Conscripts

Conscripts.

“Time? Time. Some people think that time is linear. Others think that its circular, going around. There are even others who think it moves as it pleases. In the past there were some that thought time did not exist. In these days they’ve been set against, several times. One thing is proven. Time is not alone. To some it may move faster while slower to others. I wonder how it chose it’s pace.”

“Attention.” She stood in front of a crowd of people that despised her. “Sergeant Davis will not be attending and I will take his place. I am General Silver.”
“A General? Why a high rank like you?” A red headed woman retaliated with a smile on her lips. Standing out from the others.
“What is your name, Recruit?”
“Morgan Lock.” Silver looked through the papers.
“Lock, Morgan. I see that you have been in the navy before.” She looked up towards the woman who had spoken. “Then I expect you not to interrupt me again.”
“Oh and what are you gonna do? Kick me out of this platoon too?” Still smiling.
“How does the brig sound?” Morgan’s smile faded quickly. “Well then. Let me continue.” But before she was able to continue, Snex flew in through the door with a big grin on his face. A lot of commotion sounded on the other side but silenced shortly afterwards. As Snex looked around he noticed how everyone’s eyes were on him. His grin grew wider.
“Recruits?” A second later, Silver pulled him out the door.

“Be Very careful, Hun…” Looking him straight in the eyes. Jabbing with a finger towards him. “Those in there are not Recruits. They are Conscripts, and I am the one responsible for them until they can find someone else.”
“What, why?”
“I don’t have time for that now. Just don’t make trouble.” She opened the door and walked in the room again.

Everyone quieted as she entered. They seemed at disarray even before she had left. Now it was more so. As she moved up in front of the crowd again she noticed how Snex moved after and walked up by the side of everyone. Leaning to the wall. She gave him a sharp look before she turned to address the Conscripts.

“You didn’t tell me why you are taking care of the new ones.” Snex sat down on the desk Silver was sitting by. Forcing her attention from the papers in front of her.
“The Sergeant that was supposed to take care of them has been shot. X feels that it’s better if I take care of them until the murder is resolved.” She returned her eyes to the listings.
“But why you?” he asked while dangling his feet.
“Because the murderer might be one of the Conscripts. Remember that they don’t really like being here” She started pulling one of the papers he sat on. Snex jumped of the desk and started walking down the stairs into her laboratory.
“Yes, but why you?” Silver looked down after him.
“Because it’s either me or you. The others were out on missions when it happened.”
“And they didn’t wanna pick me.” She heard his laugh from down the stairs.
“Hun..? What are you doing.” Rising from her chair she saw the window open.
“Hi,
Triple Six. What are you doing peering into my wife’s window?” 666 climbed in looking oddly on Snex, then looking up towards Silver.
“I could need your help, sis.” Silver walked down the stairs. “I need someone to fix my arm.”

Snex had been forced out of her laboratory. Mostly since he kept asking what things were and trying to poke around inside 666. Alone 666 and Silver had talked. She told him about the murder.

“Any suspects?” he asked while she was looking in her drawers for spare parts.
“Well, four actually. But there is no evidence”
“No evidence? Then how do they have four suspects?”
“Well,
they think it’s one of the Conscripts, and there are only four of them that have experience with weapons. Ah.” She found what she were looking for and moved over to his side.
“Hmm… And you’ve ended up holding your eyes open for suspicious behaviour. Who are they? Maybe I’ve heard of them.”
“Morgan Lock. An old Navy officer. Dishonourably discharged.
David Richards. He is just registered as a weapon owner. He works at the bank.
Simon Barker. A security guard.
Lucy Woods. She has been in competitions. Apparently she qualified for a tournament that’s suppose to start in a few weeks.”
“Hmm…”
“Do you know any of them?” She always noticed the twitches in his eye when she hurt him. Though there were no more reactions over the pain.
“No, I don’t think I do. I could check around if you want me to.” He looked down towards her. She nodded.
“Thank you, bro. I knew you’d want to help me.”

“So
what do you think of the General?” For some reason the four of them had ended up getting a room by themselves. The others had been appointed big rooms filled with bunks but they had been put into a smaller. A room for six, yet they were only four. “Isn’t she hot?” Barker spoke as he put his clothes on the top bunk. He was broad shouldered and had close to shaved hair.
“She’s a Reploid. You have realised that right?” Lock replied with contempt as she held the uniform pants up, looking at them. Bulky.
“She can be whatever she likes, she’s still well built.”
“Did you see that other guy? The one in green?” Richards sat on his bunk untying his shoes. “Who was that?” He was considerably shorter than the others but still had a bit of a waist.
“No idea, but the General didn’t seem to like him” Barker scratched his head as he spoke. Lock smiled and lay down in her bed. She suddenly felt how someone sat down beside her. “So you were in the Navy, huh?” Barker looked at her.
“Yeah, but I got out of that three years ago.”
“What happened?”
“Heh.” Sitting up, she smiled a luring smile. “That’s a story for another time, my precious.” As she said that the door opened. A short girl with long wavy hair in uniform entered.
“Hey, nice.” Barker burst out. “That suits you good.” Woods smiled vaguely, holding her civilian clothes to her chest.
“I… I haven’t slept in the same room as guys before.” Lock slapped her palm to her forehead.
“You damn well don’t tell them that.”
“Don’t worry we won’t hurt you.” Barker grinned before he got a shoe in his side.
“Shut it and leave her alone.” Richards held up the other shoe.

“Time is different to everyone. Time is slow, almost still, for the victim. While it runs too fast for the murderer to grasp what he is doing. Then, as whoever is after him, close in, time runs slower. Still it seems to be less than what he seems to need. I wonder. How is time for the victim, who now is dead?”

“I want you four to come over here.” They had the shooting range to themselves. Silver had made sure of that. She wanted to get everyone used to rifles.
“Why us?” Lock.
“Sir.”
“What?”
“That’s: Why us, sir?” Silver corrected her.
“Shouldn’t that be ma’am?” She just smiled, making Silver even more pissed. A flash rang through the range as Silver shot a lightning on Lock. Pushing her to her back.
“Sir.” Silvers clenched her hand towards Lock. Lock got to her feet holding her chest.
“Unh. Hrm.” She looked at the other Conscripts. They all seemed surprised by what had happened. “Ehm… Why us, Sir?” Silver breathed out and relaxed.
“Because the four of you are the only ones with experience in using weapons.”
“So that’s why we bunk together?” Silver looked over towards Barker, who had spoken. “Sir!” He even straightened his back.
“Yes.” Silver simply replied.

“He
was walking to the warehouse when he was shot from behind. The culprit used a high calibre projectile weapon stolen from the weapon holds. The culprit sat on top of the roof as it fired. Three shots were fired, of which one missed it’s target. Hitting the ground instead. How were their scores?” Silver listened to X through the intercom.
“Richards and Woods both had high scores, but neither Lock or Barker did get bad scores. They are both much better than the rest of the Conscripts.” She sat by her desk holding the score boards in her hands, leaning back in her chair.
“Hmm, well, keep me posted.”
“Wait. I have a question.” She corrected her seat and looked into the screen. “What if there was someone on the outside?” X shook his head.
“If it was, they have gotten through security even better than the Conscripts. Although, we can not rule out that possibility, no. But the Conscripts do have a far better motive to assassinate a Sergeant.”
“I guess that’s true.” Silver sighed.
“By the way. I heard that you shot one of them today.”
“Ah, yes.” Silver looked around, nervously. “Well, yes I did. I didn’t harm them. Not much.”
“Why did you do it?” X seemed calm.
“It’s Lock, Sir. She has a problem with authority. I wanted to make a point that they all would follow.” She was a little ashamed of what she had done.
“Remember that we need them to be loyal to us. Not afraid of us. Do not let it happen again.”
“No, Sir. I won’t” Then X disappeared from the screen. Silver leaned back again, pulling her hand through her hair. “If only…” She spoke quietly as she looked at the score boards again.

She stood on the roof looking down towards the warehouse. The cold winds caressed her skin. She was standing on the same spot the Culprit had stood as the weapon was fired. With her expertise she could see several placements that would be better than this one. Though this was the closest to the weapon stores which the rifle had been stolen from. She kinda suspected that it had been done in a rush. 666 walked up next to her and leaned over the railing. Smoke coming out of his mouth.
“I’ve found some clues.” He stated. “A David Richards has been a suspect in an attempt of armed assault. Wasn’t convicted, though. Seemed as if he was caught up in a fight in a bar and had pulled out a gun in the back alley afterwards. It was explained as either drunk visions of something else or not enough light to determine who it was. In any case, he claimed that he didn’t have his gun with him that night.” He took another deep blow of the cigarette between his lips. “A Steve Barker has been convicted for acts of violence when he beat down a taxi driver who had been too expensive for his taste.” He then smiled. “I guess you already know about Locks deal.” She nodded.
“I knew the rest too. But you didn’t find anything about Lucy Woods?”
“No.” He shook his head.
“It seems as if she’s the cleanest of them.”
“Doesn’t rule her out.”
“Brother?”
She turned towards him. “Could you do me another favour?” His eyebrow rose as he met her eyes. “Could you help me tomorrow?”

“It’s a fact, I hate her.” Lock had hung a mirror to the bed and was brushing her hair.
“Did it hurt? The lightning?” Woods looked over from her own bunk.
“’Course it hurt, don’t be silly. She had to fetch new clothes” Richards explained. He was going through his backpack.
“I hate how she’s going over our heads. She doesn’t seem to trust us.” Lock had to untangle her hair after what had happened.
“I think you’re being too hard on her. She did tell you twice.” Barker was laying in his bed peering down.
“You just be quiet.” Lock threatened him with the comb. “Your eyes didn’t leave her for a second. Don’t think we didn’t notice.” Barker only laughed back. “I’m so gonna…” She cursed as she went back to her hair.
“I think it would work better if you didn’t oppose her all the time.” Woods added while she looked at what Richards was doing. He had left his backpack and was searching for something in his cabin.
“Don’t you start. You just do what she asks. Don’t you realise that she’s evil?” Woods shook her head.
“What are you looking for?” She asked Richards instead.
“Ah.” He said happily. “My deck of cards.”

“Time has a funny characteristic of always passing the important details. In a conversation a word can be missed and a misunderstanding would follow. Time cannot, however, add something that wasn’t there. That would be memory’s fault. The question here is, does time know what it skips? Or does it pick it at random?”–

Silver woke up and went about her morning routine. She was on her way out when she found the envelope.

“It reads: ‘Bang, you’re dead’” Silver stood in X’s office with the note in her hand. “I’ve already had it checked for fingerprints but none were found.”
“I told you, if you had let me handle this from the start it would’ve been over by now.” Zero had come along when he had seen Silver head for X’s office.
“We need these peoples trust and loyalty. Not–” X tried.
“I’d make sure they wouldn’t dare do anything but be loyal.”
“We do not want them to be afraid of us. They need to understand that they are doing the right thing on their own.” X stood up and leaned over the table.
“My way would’ve gotten the rat out by now and you’d be able to continue training the rest in peace.” Zero joined X at the table, putting his face close to X’s.
“Guys? Why don’t we just let this play out? I’m not as easily killed as a human and I’d be able to defend myself even if I’m not armed.” They both looked toward her as she spoke. “Sooner or later something will happen. Let’s try to take them on when it does. Until then let’s try to figure out who it might be.”

They had been ordered into training overalls and collected in a bigger room with a square mat in the middle of the floor. The Conscripts all kept to the walls, whispering to each other. Silver walked up to the middle of the room. She too was dressed in a training outfit.
“All right, listen up everybody.” All the whispers ended and everyone’s attention turned towards her. “Today we are going to test your ability for close encounters. I will need a volunteer.” Barker moved up.
“A volunteer? I thought we were here by force, Sir.” Silver looked his way, bothered by his blunt expression. “But I’ll take you on.” He walked up on the mat loosening his body. Silver smiled as she stepped back.
“Thank you, Barker.” Then she turned her attention to the crowd around them. “This is 666, the person that will test you all today.” 666 walked up from one of the corners, spitting his cigarette on the floor. “I will be supervising the whole event today.” Barker looked at the small black shape in front of him. A smile crept over his lips.
“Hey, midget, I’ll take you down and get back to the bunk before they’ll blink.” 666 shrugged.
“Maybe. If you are able to hit me.”
Then Silver shouted. “Go!”

Barker flew forward, throwing his clenched fist towards 666’s face. 666 simply leaned to get aside of the fist. 666 gently pushed the elbow while putting his foot before Barker’s, tripping him. Getting up Barker looked back towards 666, which held his hand to his side as he waited. He didn’t even seem bothered.
“You bastard.” Barker tried again, this time he tried to get his foot to 666’s crotch. 666 took a step back avoiding the foot completely. Then he simply pushed the sole to make Barker fall backwards. Barker quickly got back to his feet, now really angry. He clenched his fists and readied himself.
“Loosen up more, those muscles won’t do any good if you keep missing.” The comment threw Barker off. Making him think a second about what was happening. He then took a step back and looked over towards Silver.
“I give up.”

“Thank you for helping me today.” They were walking after she had sent the Conscripts on a running track. Silver was drying her hair.
“It was… Interesting.” 666 took another cigarette to his lips. “I’ve been wanting to ask you. Do you know if there is another possible motive besides becoming soldiers?” She sighed.
“Well, kinda. Woods had a competition in a few weeks. Richards will be getting less money while he’s in here than being at his work as a banker. Lock, well, she’s been in the military before. I don’t think she trusts us.” They kept walking.
“What about Barker.”
“I don’t know, he seems to have a bit of a temper though. Might have acted before he thought. It has been done in a rush.”
“Excuse me.” They were suddenly interrupted. “But Ms Lock was talking to one of the guards yesterday.” Yosh. “I don’t know what they were talking about, but she didn’t seem happy.” Silver looked to 666 then to Yosh.
“With who?”

“I heard you were talking to one of the new ones.” Yosh set his dinner plate down beside the soldier. Still wondering on why he had agreed on doing this.
“Erm. What?” He looked surprised as Yosh rarely spoke to people in that fashion.
“That Ms Lock. She seems to have a thing for General Silver, though.” Shrugging he returned to his food.
“Well she just wanted to enter a closed of area.” He thought for a second. “But what do you mean, ‘A thing for the General’?”
“Hrrm… She seems to be opposing her at every turn.”
“Really? Oh, that’s true. She wanted to enter their living quarters. But she gave up after a while.”
“Did she say what she wanted to do in there?”
“Not really, something about wanting to talk to someone, might’ve been Silver, come to think of it. I told her to wait until she was on duty. Why do you wonder this?”
“Err…”

“She has a tattoo on her bum.” Barker smiled as he watched the ceiling and shuffled Richard’s cards.
“What?” Lock sat in her bunk leaning against the wall with a book in her lap. ‘Courageous Ninjas’.
“A tattoo. Of a General star.” Lock gave a short laugh.
“I suppose she doesn’t expect to get promoted.” She grinned as she turned a page.
“She might. Besides she’s a good fighter.”
“What makes you say that?” Lock leaned out her bunk and looked up towards Barkers bed.
“Well, she knows both hand to hand combat and long range. She might not be as good as that other guy but she still was a lot better than the rest of us.” He rolled up and looked back down as he noticed her looking.
“I guess that’s true.”
“But then again. You actually got a hit on the Devil. That itself is impressive.”
“Heh.” Lock leaned back to the wall again.
“How did you do that? I mean, when I tried to hit him he seemed to turn into air.” He climbed down his bunk to sit on hers.
“It’s the ear.” She stated as she opened the book again.
“What about it?”
“I’ve got a cybernetic eardrum. It helps my reflexes and balance.” Looking up she noticed Barker close to her face, staring at her ears. Her eyebrows pulled together.
“Kinda explains their pointieness. When did you get it?” He asked, still not sure which were real.
“About the same time I got kicked out of the Navy.”
“Yeah. How did That happen?” Woods asked as she and Richards came into the room and as she saw them both so close Lock and Barker just stared back. They all fell silent until Lock shoved Barker off the bed and down to the floor. Woods had to take a step back to avoid him. “What’s going on?” Lock pulled her legs off the bed and sighed.
“What are you doing with my cards?” Richards asked frowning towards Barker. Barker shrugged.

“I guess I’ll have to tell you guys sooner or later.” Lock started her story.

“I had been assigned to guard duty, like usual. I was suppose to guard these crates in the harbour last year. I don’t know if you’re from around here but about a year ago there were some action down there. Left quite the scar on it too. Well, I was there with two other Navy soldiers. I had night rounds. Nothing really happened that night, but by the first light, we got a call from some Major who wanted us to evacuate with the crates. Getting evacuation orders isn’t easy, you know. The people upstairs don’t issue those unless they are necessary. And I mean really necessary. We started immediately getting the crates up on the vehicle we had. A too small patrol boat. But without either a truck or any other boats around we had to start loading what we could. Though we didn’t have very much time.

Just moments after we had started we heard noises coming closer. All kinds of noises. Explosions, screams, laughter, weapon fire, it was crazy and it was heading straight for us. Being the one who had been put in charge I ordered the other two to continue to load the boat. While I check the perimeter. As I looked around the corner I saw how two thugs got ripped apart by tentacles coming from some weird kind of machine. Not knowing what the hell was going on, I had to assume that it was a hostile. I was right too, but I think it would have been better off if I hadn’t done anything. As I fired the first shot against it, it noticed me. Simply put, it crushed my shoulder and went on towards my two comrades. Holding to one of those crates they were without a chance. Both of them got ripped to pieces. I would’ve followed but as it grappled me with its many arms I called for help and this odd bunny droid came along. As it attacked the octopus I got thrown into the water.

I only remember how something landed in the water besides me before I got this stinging sensation in my body and passed out. Anyway, when I woke up, I was in the hospital. I couldn’t hear or even sit up straight. The Navy decided to give me these ears to fix my vestibular apparatus, the thing in the inner ear that helps with balance. Mostly to ask me questions it seemed. Whatever was in those crates must’ve been important, cause they were pissed at me for having lost them. And they held me charge for the deaths of my partners, as if I should’ve been able to save them. That and my superiors never liked me. They even discharged me for it. Dishonourable they said.”

“Time travel. They said that it is something that only could be done in science fiction novels. Today we know better. Time travel is possible. However there is a problem. What happens when you return to the past and fix a fault that you thought worth fixing. If you would succeed, there would be no fault to return to. Either you will not be able to make it or you will be stuck in something called a time bubble. You see, as you return you bring your own time back. Since your time is older than the current time around you, you will be pushed aside. Making it harder to actually make a difference. The further back you return the more difficult to change the past. What would happen if you travelled back before time existed?”

“Attention, all” Snex smiled broadly as he looked around himself. All the Conscripts were present. As were Silver, supervising everything. This time He was in charge. “I am General Snex, General of the Bomb Assessment and Deconstruction Division. B.A.D.D” He enjoyed that contraction. “I have been asked to teach you people about bombs” On a table next to him he had a few pieces of equipment and a few protective suits. Behind him was a set of booths. He picked up a fistsized globelike object. “This is a bomb. A leathal weapon that can be used both in direct combat and for applied situations. Its current BDA is 300 feet blast radius, 400 feet fire spread effect, leaving a crater on approximitly 120 feet. This is the type of object we will be working on today.” His smiled had just grown more and more as he was talking. “Any questions.” Everyone were looking at him with wide eyes and seemed frozen. A blast from the bomb in his hand would easily clear all of them. One single hand carefully rose. Snex simply nodded in Woods direction.
“Sir, ehm. No one here has any experience in ballistics. Would it not be rather dangerous for us to handle such dangerous equipment.” Snex nodded.
“Yes, yes it would. Which is why the charge is taken out of the ones that you will be working on. Only a small charge will blow if they were to go off.” Everyone suddenly seemed more relaxed. “We only have six ballistic protective gear. You will all have to take turns.”

“So, what do you think of the general? I mean the other general, Silver?” Barker was gearing up as he stood next to Snex.
“Hmm? What do you mean?”
“Well,
what is she like out of her uniform? When she’s not bossing around?” Snex smiled to the question. Interpreting it completly wrong.
“She’s great. But still rather bossy.”
“You know of her tatoo?” Snex blunk, realizing that Barker did not know that Snex and Silver were married.
“Yes.” He grinned “All three of them.”
“Three?”
“The general star on her arse, the lightning on her cheek and a small sexy bunny on her inner thigh.” Barker looked at him again as he pushed the helmet on.
“You’ve seen her thighs?”
“Oh, I’ve seen alot more than that.” Snex smiled and pushed him into one of the security booths they had put up for those more advanced. Barker did not seem to notice the difference.

Silver was walking around the compound. She was trying to get her head around who might have done the shooting. The missing bullet kept nagging in the back of her head. She felt ashamed to think that if it had hit too they would have two suspects instead of four. Probably even been able to get out the correct one of them to.
“I heard Snex blew up one of the Suspects today.” 666 had seen her walking and decided to come along. Silver twitched at his approch. Suprised.
“Huh, what. Yeah, he did. He has been punished for it already.”
“Yeah, heard he got to reaquaint himself with the brig. Why did he do it?”
“God knows.” Silver shrugged. “Barker was not injured badly though.”
“Barker, huh? To be honest, I think I’ve figured out whose done it.” 666 pulled up a cigarette.
“Who?” Silver stopped and turned towards him.
“I -” 666 suddenly jumped forward, pushing Silver back, as a loud noise came from the building next to them as it was ripped apart in a cascade of fire. The debris pierced the area around the wall. Piercing 666’s side and back, but keeping Silver unharmed. “There.” 666 said, laying upon Silver pointing towards a shadow running towards the corner of the building.
Silver did not hesitate and pushed 666 off her before getting on her feet and running after. 666 was injured, but not close to get critical. His leg had caught the biggest chunk.

She traced the corner as she got out in the thin alleyway. The shape quickly turned the next corner before she could get a grip of who it might be. As her feet again started her motion she pulled out her sidearm, readying it without as much as a hint of a falted movement. If she would get a glimpse she would take the shot. It was lost around the next corner. Then a truck crashed out through the garage doors. She aimed but the irratic movement made it hard to get a clear shot, a second later it had turned away from her. The shape was still unseen.

“Sir” the intercom crackled as the voice spoke. X leaned back from the heap of paper and looked tiredly to the blinking button. He sighed before he pushed it.
“Yes, Alia, what is the matter?”
“There has been a robbery, Sir. The garage is reporting two missing vehicles. The first was stolen by someone unknown, the guard, Liam Grieves, said that he never had a chance of seeing the culprit. The second was taken by General Silver Xenox, General of the Sniping Squad, Sir.” X sighed and returned to his paper work as he kept listening. “There has been two land vehicles dispatched. Two hover-cycles and a helicopter. The vehicles stolen were a class 3 lorry and a jeep.” As Alia continued to talk about the technical diffrences between all the vehicles involved and stating as of how soon the two would be stopped, X leaned on his hand as he kept writing. Last time he had turned the intercom off while she spoke had been a rather horrible experience.

Shortly after the chase had begun, Silver found herself in a toppled over jeep next to a truck laying on the side. Her fairly hard tackle on the trucks rear tires had set them both rolling. She had to kick the door open in an attempt of getting out. As she got to her feet she saw how the trucks front window bulged before falling off. She readied her sidearm and aimed. Richards took a clumsy step out, holding his side. He leaned against the hood as he looked over towards Silver. She slowly walked closer as he slid down to the ground, panting hard.
“Hands up, Richards. Palms out” He did as told, with a groan. “I only have one question before the others arrive.” She pointed the gun straight toward his chest. “Why?” The helicopter was already over them both, holding a light towards them. While the sound of the closing in Army-Police was echoing.
“Do you know how much I lose from not being at work?”
“Money? You kill them for money?”
“One year is sixty-million-two-hundred-thousand dollars.” Shortly there after he was attained.

“And now you sit there. Convicted for the murder and attempted murder of an officer. Time’s up, you lost. How does it feel now when time is gone? And there is no place to escape? What did you get? Life? That’s an awefully long time to be locked in. Was it worth it? The time spent, the planning, the rush? I guess you already know.”
“Shut up already…” Richards muttered from inside his cell.
“Hehe, no no, that time has not reached yet. I’ve got a lot more time to sit here talking. You know why? Because time is on my side. I’m just here for a short while. You almost killed my wife, you tried to. Now, I am not allowed to harm you, but I will still be able to bug you. Time is on My side.”

Snex kept talking as he leaned back against the cellbars. He had been locked up but according to himself, it had been worth it. As Richards was brought into the cell next to him and he had been explained to as of why, Snex now had something to pass the time with before he was released again.

Story is © Peter A Svensson 2008
All characters are coyright respective owners.
All Megaman related characters are copyright Capcom.

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