halls of the Cerberus redoubt were deserted and quiet as Kane strode towards the
control room his polished combat boots clicked on the concrete floor as he
walked, the sound bouncing off the walls creating a hollow echo. He was armed
with a Copperhead Sub-Gun slung over his right shoulder and his SIN Eater, which
was holstered on his right wrist. A Munitions bag with Ammo, Grenades, a first
aid kit and a week's worth of provisions, was clutched in his left hand. It had
only been twelve hours since Grant, Brigid, Domi and himself had returned from
North Carolina. Now the four of them where preparing to make a jump to Boston to
confront a group of Cyborgs who called themselves the Rulers, and there leader
who claimed to be an FBI freezie born long
had learned several things from their trip to North Carolina, and an unexpected
encounter with a pair of Rulers. They had learned that the Rulers had been
created before Skydark as the next step in the evolution of the Solider, now two
centuries after Skydark the rulers were looking for a place they called the Lost
Empire. Kane and his companions weren't to certain they wanted the Rulers to
find the Lost Empire. They were suppose to be the perfect killing machines,
unstoppable and indestructible. Kane had learned first hand how true that
advertisement was, when he shot one with his Sin Eater, and dropped him six
stories off a catwalk onto an asphalt parking lot and watched as his adversary
came back for more. He wasn't looking forward to tangling with the Rulers but
the moment they had learned the FBI freezie wanted them dead the choice had been
taken out of his hands. For some reason they did not yet understand they had
become a threat to the Rulers and the FBI Freezie's plans. That was one of the
reasons He and his three companions were jumping to Boston. They had learned one
other rather unsettling fact, on their jump to North Carolina. They had
discovered that the FBI freezie was intent on wiping out the Barons one at a
time starting with SharpeVille, which was the closest. There were to many
unanswered questions and as much as he hated the Barons and all they stood for,
Kane was not about to let the Rulers wipe out Sharpeville which for the most
part was filled with innocent citizens. His mental rambling’s where put on
hold as he reached the redoubts control room and strode inside. Lakesh, Grant,
and Brigid were there waiting for him, Domi was no where in sight, but Kane knew
from experience that she rarely showed up early for their scheduled jumps. He
dropped his bag on a table near the door to the Gateway chamber next to Grants
Mr. Kane, you had a good rest I trust?" Lakesh asked
it was alright."
never long enough." Grant grumbled at Kane's right elbow.
couldn't be help." Brigid replied
doesn't make it any easier to bare."
right." Kane agreed "We're on a time table, and we have no way of
knowing how long we have before the FBI freezie marches on SharpeVille."
don't understand why not let Rulers crush Barons for us." A new voice
stated from behind Kane.
turned to see Domi glide into the control room like a white wrath of death a
hand made deer hide backpack slung over her shoulder. A massive .50 Caliber
Desert Eagle holstered on his right hip. Kane smiled at the sight of the small
diminutive figure of Domi packing the massive hand cannon. "What you
grinning at?" She snapped as she drew up in front of Kane.
Kane replied his grin widening. "Nice Hardware. Are you expecting an
invasion by hundred foot dinosaurs? "
fucking funny man now?" Domi snarled "Maybe I put .50 cal round up
your ass. Or Maybe I let live regret comments."
was just asking a question. No need to get a hair across your ass." Kane
replied, raising his hands as if he were going to ward off an attack.
Brigid snapped. "Both of you. We have a mission and this is no time to be
fighting among ourselves."
nodded tightly, as she gave Kane glared at Kane one more time her eyes radiating
waves of anger. She slowly broke eye contact and moved to Grants side. Her
posture communicating her anger. Brigid gave him a reproachful look when he
glanced her way.
that we've got that business out of the way, let's get back to the problem at
hand." Lakesh announced "The rulers could march on SharpeVille at
jump to the Gateway in the Prudential building near the Public Library. We walk
a few blocks to Copley Square and the John Hancock building, where we find out
if this building is still standing and if its were the FBI freezie is
manufacturing the Rulers. Then we head over to Federal Plaza and take care of
the FBI freezie if it becomes necessary."
it crossed anyone's mind that we may not be able to find this mysterious freezie?"
Grant inquired "Once we start blowing his Ruler thugs up he may decide to
head for the boarder."
a chance we're going to have to take. As long as we eliminate the Ruler threat
to us and to Sharpeville then we've done what we came to do. Nailing their
freezie leader is just an added bonus."
there been any other reports of Mag forces being attacked since the botched
Brye has been monitoring Ville communications and he has not heard anything
other than what is considered normal Ville chit chat. The Barons have not talked
over the air waves since just before you returned from North Carolina."
guess that's a good sign then. I would think, if Sharpeville had been attacked
we'd have heard about it
you are able I would rather like you to capture this freezie alive if possible,
try old man but I won't make any promises."
nodded " That's all I can ask."
that Kane picked up his bag and strode to the Gateway, Grant, Brigid and Domi on
his heels. The entered the chamber and Domi pulled the door shut behind them. As
they as sat down on the chamber floor they could hear the Chamber cycling up, as
a fine white mist began to form. Kane's last thought before the darkness claimed
him was to hope they did not experience jump sickness. Of all the jumps that
Kane and his companions had taken, only one had resulted in jump sickness. It
was there first mission and one of their first jumps, that jump had taken them
to Moscow. The chamber had been damaged and the jump had resulted in vivid
nightmares and a debilitating bout of jump sickness. He never wanted to
experience it again.
FBI building stood dark and foreboding among the long abandoned corporate office
buildings that lined Somerset Street. A young boy crouched behind a large pile
of steel and concrete, intently watching the front of the building. His
attention was focused on two figures that stood arguing at the top of the
cracked and crumbling marble steps that led to the front door of the FBI
building. He had been scavenging among the abandoned office buildings with the
area once called Federal Plaza, for food or anything valuable enough to trade.
He knew from experience that office buildings were often over looked by other
scavengers, and he had found many predark items worth trading among the offices
and suites of Federal Plaza. But it had been the sound of raised voices that had
led him to the FBI building where he discovered the source of the voices. A
group of half a dozen rulers stood guard around the front door to the building,
and two of them where fighting. Wanting to know what had caused the disagreement
the boy had hid hoping to hear something. He knew that arguments in the Outlands
were caused by to two things. Valuable property that could be traded, or food,
blasters, and ammo, there was nothing else in the Outlands that mattered. He sat
and listened, slowly be realized that he Rulers where not arguing about an
object of value but about a person.
was there.” One was saying.
I know you where there. But that doesn’t mean a thing to me. We have given our
oath to the Generals and the Generals have allied themselves with the Leader.
You have yet to say anything that would convince me that the Leader has anything
but our best interests at heart.”
you weren’t there in North Carolina. Kane is a formable opponent. I’ve seen
him and his companions in action. The Leader was right to mark them all for
death. But we can’t just wait here for Kane to show up.”
sound afraid.” Gabe replied. “Afraid of a human. Your still alive aren’t
but barely and yes I’m afraid of this human. I’ve been shot and stabbed
before but this Kane dropped me six floors to an asphalt parking lot below. It
took the techs four hours to repair the damage. If Kane figures out our weakness
then we could all be dead in a matter of hours.”
Leader has led us to a point where we are on the threshold of finding the Lost
Empire and going home again. All that stands in out way are these nine Barons
and their army of black clad Mags as they call them. We are close Ringo and I
for one what to be there when the Rulers reclaim the Lost Empire and take their
rightful place as rulers.”
what if Kane shows up here?” Ringo countered.
we kill him just as the Leader had ordered.”
still think the Leader is going to get us all killed by letting Kane and his
companions roam free and unchallenged.”
Barons are the biggest threat right now.”
where I think the Leader is wrong. We’ve faced these Mags that work for the
Barons. They are the protectors of the Villes and we’ve beaten them both times
we’ve faced them. They are not the threat Kane is.”
wrong Ringo.” A voice replied from the darkened doorway of the FBI building.
“Gabe has the right vision of what is to come. But I understand you concern.
Kane has proven to be a worthier opponent and I underestimated his abilities.
That is a mistake I will not make again. Even though I understand your concerns,
your words could be considered treasonous and I could have you deactivated and
used from spare parts. If the Lab over in Copley Square had provided more in the
way of support then you would already be deactivated.”
of Kane?” Gabe asked
is here in the city. I was alerted to his arrival through the gateway in
Prudential Center roughly ten minuets ago. I will be sending a strike team to
intercept them. I had come to tell you to be on guard and when I approached I
heard your conversation with Ringo here and waited and listened.” With that
the Leader turned and slipped back inside the building without a backward
Square: Thirty Minuets later.
and Brigid strode across the lobby of the John Hancock tower, glass crunching
under the heels of their boots. They had found nothing but ruined and shattered
equipment with in the Labs of they had come to find. As they reappeared out in
the sunlight they spotted Grant and Domi across the square by the remains of a
public fountain. They had gone to investigate the interior of Trinity Church.
Brigid had told them all that Trinity had been one of the oldest churches in the
city of Boston and mass has still been spoken there up until Skydark. The stone
church had come through Skydark in one piece more or less. The stones where dull
and chipped, the stairs leading into the church were crumbling and in need of
replacing. A large stone sign that proclaimed the church’s name was cracked
and tilting to one side, but it remained readable.
find anything in the church?” Kane asked Grant as they approached.
didn’t see anyone. But the place still looks like it’s in use. The floors
have been swept in the last day or so. Not to mention there where about a dozen
candles burning on makeshift alter near the front. But that was it. “
about church.” Domi announced “What find in Lab?”
but garbage. Busted and broken equipment, but there are signs that someone has
been up there recently. There are about half dozen sets of footprints.”
now?” Domi demanded
head over to Federal Plaza and pay the Rulers a visit. We end this once and for
that Kane turned and began leading them down Boyloston towards the Common and
Somerset Street beyond. They made the trek without incident, the only moment of
interest coming about five minuets after the quartet left Copley Square. Kane
cautiously moved around several burned out car frames that sat in the middle of
the street, when he looked up and stopped dead in his tracks. A giant pile of
rubble stood in center of what was once the sidewalk that ran the length and
berth of Boyolston Street, but it wasn’t the rubble that caused Kane to stop
and stare, it was what sat upon the top of the pile. It was a large bronze
statue of some kind of animal. An animal that Kane had only seen in pictures, it
was a bear. But he could not figure out why anyone would make a bronze version
of one. The bear stood roughly six feet high. Most of its height was located in
the two blocks with the F and O carved into them, which the statue sat upon. The
bear had a third block tucked under its left arm with the letter A on it. How or
why it had been lugged to the top of the rubble pile was beyond him. Personally
he would never understand some people’s sense of humor.
crossed the Common with relative ease, mostly do to the grass and trees being
long gone and the rolling hills having been flattened by the big Blast two
hundred years earlier. They passed a dried up pond of some kind with a sign near
by that proclaimed it the Boston Public Gardens. Roughly thirty feet from the
sign laying on its side was a rusting World War Two PT boat with the words
Boston Duck Tours printed on the side in white letters. Kane didn’t give them
a second look, as he viewed them as relics of a lost age when humanity had made
the most fatal of mistakes and extinction was the price they nearly paid for
there stupidity. Not that Kane viewed times as having changed all that much,
humanity was still tinkering with things it did not understand, and power was
the ultimate goal. It was just the means to gaining that power that had changed.
Street looked much the same as all the other streets the Quartet had seen since
entering Bean Town with its rubble piles, rusted wreaks, and heaps of rubbish
laying along what remained of the cities curbs. They had traversed a little less
than half way down the street when the hairs on Kane’s neck stood on end and
he came to sudden stop as his SIN Eater slipped into his palm. He had barely
taken a single breath when two Rulers crested a pile of rubble directly in front
of him. He heard Grant let loose a string of curses from behind him, and a quick
glance over his shoulder showed four more Rulers lined up behind them in the
open. The sound of Domi’s Desert Eagle being cocked made him glance to his
right, where he found two Rulers waiting. Brigid was gripping a primed Implode
Gren in her hand, a rusted out truck frame sitting ten feet to her right. He
gave Kane a questioning look, he nodded, knowing now was as good a time as any,
to test her theory about the EMP’s and the implode grens.
Fire in the Hole!” Kane shouted over his shoulder as he dove behind a large
slab of concrete that was stand along the curb near by. Kane had no time to see
if Grant had heard his warning as the heat explosion sounded and the heat wave
rolled over him lifting him several inches off the ground. When Kane rolled from
behind the Concrete slab the dust and smoke surrounding the explosion area was
just beginning to clear, the two rulers that had been Brigids targets came
strolling out of that cloud. Her theory was wrong, suddenly Kane remembered a
fleeting moment of doubt that he’d experienced back in the redoubt. He had
been alone in the armory preparing to leave when he had suddenly remembered a
his first day as a Mag in the Pits. He had come across a slagger from Seattle
who had claimed to know everything there was about comps and how they worked.
With nothing else to do he had listened to the old man weave a story
about his Great Grandfather who had ridden with the legendary Trader and his War
Wags. His Grandfather had learned all he knew from this man about comps. How to
build them and how to destroy them, which included using heat to short out and
melt comp components. He claimed that Napalm worked best in accomplishing this
feat, do the low flash point and great amount of heat that the blast generated.
All of this came back to Kane as he stood in the middle of the Armory strapping
on his SIN Eater. In an impulsive act he had scooped half a dozen napalm
canisters into his bag before exiting the Armory, just in case.
as he stood face in the two rulers who had come threw an implode blast
unscratched he hoped that the old mans ramblings were correct. Because his life
and the lives of his companions where hanging in the balance. He plucked one of
the napalm canisters from his bag and let out a long shrill whistle as Grants
SIN Eater opened up somewhere behind Kane. Brigid looked up and nodded as did
Domi, then in one deft motion Kane pulled the canisters pin and lobed the
Canister to straight at the pair of Rulers directly in front of him. Then he was
once again rolling behind the concrete slab, as the canister exploded covering
the two rulers with the burning jelly like substance. Kane was turning towards
the pair of Ruler moving down Somerset Street, a second canister in his hand,
even before the first pair had stopped moving. He hurled the canister through
the air, causing the two Rulers to stop their advance down the street, as the
canister landed with a metallic clink at their feet and exploded, spraying
napalm in all directions. Including into the faces of the two rulers, causing
them to clutch at their eyes. Kane watched in morbid fascination as the skin of
the Rulers faces began to bubble and then melt, dropping to the street in large
wet globs. Four Down, four to go.
Kane was up and sprinting towards Grants position before the smoke had begun to
clear. The stuttering reports of his SIN Eater on full auto told Kane his friend
was still up and fighting. Kane gripped a third canister in his left hand, his
SIN Eater in his right, as he ran. The pin on the canister spun off and pinged
off the pavement, as Kane pressed the spoon down to prevent the canister from
exploding in his hand. He vaulted the burned out shell of a Volvo station wagon
and spotted Grant immediately, his Copperhead blazing away at the four Rulers to
Kane shouted, as he held the canister up for Grant to see. His friend smiled and
nodded. Kane pitched the canister just like a major league baseball player would
have before Skydark. The pitch was right on target, slamming into the chest of
one of the rulers at the center of the quartet, and exploding. Napalm jelly
sprayed out, in all directions, covering the four Rulers, their hand blasters
falling to the ground, amid the smoke and flames. Kane ignored the death throes
of the four Rulers, as he helped Grant to his feet. They almost didn’t hear
the sound of approaching feet, but Kane caught it and grabbed Grant by the arm
as they began sprinting back towards Domi and Brigid. If the approaching sounds
were Rulers then they had to find a place to hide, having used three canisters,
he had three left, after they where gone that was it. But Kane wasn’t about to
go down without a fight. Brigid and Domi came into sight crouched down by the
rusted pickup frame, where Kane had left them. He barely took noticed of the two
of them as a small boy no more than twelve years old stepped out from between
two piles of rubble. Kane continued to stare, his SIN Eater pointed rock steady
at the boys head, as was Grant’s.
coming or what?” The boy demanded “If not then I’m leaving, because I
don’t want to be here when the Rulers show up and discover you smoked eight of
there comrades. I know somewhere safe.” With that the boy slipped back between
the two piles, and disappeared from sight. Leaving Kane to decide their fate. He
nodded, to his friends, because they had not other choice. Kane took point with
Brigid behind him, and Domi and Grant covering their backs. Wherever the boy was
leading them it was bound to be better than where they were now, at least Kane
hoped that was the case.
boy led them down a birghtly lit alley that ran between two abandoned office
buildings that flanked Somerset Street. Several rusted out dumpsters dotted the
alley along with sporadic mounds of rotting garbage and what smelled like human
waste. The boy took them to an open door to leading into one of the office
buildings, its dark interior causing Kane to hesitate, before entering. He
pulled a compact pen light from inside his black Kevlar trench coat switching it
on as he walked, Grant too pulled a light out and switched it on.
the hell are we going?” Kane asked the boy. His voice echoing off the concrete
safe.” Came the boys muffled reply from somewhere up ahead.
light tap on his shoulder caused Kane to turn, Domi stood right behind him
having moved past Brigid to talk to Kane. “I know I spotted them as we came
in. You able to get a count?”
or Thirty, kind scuffed hard be sure.” She replied
nodded having figured the same numbers himself. Having Domi verify them only
made him feel better about his assessment. The Boy had led them down a long
corridor that ran down the middle of the building’s first floor parallel to
Somerset Street. At the end of the corridor was a doorway leading to set of
stairs that descended down into the building’s lower levels. Kane came to a
stop as he surveyed the area, and took stock. The boy turn and faced Kane from
just inside the doorway to the stairwell. Kane began walking towards the boy.
Kane could feel that something wasn't quite right the moment the stairway came
into view. Kane came to with in ten feet of the door, stopped and motioned for
the boy to approach. His hand's lunged out and took hold of the boy's shirt, and
lifted him bodily off the ground. Grant's Sin Eater covered there back and Kane
knew without a doubt that nothing was going to come out of the stairway without
getting plugged with a .50 caliber round from Domi.
want some answers, before we go any farther on this guided tour." Kane
growled " First of all why are you helping us? What's in this for you?
heard the leader talking about a man named Kane. The Ruler sounded afraid of
this man. Said that Kane was coming to destroy all he had worked to build. Two
Rulers on Guard duty in front of their HQ sounded respectful and frightened of
this Kane. When the leader said this Kane was coming I waited around. When the
four of you showed up I figured one of you was the Kane he was talking about.
where you looking for Kane?" Brigid asked from Kane's elbow.
people need help. The leader has captured dozens of us and used those he
captures to make more Rulers. The people he converts lose their identities and
they are brainwashed into thinking they are above everyone and that some how
makes them better than the human race. My
brother was one of those captured, and last time I saw him he didn't even
recognize me. His own brother!"
do we fit into this?"
watched you destroy eight rulers in less than two minuets. My people are
scavengers not warriors like you. We've seen the Rulers fight Mag Battalions and
win, they seemed unstoppable before you came. The leader has never feared anyone
in the months he's been here. The Rulers they respect no one since they arrived
here in Bean Town. This Kane he spoke of has been the only exception. He and the
Ruler Generals fear this man and his companions."
you think were the one's the leader fears?"
And I think you are the miracle my people have been praying for." The boy
replied "This town was dangerous before the leader came but those that
lived here where able to survive and defend themselves against their enemies.
Now the groups that live in the city are slowly being killed or captured.
Another few weeks at the rate things are going and there will be no one left in
the city to oppose the Leader and his Rulers. You are the only one's who have
gone up against the Rulers in combat and won. "
came here to destroy the Rulers and the Leader. We had not heard anything about
these Generals. Who are they?" Kane asked as he lowered the boy back down
to the floor.
let Ferret our leader tell you about them. He knows more about them than anyone
nodded. "I'll introduce all of us when we get to this Ferret. That way I
won't have to repeat myself ten times. You're a sharp kid I'll give you that.
What's your name?"
The boy answered
old are you Lex?"
eleven." Lex answered. "I've lived in Boston for all my life. My
Mother died just after I was born when she was attacked by a Mutie rat over in
Government Center, while she was searching for food. My Father took care of my
brother and I until he was killed in a Ruler attack three months ago. Then my
brother was captured three weeks ago during another attack. I hate the Leader
and his Ruler thugs, but I'm smart enough to know that I have no chance of
destroying them by myself. So I when I heard the way the Leader talked about you
I knew that finding you was my only chance or avenging my Father and
I understand. I'm Kane. Take us to Ferret and we'll see what we can do."
nodded and led the way down the stairway into the darkness. Kane holstered his
SIN Eater as he walked along behind the boy. He whispered out of the corner of
his mouth so the others could hear him but not the boy. "Keep your blasters
drawn. I holstered mine so we don't appear hostile from the get go and end up
dead for our trouble. I don't completely trust the kid, but don't start blasting
unless I do first or they take me down first." His three companions
whispered affirmatives from behind him. As he turned back towards front the end
of the stairway came into sight. He followed the young boy through a low doorway
and was greeted with the sound of blasters being cocked.