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Neo Static: Enmity Terene V

"What did he say?" Hyllensen asked. He pushed Grumm aside and flipped up the speaker. "Are we recording?"

Grumm, his lab assistant, nodded his balding head yes. Hyllensen glanced at the monitor showing Max's face, whose eyes were open and serene.

Hyllensen pressed rewind until he heard the backwards blip-blip and then pressed play. He turned up the volume. The lab became quiet enough that you could hear a pin drop, waiting for what this strange fellow had to say.

"This transmission is coming to you."


Neo Static: Enmity Terrene IV

Munson leaned over Hyllensen's shoulder as Hyllensen's fingers danced over the keyboard; he began to input some data into the program. Bloodwork, x-ray scans and other testing to make sure that this fellow sitting there in the other room asking for a smoke and a coffee was genuine.

He wouldn't have put it past the Ul'ran to sneak a device in. Munson wanted to make sure that it was all good and kosher.

Smoke? What the hell was that? A code word?

The old dot matrix printer begin to whine, the machine jumped into life and slowly spit out the data. Hyllensen glanced at the sheet.

"Well?" Munson inquired.

Hyllensen studied the printout and his smile revealed what the tests showed.

"Positive?" Munson asked.

"Yes," Hyllensen answered.

"Sweet Mother of Mary," Munson said.


Neo Static: Enmity Terrene III

The sound of water hitting cement echoed throughout the chamber.

Ruffo stood in the shower, letting the crisp cool water cascade upon her body. The water felt like tiny kisses on the pores of her skin, and she was glad to be alive. It had been weeks since her body had embraced the rare commodity; water itself was a precious thing these days and when the storms hit it was a sign from the heavens to open up the containers and savour the free samplings it offered.

Her mind harping back on the words the stranger said...

"Well, that answered that question."

Before he fell unconscious again. What did it mean, what does it all mean.

"The crew is ready, sir!" Ksen called in, snapping her out of her thoughts.

"Be out in five," she replied as she lathered up.


Neo Static: Enmity Terrene II

Max was floating again, the sensation of drifting in a sea of salt felt very different this time. Not stagnant but more fresh, like The Atlantic Ocean beach. A flash of memories also seemed to come in, multiple images as if someone was scrolling through an iphone app.

As his eyes opened he could see several men in lab coats checking, monitoring, writing down. The lab coats were always jotting down stuff.

One must think they have stock in Dixon #2 pencils, he thought.

Then he laughed.


Neo Static: Enmity Terrene I

The convoy rolled into base, Ruffo felt a sigh of relief as the the huge one-foot thick steel door slid back down and locked itself into the ground once again. She jumped off the truck before it had a chance to fully stop and was received by a yeoman, who handed her a clipboard. She took it and signed away.

She turned her attention to Ksen and told him, "Make sure the team gets R&R. We'll regroup in an hour for the memorial service for the fallen."

Ksen nodded and then his eyes alerted her that a big-wig was coming.

She noticed the eggheads approaching, along with General Munson as well, and she snapped to attention.

"At easy, Ruffo," Munson said. "You're gonna break something."

"Is he still alive?" Hyllensen, one of the eggheads asked.

Ruffo shot him a look which told him that she hadn't failed at that task.

"Good," Munson said. "Let's get him unloaded and into sick bay."

Neo Static: Awakening Zero IX

The ride back to base camp was long; Ruffo felt more at rest now that she was heading back home. The Corpsman was looking after the stranger, keeping an eye on him after he had patched up the wounded and given last rites to those who didn't make the trip.

"I hope that bastard's worth it," Ksen said to Ruffo. "We lost some good men out there today."

"Well, it's a gamble we take each day," Ruffo told him. "We knew what we got into when we signed up for this. Each day is a risk we take and be thankful once we made it to another day."

Ksen was still feeling the loss of his friend, but he could understand what Ruffo was saying.

"I know it doesn't make it any better," Ruffo said.


Neo Stac: Awakening Zero VIII

Bullets and slugs danced in the heavens, a weird symphony of death being played out in a field of battle. Ruffo's team gave back as good as they got. She barked orders like a conductor at a concert, her team followed them with precision. An Ul'ran craft kissed the ground, bringing up so much dirt and smoke.

"Got one," Ksen said. "They ought to be leavin' now."

It was funny; if one craft went down the others would always leave. Maybe it had something to do with a link to each other, but no one was ever sure of what that was.

Ruffo breathed a sigh of relief as there were only three casualties and four wounded this time around. Those were good odds these days.


Neo Static: Awakening Zero VII

The battle began just soon as Ruffo's team emerged from the complex; the Ul'ran fighter crafts, 6 of them, appeared upon the horizon with guns blazing. The Ul'ran crafts were an obscene blend of steel and organics looking like a bird turned inside out. All Ruffo knew about them was that they had appeared 88 years ago when something happened and a portal was opened...

Several huge slugs ripped past her head, one of them hitting Booker and taking him down. The slug entered his upper chest and exited out of his back leaving a four centimeter hole. The slug itself was still alive and on the ground, dying. It had done its job.

"Give 'em Hell boys!" Ruffo barked.


Neo Static: Awakening Zero VI

Katt and Booker went ahead, their pulse rifles primed and ready for action. Ruffo kept an eye on the stranger since he seemed to slip into a coma after sitting up and stating what was a strange statement to begin with.

"Ksen," she keyed her mic. "We're heading out. How'd your search go?"

"Got some supplies, Sir," Ksenych replied over the mic. "We're back at the convoy, waiting."

"Any sign of anything yet?" she asked.

"We got about two minutes before all hell breaks loose," Ksenych replied.

"Damn," Ruffo muttered. It's going to be a close one that's for sure... They had wasted precious seconds when the container opened.


Neo Static: Awakening Zero V

"What the hell was that?" Katt asked as she stared at the unconscious body in the container. The fellow had spoken as if an experiment had failed and now had fallen back to sleep.

"We got company coming, Sir," a voice clicked on the radio, snapping Ruffo out of moment.

"Okay crew," she ordered. "Time to hustle out of here."


Neo Static: Awakening Zero IV

A hissing sound came from the container, as well as several clanking sounds which reminded Ruffo of the sound of popping knucklebones that her uncle used to make. This put the team on alert and they stepped back from the container, weapons drawn and ready to unload.

The lid of the container popped open, releasing a slight cold mist, and they all waited to see what happened next.

Katt primed a grenade, just in case it was needed.

The fellow from the container rose up like a man awakening from a nap, his bright blue eyes open and looking around as he stretched. He sat there and took in his surroundings and met with Ruffo's eyes as she stared right back into his.

"Well," Max said. "That answered that question."