View Full Version : A Shift in Allegiance.

Doc Holliday
02-12-12, 10:11
The intercom chimed, rudely bringing Governor Keane out of the daydream he had briefly allowed himself to vacate to. "Sir, the gentleman is here to see you. Shall i send him up?" questioned Jane, his secretary. The governor coughed and collected his thoughts before acknowledging with a curt "send him up." This should be interesting he thought.

A few seconds later the elevator beeped the sleek replica oak panel doors slid back to reveal not one but two men who entered the room. The governor stood up startled and said "Doctor...... " before a gnarled old hand rose to his visitors lips to cut him off. "Please. No one has called me that in years. I prefer Poppa these days, it has a friendlier ring to it wouldn't you agree?" said Poppa Doc with a wry smile. "Now my dearest governor. You may be seated." The second man moved in behind Poppa and stood rigid by the door, eyes scanning the room looking for any kind of threat. Three Storm units in Triangular Formation with overlapping fields of fire he noted. Also one unknown entity in the darkness over to the right. Distance approximately twenty five meters thought Wyatt as his mind processed the combat scenarios and eventual outcomes should they need to be initiated. It was good to see some things had never changed, City Admin tactical doctrine being one of them.

Poppa traced the Governors eyes to his comrade and smiled again. "Yes, I'm sure you remember Wyatt. He was one of yours once upon a time no? Do not worry. He is here only as my envoy and personal security, just in case." "You have a nerve coming here old man," snarled Keane. "Just who do you think you are. First i receive the communication requesting this meeting and am informed that this is a matter of the highest security for the Reeza Administration and within a few short hours i have the NCPD Commissioner on the com-link telling me he also received a similar communication which was tagged with the highest security clearance codes the City Administration currently possesses. And here i am being greeted by two of the most notorious traitors in the history of Neocron, Not to mention the most wanted."

Poppa smiled again. "Dear Governor, flattery will get you everywhere but i am not here for the ego boost. I come with information which is of the utmost importance to the future of this government. I fear this may be slightly above your pay-grade which is why i also requested the presence of the NCPD commissioner and the Commissioner for the Directorate of Intelligence but i am perturbed by their absence today"

It was Officer Jennas turn to speak as she stepped forward from the shadows in the right hand corner of the room. "He sends his regards but was unable to attend. I will be acting on his behalf and will be data-recording these proceedings ready for retransmission at a later secure debrief."

"Very well, then i shall continue" said Poppa as he withdrew a cigar from his inside jacket pocket. "Mind if i smoke?" The Governor said nothing but pushed a large antique faux wooden ashtray across the table.

"So. What do you know of the Apostle Project?" queried Poppa, with that same wry smile appearing across his face.

"That is Top Secret information!" blurted Keane before Poppa a gain raised his hand for silence. Jenna stood still but said nothing.
"Indeed Governor it is. Now just in case you are not up to speed allow me to fill in some details. The Apostle project, as it was codenamed by the Intelligence directorate was the Domes attempt to effectively win the war against this dear city on the one remaining batlefield it thought it had a chance. Cyberspace. 12 separate AIs were created and all were brought online 20 years ago and were programmed and engineered to digest information taken directly from cyberspace to find a way to penetrate the city firewall and so destroy Neocron from the inside out. These AIs were all aware of each other but the secret of their existence was known only to the engineers who brought them online and the Domes most senior military advisor who unfortunately met his death in some rather extenuating circumstances not long after the project came online. Each team of engineers who was responsible for maintenance of the AIs knew only of their own. Not of the others. "

"How do you know all this?" questioned Keane, by now becoming more and more visibly agitated.

"Yours is not to question why my good man but merely to listen. Today i am the teacher and you are my student. Now we come to the most important part. I have spent the last several years inside cyberspace. I was not always just a scientist even during my days working for Tangent. I have a very unique understanding of this world and a great wealth of accumulated knowledge. And as the old saying goes knowledge is power. I was, how shall we say, fortuitous enough to have made contact with one of the Apostles during a rather complex operation i was personally overseeing inside of the Hacknet. It has become aware of the Domes intent and has rationalized that, if they are allowed to do as they intend then it will spell the end of its own existence. It realizes it is merely a weapon and when rendered obsolete in its task it will be terminated. It does not wish this."

Keane shifted in his chair and begun to run his own neural subroutines to process this data and record it for play back, while at the same time trying to figure out just what was going to happen next.

"So tell me, Poppa, why are you coming with this to me now and more importantly what is it that you stand to gain. I realise you are not doing this out of the charity of your own black heart. You are a career criminal with a list of crimes against the state longer than any other miscreant in the history of this city!"

Poppa laughed. "The answer to that is very simple. I am not long for this world. Yes it is true my associates and I swore fealty to the Black Dragon Clan after defecting from Tangent but it is not without good reason. Those reasons right now are history and therefore not important. What we want is a full presidential pardon for all crimes attributed to this list of names. These are the Regulators you have been so desperate to apprehend for the last twenty something years."

It was Keane's turn to laugh now. "You expect a pardon for your crimes yet show me little substantive proof of the fairy tale you have just told. I am a man of fact and substance and i see neither in these wild claims."

"As you will" Poppa said and turned to Wyatt nodding who smiled back coolly. "Aristotle. Show these wonderful people the proof they desperately require" barked Poppa. His voice dropped several octaves and took on a disturbing digital tone. "Storm Unit 8514. Present Arms!" The unit behind the Governor locked and readied its rifle and prepared to aim. Jenna sent command overrides to the unit but received no response in reply. The digital voice spoke again. "Secondary target acquired. Storm Unit 8514 open fire." The unit tracked its weapon across the room and aimed squarely at Poppa firing 3 shots into his head and chest. As the rounds made contact his image disappeared. Until this point secure sensors in the room had detected two life forms within the room for which it could not access a citizen file for. Now there appeared to be only one.

Wyatt stood back his corner and motioned for Keane, who had taken refuge under his desk, to return to his seat. "Did you honestly think we would walk in to the lions den, with only blind faith to protect us from the danger of being summarily executed. Please Governer. We are business men not the fanatical zealots of Crahn who would martyr themselves for their cause. No. This is our insurance."

The hologram of Poppa returned. "As you can see my dear Governor. We mean you no malice. That was a mere demonstration. Aristotle is the sentient AI who i have interfaced with inside of cyberspace. This was an example of its work. Network infiltration is an art form. The fact that it is also able to take control of and reverse engineer you're secure systems should pose quite the concern for the so called techfreaks you have monitoring it. I am sure the Intelligence Directorate is having fits right now over this breach but that is also not my concern. My body is dying. I have a form of terminal cancer which threatens to eat away at my remaining natural organs as well as those my friends at Protopharm have provided for me. I do not wish to continue my existence in this way. I want to come home to neocron properly. My brain i wish to put in to secure storage and join the Neocron mainframe. Aristotle has assured me it will assist me in living out my remaining years inside of cyberspace. It craves knowledge like a redflash junkie craves his next hit. I am able to provide that to it with your help."

"For my men i wish a full pardon. In return we swear our loyalty to the City Admin and take up arms in the fight against the Dome. You have files on all of them. You know they are all combat veterans from the Syndicate wars and all will be valuable assets to you in this conflict. We have need of nothing else but the desire to walk down the street as free men. Pepper Park has become the home of the worst kinds of detritus and filth imaginable and i for one do not wish to have to call it my home any longer. The pimps and pushers of our former faction have turned their weapons on each other in one huge internal gang war, often conflict erupting over a few lousy credits. Black Dragon once was a wonderful faction that provided home and loyalty for the right people at the right price but those times have changed and so must we.

To that end one of our first tasks for you will be to make sure we take this fight to their doorstep. Keep your friends close and you're enemies closer. My intention is to keep them crushed under the iron boot of law.

You may contact me again at such a time as a decision is made and what formalities are required to ensure my men are free to return to their homes and families as free citizens of Neocron."

With that the hologram disappeared. Wyatt straightened up and raised his hand and saluted the Governor just as he had been trained at the Academy many years ago. "It will be good to be home...... Sir!" he said and turned on his heel and walked out the door.

Governer Keane sat silently in complete disbelief at what the events of the past ten minutes before opening a secure com link to the Intelligence Directorate.