This has to be a first – now I’m not investigating a person, but a whole district. Omaha. What DreamCorp wants with the place, I’m not sure, but it sounds like there’s got to be some good loot to be had there. Not without danger, sure, but there might be a chance I can find out more about my grandfather, and help the group make a bit of a profit while I’m at it. It’s nice being reunited with these goons again – helps me feel at ease. Not that I felt much better when Wormwood started getting spooky about Eris. But the monetary compensation DreamCorp was offering for this salvage operation was too good to pass up, despite my reservations about the operation.
Pitbull – I had no idea, but he’s just learned to read not ten years ago. A bit of a shock to me, but I’ll be damned if he’s not trying his hardest – heck, I’ve never even read the Art of War!
Pacoy – Kid’s got some real sass and fire to him, that’s for sure. He seemed quite taken with the Eris girl when she started throwing dollar signs around.
Wormwood – It’s good to see he’s got a wicked sense of humor, despite all the odd goings on in his personal life. I get a feeling that his personal life is going to start intruding on our professional life real soon, though. I was none too pleased when the news came on about one of his victims being murdered. Then again, I doubt he was either.
This Eris lady is late again, and came along bearing bad news – I’ve irked some people before, but I’ve never had a bounty put on my head before. Seems like someone Eris reports to sprung a leak. This has turned into a region-wide treasure hunt, and we’re behind on the game, and still have to get our hands on equipment. At least we were able to get our hands on the Amur and put in orders to collect along the way. Just as we were set to take off, gunfire from out of nowhere. What is going on?
Pitbull – If we’ve got a bounty on our heads, Pitbull’s skills are going to be more valuable than ever before, and that’s saying something.
Pacoy – Heck of a materials man – seemed to positively enjoy himself doing a spot of shopping.
Wormwood – He looks almost normal when he ditches that lunatic goth getup he’s so fond of – he could stand to grow a bit of facial hair and look more respectable.
The doors to the car snapped closed faster than a pro skirt’s when the dosh ran out, and no sooner had they done so then some goons emptied their bean-shooters at us. It was touch and go for a while, until Wormwood dumped some oil on the road and caused… a bit of a mess – that’ll be on the vidcasts for sure.
Pitbull – Kid’s got some stone cold hands – managed to plug one of the brutes after us with one hand out of the wheel, motoring out of the parking lot. Got a lot to want for in the music department, that’s for sure – it grates and grumbles worse than he does.
Pacoy – I never imagined he’d handle a rifle like a lover, but the man’s got talents I never imagined. Managing to plug a tire on a car travelling at top speeds during a high speed pursuit? Color me impressed.
Wormwood – I can’t imagine why he’d have that slipspray on him, but I can’t fault him, as it seems to come in handy. Though he seems to be causing more havoc and collateral damage than he is to the beakheads following us. At least he’s got a decent taste in music.
We’ve gone from a heart-pounding car chase to a painfully slow slog in less than a few hours. I haven’t seen traffic this bad since the last time the Russian mob went to war against the Gems – the ensuing rush to get out of the way locked the streets down for six hours, effectively giving the Gems enough time to prepare an adequate defense. It was nice of Veracity to show up and call in a favor for us – I’ve never had a police escort before, and it was certainly more refreshing than our encounter earlier in the day. Sweetened by it being our old friend, Sergeant Taffy. Things went swimmingly
Pitbull – Can’t believe this guy – bringing an illegal weapon to a border crossing? I understand he doesn’t like to be without it, but this is a bit much. When we get done with this, I’m tempted to see if I can use part of my share to buy Pitbull some singing lessons, as a gift to myself…
Pacoy – He was pretty quiet in the gridlock, but I have a feeling that before the job is out, he’s going to be helping Eris out in more ways than just with her cameras. Slick the way he handled bribing the border guard – I was worried they were going to pinch us for having a fugitive, a criminal, and an illegal rifle in the car.
Wormie-woo – Never thought his stalker-habits would come in handy in planning a route out of this gridlocked hole, but I’m willing to be suprised.
The first stop before our journey can truly begin: Expedition Equipment Exporters. But after being kept up all night by the uncomfortable seats and Pitbull’s snoring, I am looking forward to a spot of shopping. Gosh, I’m starting to sound like Anita. We’re finally geared up and ready to get this journey on the road.
Pitbull – For an army brat, he sure is picky about what he eats! Not suprising that he knows a bit about the Nomad tribes. Got a gentle sense of humor on him, considering his roots. Sometimes, at any rate. Other times it’s downright crass, but amusing.
Pacoy – After we got out of traffic, he’s been a bit more chipper. I think he’s looking forward to the salvage operation. The kid seems extremely anxious to stay off Eris’ camera, and there’s got to be a real good reason for it. Still got a good joke or two, that’s for sure.
Wormwood – This man is quite the savior – hot coffee after a night suffering through Pitbull’s snoring was a life saver, and I don’t necessarily mean my own. Fairly sure I pulled a muscle when he broke our little battle with that gut-buster of his, though. Gotta keep a close eye on this one. Hopefully I didn’t make a mistake with that bottle of liquor…
Out in the middle of nowhere, it’s just our luck that we run into some chaps ambushing some Adopters. Of course, good samaritans that we are, intervention was on the menu today. Unfortunately, I think we took the worst of it.
Pitbull – Once the ambush kicked off and he got out of the car, Pitbull seemed to be in his element – I’m pretty sure he enjoyed every second of this attempted ambush.
Pacoy – This is the first time I’ve had to see him truly enjoy his ’bots, and despite losing one of them, I must say, they seem fragile, but pack a heck of a wallop.
Wormwood – This boy is jumping at shadows that aren’t there – an ambush on an abandoned highway that nobody ever travels? Seems like he has a good stomach for bad situations, though this time it mangled his hand up something terrible. It seems to have… soured his mood slightly.
I thought we had it bad in that ambush, but there’s a poor gal who’s had half her face torn to pieces… if she wasn’t already loaded for bear with metal under her skin, I daresay she’d have died a long time ago. Scared, frightened, alone, and lifeless – yeah, she’s got it worse off. Not that she knows it – as an early model android, she’s pretty special, but it begs the question: why is she all the way out here? Who was her master and how long has she been running back to him?
Pitbull – He’s pretty cautious, which is understandable, but the poor girl had seen much better days – she wasn’t about to start anything. Did a right proper job during the interrogation, though it was a bit cruel for him to knock that poor man out and leave him the way he did.
Pacoy – He seems happy enough to be patching Wormwood up – I guess working with small mechanical parts would make you pretty good at patching up flesh and bone. Although he seemed pretty hyped about the damedroid – the poor boy needs to get out more! He’s definiately perked up and gotten livelier – I think this trip is doing some good.
Wormwood – He’s holding up well for a man whose hand is barely holding together. Still, in good spirits – enough to crack wise a bit. Smart move on his part to take what we can from the buggies that were shooting at us – we are here to salvage, after all.
Driving into Rising, Pacoy with his fist down the robot’s throat was an experience I won’t forget in a month full of Sundays. I was a bit worried when we were a short while out and couldn’t see anything, but at least the first friendly face we saw was a uniform. Mostly know where you stand with them. Unlike waitresses – she didn’t seem happy when she got my order at the diner. I wonder why. It’s not like she had to bring more than four meals out before the power cut. I have a terrible feeling about this.
Pitbull – Must say, there are no two people I’d rather have out in the desert than Pitbull and Wormwood – Pitbull’s apparently got a litany of rules about how to survive out in the desert, but I’m not sure I care for some of them.
Pacoy – Must be sure of himself to be sticking his fingers in a metal beartrap in the back of a moving car. He seems to have done a bang up job and gotten her as fixed as can be, but I’m not sure how much benefit that’s going to be. Still, at least she knew where she came from and where her creator was, so that’s something.
Wormwood – Must say, there are no two people I’d rather have out in the desert than Pitbull and Wormwood – his augmetics definately are useful for saving our bacon out here.
It’s hard to imagine how this could get worse – a stampede of Gnox, a power outage and a monster sandstorm. Well, the irate waitress certainly isn’t helping. Or the fact that I could hardly see past my nose, and we got the Amur jammed into an alleyway that wasn’t designed for it. And now there’s a monster Gnox between us and my brand new motorcycle – I lied, apparently it could get worse.
Pitbull – I get the feeling that Pitbull had a thing for the defiant and troublesome waitress – to each his own, I suppose. Seemed to gleefully enjoy laying into the Gnox with the chaingun, but the Reaper seemed to be more effective.
Pacoy – Can’t imagine a better person to have behind the wheel during a dust-storm-grox-stampede, aside from one of the great stock car racers. Couldn’t imagine anyone having jammed the Amur into the alley as well as he did – well, on purpose anyway.
Wormwood – I do find myself in envy of Wormwood’s hearing – it seems to be of great benefit to him. A bit of a showoff, though, diving out of the diner to get to the car, especially when there are perfectly good stairs nearby.
It was a shame to put down the herd like that… it was necessary, but it doesn’t make it right. That Seranya is a curious bird alright – offering me a fresh cut of Gnox? It was only polite to take it. Not sure why she singled me out, but it certainly helped curb the gnawing in my stomach. I think Seranya was just trying to show off, or help, but she was going on about it in an awful odd manner.
Pitbull – A sandstorm, a herd of angry cattle and this man’s worried about us getting stuck in litigation! Never met a soldier like him, that’s for sure. He surely wasn’t serious about Gnox-meat containing parasites, was he? Although he did have a really excellent point. When was the last time I had a good night’s sleep?
Pacoy – He certainly should be an honorary cowboy after thinning the herd the way he did – never realized he was that ace with a rifle. Seemed a bit off-put by Seranya’s behavior, not that I blame him a bit.
Wormwood – Seemed to enjoy a bit of competition when putting down the herd, and seemed even happier he beat out our resident soldier. I think he’s on to something, thinking that there’s someone out to get us. I just hope it’s not Eris.
With a full stomach, we rode on through the night, only stopping to stretch our legs some hours in, when Pitbull insisted on driving and listening to more of that incessant machine-noise. Some lovely reminiscing punctuating our relatively uneventful journey – until a Texas Republic spybot found us. And then more spybots. And then they blew up a building to kill us – I mean, what? Who does that. A building! Hah! We survived that, what’s the worst that could happen?
Pitbull – I swear, Pit has the musical attention of a ten toed guttersnipe – it’d be fine if he’d leave it be on one thing or the other, give me time to tune it out, but I’ve been riding a Gnox-sized headache all the way through this trip. Real touching though, him letting Seranya use his rifle if she needed it, rather than have her fabricate one on her own. Not that she’ll need to with his ace shooting – can you call spraying an area with a machinegun ace shooting? A bit tetchy when he gets stressed.
Pacoy – Nose deep in our robot friend, he didn’t seem to perk up for much except to grill her about her programming until Wormwood spotted a drone in the sky. Never seen him snap to attention so quickly. I think he might care for Seranya, at least in some small capacity. It’s kind of cute.
Wormwood – Nice to know I’m not the only paranoid one in this car – checking for bugs in the car is the most sensible thing to happen since we saw a heard of Gnox appear on the horizon.
Came to upside down – not the most pleasant way to wake up after a world-shattering explosion. Suprised how cogent everyone seems to be after getting tossed around like shakes at a soda shop. More suprised that I wasn’t dead, but that’s how things go. And they got worse, considering the dazzler grenade that went off and burned my eyes out from the inside.
Pitbull – Seems like Pitbull might be near the root of all this trouble, but damned if I’m not going to get involved to get him out of it. Might be the only sane man here – if we survive this, but all of our supplies are cooked off in the Amur, this mission’s as good as sunk, and all this was for nothing but a pretty little robot girl.
Pacoy – I’ve only seen him caring for bots thus far, and he’s really scarily efficient at field-setting broken bones. How much practice has he had at this? He was very much enjoying himself when his Harpy came out to play, and not a moment too soon.
Wormwood – Excellent at crisis management – been keeping his head cooler than the rest of us. Me, at any rate. Then again, I’ve got a bit of an excuse, I think. Well, I say his head, because after tearing a drone to shreds, the goof went and grabbed a jug of wood alcohol from the burning vehicle.
The notes herein are scribbled hastily, as if with an unsure hand
Sight… gone… difficult to express how much it is missed. Like describing color to… me. The blind. Hard to express the fight… guns, many guns and noises… I’m not sure if I was able to make an account of myself, but the others… so many screams. The acidic smell of blood, the acrid smell of the gunpowder in the air, the screams… they all ran together, making me wish I had my sight back so I could shut my eyes just to block it all out.
Pitbull – Soldier… friend… thinks we will die heroes… would be nice, if we had to go.
Pacoy – Only man in the world that can make me laugh when I can no longer see – appreciated more than he knows.
Wormwood – Him and Pacoy could cut it in the comedy circuit if this Lazarus thing doesn’t cut it.
The notes herein are scribbled hastily, as if with an unsure hand, though with confidence and practice
The sounds of combat are nightmarish – this day will haunt me until I die. Like demons from a forgotten hellscape, stalking just outside of my perception, they howl and screech with the sounds of broken bones and mutilated flesh. In some ways, I am lucky I can barely sleep at all, so I won’t have to relive this moment in perfect clarity, perfect terror. In others, cursed because my imagination paints pictures darker than my eyes would believe. When the anthem of Pitbull’s great state began flooding my mind, it was crowding out any spatial awareness I had left. I managed to put out the source of the noise, but it just made the air clear to carry the screams of my comrades…
Pitbull – I feel that in another life he would be a terrible, terrible man, but I think he’s finally faced his biggest demon. Glad it’s not me.
Pacoy – Even in the face of all this carnage and pain, he’s still able to elicit laughter – something special about this one, for sure.
Wormwood – A voice in the darkness, filled with violent concentration. Then a scream, and I fear for him most of all.
The notes herein are scribbled hastily, as if with an unsure hand, though with confidence and practice
It was all gunfire, trading back and forth, while I sat hunkered down behind some rubble like a rabbit waiting out a storm. All I could think of was popping up out of cover in the middle of rabbit season and catching lead between my teeth. Although I did start to get a clear picture of the battlefield just by focusing my ears, at least just a little bit, which in some ways was more terrifying than seeing it happen. Particularly the bullets thudding into my little slice of heaven.
Pitbull – All I’ve heard from him is rapid rounds firing, which, considering Pitbull, speaks volumes. I think he just want to bury the ghosts from his past, and I don’t blame him – I’d like to see him do it, too, but I doubt there’s a chance of that happening. The seeing, that is – from the sound of it, he put a round right through the Sarge’s brain, and not a moment too soon.
Pacoy – I think that Pacoy’s managed to patch Worm up, at least a bit, because Wormwood seems to be quieter than before.
Wormwood – Good to hear him making noise other than screaming.
The notes herein are scribbled hastily, as if with an unsure hand, though with confidence and practice.
After all of the constant gunfire, the silence was eerie – disorienting. For the first time, I feel alone, in the dark, and it’s… scary. I know the guys are out there, but… At least we’re together and mostly in one piece. Plenty of challenges – securing a new ride, for one. Securing it without alerting the Texas military was another matter entirely. Hearing my friends jack themselves into the APC was terrifying, to say the least. Certainly more terrifying than stepping in and slipping in whatever I got my foot into…
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Never figured him for a trophy-taker, but there’s a lot that I’ve learned about Pitbull in the last hour. I just hope that it’ll heal the damage the past has done. He seems cheerier, for one. Particularly when we found some fancy rifle or other. I never would have pegged him for a Marcus, either. A suprisingly deep lake this man’s turned out to be.
Pacoy – I get caring for humans above machines, but Seranya’s still a lady, cybernetic or no. And there are some forms of protocol you just don’t break. Never heard him make a full-on diagnosis before, but it’s quite sobering to think that he might be able to help Wormwood out, but maybe not. Not sure I trust his diagnostics, though – eyes that look like the training bots he used to work with? What kind of dross is that!
Wormwood – I’d hate to have seen the state of his legs – crippled? I can’t imagine it – won’t imagine it. He’s too spry to let something like this slow him down. At least it hasn’t slowed down his wit one jot. And he’s a bit limpy, but that’s to be expected.
The notes herein are scribbled hastily, as if with an unsure hand, though with confidence and practice.
It’s a tough call – do we cut the mission and lick our wounds, or press on, unable to see what’s ahead? The group seems keen to press on, stopping at the Foundry to resupply as best we can, and I can’t fault them for it, unless we can get some better care for Worm. It’s nice hearing the team returning to business as usual. Nice to spend some time with Seranya as well. It was a beautiful few hours, until I stepped on that besotted landmine.
After this point, the handwriting is perfectly legible, aside from singe marks on the page.
I don’t know what went through my mind when I stepped off the mine – that I was alive, if I was in heaven or hell, that I had just regained my sight moments before – all I could think of is that I hoped Seranya survived the blast. I was sure I wouldn’t – darkness was a welcome release, but not near as much as seeing Siri’s eyes when I landed.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Man sounds like he’s got a weight off his shoulders, but I wish I could see his face – the eyes can tell you a lot about a man’s mental state.
Pacoy – Kid’s sort of got a point – a robot’s not really ‘human’, despite how much she might seem it, but she’s still… well, you got to treat her right if she has feelings, don’t you?
Wormwood – Kid’s got some moxy – wanting to press on when you’re gimped like he is that’s not an easy choice. Hopefully we’ll find some streetdoc to get him squared away.
The bumpiest ride of my life – travelling in the back of a stolen APC, friend picking discarded metal fragments from my back. Telling me my spine had been replaced. That’s enough for any one day. But of course, my friends kept digging and telling more that I didn’t know about myself. I’m not… human. Not as I’ve come to understand myself, anyway. Seranya’s little brother… that’s a hell of a thing, ain’t it?
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Again with the music – I’m stil not sure if I’ve got a concussion, but if I didn’t have one from the battle, I might now! Although there is something soft under all that hard shell of his. Unlike me – apparently there’s nothing soft – not that’s real.
Pacoy – I was starting to think that this kid didn’t know a lick about medicine – he’s supposed to be treating me for burn wounds and taking care of shrapnel, and he’s going on about high-tech cyberware? My spine? The more he spoke, the more of a pit I got in my stomach – was my stomach even…mine?
Wormwood – I feel bad for the guy – going to be hard for him to creep on his crushes on crutches.. But he carries a good point with him.. If someone stole my spine, I need to know how far it’s gone. What else did they take? My whole humanity?
It’s about time we got Worm some proper attention – we need to patch him up if we’re going to get him through this. I didn’t realize the treatment was going to go through my savings the way it did, but it’s not like I was going to get any treatment here anyway. I hope Able will understand.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – The man is loaded! I thought myself well off, but with that much dosh he’s practically posh! I hate to know how he came across it all.
Pacoy – Looking forward to seeing what he can do to patch up Seranya – and me. I thought I’d need the hospital, but now.. Who needs a doctor when I have a mechanic. At least he’s looking after my sister. Still feels wierd to say that…
Wormwood – Brave kid. Expensive kid. Worth it, though. Hopefully he won’t wreck those expensive legs of his. Or his new spanking new wheels.
It looks like we’re drawing close to something out here, but I can’t make out what it is. Wormwood’s seen something out there worth investigating or stealing from, so we’re on to check it out. Some sort of small building – run down, but hopefully they’ve got some food. Well, hopefully they’ve got some food that gets served before Pitbull manages to order himself a conjugal visit. And hopefully we can make it out of this fire alive…
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Sometimes, I wonder what’s going through his head. Do Texans really design their APCs to ram people? And speaking of ramming people, I never thought on this little trip that we’d find the girl for Pitbull.
Pacoy – Man’s magic with a wrench, or whatever he patched me up with. Haven’t felt this alive in years. Heh.
Wormwood – For a man who eschews paper for the electronic, I find it odd he doesn’t have some sort of map with him – escape routes surely must be handy during his sojourns. At least he seems fairly independent.
Light the color of sweet citrus fruit and temperatures found on the inside of an oven are hardly things you like to find near a diner. Comforting on their own, they grow to a certain level of disconcerting when combined in an unfamiliar environment. Worse still when Wormwood turned us into a TV dinner in the APC. But he managed to pull us through the flames with no more time lost.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Touching that the big lug finally has a soft spot for something other than his Reaper. Even though it does seem to be comprimising his thought processes. But who can fault the man for being dizzy with a dame?
Pacoy – Never have I been happier to know him – in my unique situation, his gifts could provide a great number more benefits than previously imagined.
Wormwood – He’s getting to be pretty spry, given his condition. I remember reading that we, humans – I suppose I don’t fit in that we now, were once descended from apes – maybe he’s a bit closer on the tree than most of us.
I was right – this journey seemed long, but the times ahead will be longer. Longer than the Wall is high, for sure. The tidings heralded by the Night City police flyer up ahead will surely be poor. But the sight of this city – I would argue – is worth it. A shining example of human resilience, a beacon of civilization in a hard wilderness. The wall seems ambitious, but I think it gives the people purpose and hope, which is all you can truly ask for. And more than Wormwood has – of returning to a normal life, at any rate. Or any of us, at this rate – being chased by proper law enforcement is certainly a new one for me, and it doesn’t rank highly on my ‘thing I’m glad to have experienced’ list.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – He’s so quiet – it’s hard to think that beneath the lack of words is a soul that’s been further than I ever have in all my days. Well, that I can remember – I certainly have made this journey once before, but I don’t remember any of it.
Pacoy – I think I’d like to see Pacoy get in for some petty vandalism, and he’s right – the wall is real imposing and could use a sprucing up, although I doubt that they’d appreciate the addition of the art. They seem to be going for imposing. And
Wormwood – Never knew a man to fuss about his appearance as much as he does – just like a girl to be prettying herself up before a date. At least he’s not driving, and he’s got a good reason. Doesn’t look good for his future, though, that’s for certain.
Headed to the Old Fort Morgan, intent on digging up some more history. What we’re up to here I’m not quite sure. Won’t be good, whatever it is. Particularly not if it happens to be an NCPD Vertol. Even worse that Wormwood started shooting at them before they even started after us. Pretty sure when I ‘woke up’ today I never expected at any point to have Randall straddling my back. At any point in any day, for that matter.
Wasn’t expecting him to put the vertol down, though – that was a nice surprise, that we get to walk away, a little closer to Omaha, and some answers.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – 1/128th Cherokee Indian? I’d sooner believe he was 1/128th cyborg – that figure’s at least plausible. Although if he were Indian, that explains the driving – he’d be better off on a horse with the way he’s swerving about.
Pacoy – Something’s got him cracking wiser than usual – maybe he’s smarting up. He’s got a point, though – everything we do has a tendancy to come back and haunt us sooner rather than later. He’s the man with the plan, though, with his little bot trying to dissuade the vertol. Shame it didn’t work out for him.
Wormwood – In 2051, a crack pervert and stalker was framed and chased by the police for a crime he didn’t commit. This man promptly escaped from a the maximum security stockade and out of the Citadel’s protection zone. Today, still wanted by the police, he survives, carried along by soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Randall. Particularly if you need some pictures of an illicit variety. Really, anything to get his unmentionables away from any part of me. Lug is heavier than a stalker has any right to be. Emmy’s probably a bit too soft on him, and he’s getting a little soft around the edges…
Omaha. Answers, finally. Hopefully. This place looks like it was worked over something fierce. The RadSuits aren’t what I’d call stylish, but better safe than dead. And when the sky opened up… well, lets just say I’m not placing bets on being safe anymore. I wasn’t expecting to see people out here, but certainly I was not expecting to run into… me. Or at least a facsimile of me. Who damn near killed my friend. Was I once like that? And now I’ve got the rifle that put a bullet in Wormwood – hopefully I can use it to right some wrongs.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Of all the people in all the world to come out of this with a bit of swag already, Pitbull’s managed to loot a girl. Who knows what pre-war treasures we might come out of this, if we come out alive! And that seems like a mighty big if…
Pacoy – A time delayed message, to say goodbye to his family – if I can do anything about it, that message won’t be sent. Unfortunately for us, we can’t send any kind of messages whatsoever, so his bots are sort of brain dead.
Wormwood – Deathwish – I feel bad for him – chance of a lifetime, exploring Omaha, and he’s stuck with the places that have got ramps. Still stymies me how into Emmie he is, but there’s someone for everyone, that’s for sure. But why did you have to get yourself shot again, pal? Do you have a death wish? I don’t understand. I’m having trouble understanding anything these days.
Radiation – the one souvenir I didn’t want to bring back from this little jaunt, and it’s everywhere, getting
steadily worse. And then they started talking about sport and it all went downhill from there. The traffic jams of old certainly are legendary, although this was possibly staged. Or organized in a defensive structure – it seems that my other selves are here with some strange looking weaponry. Cutters, perhaps? For the recycling team whom is all comprised of my clones – my badly irradiated and damaged brothers. Is that my fate if I stay here too long?
The most draining experience of this whole trip – plugging myself in to one of my brothers I’ve never met in an effort to clear a path for my actual brothers. The pain… the experience… was I dying? No… being born.
For the first time, I saw my own birth, and the birth of a thousand like him. An automated factory/laboratory, somewhere deep underground. A singular presence, always guiding me, showing me what to do and when and why. An excursion into the outer world, an experiment viewed by dozens of observers – and then a hi-speed databurst, a warning. And then silence, the presence gone, a flare of light and heat and radiation soaking the ground; the pain of the electromagnetic pulse, the destruction of my kin. The sole survivor, wounded, internally scarred – and with the knowledge that he needed to hide, that if he were ever found out to still be alive something would be coming for him; that survivor locked his memories away, disconnected himself from the broken systems within him – and made himself believe that he was human.
Why is my Mother rebuilding this – to make the skies burn with fire again? Two digitized gods? If she fancies herself one, am I going to have to rise up on Humanities behalf and ensure she can’t harm anyone ever again?
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – Not sure what his fascination is with that jaw – although he was right about one thing: we’re all damaged goods and can certainly use some therapy.
Pacoy – At least one of this group shares my relative disdain for modern entertainment. He seems genuinely affected that his bot communication is limited to pre-set commands.
Wormwood – Deathwish – I’m glad we’ve got him driving this tank – likely the safest place for him. I don’t want to lose a friend, especially since we’ve come this far.
Not sure I can handle many more shocks like this. At least my motorcycle is getting some use on this trip – would have been terrible to cart it all this way just for a quick joy-ride.
To see what my brothers have done to rebuild Omaha… it astonishes me. But at what cost? How many of them have been turned into scraps of nothingness out there? This place was rebuilt on the backs of giants. The refurbished City Hall – the waiting elevator car… before I met the ‘runners, these things would have sent me running into the bottom of a bottle. Our little trip in the elevator might have as well, had I not been keened onto not having a proper stomach. After meeting Mother, though, I do feel a need for a stiff drink. Pulling Anita from my consciousness to represent the 23rd Enigma Machine – those nutters were onto something. Two digital gods fighting for the future of humanity – as Mother said, I will cloak myself in the darkness, hiding myself from the other half of my creator, becoming the champion of Humanity’s free will. I fear for her safety, though I barely remember her.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – I wish I could see this insanity through his eyes – to see how he takes the pristine core of this wartorn city, with all the conflict he’s seen.
Pacoy – In the face of pristine beauty, he still manages to find a bit of humor. Glad I can count on him to stay a constant in these wierd and shifted times.
Wormwood – I think he’s a bit better now – his spirits are higher, and at least he’s still with us and his old self, even making a pass at Eris. I’m normally against that kind of thing, but I don’t think I’ll tell anyone – he’s had it rough.
Shuttles from heaven, crashing down into my home. Bent on destroying Mother – my brothers will not let that happen. In all of their forms – new, rebuilt, unfinished and broken, they will repel the invaders here, and I will repel them elsewhere, to ensure their memory lives on. In the midst of all the carnage, my sister headed to my mother, clutching at her – when I approached to save her, nothing mattered. I was finally at peace. I was finally home. Afterwards, seeing my sister, I think I may be taking a slice of home back with me. An enigma, to be sure.
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – As those sleek black pods descended, revealing imposing troopers with shining black masks, I caught a glimpse in one of them, and could have sworn I saw him beneath the mask. A glimpse of a future I never want to see come to pass, for certain.
Pacoy – It must kill him – a room full of manufacturing schema, a whole factory dedicated to creating advanced robots, being systematically destroyed by faceless mooks in the scariest armor I’ve ever seen.
Wormwood – It makes me smile – for all we’ve gone through, he’s still worried about my little sister when the skies have cracked open and are raining death. I knew he was an alright fella before, but this cinches it. I know he would have come back to get me if it wouldn’t have been suicidal to do so.
Darkness – the death of an era, the death of my home. Watching my brothers die all over again – can history ever cease it’s endless repetition? Am I doomed to follow them? Regardless, I’ll fight as long as I can, even when that means running. It’s easier with friends, and when my brothers showed up unscathed… nothing other than a blessing. That they knew about me was a shock. But to be surrounded by all this history and not able to touch any of it… infuriating. And slowly but surely, I have been feeling my brothers fall all around me – am I all that is left? An outdated model, ignored by the passing of time, while my younger brothers fight and fall while I run? And why does hellfire raining down from the sky look so beautiful at night?
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – For the man carrying the soul of the Enigma, he seems awfully calm. Even for him. He even seemed… downright cheery, or jovial. I think the man thrives on conflict. In a way, it suits him. It unnerves me to see how my brothers responded to him, though, as if he didn’t exist… was I once like that?
Pacoy – With his pinbots back in operation, Pacoy is once again terrifying me with images of things that spell my impending doom, and it’s almost appreciated. Four on five is much better odds than… whatever was going on in that room.
Wormwood – Why do all of his sane suggestions involve me getting potentially murdered? They all make perfect sense, but it just feels like we run into a lot of brick walls. I think we’re going to be alright – without his chair, I don’t know if we would have been able to carry Seranya out fast enough to make a difference.
They say the road home is the longest of all – no longer looking forward to new and strange destinations, but rather looking backwards towards your past and where you once belonged. What story will Eris decide to tell? It’s true that histories are decided by the victor, but which stories do they select for publication? Surely it all can’t be true. Or at least not equally true. Hopefully she has a mind to remember who the little people were before her rise to the top. Because certainly they’ll remember how she got there.
Unlike the arrival of the strange lifter – and the strange drifter it carried. Who is this Ragdoll? And why does nobody in this town care for decent music?
And why can I never save my friends when it counts? I’m supposed to be Mother’s guiding savior, but I can’t release Able from his prison. What good am I now?
Pitbull – Private Marcus Dean – There is a substantial amount of comfort to be gleaned by a gruff soldier-type worrying about you. Less so when he’s driving like he has been. At least his driving is better than his taste in music.
Pacoy – I’m slightly worried at him having one of my brothers for his tinkering… it could be extremely beneficial to know what lies inside of me, but it feels… wrong. Sacrilegious.
Wormwood – I don’t think I’ve ever been more glad about Wormwood’s paranoia – Eris’ story means more to me than ever, and there are some things that she cannot be allowed to publish. I’m not entirely comfortable with him sacrificing himself to cover up my secret…
Able – Anton Roderick Davis – It feels like I have more in common with him than before – artificial personalities… although his are likely more genuine than mine, to be sure. His head… it’s so loud in there… and he feels so alone, despite it all. And I can’t help bring him out of it.. but I’ll certainly try.