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[IC] Fight the Power

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Synth (as ?)

 

It wasn't enough for a conviction. Who knew what was going on? But it was enough, judged Synth, to take action. 

 

With altered features to a heavy set, long haired woman wearing the tattered (and now dirty) clothes she had walked in, she squeezed out of her corner to confront the men. 

 

"Reveal what?" she demanded, flexing her muscles and punching her fists together menacingly. 

 

"Don't run" she added. "I'm faster than you, and stronger than you. And all you will be getting is a couple of broken bones. Best case, scenario" she explained. 

 

"I know your brain is telling you to run. Or fight. Or maybe both. But your brain isn't going to get crushed and diced like salami. Well, not unless we get really nasty..."

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GM

 

In order to get to the men, the first thing Synth had to do was get back through the narrow gap in the door. Which wasn’t challenging, but certainly a sight to behold for the two men in the storage room, both of them backing off, taking a few steps backwards.

 

The room was now fully lit, by one old lightbulb, just bright enough to see each other. As Synth popped through the door, having already made her introduction, the two looked at each other, exchanging questioning glances. One of them seemed a lot more scared than the other, who, for his part, just looked a bit annoyed.  He took a step forward, his expression best described as a twisted grin of some sorts.

 

“Told you this would happen at some point. Haha.”

 

“See, that’s a good question. Reveal what? Haha.”

 

Meanwhile, the more afraid looking one carefully and slowly took a step backwards every few seconds, doing his best to fade into the background. Something that wasn’t very easy to pull off in a situation like this.

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Synth

 

"Grmph" grunted Synth. She hadn't exactly expected it to be easy. 

 

"A torn pipe. A hidden room. A lot of blood" she answered, bluntly. 

 

"Don't stall for time. And don't run" she shouted at the other man. "You can save yourself and talk. Now. Nothing cryptic. No evasiveness. A straight answer now that explains it all without you having the time to think up some story"

 

"I won't ask twice. If you don't tell me straight away, I'll use other methods. Which will just mean I have to take more time to find out. You, on the other hand, will regret that path a lot more than me". 

 

She paused to leap on the man. A quick chokehold, take him out. The other man might be more talkative, but even if they were not, she could take their form and go detective. 

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GM

 

As Synth jumped towards him, the man didn’t even attempt to sidestep. A bit of a surprise, as it meant Synth overshot just slightly, but she still managed to get him into a hold with essentially no effort. Holding him here, she got a better look at him. Probably in his mid-thirties. Bald, with a brown full beard to make up for that fact. His clothes were casual, streetwear.

 

“Haha. So what? What do you gain from th…”

 

And at that point, her hold was enough to make him fade. These holds really were good when your opponent wasn’t struggling. And, as it had turned out, this guy hadn’t struggled at all. Which, honestly, was strange to say the least. Meanwhile, the other guy still was speechless, and continue to back off, doing his best to not pay any attention to what was happening, and simply get up the stairs. Which, by now, he’d already partially accomplished. Either he didn’t care about her threats, or was so scared it didn’t matter. Or maybe it was something else.

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Synth

 

"Goodnight, sweetheart"

 

As she put the first guy to sleep she turned again to his scared friend. 

 

"Now then my friend" she started, taking a soft step towards him. 

 

"I'm going to find out whats going on here. One way or another. You don't look like the kind of guy who has created a lot of mess. You look like the kind of guy who gets paid to clean up the mess afterwards and not complain about it. Well, I'm after the guy who created the mess. And if you start talking, then you can be the kind of guy who didn't see anything, goes home, grabs a beer, and watches monster truck demolition derby marathon on the TV with a couple of friends and can forget about the whole sorry mess"

 

"Or you can take a nap and the consequences" she added, looking at the bearded man below. 

 

"But I am going to find out" she emphasised. 

 

As if to punctuate her point, and gritting her teeth against the pain, she changed her body - growing a beard, going bald. Becoming the likeness of the man at her feet. 

 

And the agony was crippling. She fell to one knee, her vision glazing over...

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GM

 

As Soon as Synth turned towards the fleeing man, he just accelerated his ascent, starting to take it two steps at a time. He looked scared. Not just afraid, but actually really, really scared. And the slight whimper he let off as she changed only cemented that. He did his best to fight off being paralyzed by fear, even if it wasn’t easy. And he walked further upwards, towards the stairs. Slow enough that catching him would hardly be a problem.

 

If it wasn’t for the fact that actually changing her look like this was rather painful. Especially since it, for the most part, was the head area which was affected. She’d braced for pain, but this was more than she’d expected. The sudden change had its effects, in this case mainly making it difficult to really react to her surroundings.

 

An advantage the other man used to its best effect, as he ran up the remaining few steps and shut the door behind him, quite loudly so. And then continued to run, all the while still whimpering slightly, as Synth could hear, even through her pain.

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Synth

 

The fiery nerves started to cool down as sinew and bone settled into shape. Her vision started to clear. 

 

That hurt; more than she had anticipated. Too much a change, too fast. As everything ground into place, the pain started to subside and she stood up, still aching. 

 

Her disguise was no good without the clothes to match. But on the other hand, the man was getting away. No decision was the worst decision, however. A snap judgement was made; it would be better to infiltrate and deceive than trust that a frightened man both knew the truth and would tell it. Besides which, she could seize that opportunity again - whilst the avenue that presented itself right now, changing to the bearded bald man, was likely to close. 

 

As quick as she could - and she was quick - she threw off her tattered jeans and t shirt, and pulled on the clothes of the bearded man. Precious moments lost, but at least she could pull off the disguise now. Once dressed, she launched herself back to the door. Maybe she could catch the fleeing man's scent. 

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GM

 

 

The man was wearing a pretty average outfit. A denim jacket, neither new nor old, was the top layer. Beneath it, a simple black tee, probably some kind of b(r)and, judging by the fact it was just a word in a fancy font that covered up most of the shirt. As she pulled over the t-shirt, she recognized something. The smell. She’d felt it before.

 

Earlier today, between the blood and metal of the pipe. The same sweat. It was fairly distinct, so this (most likely) was the same. As she took the shirt, she got a closer look at the man, torso now naked. It turned out he was quite muscular. Not body-builder muscular, but manual work muscular. And, somewhat surprisingly, he had a few bruises all over his torso, with a bandage actually covering up a bigger wound on his chest.

 

As she had finished dressing, she tried to catch the other man’s scent. Even with all the other scent still in the room, and without standing at the door, it was easy enough to catch. Following him would not be difficult.

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Synth

 

It was an unpleasant, even noxious smell. The swear, the beer, the blood. Nothing she hadn't experienced before. Being a trash-collector, you got used to these things. 

 

The fact it was that blood was interesting. Plus the bandages. What was going on. 

 

Fight club?

 

Too soon to speculate. But something was up, that was for sure. 

 

She paused a moment and then went to follow the scent. On another day, this would be a time for caution and stealth. Not today, however. She had already lost precious timing effecting her change, and swapping clothes. The trail must not go cold! 

 

With that in mind, she ran forward, hot on the heels (or so she hoped!) of the panicked man. 

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

Running up the stairs was easy, as there was still light. Once she’d arrived at the top, back in the bar’s main room, it became a bit more challenging, as the lights had been turned off. Recalling the bar’s general layout was somewhat of a hassle, and would’ve probably taken some time, so she just ran through. Either she’d hit something and bounce off, or she’d make it to the door (fortunately with a window in it, and some light shining through), in one piece.

 

She arrived at the door without any hassles, as it had turned out there was nothing in the way. Following the trail had helped. And it still did, as she opened the door (fortunately not locked), and went outside. A slight rain had started, but unless it became much stronger, it would not be a problem.

 

As she ran down an alley, then down a street, she realized something. Something inside the pockets was pushing against her flesh, probably a wallet or something? Perhaps it was another lead. She continued to run, and soon caught up with the man. He was sitting in car, currently waiting at a red light. Fortunately, his scent was strong enough to track.

 

He was just down the street, now she just had to stop him somehow. It was almost guaranteed he’d not seen her yet, not with the small crowd of people on the street and the distance, which helped. Then again, it was only a question of time before green replaced red, and the car would drive off.

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Synth

 

If the car jumped the red, or even waited for the green, the trail would be lost. No time to check the inside of her pockets (as full of intrigue as it might be) - the momentum and opportunity could not be wasted. 

 

Even as she acted, it occurred to her that it might be a simple thing such as a wallet. Which would have a name. Which would make the deception much easier. Everything was a gamble in the end, however, and she bet on action. If the opportunity presented itself, she would sneak a look. 

 

Stumbling in front of the car, clutching his ribs, Synth sprawled over the bonnet. 

 

"uuuhh....let me in....get us out of here...." he mumbled, peeling himself of the bonnet and trying the passenger seat door. 

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

The sudden appearance of the guy he’d been talking to just previously confused, and probably shocked, the man inside the car, if his expression was of any indication. He seemed unsure what to do for a second, then hit the “unlock doors” button on his dashboard, right as Synth tried to open it.

 

“G-G-gus? What … happened?”

 

As (s)he stumbled inside, and onto the passenger seat, behind them, the concert of the street began. For the most part it seemed to be default horns, but there was one, playing what seemed to be Ride of the Valkyries.

 

“Oh.”

 

He hit the pedal, and drove forwards, down the street, paying attention to just the street, giving Synth a few seconds of time to act, before once more arriving at an intersection and a red light, where he turned over to face Synth once more. He was really, really uncertain, and it showed, not just on his face, but also in his smell. Then, as if something crossed his mind, he recoiled slightly, looking even more afraid.

 

“W-w-wait….”

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Synth

 

Gus was it? Well, that's a start...

 

Ride of the Valkyries? Very dramatic! and distinctive! she noted, filing away how his "Partner" seemed to react to the sound. It was, he presumed, a rung up the ladder of mysteries and misdemeanours. 

 

"Wait for what? The cops?" groaned Synth, clutching his ribs. "What happened back their, partner? That crazy woman jumped me...I can't remember anything. Blacked out, I guess. Woke up feeling with my head hurting like it was new years day, 2000" he groaned, now clutching his head. 

 

"Stumbled out here. Still feeling screwed up. So what happened? Anyone find out?" he asked, fishing for trouble. 

 

It was a poor gamble, but if he kept the man disorientated. 

 

"And for god's sake, keep going. You heard 'em...." he added. "Keep driving! and make it fast!" he added, as way of distraction. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GM

 

That just made him looked even more confused. Which, at this point, was starting to be somewhat comical actually. Confusion, fear, and some things sparkled on top. It was hard to tell what exactly he was thinking right now. He tried to say something, but didn’t really get out much.

 

“What? Wh…what? What are you say- … How are you here? It’s been …”

 

The cars in front of his continued down the road, so after getting his’ accelerated again, he continued to speak, eyes now focused on the road. He was trembling a bit, but he seemed to be a pretty good driver as it didn’t affect him whatsoever.

 

“It’s been … maybe a minute. How was she notHow are you up …”

 

Something was happening inside his mind, as he got more and more quiet, lost in thoughts. The upcoming stretch of the road seemed to be without any sort of traffic lights, so he wouldn’t be slowing down for some time. Wherever he was going.

 

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Synth

 

Time and opportunity were slipping away. The driver was probably not the sharpest tool in the box, but he would figure something out sooner or later. 

 

When that time comes, fear might loosen his tongue...

 

But until that point, the situation should be milked as much as possible. 

 

"They are after us. Anyone follow you? I couldn't see if anyone was following me. Damn, it hurts!" said Synth with a theaitrical clutch to her bandaged chest. 

 

Panic entered the words in a crescendo. "Where can we go? What are we going to do? Where can we hide? Damn! Damn!"

 

Synth stole several hurried looks behind, to see if anyone was following. In this, there was no theatre - if there was somebody following (and that was the suspicion) he wanted to know who - or potentially what - was following. His brow was wet with sweat. To be honest, the pang of the change was still in his bones, a creaking ache that was subsiding gently, but with enough spice to give that cold, clammy look. 

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GM

 

Synth’s continued panic-making seemed to work, with the man checking the mirrors a lot more frequently than just before. At this point he seemed completely panicked. Not that it seemed to change his driving style, which continued to be rather casual. If, by now, a bit above the speed limit.

 

“What? Who? “

 

He took a deep breath, as he swerved around a car. Fortunately, it was a multi-lane road, so even those kinds of manoeuvres weren’t too dangerous. As the horn began to sound behind them, whoever was driving that car wasn’t too happy it seemed, he continued.

 

“Who’s following us? What’s coming? What could they possibly know?”

 

Coming up, somebody clearly wasn’t following road rules, as both lanes were occupied by cars, going at about the same speed. Which meant that there was no way to overtake, and at this distance, braking wasn’t all that easy either. Which meant that he dragged the wheel to the side, as the car swerved onto the oncoming lane.

 

“Hide? I think I have a-“

 

Just then, he got cut off by yet another horn. Except that, this time, it wasn’t coming from behind the car. And looking forward, the two sitting inside the car could easily see the noise’s source. A van, coming right at them, trying to somehow get onto the other lane in time.

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Synth

 

Synth was a shocked as his driver, at this point. 

 

"Look out!" he screamed, genuinely concerned. His synthetic flesh could take a collision...probably. It was no so much resilient - it was simply that Synth could survive quite happily on half a lung and total disembowelment. But still, a full on collision was no tea party. And as for the driver. That could get real ugly. And quite possibly fatal. 

 

This was going to hurt however you cut it. But better a tumble than a collision. Taking the initiative, he took hold of the steering wheel. 

 

"We gotta get out of here!" he said, pulling the wheel to one side sharply to take them off the road. He hoped they would land in one piece. Preferably the right way up. But he feared this was one step up the ladder to a pile up...

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GM

 

The driver hesitated for just a second, at which point Synth had already grabbed the wheel and pulled it towards him. Everything passed in just a moment, even if it felt a lot longer. The car pulled to the side, back onto the proper lane. The van pulled in the other direction. By now, Synth could see that vehicle’s driver too. A terrified looking woman, screaming out loud as she clutched onto her steering wheel.

 

And then, the two vehicles were on the same part of the road. There was the noise of something breaking off, but they seemed to have missed each other apart from that, as the van regained some stability and began to slow down. The car with Synth and his driver in it didn’t. Thanks to pulling the wheel over, the speed the car was going it and the driver slamming the braking pedal into the car’s floor, it swerved back onto the lane, before spinning out, and at last, leaving the road, tumbling downwards a short slope, before coming to a stop by smacking into a tree.

 

It had fortunately come to a stop the right way up, with the tree pushing the back seats together. Synth himself seemed to be fine, as he didn’t feel much beyond a few minor bruises once he lifted his head out of the airbag. His driver seemed to be less fine though, as he heard some groaning.

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Synth

 

The giddiness and disorientation faded quickly. Synth tore out the airbags that had inflated. There was no time to lose. The driver might be critically injured, and it was most likely that someone serious was chasing them both. On that matter, it was most likely that when those same people caught them, more serious injury would occur (and possibly worse). A couple of thugs would be no match for Synth. But this was Freedom City, and there was plenty worse out there than a couple of thugs. 

 

Synth pulled off the seatbelts too, catching the groaning man. 

 

Inside his head, the memories bubbled. A dozen top of the line biomedical scientists, a team led by Dr Nygstrom, whose memories bubbled and simmered the most. They were top of their game in the world, and whilst only an echo lived on inside the Cranium of Synth, those memories were cohesive and coherent enough to give Synth exceptional expertise in all those fields; not least of which, medicine. 

 

He studied, he smelled, and he touched. Percussion on the lungs? Any spinal fractures? Pulse? Breathing? There was the basics of emergency medicine, but also the risk of more insidious but equally lethal conditions, such as internal bleeding or a haemothroax. 

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GM

 

 

It took some careful movements to release the man, but once he was in Synth’s arms, figuring out what was wrong wasn’t too big an issue. The most basic checks were something that Synth could even have done by herself, but the added knowledge certainly helped, as she went to work. He didn’t seem to be fully conscious, but also not unconscious, stuck somewhere inbetween.

 

The good news were that there seemed to be no potentially lethal injuries. He was still breathing just fine, if a tad fast, and his spine seemed fine too. Synth continued to go down the list of things to check, as the man responded, slowly and carefully, probably not very aware of his surroundings.

 

“Uuuh …. Aaaagh … my arm….”

 

That was the next thing to check, broken bones. It wasn’t easy to tell, but the combined medical knowledge of some very bright minds meant that with some inspection, Synth could tell nevertheless. The man’s right arm quite definitely was broken, and a quick touch suggested that his ribs weren’t entirely fine either.

 

“… Need to be ready … this satuday …”

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Synth

 

"Not with that arm" replied Synth, with full honesty. Looked like multiple fractures there, and one or two ribs were pretty suspect. He finished percussion of his right lung. Resonant -- for now. He should live, although the pain would be pretty impressive. His groggy consciousness would be a mercy under the circumstance. 

 

Synth kicked open the door - forcefully enough to leave it half hanging. With fluid speed, she pulled the poor man out of the car. 

 

"What are we going to do?" he asked him, taking his flaccid head in head and turning  his head to to his own, staring at him. "Stay with me! I need you! What are we going to do? Who is after us? Where are we going to hide?" he demanded. 

 

And then, the most pertinent of questions!

 

"What are we going to do about Saturday? Your arm is busted up, real good....you aren't going to be ready for anything!"

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GM

 

The man still wasn’t fully aware of his surroundings, which, all things considered, was probably fair enough. Once Synth had dragged him outside, and onto the grass, the injured man looked around. A few glances upwards, some to the side. And then, back at Synth’s face.

 

“Who’s following us? What? … Why would anybody…?”

 

A few of the vehicles that also were on the road had by now pulled up by the side. Two people, from different cars, stood up at the road, looking downwards. One had their phone in hand, the other at his ear. As Synth could still tell from this range, and also assumed, emergency services were being called. The one who had either done so already, or had a phone for it, yelled downwards, before moving closer.

 

“You okay down there? That looked bad!”

 

And at the same time, the man continued to speak, in between grunts of pain. He sounded upset, yet also shattered, as if having lost something major.

 

“I … I dunno. This is bad… What’s going on…. Why hide?...

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Synth

 

Time was running out, one way or another. 

 

"Car crash" he explained, obviously. Was there something else going on with this man?

 

"Everything gone. You need to stay awake, man! Someone is after us. I don't know who..." he explained, looking around. Something surely had been following them. Something to get them spooked?

 

"You got to focus! What's happening on Saturday? Look at me! Its Gus! I can help out. But right now someones hunting us. Must be the blood. Someone found out something. We got to clean up the mess! Tell me what to do!"

 

It was a flurry of questions, but this was his last shot. Either the emergency services or their supposed hunters would be on them at any moment. Irrespective of the answer, or lack of it, there was a further dilemma - what to do? The Emergency services would have access to medical treatment, and at least some security from any potential hunters. On the other hand, it would most likely mean the end of this deception. Questions would be asked, and blood tests probably taken. 

 

At the end of the day though, enough was enough. Synth may have saved them from a head on collision but he had hurt the man. He needed hospital, even just to check him over. In his mind, the emergency services would come - police, ambulance, and even fire brigade. He would have to deal with what came thereafter...

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

“…Won’t be able to fix the door like …. aaaagh … this …”

 

It seemed to be a rather quiet night, all things considered. Off in the distance, Synth could hear the first sirens. They were still a fair distance away, but time was, in fact, running out. Then again, if they didn’t arrive maybe the driver’s time would run out too.

 

Once Synth mentioned the blood, the man looked a bit shocked, but also had a certain grin on his face.

 

“Told you. Somebody would figure out that … one at some point. Maybe that woman? Why …”

 

He coughed rather harshly, and, judging by his expression, almost went unconscious, before shooting upwards again, clutching his ribs in pain.

 

“What’s with her? … You saw her…. Maybe she’s involved?....”

 

“Damnit, ****. My one chance… “

 

He made eye contact once more, and spoke, slowly and carefully, trying to not cough even more.  All the while, the sirens approached.

 

“You need to … repair the door. Before any of the employees arrive. And then … I don’t know … find a replacement for me, I guess. And fast, you’ve only got 4 days…”

 

He seemed quite pained to say that last part, not because of his injuries, but because of something emotional.

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Synth

 

This was a start, at least. Four days breathing space - to find out what was going on. The door. A replacement? The employees?

 

In any case, Synth could not abide it any longer. The man in his arms was probably going to make it. But probably was not good enough. 

 

"I can't let you die" he explained. "But after this, you have to tell me everything. I might even be able to help..."

 

He hoped that the man would be grateful, but he had every reason not to be. Perhaps though, the driver might be victim more than conspirator. Although most people were a bit of both. 

 

Placing both his hands on the man, he concentrated - letting his own cells flow out, repairing and regenerating the driver. It took a lot of him - this time, as always, but it was effective. Ribs could mend, lungs could repair. Flesh and sinew, bone and blood, would knit itself back together. 

 

 

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