Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Fun and Games

24-42 scowled, her eye blackening fast. Tytus and Daniel were ropeable, both sporting lumps on their heads. Alexis was nursing her sore shoulder and the red mark on Hennas face was definitely going to bruise.

“Slimy weasels...” Alexis fumed.

Team A42 had just been on the end of a very nasty ambush from Team B42 as they tried to get to one of the training grounds that morning.

“I can't believe C42 won't do anything about it! How can they get away with this?!” Suzie was fuming. “You guys have EVERY right to use the facilities, they're not just for them, and they have no right to attack you every time you try to use them!”

“We did get to use it in the end though.” Tytus grinned cheekily. “We won the fight again!”

“Wonderful.” Suzie scowled dryly as M42 walked in.

“She didn't want to hear about it. And neither do I.” He said, which instantly started the protesting.

“You're supposed to be our leader!”

“If you won't listen to us, who will we go to?!”

“I always knew you were a flake!”

“ENOUGH.” The Major sat down at his desk. “I'm not going to hear about it because YOU are going to deal with it.”

“Oh really?” Henna snapped. “And how are we going to do that?”

“The same way you handled me.” M42 shuffled some of the papers on his desk. “Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.”

The team forwarded out, 24-42 looking to linger until the Major mentioned, “That includes you too 24-42.”

She poked her tongue out at him and left in a huff. The Major had a little chuckle to himself. So cute when she was mad!


“You're kidding me, right?” Alexis looked at the door.

“I think it's clever.” Henna gave the cling wrap that blocked the door a light poke. "Definitely what I think M42 had in mind."

“Why did WE have to be dragged out of bed at this hour when you two CLEARLY had everything under control?!” 24-42 hissed, thinking of her warm bed with her cats.

And at 1am in the morning, I don't blame her. 

“I didn't think you were with the Major tonight.” Tytus raised an eyebrow cheekily.

“I wasn't! I just appreciate a good nights sleep!” 24-42 went bright red.

“We're a team. We do these things together as a team.” Daniel said sternly. “We've had a rocky start but now I think we're really starting to pull together.”

“Some more than others.” Alexis nudged Henna, who giggled.

24-42 rolled her eyes.

“Anyway, they're all in this wing, so if we trigger the alarm for this wing only, it should be hilarious.” Tytus smirked.

“You come up with all sorts of wonderful plans don't you?” Alexis grinned at him.

“I try.” Tytus couldn't help but grin back.

“1B-42, can you sound the alarm?” Daniel gently whispered to the supercomputer.

“Only for this-,” Tytus started, but it was too late. The whole base erupted in wailing sirens.

“Quick, let's skidaddle!” Henna began to run.

As they ran, they couldn't help but look back. Just about all of team B42 had been caught in the trap and were now either wrapped in cling wrap, on their backsides or both.


24-42! YOU HAVE TO STOP THIS!” M42 cried, running away from a falling building.

24-42! Please!” Henna tried to pull herself out from a pile of rubble.

We didn't think you were like this!” Tytus was surrounded on all four sides by burning rubble, unable to escape.

24-42!”

HE screamed.

“STOP IT!” Screamed 24-42, nearly falling out of bed the next morning.

“24-42! Are you okay?” M42 was leaning over her, gripping her arms tightly. “It was just a nightmare.”

24-42 began to cry. It didn't feel like just a nightmare.

M42 felt a little lost. He loosened his grip on her arms and tried to hug her properly. Even when he'd been married he hadn't been very good at comforting people.

“Don't!” 24-42 pushed him away. “You're not him.”

“You're upset and irrational, maybe you should have some water.” M42 got out of bed and went to fetch 24-42 a drink, leaving the shaken Experiment to her thoughts.

I put that all behind me. I put HIM behind me. The Major is my future now. She thought, trying to rid herself of the old emotions that now seemed stronger than ever.

But try as she might, as much as she was attracted to the Major she just couldn't muster up those same emotions for him. She was angry at herself for her misplaced loyalty, upset by the nightmare and tired from all the strain.

“Here.” M42 sat down next to her, handing her a glass of water. He was holding it in his cybernetic hand, she noticed. Taking the glass and sipping the contents slowly, she ran her fingers along the cold silicone.

“Can you feel anything?” She asked quietly.

He looked away. “I wouldn't call it feeling.” He admitted. He raised the hand and stroked her face with one cold cybernetic finger. She put her drink down and covered the metallic hand with her own natural warm one, and reached out to his human hand with the other, grateful that both her hands were her own.

“I'm sorry I snapped at you before.” She whispered, looking down.

“So you should be.” He replied, just as quietly. 24-42 looked up at him, and for a brief moment M42 thought he saw faint traces of hurt on her face.

24-42 chuckled quietly, reaching out to hug the Major and to snuggle into his body.

“I never got to ask you why you were out at the evac point before everyone else last night.” M42 suddenly remembered the events from the previous night. After the entire staff had been dismissed after the false alarm, the Major had headed back to 24-42s lodgings and spent the rest of the night with her.

“Uhm...” 24-42 didn't quite know how to answer that question. She breathed a premature sigh of relief as there was a knock at her door.

“COMING!” She quickly scrambled into her dressing gown and opened the door. The Major shrugged with a grin and lay back down on the bed.

“Oh my GOD wasn't that funny last night?” Alexis burst in, followed closely by Tytus and Daniel. 24-42 tried to silence her as she continued loudly. “I can't believe they fell for it!”

“Fell for what?” M42 poked his head out of 24-42s bedroom.

The colour drained from the four Experiments faces.

“I'll pretend I didn't hear it then.” The Major closed the bedroom door.

“You could've TOLD me that he was here!” Alexis hissed angrily.

“You didn't give her a chance you big mouth!” Daniel snapped.

“I can still hear you guys y'know!” Came the shout from 24-42s room.

“Anyway.” Tytus recovered first. “MB42 went to C42 and had a huge whinge.”

“And C42 told him to take a hike, that his team should be ready for anything.” Alexis finished. “ HZF3615-42 overheard MB42 having a fit about it while she was out having brunch with TDH5634-42.”

“Wow, so Team B42 is getting – wait, I thought HZF3615-42 was screwing RVB4587-42?” 24-42 looked confused.

“Until she found him in bed with ZZST5609-42.” Daniel shrugged.

“Wow.” 24-42 said, shocked.

“Apparently MB42 brought up your relationship with the Major too.” Alexis said, worried.

“I wouldn't be too concerned, she's had plenty of inappropriate relationships in her career!” The Major called.

“You'd know about that how?” Tytus couldn't help but ask.

“Ask H42!”

“ANYWAY. We just thought we'd let you know what was going on. We're going to spend today in the gym, care to join us?” Daniel recovered first.

“Umm...we'll catch up with you later I think.” 24-42 smiled, turning pink. “See yas!”

She quickly shoved the others out the door and locked it behind them.

To think less than fifteen minutes earlier she'd been worried about some stupid nightmare. 24-42 giggled to herself, before heading back to the bedroom to give M42 what was coming to him.

Not that he minded.


“I have NO idea WHAT the Major is talking about.” Suzie denied M42s claim as she walked with 24-42, Henna and Daniel to one of the labs.

“You sure? Your face is red.” Henna asked cheekily.

“Hold your tongue Experiment!” Suzie snapped angrily.

“Yup! Definitely hit a nerve!” Daniel grinned.

“So what's the big secret?” 24-42 asked as they headed up one of the escalators.

“THERE IS NO SECRET!” Suzie growled, making the three Experiments chuckle.

“All right then, have it your way...weren't we going up?” Henna noticed that the group was now standing at the bottom of the escalator.

“Yeah...silly us!” Suzie shrugged. They moved over to the other escalator, and started heading up again.

“I don't know why you're so defensive Suzie, you know us.” Daniel continued the conversation.

“I'm not defensive!” Suzie snapped.

“You guys realise that next month it's going to be a full year since the Exposure?” 24-42 suddenly realised, earning her a grateful look from Suzie.

“Wow, it's gone by so fast!” Henna wondered. “We should have a party or something.”

“That'd be fun. I'll talk to C42 about it.” Suzie grinned, thankful for the Experiments short attention spans.

“And someone is screwing with the escalators, we're down the bottom again.” 24-42 looked up to the top of the escalators.

“Well, that's no issue given three of us can fly.” Daniel pointed out.

The looks on the faces of the members of Team B42 when Daniel, Henna and 24-42 came flying over the top of them were priceless!

“WAIT!” Suzie screamed after them, running as fast as she could to keep up.


“Well, that went well.” 04-42 scowled at 20-42, who shrugged in defeat.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bonking

24-42 opened her eyes and yawned loudly. She'd had a very good sleep that night. She stretched out, until her foot hit another leg.

She froze. It dawned on her that she WASN'T in her room. It was then she remembered the night before.


“Good morning!” Daniel and Tytus walked into the lunch room, where the girls were happily eating breakfast.

“So anyway, where were you last night? We knocked on your door but there was no answer.” Henna asked 24-42, who was digging into a big pile of mushrooms.

“In bed.” 24-42 replied. To be fair, she wasn't exactly lying. She HAD been in bed – just not her own!

“You're working too hard.” Suzie said. “You need to chill out a bit.”

“And if you ever need a good time, just call me.” Tytus winked, earning him dirty looks from the girls.

“I'm fine, just catching up on my beauty sleep, which is something you should definitely look into.” 24-42 smirked at Tytus, who poked his tongue out at her.

Just then, M42 walked in.

“Before anyone says anything, YES, 24-42 and I slept together last night.” He droned as he got himself a chocolate bar from the vending machine.

Five mouthfuls of cornflakes went spraying across the room, and 24-42 simply dropped her spoon into her bowl and her face into her hands.

“Wait...you didn't tell anyone?” M42 looked confused.

“No. I was saving it for you.” 24-42 deadpanned.

“You two are...seriously?!” Suzie glared accusingly at the Major, who raised his hands defensively.

“She started it.” He pointed at 24-42.

“I KNEW it!” Alexis grinned at Henna, who was now laughing.

“You two are bonking?” Daniel looked incredulously at the pair, who were now beet-red.

“Elequently put.” Tytus snickered loudly.


Team A42 were happily working out in the gym later that day, each of them doing their own thing. Harmony reigned supreme, even the music was to everyones liking. M42 was working with Henna to improve some of her weaknesses, 24-42 was working on her legs (nothing to do with anything the Major had said mind), Alexis and Tytus were bench pressing, Daniel was doing cardio and Suzie was working on her flexibility.

It was a peaceful, fruitful hour, until Team B42 showed up.

“We've been given priority access to the gym.” 07-42 snapped. “You guys are to get out of here.”

“Hang on just a minute Experiment.” M42 narrowed his eyes at the team. “There's plenty of room in here for all of us.”

“We've been given priority, M42, so I suggest you leave now.” MB42, who was a weaselly little pig of a man, showed M42 his paperwork.

“Why can't we all work together, we're all really on the same team!” 24-42 stood beside M42, while the rest of Team A42 got up too.

“We really DON'T want to be working with the base psycho if you know what I mean.” MB42 sneered at 24-42, whose eyes immediately flared red.

“Why don't you watch your mouth you scrawny little hog!” 24-42 growled before M42 could stop her.

“Be careful Experiment, you might be screwing a Major but you still sit below me in the pecking order.” MB42 smiled triumphantly.

Until M42 wiped the smirk off his face with his robotic fist.


“Overall I think we won.” Tytus dabbed tenderly at his lower lip with a cold towel as they sat in the lunchroom.

“At least none of us are in the infirmary.” Daniel added as he held an icepack to his head.

“You boys.” Henna scowled, her hands bandaged.

“Hey, YOU took out the most of them!” Tytus defended himself.

Alexis giggled.

“You have to admit they had it coming to them.” She said carefully, the cut on her cheek still sore.

“I'm just impressed that it was M42 that threw the first punch. He must really like you 24-42.” Daniel said cheekily, earning him a friendly punch from 24-42, who was blushing (although that could have also been the pain from her twisted ankle).

“He's a nice guy once you get to know him.” She said. “Even if he is a bit gruff.”

Speaking of, just then M42 and Suzie walked in. The Major had a lovely black eye and Suzie just looked bemused.

“So, how was the lecture from C42? Anything as bad as what we got?” Tytus asked.

“A tonne of extra paperwork for me.” M42 shrugged. “Nothing I haven't had before.”

“I just got a stern telling off for not stopping you.” Suzie giggled.

“They deserved it though. They started it!” Henna protested.

“We know, but C42 didn't want to hear about it. We all have to learn to get along.” M42 shrugged. “Anyway, we have the rest of the day off.”

“Sounds good to me! I'll see you guys later!” Tytus sped off before anyone else could say anything.

“He's trying to get into the pants of one of the scientists. 97TYB32-42 I think.” Daniel shrugged.

“Ah. He's figured that since these two are getting some he might as well get some too eh?” Suzie grinned, earning her two filthy looks as the others laughed.


24-42 was lying on her couch after her psych appointment that afternoon. Three of the five cats were lying on the couch with her, and she felt at peace for the first time since him, which had been a year before she'd joined Project 42.

They'd met at school, being paired up for a project in one of their classes. Since that day they'd been inseparable, until the day he left. She sighed.

He wasn't part of her life any more, not now. She smiled as she thought of the Major and what had happened the night before. They'd talked a little bit, and ate dinner together. She'd found out he'd been married once, and had a son who had died in a car accident after he'd divorced his wife. She knew that his father-in-law had been a terrorist, and that the Major been the one to kill him (hence the divorce).

It was understandable that he was a grouch.

The buzzer on the door went off. 24-42 lazily got up to answer it.

“Sir!” She straightened up the moment she saw who was at the door. He was wearing a grey Project 42 shirt which was a contrast to his usual uniform, and 24-42 thought he looked gorgeous.

“May I come in?” M42 asked with a small smile.

“S-sure!” 24-42 let him in, cringing slightly at the folded laundry which was still sitting on the end of the couch, the magazines which were all around the coffee table and the multiple cats scattered across the room. The Major sat down opposite the clothing and looked at the TV.

“Reality television? Really?” He raised an eyebrow at her.

“Leave me alone you old fogie.” 24-42 smiled at him. “Can I get you a drink?”

“Water please.” M42 continued to watch the TV as 24-42 got him a drink. She settled down on the couch next to him.

“You probably shouldn't have punched MB42, y'know.” 24-42 pointed out, sipping her ginger beer.

“He's had to coming to him for a while. Trust me. He and I served together on Project 24.” M42 slipped his arm around 24-42, who happily cuddled up. “24-24 was my designation, and thanks to him I was the only survivor.”

“You mean, your implants?” 24-42 looked up at him, curious. She tried to ignore the light stubble that was starting to adorn his manly jawline.

The Major sighed.

“He used to be a combat scientist. He was pretty deadly on the battlefield because of how much he knew. Anyway, after the initial implants on us, he got too far ahead of himself and decided to try and turn us fully cyborg. I only escaped death by locking myself in a broom cupboard.” He looked at his water, eyes burning with anger at the memory. “He got himself demoted for that foolishness.”

“He killed the other Experiments?” 24-42 looked scared. “He wouldn't kill Team B42 would he?”

“HB42 and KB42 were assigned as his Captains to make sure he doesn't.” The Major leaned back. “I've hated him ever since that day, and the fact that he had a go at MY team didn't exactly endear him to me either.”

“The guys are really starting to like you now, you know.” 24-42 rested her head on his shoulder, looking up at him like an expectant puppy. M42 laughed, the first time 24-42 had ever heard the sound.

“Then please explain why my desk drawer exploded with glitter this morning?” He grinned at her.

24-42 turned pink, making the Major chuckle even more. He leaned in and kissed her, turning her to mush.

“They glitter-bombed your desk?” She gasped when he pulled away.

“I'll be finding the stuff in the carpet for a long time yet.” He finished off his water. He couldn't help but smirk at the look on her face. “Anyone would think you'd never been kissed before.”

“Well...there was one guy when I was about 14, but that's about it.” 24-42 went from pink to red.

“Well, we can fix that.” The Major kissed her again, deepening the kiss this time.

Just then, the buzzer on the door went off again.

“I should get that.” 24-42 tried to escape, but the Major pinned her to the sofa.

“Leave it.” He commanded.

“Eep.” Was the reply as he kissed her a third time.

Outside, Tytus, Alexis and Daniel were pushing the buzzer.


“C'mon 24-42, we want you to help us paper the Majors desk!” Tytus groaned.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Redemption

“24-42 not here again?” M42 checked his roll book. It was a week after his near-death experience at the hands of 24-42, and she was still hiding in her lodgings.

“No Sir.” Henna looked sadly at the seat next to her in the classroom. The members of Team B42 snickered.

“There'll be none of that thank you.” M42 glared at them. He sighed inwardly. He'd never admit to it, but he was worried about 24-42. He knew about her temper, but had no idea how to help her quell it.


“Go and talk to her.”

“No.”

“NOW Major!”

“Captain, you're pushing your luck.”

“Major!”

“Captain.”

“Look, you're supposed to be our fearless leader!” Suzie groaned at M42 in his office after the lesson that day. “Plus I know you like her.”

Like her Captain?” M42 looked amused.

“Major, I've known you for ten years. You rarely let anyone see you smile, and even I've never been in your lodgings!” Suzie glared at him.

“That would be because you, nor anyone else, has bothered to come over to my place and get to know me.” M42 pointed

“That's...actually a good point.” Suzie realised mid-sentence. “Still-,”

Suzie was about to continue the argument when an alert came over the loudspeaker for Team A42.

“You are SO lucky.” Suzie growled as the pair grabbed their emergency kits and headed to the Mission Briefing Room.

“Those prisoners that B42 failed to rescue are being transported within the next five days. This is the perfect opportunity for a rescue.” C42 gave Team A42 the details.

“Hang on, aren't we supposed to only be used in case of severe civilian risk?” Tytus asked. “Why are we doing rescue missions?”

“Because two of these prisoners are members of the Great Nations royal family, not that the enemy realises that. If they get harmed, then we'll have a huge war on our hands. Ostraya isn't in the position where we can participate in another World War, and if we didn't, we could find ourselves in a fair bit of strife.” C42 explained.

“Ah.” Tytus shut up.

“You know what to do. Get those prisoners out with as little mess as possible. You'll have two contacts who will be responsible for getting the royals home after you rescue them. They're from a tribe native to the area who have allied with us, so please try to be sensitive. They might prove to be violent against our enemies, if they attack then you are to withdraw immediately.” C42 told them.

“Yes Marm!” Everyone replied.

“Dismissed. Good luck team!” C42 nodded as they followed the red lights to their cargo plane. 24-42 took a seat far away from everyone else again, looking sad. The four other Experiments looked at each other, worried. M42 stared determinedly at the front of the plane and Suzie looked completely lost.

Team A42 doesn't do plane trips well.


“Welcome to the lands that should be rightfully ours.” Was the welcome that Team A42 got when they arrived.

24-42 didn't like the two men at all. Something about them made her skin crawl. One was blonde, short and bulky and the other had dark hair and was tall and bulky. Both wore smirks on their faces and were leering at the females.

“Keep them the hell away from me and the girls.” Alexis growled to Daniel.

“No problem.” Daniel didn't like the look of them either.

“The girls and I.” Tytus corrected with a smirk, earning him a smack.

“We're here to rescue our prisoners.” M42 said bluntly. He looked past the two men and saw two children. “Who are they?” He asked.

“Spies.” The blonde man said. “They're the enemy, and we'll dispose of them after we're done here.”

The two children could barely be ten years old. 24-42 could feel her cold, sick anger coming back at her again. She tried to swallow it. She'd spent the last week curled up in bed, ashamed and embarrassed. She wanted to make up for her poor behaviour and hopefully conquer her fault once and for all.

“This way. We'll show you the route where the prisoners will be transported.” The dark-haired man beckoned to them.

The group trooped through the dark of the night to a small country road surrounded by boulders and dead trees. 24-42 hung towards the back of the group, and started talking with the children.

“We're not spies, honest.” The older boy said quietly. “We were just hungry.”

“Please don't let them hurt us.” The younger girl begged.

“I'll see what I can do, but no promises.” 24-42 patted their heads. She could clearly see that they were hungry, the poor things were nothing but skin and bone. “I have some apples in my kit if you guys would like one?”

The children couldn't speak, but their eyes shone with gratitude as they devoured the apples.

“Making friends?” Daniel looked back at the three.

“You know me, friendly as anything, wouldn't hurt a fly.” 24-42 deadpanned, making the children giggle.

Daniel smiled and put an arm around her. 24-42 rested her head on his shoulder as they approached the road. M42 looked testily at Daniel, who quickly dropped his arm from 24-42s shoulders.

“The convoy will be passing through here within 24 hours. Our scouts have indicated that the prisoners are on foot.” The blonde man said.

“You'd never fit any sort of vehicle through here.” Tytus looked at the road from one of the boulders.

“We'll need to distract the enemy.” Henna looked around.

“Landslide?” Alexis suggested. “Would be pretty easy to do.”

“But we run the risk of harming the hostages.” Tytus pointed out.

“Can't you guys just kill the guards and have it done with?!” The dark-haired man looked impatient.

“We're to spill as little blood as possible. Last thing we need is an International incident.” M42 said. “In fact, the more we can make it look like an accident, the better.”

“Then the landslide is the best bet.” Daniel flew up to one of the boulders and had a look.

“If we can get this between the prisoners and the guards, we should be all clear.” He wobbled the boulder slightly.

“But there's still a chance we could accidentally harm the prisoners.” Henna pointed out.

Tytus was sitting by himself, thinking quietly. He stretched out his fingers in front of him. The goo that formed his Blasts began to work its way out of his fingers.

Slowly, he turned his hands outwards, away from himself. The goo began to spread in the air, hardening until it formed a shield.

“I think I might have the answer to that problem guys.” Tytus grinned at his own ingenuity.


Tytus, Daniel and Henna were dressed in rock-coloured clothing, ready to slide down with the rockslide. They were the only ones who had mastered the shield so far so they were going to roll down ahead of the landslide and protect the prisoners from the landslide.

24-42 was playing with the two children, helping them climb a tree.

“They're the enemy, you're not to fraternize with them.” The dark-haired man glared at her.

“They're kids.” 24-42 scowled back.

“Their lives are over anyway.” The blonde man snapped.

Cold anger gripped 24-42 again. It was on the tip of her tongue to ask how quickly the men could get back to their own village and their children, but she forced herself to swallow it back. She couldn't hurt innocent children, even if it would hurt these men more than anything.

She got up the tree with the children and watched the show. The convoy with the prisoners made its way up the narrow road, the prisoners all connected to each other with thick rope. The front guard stood well in front of them, but the rear guard was antagonising the prisoners at the back of the procession, which would make things difficult. The aim was to have minimal casualties after all.

“Hmmm. Hey, I have an idea!” 24-42 grinned. She turned to the two children. “You two can provide a distraction!”

“NO.” The blonde man growled.

“It could work, provided we kept the children tied together so they couldn't escape.” M42 pointed out. “That way we could get our mission finished and you can keep your prisoners.”

“They're CHILDREN!” Alexis snapped.

“That is none of our concern. We're here for one reason and one reason only.” M42 looked coldly at the Experiment.

“Fine. I'll bind the kids.” The dark-haired man grabbed a rope from his belt and stood under the tree.

“Bring the children down 24-42. Now.” M42 looked up the tree.

24-42 glared at him.

“I'm sorry guys.” She turned to the children and began to help them down the tree.

“No funny business!” The man called as the trio made it to terrafirma. 24-42 scowled at him as he tied the two children together by their hands.

“You two are to run out to the guards at the back and distract them enough to get some distance between them and the prisoners, understood?” He barked at the children. They nodded, fearfully.

“Good luck guys.” Alexis patted their heads as they ran towards the guards.

“HELP! HELP!” The children cried as they approached the guards. “The enemy is after us!”

“What happened?” The guards stopped. “OI! You guys!”

The guards from the front of the convoy grabbed the prisoners and shoved them towards the wall of the valley. They then headed back to check on the kids.

“This is perfect! NOW!” Suzie flagged the landslide team, who pushed the first boulders down.

“SHIT!” One of the guards cried, leaping out of the way of the landslide. Tytus quickly leapt between the prisoners and the carnage, throwing up his shield as large loose rocks barrelled at him.

The whole landslide lasted about thirty seconds. Afterwards, the enemy guards took one look at the situation and fled, leaving the children unguarded.

24-42 saw an opportunity. She quickly flew down to the children and cut their bonds.

“Run! Now! While you have a chance!” She told them.

“Not so fast!” The two men ran towards them. 24-42 prepared to fight them off as the two children ran.

“STAND DOWN 24-42!” She heard M42 command.

24-42 was about to ignore him when she saw her team mates looking at her sympathetically. M42 looked at her coldly. Her eyes were vibrant red again, not hazel, and she was desperately close to snapping.

“Nice try.” The blonde man spat at her as they walked back with the children in tow again. To illustrate his point, he made to hit her, but one growl from M42 made him change his mind.

“What on earth is going on here?!” One of the prisoners asked, rubbing his wrists where the shackles had been.

“You're safe now Your Highness.” Henna smiled at him.

24-42 watched as the two men led the poor children away. She'd never forget them.

“It's hard. It sucks. But we have to do it.” M42 put his hand on her shoulder. “You should be proud of yourself, you managed to keep your temper this time.”

24-42 shrugged him off and stormed back to the plane.


24-42 stood in front of the door again. After getting back from the mission, M42 had ordered her into psychological help from S42 – and in the five weeks she'd been going it was working fine.

This time she had a side of roasted lamb with some vegetables. Hopefully he liked lamb.

Her breath caught slightly as she heard the door start to open.

“Hi...I made you a roast this time.” She offered the Major the steaming pot wrapped in a tea towel. “I'm sorry I attacked you, and I'm sorry I blabbed to everyone. I still want to get to know you because I think you're a really interesting person.”


The Major raised an eyebrow. “Come on in.” He stood to the side while 24-42, grinning, walked inside.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Cold Anger

“TEAM A42 REPORT TO MISSION BRIEFING ROOM. REPEAT: TEAM A42 REPORT TO MISSION BRIEFING.” 1A-42 said sternly over the loudspeaker. “Please follow the red lights to the Mission Briefing Room!”

This time, 24-42 had a small bag she'd packed in case of this happening. She quickly grabbed her MP3, earphones and charger and bolted out of her bedroom. She opened the small cupboard near her front door and pulled out her emergency bag.

She ran as quickly as she could. Unfortunately, that led her right into the path of Major M42.

The memory of the night before made 24-42 want to go red again, but she tried to suppress it.

“After you Sir.” She mumbled.

“Hurry up!” He barked at her.

24-42 sighed and kept up with him. There was a VERY awkward conversation coming up in the near future and 24-42 wasn't looking forward to it.

They caught up with Henna and the group joined the others in the Mission Briefing Room. Suzie grinned at 24-42, she'd heard about the events the night before. 24-42 was beginning to curse the day she'd signed up for this program!

“Your mission is to retrieve Team B42 from a cave-in. This mission will require you to work under dark, no one was aware that Team B42 even exists and a lot of questions would be raised if you guys were seen at the site.” C42 commanded. “Go!”

The group quickly boarded the cargo plane heading to their overseas destination.

“What were B42 doing? I thought they were still here?” Alexis asked.

“They were sent to rescue some war prisoners from an allied nation who were being used as miners. They failed their mission when they accidentally sealed themselves into the mine. The hostages are long gone by now and the place is now deserted.” Suzie told them.

“This should be interesting.” Tytus smirked at 24-42, who was sitting next to M42.

M42 sighed. “How many people in this cargo plane know about what happened between 24-42 and myself?”

Dead silence.

“I thought so.” M42 got up and walked to the front of the plane.

“The only question is, do I berate 24-42 now or do I wait for some privacy only for her to gossip to you lot?”

24-42 fumed.

“This is obviously another one of your pranks.” M42 continued. “And it is exceptionally childish.”

“It isn't! 24-42 really likes you!” Henna yelped.

“Why would we pull a prank like this? All our other pranks have been virtually harmless!” Daniel tried to reason with the irate Major.

“In which case then, 24-42 has still acted immaturely.” M42 walked right up to 24-42, who stood up to face him.

“You behaved like an idiot in my lodgings, then you went and blabbed to your friends. Either you have no concept of privacy or no idea what you're doing and constantly need advice. Either way, you have no business being in any sort of physical relationship. I certainly don't want to be having relations with someone as immature as you.” He narrowed his eyes at her. Something was wrong with her eyes. Usually they were on the green side of hazel, but they seemed a murky brown now. Was that a hint of red he saw?

“Understood Sir.” 24-42 said coldly. “It won't happen again.”

She sat back down and took out her laptop and earphones. The Major looked down on her for a second, but she refused to look at him. If she had, she might have seen the faint trace of sadness on his face.

Suffice to say, the rest of the plane trip was a riot.


“Not good.” Suzie looked through her night-vision goggles. “The enemy are still patrolling the area – I don't think they believe the cave-in was an accident.”

“Which means we can't just Blast them out, we'll have to dig. Shoot!” Daniel groaned. “Thankfully this vent is here.”

He motioned to a small hole that lead down to where Team B42 were trapped. They'd tried Blasting their way out, but their Blasts were too weak.

“It'll need to be quick. If they find evidence of someone digging around here then we're done for.” Suzie replied. “Let's head back to the others and see what they think.”

“You hear that guys?” Daniel stuck his head down the vent.

“Whatever.” The annoyed voice of 04-42 came up to them.

The pair scrambled off the ledge and headed back to the trucks. Thankfully Daniel was able to fly most of the way, otherwise it would have been a long trek over dangerous rocks and through nasty forest.

“The enemy are still guarding the area.” Suzie said flatly once they got back.

“Hmm.” M42 looked at his plans. “Any idea where B42 is?”

“We found a small vent that looks like it leads straight to them.” Suzie said. “If we can somehow widen it they should be able to walk straight out.”

“Then that's what we'll look at doing.” M42 decided.

“Sir?” Suzie touched his arm. “We've worked together for a long time, right?”

“If this is about 24-42, then don't bother Captain.” M42 walked away.

“He is SUCH a pain.” Suzie groaned.

“Experiments, over here!” M42 called them over. He got Daniel to explain the situation to them.

“We're going to have to find a way to dig them out through this vent without getting spotted or causing another cave-in.” M42 said.

“So Blasts are out.” Tytus frowned. “They'd make too much noise and probably cause another cave-in.”

“Unless...how long can we sustain a Blast?” Henna was thinking aloud.

“What do you mean?” Daniel looked at her quizzically.

“I think I get what Henna's saying. If we can hold the form of one of our Blasts, we can use it as a silent drill to widen the vent.” Alexis said.

“24-42?” Daniel looked at his fellow Experiment, who was silent.

“I think it should be 21-42.” M42 said bluntly.

“ME?!” Alexis squeaked. “But 24-42 has stronger Blasts!”

“That's true, but remember we don't want to cause a cave-in. We want control, not power, and you have that in spades compared to 24-42.” M42 said. 24-42 snarled.

Alexis and Henna looked worriedly at each other. Something had to give!

“We'd better get started. The rest of you are to keep an eye out in case we're in danger of being spotted.” M42 turned to Alexis. “You have plenty of time. Don't feel like you're under any pressure. We'll work together as a team and we'll get this done.”

“Yes Sir.” Alexis mumbled, looking terrified.


“Are you ready 21-42?” M42 asked as he, Alexis and Suzie stood around the vent.

“I guess so.” Alexis gulped.

“Team B42! This is Major M42. We're about to try and widen this vent so you can get out. Please stand well clear.” The Major stuck his head down the hole.

He could hear shuffling as everyone moved back.

“Okay 21-42, take your time. You can do this.” He patted Alexis on the back.

Alexis breathed in deeply. She held out her hands in front of her. The substance that formed the Blasts slowly oozed out of her hands, dripped onto the ground and then hardened. Within seconds, the substance disappeared, taking some of the rock with it.

“Not quite what we planned, but close enough. Reckon you could try on the vent?” Suzie asked kindly.

Alexis began trying to put the ooze onto the rock, but it was hard. Sometimes it would solidify in her hands, turning into ruby-coloured shards that would then disappear harmlessly.

“Get 16-42 and 17-42 over here.” M42 told Suzie. “We might need a little help.”

Suzie nodded.

“What about-,”

“24-42 can stay on guard duty.” Was the cold response.

“I was going to ask about Tytus.” Suzie scowled.

“Oh...yeah, call him over.” The Major went slightly pink.

“So you ARE letting your emotions get in the way.” Suzie accused.

M42 glared at her.

“You're such a prick.” Suzie shook her head as the other Experiments came over.

Working slowly, the group made progress on opening the vent. Three times they got a call from 24-42 saying that enemy patrols were close by which slowed things down even further.

“This is exhausting. Can't I go on guard duty while 24-42 comes over here?” Tytus complained, earning a filthy look from M42.

“Would probably be a good idea.” Henna glared at the Major.

“Fine.” M42 grumped.

Tytus went to go and get 24-42 while the others had a break and got a drink. Soon, Tytus returned.

Without 24-42.

“I'll have a word with her when we get back to base.” M42 looked livid.

“If YOU hadn't publicly berated her and then purposefully left her out then there wouldn't be a problem!” Alexis snapped.

“I think we need a refresher on who's actually in charge around here.” M42 warned. Alexis continued to glare at him as they resumed work on the vent.

After a few hours, the vent was opened up enough and team B42 ungraciously got out.

“You're welcome.” Tytus scowled at the dirty looks that Team A42 were getting.

“Huzzah for the A42 team huh?” MB42 sneered at M42. “Where's your prized student?”

“Making sure we don't get caught. Unlike you guys who blew the whole operation. Those prisoners are now impossible to rescue.” M42 scowled back.

“Hmm.” Was the sullen reply.

Team B42 headed out in their own cargo plane, leaving Team A42 to try and find 24-42.

“I see things went fine without me.” 24-42 soon reappeared.

“Why didn't you come and help when you were summoned?” M42 asked calmly.

“Didn't think I was wanted.” 24-42 replied.

“From now on, if you get an order from me, I expect it to be carried out without any of the backchat I've been getting. That goes for all of you.” M42 commanded. “Like I said earlier, I am in charge here and-,”

His sentence was cut off as 24-42 grabbed him by the throat and soared upward with him, cutting off most of his air.

“You're in charge here huh? Given that if any of us wanted you dead, you'd be gone in a heartbeat.” She growled, both of them hovering above the hole where the small vent had been.

“Go on then, snap my neck and drop me.” M42 said. “I know all about what you did. How you're here to find redemption.”

24-42 growled.

“Tell me, where are you going to look for redemption once you've killed me? There's no where else for you to go.”

24-42 glared at him. Her lip wobbled. She landed back on the ground and let the Major go.

“All of you back on the plane!” Suzie commanded. The other Experiments looked horrified at 24-42. She couldn't look at them. Her cold, evil temper had gotten the better of her again.

She picked a seat at the back of the plane, well away from everyone else. She felt cold and ashamed at what she'd nearly done to M42.


An hour into the flight she sensed someone sitting next to her. She looked up to see Tytus holding out his hand to her. She took it gratefully and spent the rest of the flight holding his hand as if it were the only thing keeping her alive.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Epic Fail.

Eleven blank stares faced the Major as he tried to teach them the basics of gun maintenance. C42 had decided that both teams needed the training, so the group all had to learn together.

24-42 didn't really bother with Team B42, most of them seemed okay but they didn't seem to want to mix. Alexis and Henna tried, but were often rebuffed.

“What's their problem?” Tytus grumbled as Team A42 sat in the lunchroom afterwards.

“I think they're upset that MB42 isn't taking the classes.” Suzie said, eating a sandwich.

“Who's MB42?” Alexis asked.

“Their Major.” Suzie replied. “If you thought M42 was bad, this guy is about ten times worse. At least our Major doesn't have a chip on his shoulder about everything.”

“What do you mean? How could anything be worse than 24-42s boyfriend?” Henna asked, ducking as 24-42 threw a piece of rock-melon at her.

“M42 is strict and aloof, yes, but he'll defend you guys to the end of the earth.” Suzie pointed out. “MB42 won't defend his team at all, he's furious that he got what he considers the inferior team.”

“Well, technically they are. Can any of them Blast or fly?” Daniel asked.

“Not to the extent that you guys can. None of them can fly.” Suzie informed them. “They also don't seem to have your superhuman strength.”

“I wonder why such a vast difference in ability?” Daniel wondered.

“We don't know. All of them fell unconscious during the Exposure, you guys didn't. Maybe that has something to do with it.” Suzie sighed.

“That doesn't explain me though.” Henna pointed out. “I'm still well behind the others.”

“You're an interesting case.” Suzie said. “After the first few deaths, we had a look at everyones medical results. Yours certainly weren't the highest, in fact, you were one of the poorest performers. We didn't expect you to survive, let alone stay awake the entire time. Even though your Blasts are weaker than your team mates, you can still use Blasts that far outperform any of B42. Plus you were the first to be able to fly, and even Tytus and Alexis can't do that yet.”

“You certainly seem to have something that the others don't.” They heard a voice from the doorway. M42 had just walked in.

He sat next to Henna.

“A lot of your problem is up here.” He pointed to her head. “You don't have much self-confidence. You need to start believing in yourself, you've already proven that you're capable of handing everything that the others can.”

Henna went bright red at this praise and looked down at her roast beef. 24-42 went a bit pink too, and the others smiled at the Major.

“That being said I expect a lot better of you in training. It's time you got your act together and pulled your weight, Experiment.” He finished coldly.

Everyone scowled as the Major left the table.

“I really don't know what to make of that.” Alexis frowned after the Major left. “What a spectacular return to form after saying some very nice things to Henna.”

“He's a prick.” Tytus shook his head.

24-42 bit her lip to keep from giggling.


“Go ON!” Henna urged 24-42 forward.

“You saw how the banana bread went!” 24-42 hissed angrily.

“A casserole is different. He'll be inclined to invite you in for dinner.” Daniel said with an air of authority. “Trust us.”

They stepped onto the escalator that headed up to the wing where Henna, M42 and 24-42 lodged.

“And what are you guys doing tonight?” 24-42 narrowed her eyes at the pair of them.

“The rest of the team are heading to my place to watch movies.” Henna shrugged. “That way if something goes wrong we're all here to look after you.”

“I can't believe I'm going through with this.” 24-42 sighed as they reached the ground floor.

“He's still injured, it makes sense for you to try and help him.” Henna pressed. “And that casserole in your hands tastes great.”

“You sure?” 24-42 asked warily as they headed towards the lodgings.

“Just go!” Henna opened her front door. Both she and Daniel disappeared, leaving 24-42 with her nervousness.

“Okay, it's just going to give the Major something to eat. You're just concerned about him. It's not like you want to...well, you do, but he doesn't need to know that.” 24-42 tried to calm herself. She tried to think of something other than the Major and found herself thinking of her past love.

He wasn't anything like the Major. He'd been kind, sensitive and funny. 24-42 remembered how she'd had to push him to get motivated and to live up to his potential. He'd been kind of like Henna when they'd first met.

Thinking of him got her to the Majors door before she began to worry again. Her heart began to hurt. Wasn't she betraying the one she loved by fraternizing with M42? She tried to shake it off, it's not like he cared about her any more. She wasn't that person any more, that person didn't exist any more.

She sighed and used her elbow to get the doorbell. Soon enough, M42 appeared.

“Hi! I brought you a casserole!” She offered it to him.

He looked down at it for a second, before looking at her. “Come in.” He said gruffly before turning around.

YES!!! 24-42 did a silent cheer as she walked in.

The Majors lodgings were very different from her own. It was bigger for a start, and the front door opened up into the living area instead of a front hall. His yard was to the side of his lodgings instead of out the back. Everything was so clean and tidy and bland. If it weren't for the gauntlet that was mounted on the wall, 24-42 would have assumed it was a spare lodging instead of being lived in.

“Have a seat.” The Major said uncomfortably, taking the casserole. 24-42 sat down on the couch and stared at the television where the news was playing. She looked at his coffee table. A few notes were scattered over the table.

“I'm writing up tomorrows lesson plan.” The Major noticed. He put the casserole in the oven to keep warm and sat down next to her. “If I do it in my office I get constantly interrupted.”

“Oh. Busy man huh?” 24-42 blushed slightly, hoping like mad he didn't notice.

“No, just in demand. If I didn't have people constantly barging into my office I'd get so much more done.” He sighed.

“You're...not really a people person are you?” 24-42 tried.

“Not really.”

“Neither was I until I came here. I couldn't help but become friendly with everyone. I used to just hang out with my cats.” 24-42 tried to make conversation.

“You have cats?” The Major asked.

“Yeah, five.” 24-42 smiled nervously.

“I only have one. Roger!” M42 called out. A stubborn-looking tuxedo cat stalked in from the yard.

“This is Roger, he's my best friend.” M42 scratched the cats chin. “I'd be careful though, he's rather nasty around new...or not.” M42 frowned as 24-42 cuddled the cat, who purred happily. “Traitor.”

24-42 laughed. “I guess I have a way with cats.”

“You seem to.” M42 smiled back.

24-42 went completely red. “You really do have a nice smile.” She mumbled, letting Roger go.

“So you've said. You seem intent on worming your way into my life.” The Major got up to check on the casserole. “Hungry?”

“Yes please.” 24-42 couldn't have been less hungry, her heart and stomach were busy dancing the can-can inside her.

“Smells good. Make it yourself?” M42 handed her a bowl full of the meaty casserole.

“Yeah.” 24-42's mind went completely blank. “I get the ingredients from the kitchens.”

“Tastes good too. Thank you.” M42 nodded.

24-42 forced down a mouthful. She was completely nervous now.

“So I have to ask myself, what do you have to gain by worming yourself into my good books?” M42 asked.

“You're...a really good leader...sometimes...” 24-42 forced down another mouthful of casserole, burning her mouth and throat.

“Sometimes?” M42 raised an eyebrow. 24-42 squirmed.

“You can be a little harsh.” She admitted.

M42 turned back to his casserole. “Is that why you're so bloody nervous?” He asked.

24-42 completely froze. “Um...”

M42 frowned at her. “Ah.” He set the bowl down next to some of his notes. “You find me attractive, and you thought you'd try and get into my good graces and then my bed. Am I right?”

24-42 could have fainted. “Well...kinda...not quite like that...”

M42 smirked. “Do you know how old I am? I turned 40 just before being assigned here.”

“You don't...you don't look it Sir...” 24-42 stammered. FORTY?!

“Meanwhile, you're barely 25 years old and act like you're 15.” The Major continued. “Coming over here like a nervous little school girl all flustered and with no idea of what you're doing.”

“And there's the prick right there.” 24-42 deadpanned, now annoyed.

“Excuse me?” The Major was taken aback.

“You don't have to be so blunt and nasty to us all the time! We have feelings you know, even if you don't, and we'd get along a lot better if you'd respect them!” 24-42 blurted out.

“Really?” M42 rested his head on his hand, in a look that plainly said “Please, continue insulting me while I laugh at you on the inside.”

“And now you're being condescending!” 24-42 jumped up. “You might be attractive and I might respect you and think you're really a nice guy, but you're still a JERK!”

And with that, 24-42 stormed out, leaving the Major looking rather amused.


“Yeah, calling him a prick was your first mistake.” Tytus brought over another box of tissues as 24-42 sobbed loudly in the lunchroom.

“I've ruined everything! He'll never like me now!” She wailed, tears and snot everywhere.

“There, there, I'm sure you two will make it up.” Henna rubbed the wounded back.

“I CALLED HIM A JERK IN HIS OWN HOME AND STORMED OUT LIKE A LITTLE GIRL!” 24-42 howled before dissolving into MORE tears, making the other four Experiments wince.

“You're acting like a little girl.” Daniel sighed, earning him filthy looks from the other females in the room.

“She'll be okay once she's had a good cry, won't you 24-42?” Alexis smiled. “And then one day after you've gotten with the Major we'll have a good old laugh over it.”

“You really think I still stand a chance?” 24-42 whimpered.

“Of course.” Everyone agreed.


24-42 let out one more pathetic sob.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Courage.

“And that's how we stopped the missile Marm.” Suzie finished her report.

“Excellent. Are there any concerns from the Experiments about how the mission went?” C42 asked as they sat in the debriefing hall.

All five hands shot up at once.

“We weren't told anything about mission procedure before being sent on a mission, leading to all of us being woefully under-prepared!”

“We weren't even told how to dismantle a missile when it's on the ground, let alone while it's in the sky!”

“The facilities we had were manifestly inadequate!”

“Okay, okay, I see our training has lacked structure and purpose.” C42 raised her hands to try and quell the protesting Experiments. “We'll see about setting aside our mornings for more theoretical work that will help with planning in the future.”

“Swell.” Tytus muttered.

“How much of an input do we get on what we get trained in?” Alexis asked.

“We'll have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss the training. You're all free for the rest of the day.” C42 got up from her desk and left the room. “Hopefully the Major will be up by then.”

C42 quickly vacated the room with Suzie on her heels while the others looked at each other.

“More work. I can't believe this.” Tytus groaned, resting his feet up on the desk.

“What did you think this was, a paid holiday?” Alexis shoved his feet off the desk. He scowled at her.

“It'll shake things up, theory in the morning, physical training in the afternoons.” 24-42 said. “Anyway, I'll see you guys later.”

“Going to go and check on your Major?” Daniel snickered.

“Yes. Yes I am.” 24-42 poked her tongue out at him. He gave her a friendly punch on the arm as she walked out.

“Do you reckon they've...?” Henna asked.

“I dunno. They can't have recently as we were all in Po-Po sleeping in the same truck.” Alexis pointed out.

“I really don't want to think of them getting it on in the same truck as us.” Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose. “I'm outta here before you guys gross me out any more.”

Henna and Alexis were giggling furiously, while Tytus looked disgusted.

“You girls are horrible.” He walked out as well.

“C'mon Tytus, you're curious as well!” Henna followed him out, Alexis close behind.

Tytus sighed.

“Told you so. Blokes are as bad as women for gossip.” Alexis grinned.

“Not like there's much to do around here anyway.” Tytus pointed out.

“You just whinged when they gave us more training to do!” Henna cried as they approached the lunch room.


24-42 stood at the entrance to the Majors lodgings, her finger inches away from the doorbell. In her hands was a loaf of banana bread she'd baked.

A cold sweat overcame her. She hadn't done anything like this in years, and the last time she'd tried to get close to a man had ended in disaster.

Just push the stupid button. She told herself. Nothing.

Push it. She tried again. Still couldn't bring herself to do it.

Gosh darn it! You stopped a missile with your bare hands you can push the darned doorbell and give the Major the bread! NOW DO IT!

Finally, the finger reached out and pushed in the button.

There. Now was that really that hard?

24-42 stood there for what seemed like an eternity before M42 answered the door.

“I was just wondering how you were doing...I baked you some banana bread!” 24-42 greeted him, holding out the bread.

“I'm fine, thank you.” He took the bread and closed the door.

...Owch.


“These things take time hun.” Alexis brought 24-42 another chocolate from the vending machine.

“He took the bread though right?” Suzie pressed.

“Yes, I said that already!” 24-42 let her head fall into her arms.

“Then that's good! I've known him for years, and he NEVER accepts gifts! You're in girl!” Suzie gave 24-42 a friendly shove.

“I can't believe you're into that jerk!” Tytus sipped his cola. “There are plenty of good blokes on this base!”

“Name one that would be compatible with 24-42.” Henna narrowed her eyes at him.

“L256AP-42 in the labs is pretty neat.” Tytus shrugged. “Or even XCZ124585-42. He's a guard, very professional.” He nodded knowingly.

“You have no idea. You gotta have a CONNECTION for these things to work, and that hasn't happened between 24-42 and those guys. There IS a connection between 24-42 and M42. We've seen it already.” Alexis nodded with authority.

“Geez, you chicks get so riled up with your “connections” and emotions and rubbish like that. Just find a guy who's hot and bonk him! How hard is it?!” Tytus complained. “None of the guys here are going to say no! RVB4587-42 and HZF3615-42 have been going at it for weeks and she looks like-,”

“Do you mind not running down our colleagues?!” Suzie scowled. “Besides, how do YOU know what they're doing?”

“Walked into Lab 3 one day and they were at it.” Tytus shrugged.

“Ew.” The girls cringed.

“Yeah, it was, like I said, HZF-,”

“Trust me sweetie, you're in with the Major. You just got to keep at it, break down his defences.” Suzie said over the top of Tytus, who pouted.

“Really?” 24-42 looked up at the Captain, eyes sparkling with hope.

“Really.” Suzie patted her back. “Now, are you going to stop worrying?”

“I guess so.” 24-42 sighed.

“Good. Now let's go outside and do some exercise huh?” Alexis walked out of the lunch room. “You guys coming?”

“I'm going to go and see what Daniel is doing. Has to be better than listening to you lot whinge about men.” Tytus got up and left the lunchroom.

“He's such a tool.” Alexis shook her head.

“I think you like him.” 24-42 teased, more than ready to deflect some of the attention she was getting.

“I think she does too.” Henna winked at 24-42.

“I do not!” Alexis turned bright red.


They teased her all the way to Training Ground 4.