Friday, February 18, 2011

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 5.

Immersing himself to the flow of data streaming out of him, Zener dived down deep within himself. Lost to everything around him he focused hard. Digital representations swam all around him, each Node burning like a little light glittering the virtual landscape the cyberdeck interpreted.  It was as if he was starring out at a night sky, there were little Nodes everywhere. Zener had never even had time to consider in his haste that Nox was not the only source of Nodes within his range.

Arena security Nodes glowed a subtle yellow, ever watchful. Patrons watching the display dotted all around him with a myriad array of multicolor Nodes. Some clearly implants, many seemed personal mini-comms, others Zener wasn't sure of, but he'd already committed himself. Even the realization that purple Nodes glistened in the distance were those of various docked ships wasn't enough for him to abort his last and only course of action.

Surprisingly the cold burning light of ICE didn't greet the driven captive. Clearly either no one present had even considered the threat of a NodeRunner anything worth worrying over or resources in this portion of the Rim were severely limited. Without any ICE to combat Zener's assault his barrage of data overwhelmed Nodes. One by one they their lights flared up and was extinguished as they crashed unable to handle the brunt of what Zener poured into them.

And then all was dark but a single purple light flickering in the distance. The world around Zener slowly faded back into being around him as he shifted his focus back to it. Patrons in the crowd screamed in terror and shock. Some were clutching limbs that refused to function, others had fallen, unmoving, to slump in their seats. Gates and passageways stood open, captives pouring out finding their restraints suddenly less restraining. Automated drones no longer floated about monitoring the arena or feeding video inputs to the crowd.

Chaos had erupted within the arena, and at it's hearts stood a battered and scared NodeRunner standing in shock at what his desperate gamble had done. He watched as dozens of captives made for exits or tried to lash out at patrons. In a daze he stumbled towards an exit thinking only of escape, but a familiar figure greeted him wearing a mask of pure rage.

Leveling a pistol on the would be escapee Cassius snapped at Zener. "YOU are not going anywhere." A superheated mass slammed home into Zener's abdomen that immediately made him stumble and recall the maul he'd been beaten with moments ago. "I told you you'd die," hissed Cassius. "And die you will you freakish mokery." He leveled his weapon at Zener's head and a strange sound escaped the senator. Milliseconds past like an eternity and then a red stain spread across the senator's robes. Cassius slumped before Zener to reveal a gruff and tired lady wielding a bloody knife.

"Ol Bea got worried about Zener," she whispered to the battered Type II. "Heard some rumors a naive young traveler caught a ride with a nasty fellow by the name of Virgil. Didn't I tell you to be careful? Come on kid, let's get you off this scrap heap." Bea reached down and helped Zener stand, supporting his mangled left side. "Did you even fight back hun?" she asked.

"You'd be surprised, apparently, there are all kinds of way to fight back," mused Zener.