Chapter 17

Chapter 17

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 17

 

 

            “I’m being ordered to kill the blue haired demon?” Solius asked again in disbelief.

            “How many times are you going to have me repeat myself?” asked Aquamarine irritated. “Yes, he’s alive and well, and seeking revenge on us instead of serving us like a good slave.”

            “And the Imperator herself requested this?”

            “What’s so hard to understand? You’re really starting to piss me off lately.”

            “Nothing. I just can’t help but feel this is some sort of test towards my loyalty,” he explained.

            “Possibly. But that’s beside the point. Whatever past you may have shared with the blue haired demon is in the past now. You won’t make me look bad, not now. If you kill the blue haired demon the Imperator will have no choice but to acknowledge my Reapers as valuable assets and give me the funds I want to open up my own Sector for mass production.”

            “You won’t have to worry about me hesitating to pull the trigger,” assured Solius. “To think that until today I had always assumed the Ark had beaten me to the punch. I’ve been wanting this since the day the Ark took me in.”

            “Well it’s relieving to know I don’t have to worry about you getting old feelings mixed up.”

            Solius stared at both his metallic arms. He felt a box full of hatred that had long been sealed reopen. Adam, the man responsible for the capture of both him and his sister, would soon be within his grasp. It was a dream during the early years of his torturous initiation, one he let go due to hopelessness of the feeble cause and the conclusion that Adam was probably already dead. Now, out of nowhere, like a gift from a higher being, he was being given his long sought revenge on a silver platter. Words could not describe his excitement.

            “One more thing,” said Aquamarine. “You’re other pretend brother, Judas, has been given the same mission. Make it your best interest to make sure you beat him to the job.”

            Judas the glorified traitor. Solius felt his hate deepen as his entire past was being pulled back together all at once. He hadn’t seen Judas in person since Judas turned him in ten years ago. Whenever he saw him on a television screen though, he considered sacrificing everything to put a bullet in his head. A thought that was only prevented action because of his captive sister. The only reason he didn’t hate Judas more than Adam was because he could understand his actions. Judas had all the reason in the world to hate all of Gem’s children. Their mere presence put his entire life and everything he had in danger. Adam in the other hand dragged Lilith with him on a hopeless naive idea out of fear of leaving alone. Lilith loved him and he took advantaged of that love, abused it, and abandoned her. He would never forgive Adam until he could kill him with his own hands. Still, it was a shame that Judas wasn’t included in his assassination mission.

            Solius returned to his quarters and informed the other Reapers of their new mission, minus all the personal details. He also didn’t specify that Adam was a messiah, only referring to him as the blue haired demon. This was an order of Aquamarine. Rumors of the blue haired demon being a messiah had come into speculation but truth was he could just as well be a homunculus from the vague descriptions given. Of course, those knowledgeable of Gem’s pretend family knew the truth, but to the public the talk of messiahs was almost like an urban myth. Only workers in Sector Five occasionally saw one and they all signed a contract that forced them to execute the gifted babies immediately and refrain from any mention. That much he learned from Aquamarine. Messiahs were a feared myth in society, their ruin only resulting due to the superior numbers of homunculi in the War of Succession. If confirmation escaped that the blue haired demon was indeed a messiah it would cause panic amongst the citizens of the Ark.

            “Blue haired demon?” asked the tall lanky Algren suspiciously.

            “No one has gotten a clear view of him. All we know is that his hair glows blue,” explained Solius.

            “What’s with all these homunculi using their Faith all of a sudden,” said Royce. “Don’t they know they’re cutting their lifespan short every time they do?”

            “I don’t think he’s planning on a long life if he’s been taking on the Ark by himself,” said the thirteen year-old Arland. “They must’ve packed his crystal heart with some serious power if he’s causing this big a wreck by himself though.”

            “You honestly think he’s alone?” said Algren.

            “No. My guess is that whoever he’s with is also connected to Virgo.”

            “That’s a big assumption,” said Solius.

            Arland shrugged. “If it’s just a coincidence that two disasters are happening on two completely different ends, then this nation is more fucked than I thought.”

            Algren laughed. “The Ark falling apart. Now that’ll be a story for the headlines.”

            “Take the notion out of your head,” ordered Solius. “If the Ark falls, we die, I want you to remember that.”

            “Like we could forget.”

            All eight Reapers suited up in their black suits. As they got ready Solius inspected each carefully. Most of them didn’t think much of their mission. Having just arrested a Knight, it made sense, but their arrogant attitude towards something he deemed a blessing, a privilege, couldn’t help but rub him the wrong way. It didn’t help the case that he already hated his squad. Arland was forever trying to outshine him any chance he could. Algren was nothing but a constant pessimist that stuck around like an annoying bug. Royce was an idiot who asked far too many questions. Amanda was the only one he didn’t mind and only because she was quiet and followed orders but she was still a liability whenever she overexerted herself. And the other three rookie Reapers were still so scared on real missions that they were worthless and better left behind.

            Before they left they were introduced to their escort, Coquina. A pink female homunculus with an oblivious look on her face who was way too bubbly and excited for no reason. Even though Solius was given the jurisdiction to travel freely in the given mission area, the escort served to give them any information they might need from how things run in the Sector, to locations, and any contacts they might need to meet with. She was also in charge of making sure they were accommodated with the necessary refuge and food.

            The train ride to Sector Three was a silent one for the exception of Royce thinking out loud and making attempts at conversation. It didn’t take him long to give up though with the antisocial and condescending squad. After arriving Coquina took them to a hotel in the Town District. Traveling through the town they got all sorts of different looks. Some people were scared, while others were excited. A surprising portion simply gazed in awe from afar and some even approached them to give their respects. It was then that Solius remembered that Aquamarine was once President of Sector Three and that many scientists held her as an icon to follow in her footsteps. To them, the Reapers were probably the biggest walking success in their town.

            The hotel was a huge surprise on its own for the Reapers too. All of them were expecting another cage; instead they got an entire floor, in a three-story hotel, all to themselves. The floor had five large rooms with two king sized beds apiece and its own lobby. Each room had a television, bathroom, and a fridge along with a menu and phone from which to request any room service they wanted. Instead of being fed like dogs they could request food whenever they wanted. And that was just the gist of it. The menu included a bundle of things from massages to manicures and even bedtime stories.

            The rooms were divided in the least conflicting way, and by that, Solius’s way with the requirement that Coquina got her own room. Solius got his own room of course. He had longed for the chance to be alone for so long it seemed like a dream come true. He put the three rookies in a room with Royce since he figured they could use someone outgoing to make them feel less tense in the squad. He put Algren and Arland together since he couldn’t stand either and both were such bad company they should only torment each other. And he gave Amanda her own room. It wasn’t a matter of favoritism; he simply thought she deserved some privacy for once in her life. It’s what he would want for his sister if she were there.

            “This is awesome!” celebrated Royce.

            You could see slight nods of agreement in the rookies but fear restrained them from truly showing any excitement.

            “I know, isn’t it great?” agreed Coquina. “It’s the most expensive hotel in the entire Town District and all this is ours until you finish your mission! I couldn’t believe I actually got the luxury to stay at one of the Blue Sun’s hotels! I’d never be able to afford something like this with my salary.”

            “This isn’t a vacation,” reminded Solius. “Once we finish unpacking I’ll look over the briefing files and decide our plan of action. We only rest when we need to. While we’re here we will work in two squads to cover more ground. Arland will be taking his usual squad. Amanda, Royce, Algren, you’ll be coming with me. Whenever anyone discovers anything inform your squad leader. Arland, you then pass that information to me. I will do the same with you. We’re not the only ones on this mission but we will be the ones who complete it. For that we need to always work together and be on the same page.”

            “Why do I get the rookies?” complained Arland. “Wouldn’t it be smarter to distribute the units in a more balanced way?”

            “Aquamarine has had you working with them in your last couple missions. We don’t have time for you to learn how to coordinate with the other members. You’ll do better with your squad then you would with mine. Besides, the Reaper structure demands a hierarchy of command. All my squad mates are superior to you and we all know how much you love to lead.”

            Arland shrugged it off. Even though Solius presented a legitimate argument both him and Arland knew the real reason why was because Solius didn’t want any liabilities. By placing the rookies with Arland he took down two birds with one stone. Arland would still be of use in gathering information but the glory of killing Adam would most definitely belong to Solius. He would have it no other way.

            Everyone departed to their rooms shortly after. Solius unpacked the briefing files. It had just about all the information the Ark had gathered on Adam, which wasn’t much. As far as Adam’s profile it was almost entirely blank for the exception of his name and age along with a few details about Gem. They didn’t even have a picture to go with the profile. Most of the other files simply contained records of his crimes. Solius started skimming through the files and picked out the ones that caught his eye the most.

            Solius picked out the oldest file that had a witness. It was six years ago, in the outskirts of Sector Four. A civilian was walking through the woods sightseeing when he noticed a blinding blue light. The witness followed the light and saw what looked like a blue haired boy covered in blood in the distance. After the boy caught sight of him he fled deeper into the woods. The civilian didn’t chase him. Seven Ark Hunters were blown to bits the day. That’s when the other mysterious murders were finally linked and the blue haired demon alias was adopted.

            The next file Solius picked up was dated three years ago and marked the first signs of Adam being in the perimeter of Sector Three. There were no witnesses but the corpses were evident of his method of killing. Multiple corpses, some blown to bits while others dried like a raisin, no survivors. Three female homunculi were found in an abandoned warehouse near the edge of the Factory District. All three were students who had an infamous reputation for going inside of places they shouldn’t be. One was dried like a raisin, the other two headless. Semen was found inside of one of the headless corpses. The thought of rape made Solius think of his sister and it turned his stomach. Adam you are truly despicable.

            The other files after that were all very similar. His method of murder was consistent all throughout, always involving one or more victims with the life sucked out of them and the others blown to bits. Whenever a female homunculus was involved there were always signs of rape as well. The only other peculiar details in the files were the locations and time lapse. Following the first initial murders in Sector Three, the time between murders was wider and the locations more secluded. The locations supported the idea that Adam was trying to hide and that unfortunate people just happened to stumble upon him. As the murders went on though, the murders became more frequent and the locations slightly more public. It wasn’t until just recently though that he upgraded to the Living District.

            The turning point seemed to be after the attack on one of the labs, six months ago. It was the biggest scale attack by a landslide on Adam’s part. It was on a rainy day and he was hidden under a raincoat. Most of the lab was destroyed along with majority of the employees. None of the survivors caught a glimpse of him, having just ran after hearing explosions and calling for help soon as they were safe. Majority of the cameras were also destroyed. The few cameras that caught a glimpse of him didn’t see either his face or method of killing. When the Ark Police got there, all the ones that got close enough to make any identification on Adam were killed and the ones that kept their distance couldn’t make out much. The only information they gathered was that the blue haired demon seemed to have a crystalline barrier and reacted in high speed motions similar to combat homunculi who used their Faith. After the attack they found a message written in blood inside that said, ‘Revenge is the only justice.’

            Solius placed down the file. So he’s getting revenge, huh. The mere thought seemed laughable. Taking on the Ark was about as crazy as sprouting wings and flying. Then again, Adam had done a descent job so far. Even if only because of the Imperator’s pride. Her need to deceive her people in order to protect an idea was naive and pathetic. The secret was already out in plain sight to the people of Sector Three. All she had to do was send the Ark military to purge the Sector. Solius tried playing the simplicity of Adam’s capture in his head but it didn’t quite play out. Adam had truly become a demon. Untouchable, punishing, and hidden in the shadows. It dawned him that the Imperator didn’t fear the thought of being forced to give the best the Ark had to offer to prevent one man’s reckoning, but that she feared that the best the Ark had to offer wasn’t enough. If Adam alone could bring the Ark to its knees, then order would be lost. The people of the Ark didn’t know fear. There had never been anything the Ark couldn’t solve. Adam was changing that.

            The thought angered Solius. Not because Adam was singlehandedly destroying the Ark. But because when Solius wanted nothing more than to destroy the Ark he couldn’t do a damn thing. Even now he was so powerless that the notion of such a hopeless feat didn’t cross his mind. Once again, ten years later, he found himself in envy of the single man he hated most. It seemed all he could ever do was watch Adam do what he wish he could. And all Solius could ever do was listen to orders and stay out of trouble. Solius gazed at his metallic arms once more. Will I be able to stop Adam, or will he walk away from me once again?



© 2012 Cynical_Art


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Added on September 7, 2012
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Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



About
I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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