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Terminal Completion

Chapter 1

As another day at the Smith household begins, Roger squirms under his sheets at the sound of Dorothy's piano playing. Tired but defeated, Roger decides to get up, leaving the calm and peaceful, but short, night of sleep in his bedroom.

He arrives in the living room, Dorothy still playing her heartless rendition of the usual piano music. "Dorothy, I was wondering..." he says as Dorothy turns to face him, still playing.

"Yes, Roger" she replys with her usual monotonous voice, which to this day still sounds as cold and mechanical as the first day they met.

"Do you remember R-D, Dorothy? I was wondering if you knew who made her?" Roger's words send a chill down Dorothy's metallic shaft that serves as her spine. R-D hadn't been mentioned since they helped Rosco Fitzgerald.

"Why would I know that, Roger?"

"Well, you are, were, identical"

"That proves nothing. Machines can be easily duplicated whilst humans are unique"

"Yeah, I guess you're right, Dorothy. Say, where's Norman today?"

"He's repairing Big O in the hangar." As she says this, Roger's face turns to a look of surprise. Why would Big O need repairs? They haven't had any fights lately.

"Why is he repairing Big O? Big O is fine Dorothy."

"It seems that a large electrical pulse last night has affected Big O's systems and Norman is currently replacing many of his circuits as a result."

"Oh, hey, if there was a pulse that could do that to Big O, then why aren't you damaged?"

"Father installed a pulse-guard inside me that protected me from the pulse, though I still noticed it last night."

"Boy, Wayneright really thought of everything when he made you didn't he? Good thing he didn't make R-D then, huh?" Again R-D had been brought up this morning. Why was Roger so fascinated by her all of a sudden? Could he be troubled by her likeness to Dorothy?

"..." Dorothy simply turns back to the piano and begins to play again. She had unconciously halted playing during the conversation. Realising that he's struck a nerve in the mechanical doll, Roger decides to stop talking about Dorothy's alter-ego, maybe even her sister.

Once Norman has returned from the hangar, Roger and Dorothy sit down to have breakfast, albeit later than usual. The next few hours go by as usual, Norman and Dorothy cleaning up the house as normal and Roger going out to deal with a new client. However, when he arrives at the abandoned airport, JFK Mark, where he first met Big Duo and Schwarzwald, he finds there to be no sign of his client. He wanders into the nearest open hangar and begins searching for Autom Enttäuschung, a German guy like Seebach, but to his surprise is unable to locate him at all. Due to an uneventful search, bar the dropping of a metal pipe in one of the hangars, Roger decides to leave and take the day off. Much to his horror, he finds the Griffon with its windows smashed. A chill is sent down his own spine when he reads a message etched in the door of his precious vehicle: "Cast in the Name of Good, Ye Not Guilty", an eerie reminder of R-D and the people she killed. The only obvious difference between R-D and this message is that no-one has been killed, and this message has been dug 3 inches into the metal of the Griffon's door. Upon attempting to start the now disgraced car, Roger discovers that a few of the engine parts have also been stolen, something R-D never did in her murders, so he must call for a mechanic and have it towed home. Naturally aware of the fear R-D instilled in the residents of Paradigm City, Roger hangs his coat over the door, obscuring the message of terror.

Roger decides to call in at the Speakeasy to talk to Big Ear. Despite the destruction brought to the Speakeasy and Big Ear, the old android is looking surprisingly well and his face has been repaired remarkably well. "Big Ear, I'd like to know something about a certain person."

"Really? As if that's not unusual for you, Roger." He continues reading his newspaper as Roger stares at the ceiling, eyes closed.

"Believe me, this isn't the usual. I'd like to know about R-D." A silence falls over the bar, making it even quieter than usual as Big Ear begins to tell his story to his favourite 'knight in shining armor.'

"R-D, the android that decided to kill believing her actions to be part of some sort of destiny. Not a lot I can tell you about her, Roger, only that she was made before 40 years ago, then encased in a chest and abandoned in the subway."

"I take it then that you don't know who made her then?"

"Roger, if you're planning on finding them, then I suggest you head to the abandoned Vorun club." As per usual, Roger pays Big Ear for his information, whilst disregarding any possible hint of a warning from him.

Since the Griffon is still in the garage for repairs, Roger takes a bus to C Street and walks the rest of the way to the old club. The Vorun club was a popular source of entertainment similar to the Nightingale clubs, but was closed down a few years back due to lack of funding. Why would anyone make R-D here? Regardless of the reason, Roger arrives at the club and simply stares at the collapsing building for a few moments, then procedes to enter it. Staring into the darkness, he's glad he brought his flashlight with him. He flips it on and looks around for a bit, examining the decaying ruins of what used to be a bustling establishment. He walks over to the old stage and spots something lying just a few metres to his left, a trapdoor. He walks over to it and after some straining, manages to pull it open. He walks down the rotting steps and finds a large underground room full of all sorts of mechanical devices. To his amazement, the power is still on here, so he turns the lights on. He also manages to find a computer, dusty and dirty from lack of use. Computers are a rarity in Paradigm, since few people can figure out how to use them. Luckily, Roger manages to find the On switch and the dusty monitor bursts with light once again. It starts its start-up program and then goes dark once more. Just as Roger thinks it has completely crashed from age, the screen shines with the light of an image appearing on it. He makes out the image to be of an upside-down triangle composed of gems, 3 blue, 2 black and 1 red. As the screen changes once more, Roger hears something moving behind him. He turns around as a young man appears in the darkness of a corner to his left. "Who are you?!"

"It's not nice to talk to your elders like that, Roger Smith," says the young man in a voice comparable in monotone to R-D and Dorothy.

"I asked you, who are you!"

"For the time being, you can call me Wächterin, Roger Smith."

"Guardian? Are you Autom Enttäuschung?" he asks the dark figure now known as Wächterin.

"For a man so capable of translating Deutsch, I would have thought you would easily be able to decipher that name into English, Negotiator."

"Autom Enttäuschung? Automat Enttäuschung? Robot Betrayal!"

"Glad to see you finally figured it out," smirks Wächterin from the shadows.

"So you were my missing client. What is that you want from me?"

"It's very simple Roger Smith. If you recall correctly you were one of several children who were implanted with memories from 40 years ago, I seek to destroy you!"

"Are you the man that created R-D then? Answer me!" yells Roger, but to no avail as Wächterin has simply vanished into the darkness. Looking back to the computer screen, it now reads 'Schild Projekt Zwei', which Roger deduces to mean 'Shield Project 2.' No wonder he called himself Wächterin. Perhaps he is related to R-D?

Returning home, Roger remembers the tomato project of Gordon Rosewater. As he reaches home, the significance of him being one of those so-called 'tomato children' finally strikes him. It means that he's not the only Dominus and definately not the first. Enough of that though, he thinks to himself as he reaches the top of the elevator shaft. Walking through the corridors, Roger finds Dorothy sitting at the piano arranging her sheet music. "Dorothy, I know it's kind of a sore subject with you but..."

"Yes, Roger?"

"Well, I decided to look into the story behind R-D and, well, I found something you may want to know." Roger notices that Dorothy's poker face is showing some sign of subtle remorse.

"What is it, Roger?"

"Well, I don't think she was the only killer android made."

"You mean there's another R-D running around the city?" Dorothy's voice seems to hold a hint of concern.

"Not exactly, but what does the phrase 'Schild Projekt Zwei' mean to you?" With the completion of his question, Dorothy freezes at Roger's words, something she hasn't done since Big O blew a hole straight through Dorothy 1. Noticing her silent reply, Roger cuts the conversation short and takes the 130kg Dorothy to her room, where he lies her on her bed. Later on at dinner, Dorothy is still frozen and Roger wonders if Norman could fix her. "Norman, do you know if an android can be frozen by a word or phrase?"

"It's perfectly logical, Master Roger. Are you worried about Miss Dorothy?" replies Norman as he serves Roger a piping hot bowl of soup.

"Uh, no it's nothing like that, Norman. It's just that she hired me to protect her and there's a possibility that I just put her into the robot equivalent of a coma!"

"Well, perhaps that 'Wächterin' gentleman would be able to help you?"

"Norman, are you suggesting, that I track down a possible killer android, and ask for his help?" says Roger with a tone of sarcasm and a look to match.

"That's it exactly Master Roger." Feeling almost embarassed by the idea, Roger decides to take Norman's advice since it's the best lead he's got.

Roger collects the Griffon from the garage and procedes back to JFK Mark, hoping to find Wächterin there. Entering the hangar where he heard the piping fall, he finds Wächterin waiting for him. "I take it then that you require my help, Roger Smith?"

"How do you know that?" yells Roger with the same anger in his voice that he gets when talking to Schwarzwald.

"There isn't much that I don't know, Dominus."

Surprised and shocked at Wächterin's knowledge of him and Big O, Roger manages to say "I don't know how you know that Wächterin, but I need your help to bring a client of mine out of a coma. I assume that you have the correct memories to do that since it was your project that put her in it."

"That's right, but in order for you to take my memories, you have to get me first", he replys with an eerie tone.

"What do you mean, Wäcterin?"

"I mean, how can you get me, if you can't move Negotiator?" With that, Wächterin lunges at Roger as he narrowly escapes the attack. Roger ducks behind some crates as he uses the weapon systems of the Griffon to fire 2 missiles at Wächterin, both direct hits. As he gets up from behind the crates he watches as the smoke clears, and Wächterin is unharmed from the attack.

"You won't escape me that easily Negotiator!" Wächterin chases Roger into a tunnel at the back of the hangar, where Roger manages to lose him. He is running past some strange piping on a train when Wächterin drops from the ceiling and steadily aims a gun of somesort at his head. Just before he fires, Roger stabs him with one of the pipes and is almost hit by the bullet. In all the ensuing confusion, Roger manages once again to escape Wächterin and has left him a few minutes down the track. Travelling down the track, Roger comes across an opening in the side of the tunnel, where a strange case with a blue interior is hanging open. As he realizes what the case is, he hears the dripping of blood behind him.

"You'll pay for that you worm!"

"I see now, you're just another version of R-D, aren't y.." Roger is unable to finish his sentence when he realizes that the dripping sound is coming from Wächterin's arm. Wächterin is dripping blood onto the track.

"Impossible, how can you have blood? You're an android!"

"All is not as it seems Roger Smith. This world is not just some stage for you to play your part, it's a reality you couldn't possibly comprehend!"

"What are you!"

"You know what I am, Schwarzwald was searching for me. And when he found me, he had to be eliminated."

"You were what killed him? But you haven't told me what you are!"

"I am the Guardian. You are the Earth in this equation. Since Air has already been eliminated, so must you!" Fearing for his immediate life, Roger brings his watch to his mouth.

"BIG O! SHOWTIME!" The ground trembles as Big O's face appears behind Roger, who is still holding his watch up.

"That won't save you this time Negotiator." Wächterin's forehead lights up with 3 blue gems arrange in an upside-down triangle, "TOUYOU! ACTION!" Once more the earth shakes, as another Megadeus rises from behind Wächterin. Almost identical to Big O, Touyou is colored light blue and his chest is different to Big O's. To add, Touyou's head piece is not a semi-circle, but a triangle spiked at the corners. The Megadei arise from the earth into the main area of JFK Mark Airport.

"So, you have a Megadeus too. Well we'll see how you can use it!" yells Roger as Big O fires his now revealed plasma machine guns from both arms at Touyou. The explosion hides everything, but Roger can still hear the sound of two vacuums being simultaneously filled quickly. To his horror, he sees a hail of ice shards fly from the smoke cloud, straight at Big O. Only just managing to defend himself with the arm shields, Roger sees Touyou holding his arms up directly pointed at him. Obviously, Touyou's arm weapon is some sort of ice-related weapon. "So, you must be Water, am I right Wächterin?"

"Not even close Roger Smith." Touyou's arm shields split and rise up in the front-center as giant gunbarrels push out from inside them. "Touyou, Proton Burst!" yells Wächterin as the barrels both begin generating a massive ball of energy, roughly one-third the height of Touyou himself, each.

Big O fires his eye lasers at the balls and watches as they both explode in Touyou's face. "You're gonna have to do better than that."

"Indeed, you will."

"Huh? What!" screams Roger in shock as the smoke clears to reveal Touyou aiming a massive cannon, now revealed from his lower chest where once there was only triangular sheathing.

"Touyou, TIME BLAST!" yells Wächterin as the cannon fires an icy cold blast of blue energy at Big O. Roger is petrified as the beam rapidly approaches him. He only barely jumps out of the way of it with his chains. As he stares at the now terrifiing blue Megadeus, he notices the Big O's screen flashing something: "Time brings great things to those who wait." As he wonders what this message could mean, another appears: "Final Stage." Suddenly, the meaning of the message is all too clear. "Big O! Final Stage!" yells Roger once more as Big O reveals the mode which brought fear into the heart of Alex Rosewater so long ago. "This attack leveled an entire Dome, Wächterin. You won't survive this!"

"But at what price, Roger Smith?" Then it hits him. If he destroys Wächterin, he won't be able to wake up Dorothy. "That wasn't what I had in mind Negotiator," smirks Wächterin as though he just read Roger's mind. "Was it really worth Rosewater fearing it, if you KILLED thousands of people in the Dome you leveled?" Roger snaps out of his daydream, and notices that Wächterin has vanished along with Touyou. After leaving the cockpit, he walks up to the area where he stood, and finds a disc on the ground. Attached is a message: 'You must keep it after giving it'...


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