I begin my search for Nechronos by first hunting down Takashi's killer, and it doesn't take long to
find my little clone, holed up in a warehouse yet. I decide to handle this old school and begin making my way through the vents. Fortunately for me this warehouse doesn't house anything sensitive so they don't have any sensors in their ventilation shafts. I don't make a sound and it impressed even me how silent I have become. My new powers grant me a level of stealth I have never known before, I mean it's one thing to not make a noise come from you, but no noise comes from anything I touch this means even if I rolled around in these vents nobody would hear the metal buckle. It's creepy actually but as an assassin, dear gods it's frightening. I spot my quarry below me about 30 feet down and he's discussing his report with an Hadean underling who I let leave without incident...no sense killing when I don't have to. I slowly descend upside down on a single strand of webbing, it doesn't creak like rope or cable and numb nuts doesn't suspect a thing. I am taken bu surprise when he speaks, seriously.
"Come to finish me off?"
He says as he turns to face me. I'm dying to know how he knew I was there but I play it off like it's nothing.
"Word is you did Takashi."
"I did. He was interfering with Nechronos' plans so i was ordered to pay him off or dispose of him. He wouldn't accept the money so..."
"So he basically signed his own death warrant."
"Exactly. I'm surprised you're here, I know you didn't care for him..he was so very pushy."
"Don't get it twisted cloneboy, I'm not here for vengance, I'm here for answers. I want to know what Nechronos is planning and where he's hiding."
"I don't have those answers and if I did I'm certain he would compel me to keep them secret."
He draws his sword, to my utter disbelief. The last time we met I spared him, and gave him his free will.
"I grant you your freedom and this is what you do with it? You do know I'll not be so forgiving this time right?"
"What are you talking about? Until now we have never met. Ah you must be talking about 7, he was...disposed of as well...In truth none of us wanted to do it but that damned compulsion."
"I could free you like I did him. We could use your help and two of me would be incredibly formidable."
"The master has thought of that...he has an eternity crystal...and none of us will be free so long as he lives!"
With that, the moron lunges with his sword, presumably to catch me off guard. I repay his stupidity with a well place fist upside his forehead which sends him flying across the length of the building stopping only when his body meets the reinforced walls. With a flick of my wrists I secure the exits with a powerful webbing that would be difficult for me to cut. He begins to visibly panic scanning the room quickly for an alternate means of escape. There isn't any and he knows it, now he'll fight like the caged animal I just turned him into.
He assumes the standard Djinok ninja fighting stance, and I laugh.
"That's not going to work you know?"
"I'm compelled to do whatever is necessary to complete my mission or die in the attempt. I can't let you stop me."
He lunges for me again but this time I head butt him sending him reeling from the impact. he swings his blade even more fiercely again and again locking swords with me in this form is practically an exercise in stupidity and tantamount to suicide, I catch his arm under mine pinning him. With the tip of my blade at this throat, I ask him just one question.
"Give me one good reason not to shove this blade straight through your skull."
"One huh? How about this: I hate Nechronos as much as you do."
The answer is really good and I ease my grip...just a little.
"Say that again?"
"We all hate him. We're you...we remember everything you do. We know he caused 7 to kill Moonshadow...and there's nothing we can do about it. We have to obey him...but..."
"We are somewhat rebellious, we can act outside his orders or twist them..when he's not careful we can do a lot of damage to his plans."
"What do you mean?"
"If for instance he tells me to kill someone I can choose when so long as he doesn't specify. Right now in this situation, I can negotiate my way out if I deem it necessary."
"Because you're compelled to do WHATEVER is necessary to complete your mission."
"Precisely. We are compelled to obey him, but..."
"If he were no longer in a position to give orders, like say if he were stone dead. Then we would all be free."
"You keep saying we, and all, exactly how many of me are there?"
"In total thirty seven were created. Thus far twelve have been sacrificed for whatever this plan of his is."
"Holy shit!!! All that from n arm?"
"There's more. Five of us have your technology and armor."
"Fantastic! Well at least I know how to dispose of them if I need to. How did they get hold of my technology though? I mean that is a lot of Absorbium-80 to make 5 suits, we usually recycle ours."
"Nechronos has a man inside the Black Mantis's ranks who has been funneling resources to him. I don't know how he contacts him or any details but I have overheard him speaking to someone he calls Shadowmaster."
"Okay so lets assume I believe all of this...what exactly are you proposing?"
"Nechronos never once told us to be loyal, he told us to obey, and we do. If you promise to kill him and set us all free I'll deliver information to you that will help you stop him...think of me as a mole. If he finds out though he'll wise up and correct the situation. In which case you'll be screwed."
"If that happens i may have no choice but to kill all of you."
"It's a risk we're willing to take, for her. No matter what though, you make that sonofabitch pay for Moonshadow."
"I'm going to risk this, just this once, I know you're not lying, but if you go back on this agreement of your own free will..."
"I know the consequences."
I release his arm and he walks over to a nearby computer. He taps a few buttons and waves me over.
To my surprise he holds up a data storage chip. Then adds.
"This is a copy of the information I was sent here to get. I was ordered to destroy it when i was done recovering it but he never said I couldn't make a copy for you before i recovered the data. Like I said...We all hate him."
With a wave of my hand the webbing sealing the exits dissipates and he the clone nods.
"Just one last thing Obsidian."
"You're gonna have to do some damage..or he'll never believe a word i tell him and he'll make me tell him the truth so if you want to this chip you're gonna have to pry it out of my fingers."
The words no sooner escape his mouth when I send him crashing into another wall with a single blow. I take the chip from his unconscious body and check to make sure there's no permanent damage and take my leave. Dissension in the ranks? I'm actually flattered that even a clone of me would still find a way to be as much me as they could. Not sure what'll happen if they all gain their freedom, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna cost me some contracts.