[Fan Fiction] Personal Fanfic Characters thread.

paul1290 05-11-2005 05:19 PM
I updated the character profile format to include short and long term goals and added some suggestions for writing fics. I also updated my own character.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to write the next fic. I might be able to post a new fic sometime next week. I'm still trying to decide which characters to use.


Characters I might use:
-Pygmalion's "Karen"
-Mrs. Beck's "Raven"
-Pero is Crying's "Alouette "Ally" LeBlanc"
paul1290 05-23-2005 07:53 PM
Sorry for the long wait. Here it is.





Paul Fanfic #2

Characters: Jette Kryton (KaiserZr), Raven (Mrs. Beck), Paige Entienne (Gummibear), Paul Wilson (paul1290).



Chapter 1: The Speakeasy


Roger Smith walked into the speakeasy while Dorothy followed behind him. The regulars at the bar have gotten used to Dorothy’s presence lately to there wasn’t any blank stares. He sat down next to Big Ear.

“I there was a disturbance at the bank yesterday.” Big Ear said in his usual tone. “I heard it was caused by a thief they call “Raven”.”

“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions.” Roger answered. “It could have been Beck, they have similar style.”

“Let’s cut the chit chat and get to down business, what do you want to know.” Big Ear replied.

“Tell me what you know about the recent murders happening in the city, my client thinks he’s the next target.” Roger said.

While they were having their little discussion, Jette walked into the bar and sat down at a nearby table. There was someone across from him who was typing something on a laptop. Laptop computers aren’t very common in Paradigm so some of the guys at the bar eyed him suspiciously.

“So, do you have it.” Jette asked.

Paul looked up at him and put away the laptop. “It’s right here.” He took out a long object wrapped in cloth. “I sprayed it with amorphous steel and gave it a diamond film coating before sharpening it. It should stay razor sharp for another decade of regular use.”

Jette unwrapped it revealing a sheathed sword. He unsheathed it and inspected it carefully.

“Nice.” Jette said. “I already transferred the 20,000 dollars to your account.”

Just then a dark figure walked in the bar, took out a pistol and shot into the air. Everyone panicked and started running. Paul and Jette dashed for the cover of the bar. Roger, Dorothy, and Big Ear hid behind a table.

“Rooggeerr” sounded a familiar electronic sounding voice.

“R-D!” thought Roger. “I thought she was gone for good.”

Meanwhile Paul and Jette were trying to come up with a plan. Paul got out his custom .45 handgun. But before he could take aim and fire, R-D fired a shot that bounced off the top of the bar above him.

“Darn it, I guess that’s not going to work.” Paul said. “Got any ideas.”

Jette unsheathed his newly sharpened sword. He jumped out from behind the bar and charged towards R-D. R-D started firing wildly. Jette deflected 5 shots with his sword before he was forced to take cover behind the bar.

“I’ll need a distraction to get close enough.” Jette replied.

“One distraction coming right up.” Paul then took a ballpoint pen from his shirt pocket and pushed a button on its side. It started beeping and he tossed it over the bar.

“Now!” Paul shouted.

The ballpoint pen emitted a blinding flash along with an EMP that stunned R-D for just 2 seconds. It was long enough for Jette to run up to her and slash at her with his sword. R-D collapsed on the floor. Jette sheathed his sword.

“She’s down and out.” Jette said.

Paul, Roger, Dorothy, and Big Ear came out of hiding and looked down at R-D’s corpse. Except it wasn’t R-D. This particular android had R-D’s voice, but it didn’t look like R-D at all. It looked more like the unfinished robot in the Wayneright mansion.

“I don’t like the looks of this.” Roger said.

To be continued…


I might still add some additional characters to this fic because two of the characters I'm using were in the last one.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to continue this. I should be able to post the next chapter soon.
paul1290 06-03-2005 09:07 AM
Paul Fanfic #2


Chapter 2: Beck’s Nightmare

Beck quietly crept towards that large vault. In a few moments the jewel would be his for the taking. He carefully picked the lock to the safe.

“This is great. I got to steal 300,000 dollars from the bank, get back at crowboy, and now I’ll have a 3 million dollar diamond in my possession all in the same week. My luck must be changing. Who would have thought that that disk I found in the subway had R-D in it. Crowboy must be really freaked out by now.” Beck thought to himself.

He finally unlocked the safe and looked inside.

“What!!!! You’ve gotta be kidding me!!! Not again!!!” Beck cried out in alarm.

There was no jewel in the safe. Instead, there was a note that said “Better luck next time.”

“I can’t believe this! Raven was here first again! Is she stalking me or something!”

Meanwhile, Raven was in a car chase just a few miles away trying to outrun the military police.

“Attention! You are under arrest, please stop exit vehicle immediately.” Dastun said through the loudspeaker.

“Shut up already.” Raven answered.

“This is your last warning! If you don’t pull over we will be forced to open fire!” Dastun said.

“Bite me!” Raven said in response.

She immediately turned right around the corner. When Dastun and his men went around the corner after her, she wasn’t there. She disappeared without a trace.

“Damn!” Dastun said as he slammed his fist on the dashboard. “How the heck does she do that? It’s almost as if her car turned invisible or something. This is insane.”

Suddenly, Dastun got a call from Military Police HQ.

“Sir, we just got a phone call from a Mr. Paul Wilson.” The officer said. “He said some optical camouflage equipment was stolen from his workshop early this morning.”

Dastun sighed and said “Tell him that I think I know where it went.”

Meanwhile, Raven drove up to an abandoned hanger near the old JFK airport. She stepped out of the car and took the suitcase with the jewel in it. She then walked inside. There was someone hiding in the shadows waiting there.

“I got the jewel like you said.” She said to whoever was there.

“Good.” Said a creepy voice. “Leave the suitcase right there. Your paycheck is on the table to your left. Just take it and leave.”

Raven put down the case. She then picked up and inspected the check. It was worth 3 million dollars. She didn’t ask any questions, she just simply went back to her car and left.

To be continued…




I wasn't able to make this chapter very long because I'm having a hard time writing right now (school just ended). The next one should be longer somewhat longer than this one.

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to post here or PM me. Also, it's not to late to come up with your own character profile and post it here.
paul1290 06-11-2005 04:16 PM
Paul Fanfic #2


Chapter 3: More R-D madness

Paige entered the doughnut shop holding a small slip of paper. The other officers at the MP sent her to get doughnuts for them again. After getting the doughnuts she started driving back to Military police HQ. She suddenly got a call from HQ.

“There have been reports of gunfire in your area.” The officer said. “You can drop off the doughnuts later, for now just go over there and investigate. We’ll be sending backup shortly.”

“Understood” replied Paige.

When she got there, she found Roger Smith taking cover behind the Griphon while someone holding a gun walked towards him. Paige got out of the car and pointed her own handgun at him.

“Hold it right there.” She said.

The attacker turned around and faced her.

“You cannot stop me!” said the very electronic sounding voice or R-D.

R-D fired and shot Paige’s gun out of her hand. Paige took cover behind her own vehicle. R-D then continued towards Roger.

“Take this you freak!” said a familiar voice.

Paul suddenly came out of nowhere. He was holding an electric stun weapon of some sort. He started running towards R-D. But R-D fired a shot at him and he was forced dive out of the way to dodge it. He accidentally let go of the stun weapon it slid on the pavement towards Paige.

“Stupid humans” R-D said as she continued towards Roger.

Paige picked up the stun weapon and turned it on.

“Not so fast” she said as she threw it at R-D.

It hit R-D’s back and in a shower of sparks she collapsed on the ground.

To be continued...



Sorry for the long wait. I'm having some trouble coming up with ideas so I couldn't make this as long as I wanted to.
Pero_Is_Crying 06-20-2005 01:20 PM
I'm back from my trip, and I see you are still soldiering onward. I just wanted to let you all know I'm still around and give the thread a needed bump.

I'm really having a blast with this idea. I've got a sizable chunk of story saved on my evil computer from before I left. I kinda wanted to finish it before I started posting and I'm not quite there yet. It could take a while yet. The story's working title is "Life Imitates Dreck". It's meant to follow the first story in this thread because it hinges on Paige being on vacation. All I'll say is that I'm trying to write it in the light hearted spirit of "The Greatest Villian" and I'm using Ally's daydreams about her god-awful novel instead of Roger's voice overs to tie it together. I hope it turns out at least a little funny, but I don't think I'm very good at that. I am having a lot of fun with Raven and Beck, though. I think Mrs. Beck may want to either hug me or smack me when I'm done. ;-)

We now return you to the fanfic already in progress....
paul1290 06-20-2005 03:29 PM
Paul Fanfic #2


Chapter 4: Beck’s Revenge

Roger woke up to the sound of Beck’s laughter. He found himself in a dimly lit room, and he was tied to a chair. The last thing he remembered was being saved from R-D before sleeping gas that came from the disabled android’s corpse knocked him out.

“Why hello Crow Boy.” Beck said. “It looks like I’ll be getting my revenge on you after all.”

“What do you want!” Roger said in an angry tone.

Roger’s vision cleared and he saw Paige Entienne and Paul Wilson also being held captive by Beck. Beck then noticed where he was staring.

“Well, I couldn’t let them start spreading the news of you’re abduction.” He said cheerfully. “So I had to get them as well.”

Paul slowly woke up. And looked around him.

“Well this really sucks.” He said in a rather sarcastic voice. “I have to admit though, putting a sleeping gas bomb in the android was rather clever.”

“It is.” he replied.

“You were the one putting the R-D virus in all those androids to attack me!.” Roger said.

“Why yes, I just happened to find the disk in a subway tunnel.” Beck replied. “Enough talk, I’d better put you in separate rooms before you all come up with a strategy against me. I’ll decide what I’ll do to you later.”

Beck’s henchmen locked each of them in separate rooms in the old building. Roger just sat there and pondered about how he was going to get out of there. Norman and Dorothy might realize he was missing, but that was no use unless they knew where he was.

After and hour or so, Roger heard the footsteps of someone running in the next room.

“Beck! It looks like that MP officer escaped somehow.” One of the henchmen said.

“What! How!” Beck cried in alarm.

“We found this stuck in the lock.” There was the clinking sound of him placing a small metal object on the table.

“The old hairpin lockpick trick.” Beck sighed “I really should have seen that coming. I knew I should have installed newer locks on those doors. Find her immediately!”

Roger heard the footsteps of Beck and his henchmen running out of the room. A few moments later someone slowly unlocked and opened the door in front of him.

“Roger.” Paige said. “C’mon, we have to find Paul and get out of this place.”

Suddenly was a loud popping sound.

“Beck!” one of the henchmen yelled. “That nerdy looking guy with the glasses escaped as well.”

“How!!!” Beck screamed.

“Dunno, but there’s a hole and some burn marks in the door where the doorknob used to be. That guy who was interrogating him was knocked out too.” The henchmen replied.

“I guess he found his own way out.” Roger shrugged.

“I think we better find him then.” Paige said.

Roger grabbed his watch and other stuff from the table next to the door of the room.

“Isn’t it kind of silly how he put our stuff just outside the room like that.” Roger asked.

“Yea, it is kind of stupid. It just makes it easier for us to escape. I guess Beck must have been a little too confident.” Paige replied.

They both crept towards the stairs so they could get towards the garage on the first floor of the building. When they got to the first floor, Paul was already there trying to hack the electronic lock.

“About time you got here.” Paul said. “I was starting to think Beck already found you.”

“How did you get out anyway.” Paige asked.

“That guy who was interrogating happened to have a lighter with him.” He said. “I just knocked him out, took the lighter, emptied some of the lighter fluid into the keyhole and lit it. It blew the doorknob off.”

Paul finally got the door open.

“All done.” He said.

They walked into the garage and spotted the Griphon. They immediately dashed for it. Beck and his henchmen followed them.

“Hey! I was going to keep that car as a souvenir.!” Beck shouted.

“Too bad Beck!” Roger replied.

The Griphon immediately sped off into the distance.

“Ha, there is one thing he forgot about.” Beck said to himself. “ I still have the disk , R-D can still haunt you.”

Beck reached in his pocket but the disk was gone. He instead pulled out a small slip of paper and read it.

“Raven!!!!” Beck screamed.

We have come to terms




Sorry for the long wait for this chapter, I've been having a lot of trouble coming up with ideas. I also had summer school which kind of messed everything up (I want to get history class over with so I won't have to do it next year). I hope you liked this one. Tell me what you think.

If you have any new characters or fics to post then feel free to do so.
Generalissimo D 06-20-2005 03:53 PM
D-Boy Fic:


"Cameo"

--------

The skies of Paradigm were unsettled as a figure moved behind the clouds. Memories of the Union bombers awakened in Roger Smith as he sped of in the Griffon, not making much any sense whatsoever. For a moment, he thought he saw the silhouette of Big Duo. It was bigger though.

Much Bigger.

The massive figure began its descent far off, only a fire smudge in the horizon. It landed on the beach softly, as if it weighed no more than a feather. The lower abdomen opened and a motorcycle dropped. It began making its way along the length as the dome-like cockpit opened up and expelled its pilot directly on it. Gregory Diaz never liked cars. Much like the beasts that no longered exists. Archiac. Crude. The bike started activating its afterburners and rocketed onwards towards the target his glasses displayed.

"Mr. Beck..."

Switching his ride on autopilot, he took out what seemed cigarrette and leaned back, lighting it with the flames of the exhaust. He took a drag of it and looked at it. It was giggling at him.

Poisoning your lungs again? My my...what an irresponsible little Dominus..

He simply stuck it in his mouth and regained the controls. He saw the gold-haired man in his sights, and prepared to hand him his just desserts...

------

Pleased
Lyinginbedmon 06-21-2005 10:50 AM
"Unwanted Attention"

----------------------------------------------

The sky above Paradigm floated about, clear and without a cloud in the sky. A few birds flew by now and then, but ultimately nothing was using the airspace. But for one,

A slight twinkle appeared just above the horizon, followed soon by the quiet noise of an object travelling at supersonic speeds. The object flew directly down, a second sound of what might be described as 'screaming your lungs out' hidden just beneath the sonic boom following it. Eventually, it landed in a back alley near some closed down bars, no-one around to see it or the considerable crater it caused in the floor.

But were there anyone to see the object land, they would have noted that it was not actually an object. Rather, it was a creature, a person to be precise, who appeared no older than 12 years. A rather small child, the boy had spiked blonde hair, and wore clothes completely white, his baggy trousers covered in pockets for various small objects. He stood up, and dusted himself off from the cloud that succeeded his mysterious arrival.

"One of these days, I am SO going to kill Tim for this!" He screamed into the air, his voice deeply layered with intense annoyance, "The next time he wants someone to check these places out he should send someone who's actually built for it!" He reached into one of his pockets, and pulled out a pair of sleek silver sunglasses, "It's way too bright for me around here", he slid them on, completely concealing his eyes from view, before wandering through the alleys to the open streets...

----------------------------------------------

For those who don't know, I just inserted TS-Tim, instead of the full-strength version, so he should be a lot easier to work in, as his powers are extremely limited and he is otherwise human.
Mrs. Beck 06-25-2005 11:09 PM
Comment to Paul's chapter #4:
X) Nice insert for Raven at the end, there. I'm sort of anxcious to find out the rest of the fic now, though...
I still haven't been able to start a fic yet of my own, I'm still grounded, but one day....soon, hopefully.
Pero_Is_Crying 07-03-2005 02:08 PM
The jury sat spellbound in rapt attention as Paradigm City’s top defense attorney, Angelique…No. Minx Marten? No. Belle Starr! That’s it! Where was I?

The jury sat spellbound in rapt attention as Paradigm City’s top defense attorney, Belle Starr, strode purposefully across the courtroom, pleading for the life and freedom of her dashing but tragically misunderstood client. All had their doubts about the innocence of two time-convicted felon Billy Blaze. But Belle made so compellingly logical an argument that even the hard-nosed judge began to reconcider…


“Miss LeBlanc, you know damned well you can’t threaten to hold your breath until a judge overrules an objection!”

Allouette LeBlanc might have sighed at the unwelcome intrusion of reality in the form the Judge’s stern bellow, had her cheeks not been puffed out like a hamster’s. Everyone in the courtroom knew that childish stunts like this would land a lawyer a night in jail, as any decent judge would find her in contempt of court. Two people in the courtroom knew that probably wasn’t going to happen in this case.

“Mmm-mmm.” She argued.

After nearly a minute without a breath she was starting to feel light headed. Trust Judge Crispin to take his time and watch her mockery of the legal system run its course. She resolved to sue him if she hit her head when she passed out. But whether she turned blue and lost consciousness or went directly to jail without passing go was hardly an issue. Either way Jason Beck’s latest trial would grind to a halt without a lawyer to defend him. Outlandish stalling tactics were Ally’s stock in trade.

“Very well. Ten minute recess.” Judge Crispin announced, still locked in a staring contest with Ally.

He was practically smiling, undoubtedly imagining her trying to hold her breath for the next ten minutes. Ally whimpered, thinking the same thing. He was taking an awful long time with that gavel.

“I want to see both councilors in my chambers.” He added.

It was her imagination that added the slow motion.

The instant the gavel finally struck the bench, Ally gasped a lungful of recycled air and sank back into her seat next to her client. The courtroom erupted into a low murmur as the Judge left. Ally smiled, still catching her breath. She loved causing a stir, even if it was just a cheap trick. The courtroom is usually so boring. But everyone enjoys the circus when it comes to town.

“What are you doing?” Beck asked nervously.

He looked absolutely miserable in the respectable but not too expensive navy blue suit she’d picked out for him so he’d look less like a criminal. The pale yellow tie was her only concession to his oddly charming gold fetish, and it was as crooked as he was.

“I’m trying to get you a new judge.” She explained, straightening his tie. “This one will never see eye to eye with us. He’s still got just a little bit of integrity. Professionally, anyway.”

“I see. Will that be today?”

“Of course not.” She laughed. “You know how inefficient the legal system is.”

“Great! So how long do I have to sit in jail until they determine a new court date to determine HOW LONG I HAVE TO SIT IN JAIL?” he ranted.

“Take it easy, Jason.” She said wit the practiced execution of someone who must have uttered the phrase a thousand times. It was something she found herself saying often when she consulted with the excitable Beck. She smoothed an imaginary wrinkle out of her charcoal grey blazer and put on her patented “I’m totally unconcerned with this non-problem so you should be, too” face. She didn’t know that it was virtually indistinguishable from her “Wake me when you stop talking” face, so Beck was understandably upset.

“Don’t tell me to ‘take it easy’.” He protested. “Have I mentioned that my cellmate eats spiders?”

“Oh, he doesn’t really eat them. He just likes the way they feel on his tongue.”

“And how do you know that?” he asked.

“I’m handling his appeal next week.” She replied, standing up. “I’m sure I’ll get at least one of you out.”

Beck made a face like she’d just run over his feet with a steamroller. She liked that. He was always so twitchy and overdramatic, like a manic cartoon character. Not at all like Raoul, who always morosely pontificated on his spider fascination in the blandest deadpan. He was so boring it was a wonder he’d gotten thrown in prison in the first place. Then again, that was slightly her fault. If he’d been a little more interesting she’d certainly have tried harder to win his case.

“Relax.” She told him. “There are two judges in the circuit that I think we can win over to our side. If you happen to get assigned a different one they’ll probably be even less of an obstacle than Donnie is going to be. The truth is, most of the judges in this town are on the wrong side of the bench and I know where the bodies are buried. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to ruin someone’s day…or marriage.”

“ ’Donnie’, huh?” Beck asked. He shrugged. “Give ‘em hell!”

Three minutes later, in the judge’s chambers, Ally began whittling down the list of judges she couldn’t manipulate into giving up a favorable verdict. A few coquettish grins and a well-placed barb about how Judge Crispin was only impartial where his wife was concerned and Beck’s latest case sank back into the morass of Paradigm City’s justice system, much to the chagrin of the fuming prosecutor and recused judge.

******
Belle caught the mad gleam in Billy’s eye when the bailiffs came forward to collect him and knew he was up to something. Something dangerous.

“There’s only one way out of this for me this time, baby. And it ain’t the law.” He whispered.

Then he tore at his sleeves and hurled his cufflinks down at the feet of his would be jailors where they exploded in a great conflagration. When the smoke cleared he was gone, and with him, her heart and wallet.


There it was in the rear view mirror, all black and shiny and buttoned up tighter than Roger Smith himself. Normally, stealing cars was beneath Raven, but the Griffon was more than just a car. Sure, it would be impossible to unload, heartbreaking to strip for parts, and folly to ransom. Who would steal it for such mundane reasons? Looking at those bulletproof shutters covering every tire and window of that lovely, crow-black beast it was clear—the smug bastard was daring someone to steal it. The Griffon was the ultimate challenge, bragging rights on wheels.

“You think you can take me?” The car seemed to mutter defiantly.

To Raven, it had Roger Smith’s infuriating voice.

“Any day of the week.” Raven answered to herself.

She just knew it had real leather seats. REAL LEATHER! Where does anyone get leather anymore?

“Come on, then. Show me what you got.”

She was sorely tempted. A little joy ride to put Roger in his place and a quick slide by the chop shop to taunt those silly car guys would do wonders for the soul.

“Sorry, babes. You’re not what I’m here for.”

She turned the mirror away from the taunting Griffon and admired herself. The blonde wig was a little phony, but the uniform was a spot on match and fit her perfectly. Because she could never count on any of the stooges she knocked out being her size, she rented it from a costume shop. At least, she would have rented it had the fat, stupid clerk been a little more attentive. She frowned at the ghastly colors and removed her signature choker as an afterthought, wishing she’d remembered it before now.

From her point of view, impersonating an officer was kind of dumb thing to have a law against when you consider that half of the brain donors in the Military Police were doing just that.

A few minutes later, the back doors of the prisoner transport slammed shut. She grinned devilishly at the military policeman who opened the passenger door jabbering away to the person that he was expecting to see before he noticed someone new behind the wheel.

“Hey, you’re not…” he began before he was zapped by the taser generously donated by his unconscious partner.

“No, I’m not.” She agreed still beaming. “Loser.”

She turned and slid open the narrow window in the wall behind her to peer into the back of the transport.

“Where to, Beck-ness? Meter’s runnin’.”

****
[To be continued]
Pero_Is_Crying 07-03-2005 03:18 PM
The office was dark except for the light from a small desk lamp. Paige Etienne felt too guilty to turn on the overhead light as she read in silence. It was hard to concentrate on the words with the nagging little voice in her head reminding her of how wrong what she had done was, so her eyes wandered to the crime scene photos and lingered there. The Body lay broken over a theater seat, having fallen from the mezzanine. She thought he looked like a gangster in that pinstripe suit. Who had he gone to meet in that empty theater?

Without warning, the door opened and light flooded in from the hallway.

“I thought you might be in here. Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation?” a gruff voice asked.

Paige froze at her desk, peering over her glasses at Col. Dastun and hoping he was in a good mood, though not liking the odds.

“I am, sir.” She smiled weakly and pinched the sleeve of the forest green sweater she was wearing. After wearing a military police uniform for so long, she liked to think of it as “anti-brown.”

Dastun sighed the sigh of a man calling on reserves of patience he didn’t know he had. He took off his hat and sat down at the other desk in the shared office space, one that had been disused for some time.

“Being on vacation means more than not wearing a uniform and not saluting a superior officer when he enters a room and catches you reading a sealed file. It means that you don’t go to work.”

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” She said nervously, standing and saluting awkwardly and belatedly. She missed his strained attempt at humor entirely for fear of the disciplinary action she knew she deserved.

He motioned for her to sit back down.

“Relax. You ARE on vacation, after all. If you reseal Sam’s file and put it back where you found it without letting anyone else catch you, I won’t say anything. But I do have a favor to ask.”

Despair fled as opportunity knocked. She quirked an eyebrow.

“Can I make a copy?” She asked, hopefully.

“Don’t press your luck, Paige.” Dastun replied.

“Okay, okay. What’s your favor?”

“Well, Beck’s escaped again.” Dastun began. “With help, of course. Care to guess who?”

“You don’t mean Ector.”

“Among others. He’s just the only one we caught. Beck switched vehicles in his getaway, leaving us to chase down your favorite stoolie as a decoy. We can’t hold him for more than 24 hours without charging him. But under the new rules for androids we can’t charge him without handing the case over to Inspector O’Reilly…”

“If you do that Ector will just disappear and you can forget about finding out what he knows about Beck.” Paige interrupted. “You know we only HAVE new rules for androids because Paradigm Science Group wants to pick apart the abnormal ones and see what causes their aberrant behavior.”

“That’s the rumor.” Dastun nodded. “But I have no intention of calling in O’Reilly. I don’t want to nail Ector. He’s not even a criminal, he’s just… a tasteless practical joke. I want Beck. So I was hoping you’d talk to him. He knows you, maybe he’ll give up something. If he doesn’t, I’d like you to follow him.”

“I can’t follow an informant! It’s a breach of trust. What if he sees me? We never would have caught the Landru Brothers or found that fencing operation if not for his tips.”

“Officially, I can’t send anyone after him except O’Reilly. No matter how inconvenient it is to our investigations, androids are policing androids now, remember? But what you do on you own time is your own business. In fact, if I wasn’t off the clock 15 minutes ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We still aren’t.”

“Why does everything have to be so complicated?” She sighed.

“God’s probably a bureaucrat.” Dastun suggested, running his fingers through his utter lack of hair before putting his hat back on and rising from the swivel chair.

He cast one last long lingering glance over the vacant desk where he’d been sitting. Only a former lieutenant’s nameplate and an empty pencil cup remained.

“It’s been 5 years and I’ve got a squad room full of officers bucking for a promotion. Why hasn’t anyone moved in here in all that time?”

Paige looked over at the desk facing hers, imagining away the fine layer of dust and filling the empty space with a coffee cup, a newspaper, and half a dozen hourglasses, as she was sure the Colonel had just done.

“Maybe I snore.”
*****
[To be continued]
Pero_Is_Crying 07-18-2005 10:27 AM
The only thing rattling more than the car were Beck’s chains. He was having a hard time clapping his feet in leg irons, but gave it a good try anyway as he cackled.

“I can’t believe you’re still palling around with that ol’ Erector Set, Rave.” He laughed.

“Raven.” She corrected. “And cut it out, will ya? You’re making it impossible to drive with those chains and bird legs flying everywhere.”

She was never sure if ‘Rave’ was a nickname or if he honestly didn’t remember her name. Not knowing was pissing her off, but she was way too cool to ask.

“Then why don’t you get me out of these things?”

“No way!” she huffed. “I didn’t spring you out of the goodness of my heart. You still owe me money! You can try to play cat’s cradle with the damned things until you cough up my fee. In fact, you should double it in light of this latest heroic rescue.”

Raven wasn’t just a good thief. She was also an excellent liar. Money was no big deal to someone of her talents, so getting stiffed for half what she was owed from the last favor she didn’t really bother her. In truth, she hoped he’d see how superfluous his hench-twits were when she snatched him back from the law all on her own. She was sure that between her incredible skill as a thief and his technical brilliance they’d make an unstoppable team capable of looting Paradigm City of everything of value down to the last gold filling. It didn’t hurt that she thought he was eye candy in a golden wrapper, either. Raven probably would have broken Jason Beck out of Hell, if he needed her to.

Beck didn’t have a clue.

“I don’t exactly have that kind of money on me at the moment, kiddo.”

Quietly, she fumed. “Kiddo” was worse than “Rave” AND he started fiddling with the radio. For five minutes the car was full of static and random snippets of music until Raven snapped.

“Find a channel or I’m driving underneath that tractor trailer.” She warned.

He stopped on a channel that quickly turned into news when the song finished. He reached for the knob again but she slapped his hand.

“Notorious thief, kidnapper, and crackpot inventor Jason Beck disappeared from Military Police cust…”

“CRACKPOT!” he protested.

“Shhh! They’re getting to the good part about how 3 Military Policemen were taken down by a woman scarcely half their size.”

She smiled smugly and cast a sidelong glance at Beck.

“CRACKPOT!” he repeated, dumbfounded.

She felt like somebody shot out the tires on her victory lap. She turned off the radio.

“Crackpot? The best they could do is crackpot? I’d accept ‘visionary’ or ‘brilliant’ or my personal favorite ‘god-like.’ But the best they could come up with is ‘crackpot?’ What’s wrong with these people?”

“No one appreciates greatness in their midst.” Raven observed, glumly.

He seemed cheered by the comment and blithely unaware that she wasn’t talking about him.

After a few minutes, traffic slowed to a crawl and tanks were speeding along the access roads and over the median. Beck paled and sank lower in his seat.

“Geez, what did you do to piss them off this time, Beck?” Raven asked, wondering how much of a charge that taser had left to it.

“Wait, I don’t think they’re after me. Look!”

He pointed to a column of smoke rising up to meet the dome and snaking along the glass sky when it got there. The origin was a little too close for comfort. There was a rumble that shook the ground, as if a titan had slipped in the bathtub.

“Megadeus?”

“What else?” Beck replied, turning the radio on again.

The music was soon interrupted once more, this time by the familiar emergency traffic report jingle that everyone in Paradigm City was almost as sick of hearing as they were the irreverent and possibly drugged “Eye in the Sky” reporter’s voice.

“Chopper Chuck, your Eye in the Sky reporter here with bad news for anyone traveling in West Dome Number 5 today. A three-way megadeus battle in front of the Mint has traffic tied up for miles. Standard evacuation plan is in effect. All traffic into the dome has been stopped and motorists are advised to use emergency routes. The fight seems to be moving down the street, so if you don’t want your car to be a roller skate for the black megadeus, move it or lose it!”

“Damn it!” Beck cursed. “I was planning to gang up on Big O with 2 robots! And the Mint has my name written all over it. I can’t believe it! Someone’s ripping off my M.O.!”

He threw open the door and fell right on his face. His chain had gotten caught around the stick shift.

“Get back in the car!” Raven hissed. “Do you want somebody to see you?”

He climbed back into his seat dejectedly.

“Get these things off me.” He whined. “I’m going to need them to hang myself.”

“Poor baby.”

Seeing no point in continuing to torment him, Raven relieved Beck of the unflattering accessories the city had burdened him with. He spent the next ten minutes alternately sulking or pressing his face up against the windshield hoping to catch a glimpse of the battle. Raven watched him spring back and forth with the energy of a small child and wondered if they’d fed him anything but sugar in jail. What a waste of energy.

Just as traffic began to move again they caught sight of one of the combatants as it flew backwards into a building, altering the skyline. Beck’s jaw dropped and for once he was speechless.

“Hey, it’s yellow.” Raven observed. “Is that one of yours?”

“It is! Did I conceive the crime that commits itself?” He muttered, in awe (of himself, as usual). “Or did somebody STEAL MY ROBOTS?”

[to be continued]
Pero_Is_Crying 07-28-2005 03:36 PM
Normally, a defense attorney was as welcome at military police headquarters as a Molotov cocktail. But this time was an exception. This time, it was Belle sweating under the lights in the interrogation room. Two cops, bitter about her years of steadfastly defending people they’d often wrongly arrested, enjoyed her predicament.

“Let’s cut through the crap, lady. You helped Blaze escape and you know where he is now. Help us out and maybe you can salvage a little of that so called career of yours.”

“ I know my rights. I won’t say another word without my lawyer present.” She insisted.

“You’re a lawyer. Council yourself.”

“I’m trying. I keep advising myself against berating you for your gross incompetence but I just won’t listen. I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING WRONG, YOU MORONS.”


For an android, R. Douglas Ector was formerly a pretty average Joe. He used to be the coat check attendant at some swanky hotel until someone decided to snatch him one night and reprogram him. He returned to work seemingly no worse for wear a day later. That very night all the gems and semi precious stones from the rock and mineral show the hotel was hosting that weekend disappeared. They found Ector wandering the halls the next morning, picking the locks to the rooms but never once stepping inside. He claimed no memory of the thefts, but now had an insatiable compulsion to pick any lock he saw and he could crack safes like a pro. The stones were never recovered. As far as Paige knew, the android hadn’t been able to hold a legitimate job ever since.

It worked out in her favor, though. Word of the android’s uncanny (and uncharacteristic) talent spread like wildfire through the underworld. He became quite a novelty. Soon every two bit hood and wanna be player in Paradigm City was trying to involve him in their crimes. But Ector, except for the new hobby imposed by his revised programming, was a model citizen. When Paige picked him up one night for opening up all the parking meters on Lexington Avenue (leaving neat piles of change in his wake), he seemed to feel that it was his civic duty to rat out every criminal that had ever propositioned him. It became a habit and for several months Paige now had been paying him for his information.

She found the wayward android tucked away in the usual interrogation room, fiddling with the lock of a pair of handcuffs he’d doubtless escaped several times by now. Originally programmed to be a perfect gentleman, he usually stood when she entered the room. He had some difficulty doing so this time.

Paige shook her head in disgust, not because of Ector, but because of her fellow officers. It’s not easy to ‘walk an android around the block’. Someone, frustrated, no doubt, by a fruitless three-hour car chase and crazy new laws regarding androids, had found a way. Ector’s left leg was bent in a way she was sure the manufacturer had never intended. The paint scrape in a fresh dent on his face matched exactly the color of a Military Police car.

“Good evening, Officer Etienne.” He said, teetering unsteadily. “I’m afraid that I have already told the young man with the low frustration tolerance all that I am able to impart. May I go home now?”

“Soon.” Paige promised. “Who did this to you?”

“I didn’t catch his name. Is it important?”

“Of course it’s important! Don’t you care that you’ve been vandalized?” She asked.

“I was driving a stolen prisoner transport to aid a fugitive from the law. One must expect consequences to ones actions.”

“Not these consequences. The Military Police are supposed to apprehend lawbreakers, not mete out punishment. You never resist arrest. There’s no excuse for this. Whoever’s responsible should be on report.”

“If you say so. But I assure you, the damage is entirely superficial.” Ector said. He sat back down and bent the offending leg reasonably straight again. “The man seemed so pleased with himself when he slammed the car door on me that I thought I should play along. I’m more than willing to except punishment. What I did was wrong.”

“Yeah, about that.” Page said, taking up the seat opposite Ector at the table. “You want to tell me WHY you were driving a stolen vehicle and helping Beck escape?”

“No.”

Paige sighed. “At least you’re honest. Would you tell me if I guessed?”

“Uncertain. My revised programming may forbid that.”

“Because you were helping the one who reprogrammed you.” Paige said flatly, nodding.

Ector didn’t say anything. There was nothing telling in the large perfectly round ‘eyes’ that dominated his steel faceplate. There never was.

“We more or less assumed it was him, anyway.” she continued. “There aren’t a lot of people around who could have altered your programming. Who else but Beck would program a robot to commit crimes? It’s kind of his trademark.”

“May I go home now?” He asked again. It was all Ector would say.

“Douglas, I need you to help me find Beck. Isn’t there any way you could tell me something?”

“I really must go home now.” He insisted. “Could you give me exact change for the bus? Someone has borrowed my car.”

Someone? Someone with a capital ‘B.’ Paige took the hint.

“How ‘bout I drive you?” She asked with a smile.

“That would be acceptable.”

******

[more to come]
Lyinginbedmon 07-28-2005 03:48 PM
That's just so adorable, she's so nice to Ector, and he's such a lovely character
Pero_Is_Crying 07-28-2005 08:41 PM
Finally, the drivers behind Raven realized that she wasn’t going anywhere and stopped honking. Cars tore around the stationary vehicle, desperate to get away from the battle that was drawing nearer. She wanted to join them in their panicked escape, but her passenger had other plans.

“We have to find out what’s going on here.” Beck insisted.

“We have to get you out of here. There’s too many cops around.” Raven argued. “Besides, I promised I’d have Dougie’s car back before dark.”

“What do I care about that piece of junk’s piece of junk? You look like a cop today. Go blend. Get the dirt. Find out who’s using my robots.”

“Yeah, like the MP’s would know anything.” She sniffed. “Wait a minute. How did this get to be my problem?”

“Help me out here and I’ll pay you triple what I owe you. You won’t get anything if I go out there myself and get busted again.”

He was dumb enough to investigate for himself, Raven knew. His brilliance had some pretty inconvenient limits, which was why he so often needed to break out of prison. She pondered for a moment. Letting Beck get tossed back in the slammer now probably would be the closest she’d ever get to job security. Still…

The fight was coming closer.

“To hell with the money, Beck.”

“Huh?”

“We’re talking about giant robots in the middle of a fight. What do I do, walk up, tap one on the shoulder and ask it who’s calling the shots?”

“Point taken.” He conceded. “Maybe we’d better just go check out the warehouse.”

“Captain Obvious saves the day.” Raven muttered as the car squealed away in the direction that the wiser drivers had taken.

“Uh, Raven? Wrong way.”

“You don’t honestly want me to drive though a megadeus battle to get there, do you?” she asked.

“No!” he agreed. “I want to do it.”

“You’re nuts!”

“I couldn’t see anything through all these damn buildings and I want to know how my boys are doing.”

“Then watch the news tonight.”

“When did you get to be so boring? Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“I just evaded a car chase while freeing a convicted felon from military police custody. How adventurous do I need to be?”

“Adventurous enough to give me the wheel.” He answered.

Raven set her jaw and squinted into the rear view at the huge combatants and the military police tanks shrinking in the distance.

“No way. If I’m going to die and go to Hell, I’M DRIVING.” She said sternly.

She spun the car around with a screech and tore down the vacant lane heading in the opposite direction at top speed. She drove right up onto the sidewalk to skirt around the tanks. Then she wove quickly through the debris filled street towards the three giants duking it out. Beck’s robots were slightly smaller than the Black Megadeus. Each had one claw-like hand that would have easily torn through the armor of a lesser opponent. On the left arm of each robot, the hand had been replaced with what appeared to be some kind of cannon that would have looked a lot deadlier in any color other than canary yellow. They seemed to work well together. One of Beck’s creations engaged the Big O in close combat, trying to sink it’s claws into the crew compartment and tear away the armor while keeping it distracted from the other, which crept off to fire from a distance.

Weaving through the legs of robots larger than her apartment building, Raven really didn’t have time to critique their strategy. She was driving at speeds that beat up blue jalopy probably had never seen before. When the detached yellow arm fell in front of them, Raven barely turned in time. The back of the car slammed into the useless limb and scraped along it, leaving a blue stripe in the yellow paint. Unfortunately, avoiding the new roadblock sent them careening back towards the melee. She threw on the brakes and they came to a full stop. The car was showered in sparks as Big O ground its adversary into a nearby parking garage. There was only one way out, and Raven was keen on taking it once she heard the second of Beck’s robots powering up its weapon. She drove into the public garage. She had initially intended to drive right through to the relative safety of the street on the other side of the building, but she reconsidered and started driving around and around to the upper levels of the building where the view would be better.

“What are you doing?” Beck demanded.

“Where’s your sense of adventure, Beck-ness?” she asked impishly. “Now’s our chance to tap your wandering robot on the shoulder and ask what’s up, or maybe cut in on this dance.”

“Beck Gemini II is about to fire its Gauss Rifle. The projectile could pass through this building and several buildings beyond it. We really don’t want to be here right now, hon.”

She stopped the car again for a moment, looking out over the battle from the same height as the Black Megadeus’s torso before zipping back down to street level. Raven wasn’t thinking about how she’d just rung Death’s doorbell and ran away, or the thunderous crack that shattered the windows and mirrors of all the cars and buildings on the block, or even the sudden ringing in her ears. She was pondering how ‘hon’ was probably a vast improvement on ‘kiddo’ as far as stupid things that came out of Beck’s mouth went.

*****
[now in French: être continué ]
Pero_Is_Crying 07-28-2005 09:47 PM
The words were coming easier than ever as Ally relentlessly hammered at the keys of her typewriter, pausing only to deposit a drooping column of ash in the general vicinity of the ash tray to her left. The story had been unfolding in her mind all day and it had been difficult for her to concentrate on anything else. This time it would be different. She was determined to finish this one, not add it to the growing collection of unfinished novel projects filling the cardboard box in her closet. She poured everything into this new story and knew it would find completion even though she wasn’t yet sure of the ending. Would the charming rogue be caught by the dogged officers of the law, or would he escape with Belle and a mountain of ill gotten money? It didn’t really matter. It was, after all, Belle’s story. Who cares about the flavor of the week? Ally was already dreaming up the love interest for the next novel, based largely on an intriguing witness the prosecution seemed to parade through every one of poor Jason’s trials. She sighed to herself. Why couldn’t Roger Smith ever rob a bank?

The frenzied typing continued until she heard the door to the apartment slam.

“Go away!” she called, not taking her eyes off the page or even removing the synthetic cigarette from her mouth.

“You won’t even know I’m here.” A voice similar to her own replied.

Ally wanted to keep writing, but the sudden unexpected intrusion had already derailed her train of thought. She closed her eyes and sighed a faintly purple cloud of smoke. Why did someone always have to chase away her muse?

Her kid sister sulked by the bed, dropping her bulging suitcase to the floor. She sloughed off the heavy grey coat she wore and that fell to the ground as well. Ally frowned. The boyish little troublemaker was already making herself at home. It wouldn't do. Her timing was lousier than usual.

“You always say that, Chloe, and I always do. It’s hard not to notice you chain smoking my cigarettes, emptying my fridge, and blaring that gawd-awful music of yours. And even if you were unobtrusive and quiet as a mouse, Andy and Diane aren’t. They’ll show up as soon as they notice you’re gone.”

“That could be weeks.” Chloe said bitterly.

“So what’s the problem? Is it you or them?” Ally asked.

“Definitely them. They keep arguing and making up. Either way, it’s loud and messy and I don’t want to be around for it. Couldn’t I just hang out until they relax into their usual casual indifference toward each other?”

“Can you follow the rules this time?”

“Are the rules going to make sense?”

“It’s my place, I don’t have to make sense. When you get your own place, you can treat it like a sty and invite all your hoodlum pals over to trash it. Until then, it’s my way or you sleep in the alley.”

“Gotcha.” Chloe said, making her way to the kitchen area, where she immediately started pawing around in the fridge. She grabbed a soda. “So what’s for dinner?”

“Whatever you make us.” Ally replied.

“I gotta cook?” Chloe asked, incredulous.

“Or pay rent, you freeloader.”

“Screw this.” Chloe grumbled, stuffing the pockets of her cargo pants with apples and bananas from a bowl on the top of the fridge. “I’m staying at Monica’s.”

Almost immediately after Chloe stalked off, the typing began again, haltingly at first, like the first drops of a spring rain. Then there was a deluge.

The assistant DA burst into Belle’s office with all the subtlety of a surly teenager. She looked mad enough to erupt lava, but nevertheless thrust a hand into the candy dish on Belle’s desk to help herself.

“You knew this was going to happen! The deal we offered was better than your client deserved. You refused because you knew he was going to escape!”

“I’ve had enough unfounded accusations already today from the police, thanks to you people. If you’ve got a case, make it in the courtroom!” Belle argued, eager to be away from that place.

“Oh, I’ve got a case alright. And after his little stunt with the robots this afternoon, William Blaze will never see the light of day again! If I have my way you’ll be rotting away in prison right along with him.”

Belle narrowed her steel blue eyes at the woman.

“Blaze may be a little out of his depth this time, but I’m not. Anymore of your slanderous suggestions, and I’ll sue you for defamation of character. What fantasy did you tell the police that led them to question me?”

“Maybe you’re right. You’ll just have to wait until we make our case in the courtroom.”


******
[to be continued]
Pero_Is_Crying 07-28-2005 11:32 PM
It’s not easy to hide one giant robot, let alone two. For Beck’s Gemini Project he’d set up shop outside the domes in a moderately sized industrial complex that had once belonged to his former associate, Miguel Soldano. Old Miguel wouldn’t mind. He was long dead. The place had nearly everything Beck needed to build and maintain the ultimate tag team to take out a certain colossal hall monitor. Except now, the fruits of his labor had disappeared. Beck was inconsolable, but Raven was willing to try as long as it meant lots of time alone with him and providing a dependable shoulder to cry on. She had a lot of ideas to take his mind off his troubles, if ever there was the right moment.

“Who could have done this?” he asked no one in particular. “Dove and T-Bone are still in the joint. Who else would know? You didn’t, did you?”

She shook her head.

“Then who’s responsible?”

Raven was about to make some vague assurance that everything would be okay as an excuse to give him a reassuring hug, but the sudden tremors distracted her as a huge, damaged yellow megadeus forced open the doors and marched back into the factory.

“What the hell have you been up to, Beck Gemini II?” Beck demanded rushing towards his errant creation.

Raven had a passing thought of her Dad nailing her for breaking curfew back when she was in high school. If she’d been a giant robot at the time, he wouldn’t have spoken so freely.

“Uh, Beck, do you think it’s a good idea to just run up to that thing? We still don’t know who’s inside or whether or not they’d like to squish you to jelly.”

“Oh, I know who’s inside and he couldn’t kill a fly unless it was piloting a megadeus. He’s got a lot of explaining to do…AND I’M WAITING!”

There was a pop and the mauled but smirking faceplate swung open, revealing the control center of the robot. But after it’s run in with the black megadeus, the plate was practically hanging on by a thread. Once the latches were released, it fell to the ground, leaving a frantic, yelling Beck scrambling to avoid a nasty and squishy death. Raven opted to save the “I told you so” for later. When Beck was safely clear of the fallen mask, she looked back up to see the pilot for the first time. He looked familiar, but it couldn’t possibly be who she first thought it was.

“Is that another Dougie?” She asked, thoughtfully.

Though she’d never have admitted it to anyone, least of all Beck, his little programming experiment, R. Douglas Ector, had become something of a “best girlfriend” to her. There just weren’t a lot of “nice” people with whom she could share the sheer joy of picking a particularly difficult model of lock for the very first time. He seemed to have a keen appreciation for technique that matched her own. Dougie was also one of the few “people” she’d consent to work with because unlike most of the low lives she knew in the business he was dependable, didn’t care about money, and he never hit on her or hassled her about being barely legal. That certain rivals of hers she complained about in his presence had a tenancy to wind up in police custody was either a happy coincidence or an unexpected bonus.

It was a little disconcerting to see her friend’s likeness battered nearly beyond recognition.

“He…it…looks like hell.”

“Who told you to hit the Mint today?” Beck demanded, before the damaged android could even free itself from the twisted metal of the control center.

“You did, Sir.” It replied respectfully.

“No. I was in court today. Try again.”

“I only know that I was activated this morning and compelled to perform the operation I was programmed for.”

“BUT WHO DID THE ACTIVATING?”

“If it wasn’t you, Sir, then I am at a loss. May I go home now?”

“NO!” Beck barked. “Where’s the other one? Did you stomp Big O into little pieces? What happened out there?”

“Beck Gemini I was lost. Big O left the field. I have returned for repairs.”

“What!” Beck exclaimed.

He paled as his jaw hit the floor. It was doing that a lot today.

“You idiot! You lead them right to me!”

“Check, please.” Raven muttered staring out the massive doorway. She could see the Griffon tearing across the empty parking lot towards them. Perhaps a block behind it she thought she saw the first tank.

“Not now, Raven. Run!” Beck yelled. “You, Pete! Get back in that chair and you go out there and SQUASH THAT BLACK CAR!”

“That is not within the dictates of my new programming, Sir. I can only initiate combat with another megadeus.”

“Then let’s pretend that car is a big black megadeus. It might as well be.”

“Pretending is not within my revised programming, either.”

“Just take the remains of my robot and go out there and stomp around! Do a soft-shoe routine. I don’t care. Just create a diversion. Can you at least do that?”

The android returned to the pilot’s seat and grasped the controls.

“Diversions, are what I do, Sir.”

Raven was already cooking up a diversion of her own. When she’d arrived she’d noticed immediately the trio of motorcycles waiting at the back for just such an emergency- a little black rice burner, a tricked out yellow chopper with blinding chrome brighter and clearer than it’s mirrors, and a huge, flame-detailed hawg. Playing against type, she stole the yellow one and snatched a yellow helmet to go with it.

Beck caught up with her just before she launched into what was about to become a very crowded parking lot.

“Hey! What are you doing with my getaway?” he asked.

Actually, at the moment she was asking herself the same question.

“Beck-ness, if you ever get your hands on those printing plates, why don’t you print yourself some money and buy a clue? Quick, gimme your coat.”

Also playing against type, he did as she asked.

“Thanks. I owe you.”

“I’ll put it on your tab. Lay low and try and get Dougie’s car back to him, kay?”

The battle-worn yellow megadeus drew a lot of fire, rushing any vehicle that dared close on the factory. Those who noticed that it wasn’t actually attacking set their sights a little lower and chased the yellow motorcycle that revved it’s engine twice before racing into the maze of large factories and warehouses that made up this section of the illegal residence area.

******
[to be continued]
Pero_Is_Crying 08-01-2005 06:05 AM
Night was always darker outside the domes. This night seemed the darkest yet as Belle followed unfamiliar directions that brought her to one of the worst neighborhoods outside Paradigm City. Crumbling buildings with boarded up windows made a perfect breeding ground for the vilest criminal scum-- the kind that could never afford her services. Nestled somewhere in that forsaken ghetto was someone who knew about Billy, if she could only find the place.

“You’re pretty sneaky, for an android. You know that?” Paige observed.

In the passenger seat, Ector sat staring straight forward. Without eyelids, he didn’t have much of a choice.

“Really? Do you know many androids?”

“I guess not.” She admitted.

“Well, to be honest you aren’t exactly what I’ve come to expect in an officer, either.”

Though fiercely proud of the Military Police, Paige decided to take his comment as a compliment in light of his earlier run in with a less than exemplary member of the force.

Ector’s directions had taken them through an area she didn’t even like to drive through without wearing a bulletproof vest. So when they pulled up to the curb in front of a nice two-story house with a fresh paint job and an immaculate lawn, Paige was pleasantly surprised. A pair of androids emerged from the cellar. One of them, identical to Ector except for clothing, closed the weathered wooden doors behind them. Ector’s car was already there, parked in front of them and empty, to Paige’s disappointment. She opened her glove compartment to get the flashlight and spare service revolver she kept there.

“You won’t need that.” Ector said when her hand closed around the gun.

“I hope not. But I wouldn’t want to be caught without it if it turns out that I do.”

“This is my home, not a shooting range.” He protested. As always, there was no emotion in his plea. It was more a simple statement of fact.

“I’m sorry, Douglas. But if Beck is here, I don’t want to take any chances.”

“Very well. But if he is here, we don’t want him spattered all over the place. If there is violence to be done, please confine it to the street where no one will notice.”

“I’ll certainly try.” Paige agreed.

She turned on the flashlight, walked up to Ector’s car and peered inside. The doors were locked, which seemed silly, given that the windows were gone. She could see Beck’s bonds on the floor on the passenger side and a blonde wig with a brown military police hat tossed into the back seat. They weren’t the sorts of things she’d normally expect to find in an android’s car. They did complicate things, however. The MPs were looking for a blonde woman in connection with Beck’s latest escape. Apart from the uncommunicative Ector, it was their only lead.

Paige noticed the android was watching her through the window on the opposite side of the car.

“Do you know who the woman is that is helping Beck?” she asked.

“Yes.” Ector replied.

“Can you tell me about her?”

“I’d rather not.”

“You’d rather not? But you are able?”

“Yes.”

“Then tell me, what’s her name?”

“I don’t know.”

“You said you knew her, but you don’t know her name?” Paige asked skeptically.

“I know you and I don’t know your full name.” He replied, honestly.

He started walking towards the house. She had to jog to catch up. The androids she’d noticed before were on the porch now, staring at her. Suddenly, she began to question the wisdom of following an android confessedly reprogrammed by criminals into a strange place without telling anyone where she was going.

“Why do I get the feeling that you are being deliberately obtuse all of the sudden?”

“Because you are good at your job. Thank you for the lift, Officer Etienne.”

“It’s Paige. Paige Etienne.” She said. “Someone may want to know that if this turns out to be a trap.”

****
[to be concluded]
Mrs. Beck 08-01-2005 11:16 AM
Fweee, it's a work of art, my dear friend! *hugs Perro_Is_Crying* You're doing a wonderful job with Raven, and I will take the liberty of saying that you've captured Beck's personality (in the anime, at least) perfectly. I know I've already pmed you saying all this, but I'd like to post it here to, because you've done a grand job with the entire fic. I can't wait to start on the illustrations for this - it'll be TONS of fun! I just hope I can draw them worthy enough to be associated with your fanfiction.

Alright, sorry 'bout that. To even out the message so it isn't just blissful praise, it's going to be hell illustrating these pwnage scenes. V_V Oh well, it's all worth it! X) Excellent work, keep it up!
Pero_Is_Crying 08-04-2005 11:08 AM
[Thanks guys! Mrs. Beck, I've taken your advice and skimped on Ally's book excerpts. It's easier that way, anyway. And Lib-mon, I'm glad you like Ector. I'v kinda developed a fondness for him myself, so he might survive. Big Grin ]

***
The Griffon had closed the lead she had on it quickly, no matter how many corners she turned or warehouses she rode through. Her only recourse was to go where it couldn’t follow, and the pickings were pretty slim. Fortunately, the Griffon wasn’t. Raven found a narrow alley Roger’s huge black boat would never be able to enter and raced through it, grinning at her good fortune until she came to the end of it. The alley led to a “T” intersection with another alley, one that was fenced off on one end. She turned towards the open end but a familiar black car soon blocked it off. The alley was too narrow to turn around in, so she got off the bike and tried to back up and go back the way she came. The other alley was blocked now, too. A lone girl stood at the far end. Seeming an easier obstacle to manage than the Griffon, Raven got back on the bike and shouted a warning.

“Get out of the way!”

The girl didn’t move or speak. Raven coasted towards her.

“You’re not Beck.” The girl stated matter-of-factly.

Raven recognized her now. Tiny frame, skin like porcelain, too perfect features—this had to be Roger’s android lover, she realized with disgust. Raven was suddenly very glad that Beck never made anything in a size 3.

“You’re not a cop. What’s it to ya?”

“He’s using innocent androids to commit crimes.”

“Everyone needs a hobby.” Raven shrugged. “What’s Crowboy use innocent androids for? I mean, apart from roadblocks?”

The android said nothing more, but gave what Raven imagined might have been a withering look had her most likely pervy creator made her a bit more expressive. She wished those creepy black eyes would find someone else to stare at.

“Take a hike, Red. I’ve got places to go, people to see. I’ve got nothing to do with you and you’ve got nothing to do with me.”

There were footsteps rushing toward them from the road. Soon (and quite unsurprisingly) Roger Smith came into view. Raven wondered which one of them it would be best to taser.

“Hiya, Roj. You wanna take your sour-faced and oversized china doll somewhere else to play? I’m in a bit of a rush, here.”

“I think we’ll stay right here until the police arrive in a couple minutes.” He replied, smugly. “Wouldn’t want you to be lonely. Besides, I’m curious about a couple of things.”

God, did she ever hate that voice.

“What about Beck?” Dorothy asked.

“He won’t get far. They’re going to put him away for good after this.”

Raven knew he was baiting her but she spoke up anyway.

“He didn’t do anything! Trust me. I was there.” Raven protested. “Yeah, maybe he built the robots, but he was a little too busy running for his life this afternoon to bother robbing the mint. If he’d had the sense to continue running instead of trying to find out who was framing him we wouldn’t be in this jam now.”

“That sounds about right.” Roger nodded. “It was Beck’s twisted plan and Beck’s equipment, naturally Beck had to be free to take the blame before the real culprit could use any of it. So my question to you is, how did you know when, where, and how Beck was going to be taken back to prison? It’s not exactly common knowledge.”

“You’re right! I got a phone call late last night that told me everything I needed to know. The voice was familiar, but I couldn’t place it. I wasn’t sure I could trust the info, but how could I resist a jailbreak? It’s so classic! That kind of challenge doesn’t come along every day.”

“Think hard. You’re sure you can’t remember that voice?”

“Not your problem. Thanks for getting me thinking in the right direction, though. I bet you were a better cop than you are a negotiator. Maybe if you weren’t so crooked you coulda stuck with the day job.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault you stole fake diamonds. My client wasn't going to pay for paste.”

“I don’t steal paste.” Raven insisted, shaking her head. “Admit it. You screwed me over, Smith. How much did you get for them, anyway?”

“I’m telling you, you’re mistaken. But to show you that we can negotiate in good faith in the future, I’ll back off. You can go.”

“Why? So you can follow me back to Beck like you did that poor, stupid, android? I don’t think so.”

“The Military Police will catch up with Beck. They’ll get you, too. By the time they do, I hope you’ll be able to give up the person who’s really responsible for the hit on the Mint.”

“What’s the big deal? The robots got stomped. They didn’t get anything and now they’re scrap. Game Over.”

“They weren’t supposed to actually steal anything. They were only a distraction. The real thieves tunneled into the mint from below. They got away with several million in cash and the printing plates Beck’s had his eye on. They could destabilize the whole economy. ”

“No way. No one would go underground even for that kinda take. That’s just crazy.”

“Perhaps, for mere a human.” Dorothy, who’d been still and quiet all this time, observed.

Dougie, the two in the giant robots…now some tunnel rats. How many “erector sets” did Beck play with? Raven sighed.

“Boys and their toys…”

******
[to be continued]