I'm really glad you enjoyed the last chapter guys, you have no idea how fun it was to write. This was was a lot more fun though, as things are really really starting to fall into place, and my main ideas are finally fitting together really well. So I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I'm not going to mess around with the whole "blah blah foreword", so she's all yours!
------------------------------Chapter 010: Vendettas.
Carbine turned from the roof edge after watching Hydrus fall into oblivion, and faced the observation deck. Professor Caroll stared back at her creation with an extremely satisfied look spread over her face, while a commotion had broken out between the employees of the Planetist Headquarters in the back reaches of the crowded room. The members of Reach looked around themselves very uneasily, as Creed went back to sort out the commotion. Gala had taken his eyes from the battlefield and Carbine, and had once more allowed them to take place upon the face of Andromeda. Edge had also done something similar, however his eyes were upon the Professor, and his head was swimming with questions and thoughts about the events of the day. Beatrix and Mikoto both stood still, staring outside at Carbine. Above, all of the clouds that had gathered around Solar had seemed to have completely dispersed, and the skies were clear blue. After a few minutes, Creed stood beside them both and smiled, before motioning for Gala and Edge to come over.
“You’re lucky, you know. Really lucky. You just got to see the beginning of a new age!” Creed laughed as he finished the sentence, Reach stood motionless, wondering what exactly was about to happen in this ‘new age.’ Eventually, Edge broke the silence.
“A new age of what?” he asked, “a new age of the Planetists ruling this city like they always have?”
“Haha! No my dear Edge,” Creed paused after mentioning his name; a glint seemed to appear in his eyes, “an age of prosperity for the whole planet! Soon our faith hood will expand across the ocean, even to the reaches of High Charity! Yes, Solar has been busy for the past Century, perfecting ourselves, waiting… Hydrus did us very well in his rule as our leader, alas, he was too old fashioned, and had no ideas beyond the reaches of Zodiac, and even then his ideas were very flawed!”
“Hang on a second,” Gala interjected, “Hydrus is the guy responsible for that wasteland of a city down there? He’s responsible for the martial law, the over-commercialisation, and the crime rates? All of that is his fault? The fact the people down there can’t live in peace because of each other, it’s his entire fault?”
“Easy Gala, Jesus. It would take years to sort Solar out of the mess it’s found itself in now anyway, there’s not much he could have done” Mikoto replied, before returning her gaze back to Creed. Gala shook his head and twisted his face as he looked out of the window. Carbine was still stood in the same spot, looking out over the city.
“It would have taken nothing Mikoto” Creed replied, “unfortunately, Hydrus didn’t really care, he was content with the fact faith in planetism was at a high, and he was content with the people living the way they did, because regardless of what they had, he had much more, he, and indeed all of the faction, were content and happy.” Creed sighed and looked down to the ground, placing his hand over the hilt of his Scimitar, and looking back up at the members of Reach.
Edge shuffled in the spot and looked into the eyes of Creed before rejecting the claims, “I don’t think so.”
“What do you mean Edge?” Creed smiled, “surely you knew Hydrus? You were an employee here until it became obvious you were dangerous!”
“Dangerous? I was forced into what I had done and then rejected for it in case the people revolted! What about him?” Edge flared up suddenly, and though nothing was visible, something seemed to change within him.
“What about him? Carbine? Ah yes, well, would you rather it were you in your position now? Hm?” Creed was gaining great delight in how confused the members of Reach were becoming at the argument that was unfolding between their friend and himself.
“No. Nor would I like anyone to be in the positions you have put us in. They’re uncalled for and unnecessary. What you do is inhumane!” Edge rose evermore from his spot, and to Mikoto it seemed like a new fierce energy had awakened within him, whatever it was, Edge was doing very well to hide it, as there was nothing except a feeling that was being shown. Professor Caroll and Prude walked over and stood alongside Creed, to see what the unfurling episode was about.
“Calm down Edge.” Professor Caroll interjected, "You know fine well it’s not something to tr- Hello, what’s your name there?” she asked, looking directly at Gala.
“Who me?” Gala responded, “Gala, why?”
“Gala? Interesting...” Caroll paused for a moment before speaking once more, “Gala, do you have any parents?”
“…no.” Gala answered, his head sinking and his gaze wandering to the floor.
“My parents… were killed, a few years ago.”
Caroll smiled and shrugged her shoulders, satisfied with the answer she had been given, and stood behind Creed, whispering something in his ear. At whatever the words were, Creed’s face lit up and he nodded, smiling at Gala.
“Gala?” Creed asked, “would you like to know who murdered your parents?”
Gala looked up, a look of sheer confusion spread across his face, Beatrix and Mikoto glanced sideways at Gala and then at Creed, Edge shifted uneasily and seemed to lose a lot of posture,
“It was Edge, Gala. Edge… and Carbine. In an angel examination. We sent the two of them out to understand their personalities as humans and then ultimately decide who was to become our angel.” Creed said, his face seeming to fall, however a look of triumph was visible in his eyes.
“It wasn’t me...” Edge replied, “It was Carbine.”
Gala stood motionless, registering what Creed had just said over and over in his mind. Beatrix and Mikoto looked up at Edge and stepped backwards in amazement at what had just been revealed. Edge turned to look at Beatrix, and although the glasses he wore hid it, tears were in his eyes and a look of agony was within their depths. Beatrix looked directly at him, standing motionless and mouthing words that never came.
“Beatrix…” Edge trailed, “you have to believe me… you did once…”
Beatrix gave a distressed sigh and looked over to Gala before resuming her gaze upon Edge, “I believed you when you told me you were framed for murder… but you were framed for murder of the parents of the boy you work with?”
“Look at how many times I’ve done all I can to protect him, remember our fight with the creatures in the bar? Who was it that was almost killed to protect him?” Edge replied, the distress becoming apparent in his voice, “Beatrix, Mikoto… Gala, you must believe that it wasn’t me that did that crime.”
“It’s in our records that you did!” Caroll broke in, “I have them right here.” She passed the papers to Beatrix, who looked down on them and read out loud;
‘NAME: Edge Hunagok.
REASON: Level 18 murder.’
“It wasn’t me.” Edge repeated, his voice becoming firm and final. “It was Carbine. He was the more suitable of the two of us to become an angel, so they took him back and exiled me from the faction, blaming the entire thing on me. Like I told you, I was framed.”
Beatrix went to speak but Gala spoke before her, “I believe him Beatrix.” Gala looked up and smiled at Edge, a new life taking its place within his eyes. He reached down and took his guns into hand. The ammo gauges were set to full, and he flicked the safety from both of them, before rising to his full height and looking out of the window. Edge looked at Gala and nodded, before removing his own weapon from its place within his attire. Mikoto went to draw her own sword but was stopped by Beatrix.
“This is their fight Mikoto,” she said firmly, before looking up at Creed, who had raised his eyebrows at the actions of Gala and Edge, “ours is here.” Mikoto nodded and drew her weapon, the blue blade gleaming in the light of the sun filtering through the window. Beatrix followed fashion and drew out her sword, Eve, and placed it in her hand lightly. In the back reaches of the room, the sound of guns being loaded and held up ready to fire could be heard, however Creed motioned for them to be lowered.
“Andromeda, take Caroll and the girl out of here, as well as the rest of the employees.” Creed said, and drew out his scimitar, the crimson blade ever glinting in all light that caught it. Gala and Edge ran out of the room and appeared seconds later on the rooftop, standing several feet away from Carbine. Beatrix and Mikoto looked up at Creed and grinned, before jumping at him with their weapons. As metal met metal the sound of gunshots could be heard outside, and the two fights had begun. Carrol stood at the door and looked back at Creed who had been pinned against the wall by Mikoto and Beatrix, before leaving the room.
Outside, Edge and Gala had stood firmly rooted to the spot, shooting at Carbine. A cloud of dust had appeared around the angel and eventually the two friends had to ceasefire. The dust began to settle, and Carbine’s shadow appeared. Eventually he could be seen fully visible once more, stood firmly in the spot. Several tears had come across his body, and the bullets had left many a mark across his face and torso. Gala and Edge smiled at their results, before Carbine seemed to disappear entirely from the spot. A second later an explosion erupted from the observation deck, and Mikoto was flung out of the fray, landing hard on the rooftop and rolling towards Gala and Edge. Gala ran over to her and picked her up; a large gash had been placed across her cheek. Gala helped her to her feet and she brushed herself down, before the three ran back to the fight that had now began between Beatrix and Creed. Carbine was still missing in action.
“You’re good Beatrix; you’d make a nice addition to what we’re planning next!” Creed laughed, as he brought Beatrix down to the ground with a stroke of his sword that had been stopped in mid air by Eve. Beatrix forced Creed to jump back from standing over her and took to her feet once more, before charging into another assault at the Planetist.
“Unfortunate that I don’t deal with people like you then isn’t it Creed?” she replied, knocking him back against the wall and brushing her sword along the ground and up at him, catching his chin and causing a small gash to appear, and a trickle of blood to run down his neck. She jumped back and smiled, before a force clashed the back of her head and she fell to the floor, dropping her sword.
Mikoto, Gala and Edge barraged into the room and opened up a fresh assault on Creed and Carbine, who had landed the blow seconds ago on Beatrix, and was now stood over her. Edge cornered Creed and Mikoto and Gala swept themselves into Carbine, causing the angel to fall back from standing over Beatrix, who was recovering from the surprise blow and slowly lifting herself from the floor with one hand while massaging her head with the other. Gala jumped around like a maniac, landing bullets into Carbine whenever the chance rose it’s head, and Mikoto continued to slice and dice everywhere the angel moved to. Edge pinned Creed up against the wall with his gun and leaned towards his face, however Creed head butted him and caused him to take a step or two backwards before he recovered himself. In that few seconds Creed had picked up his scimitar and was bringing it close down onto Edge, Beatrix jumped from the floor with her sword in hand towards the attack but before she reached it Creeds scimitar was thrown out of his hand and landed across the side of the room, a severed hand attached to the hilt of the blade. Creed screamed and looked around the room holding his bleeding wrist with his other hand, Gala had nailed a direct hit and shot his hand clean off.
“Gala don’t stand there looking smug!” Edge shouted, but Carbine crashed down onto the teenager and sent him down into the floor of the observation deck, knocking him out cold. Creed began to panic, and ran out of the room, clutching his bleeding wrist and trying to stop the flow of blood. Mikoto ran over to his scimitar and picked it up, taking it in her other hand. Creeds blood had washed over it, but she didn’t see it as anything more than an inconvenience. Both she and Beatrix launched an attack on Carbine, with Mikoto using her own sword as well as Creed’s scimitar. Edge ran over to Gala and tried to awaken then teenager, however a heavy cut had taken its place across his head and was bleeding quite heavily. Gala still had both of his guns firmly in hand. Mikoto and Beatrix continued their assault on Carbine, however it was becoming evident that the two were tiring, and the angel held strong. Edge reached into the confines of his jacket and pulled out a small vial of a transparent liquid, and poured it over Gala’s wound. Gala stirred immediately and swore loudly, dropping his guns and placing his hand over where Edge had poured the concoction. The wound closed up immediately and, although Gala still had a splitting headache, it was like it wasn’t ever there.
“Well, considering I now need at least a drug the level of MORPHINE to stop this bloody headache, I DON’T REALLY THINK THAT WAS WORTH IT TO BE FRANK, FRANK.” Gala yelled.
“It’s Edge. And it was worth it, you’d have died from blood loss otherwise.”
“I know… man you’re so serious Edge, lighten up yeah?” Gala said with a bit of a sad look on his face. The teenager shrugged and clasped his friend’s hand, and was then helped to his feet. He loaded up a fresh round of ammunition into his guns before launching into another assault on the angel. Edge repeated the action with his own weapon and followed Gala into the fray. Carbine was now being assaulted full on by the four members of Reach, who had slowed down since their attacks began, but were still nonetheless relentless in their approach. The angel could feel his skin being slashed by cold steel and pierced by bullets, and realised that very few of his own punches were causing any impact. He needed a weapon of his own, he needed his a sword.
Carbine let loose a fierce field of energy which caused the four members of Reach to be launched backwards and sprayed across the room. They all landed on their feet and stood back up, except from Gala who suffered from decreased judgement thanks to his headache, and crash landed into the wall, swearing again. Mikoto laughed at her friend’s clumsiness and looked back at Carbine, who was now seemingly floating in the air, much like he had done in his battle with Hydrus. The four friends looked upon the angel, and then he was gone. In his place was nothing more than a gust of wind.
“That’s called cheating!” Mikoto cried, and ran over to where the angel had disappeared form, dropping Creed’s scimitar to the floor and replacing her own weapon. Beatrix walked over and placed her hand on Mikoto’s shoulder.
“It’s probably for the best that he decided to leave us alone, considering how easy it seemed for us, it wasn’t like he was really trying. He gave Hydrus a much harder time than he ever gave us, like we weren’t even worth it. We’ll need to look at your face too, that’s quite a mark he’s left.” Beatrix sighed, and then replaced Eve before walking over to Edge, who had only moved to replace his gun since the angel had vanished.
“I suppose you want to know how we can leave?” he asked Beatrix, who smiled.
“You’re sharp that was the general idea, yeah. Any suggestions?” she replied.
“Three floors down is a small air dock, they keep helicopters, parachutes, and bi-planes.” Edge responded, turning his back on Beatrix and looking out over the city, before speaking again,
“If we’re going to use a plane, we’ll need to make a crash landing, there’s no where in the north sector where it can be landed, so our best bet is to use a helicopter.”
“Then a helicopter is what we’ll use.” Beatrix said, turning to the staircase and motioning for the members of Reach to follow her. Every floor seemed to be deserted, and they found no hostility, or indeed any life, on their way to the air dock on the 127th floor. Mikoto seemed to be lost in thought, and indeed she was, mostly concerned what was revealed by Creed, and also where the young girl, Prude, had gotten to. When they had walked past her cell, Mikoto quickly checked, however the barrier was still offline and nobody was on that floor. Beatrix had several questions she wanted answered, however she felt that Sage had best hear an account of it all, and hear the questions and answers himself, so she kept all her thought to herself. What struck all the members of Reach was that the floor below them seemed to be a trail of blood, however they realised it was likely from Creed as he ran from the scene earlier before. Until they reached the air dock, there was no conversation between the companions, they all seemed to be lost in a thought of their own, and it was subconscious following of the signs that eventually caused their arrival into the air dock, which was just as deserted as the rest of the floors they had proceeded through.
“Holy. Fucking. Shit.” Gala exclaimed upon sight of the helicopter kept in the air dock. The machine was jet black, with the Planetist logo embedded on the side. Two rocket launchers were placed underneath the two small wings and an automatic gun turret was below the cockpit. Gala ran over to the helicopter and looked in awe at the intricacies of the rockets that had been placed into the rocket launcher. He stood motionless for a moment before a new thought entered his mind,
“Um, guys, do any of us know how to fly this thing?” he asked, causing Beatrix to groan.
“I do!” Mikoto replied, a look of glee had also spread across her own face, and she was stood surveying the helicopter for all it’s worth. Beatrix laughed and looked at the young teenager,
“You’re like a child prodigy, you know that Mikoto? Is there any vehicle you can’t pilot?”
“Boats. I can’t do boats.” Mikoto replied, a sudden sadness spreading across her face, however a quick glance at the helicopter returned her cheerful disposition. Gala jumped up to the door of the helicopter and to his surprise, it was open. Then he realised that nobody in the right mind would ever bother to try and steal something from the Planetists, especially when it was a good half mile above sea level already. He opened the door and found that there was more than enough room for the four of the companions to get in and find comfort. The helicopter came well equipped. There were beds, and a refrigerator, as well as a small table.
“Holy crap man, we could leave Solar in this thing if we wanted.” Gala said in awe, although leaving Solar was the last thing he’d ever want to do. The companions clambered into the helicopter, and Mikoto took the pilots seat. A few minutes later and the helicopter was leaving the sky dock and entering the atmosphere of Solar. Mikoto managed to keep the machine level at all times, and almost made it fly with a serene grace. Beatrix, as well as the other two members of Reach, was thoroughly impressed by their comrade’s skills at being a pilot, especially at her young age of 17. As they flew through the peaceful skies above the social disruption far below them, they laughed and ate the contents of the fridge to their hearts content, forgetting, for a time, about their cares and the events that they had just been through.
Creed ran from the observation deck down to the 126th floor. His arm was still heavily bleeding, and the trail of blood from the observation deck would have probably led Reach right to the elevator that connected the rest of the building with the 99th floor. He entered the lift and was taken swiftly down to the laboratories. He ran out of the elevator, feeling somewhat weak due to blood loss, and fell into the residence of the Professor, who was sat with Prude, fixing a small red bow in the child’s hair. She jumped up at the bloody mess that had entered her room, and startled, ran over to Creed, helping him up and calling for two medics to help her carry him to the infirmary. Creed felt her touch against him, and her voice echoing in his ears, as he slipped away, and fell unconscious.
Eventually, the professor and two of the medics had placed Creed upon an operating table, and immediately began taking into account his blood type, and skin type, so that they could graft a new, robotic hand, upon the end of his arm. While the medics were busy running their tests, Caroll pulled out a small needle, and sterilised the end, while she mixed up a chemical in a test tube. She then placed the chemical into the needle, and injected it directly into Creed’s neck. Creed’s unconscious body twitched as the chemical entered his bloodstream, and began its course into all of his cells.
“What was that?” asked a sudden voice from behind the Professor, causing her to jump up and drop the needle to the floor. Caroll turned to see Andromeda standing at the doorway looking at Creed’s neck, which was now bright red. She hesitated for a moment, her eyes quickly moving up and down the Princess’ body. She was dressed much like Mikoto, in nothing more than jeans and a light vest. She looked nothing like a Princess, and was no longer as far as the hierarchy of command within the Planetist faction was concerned. Hydrus was her father, and upon his death and the reformation, a new leader was to be elected, Andromeda had about as much chance as the secretary in the front offices did, as the entire reformation had been planned with her help, and the new leader had been decided very near to the beginning, and even then Andromeda did not wish to be the supreme ruler of the Planetists, she was comfortable with what she had.
“It’s just a protein complex; it’ll increase Creed’s muscle density and lower his recovery time.” The Professor eventually responded.
“Protein complex? Does he know about this?” Andromeda replied, her eyes shifting from Creed’s body to the eyes of Caroll.
“Yes, he does. We’ve been planning this for quite some time. A few minor modifications to his genetic structure will accelerate a lot of his abilities. Hopefully the entire…” Caroll paused, looking around. Several medics had begun working on Creed’s body, “well, we’ll not mention that here.”
“Will he be alright then?” Andromeda asked, changing the subject from whatever it was they wanted to avoid discussing in the open.
“He’ll be fine, we’ll just get a new hand on there and it’ll meld with his bones.” Caroll smiled, the technology she was describing was a result of her own work. “Then it’ll reconfigure itself to match his nerve and blood systems, and it’ll be like his old hand. However! It’ll take longer if you continue to delay me Andromeda, so I’ll be pleased if you leave the infirmary for the time being, we have it under control.” With that, Caroll turned her back on Andromeda and began her operation on Creed. Looking up, she saw a reflection of Andromeda leaving the room in a piece of equipment, before returning her eyes to the bloody mess that was Creed’s arm.
“Why didn’t you do the modifications to Creed before now, Caroll?” Andromeda’s voice returned, and Caroll smiled slightly, and spoke without taking her eyes from the operation at hand.
“Why do you think? Daddy didn’t like the idea of Creed being more powerful than he was. Now he’s gone, well, out the window with that.”
“What kind of modifications to Creed will you be doing, and what about side effects?” Andromeda pressed on, she had decided she wanted answers now, not later.
“There will be no side effects so I wouldn’t worry about that, as for the modifications, they’re actually quite minor.” Caroll turned and cocked her head as she looked at Andromeda. “The Protein Complex as you know will increase his muscle density and lower his recovery time, as well as that I’m going to increase blood flow to his eyes so that his vision is increased, and finally I’ll be adding a delicate chemical to his nerves so that reflexes are increased by around two hundred and fifty percent.”
“So in other words…” Andromeda hesitated, “he’ll be what would commonly be referred to as a super human?”
“More like a human that can do more damage than any human on Charity, even more so than say, the elementalists of the north.” Caroll seemed pleasantly pleased with herself at that statement, for of all the things she knew about biological features of humans, her one weakness was the science of the High Charity elementalists. They almost never were seen beyond the confines of the grand palace, and weren’t last seen in battle for nearly three centuries. As such, Caroll had never been given the opportunity to study them, and had, much like the rest of the world beyond the confines of the High Charity palace, thought they were but a myth.
“The elementalists of High Charity huh… well, I guess I’ll let you get to work, that’s all the questions I have for now.” With that, Andromeda turned tail and left the laboratories once more. Her thoughts drifted and went upwards, back to the rooftop, and where the angel, Carbine, was busy with the strangers. As she stood in the lift that slowly took her upwards to the 126th floor, she began to question more and more about them. They had called themselves a name that Andromeda was quite sure she had heard Carbine use before. She sat down in a large seat overlooking Solar, and began to recall the events of the past few weeks.
“Creed had been going out a lot more, and he was coming back looking satisfied some days, and troubled others… what was that day he took the large suitcase full of cash…? He and Hydrus had been discussing someone they had found, was his name Gala? Wasn’t he the guy up there in the observation deck? Hmm… and I wonder why they had decided on allowing some of the gangs down in the city use those monsters the lower labs had been breeding. That made no sense either…”
As she sat, the sun began to set over the distant horizon, and night slowly began to creep over the city. Behind her, Andromeda had failed to notice Carbine walk silently through, and enter the lift 99th floor elevator. Thousands of feet below her an orange glow had came over the city, as the street lights flickered on. Several hours wore away and still the princess sat in deep thought, concentrating all she could on the recent events within the hierarchy of the Planetists. Suddenly, she sat up and remembered overhearing a conversation between Creed and Hydrus.
“I first heard the name ‘Reach’ on the date of Leonardo Ronston’s murder... That night before was when Creed had left with the suitcase full of money, and three days before that the recently created creatures were shipped… before that happened there was a meeting, Hydrus had told us that the ‘missing child’ from ‘that day’ had been found… what day did he mean... Hmm… I think I’ll have to ask the other two about all this, it’s a bit much, and I’m just taking guesses here… I’ll end up going nowhere.”
Andromeda looked up at the clock, it had just turned 9pm, and she realised she had been sitting there for just over four hours. Looking out of the window as she rose from the seat, Andromeda turned and made her way to the 99th floor once more. Stepping out of the elevator she walked briskly to the laboratories, and entered the infirmary, Creed was awake now, sitting up in the bed that had been prepared for him. Sitting opposite were Caroll and Carbine. The angel had his eyes closed and seemed to be in deep thought, and Caroll and Creed were discussing something regarding the day’s events. As Andromeda walked over to the bedside, Creed smiled at her and the reaction caused Caroll to turn around.
“Hello Princess,” Creed said, “I trust you are alright after what happened today?”
“I’m fine, how’s your hand?” Andromeda replied.
“It’s decent, I actually quite like it.” He answered, and then continued to speak. “As for the ‘enhancements’ that the Professor kindly gave me, as I’m sure you’re curious about, they’re making me feel remarkable, and it’s likely their fault that I’m recovering so quickly, they took their place immediately according to the Professor.”
“Yes,” Caroll answered, “they worked just as I said they would, and there have been no side effects or anything that might turn the situation sour, Creed is Creed, just a bit more, well, exciting.”
Andromeda looked at Creed, lying in the bed. Indeed he didn’t look like he had been injured at all. He was in hospital clothes, and there were no signs on his face that he had been in battle earlier that day. His hand looked like it was a natural part of his body, and as he moved it around it made no sound or sign that it was artificial. Nobody aside from the people that restored it would be able to tell that there was anything strange about it.
“I have a few questions I’d like to be answered…” Andromeda trailed, waiting for a response from the other two Planetists. There was a slight look of amusement on both of their faces, and the door to the room suddenly locked.
“Well, Andromeda my dear, we’d love to answer them, however there’s a good chance that the information you seek is classified, and nobody below me and Creed shall be allowed to hear it.” Professor Caroll replied. She stood up and walked over to the princess, placing a hand on her shoulder and looking into her eyes, “the truth is Andromeda, we don’t need you, and we don’t want you. You’re done my dear, it’s game over.” With the end of the sentence Caroll produced a gun from within her lab coat and pointed it directly at Andromeda’s head. She placed her finger on the trigger as Andromeda stood rooted to the spot in fear, and went to pull it back, before the voice of Carbine rang into her ears.
“Kill her, and I leave.”
“What?” Caroll turned to look at the angel, still holding the gun up at Andromeda’s head; Creed sat in the bed and seemed to be very amused with the situation.
“What do you mean Carbine?” Caroll asked once more. Carbine rose from where he had sat and looked at Caroll. As she stood, she felt his eyes seem to enter the depths of her soul and search her entire body. The feeling produced made he wholly uneasy, and she lowered the gun from Andromeda’s head, unsure of whether or not it was her own will that had caused her to do so.
“I’d like to have Andromeda around, and involved, like she was promised. You should never break a promise Professor, not to anyone. It’s very selfish.” As he spoke, Carbine’s voice pierced the air and even though his words were soft spoken, there was a tremendous power that resonated through the very sound waves they had produced. At length he spoke once more,
“You promised Andromeda a fair share. The faction would be split between the three of you, and would enter a hierarchy rather than a dictatorship.”
“How do you know all this?” Caroll responded, her voice shaking somewhat in fear. She had not revealed all of their plans to Carbine yet, though he seemed to know everything.
“I’m an angel Professor. You created me, you are my mother, but you don’t know me. Your research only extends to the angels that preceded me, but as you know full well, I’m different. I do not expire. I adapt, I learn. To an extent, I can see into the minds of the people that surround me. You said yourself I am your finest work, and indeed I am Professor, however you underestimated yourself. You must remember that when an angel is created it is sent with a blessing from your God, the very planet that we live upon. I am, in essence, a perfect creation. You created me with a purpose to serve under you and Creed; however I am already beginning to learn that a decision such as that would be pointless, and far from rewarding. So now it is time for a priority shift, a change in the grand design. You have your machine, and your key has been turned. The machine has chosen to follow the key rather than the creator, and I stress that if you want to achieve what you had in mind, then you follow my lead. I have plans, plans that escape the mind of the three of you. However you will come to understand things in time. You will have your hierarchy, however I will claim power over the three of you, and we will do what I have planned in my own mind, that was pieced through careful consideration of yours. Together we will accomplish great things, we will achieve Divinity, and we will become our own rulers.”
There were several minutes of silence. Caroll stood rooted to the spot, speechless. Andromeda looked on Carbine with her eyes widened. Creed sat in the bed with his eyes closed and a smile on his face, and eventually broke the uneasy silence that had followed the angel’s voice by clapping, and eventually following on with words of his own.
“A very good speech, I daresay. And I agree! Having a Hierarchy that revolves around the will of a perfect being sounds like a grand idea! We will have our own power, and in turn we shall pay the price of that power in granting the wishes of Carbine, that is fair. If his promises hold true, our plans will succeed and all will be well. We had planned on having an angel simply on our side, now, we have an angel as our commander! What could go wrong? Nothing that I can foresee!”
“But… Creed?” Caroll spoke, her voice full of caution, “I told you I was tired of serving under someone else. I wanted change.”
“There will be change Professor. Great change.” Carbine interrupted. Creed nodded in agreement with the angel once more, and eventually Caroll concluded to agree, she had part of what she wanted, and what she was to gain was more than enough. Andromeda stood motionless, her trust had been betrayed, and now she was involved in a scheme far greater than one of her own planning. She thought o herself for a moment, before nodding slightly and looking up at Carbine and the others.
“Answer my questions, and you have a deal.”
“Ah yes Andromeda! What questions did you wish to ask us?” Creed replied, smiling with content.
“Can you explain what’s going on with that group of Mercenaries? Reach, their name was?”
“Ah yes, the meddlers.” Creed sighed and his face fell somewhat. “If they hadn’t of shown up today things would have gone as planned, and this would have been done with hours ago. The boy, Gala? He is the sole survivor of the targets from the Angel examination that took place a few years ago. His parents were killed, and he was thought to be too. However it appears fate was on his side and he escaped. We thought that he had been wiped out along with his parents until around three weeks ago, when several reports of a gang of Mercenaries with a rising reputation within the underground scene came in. They were checked out, and along their names, up came Gala Sangheili. Obviously it had to be him, everything checked out. We immediately sprang into action, and gave the ganglands of Solar the creatures that were created in the lower laboratories.” At the mention of the creatures Caroll gave a slight look of disgust, she was very critical of their genetics. Creed allowed her moment before continuing, “I sent out a request for the central leader of all the ganglands to be assassinated, to none other than Reach. The sum of money was substantial, and it was obvious that they would accept. However, we underestimated their ability, which came to a loss on our part, and ended up in the creatures being let loose into the town. We couldn’t have any of this pointing back to the faction, and so I immediately was sent to dispatch of the creatures.”
Creed went on to explain his visit with the North Sector gangland leader, and how Reach had once again pulled through their battle. Andromeda was then able to piece it all together, and as promised, agreed to join the ranks of Creed and Caroll, under the watchful eye of Carbine. The angel looked upon the new hierarchs of the Planetist faction, and smiled for the first time since his apotheosis.
“We have lots to do, my friends.”
Reach sat with Sage under Reunion. They had been home several hours, and the minor infractions that they had received from the fight earlier that day had been cleared up. The only remnant of injury was Gala’s never-ending headache. They had each sat in silence for some time, after explaining to Sage the events since they left Reunion that morning. Now they sat, thinking over the revelations that the past few hours had thrown at them. Sage sat patiently with his eyes closed, he was in no hurry to hear what the four had to say. In his old age, Sage had become one to erase the word ‘haste’ from his entire vocabulary. If Sage did something, he did it at the pace at which was necessary. Beatrix was the first to stir from her thoughts, and she looked directly at Edge before speaking.
“Edge, why don’t you tell us everything you never did, and I’d also like an explanation as to why you didn’t tell us.”
“Well Beatrix, and indeed everyone else… I didn't, because I couldn't.” Edge replied, “As you know, I was working for the Planetists many years ago, and I was, well, cast aside and framed for the murder of Gala’s parents. Immediately I sought out Gala and made sure to protect him at any cost, I thought that I could somehow repent for the sins of another person by doing so.”
“Right, I get that much.” Gala answered, “However, why don’t you run us through, well, what the examination you and Carbine took.”
Edge looked at Gala momentarily before replying.
“Very well, I’ll do my best. We were the final two applicants to be genetically modified into the next Angel. They wanted an angel that had no limits, and so they set us a mission. Assassinate a family of three. Me and Carbine, we had never met before, and we were both around the same structure and build. All previous tests had been physical; this one was mental more than anything else. We left, and Carbine felt no remorse in slaughtering the man and wife. Upon seeing the family, within the house, and looking at photographs, I realised that this couldn’t possibly be what I wanted. The Planetists promise peace, but deliver it through fear, and murder, and a number of other abominations. I called to Carbine that Gala was in the opposite direction he was headed, allowing Gala to escape. When news got back to the Planetists that one of the three had escaped, and how I had killed nobody, whereas Carbine had killed two, I was exiled immediately and framed for it. The Planetists had to make sure that it didn’t get back to them. Every connection I had with them was eliminated from existence, and that is the tale of how I was exiled, and how Carbine was ultimately selected.”
Gala sat quietly, his head bowed low so his face wasn’t visible. Sage sat and nodded thoughtfully, as if searching through his near ancient memory. Nobody spoke for a while, but before long Sage stood, and looked at the group.
“I understand now.” Sage said slowly. “The emotionally changed person that came from this angel was Gala, the tragedy that came before the angel was his. It makes perfect sense… of course they couldn’t be real angels, the Planetist religion on a whole is based on lies. And now… what of the death of Hydrus… what does this bring forth? Why was he killed, and why didn’t the angel abide to his will, but the will of the other three leaders. It appears there has been a plot since the conception of Carbine… It is going to be interesting to see where the Planetists go now.”
Footsteps came rolling down the stairs from the club above, and Mary burst into the room, looking at Reach, and Sage. She pointed to the television in the corner, gasping for breath.
“Turn… turn it on.” She gasped, searching the atmosphere around herself for oxygen. Mikoto reached for the TV remote and turned it on. At once a news broadcast blared at them, and in the corner of the screen they could each see a picture of themselves.
“The Planetist faction has recently unveiled that the four people you see in this picture are Heretics to the religion and are extremely dangerous. If you are at all aware of their whereabouts, don’t hesitate to let authorities know, or do something yourself. However all information regarding the four must be reported back to the Planetists.” The announcer said, her voice resonating through the television speakers. Reach stared at the screen in amazement, taking in more words from the announcer.
“The news comes from new Planetist leader Creed, who has informed us that the grand minister of the Planetists, known as Hydrus, was murdered by the four today after they broke into the headquarters. In a report filed earlier today by Creed, he stated that; ‘The four call themselves Reach, and are a threat to all that the Planetist faction has achieved so far. They are Heretics to us, and to society.’ Stay tuned for more updates on this current crisis.”
“Holy fuck.” Gala said, mouthing afterwards, “they’re blaming that shit on us? No way man, fuck that, what are we gonna do?”
“We’re getting the fuck out of Solar, and leaving it all behind, Reunion, everything. We’re not safe here, and I think that we’re going to want to be around for the coming events.” Beatrix replied.
“God damn right we’re going to need to stick around, that fuck Carbine isn’t getting off free for killing my parents, but leaving Solar?” Gala answered.
“Well, Gala, look at it this way, if we stay in Solar YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE ALIVE TO GET YOUR REVENGE!” Mikoto shouted. Her face was brimming with excitement, of all the members of Reach; she had always been the one that wanted to leave Solar most.
“What about Reunion though?” Edge asked.
“Oh, I can take care of things here, and I’m sure Mary will make sure that everything is alright, won’t you Mary?” Sage asked, however as he turned to Mary, he saw along with the rest of Reach that her eyes were flooded with tears. She looked at Mikoto, and then at Gala, and ran towards him, crashing into him and hugging him really tightly.
“I don’t want you fuckers to leave me!” Mary screamed, her grip tightening around Gala, causing his headache to intensify beyond belief.
“MARY, GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME!” Gala shouted, his head searing with pain. Mary loosened her grip and looked down at Gala and into his eyes, she noticed that his were watering too, although that was more from pain than emotion. The door to the room opened up once more, and Pepper stood in the doorway, her face suddenly showing rage as she looked upon Mary and Gala.
“Well, I come to see what all the screaming is about and I see THAT YOU’RE ON MY GALA MARY, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” Pepper cried, racing towards the two.
“Oh for fucks sake…” Mikoto said to herself. Beatrix overheard the remark and grinned to herself.
“It’s going to be hard to leave this all behind, huh?” Beatrix asked, looking at both Edge and Mikoto, and ignoring the fight that had broken out between Mary and Pepper, with Gala cowering underneath the two.
“We’ll be back someday soon, we have to be, as much as I want to leave Solar, Reunion is another story, I love this place, I feel like it’s a part of me, you know?” Mikoto replied, looking around the room.
“Agreed.” Edge said, “However, it’s for the best, and like Mikoto said, we shall be back one day in the near future.”
“Maybe we will be, the question is, where do we go?” Beatrix answered, suddenly looking doubtful. They could no longer stay on the continent of Zodiac, never mind Solar itself, the entirety was ran under Planetist law.
“You will go to High Charity.” Sage replied, his eyes seeming to glaze over at the thought of the great city. “You’ll be safe there, the city has never been touched by Planetist hands since the last great war of Charity.”
“And how to we get there?” Mikoto asked.
“We got a helicopter, we got a pilot, and we got a ride.” Beatrix answered. As she did so Mikoto’s face entered an uncontrollable smile state, and adrenaline coursed through her veins. She walked over to the fight between Mary and Pepper and pulled Gala up from the floor, and pulling him to the door of the room. Beatrix and Edge looked back on the room.
“Mary! Pepper! You know I’m going to be back soon don’t you?” Gala shouted, causing the two girls to break up their scuffle and look in his direction. They both looked down at the floor, realising that they had been somewhat stupid with their actions, and then looked up again, smiling at Reach.
“We know!” they said in unison.
“I’ll be keeping an eye on you from a distance, my friends.” Sage said, his eyes still gleaming with that eternal twinkle that they had.
“We’ll keep that in mind,” the members of Reach replied, “goodbye…” they again said together. They turned their backs on the room and walked through the club floor of Reunion, which was now brimming with the regular customers, and slipped out into the cool Solar night unnoticed. They said no word as they boarded the black helicopter, and the only sound that the night air embraced was the sound of the city, all around them, and the sound of the helicopter blades whirring around as Reach ascended into the sky, and out of Solar.
End of Chapter 010.