Project: AKRA pt 11

“It’s okay…I know.  I can get a bio amp replacement if we make it through this.”

“Hey, you guys over there?”  Agrest’s voice shouted.  “Get over here now!”

Ziko pushed himself off the tree, they all grimly watched for a moment as what remained of his arm was quickly chopped and consumed by the blade grass and its acid once the suit’s structural integrity had been broken down.  “I hate this fucking place.” It seemed to be an understatement from Ziko as he watched his arm get eaten by the grass.

The three walked over to Agrest, his huge sniper rifle leaning against the tree.  Raist realized it was Agrest’s shot that killed the diving bird before it killed them.

Leio was sitting on the ground, her knee looked crushed, and everything under it was gone.  Her other ankle was broken, bent back up to her calf.

“What are you going to do with me?” she asked, looking straight at Raist.  He felt his stomach drop a bit with the implication of one entirely real option he could take to save the rest of the group time.  This was a woman he was intimate with, yet the mission was now at risk of being compromised due to both her legs.

“What happened?” he asked, trying to buy some time to think this through.

“The ankle was from the fall, and this,” she pointed to her missing calf and the crushed knee, “was from that bastard over there.”  She indicated a large dead beast.  “Heh, damn.  I’ve never seen such a hostile fauna before.”  She leaned back while they crouched down to inspect her damage.  Even with her mutilated legs, she still was amazingly lusty, along with a slight independence still obvious in her countenance.  “No wonder they put their fortress here.  Secure the skies, and let the planet take care of the ground.”

Raist could feel everyone waiting for him to decide what they were going to do with the obvious change in plans the injuries and the planet presented to them.  Maybe they were especially waiting to wonder if he would leave Leio, or kill her.  The latter might be humane.

He stood up.  “We are not leaving anyone behind.”  He looked to Ziko before continuing, “I am taking you off Assault-role.  It’s too dangerous to not have a combat-able person not firing, so because of your injury you are the one who will carry her.  Leio, you are staying on the Sweep.  The rest of us are changing our weapon configuration.  Agrest, switch to your Silvershot for faster shots, I’m moving down to the ‘Saw and Leio you go with whatever you can shoot while still staying on Ziko.  Z, you can either go weaponless or take a one-hander.”

“And me?” Philira asked.

“Stay with the Plaz-Shot.  It is obvious to us now most of the fighting is going to be close range.  I need Agrest and Leio to be on drone watch out.  We are not that far in raw distance to our target so we are going to press on.  I do not think resting is a wise decision.”

He walked over to Leio. “You know what we have to do right?” he asked.

“Of course, get it done already.”

They dragged her to an area devoid of the grass where it looked shot up from the battle.  He handed her the handle of the SSAW with its softer grip, pressing it towards her mouth, she opened it and bit down on the handle.

“Hold her,” he commanded.  Philira and Agrest knelt down and held her body and arms down.

“Heh,” she muttered out of her jammed mouth, turning her head towards the sky.  “Never…get used…to this.”

Raist knelt down by her foot, grabbing the misplaced foot, and, without waiting for any okay or any delay, pulled downward and backward.  Immediately her leg started flailing while the other two struggled to hold her down, letting out a painful ‘guuuaaaaa!’ through her gritting mouth.  It was clear she was trying to maintain control despite the massive pain and compared to a scream most would have let out, her moan was fairly benign.

He continued pulling back until it was straight, and pushed it softly back into the semi-correct position.  He held her foot still for a moment while she stopped moving; she spit the gun handle out.  “I’m okay…”

All three of them let her go as she sat there.  “Should be walk-able in about a cycle.  I feel my nanites reforming the bone already.” It was quiet for a moment before she continued. “Well, stop staring at me already!  As much as you guys like to do it, let’s get this going.”  He reluctantly managed a smile at her pride hiding her shame of slowing the group down.

She lifted an arm up and Raist grabbed it, hauling her body over his shoulder then transferring her to Ziko where she sat on his shoulders.  She used her one leg to wrap under his shoulder to his back and was using her hips to hold onto his head.

“Not pretty, but it will work.  Z, can you still function?” Raist asked, handing him a pistol for his one remaining arm.  The chemicals in them and their advanced nanites could keep them functioning at conditions worse than this, but still wanted to make sure.

“You mean with that hot ass wild woman riding him all night?” Agrest joked.

“I think his head is facing the wrong direction for anything wild,” Leio said, giving Ziko a tight squeeze.

“Damn Raist, no wonder you like her.  I can tell she’s probably into bondage,” Agrest responded.

“Don’t make me squeeze his head off.”

“Why would you punish me for your two perverted minds?” Ziko said while he practiced moving around a bit with Leio on his shoulders.

“I think he’d like that.” Agrest added, “Either getting his head squeezed off, or your ‘punishment’ that is.”

At least their spirits…and chemicals… were still high enough to joke.  Raist looked at the Spreading Squad Assault Weapon he was holding in his hands, its neon blue lines pulsing an incredible power just waiting to be unleashed.  He was practicing drawing his knife out of the SSAW Philira had hidden in it in the event of a surprise.  Raist was glad their spirits were still good for now though.  He knew how bad missions could get.

Advertisements

Project: AKRA pt 4

Continuing the story, they are about to get down to the planet

 

Ziko was by default the group mule based on his strength, but on raw speed no one could touch Philira.  For a moment her bright pink hair became visible, as did her youthful body as she disabled her camouflage to readjust some equipment.  Soldiers had specific natural hair colors based on their Class: Female Scouts were pink, female Supports were bright orange, male Supports were light blonde, Leaders had black and so on.  They could be manually overridden, but was rarely done.  Almost all combat was conducted in combat suits or stealth fields so this issue did not matter.  For most soldiers, their class was a mark of pride.

“Damn, I thought a saw an angel there for a moment,” Agrest said.

“Of death?”  Raist asked, slamming an energy clip into a pistol and watching the counter read ‘full’ before the text dissolved into the number ‘100’.

“Maybe, I don’t know. I was a little confused though…”

“Why?” Ziko asked.  Raist smiled, and tried to hide his laugh that Ziko fell right into a trap.

“Well, aren’t angels supposed to be hot?  I thought she’d be a bit bigger if you know what I mean.”

“Agrest…” Ziko started.

“Bigger?”  Philira asked.  “But I am not the shortest here.”

“Bigger like Leio over there.”  Agrest disabled his cloak to hold his two hands out in front of his chest.

Raist was snickering while he watched what shimmer was likely Ziko trying to catch Agrest while he was shouting, “Why the hell do you always fill her head with your perverted shit?!”

“Everyone has at least three-range cover in their weapon choices, right?”  Leio was updating a graphic overlay showing the positions of the squad, with colored ovals representing the effective range of their weapon choices.

Philira, being the lead, naturally had a powerful, short-range weapon; the graphic showed a dark red oval that covered a short distance in front and behind, covering from Ziko up to Raist in his middle position.  Conversely, at the back of the formation, Agrest’s personal Rail Rifle had by far the biggest range, but in an intense close range firefight could not keep up, and thus his main oval was less colored; nevertheless the vast coverage could still assist any of the team in a fight.

“Raist, you are a little weak on the close range,” Leio said, looking over the constantly updating data. “Not sure the pistol will cut it in these quarters.”

“Throw me the SSAW.”  A strange looking blue weapon was flung through the air and caught by something invisible.  “I’ve been meaning to try this out.”

“It’s slow on the recharge,” Philira commented easily.  “Here, let me show you something.”  A Vibro-Knife was picked up off the table, and Raist handed the SSAW over to the invisible tug.  She revealed herself and walked next to Raist, her hips touching his as she held the gun to show him.  “You can store a knife here in the lower duct.  Useful on the downtime,” she smiled at him and stepped away.  It was a slightly flirtatious or sensual move, but given her naivety in relationships, likely didn’t understand what she was doing.

He held the weapon in his shoulder, pretending to fire it then letting it drop while he drew the knife from where it was held.  “Damn, that is a pretty nice trick. That really is a good place to hide it.”

“Saved my life before.”  Raist wondered what creature or alien had a Vibro-Knife stabbed through its head to save Philira’s life.

“I’ll show you a trick later, how’s that sound?” Raist asked her slyly.

“What kind?” Philira asked, totally innocent.

“One that will leave you feeling real good.”

“Not Raist too…” Ziko moaned.

“Survive first, and I’ll show you.” He only did those jokes because he enjoyed how defensive Ziko would always become.

“I will,” she said firmly.  “No matter what.”

“Okay, looks good.”  Leio showed the planned formation to everyone, leaving comments open for anyone to input.  The unspoken rule they had acquired over the battles was that you made no recommendations about anyone’s main weapon, but you could request a change in either of their two sub-weapons, since it was often your ass that depended on it.

“Agrest,” Ziko began, “can you swap that inductor for something with a bit more range?  Maybe the Silvershot?”

“Aww, feeling lonely near the front, lil’ buddy?  I think Philira has enough firepower for both of you.  But even that still leaves my little angel up there out of range.”  Agrest gave Ziko a hard time, but swapped his weapon without protest.  Upon further review Ziko was indeed a bit bare on the covering fire.  Philira had him supported heavily, but only Raist had him within range of powerful rapid fire support.

He had finished, and at this point it was mostly small things others were finagling with.  “Orbital Sync in five…” Raist said.  Everyone stopped their banter, and shoved any supplies or extra energy cells in, packed up quickly, and went to the launch bay.

“Synch up?”  Leio asked.

Yes – Everyone responded on the Inter-Connect System, an implanted communication system that could reduce talking to a near-psychic level of communication.

Launch in three – Leio’s voice played in all of their minds while the air in the ship was pressed back into tanks, leaving the room they were in devoid of atmosphere, their suits protecting them against both the low pressure and the lack of air.

Two – The door opened up, the huge planet’s blue, green, and purple forests standing defiantly against the black of space.  At this distance the beauty defied the danger.

One – Each of them could feel their suits change as they prepared for entry.  The first change was the locking in with the launch system.

She didn’t have to say ‘zero’ or ‘go’ as the moment they were pulled out of the ship with by the launching system was obvious enough.  The catapult system was designed to ensure the even spacing of the entire team, as even the most trained jump could result in a vast dispersion pattern from orbit.  A pentagon shape of the five of them fell through space towards the planet.

New story: Project: AKRA

Hey so I started slipdrift, but instead it is going to be Project: ARKA and this is due to some things with amazon and when the free period ends.  Anyway, all of them are part of the VayneLine Chronicles, here is project akra!

 

Project: AKRA

 

Ironically, the Emotion-Field concept as an aspect to reality proved so revolutionary that the first groups to find evidence of its existence fought and killed for its secrets, deeply contrary to the discovery’s eventual implications.  It was the first indication of higher dimensional aspects that influenced our reality, as well as our own ability to change them.

 

– Terran Intradex Ver. 4 Excerpt on ‘Emotion Field’

 

See Also: Star Priestess, Classed Soldier, Project: AKRA [Declassified]

 

“I have reason to believe you are the best…feel like putting that reputation to the test, soldier?”  The hooded figure had a light cloaking field over it that made it seemed almost like an illusion to the soldier it was speaking to.

A small smirk crossed the face of the soldier as he brushed two fingers through his short hair.  “Naturally.”

The hooded figure laughed, but its tone was masked by a voice-modder, rendering its tone completely neutral so it could not be identified in any form. “I know you have taken hard missions before, but I do not expect the survival rate to be particularly high on this.  There were only three groups that had both the clearance and the battle experience your group possesses.  I hate sending such a valued asset like your group on a mission like this, but it is one of particular import to the Star Priestesses.”

‘To the Star Priestesses’ meant for all intents ‘to the Aelisha’.

Though the black-haired man was arrogant, he was not stupid, and likewise answered carefully.  “Interesting; I assume this is your estimation of the danger.  If I may ask, is that an academic estimate, or a once-soldier’s estimate?”  A very small portion of Star Priestesses were soldiers, but a large percentage of Aelisha in secret operations like this were warriors.

“The latter,” the figure said in an easy tone that belied its long combat experience.  “A rather well-connected criminal syndicate has stolen a very valuable collection of data.  Its name is AKRA, an information processing and application unit.  It holds an understanding of the universe we are just barely starting to comprehend.”

“And it’s our job to recover the data,” the man offered.  It was probably an Aelisha he was dealing with most likely some high-rank diplomat or something similar.  For the briefest moment he mused about tackling the creature and ripping its cloak off to see whom it was.

“ ‘Naturally’,” the cloaked figure mimicked.

The black-haired soldier laughed at the imitation, but in his mind he could tell there was something deeply wrong with this mission his squad was going to undertake.  He always believed in his combat instincts, but this was different.  Something was calling to him beyond just his instincts, but he had no idea what it was saying.

Considering the credits his group was offered, some mysterious ‘clearances’ for advanced weaponry they recently had been given, and the entirely personal reason that he felt something calling on this job, he knew he would do it.  The soldier named Raist, told the figure they would take the job.  As soon as he had said so, the figure had turned and started walking out, shimmering like a ghost that was barely visible.  “Wait, one question though.  Why us?”

“You were asked for specifically.”

That was interesting.  He didn’t know too many people that knew him and were still alive.  “By whom?”

“You are not privy to that information.”

“Ha, I am used to that,” he said to the figure that had departed.

The figure was far enough away it was completely invisible, but before it had completely left the room, its voice said to Raist, “But know an old friend sends their… regards.”

Counting the friends he had that weren’t in his squad and were still alive took about four fingers.  He stood there for a moment, digesting the conversation that had just occurred.  He spun his pistol lazily out of habit, more concerned with his thoughts.  It crashed to the ground, and he crouched down quickly to grab it.  He saw something like a small string or thread against the background blackness of his pistol and grabbed it.  The single medium-length strand of hair was a bright pink.

‘That was a Solarian girl, maybe a Star Priestess or a Classed like me…I wonder who she was?  Something felt weird about her.’  All Star Priestesses and really anyone this deep in secrecy were a little weird though.  He shook his head, trying to stop thinking about things.  ‘Too many thoughts and feelings; just focus.’

 

Proud Infinity pt 32

Trego is in jail wondering if everything was just a dream.

 

“You would forsake me so fast?”  It was her voice.  I wondered how long before I would start hallucinating about her.

“Fuck you, go away,” I said to the darkness.  Damn, I hated just being used.  I kind of wanted to shoot her if the circumstances were such that way again.

Her…the cause of everything.  Guess it was not too long.  It was in the shadows of despair within my mind and the actual darkness in this cell that I definitely started to hate her.  I felt used beyond redemption.  White blood celled.

The bag was pulled off of my head, and her bright blue eyes were almost touching mine.  She smiled was wide as she brought her face back.  “Hi Tre!  My, what have they done to you?”

“Unfortunately…” my voice came haggard.  I had not spoken in a long time, and being deprived of water left my throat dry.  “My race has… our less than… glorious… moments towards each other.  Are you… real?  Or just here to…to torment me before I die?”

I honestly expected her to disappear, or maybe appear as the guy who was probably going to torture me.  But she stepped forward, putting her hands on my arms, and something happened as I was falling towards her.  I landed in her chest as she held me gently.  My arms hung limply at my side and I definitely could not feel them.

“Proud…you are real…” I mumbled, feeling her actually hugging me and feeling overwhelmed by that fact as I whimpered softly.

“Of course.  Why would I not be?  I had promised I would protect you, did I not?”

“Did…you?  Can’t… remember.  I can’t move…hunger…pain.  My arms…”

“I know.  I know.”  She held me there, and something warm was flowing from her into me.  I felt a strange awareness come over me, an awareness I once possessed slowly come back to me.

“Healing,” I stated and she nodded.  I could at least walk, even if I felt weak and out of it.  “But how can we get out of here?  I thought you cannot influence reality that much?”

“I have gotten stronger.  I am still limited, but enough to get you out of here.  I had to wait until everyone in your near reality counted on you dying.  To that reality it makes no difference if you actually die, or are simply gone.  The jail guard was killed in an accident today, he was the only one who knew you weren’t actually dead yet.”

“Complicated rules.”

Her eyes widened a bit at the simple truth of my statement.  “Indeed.  It is time we go.”

“Uh, are we going to teleport or something?  I don’t think we can just walk out.”

She disappeared, and I certainly did not make the trip with her.  “Uh, Proud?”

The door to my cell opened, and she was the one that had done it.  “Come on.”

“And if we are caught?”

“I will protect you.  It will not happen though.  Stay close.” She offered her hand and I reached for it, but my hand did not move.  She bent down, grabbing it, and I noticed my emaciated arm that she had taken.  I had been in this delusional state in this dark cell for longer than I likely knew.

At the very end of the hallway, I tried tugging her back as I saw the shadow of a guard coming.  She shook her head and sure enough the form on the wall had turned around and started walking away without ever turning the corner.  We walked through some sort of facility, and it was uncanny that at every turn someone would be walking through the opposite door, or turned engaged in something.  We continued in the strange ballad of perfect timing until we came out to a ship pad.

Proud Infinity pt 28

We are getting close to the end, how is it going to resolve!?

 

The cute girl of the space port leaned far forward as she dashed inhumanly fast at the other man on the ship.  He barely had time to look surprised before she punched him in the stomach, and slipped behind him, her arms going around his neck.  For a moment I thought she was going to kill him, but he simply fell to the ground unconscious from being choked out.  I threw their two bodies out of the way of the truck and we hopped in.  I hit a string of button prompts on the screen before it went to flashing ‘Ready?’ and we were off.  I remember how many times I had died trying to get the damn truck moving.

“Am I crazy?” I asked to the two woman with me.  Mitreah shrugged, saying probably, but she wasn’t one to judge.  Proud said no.  If I was crazy, at least it was fun.

We rumbled through the streets, passing by the millions of places I had seen so carefully in the scope of a single cycle.  I was shot there, I killed someone there…  We came now to the single road into ReCorp.  The gate opened for our vehicle, and on both sides the ground fell away into the huge pit.  I hoped this controlled vehicle wouldn’t decide to spill us over the edge.

“In case you are wondering, we are taking out the particle accelerator or disabling it in some other way to stop it from causing the creation of a dangerous particle.”

“You don’t need to justify anything to me,” Mitreah said.  “I am simply happy to be back to my old self.”

“I thought you might like to know.  Do you really not care what I tell you to do?”

“Often it is only our Creators that know our override, and no, you do not possess complete control over me, in case someone was thinking of doing something perverted.”  She smiled slyly at me. “Though to you, I might do things willingly…”

I shook my head only once. “No, I outgrew that a long time ago.”

“You seem sincere.  But my Creator died, and you seem fun enough, so I might have done this mission anyway if you asked.  This is what I truly enjoy; not sitting in an empty room people rarely come to.”  I had asked before, she only came if I knew her code word, she was too loyal to the nearly defunct spaceport.

Damn, this was scary; I had rarely made it this far before.  Everything I had done had been to bring me to this position, and now, well, now it was time.

In my hand was my Liner pistol, and a small satchel of high explosives from an ex-special operative.  I had long ago in all my annihilations gotten over the idea or revulsion of killing.  If I could spare them like at the dock I would.  This was too important even if they were innocent.  I was not convinced of their innocence or not, but it did not matter to me anymore.

The vehicle stopped, and some guy opened the door.  “Hey.”

“Hi,” I said, lifting my pistol and plugging him right in the chest.  I turned back to the two girls. “Let’s go.”  Proud jumped out gracefully, landing and walking behind me.  Mitreah jumped out, dashed across the room insanely fast, slashing a man who was standing there.  The only thing I saw was a spray across the wall behind him.

“Any idea where to go?” I asked the two of them.  I had not been inside here for a long time, and this one the first where I had my skills and the two women with me.  They responded ‘no’.  “Well, let’s see if we can’t get lucky this time.  We can always try again,” I said as I started laughing at my own joke.  Turning to my left I ran through a door shaped like a circular portal that opened as we got close.  If it was an accelerator, I only had to work my way to the middle where the core would be, so that seemed a good place to start heading.

We were running down a hallway, eerily empty, with Proud behind me and Mitreah the combat android in front of me.  Some guy stepped out from a corner, and before I even realized he was there, he was dead at her feet.  She crouched back down in a scary combat stance.

“Hey, this way,” I said to her as I took to the right as we headed a new way, and within seconds she caught up with us and was back on vanguard.  There was a sign warning about having protective suits on and I figured we might be getting close.  My fear of dying was long since gone; I had done it so many times.  I neared the portal, but it didn’t open.  I tried the handle and it was locked.

“Damn it!”  I pulled my pistol towards it, firing some rounds into the locking mechanism and front kicked the door, but it remained solid.  “No way.  A damn door is going to stop us?”

Proud Infinity pt 26

I hope you guys picked up the books, I will continue pasting Proud Infinity sections, but hope you got them!

 

“Is it true you are here just to help maintain my sanity?” I asked.  I had slowly pieced that together.  From what I had figured out, LineGods like Proud occasionally interfaced with ‘acting agents’ or whatever we were called.  In situations like this, the time loops can be so mentally breaking that the agent does not ever act correctly so the LineGod interface is created.  What I was not sure of was if the fact Proud was here meant I would not have ever gotten out of this on my own, or if she was a ‘reward’ of sorts, or what exactly.

“One of my reasons.”  She was swinging her legs off the bench like a little girl.

“It fucked me up for a long time the first couple times we had sex, or I tried killing you.”

Her face was sad as she looked downwards.  The bow and her long green hair hid her face.  “Yeah, I felt so bad for you during that time.”

“I used to think ‘why the hell is this girl here, she is only making it worse.’  I see that’s not the case now.”

She smiled at me.  “I am glad.  I am only here to help.”

“I see that now.  Most of what I do is to eventually get out of here, and on some level to help you because I care about you.”

I looked at her and thought back to the myriad of thoughts I once had about her.  She was a manifestation of some universal will in a way that would most synch with me.  It was disturbing at first, maybe a touch of shame to see my perfect embodiment of a female in physical form, but given her tailored traits I quickly came to like her.

“For a long time I stayed distant from you because I felt like it was this ultimate manipulation.  Something crafted just for me, in a way to be this trap I would fall for.  Like I was some dumb animal lured in by an intriguing girl.”

“You were harder to convince than some others.  Your skepticism was an advantage as well as a clear negative in terms of us having a good harmonic rate.”

I grabbed her hand, and we held hands as we watched the ducks swim around.  “What I realized, and this is hard to state, is that you were just a ‘child’ of the universe much in the same way as I was.  You are much more so, but you were not the universe, so much as just this thing it spit out.  Haha, that sounds so bad.”

She laughed too.  “It’s okay.”

“But that you were a person – sort of – like me that was stuck in this.  You were the only one who knew what was going on.  The only one I could talk to, even if you couldn’t answer everything I asked.  You became my friend, the only one I could turn to.”

“That was kind of the point!  Of course I was here to help your mind, and to eventually have you do the right thing to break this loop.”

“What happens when we break out of it?”

“Don’t know, never happened!”

It made me laugh a little.  “Are your Chrono Senses perfect?”

“That is a weird question to me, but as you understand it, yes.  I see all the paths that we can take.  However, there is a break that occurs, and of course, until we break out of this, I cannot see the next cycle.  It is a pretty strange thing for me.”

“Are you…uh, hard to say, but like have you done this before?”

She shook her head, giggling; she seemed like a kid again to me.  “No, this is the first time I have been created, so you are my first.”

I sighed a bit.  “Good, I don’t feel as stupid.”

“I am part of the Line, so I was vaguely aware before this, but as an individual, no this is completely new to me.  I have had a very good time with you.  I feel quite lucky to have been granted creation!”

“Anyway, I think I have most of this ready to go.  I got a few key players into position, and I have made it into ReCorp a few times but also get killed pretty early.  I have not tried in a long time, and got a lot of training with Mitreah, and some tactics from that old guy.  I guess we are going to figure out if I can make this stop fairly soon.”

The wind blew and some of the mist hit us.  It felt cold.  Real.

I continued, “I am glad I met you Proud, you have been fun to get to know.  If it ends, and you are gone, or I die, I am still happy to have met you.  To go through this with, as dark as it has been.”

“Don’t talk like that.” She separated her hand from mine and rubbed my hair.  I leaned into her and let her continue massaging my head.  I was happy to feel her hands on me.  Her soft fingers played over my eyes, going through my scalp, and just the nice feeling of her stomach and ribs methodically breathing.

“It is getting late,” she began, “are you going to end it?”

“No, I want to spend all the time with you.”

“Okay.  Me too.”  She tickled my chest, bringing her finger up and down.  I kept my eyes closed so I would not know.  I only kept focusing on the nice feelings before I was hit with the most tremendous pain imaginable for a few short moments.

 

Proud Infinity pt 25

Hey guys hope you are enjoying the story.  For those that missed it, here is the link to the first part of the story where you can read everything up till now: https://vayneline.com/2017/01/16/sample-of-my-next-story-proud-infinity-stuck-in-a-time-loop-with-only-a-god-to-keep-him-company/

 

***

 

I spent a lot of time with Proud.  I had come to like her in a way no one else ever before.  We were utterly alone in this.  I could say any right move to manipulate anyone.  But every cycle, every loop it was the same. Not with Proud.  She was the only one who kept her consciousness through the resets.

I might have gone crazy actually if I had to ‘re-meet’ her every single time.

“Hey Proud, let’s take a walk,” I said, looking down the bar.  Everyone else stared at me, holding the door open for an invisible person.  These people stopped seeming real to me a long, long time ago.

“I am really impressed with you so far, Tre, you are making great progress.”

We took a walk over to a small park, where there was a fountain jetting upwards and a bench overlooking the pond.  We sat down.  I didn’t expect to do much this time period, mainly used it just for a break.

I turned, smiling at her briefly before sighing as I turned forward.  “The Emotion Field sure isn’t perfect for what is occurring here, is it?” I asked.  The Emotion Field I eventually learned was the term that referred to a dimensionality our experiences, especially the strong ones, are laid down on.  The somberness of graveyards was the easiest example.

“I sympathize with you.  The fact your recollection is imperfect is a testament to your fortitude and determination.”

I laughed.  “The words are nice, but the situation isn’t.  Thanks anyway, Proud.  So you remember everything?  Is that even possible from a memory point of view?”

She was twirling a piece of her hair and her ribbon in her fingers.  She acted like such a girl at times, it was endearing.  “You act like we have to play by the same rules.  What is it like for you?”

“Sucks,” I said, sprawling out on the bench, my arm was around her back.  She giggled, and leaned into me.  She nuzzled her head against my shoulder.  “I very rarely remember anything specific.  It’s mostly this endless overpowering vagueness.  I know that doesn’t make full sense.  But I come up to situations, and on this unclear level I remember how to do things.  I remember how to aim, how to fight, how to dodge, how to say things specifically to manipulate people.”

I stopped, pointing at two girls that were walking by.  “I don’t seem to know anything about the blonde, but the dark hair one, I get hit with these thoughts that she likes vanilla cake, likes showing off her flexibility, and is lonely.  Also she’d fall for my ‘come with me if you want to live’ gambit.”  I looked down, pulling Proud away from me for a moment.  “Then later I really get to see her flexibility in action…” I hit her with a sly smile.

Proud playfully hit me.  “You’re bad.”

“I joke, but in truth it really messes with me.  I start to forget what I know ‘for real’ compared to remembering from back fractures.  I have essentially given up on thinking that maybe I am just projecting or making up things like what I said about that girl and simple roll with that I have found all those things out in the past.  It is this disturbing thing where I ‘know’ so much, but can’t remember how I know any of it.”

“I am sorry, Trego.”  She was sincere.  “Is there anything I can help you with right now?  You know you only need to ask.”

I didn’t have any requests; simply being with her was enough.

Proud Infinity pt 24

I am working on my first paperback, and it will probably be out in the next 2 weeks or so.  Here is the cover art

vl-chron-final

Of which Proud Infinity is a part of!

 

Anyway on with the story as Trego is navigating his way through the time loops:

 

I walked over to the space port, spending more time with the android, Mitreah.

I waved when I walked in and she gave a friendly wave back, but did not know me from anyone else at this point.

“Hi, Mitreah.”

“Oh hello!  I don’t remember your name.  Have we met?”

‘A few times…’ I thought to myself.

“Mitreah: Farewell Fallen Sword,” I stated cryptically.  Her face went blank like it always does, before her bright eyes returned.

“Override confirmed.  What are you orders?”

I waved my hand.  “Nothing major, I simple want to talk to you a bit.”

“An odd request, but certainly.”

I spent a long time talking to her.  Unlike the old man, she was much more fun, but I learned less.  There was not as much applicable to me due to her combat android form and background.  She could teach me so much about fighting, but not as much about the world.

Before the end of this loop I wanted to fight her more to train my combat ability.  That was perhaps the biggest boon from her, other than eventually using her to break into ReCorp.

To her, my words were novel, “Mitreah, I want you to train me to fight.  I want to use my pistol, and anything you can teach me.  Execute training protocol number 2.”

She smiled at me.  “This is so much more fun.”

She left to go get some training supplies she had in her personal locker.  I had never figured out why an ex-combat android ended up here, I could never get it out of her.  The best I could figure is that she was injured slightly, or had served long enough she got to retire.

Mitreah came back with a training pistol that would fire visible lasers that did not actually do anything but would respond if I hit her and she could react appropriately.  Combat androids could fight with guns, and melee weapons, but there most signature weapon was their arm would form into a very sharp blade, essentially like a nano blade.  Something like this would kill my obviously, so it was more like a blunt bat I was struck with.

She tossed the training pistol to me like always.  I caught it and started firing at her dashing form.

Probably an old Aelisha combat android based on Solarian form, evidenced by her dashing style was leaning super far forward: the same way Aelishas ran.  She slashed at me with her blade arm, I blocked with the pistol and dodged, firing at her.  I knew her moves well enough at this point I could end it easily.  My main goal at this point was to build up my own reflexes, not to use known paths.

I dove awkwardly a few times just to get off any previous path I would ‘remember’.  I felt blind once again which I liked.  Mitreah could easily take me out given her superior programming and speed but limited it during the training.

I fired a few times at her, impressed by how my own skills were coming along; she had to dodge which slowed her assault down.

She got close, swiping at me hard and connecting.  Her blade arm of course was dull for training, but in real combat I would have lost my arm.  Regardless it gave me a strong shock that made it numb.

I dove to the ground, grabbing the pistol out of my numb arm, turning around rapidly and hitting her in the chest.  A spray of the laser beams struck home, and if it was a strong enough weapon she would have been killed.  My aggressive push of not running and doubling down on the attack was enough to win.

“Uh…”  She moaned in pain from the ground a bit before standing.  We helped each other up.

“Dang, that was fun.”  We with standing there, hugging each other for support.  I was breathing hard.

“How are you so good?  I had to go to the very limits to even catch you.”

I stepped back.  “I’ve done this before.”

“Who was your teacher?”

“You.”  I pulled out my real pistol, aimed and reset.

 

***

Proud Infinity pt 23

I hope you guys are enjoying the story!

 

***

 

The more loops I endured, the easy it was to accept it was happening.  What I meant by that is that I would not be crippled by existential terror of the situation, or of the acts I had taken.

There was a degree of random-ness of what exactly was remembered and why.  To me it was a bit akin to learning a new language by reading a complex book.  It often meant nothing to me but I would start to see patterns.  Many times the patterns were wrong, but again with enough failures these too would be refined.  Consciously it was tougher to explain than on a subconscious or intuitive level where I’d remember things on a ‘déjà vu’ type experience.

Had I always known the android girl, Mitreah, at the spaceport was the highest level combat android available?  Or how about that the android girl’s override phrase was actually three words long?  And it wasn’t just words: a big key was I had to say her name before the words.  A lot of these key facts were slowly extracted by practically begging, ‘How could I prove to you that I know you?’  And so slowly would she tell me, ‘Well if you can tell me X about myself,’ to which I’d spend cycles and cycles trying to figure out one little fact just so I could further advance the true search of finding her code word.

Every time, it would be the same with slightly more info.  I would tell her of battles she had fought in, what her favorite food was, where she lived, what number she was thinking of.  Silly things like that was what it took to get more vital info out of her, all for the eventual end of unlocking her control code.

Damn androids, not easy to deal with in a time loop; so much harder than Solarians, ironically.  This was a large reason why I bothered, it was part of a challenge.  I could figure out people a few cycles, but her programming was resistant which was so problematic.

How funny that the first cycle I felt embarrassed just standing there shouting things to her, but how fast my embarrassment died to grim necessity.

That took forever just to get to three words, except once I after busting out about two thousands words, I think I was around, ‘Mitreah: nanite uhh…Mitreah: nanites’, to her in the empty port she laughed and said it was three words long.  Considering I had not told her any of her secrets during that reset, I was surprised she volunteered the information.  Maybe in some little way was something of hers becoming implanted into the Emotion Field?

I asked Proud about it, and she could not answer like usual but said things work in ways I would not understand.  It was quite curious regardless, that this perfect programming may actually be affected by the Emotion Field.  It made me think that part of Mitreah’s body, the Solarian part, had an element of some type of ‘soul’ that so many would refuse to believe.

‘Mitreah: Farewell fallen sword’.  I found out eventually through thousands of cycles of dedicated attempts.  I think I skipped straight from ‘farewell fallen swift’ straight to ‘sword’ on a gut feeling.  Living in this cycle over and over, it was amazing to find out just how powerful intuition was.  Because I literally could try every path, the path my intuition would pull me on, and compare it to just about every other one.

I have no idea what ‘intuition’ is anymore, but it went far beyond anything simple as some might think.  This was one of the biggest examples.  Such a random thing as words, but it had saved me so much time.  I truly believed intuition was likely low levels of Chrono Senses manifesting.

Oh, I of course realized I did not possess any sort of Chrono Sense in a large scale like I thought once upon a long time ago.  The only reason I ‘knew’ what was coming is because I had died thousands of times to it.

Proud Infinity pt 22

How many annihilations ago was that?  A thousand?  A million!?

In the absolute darkness of my being and existence Proud had saved me from the darkness of myself, showing me my own light by simply exposing hers.  Taking a few deep breaths, trying to wipe the tears away I recalled some of the positive things I had figured out during the focus of every time after that, since I decided to actually get serious.

Right, remember the things I had figured out even during the darkness.  Like how my repetition of a hundred different phrases and conversation branches allowed me to sleep with numerous girls, showing me I could find out almost anything from anyone with exactly the right prompts.  What was initially fueled by dark sexual desire proved to be very useful in the fact I could use perfect conversation choices positively, and not having anything to do with sex.

The old guy at the fence?  Indeed he was in the Space Forces as he claimed, but he also was a special operator.  What did I learn?  I rubbed my eyes, trying to recall.  Definitely some stuff about infiltration and explosives.  What exactly had he taught me?

What was hard was that I could no longer separate ‘my’ knowledge with what I had learned from others simply teaching me.  A thousand repetitions with the same person, each ‘cycle’ simply advancing the conversation as far as I had learned from the prior cycle, allowing me to eventually learn everything a person was capable of teaching.

I got up and left, slightly energized by the memory I was actually making progress.  Normally later in the day the old man would be over-looking the pit, but long ago figured out where he lived.

I went to his house, knocked on the door and he was much more suspicious and cold compared to his more jovial act at the overlook.

“What do you want?” he asked through a chained door.

“Coding Alpha Delta,” I let it sink in a little.  “We need to talk.”

From my view, I saw the one eye looking at me through the chain blink once, then he unchained the door.  He put the pistol under the slot on the table like he always did, not knowing I had been killed by it quite a few times.

By playing the role of an agent from the highest reaches of Solarian intel, I was able to learn a lot from him.  At this point I was sure I had exhausted everything he had to tell me, but it was a good reminder.

Had I always known that an innocent nano block used to repair stuff could be overrode to create controlled directional explosions?  Had I always known my Liner pistol could be turbo charged simply by taking over the cover and turning the limiter off?

I doubted it, but there was no way to know. Knowledge was a strange thing to me that often hung at the edge of my understanding.  Given all the loops I had been through, what was ‘my’ knowledge melted away into this strange mixture of things I now knew from others.

The old man had just finished showing me how to take the limiter off my Liner pistol; I could probably do it better than him at this point.

“You still have the explosives you were tasked with, right?”

“Are you requesting transference, Operator?” he asked back.

At this point everything was growing dark.

“Negative, just need to make sure.  But I always knew you still did.”  I lifted my Liner pistol up.

“What…are you doing?” he asked, concerned.

“Resetting,”  I said.  I pulled the trigger as I ended my life in a far less painful way.