*A Kenway walks up to Drake and Dani his ships in the port to trade. *
Kenway: Deputy... Anyway I can help?
Now before you ask its best not to know how I get around I have my own ways. Besides I am not here to steal from you. Only to help at a price.
I wish to speak to your Iconian.
*Unknown Location, The Keep, Holding Lab 4. Tara is screaming out as an electric current surges through her body, which is heavily restrained to a tilted examination table. Warren is standing in front of her with a PADD, controlling the shocks and monitoring her body's status.
A young girl, 15-16, is also standing next to him, wearing a white vest and dark grey cargo trousers. She has long dark hair and light blue eyes.
Tara's shock stops, leaving her unconscious.*
Girl: It's still not working, Doc.
Warren: On the contrary, her cells are regenerating at an increased rate and a large number of them aren't even damaged by the shock. Her nervous system, while taxed, is still alright.
Girl: She passed out.
Warren: Eighteen, she has not gone through the brutal training you have. Her pain threshold is obviously still somewhat... average.
Girl: Explain to me again why we're even wasting our time with her?
*Warren finally takes his eyes off his PADD and onto Eighteen.*
I mean, she's too old to go through the indoctrination we went through and there's no way she'd help us.
Warren: No, you're right. She wouldn't. She's, unfortunately, inherited her mother's stubborn moral streak.
The reason we have her is because I need to see how much of her mother's genetic modification survived after O.S.S. removed them and how much got passed on to her children.
Nice job tailing Ronin to find her, by the way.
Now I had to put her through your augmentation process to get a contrast bearing so I can find the surviving Archangel 1 genes.
Eighteen: I still don't see why you needed her entire body and not just a blood sample.
Warren: Because, as I just said, I needed to perform the augmentation in order to find the surviving genes.
Eighteen: And we''re looking for those, why, again?
Warren: Because it'll let me work out a performance boost for you and your sisters in the field. Remember what happened to Ten?
Warren: This will help stop that ever happening again. Especially if I can find the natural gene that made her mother such a good marksman.
Now, I need to run tests on what we've got so far. I need you to stay here and watch her. Remember, she can't leave this ship. If she does...
Eighteen: Everyone of my sisters are at risk. I know.
Is that authorisation to use force?
Warren: Good girl, Kira.
*Warren walks out, with Eighteen (Kira) walking in front of Tara, then around to look at her face.*
Kira: Sorry about the shocks. I know, they suck.
*Tara starts to stir, looking up to see Kira there. She quickly tries to get out, realising she's been restrained.*
Save your energy; they're pure tritanium. Not even I'd be able to break out of them... which I guess was kinda the point.
They're there for your protection as much as ours.
Tara: Who are you?
Kira: I think I'll ask questions, if you don't mind.
How do you feel?
*Tara glares at her.*
Come on, don't give me your stubborn attitude. I'm genuinely concerned. I know how much the shocks hurt when you're not prepped for them.
Tara: I feel... okay...
Kira: That's a good sign.
My name's Archangel 18. Handlers just abbreviate that to Eighteen. My friends and sisters call me Kira.
Tara: Hi... Kira.
*Tara coughs. Kira releases her right arm and hands her a plastic cup of water.*
Kira: Uh... careful--
*Before she can finish, the cup is crushed in Tara's hand, soaking her in water. Kira tries to stop herself from laughing.*
Sorry, I know I really shouldn't, but...
Tara: Err... you may want to invest in plastic that actually holds.
Kira: We do. That was just meant for normal human strength.
*Kira picks up a blank PADD and throws it to her. Tara catches it, by cracks the screen. She quickly realises something is seriously wrong with her.
Kira releases her restraints.*
Kira: You'll probably want to stretch your--
*As the restraints release, Tara elbows her in the face before rolling off the table. Kira gets into a fighting stance as Tara lands, doing the same.*
Tara *angry*: What have you done to me?!
*Tara punches her in the face with a right hook, trying to follow up with a left, which Kira catches. She also catches another right hook, now having control of both of Tara's arms before shoving her against the examination table.*
Kira: Listen, sister! I am trying really hard not to hurt you! I can explain if you give me a chance!
*Tara kicks her legs up before pushing Kira away and landing off the table again, pulling her arms back into a fighting stance, but not actually fighting.*
Tara: Okay... explain.
Kira: We needed a gene which was implanted in your mother. We wanted to see if it survived into you and, if it did, find a way to replicate it. To do that, we had to genetically enhance your strength, durability, alertness, agility and endurance in the same way they did to me and other Archangel agents.
*The name brings back a harsh memory of her arguing with her mother, her mom trying to calm her down but her just screaming at her. The flashback ends with Tara storming out the front door and slamming it behind her. She returns her focus to the present, not letting her bad experience with her mom cloud her judgement. Afterall, this girl didn't have anything to do with it, did she?
But her temper quickly starts to flare when she starts processing everything else Kira said.*
You turned me into an Augment freak?!
*She yells out as she punches Kira again, Kira grabbing her by the collar and throwing her to the floor a few meters away.*
Kira *letting humour crawl into her voice*: I find the word 'freak' offensive!
*Tara gets up and the two start circling each other before Tara tries to throw a right jab, blocked by Kira and quickly followed up by a series of jabs to Tara's head and abdomen. After about a dozen hits, Tara manages to catch Kira's arms and the two quickly lock up. It doesn't last long though as Kira quickly gets her right arm free and delivers a powerful punch straight into Tara's face, driving her back a couple of meters, having opened a cut on Tara's left cheek.
Tara is reeling from it. She knows she's bleeding. She feels the cut with her hand, but it doesn't hurt. It doesn't even sting.
She looks up to see Kira smirking at her playfully.*
Tara *angry*: You're toying with me.
Kira *playfully*: No offence to my sisters, but this is the first time I've fought someone who isn't a total psycho. In honesty, I could be pounding the tar out of you right now, but I don't want to. I'm having more fun just knocking you around.
*Tara knows she should be grateful, but something in her is just compelling her to get angrier.
Luckily, she's spent the last 2 years learning how to control her temper. She lowers herself to her knees and starts taking deep breaths. Kira drops her arms and calms herself down before kneeling next to her.*
Kira: You know, you're not half bad. Granted, that fight was pretty tame--
Tara: Tell that to my bruised ribs and cut face.
Kira: Okay, tame by my standards. Hey, you're still able to stand, aren't you?
Tara: Why do I get the impression that you're desperately trying to be my friend?
Kira: Candidly? Every day I have to give a rock solid performance as a soldier and assassin. Always on military attitude mode. It's nice to have someone I can open up with who's my age for a change.
And who won't betray us...
Tara: Why is that?
Kira: I mean, you can't betray us because you're not our friend. You have no loyalty to us. I know exactly where you stand.
Tara: He's the one who kidnapped me.
Kira: He was protecting you from us. I tailed you and dragged you here.
I bruised your neck doing it, by the way. Sorry.
Tara: Err... no problem?
Kira: He tried to stop us from getting to you. Why?
Tara: I don't know. He said something about recognising me and thinking I could help him remember his past?
Kira: I hope so, for your sake.
*Kira's face shows a steeled determination a far cry from her friendly outlook a few moments ago, as she grabs Tara's arm and forces her to look at her eye-to-eye.*
Because Ronin is like an older brother to me and if it turns out that you're lying to me - that you have some kind of hold over him... I'll kill you.
*Tara's face quickly reflects that determination as she pulls her arm away.*
Tara: I don't appreciate being threatened.
Kira: I don't make threats.
*Kira lets out a grunt as she shoves Tara onto her back, barring her arm across her collar to pin her down, anger starting to creep its way onto her face.*
It was a promise, Tara.
*She gets up, walking away before blinking as Tara picks herself up. She seems to have calmed down.*
Sorry. Adrenaline rush. Sometimes I lose my temper - especially in or just after a fight.
Tara: I know the feeling.
*She turns to face her, curious.*
Of course, I usually keep it held in.
Kira: Right. Like you never lash out.
Tara: Honestly, this was the first time in a while that I've let myself lose control. Trust me, if I hadn't bottled it up again, I'd have ended up letting over 6 months of hatred out at you.
Kira: I guess we're both a little bad-tempered, huh?
Tara: I guess so.
You know, my friends will find me.
Kira: Doubtful. But even if they did, I can't let you go. No one can know where we are. If they did, my friends and sisters would be in danger.
Tara: If they come for me, I am going to try to escape.
Kira: Then I'll have to stop you.
*The two stand there momentarily. They didn't want to think about what that entailed. They actually did want to be friends, but that last exchange between them effectively added up to one thing; an ultimatum.
The two sit down against the wall, exchanging conflicted glances.*