What Remains

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:57 pm

"If this place even offers food, i'm pretty sure it would be toxic and full of STDs. I wouldn't touch it with a gloved hand." I could tell right away that Ramona was far more relaxed than she was, and that honestly made me feel better. I was a very rigid guy, and preferred things to be a little more familiar and less formal. "But if you're asking me out on a date, i'm going to have to question whether or not my team brought your wallet." I had to hope that my wink and chuckling that followed made it obvious that I was joking. Being more than a few years older than this woman, I couldn't imagine she would take my comment seriously.

Without another word, I reached into a side pocket and pulled out a cellphone, though it wasn't the phone that was issued to me at the bureau. I kept one on me at all times, just for interesting situations such as these. "Think i'll just order in. Probably shouldn't be restauranting in full battle gear." I pulled up a pizza place on my phone that wasn't too far away, thinking that pizza would be a universally appreciated food.

"This alright," I asked, showing Ramona the menu.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Danry on Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:01 pm

I laughed at his joke, raising an eyebrow. For a stick in the mud kind of guy, he was pretty chill. "Arent guys supposed to ask the girl for the first date?" I asked, with a wink of my own. "I guess that means I wear the pants in the relationship, eh?" I dont know about him, but I thought I was funny.

As he pulled out his phone, I sat down and made myself comfortable. It was easy now that I was in my gear. It was just something simple, silly really, but it made me feel right in my own skin again. Not a lot of people, even soldiers, thought like I did. Most were able to relax in a civilian life after service, or a tour, not me. I felt more alive, more aware, in my uniform, my gear. My devotion to the company was something I held onto. It burned me that they wanted to put me down just because I had a slightly askew moral compass.

I didn't torture people, dismember them, disembowel them. I just made them beg for forgiveness with a knife at the top of their spine before I did my duty and killed them. It only paralyzed them. Completely separated any function their brain could posses other then the basics: breathing, blinking, speaking etc. It wasn't anything against the law, so it kind of pissed me off that they'd tried to end me over something so petty.

"Pizza would be wonderful." I said with a smile.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:58 pm

I got on the phone and placed our order: a couple of pizzas, some garlic bread, wings, and sodas. It wasn't my usual preference for a meal, but I was okay with blowing my diet out that night. It was cold and rainy and I just ached all over. I stood up and stretched, then started to peel away layers as I headed into the shower. "I think you had the right idea. I'll be back in a few minutes."

I entered the bathroom and shut the door, though I did not lock it. If she was going to kill me while I was in the shower, a locked door wouldn't stop her. While my gear had kept me from soaking through to the bones, the outer layers were drenched and heavy, radiating cold through the armor. I placed the armor on the counter as I pulled it off, turned on the water, and stepped into the tub. I didn't move much, just enough to sit down and let the water wash over and collect around me.

It didn't last very long... the motel's hot water heater was in desperate need of an upgrade. But I got a few minutes of heat out of it before I had to shut off the water. I toweled off and stared at myself in the mirror, wondering what in the hell I had just done and what we were going to do next? I didn't really think this through a ton, but I guess it doesn't matter. It was already done.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Danry on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:15 pm

I sat in a chair situated between the beds letting my head fall back against it. I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to concentrate on anything other than my returning headache. My body still ached from the accident, my head more than anything, and dizziness made me feel like I was spinning. Before I knew it, there was a knock at the door, and my eyes snapped open. After years of being paranoid that someone was coming for me, I yanked my knife out, and flipped the blade open, slowly approaching the door.

Peeking through the spy hole in the door I saw it was only the pizza man. Had I closed my eyes for that long? Sighing softly I put my knife away and threw on a bathrobe to cover my gear. I didn't need anyone in that building or area to know who or what I was. I opened the door, took the pizza amd other items, and retreated back into the room after a polite thank you and goodbye.

Knocking on the bathroom door as I passed it, I called to Onyx, letting him know that the food had arrived. I set it on the table and began to sort through it all. Pizza in one place, wings in another, sodas off to the side, and garlic bread to the other side. Of was like some weird OCD thing that everything had to be in its place. If I hadn't been known for my brutality and skewered moral compass it would be my weird attention to detail.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:03 pm

The knock on the bathroom door stirred me, pulling me away from my reflection and bringing me back to the present. I quickly donned my clothes, choosing to leave the bulk of my gear neatly folded and set aside for later. Unlike Ramona, I could be comfortable in my civvies. It made me feel like I wasn't really on the clock, even though I knew I was. In the back of my head, I was constantly a soldier. It took a conscious effort to dispel that urge to be working.

I exited the bathroom and followed my nose to where Ramona had set up dinner, then quickly realized that we had no utensils or plates, and the small paper cups in the bathroom had collected a thick layer of dust on the outsides. I had a strong stomach, but even I had my limits. "Well I hope you don't mind cooties, cause we're going to be sharing things for now."

The thought caused me to look around at the rest of the room. There was one of almost everything, except for the beds. There was a pair of twin beds, though I hadn't really checked to see if they were clean. I grabbed a large slice of pizza and stood near the table, my eyes returning to Ramona. "You know, this really isn't all that bad. I mean as far as your escape is concerned, we got through it pretty well."

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Re: What Remains

Post by Danry on Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:06 pm

"Ooh, cooties." I smiled with an eyeroll as I grabbed a slice of pizza. It was one of the many things I enjoyed in my civilian life. The military didn't ban these typea of foods, but anything greasy, loaded with fats were frowned upon. It could mess with the way you digested or felt after, or some other ridiculous thing. I didn't really pay much attention to that crap while I was in service, but since I had been dischargrd I noticed a lot of things. Including the fact that pizza was a favorite food of mine.

"My escape was incredibly easy, yes. Almost like it were planned." I looked at Onyx with a slightly raised eyebrow but didn't say much more than that. I wondered if he had ever planned on taking me in or just using me, and my reputation, to fuel his own AWOL escape. "Did you ever plan on taking me in, or did you know it would turn out this way when you saw it was me you had to apprehend?"

I was curious to know if he had planned it all along. I knew, he knew, his superiors knew, that if I had tried to fight that I wouldnt survive and I would take some of them down with me. I couldn't help but wonder if they had wanted it to turn out that way to avoid the paperwork and hassle of putting me down themselves. Bunch of cowards.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:00 pm

She was just as smart as I had heard. "Pretty good observation. No, I didn't plan on taking you in. To be honest, while I was driving to your place, I was hoping that you wouldn't be there. That would have made my job a lot easier. Didn't think you'd actually open the door anyway." I finished off my first slice of pizza then went in for a second piece. It was nice to feel normal for a change, especially since I wasn't allowed to eat shit like this on base.

I didn't take my eyes off the slice as I spoke my next sentence to Ramona. "I knew it was you from the very beginning... ever since the briefing. I'm just glad it was me and not someone else. I'm tired of the killing, to be honest." I took a monster bite and sighed, savoring the greasy goodness of cheese and cheap bread. It was nice to get that weight off my chest, though I wasn't sure why it had bothered me so much up to that point. She was just another soldier, like me. I wasn't sure what made me feel like I could confine in her that truth, but it was said and there wasn't any going back.

Unfortunately, we were not the only occupants in that hotel. Others were there, and they were listening.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Danry on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:34 pm

I hummed in thought as I finished my first slice of pizza, watching Onyx carefully. There wasn't any irregular fluctuations in his voice, or vocal indications that he was lying. His posture was relaxed, he didnt avoid eye contact, mostly, so I could really only assume that he was telling the truth. "But you're the soldier, the best of the best, the one they all call for, the ruthless one. Why, or what, rather, tipped the scale so drastically." I hadn't realized that the words were coming out of my mouth until I had finished speaking. Oh well. I was curious anyway, so might as well let it out. "What shit did you see, what horror could turn you from that to someone who doesn't want to do it anymore?"

There had to be a significant reason. We were all trained the same way. No matter who you were, what your past was, it didn't matter. It had no relevance once your training began. It all started the same. The late nights, brutal hours, lack of sleep.. Then the real training. The PT, the early mornings still, the rush, the training. They break you down, destroy who you had been, and build you into this machine, a wall of death and strength. Then if you got chosen, you'd enter Dragon Company, and it only got harder from there.

He had all that, same as me, and we had turned out so differently. He was revered for his strength and glory, and I was shut down and cast aside. I grabbed another slice and used it to keep my mouth shut. Better not out my bitterness towards my own; they had burned a bridge when they discharged me, and I wasnt looking to rebuild it.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:21 pm

Ramona's line of questions lead my mind down a dark path, toward a batch of memories that, despite my ongoing attempts, continued to haunt me every time I let my brain rest for more than a minute. I didn't really want to talk about it, but then again I never did. If I wanted Ramona to trust me, I had to be willing to do things I didn't want to do, just as I trusted she would do for me. A lump started to form in my throat, a feeling that I hoped to never experience again after the last incident, but it seemed I wasn't that lucky. At first I couldn't speak about what I saw; I wish I had projectors for eyes so I could just show her.

"Soldiers are made to follow orders. Without question. You do your job, and if you're lucky, you get to go home." I sighed deeply as I moved toward my gear, fishing around in my torso armor until I found the one item I could think of that would properly impress the breadth of my reason for leaving. "Five months ago we were deployed to China, to a township of powered individuals, refugees from Korea. They weren't hurting anyone or threatening anyone, but their growing presence made the Chinese government nervous. Our job was to move them. But they wouldn't move. They'd left their homes behind to make new lives for themselves, and they weren't going to uproot again. That's when the order came to put them down."

"Two weeks of sitting with these people and I did the one thing I wasn't supposed to do. I got attached. Orders were orders, but I couldn't wrap my head around killing these people. I mean... they weren't hurting anyone by being there. They worked hard, they were quiet... they barely used their powers at all, and only when it was useful. They bought and sold goods... they were good people."

"Not every member of Dragon shared my point of view, but some did. Some of them are still members, following my lead. The others... well the only way they were leaving China was in boxes." I passed over my phone, on which was a picture of a family. A single mother and three children.

"They didn't need to die. They didn't do anything, but they were slaughtered just for existing. I don't know about you, but to me... that's not right."

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Re: What Remains

Post by Danry on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:20 pm


"Whether or not I agree with your decision is irrelevent. The fact that you feel remorse, however, and it's noted in your file, the higer ups know about it and that means you're on the fast track to termination. In the most permanent of ways." The way I spoke was casual, as if death meant nothing to me. Honestly it didnt. I mean, I could see where Onyx was coming from, but we were trained to follow orders like mindless beasts, not to question the authority, or the orders that were given. If there was any deviation, especially in Dragon Company, they wouldn't hesitate to put someone out of commission. Permanently.

"The situation was fucked no matter which was you look at it. Either you followed orders and got praised while you died inside, or you didnt follow orders and they put you down with them. Its as simple as that. They don't care who they have to kill." I gave him a half smile as I cracked open the soda. "I have no problem being your way out. I am more than happy to assist."

As I took a drink, I could feel unease forming inside my stomach. My hair stood on end on the back of my neck, and I frowned. Setting drink down, I slowly reached into the side holster on my belt where a very small, thin baton was located. Like most in my company we had alterations done to our bodies and weaponry, and when I had been diacharhed I smuggled all of mine. Onyxs people bringing my things was good for him, and it was good for me.

Something was coming.

Just as the door was assailrd with a storm of bullets, I yanked out the baton, pressed a switch on the inside and it expanded into a large shield. Grabbing Onyx by the arm, I yanked him down behind it, and slammed the thing into the ground. He didn't have his gear on. If I had left him, he probably wpuld have turned into swiss cheese. Well, probably not, he was a capable guy. Even still, I was being nice. The firestorm of bullets ended a few seconds later, and I wasted no opportunity. I was a close range fighter. This hotel room was a small, enclosed space. Whoever decided to attack here either didn't know my capabilities or they were just stupid.

Launching myself forward the baton shrunk back to the size of a bamboo stick and I swung hard at the first nutbag to enter the room. His poor head bounced of the wall with such force, it cracked his Kevlar. He fell pretty fast, but, again, I did not hesitate. It was me or them, and I wasn't dying any time soon.

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Re: What Remains

Post by Machine Man on Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:57 pm

"FUCK!" The hail of bullets caught me off guard, but my instincts kicked in immediately. I didn't bother pulling out my phone, as I knew the rest of my squad would be along as soon as possible. All I had to do was hold out until they arrived. Ramona was up as soon as the firing stopped, engaging the enemy in melee, as was her specialty. Something felt off, however. Anyone who knew who and what we were would not charge in with guns blazing unless they were stupid or suicidal. It made no sense.

Deciding that I would have to sort that out later on, I leaped from cover and engaged the nearest hostile, who was still trying to reload her automatic rifle. I was unarmed, but not harmless. My fist slammed hard into the woman's stomach, cracking her bottom-most ribs and knocking the wind out of her lungs. She bent over my arm then collapsed to the floor just as one of her allies came rushing to her aid.

I caught the butt of the man's rifle as he swung it at me, yanking it away from him them clocking him in the head with it like a baseball bat. More gunfire followed, which I dodged easily enough by rolling to the side. My gauntlets weren't far away; within arms reach even. I hastily slide my hands and wrists inside, then powered them up, preparing to fight again.

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