fingered the scars on his chest, a low growl coming from somewhere deep inside him. Allen screamed at the revealing two sets of very sharp teeth. Anderson grinned, showing he had a dangerous bite as well and extended his claws. The circled each other, taking a swipe every so often to test the other defenses. But Anderson was biding his time. Waiting for the smell that was just now assaulting his nostrils. The smell of death, and it was getting closer. Allen was too caught up to notice. Anderson suddenly jumped to his left, making sure to hit the wall hard enough to leave a dent. He returned to his human form and slumped to the ground.

Allen turned his head obviously confused. Anderson put the appropriate amount of fear on his face as the door burst open. Davidson stood there suddenly dumbfounded at the sight, "Holy... !"

"That's Allen!", Anderson shouted. Allen confusion turned into rage as he looked at him. For a brief moment he thought Allen would actually do him harm in retaliation. He bolted for the door and knock Davidson out of the way. He held his shoulder as he got up and staggered toward the door. "Allen's one of them. He's the one that gave me the false information about the rebel leader." He guessed right about the effect that would have on Davidson. There was a brief glint of anger as he got up and put his left arm across his chest. Anderson saw the belt materialized around his waist. He moved his arm across and raised his right.

"Henshin!", he shouted and brought his right hand down on top of the belt. Davidson ran after Allen as the Fusion system activated. Haily took a step after him but stopped. Before she turned to check on him he allowed himself a small smile. Like that man deserved honorable combat.

***
Jack chased after Allen as a red tint took over his vision. The shark was fast but he was quickly gaining on him. It wasn't long before he could grab the fin swinging in front of him. Allen turned to look back just as he reared a fist back. The punch knocked Allen down but Jack ended up falling over him. He beat the shark to his feet and kicked him under the chin. Allen's head snapped back and he aimed another fist at it's throat. The shark laid there on the floor holding his throat trying to breath. Jack stood over him and said, "You I'm not even going to think twice about."

He reached down to pull Allen to his feet. The shark stopped gasping and shoved his fingers into his gut, right under the spot the blue chest armor didn't cover. Jack doubled over in pain as he saw stars. He tried to keep from throwing up in his helmet as the shark grabbed him by the back of his neck. "Annoying little gnat," then he slammed Jack face first through the wall. He threw his left elbow widely catching Allen in the shoulder. Allen let go and Jack kicked out his left foot. Allen stumbled back from the impact and he removed his head from the wall. He turned around to see Allen mouth come at him. Jack ducked the lunge and planted both his fist into the shark's stomach. He grabbed it by the back of it's head and slammed him repeatedly into the wall.

Jack took a few steps back and held his gut. He wasn't sure but it felt like he busted something. The shark recovered faster than he thought and lunge again. Jack had just enough time to get his right arm up. Allen's mouth clamped down on his forearm. He almost went down to his knees as the pressure increased, something was going to give. Then Allen spun to his right. There was a loud crack right before the momentum flipped him over as well. Jack screamed in pain and clutched at his right arm. Keeping his grip on the arm Allen got to his feet. Out of desperation he started punching wildly with his left hand. He nailed the shark in the nose before it let go. Jack held his arm close to his body, Allen grinned evilly and came in for the kill.

Jack saw the grin and yelled again. Not in pain, but from frustration. He launched a side kick when the shark came close enough. His right foot crashed through the two rows of the sharks front teeth. Allen grabbed his mouth and tried to get away again. Jack leaned against a wall, remembered the wolf and went after him. He grabbed a metal trash bin and when he was close enough swung it with all he could muster. The can bent into the shape of Allen's head from the impact. It went down and he started stomping at it and pounding it with his left hand. Allen pushed him back the moment the meter started flashing. Not soon enough. He pressed the button to activate the mini turbines in the belt. Allen grabbed the can and threw it at him. Jack jumped to the wall and kicked off with his left foot. His right foot made contact with the side of it's head. Allen bounced off the other wall and exploded.

***
Rachel raced down the hall after Mitchell showed up to keep an eye on Anderson. She caught the last part of the fight. Anderson and Mitchell showed up when Allen exploded. The sprinkler system went off as Jack cradled his right arm, fell to his knees and put his head to the ground. "Jack!", she ran toward him. She knelt beside him, his every breath was mixed with a small shout of pain. "Tell me what's wrong."

"My... ," he barely got out, " my.. arm... can't... feel... he broke... my arm."

"Jack let me see." He wouldn't move it, he didn't have to. His arm was bending in places that it shouldn't be bending. Under the body suit it looked like a bone was sticking out. "Oh my God," she muttered in French. "Jack listen to me, don't power down. Do you hear me don't power down." She wasn't sure how bad he was bleeding under the suit, it could be the only thing from keeping it from bleeding worse. "Get Friedman and Barry up here," she ordered Mitchell.

"How bad...," he didn't get a chance to finish.

"Get them up here now!", she shouted at him. "Don't worry Jack, you're going to be alright."

"I'll make sure he gets the finest care we can provide," Mr. Anderson said while looking very concerned. "After all, I owe him my life."
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