Takes place in 2101
Where the hell is he? I knock on the door and Lexus answers. "Hey Leandra. What's up?"
"You know where Zack is?"
"I think he, Sen, Ethan, Jared, and Samir went somewhere. Holly was here earlier. Dad was pissed. "Well, I can see why. Thanks Lexus." I head over to Alana's place. I just walk in, she lets me. "Hey Leandra. Looking for Zack?"
"You know where he went?"
"Jared said something about Mandalore. Not sure why, but they wouldn't let me come with." Ouch. What the fuck are they doing? I pick up a bottle of Dizzy's vintage kidney killer. It's become quite popular around here. "You hear that Nosdrugis was sighted on Coruscant?" I almost drop the bottle. Kcaz Nosdrugis is the alternate Zack. Last time we encountered him, we only just got out alive.
The alt Zack made himself look somewhat like the joker from The Dark Knight. At least he has good taste in movies. You know, Holly, Liz, Alana, Becca and I are gonna have to give a bit of an earful when they get back. I take a swig of the drink and a buzz erupts already. Fermented Potato, Barley, and Caramel make one hell of a drink. Alana grimaces. I wonder why Jared would leave her behind. She makes me look like one of the women on the side of the road.
Reminds me of something I heard Zack say. "Every guy says they have a 'trophy wife' Well, trophy is a matter of perspective. If you're married to the bartender, then you get a 'thanks for participating' ribbon. Then there's Jared, who has trophy, Will, who has world championship, and me, who has olympic medal." Ok ok, we're not married, but we are engaged. What?
I hear a helicopter overhead. "That's a few members of Delta. They volunteered to help train new army recruits." Alana says. I decide to go and meet them. It's Bernie and Sam. You know, Sam reminds me of me. Bernie is the one who can calmly shut the guys up by looking at them. Maybe it's her service record (damned impressive). Maybe it's because she's old and she eats cats. And it just might be because everyone knows she chopped off some guys' balls. Again, similar to me.
"Hey Leandra. Want to help with some of the new recruits? Always helps to humble them a little."
"Sure, why on earth not?" I say and go with them.
Here to StayEdit
Zack fitted on his ODST helmet. Samir got off first. They were going to follow up a lead on what happened to Leandra's mother. They didn't want to tell her, in case the search brought up nothing. Sen followed him off, then Ethan, Zack and Jared. "The old house is a klick west. Let's go. jared, you guard the ship." The party, minus Jared, went to the designated area. "Damn, that's nice house." Samir said. Ethan nodded in agreement. It was a few stories tall, and had a nice lake view.
They headed in, not hearing anything. They explored the house, and found nothing. "Looks like the place was cleaned of raiders." Sen murmured. Zack was about to give up, then he saw movement on the rafters. He inspected it closer, then someone dropped down. It was a young woman, a little older then him. She moved faster then he could react, and had slammed her palm right into his eye. He stumbled back and she snap kicked him in the head. He fell back dazed. Samir ran in and got tripped. This woman jumped into the air and brought her leg down on his head in a WWE style attack.
Ethan rushed in and tried to punch at her. He cursed the fact that they were only wearing Mando armor. It wasn't doing much against this foe, who was dressed in plainclothes. She blocked the punch and decked him in the knee, then used a knife hand strike across the neck, making him crumple, stunned. She heard Sen coming and punched her fist through the drywall and into the side of his head. She grabbed his hood and pulled him through the wall and flung him to the ground.
She had a sidearm out and aimed at Sen. "Who are you people?"
"Coalition military. We're following up a lead on a personal investigation." Zack said. "And what would you be investigating?" She shot back. "Fine. information on what happened to my fiancee's mother. She used to live here." Zack answered. The woman walked over and put the barrel on Zack's forehead. "What's your fiancee's name?" Zack was somewhat taken aback, but answered. "Leandra. What's it to you?"
"Holy shit." The woman said and pulled away. "I'm so sorry, I thought you were robbers."
"Who are you?" Ethan groaned while pulling himself up. "I'm Kira. Leandra's older sister." Zack's jaw dropped. "Uh. Ok. Well, good to meet you, despite the headache I'll have tomorrow."
"Nice to know Leandra's alright. That fuckbrain our father promised her too would have made her miserable."
"Yeah, I've heard that story. Do you want to see her?"
"Of course! Let's go." The others began hauling themselves up, when a massive shard of ice burst through a window and impaled Sen through the stomach. "Hello other me. I'm coming for you."
"Shit! Guys, grab him we've got to get out of here!" Zack yelled. Samir and Ethan grabbed Sen, who was barely alive, and carried him out the door, followed by Kira and Zack.
Explosions revolved around Sen's head as Ethan and Samir dragged him. Elemental blasts hit the ground near the party as they fled Nosdrugis. Once they made it to the Esper Samir took out a heavy machine gun and fired in the direction the blasts were coming from. Kira jumped on. Zack was about to get on when a blast of fire knocked him away from the ship. He landed with a thud. "Shit. Esper activation code nine. Now." He said and the Esper took of on it's own. Zack made a hut of rock to protect him from a massive thunder strike. Then, Nosdrugis shattered the hut and had his hands around Zack's neck.
"At last. I can get an upgrade for your powers." Nosdrugis said. He created a massive, razor sharp Metal blade and swung it.
"No!" Samir shouted as he watched Zack drop. It couldn't be real. Zack was one of the toughest beings he'd ever known. Not even <Please Rewrite> was able to kill him. "Ethan! Get us down there!"
"I'm trying! That code he said must have made us unable to pilot it!"He slammed his fist on the wall. Kira groaned. Her sister would now have lost something even she couldn't help her with. Jared rested his head against the wall, watching the med droid treat Sen with the limited resources they had.
They found themselves back on Earth within an hour. Samir and Jared quickly grabbed Sen and hauled him off. The sprinted to the med labs, hearts heavy. "Quel, will he live?" Samir asked.
Meanwhile Ethan got off the Esper. He was tasked with finding Leandra. Kira went with him. Leandra answered the door and her jaw dropped, after an emotional reunion with Kira, Ethan told her what had happened. Leandra broke down, and was crying for an hour. After that hour ended, she got up and began searching for something in one of the drawers. She found it and ran downstairs. Kira followed her, Ethan close behind. There was a door with a codepad, and she was typing something in.
"Leandra, what are you doing?" Kira asked. "Zack told me that if he ever died, I should enter this code into this door. I've never been through here." She said and the door opened. She entered and saw that there was a lone, large tank. She wiped away some of the fog, and saw, to her shock, Zack's face. His eyes were closed. "What does this mean?" She asked herself. Then, the eyes opened, making her jump a foot in the air. The Zack in a tank saw Kira and Ethan behind Leandra and made gestures for them to go upstairs.
The obeyed, confused. Ten minutes later, Leandra, and this Zack in a tank, came back up. Samir and Jared came over, and Zack explained in full detail what had happened. He had created a clone in case he would ever die. He'd use his psychic powers to send himself into this body. "Sadly, this body has none of the powers. Suoveirg is gone now." Jared nodded.
"What happened to Sen, will he live?"
"Zack..." Samir started. "They're trying. He's lost a lot of blood. he has one percent chance of surviving. A comm dinged, and his shoulders sank as he heard. "They're trying to bring him back now Zack. But as of now, Sen's gone."
Zack's shoulders sagged and he fell back. His head hit the back of the couch. He couldn't believe it. Sen gone, and he didn't have a clone to fall to. Leandra's head fell onto his shoulder. Kira looked on, not knowing what to do. Sen had clearly been a good friend of Leandra and Zack's. She had some medical training, maybe she could help. She got up and ran off to find the med labs.
She entered and saw a few people clustered around Sen's body. She shoved one out of the way and reached for a needle she kept in her pack. She found it and quickly, but gently, stuck it in Sen's arm. "What are you doing?" One of the medics said. She ignored him and pulled back.
In Sen's body, the serum Kira had injected began to enter his cell system. They specifically targeted his blood cells and forced them to begin moving. The serum spread throughout Sen's body, and then it reached his heart. It forced the cells the heart was made up of to move back and forth, making the blood flow again. Then, it reached his brain, and a spark of electricity reactivated it.
Sen began shuddering horribly, then his eyes shot open and he floated up several feet and landed on the floor a few meters away. He looked up at Kira. "What the fuck was in that stuff!?"
A few weeks passed. It took Zack a day to get used to his new body. A few days after, IceBite came over. "The Council sent me a message. They want you to take a series of tests that will prove you're fit for duty." Zack nodded. "Well, I'll be happy to show what I can still do." Zack said. He and IceBite boarded an aircraft to a UNSC training camp, where the tests would take place. Many of the Coalition's leaders were there to watch. "You'd think I was their top asset or something." Zack muttered.
Zack was led to an advanced shooting range, where holograms that would discharge electrical pulses would be shooting at him. Zack equipped himself with his signature sidearm and an ACR assault rifle. The Coalition leaders watched, surprised, as Zack displayed perfect scores on each difficulty. Never coming close to being hit.
The next test was an obstacle course. "So you know, only one other has passed this, and he's classified." The course runner told Zack. "Sure. What isn't classified, eh?" The buzzer rang and he sprinted forward. There were a bunch of upright poles that he would have to jump across to reach the next obstacle. He didn't break stride, and quickly hopped form pole to pole. He was across in seconds, and was moving on to the next obstacle. It was a set of walls the would shoot out and hit you in the head. He had to time it right to get through.
The Council was impressed again as he made it through in seconds. The next obstacle was a large rope climbing course. He scaled the first set and down the next in a minute seven seconds. The next obstacle made him question whether or nor he was being filmed. A set of four, huge, bright red rubber balls lay before him. "You gotta be kidding me." he muttered and jumped from ball to ball, crossing it in seconds. The next obstacles involved barbed wire and mud. It only took him a minute to clear them. The final obstacle was a zipline where he would crash through a window and tackle a training dummy.
He finished faster then the only other who had finished, setting a new record. The next test was in hand to hand combat. There were ten large soldiers, some of which looked as though they'd survived being through a tree shredder. When the buzzer went, Zack instantly sprang forward and punched one in the face. It didn't bring him down, but Zack still jumped to another one. The second tried to grab Zack, but the latter sidestepped and slammed his elbow down on the back of his head, dropping him.
Zack was grabbed from behind while another charged forward. Zack kicked the the one charging in the face and leaned back, causing the one holding him to crash to the ground. Zack punched him in the face and leapt at another. It wasn't long before it was over. In the next test, they made Zack have an illusion where he thought he was being tortured. They waited to see how long until he would break. Zack went so long, IceBite had to forcibly end the test, to Zack's disgruntlement.
The last test made Zack run a twenty mile lap while carrying a fifty pound back pack. There was only one mandatory lap, the rest were for extra credit. Zack completed the first lap and went on to do ten more, setting yet another record. After that, IceBite informed him that the council still deemed him fit for duty, and they returned to Kaven Base. Zack went back to his house, where Leandra was waiting. He summed everything that had happened that day up, and she seemed put out.
"That's all they put you through?" She said. "Yes. I was a little disappointed, myself." He said. "Well guess what? I have a test for you, right now."
"Yup. a test of endurance." She said and grinned. Catching on Zack smiled back at her. He'd need her for the next day, It was going to be hard.
The next morning, they headed over to Will's. To Zack's surprise, she had understood what he had decided, and was going with him. They knocked and Will answered. They entered and told him. "Damn, that just happened." Will said, sounding stunned. "We'll leave you to keep things going." Zack said and he and Leandra left. Then, they headed over to Sen and Holly's and told them. Holly seemed disappointed, and Sen shocked. They quickly excused themselves and left as well. "We should go tell the Ferran's. They've been good to us." Leandra said and Zack nodded.
They were halfway across the road when Sen ran up behind them. "Guys, Will, Holly and I decided that well, without Zack leading us, Zeta can't go on." Zack sighed. "If you were anyone else I'd yell at you until you changed your mind, but your skull's so damned thick you wouldn't hear me."
"True that." Sen said. "I'll go handle telling IceBite." Sen said and walked away. Leandra made a face and went to knock. Julian answered. "Hey guys. What's up?"
"Hey Julian, you think you could round everyone up? We've got to let you guys know something." Zack said. "You're pregnant!" Julian said a little too loudly to Leandra. Who gave her a look. "Ok ok, c'mon in." Everyone gathered around. Zack nudged Leandra. "Your turn."
"Fine." She took a deep breath and started. "I won't sugarcoat it. Me and Zack have resigned from Zeta, and the other's decided to disband it." Nobody did anything for a while. Then Julian and Lexus responded simultaneously, saying "Oh no." Samir showed the most shock. "Ouch. No more Zeta. Things are gonna be a lot different now." Ethan muttered something that Leandra couldn't help but overhear. "Loses his powers and loses his wing. Poor guy."
Leandra shifted over to explain to them more in depth, and Ryan walked over to Zack. "Zeta meant a lot to you. I'm sorry you had to lose it. You're always welcome in the legion. You all are." Zack smiled. "Thanks. I do have plans though." Zack and Leandra left, and Ryan walked over to Raynor, who hadn't said anything. "What's up?" He said to his son. "Lose your powers and lose the will to fight. Pathetic."
"Now son, he hasn't lost the will, only some abilities. He just has to find something more suiting to him. Maybe a drill sergeant."
"Maybe a desk job."
Task Force OmikronEdit
A month later, Zack had found several potentials for his new plan, and had them on a training course he had built himself. He had put up a lot of barbed wire and climbing and jumping. All the recruits who passed through it would be accepted, any who didn't had to look elsewhere for work. Ryan, Raynor, and Samir had come to watch Zack give the test to them. They had to go through it one at a time. The first recruit, The former Spartan III by the name of Spencer was up. He passed through flawlessly.
The next, a dark haired, serious looking ex-GDI was up. When he got to a climbing tower, he began having a hard time. "For fuck's sakes! I didn't expect you to be ninjas but I'd hoped you'd be up by now!" When another recruit began having a hard time crawling through thick mud, Zack proved he'd already been a drill sergeant. "Keep your head out of the fucking mud! I'm not pulling your body out if you drown!" Several other insults were thrown as the recruits went through the course.
Zack shot out the worst when the last recruit went. She was an attractive ex british army corporal. "You climb like old people-" Even Ryan had to recoil at that insult, but the recruit shouted back, surprising everyone. "Don't say that! I know what that's like!" Zack was silenced for a moment, then resumed yelling at her. When the day was done, the members of the group were selected and the Force went out to a local bar. As Ryan and Raynor returned home Ryan murmured "Well, I guess I wasn't too far off."
A few more days passed, and at the end of them, the Task Force members had each got a housing order. Spencer, a former Shadow named Jon, an ex-detective called Simon, and a former GDI trooper were sharing a house, due to restraints on housing. NYRA, an old Shadow Alliance prisoner who hated just about everyone shared a place with Lina, the one who'd yelled back. The rest each stayed in a barracks. Several days passed, Zack spent each yelling, and everyone thought it was miraculous that he kept his voice. He kept his voice for a month, and then was confined to eating hot soup and ice cream to help heal his throat.
"I'm surprised his vocal chords weren't torn to shreds." Sen said to Leandra, who nodded. "Well, you'd have be someone like Chester Bennington to do that." She replied. Sen and Holly visited Zack and Leandra later that day, where they found Zack sitting on the floor, reading a lengthly novel intently. Sen went over to Zack. "So, healing ok?" Zack looked up and gave him a look. Sen nodded. "So, who's keeping Omikron in check?" Holly asked Leandra. "Will. I never thought I'd find myself as the caring house lady."
"I keep forgetting. You can't be housewife yet. Why haven't you two gone and done it already?" Leandra sighed. "I'm waiting for him to be ready. You know what happened all those years ago. We know she's alive, but that's still painful for him. He's scared of it happening again." Holly nodded. She knew that Zack still hadn't entirely recovered from what Selen had done. A loud thwack sounded, causing Holly to jump and Leandra to look over. Zack was sitting, cross-legged and arms folded. His face displayed an expression of utmost anger.
Sen had fallen back, holding his nose and cursing quietly. Holly looked confused, so Leandra whispered "Someone he liked died."
"Oh. Song of Ice and Fire?"
"Yep." Zack recovered his voice fully that day, so he went out for a guys' night with Sen, Will, Riley, Spencer, Simon and Jon. The group went to a movie that had been based on the Consortium War. "Y'know, it took quite some time for them to do this, eh?" Will commented as they were entering the theatre. Zack and Sen nodded. Each and every one of the group was disappointed by the movie. Sen was disgusted by the guy who played him, and was horrified by how the movie had portrayed Holly. Zack was fine with his actor, but despised how Leandra and Selen were played.
Will hated every little thing about the movie. The others just said that it sucked. As they were driving back in Jon's not-so-mini-van, Simon commented; "Anyone else notice that Natalia was portrayed as a temperamental twenty year old?"
"Yup. All they did was add ten years." Zack said, getting a laugh from Spencer and Riley. Just as they were out of the city, they saw a gunfight erupt. "Ah shit. Well boys, Omikron Featuring Sen Urec Operation One: Stop people from killing each other." Zack said and grabbed his sidearm. Each of the others were armed as such, aside from Sen, who had his lightsabers. "Never thought I'd hear you say that." Sen said before they jumped out. One of the sides instantly took notice and opened fire on them. Riley was clipped on the shoulder and stumbled behind a dumpster.
The other side, which happened to be one man, didn't notice them at all. He just danced from side to side, shooting as he did so. One of the other side threw something, which hit the man in the face, causing him to crumple, and then his head exploded. Zack knew now that they were dealing with no mere gunfight. This was probably some sort of drug cartel. He jumped out of cover and opened fire. He felled two before ducking back down. Suddenly, a screeching of tires sounded. Simon and Spencer poked their heads out.
"Where'd they get a hog?" Spencer said as the back of the warthog opened fire. Simon quickly poked out his head and shot once. The one manning the turret fell, and Sen jumped out and over the hog. They heard screams and lightsaber slashes. Then, Sen yelled "Clear!" and they ran over. They saw, to their surprise, that the assailants were actually NOD Shadows. "Good thing NYRA wasn't here." Riley commented as Sen force healed his wound. "But that leaves a bigger question. Who was this guy?" Simon said as he crouched down next to the headless corpse.
Zack nodded. "Bag the body, I'll have the police department clean up the mess." He whipped out his phone and they left. They headed to the base and took the corpse to the med labs. Quel offered to examine the body, but Zack said no. As it was an Omikron situation, he had Simon and Kira do the examination. He waited with Leandra outside the examination room, when Kira came out. "The DNA has a match in the database. Someone by the name of Owen Terokoin."
"What?" Will asked as Zack told him. Both faces were drained of color and showed expressions of grief mixed with anger. "Yeah. Leandra's taken Simon, Kira, and Jon to reexamine the scene. Hopefully that'll give us some inkling as to what the hell happened."
Back in the city, Leandra watched as Simon examined the scene. There were several chalk outlines he had made. "So, what we have here is seven chalk outlines of chopped out people, here. Those are the shadows that Sen killed. The one here, is Owen. Now, this is where it gets interesting." He took the group further down the alley, where he showed them at least a dozen other chalk outlines. These are other shadows which I had guessed Owen killed as they attacked. But, judging from where the bodies landed, many of them were not shooting at him."
Jon's eyebrows shot up. Simon went on. I did some digging, and I found this." He said and pulled out a memory card. They returned to the van they'd travelled in, and they plugged it in. A video file of a gunfight popped up, Owen and a shadowy figure were fighting a team of at least fifty shadows. Owen made some sort of gesture, and the shadowy one turned and was off the screen in a second. "This person isn't seen again, and Owen brings down about forty three before we arrived." Simon fast forwarded, and the image of Owen dropping and his head exploding showed.
It was an explosive tomahawk, not sure where the hell they got that." Simon said. "Now, I'll rewind, so we can figure out who this other person was." He turned it back, and slowed it down frame by frame. That shadowy figure, who's face could now be seen, was a pale, dark haired young woman about Zack's age. Leandra groaned. "Who is it?" Kira asked. "That is Zack's ex-wife." Leandra answered. Kira's eyebrows shot up while Simon and Jon jumped in surprise.
They returned and gave the news to Zack. He didn't really react. "Ok. While you were gone, we did some digging as well. There was one witness to the event, he lives in an apartment building across the street from the scene. Simon and Kira will handle him. I need everyone else to start working on finding other leads to Selen." Simon and Kira left while the others set to work.
Simon and Kira took Simon's car. "I've only been on Earth for a few weeks, but I know this must've been expensive." She said as she eyed the Rolls Royce. "You have no idea." Simon said and began driving. They arrived at the witnesses apartment and answered the door. A large, grey haired man answered. "Can I help you?"
"Yes, we need to ask about the incident last night." The man was about to open his mouth when the barrel of a pistol was pushed against the side of his head, just in view. "Make a move, and I will blow his head off. Who are you?" A female, european accent said. "Ma'am, we're members of Hellcat Squadran, Task Force Omikron. We just want to ask a couple of questions." Kira said. The door swung open and the face of Selen Leanason greeted them. "Good, cause I think I'll be needing you people."
Three hours later, Riley was sitting across an interrogation table from Selen, who had perfectly calmly and willingly accepted arrest. "So, you and Owen were out, when a large team of Shadows attacked you, Owen told you to get the vehicle, but was killed before you could get back, so you rented out a room?"
"Do you have any idea of who might've been behind them, aside from Kane?"
"Yes. They were a special group of Shadows I was supposed to lead. They were run by a scientist of NoD's. I also happen to know where he lives, and what you can do."
Ten minutes later, Riley was explaining the idea to IceBite, who, after long consideration, approved it. "We just need volunteers to go." IceBite mused when Ryan and Claire walked in. "You got them. When do we start?" After another four hours, their cover was built. "Who built the cover? They did a great job." Claire asked as she reviewed it. "That's be me." Said a lighthearted voice as Rebecca Draiman, an ops planner, sat down next to them. "So, when do we leave?" Ryan asked. "Right now." Becca answered. Seventeen minutes later, Ryan and Claire were driving out to their assignment.
Becca was set up in the Ferran's living room, where a 70 inch screen showed blackness. Ryan and Claire pulled up to the house Selen had specified. It had only been a hundred miles away, so it didn't take them long to get there. The man was waiting in the driveway. Claire and Ryan both knew how they had to act. They were married assassins. Ryan was the more physical, idiotic and violent one, while Claire was the brains, sexy, and seductive, while both were quite lethal. As Simon had joked as they left "You suit the roles perfectly", earning him a black eye.
Claire got out of the car first. She had been given a form fitting, black bodysuit that she hated. Ryan was wearing a military outfit. As Claire began the introductions, Becca began hacking the cameras. After most of the pleasantries were dealt with, the man gave them a room. Becca watched the cameras and saw that a guard was posted outside their room. Ryan saw as much, and whispered to Claire. "They doubt our cover, we need to do something to convince them."
"Ok. I needed an excuse to get out of this. I hate laytex." She said and quickly began unzipping the bodysuit. Yes, me too. Ryan thought as Claire slammed him against a wall. On the other end, Becca was successfully hacking into the house's security cameras. "And here we go." She said as she punched in the final command. She now had total access to the security systems. She looked up at the large screen and froze, mortified. She then shut her eyes and grimaced.
Then, to her awful luck, she heard two people entering the room. She turned and saw Ethan and Samir walking in. Ethan froze, in shock, while Samir simply turned around and walked out. Ethan glanced at Rebecca, who got up and steered him out of the room. "Get me five coffees." She whispered to him as she slipped a Starbucks giftcard into his hand. He nodded and walked away, bumping into the door before remembering to open it.
A few hours later, Becca was able to open a comm to them. "Thanks for that guys. The view was fantastic." Becca said, sipping from the first coffee. "Shit, you watched?" Ryan hissed. "I'm responsible for keeping you two alive, and by extension, most of your kids' happiness. Speaking of which, neither Samir nor Ethan appreciated the show." Claire went a bright red, while Ryan looked horrified. Then "Well did you enjoy the show?" He joked. "Couldn't tell, she was always on top." Becca responded.