Evolution: Homecoming

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

VERA’S SEVENTH HOUSE

 

After the promised ‘while’ (two weeks, to be exact), Mariah was jolted away from a couch nap to the sound of Vera’s keys jangling in the door.

 

“Ahh, shit,” Mariah hissed, “I’m so not ready.”

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Evolution: Covert Ops

THE FLYING FORTRESS

LOWER LEVELS

 

The Flying Fortress’s lower levels were carefully maintained by nanotechnology and robots more than humans. It was quiet down here, the air so still that every step that Nat took towards Emi Surikabe’s office seemed nearly deafening, or so Nat imagined they would if ey walked on the ground. Perhaps in the Legion’s prime, these parts of the Fortress would be bustling. Still, though, Nat knew that ey was never alone—Scanner’s eyes were everywhere, watching everything.

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Evolution: a Paw in the Dark

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

A FILTHY DOWNTOWN ALLEY

 

Mariah had been clinging to the wall for nearly an hour, her finger- and toe-pads showing no sign of releasing their grip but her boredom mounting steadily. Had her triangulation been wrong? She’d been keeping meticulous track of Human Supremacist activity over the past week, and everything seemed to indicate that where she was standing—well, clinging—was right in the center of a hotbed of illicit trade and handoffs. Had she fucked up? Did they catch wind that she’d be here?

 

Or was one damn hour not enough time to draw conclusions like this? G-d dammit, Mariah, be patient.

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Evolution: Therapeutic

FREELANCER HQ, ARCHAVEN

NAMI MEDA’S OFFICE

 

The girl sitting in the comfortable chair was refusing to make eye contact – she played with her phone instead, curled up in the chair like a cat. She would look comfortable if she wasn’t so stiff.

“Good afternoon, Vera.” Dr. Meda’s voice was even. Dr. Meda’s voice was always even, her posture always perfect. The Freelancers called her ‘Medahuman’, because she was human but seemed to have an impossibly iron will. She was the longest-lived mental health counselor in the history of the organization, even after losing an eye to a violent client.

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Evolution: Training Montage

THE FLYING FORTRESS

TRAINING FACILITY

Nat floated into the the training room slowly, eyes darting around. The room seemed to contain almost nothing, save for a padded floor and bare, lined walls. Sthenographer had referred to this area jokingly as ‘The Danger Room’, so where was the danger? Behind the walls? Under the floor? Above? Already here, but invisible?

 

Suddenly, the grueling hold-breaking exercises in Emi’s private gym seemed really appealing.

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Evolution: Invasion

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

VERA’S SEVENTH HOUSE

 

Mariah lay back on the couch, propped awkwardly up against the armrest so that she could keep playing her cell phone game without unplugging it from the wall. Vera had been gone for almost a week, and Mariah’s body had been changing rapidly all the while, forcing her out of the house and into populated areas in order to gather the emotional energy that she seemed to feed on right now. Thank goodness her face still looked human, and she could cover the glow from her chest with a heavy coat.

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Evolution: Something Stirring (epilogue)

THE FLYING FORTRESS

THE CORE

 

Scanner was too preoccupied to notice the door to the core open, someone coming in. She swivelled her torso to peer at one screen, and then another, myriad cables trailing behind her as she pivoted. Something had the cyborg’s interest.

 

The Sthenographer walked into the core the same way she always did: chrome locs walking along the ceiling, and holding food. This time, it was a bag of kettle corn. She did little to announce her presence, lost in thought herself.

 

It took Scanner a another minute to notice her guest. She turned her head and swung down to make eye contact with Stheno, although she kept a respectable distance. “You brought food again.” The tone was slightly accusative.

 

Stheno faked being taken aback. “Whaa? Oh hey, so I did. Neat.”

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