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Republic Insa: The House Of God

I am Angry

Wisco had been giving and receiving calls for the last twenty minutes, but to no avail. No one had seen Shrike anywhere.

Yndo, who was next to him, sat up.

"Maybe she was taken to the First Floor."

The First Floor he was talking about was actually slang for the upper reaches of Pioneer II. Besides, at the bottom of the ship, it was dark enough to be considered underground, with all the pipes everywhere.

Wisco shook his head in response.

"I don't want to believe this... My little daughter, gone and in the hands of the cops. How s***tier can my day get?!"

"Well, whatever. We don't have news now, we won't have them later. I'm going to the House. You comin'?"

"Don't wait for me; I've lost my appetite for today."

Yndo closed the door behind him, and the room fell into darkness, fought by a small lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. The walls were covered by shelves full of tools and junk. One door led to a small washroom. The other, right next to it, led to a dirty bedroom. The whole place seemed to be falling apart. But Wisco liked it this way. Had he not, things in his home would have been different.

He reached for his cigarette, and began examining one of the guns he had stored in a bin. These were all the things available for modding.

He put the gun away though. Nevermind work for today. Instead, he'll drink his ass off from the jumbo bottle he had hidden within one of those shelves.


A fist was asking for permission to enter.

"Come in!" Wisco replied.

The visitor opened the door. In a weak, distorted voice, she said:

"Hi Mr. Robertson."

Only one person was so respectful of him enough to call him by his last name. Although he recognized her by expression, he would have had a harder time going by the looks...

Shurikane's immense angers were almost touching the floor. Her original 7'4" foot frame seemed even taller now. Wisco could see in the dim light the features of her face deeply affected by the merge; her human-like eye lenses, the ones she had paid so much cash for, had blown out, glass, irises, systems, everything. Among the broken shards were the wide-open stares of two camera lenses. Her hair plate had been pierced and drilled by the engineers, and her entire chestplate was missing. The inner systems were infected everywhere by the Delsaber organism, and at her feet was the beginning of a pool of dirty oil.

The old weapons modder had no words for what he was seeing. Shrike didn't even seem aware of her own self. She just smiled and casually cat down as best as she could, the merge causing her to have some erratic movements and shakes.

"Sorry," she said, hanging her head in shame. "I almost... Got caught!..."

She stopped, only to cough and spit out a disgusting amount of oil and blood.

"Dear God, you're sick." Wisco could only say. "Listen, go to my bed and lie down, I'll try to fix you up as best as I can."

While she was doing so, he picked up his tools and went to fetch a few parts on one of the top shelves. He came into his own bedroom and laid the pieces on the floor.

"What are these?..." Shrike asked. She had not seen the replacements.

"It's... Well, it's your old parts."

"You kept those?"

"I always do. Listen, I found you, Shrike. I fixed your executables as best as I could, I freed you from your Halloween mission and gave you Freechip independence... Those eyes you used to have, the simu-skin on your shoulders, even the chestplate you had, they had been designed by me. Remember? And I always keep backups, in case my stuff doesn't do the distance."

A pause. Then, she nodded slowly.

"I always keep the old parts." Wisco continued. "They always come in handy. Besides, you're like a daughter to me. We love and respect each other father-daughter. As you used to do your best to keep me out of trouble, I do the same to you. I still have your old chestplate and your old hair piece and your old eye lenses. They are cheap I gotta agree, but we'll have to do with these for now."


"Now please don't move... I need to reform the simu-skin around your eyes..."

*     *     *     *     *

Shrike stood up after Wisco had finished his work.

"Got a mirror?" She asked with a more normal voice.

Wisco pointed it out. She went over and stood in front of it.

"Well, I guess that'll do..." She commented. Her eyes were now behind a pair of featureless bright green lenses, her chestplate was the old one, the one with the aggressive looks and themes to it. Her hairpiece had to be changed too, and although it looked just like the one she used to have, this original one had slightly sharper edges.

"At least you look halfway normal now." Wisco said with a smile.

"Not just yet." Shrike paused, and took a finger over to her hair piece. She carefully used the fingerblade and stuck it between two plates...

...A piece of sharpnel fell off. The hair deployed into a shoulder-length myriad of knives.

Her grin was one of the widest she had ever seen on herself.

"Man, you know what? That look somehow kicks ass."

She looked at Wisco, who didn't answer. He was busy hiding tears from view. He knew his favorite android would never be the same now.

Suddenly, he sat up.

"Let's go to the House of God. I feel hungry!!"

*     *     *     *     *

"You're not allowed in here." The bouncer said.

"Say WHAT?! I've always been a regular!!" Shrike screamed at him.

"Sorry Shrike but I just can't let you in with all that machinery on you. This is a packed place in there, you're too likely to hurt someone."

"I'll be careful, is that enough for you?!"

"No; please use common sense, I just want to avoid dangers, that's all! Listen, soon as you get those hands fixed back to normal android hands, you'll be allowed in here all you want, but in the meantime, this place is off-limits for you."

Shrike looked at Wisco, who didn't say a word.

She snarled at the bouncer and went around the building.

"OWNER!! Come outta here, NOW!"

Said man opened the back door to see who was there.

"Yes, what's the problem?"

"I want in but your bouncer is too anal to understand me."

The owner took a quick look at her.

"Damn straight he's anal... And a good thing too." He muttered. "Did you even look at yourself?"

"So I'm a crossbreed now; crucify me!!" The android screamed.

The owner sighed. It wasn't going to be an easy one after all.

He stepped out of the kitchen to face Shrike.

"Listen, I know this is unfair but I need to care about safety here... What if you acidentally bump into someone while in there? I'll be the one in deep s***, because I'll be the one who let you in. I'm sorry girl but I can't do anything else until you find a way to show me that you are safe."

"You almost sound racist when you say that..."

The owner shrugged. He had no reply to this.

He felt a set of blades on each of his shoulders.

"It was an accident, all right? And if I try to fix it, I lose all my memories, every single one of them." Shrike was trying to sound calm, but was highlye unsuccessful. "I don't want it to happen. I didn't want that thing to happen in the first place. Doesn't that suck? One day I'm the favorite of the band, the next day I can't even go and have a chat at my home bar. That bothers me, you know that?"

Her voice was breaking at times, as if she was on the verge of crying. Her hands tightened their grip on the owner's shoulder, the blades slowly sank into his flesh.

"Please, stop that, you're--"

"Shut up!!" Shrike screamed at him. "I'm gonna tell you something today. I'm gonna tell you that you can't make a concession even for one of your best friends. I've been here since the beginning of the damn Chip Group! And all you do in return is s*** on me! I know my hands are not common, but there are ways to keep the whole thing safe! I am the same damn old me! I am the same Shrike from yesterday, from the day before, I've been the same all along!!"

The owner's eyes seemed lost.

"Hey!! Stay awake!!" Shrike shook him a little but he had become a flaccid mass of flesh and bones.

The next thing she knew was that her hands had completely cut apart his shoulders, unaware of the pressure she was pushing with.

The owner fell to the ground on his own blood and severed arms, his guts merrily pouring out from his sides.

Shrike looked at the spectacle, and screamed.

The kitchen was empty. She threw the body in one of the friers, took some oil into a pot, and poured it on one of the gas burners.

She repeated the process until the kitchen was nicely ablaze. Her hands hovered over the fire in order to dry out the blood and allow her to quickly remove it. In a matter of seconds, her hands were completely free of any visible suspicion.

In the meantime, the customers were rushing out. Shrike went out by the back door, took a few detour alleys, only to end up back at Wisco's place.

The House of God would never exist again.

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