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Neo Static: Awakening Zero III

The container floated across the floor; the pins held the weight. Ruffo noted that, as they moved through the passage, the lights on the device were blinking in sequence now: an activation process had been initiated.

"Damn," she muttered under her breath and held the stop signal up. "Whatever we did-"

She began but she was interrupted by the splashing as water was released from the container and onto the floor.


Neo Static: Awakening Zero II

"Time to go," Lastings whispered to Ruffo, shaking her from her studying of the container. "We stayed too long."

"Yep," Ruffo stated. She glanced around at the others and nodded the all-clear signal. "Let's get him to the truck."

Katt set out the Hover pins on the floor and activated them as they laid the container on it. Once the last pin was turned on the container hovered twenty five centimetres from the floor. Katt handed Ruffo the clip and Ruffo tucked it onto her belt.

"All set," Ruffo keyed her mike. "We're on our way."

"Roger," a voice came on, "Seven Echo Echo Niner."

"Echo Seven Niner Echo," Ruffo replied. The command to let them know they were not in distress.


Neo Static: Awakening Zero I

Ruffo looked over the container, studying it like a chess master calculating moves. She didn't want to be bringing the container back to base simply on the notion that it could be a trap. A bomb that could go off and then everyone is screwed.

"What you thinking of doing?" Lastings asked.

"I think we should just bring it back," Katt said. "Let the eggheads there have a looksee."

Ruffo waved her hand at them, motioning them to be silent. She wanted to be sure that it was safe to take back with them. She looked at the man in the glass, floating in the liquid inside. His eyes closed, his breathing was deep and slow. He looked like a man taking a nap; she tapped on the glass to see if his eyes would open, but they didn't.


Neo Static: Begin at The Beginning IV

The man encased in the container, surrounded by gel, was in a deep sleep.

"A cryo-tube?" Lastings asked.

"Looks like it," Ruffo said.

"How long has it been here?" Lastings wanted to know. "Who the hell is in it?"

"We'll know more once we get it back to base," Ruffo stated. She signalled the others to assist carrying the container back to the vehicle. "They'll know more once we get it there."


Neo Static: Begin at The Beginning III

The crew lifted the container, flipping it on its side. That's when Ruffo's eyes widened in surprise. The other side of the container had a thick plexi-glass case and green liquid inside. Floating inside it was a man.


Neo Static: Begin At The Beginning II

They were four hundred feet underground in the Biodome lab, where the trees, gardens, and flora, along with a fauna or two, were kept. Ruffo entered through a huge freight door as she spotted Lastings, Katt and Booker standing around a huge vat.

"Look what we have here," Lastings acknowledged Ruffo and pointed to a large container. "Booker discovered the markings on it. Is this what we are looking for?"

"Damned if I know," Ruffo said as she inspected the crate. "I only follow orders, Corporal, not inquire on what the hell to do with 'em."

Ruffo inspected the container. It was larger than man-sized and wider as well. It had a series of dials and a row of tiny lights flashing along the side.

"Could be a storage container," Katt spoke up.

"Or could be a bomb," Ruffo interjected.

Though she could make out the words along the top:



Neo Static: Begin At the Beginning

88 years from now...

The blast doors looked like they were ripped from their casing. The passage beyond was nothing but pitch black. Lore flashed his light down the corridor to reveal a floor littered with garbage and blood splattered about like a Jackson Pollack painting.

“It looks like we've arrived too late,” Ruffo stated, her voice thick with disgust. “You all know the drill; let's see what we can salvage.”

Ruffo looked at the dozen-or-so soldiers; they were as hardened a bunch of misfits as had ever graced the wasteland. They had been in very tight situations before and managed to fight their way out.

“Be careful,” she barked the order. “Anyone who does anything stupid will pay dearly.”

They all knew what she meant. One couldn't be too careful these days. 

They broke off into two teams with Ruffo leading one squad and her junior officer, Ksenych, leading the other as they entered the establishment. Moving like ancient hunters over a freshly frozen lake she led them down the main corridor to the station's main room. It was getting to be more routine for her team to find a base that had been hit hard. She doubted that they would find any survivors, since there were no signs of bodies anywhere at all.

Not more than a few short hours ago this facility was in full operation. Two dozen eggheads and their security team stationed in a remote wilderness location. This team was trying to unlock secrets of the past in order to see how they could get them to work and gain a better understanding of the technology that their grandparents had used. Things like a small audio device that could hold thousands of hours of music, communicating with each other not only around the world but elsewhere as well.

“Captain,” Lastings called out. “Lastings here. You ain't going to believe what we found.”

“Be there in three,” Ruffo replied. She nodded at the others to fall behind.


Neo Static: Receiving End

There were several potatoes on the table; each had a copper wire, nails, and copper pennies hooked up together like some primary school science project. Womack had to admire the work and detail, and she had a hunch that Max was up to something major. Sure his brain would fizz out to somewhere else every now and then but when it got back down to earth he was in his element.

"... and make sure you wrap the copper wire around the nails making a coil," Max told the others.

"Christ on a pony," Franklin said. "Makes me think I should have listened more during science class."

"Then what's next?" Nestor asked.

"I send a signal and we can get our asses back into the game, Frank," Max replied as he had forgotten where he was for the moment. He stopped and looked around at the others. "...lin."

Womack finished up wrapping the last of the nails in her row; she knew Max was a special brand of crazy and he was good when the going got bad. Since they were here under special orders by the upper echelon she guessed that they were saving him for the last, a sort of endgame surprise.

Max flipped the switch. 


Neo Static: Frequency Riders

He had cannibalized all other electromechanical devices in the bunker, ripped them apart, putting things back together again like some sort of weird Frankenstein contraption. Franklin didn't know what the hell he was building but whatever it was, it was weird; like something from an old 40's tv sci-fi show.

All the while Max was muttering underneath his breath. To Franklin it seemed like lyrics from a song, but he couldn't place it. He strolled back into the kitchen to confer with the others.

Womack glanced at Max from the kitchen; she turned back to Peters and Nestor and spoke quietly. "His mind has gone AWOL."

"I know," Peters said. "But considering we've been holed up here it was only a matter of time."

Womack knew that she too had been on edge lately, waiting, just waiting. She hated playing this waiting game.

"What's he building anyway?" Nestor inquired.

"He says a 'Transdimensional Radio Receiver'," Franklin replied.

"Poor Sarge," Nestor said. "Maybe we should just put him out of his misery."


Neo Static: Watson, I Need You.

The contraption was huge, made from several pieces here and there and it looked like something that a seven year old boy interested in electronics would make. Max stood back and admired what he had created, wondering why the idea hadn't come to him sooner. All he needed to do now was produce a tiny amount of electricity to make it work.

"How is it supposed to work?" Nestor inquired.

"We need a small power supply," Max replied.

"As if that is going to happen anytime soon," Womack interjected. She also muttered, "Power's been out for a while, you moron."

Franklin shot her a look and Womack cracked a sad little smile and shrugged her shoulders. A sort of what-the-hell-am-I-supposed-to-do-couped-up-in-here-with-an-idiot expression.

Max looked around the bunker and then he said with strict confidence, "Round up electrical extensions, and see if you can find some alligator clips and..."

"And what?" asked Nestor.

"And potatoes!" he added. 


Neo Static

His hand slammed down on the radio, trying to get the signal in clearer.

"You heard it, right?" Max asked the others. "Tell me you heard that!"

Franklin stood over the radio and glanced at Peters, Nestor and Womack, who were sitting at the kitchen table. All of them exchanging looks as if their intrepid leader had gone insane.

Max's attention went back to the old radio, his head pressed against the speaker. To Franklin and the others the radio was unplugged and broken, covered in layers of dust and cobwebs. It couldn't work since there was no electrical current running through it.

"He's losing it," Womack said in a hushed tone. She unhitched her holster. "One more crack like that out of him and he'll blow our hiding space."

"We got to do something," Peters said. "We've been hiding now for weeks and it's not getting any better."

The five of them had been holed up for a while now, itching to get back into the fight. But under orders they were told to hold up in this abandoned shack until a sentry returned to get them.

"This is damn maddening," Womack said. Her long silver hair was radiant in the candle-light; she was beautiful at her age. She looked like a war-hardened Helen Mirren, and maybe, just maybe, Nestor thought, she was.

In the other room, Franklin stood over Max. He hated to see him go through bouts like this. Every now and then the 'crazy' would seep in and Max was off in his own world. But these days it had been getting longer and longer. Franklin didn't like the idea of putting a bullet in his head...