**Interlude: 836122126 3155102

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**Interlude: 836122126 3155102

Post by ikenbon » 14 Nov 2020, 04:06

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '[ERROR... ERR0R... ER%OR... 34ROR... 01100101 01110010 01110010 01101111

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '[Log: Subj3ct disconnecte7. At%empting to r3estab2lish con5n%cti0n...]'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Light. A void of endless, brilliant, white light. Syhiver stared forward into the endless
horizon with his hands resting in his lap. He was sitting on a bench made of pure, white
marble that melted into the endless plain of starlight. His mind was blank, and his breathing came
easily. He was smiling, and only had a gnawing sense that he had been waiting for quite some time.
Absently he shifted his weight, lifting one leg and resting it over the other, bouncing his foot in

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'A drop of blood fell from his nose. It hit the white floor and created a small
dot which his eyes couldn't help but follow down. He stared at the small droplet for a long moment...
then felt his mouth begin to ache.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'He reached towards his face and touched his lips gently. They were swollen.
Suddenly he coughed and a splatter of blood coated his hand. He felt the ichor dripping from his
lips into his beard scales. His head began to pound... then his arms... his chest... his back, and
finally his legs. The pain was... throbbing... but distant. Like the memory of pain more than
anything. He continued to cough... continued to choke up blood. Small cuts, and slices opened along
his skin, and a numbness came to his limbs.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Syhiver slowly turned his right arm over and looked down at the hourglass tattoo
that was inscribed there. It seemed like an hour passed before a single bead of sand fell from one
chamber to the other.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '[Log: Connection reestablished...]'


[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'It had been a fairly slow day on the Marduke Station. There had been a number of
minor arrests, but nothing the Imperial officers that oversaw law and order on the satellite
couldn't readily handle, or weren't accustomed to for this time of season. Marduke was a small fuel
depot on the fringe of the Hydion Galaxy. It served as a waypoint for Imperial cruisers, and
diplomatic envoys to refuel, and refresh on the long journey between Ng Yelo, and Hydia. There were
only a handful of other nearby systems, most of which provided a much wider variety of services, and
sights for the travelers between them to indulge themselves with.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Occasionally drug-runners of the system made the mistake of taking port, and
once or twice a number of high profile bounties had turned the station into a war zone, but
otherwise the only real, constant threats to the law and well-being of the citizens of Marduke that
were committed were simply drunken brawls, and occasionally a battering of a sex-worker.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'It was early in the morning, and the dispatcher of the Marduke Imperial Law-
station sipped idly on a hot mug of coffee while scrolling through a news feed regarding recent
sactions that had been placed on Ng Yelo for a failure to comply with a Zeon VII treaty. The officer
in question, whose name-badge read, "Harlow" leaned back in his chair when he reached the end of the
article with a resigned sigh, and a shake of his head. "Bloody earthlings..." He chuckled.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Before he could settle, and perhaps even close his eyes for a few minutes as he
lay back in his seat, his communicator suddenly began to flash.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Hydian officer adjusted his headset and set his cup of java down, before
clearing his throat and pressing the lit button upon his console. "This is officer Harlow of the
Marduke Imperial Satellite. Who am I speaking with?"
The Hydian's fingers moved quickly across the
console, opening a ticket-program that quickly began to transcribe the caller's voice into text as
he added notes, and comments to another field.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Wonderful. Mrs. Beauclaire, are you safe? .... Of course. Good. That's good.
Give me just one moment."
The Hydian pushed the voice-recording software onto another monitor and
opened another program on his console. A large screen filled several different screens. It was
divided into nearly four-hundred separate boxes. "You said this is happening at the stardock? ... Can
you see which platform? ... No that's alright, don't put yourself in any danger, that at least
narrows it down."
The Hydian made a sudden clip of the various boxes from four hundred down to just
fifteen and expanded those. Each square was the feed of a remote camera.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What... the fuck..." The words slipped from Harlow's mouth without his
realizing it as he found the evidence of the situation that was being reported. "Mrs. Beauclaire,
please remain indoors. Imperial officers will be responding shortly. Bolt your doors, madam. ... Yes.
... Of course. .... Thank your Mrs. Beauclaire."
As the call ended, officer Harlow closed the audio-
log and immediately sent out a dispatch call.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"This is central command. We have an escalating situation at the stardocks. I'm
requesting four officers to respond. Be prepared to use deadly force."'


[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Marduke was a small satellite. Relative to scale, it was only about three by
three blocks of condensed buildings, made up mostly of bars, slot-machine casinos, brothels, and
interstellar roach-motels, with a light peppering of general goods, and services. The nearest sun
was more than eight light years away, leaving the city in a constant state of neon-glow beneath a
wide expanse of stars. Because the terrain was so compact, the Marduke Station only had a handful of
patrol cars, and because it was so rarely frequented by travelers, it was rare that the officers of
the station even carried their service weapons.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Thus, when the dispatch was received, one of the few patrol cruisers of the
station that immediately responded with an ETA of four minutes was both surprised by the severity of
Harlow's call, and even more worried when the dispatcher immediately replied that "If you can't cut
that down to two minutes, we're going to have a serious problem."
The driver of the cruiser threw on
their sirens, and at nearly 0800 in the morning began to cut through lanes and sent the light
traffic on the street scattering as its thrusters burned bright.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Just a few seconds after the two minute mark the patrol cruiser touched down at
the starport depot. Officers Kalan, and Zetomas exited their vehicles with pistols and electric
torches drawn, their twin lights roaming between the parked starships as they followed the sound of..
. well... combat would have been a soft term. There were screams, and the snapping of bone that
echoed through the concrete shield-canopy, and large, offset columns that supported it. Their boots
pounded against the metal grating of the starport's dock-floor as they ran and shouted, "Marduke

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The pair of Hydian officers came to a sudden, grinding stop as they reached the
starboard side of a massive, Icerian freighter. A derelict of a long forgotten era whose outer coat
was covered in rust, and hull-ravaging barnacles, as if it had been dredged up from the bottom of a
sea of stars. Their eyes went wide as they attempted to interpret the scene before them... The
trouble wasn't that neither of the very competent officers of the Imperium understood the danger
that was present. It was just... that it was unfolded so fast, and with such viciousness, that it
left them stunned.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Seven combatants were contesting in a bloody, deadly melee against a single,
ravaged alien who was clearly getting on in his years... and were losing. The leading officer slowly
lowered his gun in bewilderment and touched the communicator on the lapel of his uniform. "Harlow,
are you picking this up?"
The response came quickly, "I'm seeing it, Kalan." The two officers looked
towards one another hesitantly. "Should we engage?" There was a pause over the channel. "Wait for
backup. Our scouter readings aren't picking up meta-energy, yet, but there are some spikes here that
make me worry we haven't seen what we're really up against."
The officer nodded to himself. "Roger,
standing by."'


[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'A massive Ghetti had grappled Syhiver from behind. His forearms were pressing
the Kanassian's cybernetic, and organic arms up helplessly as he laced his fingers behind the
Kanassian's neck, all while a Saiyan cooperative was driving blows into Syhiver's stomach. CRASH!
CRASH! CRASH! The fist hammered into Syhiver with such force that he could feel it rearranging his
guts, but as the monstrous brute of a fighter drew his limb back for the fourth strike the Kanassian
bent his torso and extended both legs out, heels firing like rockets. The Saiyan's gut-strike went
beneath the small of the Kanassian's back, pile-driving into the Ghetti who held Syhiver just as the
Kanassian broke his jaw.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Saiyan went reeling backward, teeth scattering out. The Ghetti's hold
relaxed in the same instant, and with another buckle of the Kanassian's form he jerked forward,
using his raised legs for leverage to bring himself back to the ground, continued to lean and hurled
the Ghetti up and overhead. The Saiyan crashed into one of the nearby supporting columns, visibly
shattering the rock, but before he could continue to crumble down, the Ghetti him with a second
payload of force that threw both of them all the way through the pillar.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The ceiling of the starport began to groan and threaten to crash as the pillar

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Two Hydians, armed with electrified nightsticks had picked themselves off the
floor and ran at the Kanassian as he remained doubled over from his wounds and exhaustion. Their
sticks slammed into his back, causing his skeleton to light up beneath a flashing, black bag of skin
until a sudden slash of the Kanassian's cybernetic arm cut the ends of their weapons in one decisive
strike. Syhiver's skull then came barreling forward into the unprepared temple of the Hydian on the
right and throwing him off his feet, while shattering his nose. The assailant on his left drove his
leg into Syhiver's side, causing the Kanassian to grunt, but the assassin's arm to quickly looped
under, and around it, holding it up, and fast in his control.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Raising his left arm and bending his fist inward to turn his cybenetic elbow
into a hammer, he drive it down on top of the Hydian's knee, and the limb gave a sickening *SNAP* as
it was broken. The alien screamed, but Syhiver, still gripping the leg, turned his heel with the
force of a small typhoon, and threw the alien's body with enough strength to leave a collapsed dent
in the hull of the starship whose shadow they were engaged beneath. Small pinpricks of light were
beginning to burst off the Kanassian's body, forming a flickering outline of power that was pressing
against an unseen ceiling, and trying desperately to crash through it.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"...I don't care that you tried to rob me." Syhiver's pupils had faded into the
whites of his eyes, and his silver scales were bristling as if in an unseen wind. "...But just
because I'm seven years late... doesn't mean I'm seven years less of the man I once was."
stumbling Hydian that Syhiver had headbutted backward was caught by his three remaining fellows, and
despite the harrowing signals that there was more to this ragged alien than they had assumed, they
charged together. A flurry of fists, knives, boots, and elbows drove at Syhiver from all sides, but
they found almost no purchase. No doubt, they occasionally struck him, but even as a combined force,
what they delivered against their foe was avenged sevenfold.'

[CHAT] Syhiver moved with a speed that was little more than a blur to the eyes of his assailants,
and the onlooking officers. Like a watercolor painting, his form seemed to blur, and slide away from
the attacks so that the strikes tore through pockets of pigment where he should have been, but
struck only air. The counter-strikes, and *CRACKS* of his limbs in retaliation sent small shockwaves
scattering outward that boomed many decimals louder as they magnified in the concrete stadium of the
starport canopy. Each blow left such a ringing, and concussive burst that when the ceiling finally
splintered and began to cave in from its earlier fracture, only Syhiver seemed aware of the falling
rock and debris.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'As the rubble from above came raining down, Syhiver wove between the falling
rocks, allowing them to flatten the men who had saw his meager property as an opportunity. The few
that avoided the raining concrete blocks (by chance) he fell upon with such a vicious force that
they might have preferred to be simply crushed. The Kanassian's cybernetic limb even shot out and
burst through a segment of stone that separated him from a particularly astute opponent, reaching
through the rock to grip the fighter's neck and draw him forward for pressing knee that shattered
his ribs and sent him skidding across the pavement.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'By the time the rocks had all fallen, the Kanassian was simply 'picking off' of
the stragglers, and it was only then that a second patrol car came skidding to a halt just outside
the peremiter of the rubble. "Marduke police!" The four officers drew their sidearms in unison and
pointed them towards Syhiver... the only combatant still standing... and for a brief moment, the
Kanassian's head turned over his shoulder with such a menacing, frightful glare that each of them
took a step back in retreat.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'But slowly... and deliberately... Syhiver raised his arms in a gesture of surrender.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Two of the Hydian officers approached officers and forced him to his knees, then
shoved him down onto the pavement on his chest. His limbs were drawn behind his back, his wrists
cuffed while the remaining pair held him at gunpoint. Once shackled he was read an oppressive list
of 'rights' afforded to him by the Icerian Empire before being picked up and shoved into the back of
one of the patrol cars. Two of the officers acted his escort to the Marduke station, while the
remaining pair called for medical envoys, and arrested the group of thieves that had attempted to
strip the Kanassian's starship, and assaulted him.'


[CHAT] Syhiver was processed, finger-printed, and jailed over the course of the next three hours. A
shift change at the station at 0900 brought in a fresh group of officers to carry out the procedure
while those who had been present couldn't help but linger in the lounge to learn more about the
situation. They gathered in a small group of the station canteen with coffee mugs, and biscuits,
discussing the odd news of the night with a sense of shared conspiracy.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Who the hell do you think that is?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The general group collectively shrugged, but Harlow, the dispatcher quickly
chimed in: "I ran his prints through the Imperial Record. There were no matches, but as soon as I
sent the report in the Chief got a direct call from Ng Yelo."
The officers murmured in confusion.
"Ng Yelo? The Icers?" Despite their station being a waypoint in the Hydion system, and even a
refueling port for some diplomatic envoys, Marduke had never been contacted directly by any Imperial
agency. Warships and freighters just 'arrived' and the Hydian officers of the station were expected
to see to their needs without question. They had never had direct dealings with the actual congress
of Icers that ruled their system.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'An older Hydian who was sitting on the edge of one of the canteen's tables, and
had remained quiet for some time suddenly cleared his throat. "I feel like most of you are too young
to remember this... but about a decade back there was an old bounty posted here. Well, not just here,
everywhere in the West Galaxy."
The Hydian who was speaking, named Dolmar, was a new transplant to
the Marduke Station. It was a retirement position, as Marduke was an easy place to ride out a tenure
for Imperial payroll. Most of the the officers were younger, and quite green, save for the Chief
captain of the station, in comparison, and some of them knew that Dolmar had served as a leutinent
captain in Narsis on Hydia proper.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'All eyes turned to Dolmar expectantly.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I mean, it could be nothing, but that bounty was almost thirty million zeni for
the capture of a Kanassian."
Dolmar made a gesture out of the door of the hall just as Syhiver was
being pushed out of an interrogation room towards a cell.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"You saw those cybernetics he had? Have you ever seen anything like that? That
stone in his arm? That big, glowing green thing? What the hell was that?"
Harlow said with a shudder.
"He was definitely pushing the limit on the scouter. Those men who attacked him were torn to shreds.
A normal person would have been killed in a few seconds."
Officer Kalan added. One of the arresting
officers took a long sip of her coffee and shook her head, "Meta-humans aren't that uncommon in our
system though, Maybe they're rare on Marduke, but the West Galaxy has what... a one to one-hundred
ratio? We're jumping to conclusions, and the men who attacked him were clearly robbing his ship. We
shouldn't be so quick to--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"That ship though! We ran the serial numbers and the plates. It's almost four
hundred years old. That thing shouldn't have even made it to Marduke from the closest system nearby.
A younger officer cut her off, before the Hydians collectively began to grumble and dissect the
matter of the starship, eventually agreeing that it proved nothing, but only added to the mystery.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Their conversation was cut short as the Chief officer of Marduke appeared at its
threshold and entered inside. Nearly six of the total of twelve officers on the entire Marduke
police force turned their bodies to the Chief captain as she approached the coffee maker and began
to pour herself a hot cup of dark brown accelerant. The Chief officer, a female Hydian called Marlax,
slowly, and deliberately added cream and sugar to her cup before finally turning and resting her
body against the counter near the press-maker. Her slender arms folded over her chest dismissively
as she looked around at the congregation.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Chief?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Chief captain Marlax broke her stance, holding up one hand, and one finger until
she had taken a long draught of the hot elixir and released a palpable 'Ah.''

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Aren't you all off duty?" She said with a vexing smile that caused her aged
features to crease into hard lines.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The group collectively sighed and fidgeted nervously before at last the
dispatcher, Harlow, asked what they were all wanting to know. "We heard you received a call from Ng
Yelo about... our... new resident."
The Chief captain did not visibly respond, but simply took
another long sip of her coffee before setting the cup down. She was a withered vine, with long locks
of purple hair whose color had long since greyed (especially near the roots of her scalp). Her face
had been pulled tight over her features by the years, which caused even the slightest expression to
be visibly pronounced, and so she had learned to carefully control what they revealed.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Yes." She answered, matter-of-factly, causing the officers to grin with a kind
of wonder, and excitement that rarely touched Marduke.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Well?" They each leaned forward, giving their Chief captain an attentiveness
that under normal circumstances the Hydian police captain might have paid cold, hard zeni to obtain.
Perhaps for that reason she held onto the moment for as long as she could before the room seemed
like it would threaten to burst.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"...We don't know anything for certain right now, but Ng Yelo is very interested
in the... hmm... 'asset' that Marduke has acquired. An envoy is already on route to us to determine
if he might be... well, someone the Empire believes is noteworthy."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"The Silver Nightmare?" Dolmar asked, meekly.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Chief captain tried her best not to grin, but her lips pursed into a
chesire smile.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I need someone to head to the clinic and gather Dr. Alkross for me. We need to
complete a full psychological profile on our resident before the envoy arrives. Let me be absolutely
clear... The Imperial Navy does not assume guilt of anyone before they've been properly tried. I
want a promise from each of you that you'll keep tonight's events under your collar until we've
ascertained the identity of this traveler.... but... if he is who the Empire believes him to be..."

Chief captain Marlax gave a slight shrug. "It would put Marduke on the map."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'There was a flurry of excited gestures to be the one to go and gather the doctor
from the clinic, even though all of the officers were technically off duty. In the end, Chief
captain Marlax selected Dolmar and the dispatcher, Harlow, to collect the physician. The murmurs and
rumination of their fellow officers followed them as they left the station and piled into the patrol
car in the black sunrise of the new day. Dolmar drove, and Harlow pressed him for answers as they
flew across the short city blocks of the stations.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Thirty million zeni?" Harlow said with unabashed excitement, and skepticism.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The older officer nodded, somewhat grimly. "Yeah. Thirty million."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Why? I've never heard of a bounty that high. Every hunter in the system would
be making a straight shot for Marduke if that's true."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"It's a long story, I'm not sure that we've got time for me to tell it all."
Dolmar grumbled as they pulled out into the road and began to glide through the tightly packed

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Come on... please. What's the tea on this guy? What're we dealing with?"'


[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'By the time Syhiver was brought to his cell and pushed through the electric
fencing towards a single cot bed, he was far too weak, and tired to resist. He had no cellmate,
thankfully, and had to grope along the walls before he was close enough to simply let his gaunt
frame fall into the meager bed that was offered. The station had seen to his immediate wounds, but
his body was... well, not broken... but pushed far beyond its limits. He knew, somewhere in the back
of his mind, that he had made a mistake... a huge number of mistakes. A colossal series of mistakes.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'But he was too tired. Too weak. Too exhausted to make a brilliant escape like he
might have done in his younger years.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'He had grown old.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Kanassian rolled over in the cot and looked down at his ragged form. His
coat of ocean blue scales had silvered into a dull chrome that practically painted his entire body,
and for the first time he seemed to accept this. He had lost seven years, sure, but he had been past
his prime long before that. His missions had become more disastrous, and dangerous towards the end.
The crash of the Oracle was really the kindest way for his missions to end, but somehow he had
survived that... or if he was to believe Ghost, it had never even happened.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'On Taldega IV he had barely survived the opening chapter of that rebellion. He
thought of Hyabusa, Cin, who had referred to him as 'old timer' and who knew him simply as 'Silver'.
He had heard the same monicker from the Hydian tattoo artist who had painted the new hourglass,
Smartlight sigil on his arm. The Kanassian apathetically looked down at the marking now, and watched
the minutes pass, bead by bead, with a new respect and significance.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"How long can I keep doing this?" He murmured to himself as the lids of his eyes
began to grow heavy.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I'm the last relic of an Age of Strife..." He frowned as his eyes closed.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"...Maybe when I'm gone, that Age will disappear with me."'


[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Okay, so like I said, long story..." Dolmar began as they turned onto a side
street and he attempted to give their car the time necessary to explain the story of the Silver
Nightmare. "This guy grows up on BRAID--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What the hell is BRAID?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"It's a colony in the South Galaxy. Right on the fringe of real space. They say
that Malcom Grey, that psychopath who attacked Namek a few centuries back built and funded the whole
thing, and where VENOM has its roots."
The dispatcher raised his hand to protest, but Dolmar
anticipated his questions. "VENOM is a mercenary army that formed in response to Ragnios Duskwind
getting EvE glassed a hundred years back. They recently got booted off Earth, but there are big
rumors on Hydia, and pretty much everywhere else that they have strongholds on all sorts of planets.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"This colony though, it's a hell-hole. Absolutely corrupt to the core. Drug
trafficking, slave trade, arms deals, you name it, believe me, somewhere along the line it all ties
back to BRAID. It's a locus of evil. And this guy... this 'Silver Nightmare' or 'Syhiver' or
whatever-the-hell-he-is, he grows up in this place. Becomes a member of HADES, a guild of assassins,
and gets this reputation, right?" Dolmar glanced to Harlow, who shook his head. "...He gets this
reputation for only taking contracts out on crime lords of the colony."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What? If he's an assassin wouldn't he just--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Yeah. No. Exactly. That's exactly why it was a big deal. This guild he's part
of, the members don't even have names, their brains get..."
Dolmar struggled to find the words, "I
don't know, they get erased, or scrambled or something. They're not supposed to have names. It's a
huge taboo for the guild. They're just supposed to be reapers with numbers on their back."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Why?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I mean, I can't even begin to guess." Dolmar admitted as he turned the car down
another street. The dispatcher, Harlow, rubbed his temples in confusion. "How do you know so much
about this?"
Dolmar grinned. "Because this guy showed up in Feldron about thirty, maybe forty years
ago? Tore the whole city to pieces in under a week. Pulled this huge bounty onto himself. Absolutely
sent the Hydian nobility into a frenzy."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"You're shitting me? You've got to be."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dolmar laughed. "No, I was a young cadet when it happened, still very green, but
we had entire precincts that were out looking for this guy, and his accomplices. We did an entire
background check. The Empire funneled a huge amount of zeni into finding out what the hell he was
about and the things they turned up in the end, it would blow your mind."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Like what?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"This crazy son-of-a-bitch has been throwing stones at the glass doors of entire
underworld empires for decades. I mean, systematically attacking groups likes Black Sun, VENOM, and
the Syndicate. Picking fights with groups like Hell's Gates for so long that there are still
bounties out there for him in the hundreds-of-thousands, and millions of zeni brackets. This guy has
little safe-houses across the entire galaxy. He's gotten captured on purpose by the LEGENDE Armada
just to deliver a message to some of their agents he couldn't have reached otherwise."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'They had nearly reached their destination, but Harlow seemed perplexed.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"So why does the Empire have a thirty-million zeni bounty on him? It sounds like
he's been doing everything the Icers would want us to do, but on a scale we don't have the resources
or manpower to do ourselves?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dolmar slowly brought the patrol car to a slow, gliding stop at the entrance of
the Marduke clinic and sighed. "I don't know. There was a lot of talk about it at the time, and
confirmed reports that a close cooperative of his had been killed before it all went wrong. Merreth
was her name, I think, and that all happened about seven or eight years ago... After that went down,
this guy just goes... berserk? Nuts? Insane maybe... and attacks the Icerian Embassy on Taldega IV.
Blows it the -fuck- up, Kills everyone inside. Diplomats, ambassadors, even their children. He
marches into the secure holdings and finds the Imperial liaison, Kassadin, and chops his head off.
But before he murders Kassadin, he steals a passkey."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Passkey?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I don't know. It was highly classified intelligence. Way above my pay-grade,
but it was a big fucking deal at the time. That's when the bounty was posted."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What happened after he attacked the embassy?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Well, then he escaped the reinforcements that came to bolster Olypon'Kol. Carves
his way through the city. Blows the heads off of civilians with a pulse rifle without a moment of
hesitation. Cuts down a dozen or so Imperial Sentinels on his way out before being picked up by a
ship called the Oracle."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Fuck..."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Yeah..." Dolmar said with a heavy sigh. "No one knows what happened to him
after that. He just vanished. The bounty stayed active for a few years, but when he didn't resurface
I think most people just... forgot."
Dolmar shrugged.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I guess that was just about exactly the same time that the Empire was sweeping
up the leftovers from the battle at Sanctum, and the alliance broke?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dolmar nodded. "That's when Ymir was coming into power too, don't forget. He
launched a coup, cut down Astrid and took over the Icerian war council. There was so much going on,
I don't think a random assassin from BRAID, passkey or not, was a high priority on anyone's mind."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"And now he's back... and on Marduke... looking like he just crawled his way out
from under Hell's gates."
Harlow said with a deep sigh. "Maybe. I hope not. I hope he turns out to
be just some know-nothing who just happens to be able to give seven men a dirt nap at once, but we
won't know for sure until the envoy gets here."
Dolmar reached over and picked up his officer hat
from the console of the patrol car, placing it over his head almost ceremoniously. "You ready for


[CHAT] Syhiver was awoke from a a dreary, dead sleep only four hours after his arrest. He was pulled
up from out of his cot by three men and shoved into a shower block where he was pressure-washed down
at gun-point with a hose that could have stripped the paint off a starship. Cleaned, and dried by a
pair of grumbling officers, he was offered a meager tray of breakfast supplements before finally
being brought to an intensely bright interrogation chamber and handcuffed to the table where he
waited another excruciating hour before the door to the chamber opened, and a wizened Hydian doctor
entered, and sat across from him.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Good afternoon." The Hydian said, cheerfully. Dr. Alkross was of venerable age,
and clearly afflicted with the Lykanrot. His head was bald, spotted, and bore the tell-tale, putrid
rash of the disease that coursed through more than a quarter of Hydia's larger population. He wore a
thick, green, sweater lying overtop a pair of sweatpants that covered a pair of socks stuck into
strapped sandals. A pair of large, circular glasses were balanced on the crook of a fairly large
nose that burned every so slightly more orange the the rest of his pigmented complexion.'

[CHAT] Syhiver gave a gruff nod of acknowledgement, but didn't return the greeting.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I am Dr. Alkross." He said without losing a measure of his optimism. Slowly the
wizened Hydian drew forth a stack of folders, and binders towards himself and opened them up.
Adjusting his spectacles, he flipped through the pages at a speed that would have agitated a tree
sloth. "It seems as though during your arrest you said your name was... Sykar Silver?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver blinked slowly, and deliberately, but did not answer.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dr. Alkross slowly nodded. "Is that your real name?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Hydian doctor waited for a response... He waited... and waited... and
eventually, long after any sane person would have grown bored or angitated, he simply picked up a
small pad of paper and scribbled a slow note before setting the pen down and propping his elbows up
so that his hands could be clasped and steepled upon the desk. "Are you aware, Mr. Silver, of why
you've been detained."
When Syhiver refused to answer, or even emote in any way whatsoever, the
Doctor explained that, "You seriously injured seven men. Many of them are being treated for critical
injuries. Most of them will live with those injuries for the rest of their lives, but with the right
treatment and physical ther--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What type of Doctor are you, exactly?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dr. Alkross was taken aback, and his spectacles slid down the wide bridge of his
nose slightly as he slowly pivoted. "I am a Doctor of Psychology."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"So you wouldn't actually know the extent of the injuries I inflicted on those

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I beg your pardon?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Your expertise, Dr. Alkross, is not that of a physician. You haven't examined
those men that attacked me, or know the extent of those injuries, or am I mistaken?"
reclined backwards in his chair, taking a neutral, but controlled position as Dr. Alkross was left
somewhat disarmed. The Hydian eventually, very slowly, nodded his head, then picked up his pen and
paper, scribbled once more and set the articles aside. "I see that your reasoning is quite acute.
That's a good sign. And, yes, you are right, I haven't examined their injuries myself, but I have
been in contact with the--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Perhaps, before you continue to diagnose patients which are not yours, you
should move on to a more relevant topic, such as the reason an assault and battery demands a
psychological profile."
Syhiver cut directly to the point, his words slicing like swords to the bone
of the matter.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dr. Alkross slowly pushed his glasses back up along the bridge of nose, drew his
notepad forward and made a third note before closing it, and smiling. "Well, you are quite an
interesting subject today. You seem sound of mind, and clearly have a... well rounded suspicion of
what's unfolding. I suppose there's no point trying to dance around the matter."
The doctor chuckled,
more for his own benefit than the man seated across from him. "You're suspected of being a terrorist
of some significance, Mr. Silver. I've been called to... evaluate... just how dangerous you might be.

[CHAT] Syhiver gave no response.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"The men you injured last night. It was a brutal display of skill, especially
for someone of your age. We can't rule out super-human attributes very easily, but at no point did
you turn the scouter over, so we must assume you accomplished that feat through sheer technique, and
Syhiver gestured to himself, "It's not as if I came out unscathed." Dr. Alkross nodded. "Your
own injuries will be addressed after our conference has been concluded, don't worry. I'm not
suggesting it was an easy quarrel for you, merely that... you clearly are not unfamiliar with deadly
situations such as that."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I got lucky." Syhiver lied.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Doctor made another note in his journal, and then once more assumed his
chipper demeanor. "You haven't undergone a proper physical yet, or an MRI, if we could even perform
The doctor adjusted the position of his spectacles once more, turning them so that the
lenses gave him a magnified view of the man across from him. "...But I see quite a number of
cybernetic augments on your person."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What of it?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"How much of your body is cyberware, Mr. Silver? Roughly speaking?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver did not answer.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Are you aware of a term we call 'Cyberpsychosis'?" The doctor waited, but there
was no reply. "With any sort of amputee, there are phantom limb syndromes that they experience. Pain
or feelings associated with the limbs that were lost. It normally goes away with time, but
cybernetic replacements can extend that period, sometimes indefinitely."
Dr. Alkross paused and
tried to gauge Syhiver's reaction, but the Kanassian was perfectly stoic. "I'm going to ask you
again. How much of your body is cyberware, Mr. Silver?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"More than fifty percent." Syhiver finally growled, as he realized, it was a
fact that was bound to be confirmed.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Just fifty?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"More than seventy-five percent."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'Dr. Alkross smiled from ear to ear. "Ah..." The doctor made a few more notes.
"Cyberpsychosis is a state in which so much of the organic body has been replaced, or altered
through cyberware that even a slight defect in the system can create extraordinarily violent, or
insane feedback to the brain."
The Hydian tapped his bald skull a few times with the tip of his
finger. "We're not entirely sure why. We think it has to do with a latent identity death. The mind
simply cannot process how much matter has been lost. Theologians would say a part of the so--"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I don't care." Syhiver interrupted.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Fair enough. I admit, it's not my job to speculate." The doctor had now simply
left his notebook open and fidgeted with his ink pen, occasionally scribbling down something at a
pace that would have bored even someone enthusiastic of watching paint drying on the walls. "Seventy-
five, hmmm... that leaves... what? Your head, your right arm, and your upper chest?"
Syhiver let his
crude, cybernetic arm fall down onto the table where the three-pronged, mechanical fingers began to
drum in agitation.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The doctor seemed to consider his next question very deliberately, and
painstakingly, or perhaps severe sloth of his demeanor simply made it feel that way. "Mr. Silver.
The stone in your left shoulder. The green one. We have no idea what that material is. Would you be
so kind as to explain it?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"It's a warpcrystal."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The doctor was visibly taken aback, his jaw dropping for a moment before he
recollected himself. "Warpcrystal? That?" Suddenly the doctor was hastily scrawling in his journal.
"I... I don't know much about them. The only specimens I've ever seen, ever heard of... they were...
frankly they were fragments? Small enough that you'd barely be able to pick them up under your nail.

[CHAT] Syhiver adjusted his position, a slight smirk spreading across his face.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"I've heard they're psychoactive."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"Oh. Very much so. At least, to your kind. Even being this close to one can have
dramatic effects to the uninitiated."'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"What... what sort of effects?"'

[CHAT] Syhiver drummed his metallic fingers over the table a few times before casually flipping his
limb over as if he were examining the nails of the limb. "Well, I think the most pronounced effect
is just that it makes it very difficult to concentrate around one. It's a subtle thing. You'd never
know it was happening until someone pointed it out, or after you've left the radius of a crystal.
But there are more pronounced effects. Psychosis, induced split-personality, complete breaks with
reality to name a few."
Syhiver let his cyber-hand fall into his lap.

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- '"One effect, that I'm particularly fond of, is that sometimes, if I just focus
enough, I can project a thought into an absent mind that's nearby... and it just... slips inside...
without them ever realizing it."
Syhiver's smile faded into hollow mask. "What exactly do you think
you're writing, right now, doctor?"
The Kanassian intoned.'

[CHAT] Syhiver: -- 'The Hydian, somewhat taken aback looked down at his notepad where he had been
scribbling since the interview began. Over the length of an entire page where he had intended to
keep a detailed note on his subject, he had written, over and over again, a single phrase but each
repetition had become more and more fragmented...

Beginning Mission.
B3ginning Mission..
B3ginning Miss1on...
B3ginnin6 Miss1on....
B3gi2nin6 Miss1on.....
B3gi2nin6 Mi5s1on......
83gi2nin6 Mi5s1on.......
83gi2nin6 Mi5s10n........
836i2nin6 Mi5s10n.........
836i2nin6 Mi5s102..........
836i2n1n6 Mi5s102...........
836i2n1n6 Mi55102............
836i221n6 Mi55102.............
836i22126 Mi55102..............
836122126 Mi55102...............
836122126 M155102...............
836122126 3155102..................

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