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Supercape

Gridlock!

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It seemed like fortune was smiling on Replica today. Not only had she somehow survived maneuvering through the mother of a traffic jams but she also managed to reach the Starbase cafe just in time to catch the hacker about to leave!

 

The hacker himself didn't exactly fit the image of an evil supergenius hacker and looked like an average young man likely in his early twenties by the assessment of Replica's scanners. 

 

If she had any doubts that the Irate Pirate wasn't the true instigator of all this chaos they were gone now that she saw the man, boy really, in person. 

 

Seeing that he was thumbing with his bicycle look, Replica sprinted towards him and attempted to grab his hand. It might have been a bit much given the situation but this boy's actions could have caused the deaths of many Freedomites and Replica wanted to teach him that idiocy had consequences. 

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GM

 

"Ow! Get off!"

 

It was a close thing, but just as the "Irate Pirate" had got his lock undone, and started to pedal, Replica's hand clasped around his own. He tried to shake it off, but Replica's strength gave her grip and iron lock. 

 

"Who are you? Let me go! I didn't do it! I mean, I didn't do nothing! I mean...errr....." he shouted, wondering what to say. His panic, had, however, overwhelmed all judgement. 

 

"I didn't do what I don't know anything about!" he concluded, a jabbering mess of clear guilt if ever one could see one. 

 

"So let me go! ASSAULT! ASSAULT!" he screamed. 

 

This might have attracted more attention on a day when traffic was normal. Today, however, everyone generally had bigger fish to dry. Still, a few concerned glances were thrown the way of Replica....

 

Doctor North and Simmons, for their part, half fell out of the car, quite shaken up by the experience (although quite impressed!)

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"Calm down. You won't be harmed," Replica said matter-of-factly.

 

She had no intention of actually hurting the hacker. Just make him well-aware of just how much trouble he was in.


"I know you're the Irate Pirate and I know you're partially responsible for this massive traffic jam." Replica gave him a look that indicated that there was no way would be able to talk his way out of denying it. 

 

"I also know that you didn't do this alone. If you want to get off easy I recommend you tell me and my associates who gave you that hacker app you used on the traffic AI."

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GM

 

"Yeah! Errr....No! I mean yeah!" said the Pirate, completely uncertain. Around him, horns started blaring and sirens started wailing. 

 

"I mean...I didn't think it would get this bad..." he mumbled, ashamedly. "Look, I was given the app by some dark web hacker called Motherboard. Russian, I think...." he added even more ashamedly. "All for anarchy and freedom, they said!"

 

North approached looking even more concerned. "I am getting reports in from the city. Its all coming to a standstill. But even more worrying, the epicentre is around a transport of a sample of Darwin-X under high security...."

 

Darwin-X, the Russian Virus created by Doctor Zero, a weapon that killed over ninety percent of its victims and mutated the rest, often in unpleasant ways. Vanguard, in the UK had spent the last couple of years trying to track down the samples that escaped the fall of the USSR. A few precious samples had ended up in Freedom City for study. 

 

"Yeah, that falls under W.E.S.T. too" he explained to Replica. "And I don't think this is a coincidence. This is engineered. And with the city seizing up, I can't call in any experts either..."

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Replica ran the numbers through her processor. Darwin-X was one of the most lethal pathogens on the planet and if it was released in downtown Freedom the number of casualties would be horrific. Replica had no intention of letting that happen. 

 

"I agree with your assessment, North. The Irate Pirate's hacking of the traffic AI and the subsequent gridlock and the must have been part of a larger scheme to get access to the Darwin-X being transported." 

 

But what good was knowing that now? The gridlock was getting worse and worse and Replica wasn't sure that even she could pull of another feat of driving through it now. 

 

A new plan had to be made. 

 

"I believe I'm going to have to borrow your bicycle," Replica said calmly to the Irate Pirate. While taking the property of innocent civilians triggered her ethical program, doing so to the likes of the Irate Pirate didn't bother her all that much. 

 

Hopping on the bike before the hacker could even complain, Replica looked towards Simmons and North just before departing. 

 

"I believe it would be prudent that the two of stayed behind and kept a watch over the hacker here. Ask him a few more questions and see if you can learn more about this app. I'm going to the transport. Call if you find out any important information."

 

And with that she put the pedal to the metal. 

Edited by Cubismo

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GM

 

"Keep in touch!" said North, as Replica peddled away. 

 

The traffic seemed to be getting worse than the minute. And with such frustrations, Replica even saw a few scuffles and fights break out. The police and emergency services were having the devil of a time; for no flashing lights would help in a situation like this. She even saw some paramedics running the street carrying a stretcher, desperation giving rise to out of the box thinking!

 

She was half a block away full of furious biking when North called. "Heads up, Replica! We think we have isolated one of the problems. Its a coordinated attack, but key factor is hacking of autonomous self-driving cars! be alert for..."

 

He didn't finish his sentence, or rather Replica was interrupted in listening to it. 

 

A crunch, a crash, and one of those experimental Doodle cars was driving over rooftops, to the sound of shattering glass and screams. And then, with a furious, engine-breaking burst of speed, trying to ram Replica and her bicycle!

 

Edited by Supercape

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Replica's sensors proximity picked up the approaching vehicle before her actual eyes did.

 

She immediately prepared an estimate that calculated the vehicles trajectory, speed and likely weight. Using that information is was relatively simple to formulate a maneuver that would allow Replica to avoid the car without a scratch to her person and still maintain her speed. 

 

Putting her plan in action she turned her bike to face the upcoming car and started to peddle at top towards it! 

 

The calculations had to be just right or she'd slap right into it, but one of the perks of being an android was being really, really good at math.

 

Replica bounced the bike up at just the right moment without losing any of her momentum and proceed the ride atop the car's window and roof before landing back on the street as if nothing had happened!

 

 

 

 

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The autonomous car could not match Replica's reflexes. It had one job to do, and its target was out of its cone of attack. It did not stop, and was too late by far with the brakes. 

 

There was an almighty crunch sound, as it crumpled into the side of a building. A brief flutter of engine revving followed in a pitiful attempt to reverse out of the wreckage, but to no avail. The car was done. Kaput. Finished. 

 

A few kids, impressed the biking skills gave a round of applause the other side of the street. Motorists fumed, wishing they had bicycles instead of overheating cars. 

 

"Replica! Are you alright? Come in, Come in!" squarked North over the phone. 

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Replica responded in her cool monotone. "I'm fine, Dr. North. I believe I just had a run in with one of those hacked self-driving cars you were mentioning."

 

Turning her surprisingly still intact bicycle, Replica continued to make her away to the epicenter of all this chaos. As she rode on she contacted Dr. North again, but was still mindful for any more cars suspiciously coming her away. 

 

"Have you been able to learn any more about the app or whose behind all of this?"

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"No, I'm afraid not" replied North. "Our pirate friend seems almost as confused as we are" he explained. "Mother Board, that's the name of the person who supplied him the app. Never heard of her - or - him myself, but i don't spend my days cruising through the Dark Web" he explained. "Simmons is looking into it"

 

"Honestly, I think this guy just got over his head. He still has to face the law, but I'll try to put a good word in. Maybe he could be useful to intelligence services rather than rotting in prison. Unless you feel otherwise. I mean, you were the one fencing with him in cyberspace..."

 

Peddling as fast as her tireless cybernetic legs could pedal, Replica was soon in the middle of the worst gridlock she had ever heard of, let alone seen. At at its epicentre was the black armoured lorry that could only be carrying the Darwin-X. It was locked tightly in, but was essentially a sitting duck...

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The android didn't take long to give Dr. North a reply. The Irate Pirate was partial responsible for Freedom City undergoing possibly the worst traffic in its history but he ultimately was just an idiot kid sucked into something beyond his understanding. So as long as he was genuinely repentent Replica had no real qualms against giving him to some intelligence service or even WEST.

 

"I'm in agreement. His talents, such as they are, would be of greater use in the service of some agency instead of rotting in prison."  

 

As Replica finally made it past the gridlock, she finally saw the black armored lorry. Discarding her now well-worn bike she made it the rest of the way by foot. 

 

"I'm close to the lorry but I haven't seen any assailants yet or the vehicle's guards, but I'll be on the look out. Notify me when Simmons has more information on this Mother Board character. Replica out."

 

Approaching the lorry Replica put her sensors on high-alert for any suspicious activity. She knew the terrorists behind all of this chaos had to be nearby and she definitely didn't want to be the one caught unawares."

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Weaving through the cars on foot, Replica could see the genius of it. Three autonomous cars had positioned themselves at the juntion to cause complete paralysis of the traffic. The armoured transport truck was completely stuck it. It could barely move an inch. 

 

Inside, she saw two nervous armed guards, sweltering in full body armour and carrying firearms. They were radioing in the situation, and Replica could pick up on the transmission, although it was too encrypted to understand. 

 

Overhead, she heard, then sensed, then saw a helicopter coming in, swooping then hovering fifty feet in the air. Ropes came down, two on either side, followed by armed and armoured men, rappelling down the ropes....

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Replica's sensors had given a good assessment of the situation it was not as advantageous as she had hoped.

 

With only herself and two guards to protect the shipment of Darwin-X against several soldiers the odds were decidedly not in their fair. 

 

With that being the case, Replica opted to do whatever we could to shift back. She couched down and silently moved across the tightly locked cars, hopefully away from any preying eyes.

 

If she could just get into the right position than maybe she could flank the assailants before they even saw her coming!

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The Four Sodliers abseiled down on their ropes. Well armed, well armoured. This was a very well drilled set of soldiers, Replica could tell that much at least. Two stood guard, standing on abandoned cars, AK-47s at the ready. Replica could see various other arms - a handgun, grenadres of various types, combat knife. These guys meant business. Particularly the one with an RPG launcher strapped to his back. 

 

The other two set to work on the back of the armoured car. Both fired up cutting torches, and proceeded to get to wrok on the truck. Whilst the truck was indeed heavily armoured, the cutting torches were brutaly effective. It would be only a few minutes to get through...

 

But for now, none of them had spotted Replica!

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Replica ran a scan of the soldiers equipment and referenced that information on through her internal database to see if anything would come up.

 

As luck would have it the scan revealed to her that these soldiers were definitely not your bog-standard mercenaries but instead Russian soldiers that were highly likely to be a dedicated outfit who were definitely not lacking when came to proper strategic coordination.

 

That knowledge raised so many questions and problematic new variables that Replica had to struggle to not completely engross herself in analyzing what this could all mean.

 

Instead, she focused on the soldier with a RPG launcher and booted up her combat mode. Removing the biggest threat to herself and the civilians around the packed gridlock was essential she reasoned. The moment damage he could do with the weapon would be horrendous if he got a shot off.

 

So, slowly edged herself behind him and prepared to make her attack. From the side of a car leaped from the ground and attacked the soldier with a punch to back of his head.

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The Soldier was helmeted and armoured, but he went flying from the force of the blow - crashing into a patisserie the other side of the road, to the sound of shattered glass. 

 

He was a big guy. He grunted, and tried to get up, but staggered, falling into a three tier cream cake to somewhat comedic effect. 

 

"<Hostile at five. Hold position. Terminate>" yelled one of the soldiers, who was standing by the solider trying to cut through to the armoured truck (and making good headway, Replica noted..."

 

The game was on!

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Replica's sensors notified her that while the soldier with the RPG was severely injured with multiple injuries to his head and back that he was not in a critical condition and would likely be incapacitated for a while. 

 

She quickly assessed who her next target would be. The enemy with the blowtorch was making good headway cutting through the armored car while a soldier with a rifle was standing relatively close to her. A soldier that looked like a comm officer was a little ways a way as well.

 

In the end, Replica chose to strike the one wielding that nasty looking rifle. Like the merc with the one with the RPG she reasoned it would be prudent to remove any and all assailants capable of inflicting heavy causalities on gridlocked drivers and pedestrians. 

 

Turning from where she was, the android sprinted towards the gun-totting soldier and tried to send him flying like his cohort up with a uppercut. 

 

 

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The sodlier when spinning through the air on more than one axis, and slammed into a nearby van with an alarming crunch. He slid down to a slump, his eyes closed, unconscious. His rifle fell from limp hands. Perhaps he mumbled something in Russian, perhaps not. It was hard to tell. 

 

For there was action elsewhere. 

 

The Torch cutter reached for his handgun, but was rudely interrupted by the leader. 

 

"Negative! Maintain mission!" was the snappy response. In English, but with an accent. 

 

The leader took careful aim, legs astance. 

 

Crack - Crack Crack!

 

Three efficient bullets, his rifle not an full automatic but still deadly. This was a soldier with great discipline, who knew how to fight. And his aim, unfortunately for Replica, was true...

 

"Whats going on? Whats going on?" Came Norths voice through the mobile...

Edited by Supercape

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Immediately Replica recognized that she had made a miscalculation.

 

Even though she'll managed to knockout one of the soldiers she allowed herself to be left wide in the open for some else to take a clean shot against her!

 

She tried to make a spin on her feet and deftly avoid the shells racing towards but even her superhuman reflexes couldn't avoid the well-aimed rifle shots.

 

Several slugs suddenly impacted her body and ripped through artificial tissues and hit her internal chassis.

 

Usually guns were ineffective against her but these shells must have been something shell because they managed to damage her and leave small craters in her chassis. 

 

Fortunately, Replica was still operational and was able to give North a quick response. "I've engaged four Russian soldiers attempting to steal the Darwin-X."

Edited by Cubismo

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The soldier with the RPG got to his feet, drunk from concussion. He staggered to the left, staggered to the right, and clumsily pulled out his back up hand gun from its holster. He could barely speak, and blood fell from his scalp. 

 

"What? Russia? But...that's where Darwin - X came fro----"

 

North was interrupted by the sound of more gunfire. 

 

"WHY! WONT! YOU! DIE!!!!" yelled the iron fury that was the soldier who had fire at her before. He was shocked Replica was still standing. He fired over and over, accurate and brutal, and so fast that his clip emptied in a few seconds. He barely even noticed he had run out of ammunition. 

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Replica had to cut off her call with North short because another bombardment of shells were coming her way.

 

Once again she tried to move nimbly move herself out of the way. And once again she failed. The damage wasn't as devastating this time around but Replica's chassis had been breached once again in another location and she was lacking coolet now. 

 

She didn't need to do a diagnostic to know that things were getting bad for her really fast. She had the posses of mind to calculate that the Comm's officer had run out of ammo and that the one cutting though the door was nearly finished his task.

 

Things had reached a critically point and she had to think fast. The Darwin-X was the whole reason any of this was happening and ensuring its safety was vital. With the Comm officer out of ammo and the soldier with the RPG barely concious, Replica assessed that their immediate threat level had been lowered and that it was time to stop the cutter. 

 

Replica put her servos into overdrive made a dash towards the torch cutter through the gridlock, her fist primed for the attack. 

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Replica slammed into the Cutter with her usual force and speed. The soldier fumbled his torch, and he was sent with a crunch into the van. The almost-cut-through door buckled under the impact, and there was a hole now. Not big enough for a man to squeeze through (without being a contortionist), but it was there. The cutter shook cobwebs out of his head, or tried to. 

 

The soldier holding the RPG tried to stagger slowly forward, whilst firing a few rounds from his pistol, in a rather haphazard way. He was seeing double, and no matter how good a shot he was, he was more likely to hit his comrades than Replica.

 

With that philosophy in mind, the communications soldier, who looked rather like he was the commander, dropped his spent rifle and pulled a knife. 

 

"I dont know who you are, but you'll regret today!" he hissed, before slashing at Replica...

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Even with more than a few dents in her chassis the soldiers knife couldn't cut hyperalloy metal and didn't even leave a scratch when it tried to cut into her.

 

That didn't matter though. What did was that the Torch Cutter had managed to make a hole in the van albeit a small one. Through none of the soldiers would be able to climb into it still left the Darwin-X vulnerable to exposure. A prospect dangerously possible with random gunfire still occurring. 

 

She had to put the torch-cutter out of commission for the rest of this fight before he had a chance to make that hole any bigger. 

 

She took small step back to her some space and took another swing at the soldier. 

 

 

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Rep[lica's fist smashed into the sodliers head, and even though he was wearing a helmet, the force of the blow buckled his knees. He slumped to the ground, quite unconscious bar a slight reflexive jerking of one leg, as if his unconscious mind was trying to tell his spinal cord to make a run for it. 

 

"For the Red Dawn! No surrender!" proclaimed the commander, realising now that despite the immense skill and professionalism of his unit, they had met with unfortunate circumstance. A robot who was stronger, faster, and tougher than they were. 

 

As the solider with the RPG strapped to his back stumbled towards them, the commander kicked Replica's shin, ducked to one side, and slammed his elbow into her. It was a skilled trick, a Sambo technique, flowing effortlessly into an attempted lock on her arm...

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The Sambo was beautifully performed by Replica's assessment. All the interlocking techniques were applied correctly to create a maneuver that should have put her in a tight grapple. 

 

Unfortunately, for the soldier attempting to armlock an android with super-strength is a non-starter of a tactic. The Russian's slam into her elbow didn't even as much as scratch her exposed chassis and his attempt at locking her arm was easily broken out of with Replica only needing to flex her artificial muscles to break his grasp and push him away with her other hand, leaving him more than a little frustrated. 

 

Being inspired by the solider's attempt at restricting her, Replica decided that she could potentially end this fight with a grappling maneuver of her own.

 

Closing the distance she just made with the Russian, Replica shot out her hands and tried to grab the solider's own hand and his elbow while at same time using her leg to kick him off his feet. 

 

 

Edited by Cubismo

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