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Freedom League Special Circumstances Housing


Sunday 2nd December


Delta had a visitor. 


Unusual on a Sunday, especially this close to the Yuletide celebrations. But a visitor nonetheless. 


"Lulu LaWelle" said the woman, who must have been around fourty, with short cropped jet black hair and a clever twist to her lips. She had an olive skin giving her uncertain herritage, but had a clear but eloquent French accent. 


"I'm an agent of WEST. World Esoteric Science Taskforce. United Nations" she explained, holding up a hand held scanner that looked like it had been built ten years or more in the future given its shiny cutting edge appearance. 


"I'm sorry to bother you. But we have been getting some strange readings in Freedom City and...well...had to check them out....I hope you don't mind? Perhaps answer a few questions?" she asked politely. 


"And Merry Christmas!" she added, in a friendly tone. 

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Delta had been watching multiple Football games, using the seconds between plays to analyze the various rules, regulations and plays that he had found online. It was a strange gladiatorial sport with unusual rules but it was strangely appealing to his warrior mentality with very obvious tactical implications. All of this was on his Heads up Display invisible to all but for a glowing flicker in front of his mechanical eyes that said he could watch them after the visitor was done.


His eyes whirred lightly as the apatures adjusted size as he scanned 'LuLu', searching his data bases for information regarding her, her name and her organization, in the split second that took he forced a smile,"Strange readings? What kind of readings? And can I see some kind of identification?" He doubted she would have gotten into the Freedom leauge's building without appropriate ID but more information always helped him as his data bases added to themselves.


"Please come in, and ask your questions.", he let her into the spartan room with nothing but a cot to lay on, a seat with a small desk and bare walls.


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"Merci" said Lulu, thankfully. In truth, she was not sure what to expect from Delta. Things were raw when it came to the Terminus Invasions...but Lulu was a scientist, and trusted data more than sentiment. Although she was sentimental. 


"Entropic energy. Dark matter. Hyperdimensional lensing. Its all a bit...complicated" she conceded. "Even for me, and I have a PhD in quantum physics" she said proudly. "But we have been tracking anomalies for the past year...its part of the reason WEST was conceived and set up. We don't want a massive rip in space time tearing apart the earth. And if you think that's melodramatic, you should think of the possibilities that are even worse" she said, with a hint of melodrama. 


She sat down and started fiddling with her WEST scanner. 


"The possibility that these readings are related to the Terminus invasion need analysis. And...well....you might be a good source of that analysis" she said, slightly awkwardly. "Don't worry" she added, gently "we aren't going to dissect you. Although I imagine some rogue states would like to. What I meant was...well, apart from me scanning you, do you know anything about the source of your power, or how you travelled to this dimension?"

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A small smile curled Delta's lips as he listened to her talk, a PhD?, the humans had all these names for things that didn't matter but this was amusing since it was unlikely she'd understand the sciences of Terminus but that would remain to be seen. Her melodrama made his smile disappear,"It's not melodrama if I've seen portals open for less....and if they get out of control it could be terrible. Not to mention that you don't want the Terminus to have anyway to access, or locate your world easily."


Or himself, the Doctor didn't need to know where he was, his eyes whirred open wide as she mentioned dissection, even in an attempt to comfort him and his tone was hard when he spoke again,"Yes, it wouldn't be the first time I was dissected. I know that I use Dark Fusion to create Nilhus Energy, that is used to power my teleportation belt. Something my entire squad carries, and with the proper programing, something that is not easy it can be used to cross dimensions but it drains a lot of energy....where are you picking up these readings is there a pattern?"

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"Ah...yes..." nodded Lulu. "Its...um...."


She looked awkward once again. 


"Look, these readings are so complicated we can barely make sense of them" she conceded, a slight flush to her cheeks. "Its not like Earth is run on Dark Fusion. The closest we came to anything like this is some corrupted Daka crystals in Egypt, and that was dangerous enough" she explained. "We don't really understand what we are dealing with"


She looked at Delta hopefully. 


"Do you understand it? I suppose you are more soldier than scientist, but you might have familiarity with the Omega technology that produces Nihilus energy?" it was perhaps a big ask, but she looked like someone both irritated at her lack of understanding, and desperate to understand. 


Perhaps even afraid. 

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Delta paused, looking at her carefully and frowned,"Saying I understand directly is a perhaps a little generous towards my abilities. That said I have a wide range of information downloaded into my memory that I can interface with, using that and a number of high powered processing tools I can make sense of most anything. That said I'm not sure humanity is ready to have access to Dark Fusion, see what happened to the Terminus?"


Sighing he shook his head,"I can look at the signatures, I can look at the Data readings but till I am sure of the motivations of you and your organization I will not explain Dark Fusion and how it works to you....is that fair?"

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"Its fair" replied Lulu, handing him the WEST scanner. 


"WEST has only one true objective. The world has faced down danger countless times, each one a potential end. Each time, we have been saved, often by the mightiest superheroes of the world. But the united nations has decided that we need what you might call an early warning system. What if a dimensional anomaly can be nullified before an invasion from another realm? what if an outbreak of Darwin-X can be contained before it infects a whole city? or worse?" she said. 


"The closest analogy is the world health organisation, except WEST uses the same principles to contain exotic and dangerous natural phenomena" she explained. 


The readings on the WEST scanner were interesting, to say the least. And very complicated. Delta scanned through them and the esoteric pieces of the jigsaw started falling into place. There was some dimensional anomaly in Freedom City. And more interesting than that...he could place it!


A laboratory in ASTRO labs. And it seemed it involved at least thirteen dimensions. Or maybe four and a half. It was that kind of anomaly...

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Delta took the scanner, smiling again, it wasn't like he had to hold her scanner to use it but if he was going to maximize his processing power to dig through the database that was built into his head and constantly fed by the internet on Earth-Prime and so when he looked at the scanner the heads up display highlighted and explained all the various readings narrowing things down until at last he stopped and shook  his head,"You've got one of your people causing problems. ASTRO labs? They are open rifts....there at least four and a half dimensions involved up to a 13 if not more. I'd suggest we investigate sooner rather than later. That kind of power will develop into a problem if left alone. Do you have a team or is it just you?"


Again he looked her over, this time using his radar to scan her to make sure she was all she claimed to be and not something else.

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"ASTRO labs?" said Lulu, rather shocked, but not surprised. "I thought we kept a close eye on them...but..." she took the WEST scanner back and squinted, poring over the data. "I...guess that makes sense...the hyperquantum antidistortion splitting certainly fits...." she mumbled, half-understanding. 


"Sooner sounds good. Ah...but you should realise, WEST is well funded in a way. We have cutting edge technology, a purpose built base on Easter Island, and all sorts of well equipped staff and labs. But we are not large" she explained. "So I am afraid its just me" she said. "The other WEST agent in Freedom City is off in New Orleans right now. We have a little office next door to ASTRO labs"


She was almost apologetic. 


"And the other issue is...we are not ASTRO labs. Our authority is...variable...." she said, more quietly. "We are the United Nations. Sure, we have diplomatic agreements of principle with the member states, but...we operate more on goodwill than actual legal power. So...we need to proceed diplomatically" she said. 


"Ah...that may not be in your...skill set....?" she asked, even more awkwardly, not quite meeting Delta's gaze. 

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"Easter Island? You're a long way from home, Lulu. An organization of two? That's more a team...do you supply your own funding and build your own tech?", he was starting to suspect was more like an almost super hero team than an organization, although when she mentioned an Office next to ASTRO labs he shook his head,"A very close eye indeed, how much time do you spend spying on them?"


He raised an eyebrow at her comment on his diplomacy and smirked,"No, not really, but I'm very good at finding out things people don't want me to know without them being aware. How do you travel? The sooner we get to your office the sooner I can start exploring options. It would be most useful if you can tell me where one of their terminals very accurately, that way I can start to investigate their system while we travel towards them...would that work for you?"

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"WEST is more than two people!" she said, correcting Delta. "Fifty or so of us, around the world. Freedom City has two people stationed here, just to deal with local anomalies. But, you know, this is Freedom City. It could do with double that" she said, frowning. 


"I got a car waiting outside. And, yeah, its just a car. No flashing blue lights. Doesn't fly, or turn into a submarine" she said. "We got certain priviledges, our technical know how, computers, scanners...." she explained. 


"If it's all the same to you, I would rather drive" she said, gulping. "I mean, rather than fly or take a trans dimensional hop or whatever you can do" she blustered. "Its Sunday, the traffic is good, and...well....I don't want to throw up on your cape or something...."

Edited by Supercape
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Delta watched her reactions, his eyes recording all of her emotional reactions and various other tells, a small smile curling his lips but his mechanical eyes didn't change as she spoke and he nodded,"I just need a normal car, that is fine. I am very happy with your driving, that was in fact my request. I do not want to alert them to my arrival, they might be scanning for anomolies...and you are aware that I emit Nilhus Energy."


Her last statement drew a question in his mind,"A cape? I don't have a cape....is that some kind of requirement for your organization?" Moving forward he touched her arm very briefly with his metal hands, guiding her towards the door,"Show me the way, I'm going to vanish once we're in the car but I'll still be there so feel free to talk if you want. Once again not sure on what kind of surveillance ASTRO labs has but I'd rather they not raise any kind of protections to stop me from examining the situation." 

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And so...


At ASTRO Labs....


It seemed that the relationship between ASTRO Labs and W.E.S.T, whilst not cold, was somewhat tense. WEST had little or no legal clout to enter ASTRO Labs, without either extensive legal wranglings that could drag on for months, or clear and present danger. On the other hand, there was a diplomatic agreement that they would co-operate. The question was how far that cooperation went. 


Lulu and Delta had been assigned a slick talking, tanned, suited gentleman called Damien Dale that looked like he spent a little too much time under a sun lamp. 


"Of course, of course, pleased to help WEST, of course of course!" he said, trying to steer the conversation towards the vapid and innoccous. 


"And...a genuine terminus drone! pleased to meet you, Sir! Thak goodness you are on our side, heh?" he said. "Can I offer you anything? Tea, coffee? refreshments" he added, trying to guide them to the corperate lounges and away from the laboratories. 


"Just the free reign of the laboratories....so we can determine the origin of this signal...."


"Of......course...." said Dale, pulling at his collar. He was sweating slightly. 


"Of course!" he rallied, smiling as he pulled himself together. "If you would just...ah....for safety reasons....submit to a full medical and decontamination scrub, and...ah....go through standard health and safety training...only two hours....and....ah...then we can get you fitted for protective clothing....you understand!" he said, with a completely false smile. 

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Unfamiliar with the legal practices of Earth-Prime and certainly not something he had considered searching his database for on the way over Delta had shimmered into view again once he realized that Lulu was driving straight into the ASTRO labs parking lot. Opening the window he reached down and tapped the side of his teleportation belt, a small compartment opened and multiple black and red drones floated up to his eye level, for just a moment they flickered red light between his cyber eyes and their sensors and then they cloaked and vanished out of the window with a whirring sound.


He didn't say anything to Lulu, figuring the less she knew the better. He sat there listening to Dale stall, in the mean time his mind was directing the drones at the highest processing speed his cerebral computer could manage as he examined all things in the lap. The only sign was a bank of green and red diodes flashing along his skull as he waited for Dale to do whatever it was that he was doing to try and delay them. Finally he spoke,"I am not an Omegadrone, I am the design created to replace them....more effective and flexible. Why are you meddling with the Terminus? Was two invasions not enough for you?"


He just needed a little longer to process what he had seen and he'd have an answer for himself.

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There was, predictably, a lot of science going on in ASTRO Labs, and it would take days to pore through all the data. 


That said, one thing stood out. An experimental reactor in one of the lower basement laboratories, with a dozen scientists trying to pull the plug on some apparently self-sustaining dimensional energy nexus. It...didn't look quite like terminus energy. More like an echo. Or an imitation. 


"...oh I am sorry. Forgive mt ignorance, haha" laughed Dale without mirth. "I am but a humble public relations officer. I dont really understand all this terminus things. I haven't got the brains for it, haha"


"And I am quite sure we aren't meddling with terminus energy" he said, more stiffly. 


"Quite sure?" mimicked Lulu. 


"Quite sure" said Dale, without missing a beat. "The world sorely needs new energy sources, but that's one place we won't go. Nor should anybody!" he said, crisp and firm. 

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Delta's eye appature's whirred in reflex as he looked at what he had found in a digital view tucked away in his HUD, there was no need for the eye to adjust but it did anyway as he double checked what he had spotted then he focused on Dale and threaded truth and fiction together to hide his method of discovery while sharing what he had learned,"Oh...that's not entirely true. I can feel it...it's not Terminus, it's very close though. And it's self sustaining...have you got it under control or do you need someone who knows what they are doing to shut it down?"


He pursed his lips and glanced at Lulu and then back at Dale,"Self sustaining could mean you've figured it out, could mean you've lost control or even worse that you've got someone's attention and they are holding the nexus open....it's a matter of time before things start coming through. Dale, either tell us what you know or find us someone who does know something and can get things done. This has the potential to become a problem rapidly!"

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"I...er...ah...." winced Dale, before Lulu stepped in. 


"OK, enough" she said, firmly. "WEST doesn't have any authority here, unless I have reason to believe there is a an imminent danger of global catastrophe. United Nations Resolution 112357, subsection 12"


She paused a millisecond before pressing on. "That means, Mr. Dale, we do have authority to take emergency measures to ensure the continuation of life as we know it. That means, take us to the labs. Now. Otherwise, I am authorising Delta to use force to gain entry..."


And so...


As it happened, Mr Dale was not in fact willing to go against Resolution 112357, Subsection 12. He did of course scurry behind, trying to pour water on the smoking PR flames, explaining this, and explaining that. But, at the end of the day, it is impossible to polish a turd. 


And a turd it was (scientifically speaking), for down in the laboratory the self sustaining vortex of hyperdimensional energy was even more wibbly wobbly. 


"Help! We don't know what happened! We were using the Daka Crystal fragment to..." babbled the bravest of the lab technicians, who was still close to panic. "HELP!" he wailed again, unable to finish his sentence. 

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Delta was impressed by the iron that Lulu showed, and when she issued him as a threat the fingers on his one hand folded back in a very inhuman way, laying flat on his wrist and whirring slightly as they adjusted equidistance apart and his palm irised open leaving a glowing opening that was very clearly some form of ranged weaponry,"And you wouldn't like it if I had to use force...Dale."


Delta tuned out the drone of Mr. Dale's words and excuses till he was looking upon the scientific turd, he frowned at the technicians brief explanation followed closely by cries for help. Lulu, who seemed very bright, didn't understand this what was the chance that the numbskulls tampering with it had even the slightest clue what they were doing. Grabbing the technician he shoved him towards Lulu," Get him into cover and start questioning him, find out what they've done. I'll find a way to stop it."


And he stood there staring at it, at first nothing seemed to happen then the diodes on his head started flashing red and green, a glow appeared before his eyes his heads up display switching to full processing mode as the various databases started pushing information in to his system far faster than a normal being could process or put together as the machine in his head whirred up to full power trying to solve the riddle before it resolved itself into something much more messy.


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Lulu grabbed the shoved technician and started to pull him away...


...the energy system started to distort...


...dimensions seemed to collapse...


...time seemed to slow...or was it speed up?....




And then, Delta, Lulu, and the lab technician were standing on a dark skied, orange earthed ground. It was scorched earth and choking sulphur, and a nasty chill. It wasn't hell - Delta knew that much, for he was fairly sure from his computations they had crossed to another dimension of sorts - but it felt a bit like hell. 


Delta knew this was some kind of interdimensional space they had arrived in. What he didn't know was why there was a twenty foot robot standing in front of them, armed to the teeth with blaster hands and stun lances, apparently motionless. 

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Delta's eyes irised almost closed as the vortex collapsed, and then widened as they took in the new surroundings and the darker ambient light of the new situation. His arms rose at the sight of the massive robot and it's many weapons but for a moment he froze, realizing that for now it was not attacking. Muttering just loud enough for Lulu and the lab rat,"Get in cover....NOW!" In the meantime his databases ran double time trying to figure out where they were and what the creature in front of them was, more importantly if it was a threat and what was the best way to neutralize it if it was.


The thought of a threat caused a field to spring up around him, looking like a heat shimmer that colored all things seen through it with a yellowish sheen as his mind raised a force field that would protect him from most Earth-Prime technology weapons and side arms...not that the behemoth in front of him was wielding side arms. Diodes blinked along his skull as his data-banks searched for something for a field of reference.

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The sulfurous atmosphere was unpleasant to the nostril and lung, and both the technician and Lulu held their arm to their mouth, rasping and spluttering. But they had enough wit and will to drag themselves behind the nearest rock. 


Was it a threat?


It remained impassive and motionless. Sure, it was armed to the teeth and could probably chew rocks, but it was statue still all the same. Delta could see it was powered - at least on standby. And scanning through this rather impressive database he could find nothing like it. 


At least in his universe. Or the terminus, come to that. 


This was something unique!

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There was a small part of Delta that was slowly getting used to having massive amounts of information, data and knowledge at his finger tips that was intrigued by the unknown and desiring to learn more but the majority of him was a solider and weapon. The scholar hidden deep inside wanted to try and hack or connect to the robot but the soldier knew that if that went wrong it was all downhill. Frowning he moved slowly away from the creature towards Lulu and the technician,"Okay, it's not dangerous...we need to figure out what's going on around here. I'm going to send out my drones. Do you have any idea where your experiment sent us?"


The last was spoken to the Technician but he doubted that would be something he could rely on, with a touch of his belt multiple drones flew out of their compartments as he looked over at the robot again, not quiet believing this was was just standing there. At least for now it was, he was still very, very wary.

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The Lab technician, whose name, apparently was "SANCHEZ" (or so it said on his name tag) and Lulu started edging out from the cover of the rock. The atmosphere was horribly cold, and foul to the nostril and lung. It was not a habitable place, by any shot. 


Sanchez shook his head, holding his hand to his mouth to try and filter out the sulphurous dust. Lulu did the same and with her other hand looked at her WEST Scanner. "I got...nothing. I mean, literally nothing. No background energy...no background dimensions even....this must be somewhere completely outside spacetime as we know it" she said. 


"KILL ALL HUMANS! KILL ALL HUMANS!" Squarked the robot as its power systems came online. The stun grips sparked, the blaster cannons oozed ionic charged particles, the eyes glowed red. 


"KILL ALL HUMANS!" it repeated again, just to make sure its intentions were absolutely clear. 

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"GET DOWN, GET DOWN, GET IN COVER!", yelled Delta, he and his yellowish force field shimmered and he vanished, popping up behind a rock he leaned around and extended an arm. His fingers had folded back, bending way past what a normal humans could bend to lay back on his wrist the fingers moving till they were all equidistant around the palm which opened up to reveal the crackling Nilhus energy that powered all of his cybernetics and weapons.


The opening stretched even further strange black and red lenses falling in to place to focus the energy correctly and then Delta shuddered as the recoil was absorbed by his body a red blast crashed across the distance slamming into the robot with more power than was Delta's standard blast...not that Lulu or Sanchez had seen him fight before. His eyes irised open as he tracked both the position of the robot and the two civilians who were likely in over their heads.

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It seemed the Nihilus energy worked just as well in this not-dimension as any other. The blast hit the robot square on, and forced it back a step. Its chest was smoldering; an acrid stench and black smoke. Yet still it did not drop. 


"HUMAN DETECTED! KILL!" it said it a monotone squark . 


It was not fast, and it clearly had only the most basic programming. It was built for resilience and power, and - as far as Delta could see - nothing else. 


It raised its fists, and let loose two blaster bolts on Delta...


It was built for power, not intelligence. It made no tactical decision., It simply sensed and blasted. And in this case, the blaster beams hit the rock that Delta had wisely hid behind. The rocks melted under the beams, crumbling into fragments and dust. 

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