Articles - Unicorn's Shadows - Part 7Part Seven
The Omni-Pol building in the Omni-Ent district is busy with activity, unusual for the late hour of the night. Squads run out and assemble in formation in front, heavily armed while several terminals in the city display the face and description of a wanted man to the entire section of Omni-1.
Higher ranking officers begin to form three large teams taking up two whole streets, employees hustle toward their apartments or place of work to avoid getting in the way of one of the most feared departments of the corporation
A white yalmaha roughly lands in the middle of a nearby street and a tall Opifex jumps out, many react thinking they may be under attack and aim their weapons at the vehicle before they can recognize the man who is walking toward them.
"At ease!" screams the man; officers immediately salute and stand in front of the squads, waiting for his command.
He begins to shout, "I'm Commander Kincaid, for those of you new to the department, and for the rest... you know me from your academy days in Omni-Prime. I've been assigned to oversee the security of the Entertainment District, and lucky me, in my first day we have a code orange! This means we have a terrorist in the area, and we're going to bring him in any way we can. I want minimal employee casualties, but do not hesitate if it means securing the target!"
"We start with a basic mobilization pattern. Three teams, sweep and search just like practice, thorough but fast!"
"C Team take the outer perimeter and make sure he can't leave. Shoot for the legs, we want him alive."
"B Team, you're going down. He may have taken the sewers system to escape."
"All units maintain radio contact early and often. Who's got questions?quot;
"A Team is with me, we'll take the area from which he was sighted and work our way out."
Dozens of armed officers spread through the district looking for suspicious individuals matching the description displayed on their NCU.
Meanwhile a cloaked man walks under the shadows of the night, trying to find a way out. He knows an alarm has sounded and that he is being hunted. Moving slowly and looking at every corner before taking a step he wonders if he'll make it out undetected. His cloaking device is of the highest quality, but he knows that his pursuers are trained to detect anyone trying to conceal themselves with such a device.
He ponders how he was spotted when he had taken every precaution possible; it wasn't his first trip into enemy territory, and was no stranger to Omni-1 or it's districts. Walking against the wall heading toward one of the gates he avoids being seen by guards; hoping to make it close enough to make a run for it and make it outside, where his Stiletto is programmed to pick him up.
Carefully getting a few feet from the guards by the south gate a squad arrives and begins to question nearby employees. Knowing that staying longer raises the chances of detection he runs and his cloaking device automatically shuts down making him visible.
"There he is! take him down alive!" shouts the squad leader pointing toward the gate.
Guards open fire as the squad runs in pursuit of their target. From the outer perimeter four guards step inside the corridor leading to the forest and aim their weapons forward to stop him.
There is no way out or back inside the city. The guards and the squad have the man covered; shouting for him to lay on the ground. Unknown to them, was the fact that the man who they think is cornered actually had ran a specific nanoformula on his NCU and it was about to execute.
"Sorry boys, but I've got unfinished business to attend to." he replies to the guards, and with that said the omnis are rooted in place, unable to move or attack.
He takes off running into the forest knowing that he had just bought himself a few seconds; tapping his wrist he signals his vehicle to lock on his position to take him back to clan territory.
Meanwhile in an dark office in Omni-HQ a monitor displays what had taken place to Janus.
"Just as I expected, the son comes to rescue the father. Time to keep my word." He turns to his desk terminal and opens a channel. "It's time, grid the old man to the following location". A "Yes sir!" is heard and he closes the channel after sending the coordinates.
Leaning back he sees on the monitor that squads of officers going out in chase of the agent. "Hmm... can't have him captured, no.. that would ruin the surprise." Turning back to his terminal he swiftly hacks into the Omni-Pol communication system, and issues a recall order to end the pursuit.
Confused but obedient, the officers stop and head back into the city, upset and cursing for failing to capture their target.
A few minutes pass, and the man running in the forest begins to tire and slows down to a walk as he sees the scanner on his wrist shows no signs of his pursuers. He gets his night vision goggles out of his pioneer backpack to help him see better in the darkness.
He checks his scanner again and looks around, "Must've lost them, thank god. Where the hell is my yalm?quot; he whispers. The agent knows that the vehicle should have locked on his signal and picked him up seconds after he was outside the city, but almost ten minutes have passed and there was no sign of it anywhere.
As he stops to lean on a tree a familiar sound is heard nearby. The sound of a yalmaha landing. Activating his cloaking device he begins to sneak toward the place from which the noise originated hoping that it was his vehicle and not an Omni-Pol squad that had landed.
His wrist lights up with his vehicle ID signature, telling him that it landed fifty feet from where he stands. He decloaks and with a sigh of relief walks toward his yalm.
"About time, those bastards almost had me." he whispers to himself, walking toward the hovering Stiletto.
Over two weeks had passed since his father's disappearance, without a word from the kidnappers after their demands had been met. He had disbanded his clan, retracted the information about the Unicorn Company to everyone he had told and removed himself from the public eye like they wanted. Unable to wait any longer he had infiltrated Omni-1 and searched for days hoping to get a clue as to his father's whereabouts with no luck, and then he was discovered, ending his search.
Clasping his fists in anger he wanted to turn his most precious property into a pile of scrap metal, and then; the most unexpected thing happened.
Walking out from the shadows, a familiar figure appeared, his father.
Suspicious at first, he scans him and verifies that in fact the man before him was indeed his parent.
"Pops... you alright? why aren't you talking?quot; the agent asks, slowly walking forward and looking around still suspicious.
The old man raises his left hand and drops something at his side, the object lightens up and a hologram of a faceless man appears from it.
"Hello Mr. Wagner."
With anger the agent replies, "That voice... you're the one who took my father!"
"Yes. You've kept your side of the deal, and now I will keep mine. As you can see he is without a scratch on him, like I said he would be."
"Good, now let him go."
"Well... it's not that easy, you see... I said there would be no scratch on him, I never said he would be the same as he was."
"What the hell are you talking about?quot;
"Why don't you take a good look at his uniform and faction ID?quot;
In the darkness he had failed to recognize the clothes his father was wearing, now more focused he looks again, and recognizes the clothing. Confused by it, he scans his father and read his faction ID, to be omni.
"I don't know what game you're playing at, but putting a uniform on him and changing his ID to OT doesn't mean a thing, once we're back home we'll burn those InternOps clothes and get a clan form to set things right."
"I doubt it. You see... his body has not changed, but his mind has. Everything that your father was, is no more. We've taken the liberty to 'reform' him by biologically removing all his memories, and giving him a new start in life with new memories. As a loyal Omni-Tek employee."
"NO! You lie! He would never join you!" he screams.
"No? well, let's test that shall we? We've provided him with a top of the line perma-death weapon, for your viewing pleasure, and your permanent departure." said the hologram.
With eyes wide open, the realization of what those words meant makes him pull his X-3 rifle and begins to scan for the object that is projecting the hologram from the ground.
"Ah!, not so much disbelief now. Let the fun begin." the hologram seems to turn toward Wagner senior and tells him "Aces are strong, but Jokers are wild."
At that moment the agent finds the object and shoots, breaking the source of the hologram to pieces; the mysterious shadow and voice are gone. Only the agents remain in the dark forest.
"Pops? can you hear me?quot; he asks, slowly walking aiming his rifle forward; knowing that if what had been said was true, he may have to shoot him.
The reply was something he had never thought he would hear.
"You filthy clanner, DIE!" and with those words the older agent pulled a rifle, moves against a tree for cover while opening fire against his son.
Released September 29, 29477 (2003)
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