Quinn felt Gabby wiggle in her arms. She ran her fingers through her lover’s hair. It was so soft, so gentle. She loved it. Gabby started to stir, feeling Quinn’s fingers running through her hair. She reached up and took her hand.
“I wish every morning was like this.”
“So do I,” Quinn replied, smiling down at her. Gabby righted herself, bringing her lips to Quinn’s. They felt so good, greeting a new morning together. Everything was changing so fast, neither of them knew when they would get a chance to do this again. Especially since they were no longer in the apartment. The two were in Wolf’s cabin on the Odysseus. It was docked inside of the Inlet. Things were changing so fast that nobody knew what was going to happen next.
The Asian Union had made their move. Russian forces were crossing into Imperial territory in Europe. They had airships that, while not as advanced as the Empire’s, were able to hold their own. The Empire had no idea that they were coming. Meanwhile, forces from Japan, China and Korea were moving into Alaska. It was an invasion, pure and simple. Since Prince Adam was heading back to Area 7 and was unable to lead his troops, they had a solid foothold and were able to take over several of the most crucial bases there. Part of that was due to some excellent intelligence from Winter’s Shadow about where they were housing airships, construction facilities to make them and factories that were producing munitions. It was a perfect strike on almost all the major targets. While the fighting was incredibly fierce, they had the foothold they needed.
Meanwhile, the rebellious forces in the conquered EU were also rising up. It was chaos. South America was also having revolts. This was all timed with perfect execution. The rebellions were almost all put down, but they weakened the Empire’s occupational military and were making their ability to defend their own territories suffer. Of course, most of the South American nations were not joining in, since the Empire had improved their nations. The eastern European nations were also on the Empire’s side, since it was the same situation.
Back at the White Palace, the Empress was falling apart. First her daughter had been threatened, then her eldest son attacked. Now, her second son, Thomas was injured. While it wasn’t mortal, the psychological effect was profound. The Empire had an entire fleet escorting him home. To make matters worse, Amelia had disappeared. There was almost no government left in Area 7. If Adam was unable to find a way to keep things under control, their claim to the nation was going to fall. Despair was setting in.
Prince Adam was sitting with his brother on the airship that was taking him home. The Hyperion was going to take him back to the capital. He had just been informed that Amelia had vanished. She had left the one Knight of the Crown who was with her behind and was gone. The Knight was searching everywhere for her. As was the rest of the military and police. Quietly, of course. If word got out to the Numbers that the Viceroy had vanished, anarchy would ensue. Thomas looked up at him.
“Brother, I’m scared. This Wolf, she isn’t human! What are we going to do?!”
He sat back, rubbing his temples. “I don’t know! She seems to know all our moves before I make them!” He thought back to their chess game. She was keeping pace with me, and I was using strategies that even Father couldn’t go against! Who is this woman?! The thoughts were jumbled up in his head in a big way. He was nervous, but now he had a war to fight with two people. The AU invasion force and Winter’s Shadow. Thankfully, the AU was a far easier thing to deal with. Still, the timing of this couldn’t have been a coincidence.
Thomas looked up at the ceiling. “Brother, I feel something. Something dark. This Wolf, there is a darkness surrounding her. Not just because we don’t know who she is. I could almost see her smiling, when she stabbed me. She was enjoying it!”
That got Adam’s attention. So, it’s personal. Is that why she hides her face? Is she one of us?! If she is, then it would have to be a member of the Aristocracy. No commoner could possibly be as skilled and as understanding of the Empire’s weapons and tactics as she is. Suddenly, the comm beeped.
“Your highness, we received word from our people in the capital of China, the Knight of the Crown was found!”
He buzzed in. “Where?! Where the hell was she?!”
“Sir, according to the report, she was found decapitated in a hall leading to the central chamber of the Citadel where the ceremony was being held. It seems that Wolf was sighted heading that way.”
Adam let his mind calm. A picture was forming in his mind. She went to confront Wolf? Why? And why did she not have her Armor? I told her to remain behind. Why would she disobey me? As he thought, he remembered something about the ceremony. Wolf seemed to appear and disappear in an instant! His eyes went wide. My Knight’s talent was teleportation! There is no way that that is a coincidence! He suddenly had a dark thought. He stood up fast, rushing out of the room. He had to get in contact with the people at Lab 451.
The Inlet was abuzz with activity. They were getting more airships from liberated bases in Alaska. Fresh out of the factories, they were equipped with some of the best tech that money could buy. Some new weapons too. They also got some smaller model airships. They were a kind of fighter unit that could move with the same engine. It would make combat times for their ships exponentially longer, since they wouldn’t have to refuel continuously. The delivery was expected within the week.
Quinn was up and dressed. Something that Gabby was none-too-thrilled about. She made noises of protest as her girlfriend wiggled her way out of her arms. It wasn’t something that she wanted either, but duty called. They had a new battle strategy to formulate. Gabby was getting dressed as well, when she saw Quinn put on her mask. Her transformation to Wolf was complete.
As she got out to where the briefing was to be held, Deathstroke ran over to her.
“Ma’am, I’ve got some news for you! It’s something that you won’t want to miss!”
She looked over at him. “I’m listening.”
The entire command crew was gathered inside the briefing room. There, Inferno, Shockwave, Radio and Full-Crank were standing. The situation was tense, to put it lightly.
“Why the fuck did you even let them in here, ma’am?!” Ghost snarled.
Wolf was sitting at the front of the room. Her masked face portrayed no emotion, and underneath, her look was similar. She was in tactical mode. A gift had just been presented to her. She wasn’t going to waste it.
“They came here under a banner of peace, looking to parley with us. At the very least, I am going to hear what they have to say.”
Bane and Two-Face nodded. They both understood. Sure, they weren’t popular, but these monsters got the job done. As the saying went, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Full-Crank stepped forward, not wanting his two more menacing colleagues to be the ones to speak first. “I understand your reservations about talking with us. I promise you, we’re not wasting your time. We came to you because we have an offer for you.”
Wolf leaned back. “We’re listening.”
Inferno stepped forward. “It’s not exactly a secret that us Specials are the talk of the town right now. Unfortunately, the talk isn’t good. It’s pretty clear that the moment that the Empire found it convenient, they were going to throw us under the bus.”
Radio chimed in, “they already have got one of us! They were using us as a convenient scapegoat so that they can look better.”
Deadshot snorted. “More than you lot deserve, if you ask me!”
Shockwave glared at him. “If you want to blame anyone for what happened, blame the Empire! Back when we were trained, we were punished when we hesitated. We were all just a bunch of kids who had these powers that we didn’t know how to control. They molded us, shaped us into monsters. Then, we were set loose with the orders to do as much damaged as we wanted! They wanted us to be monsters, and that’s exactly what they got. We never got the chance to be normal, unlike you!”
That deflated a lot of the anger in the room.
Wolf looked at Full-Crank. “So, what are you all offering us?”
He smiled. This is going well! “Well, for starters, you have our service at your command! Since the Empire has the Knights of the Crown, perhaps you could start your own force!”
Beneath the mask, Wolf smiled. Not a bad idea! She nodded. “And?”
Radio cued up an image on the display table. It was of a mountain base in Maine.
“This is a facility called Lab 451.”
Everyone sat closer. Even Captain Matthias was interested. He was normally aloof to these meetings, since it his job to keep the Odysseus running.
“This is where new subjects are brought and experimented on. The tests they run are varied, from subject to subject. The facility has ten levels, each of them very large. Some are used for training, others are used for housing. There is even a level where those of us who are not cooperative are held. It is a kind of prison for Specials, with each cell able to be modified for the needs of the subject inside. That is where the one of us that they capture is most likely to be.” Her face got darker. “There are other levels that we have no knowledge of. There were rumors of other research being conducted there. Research that was dangerous and…different. I never knew the details. I heard a lot about a ‘Subject Zero,’ who apparently vanished a long time ago. They were looking for something to do with that. Don’t know what they found.”
Wolf frowned under the mask. This could be a problem. If they continued research like that, who knows what they found out! Or what they made. The Specials are not the most trustworthy ally, but for now, I can work with them.
“Inside, there are sure to be many more like us. In the prison, you will find lots of us who are looking for a chance to make the Empire pay for what they did to us. The memories, it is hard to sleep some nights.” She looked sad. The rest of the group felt the wind go out of their sails even more.
Wolf looked over at Brainiac. “Could you make Armor units for them?”
The group was stunned. As was Brainiac. “Uh, yeah, I’m sure I could. I would have to get an in-depth analysis of their talents, individually, but I’m sure that I could craft weapons around them.”
She nodded. “Excellent.” She turned to face the Specials. “Now, if I am going to trust you to join us, I have to know, what are you after, once this is done? I am sure that the rest of those in Area 7 will not be quick to trust you, either. What do you plan to do once the war is over?”
They were quiet for a few minutes.
Finally, it was Inferno who spoke. “We want to disappear! To not have to do this anymore. To just find a place where we can blend into the rest of society and not have this baggage following us.” That surprised even the other Specials. Inferno had been soul-searching lately. Quite a bit. “I don’t think that that is an unreasonable request.” He looked directly at Wolf. “Do you?”
Everyone looked at her. She thought for a moment. It isn’t. This is…odd. “I see nothing wrong with it. So long as you are aware that if you step out of line, once this is done, and you use your talents as weapons, we will end you. Is that acceptable?”
The group of them nodded.
“Alright then. Go with Brainiac and get to work on custom Armor units. You all will be the first members of a new unit that my lieutenants, Deathstroke, Firefly, Deadshot, Ghost and Copperhead are in. I am calling it – The Knights of the Wolf.” She looked to everyone else. “We will formulate a battle plan and move out in two days! This is too good an opportunity to pass up!”
Radio and the other Specials looked excited.
“Everyone, dismissed!” They got up to leave. It was strange, the rest were not a lot kinder to their newest members. Radio’s story left an impact with all of them.
That night, the Specials were each given their own cabins onboard the Odysseus. Captain Matthias trusted Wolf’s judgment, and thus far, they had shown no hostile intentions.
Inferno was sitting in his room, staring out the window when there was a knock on his door. He walked over, opening it. Shockwave was standing there.
“Mind if I come in?” she asked.
“Of course not. You know that.” He smiled at her.
She sat down on his bed. “What you said today, you meant it, didn’t you?”
He nodded. “I did. I’m tired of being a monster, Elsa. I want a real life! I want chance to live, without constantly having to fight. I want to know what the rest of the world cares so much about.” He sat down next to her. “What about you? What do you want after all this?”
She looked out the window as well. “The truth is, I don’t know. It’s just…this is all I know how to do! I don’t know how to fix things or make things or do pretty much anything except kill. The only times when I haven’t want to kill things are when…”
He sat closer. “When what?!”
Her eyes met his. “When I’m with you. I love you, Alex.”
Their lips met, with the two of them falling back. The passion in the room, it was intense. Neither one of them wanted it to stop.
Taking off her mask, Quinn sat at her desk. She got Oracle to cue in and look into this facility, along with do some research on another project. She heard Gabby come in.
“Can we talk?” she asked.
Quinn turned around. “Sure. You know that you can always talk to me.” She caught the look in Gabby’s eyes. “You’re upset with me, about taking in the Specials, aren’t you?”
In a flash, anger kicked in. “How could you do that?! Those people are monsters! Do you have any idea how many of my friends those psychopaths killed?!” Tears were welling up.
She nodded. “I do, Gabby. But right now, we can’t afford to turn away help!” She cued up a display of the battle map she had made. “We have a lot of things going our way, but the Empire’s military is vast and it is easily able to be replenished. This is a critical moment in our war with them. If we can get others from that Lab that they were talking about on our side, then we will finally have an edge on the Empire that they can’t counter! I know how hard this will be for you, but you have to understand why we’re doing this!” She got up and walked over. She ran her hand across Gabby’s face. “I need you with me on this, Gabrielle! I can’t do this alone!”
Gabby took her hand, holding it there. “I am with you, Quinn. I’m not going anywhere. But, if we invade this place, and you find Emily there.” She turned away. “You still love her. I know you do! I could almost feel you thinking about her when they talked about that prison.”
Quinn stepped back, sitting on her bed. “I do love her. I always will. I won’t lie to you about that. But, with everything that’s happened…I don’t know.”
Her girlfriend sat beside her on the bed, kissing her neck. “If you go back to her, I won’t stop you. I will stay by your side, for as long as you need me.”
There was a long time when nobody talked. “I won’t make any judgments. Not yet. Let’s leave it at that, for now.” The two laid down, holding each other close.
They were finally ready. Between the two of them, Emily and Vic were now more powerful than ever. Emily had learned how to possess even inanimate objects. It wasn’t as strong of a connection, but it was enough. She had also increased her distance of being able to control people. She had used it on a couple of sleeping guards earlier. The two looked at each other, smiling. It was time!
Vic charged up her energy fields. In waves of blue light, they came around her. They got stronger and stronger, until she went running at the door. She blasted the fields forward, ripping it off its hinges. The door was reinforced by materials that nobody knew existed, and it was destroyed as if it wasn’t there. Ripped open like a gaping wound, the two attacked. Emily took control of several of the guards who came in, having them open fire on the others. After those guards were killed, she had their corpses still fire. These guards were smart. They blew the legs off of the moving corpses, making it so that she couldn’t use them anymore.
How clever of them!
Vic slammed the other guards into the wall, with blood and some brain matter splashing out. Large swaths of other guards came out to meet her. They fired, but she had a strong barrier. Not one bullet touched her. She smiled at them.
“Hello, dead people!”
Until next time, a quote,
“I knew I smelled murder on that bitch.” -Jack, Mass Effect 2