The Science of Aivius

 

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Introduction

I'm going to say, if you're going to read this....beware that this is a WIP. Once this Introduction is removed it means I've already edited this....so...expect it to be on February or March.

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Chapter 1

Thunder roared in the rainless night. Four figures enter the temple cautiously. They were gleaming with sweat and struggling to catch their breath from the previous encounter. Hoping for a change of scene, they walk into the empty space that used to be a majestic temple filled with rhinestones and gilded columns.

Aro had disappointment written on his face, “Such a rip-off. Legend said this place was like a king’s crown from floor to ceiling. This looks like the underside of my boot.”

“I don’t think you get the concept of legends, Aro,” Kali answered. She struck her bow at Aro’s head, hard enough for him to say “Ouch” but not hard enough to give him a concussion.

The main room was empty. The once gilded columns were now covered in rock.

“Looks like we’ve got another dud. How about we start our work and let’s get outta here? I don’t want to deal with those cave cretins again,” Aro asked looking behind him. The figure that was barely making it through the temple entrance had her hand on her side and the other by the frame of the entrance, hanging on for dear life. Her elven face was scrunched in agony. “Oh shit,” Aro rushed to his twin sister to help her up.

“It took you ten minutes to know how heavily injured I was, Aro, you should be ashamed,” the elf said.

Her brother rolled his eyes, “In my defense, we just met 5 months ago. Now let’s see that wound.”

Ariane showed her side, her clothes were torn from the attack showing a bloody gash on her left side. Aro took his sister’s dagger and tore around the rip of Ariane’s shirt, getting rid of anything that could touch the wound. His hands were cold to the touch which made Ariane hiss in response.

“Oh, boo hoo, grow up! I can do so much worse with your open wound than freak your skin with my cold hands,” Aro snapped. He examined the wound, “It’s pretty deep, and you’ve been hiding it from us, now it’s all dirty from all the climbing we had to do. I’ll need to clean it before it festers and apply the proper dressing for it, seeing as your hand has done a pretty banged up job covering it,” his tone was filled with sarcasm and Ariane rolled her eyes in reply. He opens his satchel with his numerous supplies and grabs a cloth and his bottle of disinfectant.

Aro’s apprentice, Eldar, was quick to move at his side to help. “I’ll clean the wound and you hold her down, boss,” he said as he grabbed the disinfectant and put several drops of it on the cloth.

“Good thinking,” Aro answered. He took out a small towel and rolled it. He handed it to his twin, “Bite on this, sissy, or you’ll collapse this temple with your shriek when we treat your wound.”

The half-elf rolled her eyes and grabbed the towel anyways.

“Now be a good girl and lie on your side so it’ll be easier for me to hold you down,” he ordered. “Kali, hold her legs down, she’s kicker,” he instructed at the other elf.

“Can’t I just tie her up? It’s so much easier?” Kali asked as she positioned herself at Ariane’s legs.

Ariane couldn’t reply anymore coz she was held down by her brother who was bigger than her. “Just hold her down while Eldar cleans her wound. The disinfectant is painful as hell, but it does the job well,” Aro said.

Ariane wasn’t given any instruction or warning, before she knew it, a sting like no other invaded her left side and she starts to scream through her towel gag. Her eyes were alternating opening and closing, she didn’t know which one would make the pain go away. She tries to squirm away but her brother has held her down. Every time the soft cloth would lightly graze her wound, it felt like she was being branded like cattle. She remembered her training and closed her eyes, she held onto Aro’s voice that could be heard through the pain she was feeling. She trusted no one else but him. His voice was always the voice of reason.

“Don’t move, Ariane, I’m going to dress your wound, it’ll sting but not as much as before,” his smooth voice said.

She felt the restraints loosen and her face was cupped by Kali’s hands, “The worst part is done. Sorry about that. But if you’d told us sooner, water could’ve done the trick.” Her words wasn’t as caring as her brother’s but Kali was never one for pep talk. She was their bird’s eye view of the world but she wasn’t equipped with a silver tongue like her brother.

“You and Eldar should start working,” she ordered. She looked at her brother dressing her wound, “Are you done yet, maestro?”

“Stop being so impatient,” Aro replied, “These dressings need to be changed every now and then and we have to apply disinfectant again, but luckily for you, the mild one will do its job. We won’t need to hold you down anymore.”

“That’s a relief. Do you think it’s safe to stay here longe? If this temple isn’t gilded with all the right kinds of shiny, this could be one of those sacrificial temples from the history books. And I don’t want to stay here if that’s the case,” she said. They were surrounded by rock, with no traces of metal unlike the cave it was in. Their mission was to find the Temple Of Gold that was presumably hidden underground by the great casters during the Dark Ages.

“According to the books, the sacrificial temples had a vat where they would bathe the sacrifice and an altar to do the deed. The temples looked like coliseums because sacrifices were always done in front of an audience. This is just a bare structure,” Aro answered. “I forgot to ask,” he continued, his voice light but full of concern, “Are you alright?”

Ariane chuckled, “Have you forgotten who had to take the hit for you a while ago?” She received a good eye roll from her brother and, without warning, pressure on her wound sent shock all around her body. As an impulse, her fist flew and landed on her brother’s forearm, “I may be in pain but I can still deliver hell.”

The human winced, “Ceasefire!” he called out to his sister. He stood up and reached a hand to his sister, “Come on, just because you’re wounded, doesn’t mean you’re excused from work.”

The half elf swatted her brother’s hand slightly, “I can get up.”

Aro chuckled. He looked around the empty hall. The massive columns were covered in rock. Images from his books came to his mind. He then looked at his sister, "You sure you can walk?"

Ariane tried to sway his brother away, "I'm fine, Aro. I'm not dying from a flesh wound."

"You'll die by ignorance, sister," he replied. He turned to his bag and picked it up. There was work to be done, and he had a feeling that staying underground won't work well for them. They were paid to do a job, and that was to examine this underground temple. He took a small object from his bag. It looked like two metal tubes stuck together with buttons on the side. It was his reader. He held by the two cylinders and pulled them apart and showed a glass panel. The panel glowed with letters and images. Aro turned to his apprentice, "Eldar, are scopes ready?"

At the other side of the temple, Eldar was holding his own reader, "Almost." He pressed a few buttons on the side of the reader and his bag that was at his feet suddenly starts to beep. Little orbs lit up from his bag. Four little metallic orbs floated up from his bag and started to scatter around the room. They were miniature scopes that were scanning the area. Eldar was controlling them from his reader while Aro read the results of their scans from his.

Meanwhile, Kali was at the entrance of the temple, her eyes peered out for any trouble, her gun at her hand, finger at the trigger. The half elf, Ariane, had her gun in one hand and a brass knuckle at the other. The two ladies were at their toes, making sure no one would disrupt their job. They stood guard while the two men played with their toys. 

"Everything looks normal," Aro stated.

"That's boring," Eldar replied.

"I'll take that over a radiated temple any day, Eldar."

"But I don't get what's so special about this temple if they hid it underground? Shouldn't the cultists consider this as their sanctuary? The scopes can't even detect if there's a secret door on the floor." He stomped his foot and the floor and the sound didn't make it seem like it was hollow.

Aro chuckled, "We're better off knowing that this temple holds no secrets, Eldar. The world is so much safer that way." He looks at his panel, and suddenly, he sees strange readings on Scope #2. "Eldar?" he started.

"I see it too, maestro," he responded.

There as movement behind the front wall of the temple. The scope could sense it coming towards them. "Ariane, move away from that wall, quick!" Aro called out to his sister.

The other scopes grouped next to #2. The two casters couldn't understand the make up of what was approaching. It read metal, and it also read elven. Ariane had her gun pointed at the front wall. At the corner of her eye, she peered at her brother's panel to see where the creature was coming from. Eldar has already walked carefully to where the twins were and Kali already had her bow out from behind them. The two female warriors held their position while Eldar commanded his scopes back to the back via his reader. The scopes quickly returned to their case and Aro already had his reader tucked in his bag. If the creature was hostile, they had no choice but to fight. He had to ready himself.

A loud screech came from behind the front wall of the temple. It was most likely the creature. The two men couldn't gather what creature it was based from the scopes. Eldar already started building his force field around their group.

The front wall crumbled as the creature clobbered it from the other side.

"Shouldn't we be running by now?" Aro asked. "I bet the creature isn't that fast anyways."

"And risk it escaping to the surface? No!" Ariane retorted.

"Maybe he's friendly?" Aro tried.

The walls bursts open and entered a large figure. It was half metal and half elf. It roared at the four and threw a big boulder at them. The boulder collided with Eldar's force field which disintegrated the boulder. It did weaken the young caster and he removed the force field due to fatigue.

"He's not friendly," Ariane muttered. Her gun was pointed at what she assumed was elven flesh and pulled the trigger.

"Is that a cyborg?" Kali asked. She was calculating her aim because hitting a metal part was useless. She released her arrow and it hit the metal part of the creature's head.

"An elven cyborg, apparently," Aro answered. His hands glowed and a plasma ball formed. He never believed in combat magic, but nevertheless, he had to learn it to protect himseld. He shot the plasma ball towards the creature and the blast was absorbed by the metallic body.

"Please tell me he's not impervious to magic," Ariane said.

The cyborg twitched its body, there were small sparks coming of its mechanical body. There were a bit of burn marks on the flesh of the cyborg from the plasma ball. "Nope," Aro replied, "Which is a good sign."

"I hate to waste arrows on this guy," Kali said.

Ariane has already started finishing a round on her twin guns. "I'm trying to find a weakness, but I'm running out of bullets fast," she said. She puts her rifles back and readies her brass knuckles, "I'm going to try and charge this guy."

Aro was better with healing magic and defensive casts. He tried to do a lightning attack and hit all the metal parts of the cyborg. The cyborg twitched again at his attack. Aro's attack wasn't powerful enough to fry its circuits but it did weaken it enough to slow down.

"Great hit so far, brother. My turn," Ariane said as she quickly picks up speed to charge the cyborg. She had her left fist ready to punch the creature. Her aim was to either hit flesh or dent metal. She let out a loud battle cry as she swung her fist towards the cyborg. Metal to flesh. Metal to metal. The brass knuckle hit both parts of the cyborg. It gave a loud groan, but Ariane wasn't done. She jumped high and did a drop kick to knock the creature off balance.

As she landed on the cemented ground, she felt a huge stinging wave at her side. She landed on her wound and she gave out a loud grunt as needles started to creep at her. The sudden pressure became a jolt to her body and it was unbearable.

Meanwhile, the cyborg now had recovered from Arane's attack. It roared and lifted up its foot to stomp on the half elf at its feet. Ariane froze both in pain and in fear, she turned away and closed her eyes preparing for the impact but all she heard was a loud BANG and felt nothing. She opened her eyes and saw the familiar soft haze of Eldar's force field. Quickly, Aro ran towards his twin sister and did his best to get her to her feet and take her to safety.

"Come on, Ariane, you said you're not dying by a flesh wound," he said, "Remind me to take a look at that when we get back to HQ."

Ariane could only wince in reply. She silently regretted not telling her brother about the wound now.

"Kali, I'm going to try and pin the cyborg where he is, that'll give you a chance to hit him where it hurts," Eldar said. He removed his force field and tried to take a hold on the cyborg with his magic. Concentrate. He said to himself. He made it a mantra as he held onto the cyborg.

Aro put out his arms and he felt the energy leave him as he helps Eldar pin the cyborg in place.

Kali had her bow and arrow out and she aimed for a damaged hole near the neck of the cyborg. The two casters were having a hard time holding the cyborg down.

"One more to the head," Kali said. She used her special arrow with a little bomb at the arrow head that will explode on collision. She usually saves it for dire situations, this was one of them. She loosened her bow and the arrow flew towards that cyborg's direction. The arrow hit between the cyborg's eyes and the bomb detonated. It was not a huge explosion but big enough to do its job, disintegration. The rest of the cyborg's body fell to the ground in a smokey pile.

Ariane stood back up from where she was and walked up slowly to the blown up cyborg. "Did we do it?" she asked, "Is it dead?"

The three followed suit and circled around the cyborg. Eldar crouched down at the smoking mess of guts and machinery to examine the tech. He ran his fingers through the back of the cyborg and tried to read what was inscribed, "P...C...What's that?"

"Personal Computer?" Kali suggested.

Eldar rolled his eyes, "This cyborg had a maker, and the last two letters on his back are P.C. This could mean a manufacturer or a serial number." He tries to lift the cyborg, "Help me turn him around."

The four grabbed on to flip the large cyborg. It showed blood and a blue liquid coming out of the mechanical parts. "This must be the fuel?" Kali asked.

"Could be. I don't see any serial numbers on this. This guy could be a prototype that got away," Eldar muttered.

"That's not good," Aro said.

"Why?"

"A prototype means someone's making a better one."

"Which means?"

"Which means someone's making more cyborgs. And they'll need live volunteers for that," Ariane answered.

There was a short silence then Aro started to speak, "Eldar, gather all the data you can find about this cyborg before we dispose of it. Then let's all head back to HQ."

"Got it," the other three said in unison.

 

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Chapter 2

Galfore was once infamous for its underground temples. These temples were connected to each other were considered sanctuaries for the cult of the Dark Casters. Now, Galfore s a buzzing city state and is known to be the center of science and technology. 

The four walked back to their base, Aro’s apothecary shop. It was a small building in the less visited street in the shopping district of Galfore. There, they saw the familiar mahogany door with a bronze door knocker. The frame of the door was obsidian with a dark green liquid jade lining. The door was enchanted as did the backdoor and all the windows of his shop. All their frames were made of obsidian with the jaded liquid that prevented any intruder to enter. The building exterior matched the gloomy color of the whole street. It was a stormy gray with little cracks that were sealed with bronze. The air was cold for a regular afternoon, but the street was still buzzing, the faint noise of business in the district can be heard in the background.

Aro took his key and opened the door, after the lock clicked, all of the frames turned into their original bronze color. The three were still amazed at Aro’s enchantments. Despite seeing it for most of his life, Eldar always admired the art his maestro has put into his craft. He touched the enchanted door frame as he entered the building and smiled. Up until now, Aro has refused to teach him this simple enchantment. The simple form of blood magic. Only the four of them could use the key and open the building. The library in the back room housed so much knowledge and history on casting but Eldar couldn’t find the recipe to Aro’s enchantments in the building, not even a simple recipe book.

The inside was the front house with floor to ceiling shelves of Aro’s potions, medicines, and ingredients. The small wooden chandelier that glowed with magical energy illuminated the room. The counter was made of steel, and a big warning across the front of the counter read “WARNING: Shop is enchanted. Attempt to steal and the chandelier will shoot you.” Little surveillance cameras were also installed around the shop. They were all wired and armed by Eldar. It was his mini project for the shop’s security. Aro trusted no one with electronics but him and that was Eldar’s pride.

Ariane sat on one of the chairs inside the shop. It was the small consultation corner for Aro’s customers, the couch on the other side of the room served as his waiting area, which Kali chose to recline herself on. Aro dumped his bag on the counter and opened his computer. The machine hummed to life and Aro checked his inventory for the ingredients he needed for his sister.

Eldar went straight up to the third floor where the bedrooms were. The first door on either side of the hallway were small bathrooms. When Aro got complete ownership of the uilding, he turned it to their own headquarters. The second floor was the living room, kitchen and dining area, the top floor was the sleeping area, the first floor was the biggest space with the shop, the library, the small clinic, and even a little desk for when Aro needs to brew potions or do lab work. Eldar entered his room and dumped his stuff on his small bed. His room was just as small as the others. He had a small dresser which was full of books, his little computer on the side and his shelf filled with his tools for repairing the equipment in the shop and even some of Ariane’s weapons. He took his water skin and ran back down to the first floor and back out of the front door.

The building was very old, and it already had cracks when Aro started working in the shop. When Aro took ownership of the building, he was a licensed caster. He used his knowledge in casting to repair the building by filling the cracks with bronze. Now, the building looks more beautiful with it, and even though Aro could use a stronger metal to hold the building together, he didn’t. Eldar ran his finger through one of the bronze-filled cracks and admired the craftsmanship. He looked down and saw the rows of plants that decorated the outside of the building.

He took his water skin and poured the contents on the plants he was tasked to tend to. It was his first chore when he started apprenticing for Aro. He was tasked to know how to tend to them because they were extremely tricky to care for, too much water and the flowers wouldn’t bloom, too little and the leaves would dry up. He used to hate this chore because he didn’t see the use for it. Every time he would fail, he would go to sleep without dinner and he had to clean the dishes. When he woke up the next morning, he’d see the flowers bloom perfectly the next morning, which meant that Aro had tended to them the night before. Day after day, he’d tend to the flowers until he got it right, the first time he did, he was overjoyed and morning after morning, the flowers would bloom more beautiful than the day before. After a week, Aro told him that the flowers were under an enchantment, they would only bloom depending on Eldar’s feelings towards them. The more he hated the chore, the more they would dry up, the more he loved and dedicated himself to them the more beautiful they bloomed. It was at that point that Eldar admired and looked up to Aro because he was an artist who only made beautiful magic with his enchantments. Aro always put into thought the things he used his craft with. Eldar smiled at the memory and the flowers’ petals opened slowly and the colors brightened up to match his mood.

“Eldar, I need your help in here!” Aro called out from inside the building. The elf walked back inside the structure to Aro’s head buried in the computer screen. “Can you change the dressings on Ariane’s wound? But before you do, inspect if there’s any change in the color. The longest time before a poison reacts is a whole day, but symptoms of change can be present after six hours, we need to check if the blade wasn’t laced with poison,” he said.

At the right of the shop was the consultation area where Ariane was fast asleep on one of the chairs, with her feet on the table. Aro peeked and rolled his eyes at the sight of her sister. “I’ll clean the table,” Eldar volunteered. He walked up to his maestro’s twin and gently nudged her. “Hey, I need to take a look at your wound,” he said. He was scared to wake Ariane, especially when she was still heavily armed. “Ariane, hey. You might be poisoned right now, and you don’t even know it,” he said.

Aro stood up from where he was and looked at his twin sister. His was starting to worry but he gently ordered his apprentice, “Check if she’s breathing.” He walked towards his consultation area, his eyes locked on his sister. The slow rising and falling of his sister’s chest calmed him down. He sighed heavily and did the only thing he deemed logical at this point, he kicked his sister’s feet off the table.

Ariane’s eyes snapped open at the action and was instantly awake. “What the actual hell?” she yelled.

Her brother ignored her and spoke to his apprentice, “Kicking the feet can instantly wake a person because they think they’re falling in their dreams.”

“We need to take a look at your wound. You could be poisoned,” Eldar said to Ariane.

The half elf rolled her eyes, “If I was poisoned, shouldn’t it have worked by now? It’s been hours since I got shredded, I should be showing symptoms ages ago!”

It amused Eldar how the two could be so different and yet so alike with their mannerisms. He almost saw his maestro when Ariane rolled her eyes, but Ariane was the loud one.

“Don’t be rude, sister dear. Besides, some of the most potent potions wait for almost a day before it reacts to your immune system. It’ll show symptoms but people usually ignore them so when the poison reacts, it’s too late. I’d rather not take any chances, and so should you,” Aro explained. He held his hand out for his sister and gave her a reassuring smile.

Ariane took her brother’s hand and stood up. She couldn’t really argue with her brother. He was the well-educated one. He had the knowledge of doctors, casters and chemists, he was an avid reader and took everything he read to heart. Every information he got wrong, he would write in a notebook to take note of. So when he says she could most likely be poisoned, she didn’t want to take the risk and assume that he was wrong.

The clinic was just a small sterilized portion of the backroom that had a bed, a curtain for privacy, a bedside table, and other medical equipment that Ariane never touched for fear she would be ordered by her brother to sanitize thrice. She sat on the bed and watched as the two sanitize their hands and put on gloves. It was a standard procedure when attending to a patient in the clinic.

Ariane showed the two her bandages and the elf apprentice walked to her side slowly. Aro watched Eldar from behind as the apprentice carefully removed the bandages.

“Okay, Ariane, this might shock you but I’ll press on your skin surrounding the gash,” the young elf said. Ariane felt cold fingers touch her skin which made her hairs on her arm stand up.

“I can feel a bit of pain on my wound, is that normal?” she asked.

“That means you’re not feeling numb, it’s a good sign,” Eldar answered, to which Aro nodded to.

“What’s next, Eldar?” Aro asked.

“I’ll need to clean the outside of the wound first before dropping medicine on the wound,” he answered.

“Good. Sister dear, you might feel a slight stick when he applies the medicine, but don’t worry, you will feel a cooling sensation a few seconds after.”

Ariane felt moisture on her skin and was already preparing herself for the sting her brother mentioned. She didn’t dare look at her wound and kept her eyes locked on her brother’s face which always had a reassuring smile at her. The clinic always smelled like menthol which was from her brother’s own concoction of disinfectant to sanitize the area. It always calmed her down when she was being treated to. But knowing that Eldar was the one treating her, meant that Aro is confident that there was nothing worry about. If they were, he would be the one cleaning her wound not the apprentice. At the end of the day, Aro trusted no one else but himself when it came to taking care of her.

She felt a jolt on her wound which distracted her from her mental musings. The sting was nothing she wasn’t accustomed to, seeing as she was always wounded during a job and Aro always had to treat her. But it always surprised her how painful it was when the medicine hits her wound as if she was being tattooed. A few more needle-like stings and she felt the cold air touching her wound, calming her.

“Her wound’s clean, maestro. Nothing out of the ordinary. It’s starting to heal as well,” Eldar reported.

“Alright, rinse the wound with water while I get the lazer so we can close her wound,” Aro instructed, he then turned to his sister, “False alarm, sister dear. Now, we’ll close your wound so you won’t bleed out of it.” He then exited the backroom and went to his shop to get his equipment.

“It’s still bleeding? And did I hear lazer?” Ariane asked troubled.

The young elf nodded, “Your wound was pretty deep, and it wasn’t covered and cleaned soon enough. We didn’t have the right equipment to cauterize the wound to stop it from bleeding. Don’t worry, I didn’t make the lazer. It’s a standard hospital-grade equipment. It’s not as strong as you think. The cream will help with the burn.”

“Not helping, Eldar,” Ariane said.

Aro came back to the clinic holding a small jar of cream and a pen-like tool. “You haven’t been this wounded before, sister dear. The wound’s too big and too deep, we need to stop it from bleeding or it’ll fester and get worse. You won’t feel a thing, I promise,” he reassured her. “Eldar, place the cream while I prep the lazer. I want you to look closely because the next time this happens, I’m letting you handle the lazer,” he pointed at his apprentice.

Eldar nodded with vigor. He was always excited when Aro would give him more responsibilities, it meant that he trusted him more.

“You’re getting too excited again,” Aro warned.

The young apprentice smirked and nodded, “Yes, maestro. Sorry.” Aro handed him the cream and went to work applying the medicine on Ariane. When he was done, he stepped back and watched intently on his maestro’s work.

Aro’s hand was very careful as the pen lightly touched his sister’s wound. Ariane couldn’t feel anything except a warm pressure on her skin. After a few seconds, the soft buzzing of the lazer ended and her brother stood up, letting his apprentice cover her wound. She didn’t even get the chance to see what it looked like but she trusted Aro and let it be. She would have to clean it after a few hours anyways.

Aro returned to the front of the shop to see Kali playing with his computers. The elf was clicking and typing at the multiple screens. He looked closer and saw that she was tring to read the findings of the scopes.

"Find anything?" he asked. He was looking at one screen she was ignoring, the creature's DNA. He chuckled.

"Stop it," she clipped. "You're te one with the edical degree. I only know enough about anatomy so I could kill something better."

Kali was a trained assassin just like Ariane. Her training made her a lethal weapon to ayone who had enough money to pay her fees. She wasn't ashamed of it. Aivius had too many monsters and cultists that the governments prefer mercenaries over their own military. Less paperwork and plausible deniability and it avoids multiple international tensions.

"What are you looking for then?" Aro asked. He joined Kali at the console and brought the screen closer to him and started analyzing the DNA sample.

"Missing persons," she answered, "You can't make a cyborg without a live host. Brain activity is a must."

Aro winced. As a caster, he preferred the natural. He never trusted the droids in establishments no matter how harmless they were. But he learned to appreciate them. They were more polite than real people.

"We won't find a profile on our person," Ariane said from behind.

Aro and Kali turned around to see Ariane emerged from the backroom with Eldar close behind.

"A cyborg will mean a big funding, big funding means big people. Big people prefer to have their trail covered so they'll probably use a dying person with no family and less noticeable background. Someone who can disappear," she explained.

"Right. Makes sense," Kali said, "And there's a lot of dying people n Aivius, we need to get a profile from the DNA sample."

"Working on it," Aro said, his eyes concentrating on the screen. He was having difficulty decoding the sample of the creature.

"I'll close up shop," Eldar said. He walked up to a medium-sized pnel then opened it. The inside of the panel had multiple levers that controlled some parts of the building. Eldar pulled three levers that were labelled, Shop Door Shop Windows and Shop Sign.

The four then gathered around the counter to look at the different screens. Kali and Ariane checked the public records, death reports, properties around the area, anything of public record that could be connected to the creaion of the cyborg. Eldar studied the machinery of the cyborg. He looked at the metals, liquids and dauges the scopes were able to pick up. Different materials could mean anything: how rich the backers were, how advance the technology was, who could've designed the mechanics. A cyborg running underground could lead to disastrous consequences.

Meanwhile, Aro was having a hard time understanding DNA sample. "This is weird," he started.

"What's weird? Did you find something?" Ariane asked.

Aro looked at his findings again and tried to understand and confirm what the results meant, "He's a mixed gene," he said, "I'm saying 'he' coz his chromosomes said so."

"So we narrow i down to halflings," Kali said.

"it's not that easy. This guy is part elf, part human and par orc," Aro said, his eyes still glued to the screen.

The other three were still confused with Aro's previous statement. They looked at each other trying to understand that his words meant. Eldar was the first to break the silence, "How?" was all he could say.

As Aro read deeper into the results, the more scared and disgusted he was. "Someone mutated his genes. He also has genes of other animals in his DNA. I'm hoping we don't find lizard DNA or he might grow some body parts back."

"Why would someone do something like that?" Kali asked.

"Enhanced military," Ariane answered.

Aro nodded, "This cyborg was maid and designed to be a warrior. And from the looks of it, he's a prototype."

The room fell silent as the information began to sink in.

"Let's not think about the cyborg right now. You and Kali have to deliver the information to our client. The job comes first. And I think it's best if we don't mention the cyborg," Aro looked at his sister then closed all screens that showed the cyborg information. He opened a drawer and pulled out a data card and inserted it in the computer.

Ariane went to the backroom, "Kali, I'll just change my shirt and we'll head off." Her footsteps going up the stairs were heard and she entered her room to change.

The computer finished transferring the necessary information in the data card. Aro took the card and gave it to Kali and closed all of the screens that showed data regarding the cyborg. "You already know what to do?" he handed the card to Kali.

Kali nodded as she took the card and placed it in her pocket. "I'll give the client the coordinates for the meetup. It'll be a quick trade." Ariane was back with a new shirt on that covered her wound.

"Be careful, you two. This job may be harmless but we never really trust our clients," Aro said. The two girls nodded at him.

"You and Eldar should rest. Using magic takes a so much out of the both of you," Ariane said, her face full of concern.

"Says the one who has a big gash at her side," Aro rolled his eyes. Suddenly, he felt like his life just passed through his eyes as one of Kali's throwing knives flew in front if and hit the wall. Aro looked towards the direction of the two and saw Ariane posed in a throwing position. She had a smug smile on her face.

"Yep, I can still throw pretty good if you ask me," she said.

 

 

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