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Defrag: Nexus Force


They stuffed their pockets with batteries and headed out. It was matter of walking and listening; they let Aqua carry the stereo. Their path zig-zagged as the faint voice appeared and disappeared in the static, like a shadow in a blizzard. Goner and Max had reconned most of the town in the two days since they had arrived here in the motel by the highway, so they kept up a good pace. By evening they had passed beyond the city limits, tracking the flickering signal along a country road. Enough moonlight that they didn't need to break out the flashlights yet. 

Max had been in a gunfight, took a bullet, came to in the shower of the motel room (with a new scar on his abdomen). Goner had been sleeping in a hotel with Frank and Max before waking up in the new room (he was worried about Frank). Aqua had stepped through the subway doors into the room (seconds after Akimoto, but where was he?); these kind of sudden shifts were pretty common on the subway so Aqua had taken it in stride. Dexter had been reluctantly practicing a meditation exercise with Callan; he hadn't recognized Goner or Aqua and was pretty sure that he was in some form of deep trance, his body still in half-lotus on the floor of Callan's apartment. 

It was morning before the signal cleared up enough that they could make out the voice. It was repeating a recorded warning about a radiation leak, insisting that everyone turn back. 

“Doesn't explain why there's no people,” Aqua said. 

“Unless they-” Goner started. 

“There'd be corpses,” Dexter interjected. He looked at Max and sighed; Dex had seen a lot of strange things in his days but things always got that much weirder when Cube showed up. “Alright, let's keep going.” He shook his head. 

Max grinned.