Chapter 8: Cairo

"I present to you, the Cloud II" I said.

I turned and gestured to the flying fortress behind me.

The massive aircraft hovered with a deep low rumble, its ion engines emitting a clean blue glow.

The Cloud 2.0 had a larger frame than its predecessor, supported by an aluminum-titanium alloy chassis. This time strong enough to (hopefully) withstand another hit like the one that took down the previous iteration. The new Cloud was bigger, faster and tougher. It's sleek exterior hiding state of the art technology beneath its surface. This time the thing was packed with weaponry and power capable of levelling skyscrapers, overkill for what I'm usually up against, but I'm up against something else now. Can't be too careful.

I knew I was on the verge of discovering something big in Egypt. Too much was at stake here. I would not let what happened in Zurich happen again. Too many lives lost, all while I was barely trying to save my own skin.

This time I was going to be ready.

I turned back from the beautiful thing and looked back at my two companions. They stared, wide eyed, at the craft. Understandable, but I don't have time to waste. Talon was not going to wait.

"Well? I didn't fly it all the way out here for you to just stare at it. Get your asses inside!" I ordered.

The main cargo bay ramp lowered and extended to the roof. Angela and Primus walked up the ramp, eyes wide and mouth agape.

We ascended the ramp and walked into the main vehicle bay. Large enough to fit a small private jet inside, the bay is filled with various useful tech. The walls were lined with various models of drones, ranging from reconnaissance to medical and combat. The centre of the hangar was dominated by a large vehicle covered entirely in black tarp, the only visible elements being exposed wires and circuitry protruding from the bottom of the tarp.

Project Pantera. My proposed solution to large robotic city destroyers. It isn't ready yet, far from it. A heavy hitting tank with legs, EMPs, torpedoes, gatling lasers. Unfortunately, it still doesn't function flawlessly, Minerva's reports say that even if it was completed. Safety would probably be less than optimal.

"What is all this?" asked Primus, looking at the drones.

"My drone network. The thing in the middle is classified however" I said, referring to the Pantera.

Angela was taking a closer look at the drones, fascinated.

"These things are cutting edge, how could you possibly afford it all?" She asked in disbelief.

"Classified" I said with a smile.

Carraro industries had seen a very profitable five years. Billions of dollars worth of tech was just waiting to be put into action.

"You can't be serious" she said "Some of these don't even look like they are from this planet".

She had a bit of a point actually. A good deal of my equipment is made entirely from original designs. Being a billionaire with more time on my hand than I know what to do with led way to a lot of experiments in mechanical engineering. Enough spare time and trial and error let me create machines the likes of which modern technology is years behind.

"Anyway, let's move on" I said.

I walked to the rear of the vehicle bay and entered the passcode on the entrance hatch. It opened to reveal the main deck of the Cloud. The interior of the main deck was nearly the same as the previous iteration. Except this time, it appeared very much still in the process of being completed. There were droids and construction robots were still applying metal sheets to exposed panels and protective coatings over numerous surfaces. This must have been how Minerva managed to finish construction so fast, she didn't. The deck still had the same control panel array in the center with computers and screens displaying ship data. The curved glass ceiling still showed the overcast Zurich sky in it's early morning hours. Seeing the somewhat familiar sight before me filled me with a feeling I didn't expect to feel.

I felt home.

"Welcome to the main deck. This is where I will probably spend most of my time, making strategies and plans to take down talon..." I paused to smirk under my mask "...and save the world" admittedly a little cocky of me, but being back in the Cloud after the rather tedious last few days made me feel invincible.

"What's with all the robots doing all this maintenance?" asked Primus, noticing the working machines.

"Construction of the Cloud II has been heavily rushed to meet deadlines. Some minor systems are not online yet, and certain… aesthetic amenities are still underway" answered Minerva.

She wasn't wrong, exposed metal and control panels littered the walls. The smell of fresh paint nearly strong enough to give me a stroke.

"I thought you said you had finished it" I said.

I probably didn't sound very appreciative just then.

"I built you a second flying base in just under five days, show some gratitude you ungrateful-"
"Fine! Fine…" I interrupted, before giving a sigh.

"Thanks for the quick work" I said.

"Thank you, sir" said

Minerva with the most smug tone you could have imagined.

I wasn't doing her massive ego any favors.

Before I was embarrassed any further in front of the good doctor and her companion, I decided to get back on track.

"Regardless, there is plenty more to see. Come with me Angela, let me show you your quarters"

And by "her" quarters I was referring to the guest cabin. Even the previous Cloud had one, but I had every intention of taking the doctor with me, so I decided to attempt to persuade her with some… generosity.

"My quarters?" asked Angela.

I nodded and led the way.

I led them to the front of the aircraft, or 'bow'. The cockpit was at the front (Obviously), with cabins flanking it a short way down the corridor that led up to it. We reached Angela's cabin and stepped inside.

I had the guest cabin put together to look a little more impressive than usual, with a few extra amenities added in last minute by me. The cabin was of a generous size, with large panoramic windows that gave a scenic view of the sky above. A large queen size bunk lay on one side of the room, with neatly folded white sheets and a large foot locker attached to it. The cabin came with its own private washroom (shower included), personal computer and plenty of room (in case someone wants to teach a yoga class in here). I modeled and furnished the room after a hotel suite I stayed in when I visited Numbani for a business meeting. Service was so impressive I bought the company.

I snapped out of my flashback and noticed that my two companions were staring at the room with eyes wide.

I cleared my throat and said "I leave a guest cabin like this on my bases just in case I'm doing a search and rescue, and the person I save needs a place to stay for a short while. But, should you decide to come with me, the cabin is yours."

Angela took another look around the cabin, speechless.

"I don't know what to say..." she said.

Primus crossed his arms and frowned at me.

"Well" he said to Angela "You did say you're not coming, so I guess nothing?"

Angela shoots Primus a disappointed look.

Primus looked back at me and a look of realization crept onto his face.

"Hang on, since you canceled my ticket, I'm assuming you want me to ride with you, right? So do I get a cool cabin too?" He asked eagerly.

In fact I did.

"Actually I had a separated room for you" I said, trying to hide the snarky tone in my voice.

Primus suddenly looked a little less enthusiastic.

I brought everyone down to the rear of the ship.

We stepped through a door that said Brigantino above it.

The lower hold was a large corridor with twelve cells lining the walls. Each cell fitted not with bars, but with powerful electric force fields, designed to shock any of the inhabitants if they get too frisky.

I gestured towards Primus' cell.

"YOU WERE GOING TO PUT ME IN A CELL?" Primus exclaimed.

"It's not like the rest of the cells." I said

"Look, there's a mattress and a locker, just for you!"

I had Minerva put those in, much to her distaste.

I chuckled and brought everyone back up to the main deck. On our way there, we went past a few rooms which I purposefully didn't show my guests.

But of course, Primus had to open his mouth.

"Wait, we passed two that you didn't show us" he said.

"Trust me, I haven't shown you a LOT. Those two were the research lab and the medbay. The research lab is strictly off limits." I replied.

"Why can't we visit the medbay?" He asked.

"You'll end up in there soon enough if you don't stop asking questions"

"Enough of this pointless arguing you two!" Angela said, stepping between us.

"I apologize, but there are certain things on this craft that I need to keep confidential until they are completely functional."

I glanced at Primus.

"I can't risk someone poking their noses where they don't belong and damaging sensitive equipment."

"I still don't understand the need of so much secrecy." She says, frustrated.

Secrecy? I've just shown them more about my methods than anyone in the past. What more do they want?

"Angela this craft and everything on it is worth over five billion dollars. Nothing you see right now is mass produced, it is all specially built for my purpose. I can't just replace something if it breaks, I have to manufacture it from scratch, which takes time and money."

A brief pause followed, until Primus chimed in.

"Dude… quit flexing" He said.

Little Merda.

Dovrei dargli un pugno in faccia-

My thoughts were interrupted by Angela.

"Gat… now is not the time for all this, can we have breakfast? I'm hungry."

For the first time that morning I noticed that she was still wearing her night dress, and looked like she had just rolled out of bed.

Oh wait.

"Yeah, good point" said Primus "I'm hungry too. How about I cook us something?"

"That sounds great!" Said a relieved Angela.

They looked to me waiting for a reply.

"Fine.." I said. Normally I would have taken any opportunity not to eat his cooking ever again, but there wasn't much food on board, and it was probably the smarter option.

We went back into the small apartment for a meal. I hurried down behind the other two. Who knows how long I can keep a massive unregistered aircraft concealed a few hundred feet above the ground in a city on alert?

"Minerva, I cannot wait till we can stop playing house here and finally get a move on."

"Seems fairly obvious sir." She says. "Enjoy the pancakes while you can, you won't find much of that on board"

Angela did not at all like the most recent hole I had put in her window.

"Why Gat? It's not funny at all." She says, defeated.

"Yeah man, dick move. We're not as rich as you" Said Primus.

I replied with a bit of attitude.

"What? How did you now I'm rich? I mean.. What makes you think so?"

I grinned under the helmet.

"How else would you have been able to get this suit, equipment and the giant fucking fortress in the sky?" He said, clearly proud of his discovery.

I put my hand over my heart, feigning shock.

"He gotcha there sir…" Said Minerva, amused.

"I don't know, maybe I have a generous sponsor?" I suggested.

"Who the hell would want to sponsor some random Italian dude who wants to be a superhero?" He retorted.

That was a little harsh. But I left it there.

"Haha. He got you again, sir." Said Minerva, not acknowledging my loss of interest in the joke.

After a quick breakfast, I stood outside the apartment door, waiting for Primus.

"They're taking their time aren't they?" I said, Impatient.

"They?" Said Minerva with a knowing tone.

"Yeah, you know what I mean" I said.

"You really want her coming along, don't you, sir"

"Can't hurt to have a doctor around, besides, talking to nobody but you and Primus will drive me insane."

"Don't think I haven't noticed, sir. You've said more apologies to Angela than I think I've ever heard you say to anyone."

"Apart from you, probably"

"I never took you for the kind that uses kindness to convince people to do things."
"Didn't want to waste any more drugs"

"Aww, looks like Il Gatto is going soft"

"Shut up, they're here" I said, slightly ticked off.

"You adore me, sir" She said with a laugh.

Admittedly, that got a smile out of me.

Which disappeared as soon as Primus showed up.

The two of us began to make our way to the Cloud but surprise surprise…

"Wait!" Angela ran up behind us.

"I'm coming with you" She told Primus.

Primus and Angela started talking, I was a little too far to hear their voices. But regardless.

Bene. Exactly what I was hoping to hear. I left the two behind to talk it out. I wouldn't have to hear the whole thing.

I already know exactly how that conversation will go.

"Looks to me like you've got your doctor, softy." Said Minerva.

"Blame the billionaire playboy charisma"

Within the hour, everyone was assembled at the helm (including Angela, obviously).

"Minerva, now it's finally time." I was trying to sound professional, but there was part of me that could barely contain the excitement. I fly once more.

"Alright sir! Egypt here we come!" She said.

The engines rumbled, and like a bird in the wind, we swept across the Zurich sky.

Primus stumbles and nearly falls on his ass, not accustomed to the speed.

"It's brand new and it's already making me proud" I laughed.

After our flight was well underway, I put myself to use, adjusting various systems on the bridge.

All the while my mind trying to cope with my situation.

I beat up thugs on the street. I'm good at that. I've been good at that since I started.

But this? International terrorist organizations and Science fiction horrors. To say I doubted myself would be an understatement. Beneath it all, I am what I am, a single man. My time in Switzerland made that very clear. I'm not invincible and this time around, I have a major weakness. I don't entirely know what I'm going to do.

"Hey, umm, Gat? Do you have a smeltery or a general area where you can build weapons and armour?" Asked Primus, who was right behind me the whole time I was having my existential crisis.

"It's not the 18th century, nobody has smelteries. But there is an armor room if that's what you're talking about… Why?" I asked, suspicious.

"I want to build some weapons for myself. In case something happens, I need to be able to defend myself." He answers with an unreadable smile.

Is that arrogance? Snark? Or is he genuinely smiling? Cazzo I need to get him off my mind.

"Fine, Minerva will tell you where it is. There are also some materials you might need… I wonder what incredible inventions are waiting in your oh so clever little head!" I said, spitefully.

"Gee, thanks Gat! You're awesome!" He says.

Fucking imbecile.

"Okay Jayce, I guess I'll lead you to the workshop now." Said Minerva.

"Thanks, Minerva!" Said the excited man child.

Lets hope he doesn't break anything that isn't his own bones.

I went to my cabin and meditated.

Or tried to anyway. I got bored and started doing push ups.

Until the sun went down.

We soared over the Mediterranean in the quiet night. The serene atmosphere made me long for my time at the Shambali Monastery. I would climb to the roof of my home there every night and sit there with a flask full of brandy which I had smuggled in by some delivery boys. The absolute silence as the monastery sat atop the mountain, frozen and serene in the harsh ranges of Nepal. Perhaps the only time in my life I truly felt like I was content.

I was pulled out of my contemplation by Angela this time.

"Good evening, I haven't seen much of you today. Your Cloud is certainly a sight to behold."

She smiled.

We were in the dining area, a room set on the underside of the craft. A large window pretty much made up the entire wall, showing the glistening ocean below and the endless expanse of the horizon beyond. I was seated at the dining table, your average IKEA size furniture for the tiny swedish home. I sat at one end in a chair, the only bottle of wine on the entire ship was on the table in front of me, as well as a plate of spaghetti I was trying not to finish too quickly, as I was starving from the exercise.

I beckoned to Angela to take a seat, there was a plate of spaghetti for her as well, across from me.

"Take a seat Amica. You generously offered me your hospitality in your home. You are welcome to be just as comfortable in mine" I smiled and poured myself a glass.

"Thank you, Gat" She said as she sat down to eat.

"Is there enough food here for the entire trip? I don't want to eat too much if there isn't." She said.

"Don't worry, there is enough" I said.

There really wasn't, this dinner would be the only lavish one we would have for the foreseeable future. Due to my request to Minerva to speed it up.

"You sure about that, sir?" Said Minerva.

Annoyed, I changed the subject.

"So.. you and this Primus fellow" I asked. "What is the nature of your relationship, if you don't mind me asking"
"Well, um, we're just friends. But if I'm honest-"

Primus bursts in cutting off Angela.

He excitedly looks around the room, but a curious look came on his face when he realized something.

"Oh, what a shame, there aren't enough seats. Too bad" I smiled.

I wanted this conversation to be private. If that means Primus eats after us, so be it.

But, ever the blind optimist, Primus perked back up.

"That's alright! You two can have the seats. I'll sit on the floor. So, Gat? Is there any food for me to eat?" He said.

Cristo, he doesn't give up. Well, I know how I can reward his persistence.

Instead of eating later, he can just starve.

The thought of it actually got me giggling. The alcohol deciding to take effect at this moment.

My giggling erupted into roaring laughter.

The two stared at me as I tried to contain myself.

"No" I managed to say.

"You said there was." Said Angela, looking at me, a little shocked.

"You assumed I was including Primus? He can manage without it, we didn't have time to stock up on meals, so we have to be strict with the food" I replied.

Primus stared at me.

"So there are food and chairs, conveniently for only two people?" Primus said, emotionless.

"How unfortunate." My voice was filled with spite.

He took a deep breath.

"I'm just going to sit over there if you need me…" He finally said, before sitting in a corner of the room.

This was my territory, he understood that. When the alpha says no food. No food amico. He can tell all his fairy stories and act as stupid as he likes. On my Cloud, he flies, but his bullshit won't.

My faceplate raised a little to allow me a sip from my glass.

Angela took notice.

"A-are you drinking?" She asked, she sounded uncomfortable.

Is she worried for my health? My judgement? Ah, whatever, allora its my choice.

"Ovviamente! This is Amarone wine from the year 2018! This stuff costs a fortune. I know someone who owns a select vineyard in the region." I said, smirking.

I gave Angela a wink as I said so, not sure how it would translate on the faceplate.

She seemed unimpressed. What ever happened to taste?
We ate in silence for a while. I nearly finished the bottle, and Primus was texting in his corner.

Eventually, he looked up.

"So… Gat. What's your real name?" He asked.

Sure, of course I'm going to answer that.

"I don't know, what's YOUR real name?" I spat back. My mind clouded with a substantial amount of wine.

"But I already told you my name, it's Jayce" He said, a little confused.

"That is the stupidest name I have ever heard" I followed up my retort with a swig from the bottle. Glasses are boring.

"Actually it does mean something." Said Angela, with a disapproving look.

"It means 'healing' or 'healer' in Greek mythology" she said, smug.

"She's got you there, sir" Said Minerva "Plus Jayce isn't really a bad name."

Why are they still teaming up on me. Fuck, I need a break.

I got up.

"I've got to go. Minerva, don't let them touch my spaghetti." I said. Not sure what I meant by that, but I said it with a serious voice, that'll show them, Cazzi.

I stormed off to my personal quarters.

"Sir, what was that back there?" Minerva asked

I pulled my helmet off and threw it on my bed.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, pissed.

"Your attitude towards Primus is a little bit extreme. Don't you think?" She said.

"He broke my fucking rib" I reminded her "and he is completely insane."

"So? Don't you want to be better than him? He still fed and sheltered you"

"Correction, it was Angela who sheltered me."

"Please sir, try to keep things civil, there is no need for conflict like this"

"Cazzo"

I pinched the bridge of my nose and shut my eyes.

"Minerva, the scans." I said

She didn't follow at first.

"What scans?"

"Primus' body scans" I replied "What did we learn?".

"A lot. Why?"

"I think we need to find out exactly what makes him the way he is."

I opened my eyes.

"And we need to find out how we can reverse it"

The remainder of my trip I spent in the research laboratory, picking apart Primus' DNA. There was an energy emitting from every strand, something subtle, but significant. I also put Minerva to work analysing the dark radioactive substance we had recovered from the first alien crash, dubbed "Minervium". The radiation emitting from said material seemed to mirror the behaviour of the energy from Primus' DNA. Equal, but opposite, like two ends of a magnet. I planned to test further but Minerva cut me short over the announcement system.

"We have now arrived at our destination. Please ensure that your seatbelts are fastened, and your food trays are locked in the upright position. Thank you for flying air Minerva. We hope you enjoy your stay in Cairo."

I looked out the window, and the glowing sands of the capital city of Egypt was almost too bright to look at directly. The pyramids loomed in the distance, surrounded by countless large modern buildings and infrastructure, nearly dwarfed by the imposing image of modernity. People bustled about. Poor, rich, young, old. Cairo was a diverse place, socially at least. Hover Cars and flying boats meandered through the skies.

The Cloud's cloaking system would struggle to function as efficiently in the bright morning sun here. I instructed Minerva to anchor the craft in a less dense part of town. Away from main roads and aerial traffic.

I suited up in stealth gear, not ideal for the heat, but it would help with my infiltration of the Anubis compound.

I packed light, carrying few weapons and only a handful of tools.

"If all goes well this should be a quick in and out mission." I told Minerva.

"Ha. That's what she said, sir."

I slapped myself on my forehead and nearly ended up short circuiting the entire suit.

Primus walked up behind me.

"Alright, its time to make a move" He said, determined.

I turned around to reply but was caught off guard by what I saw.

Primus had a massive sword strapped to his back, and a pair of gauntlets on his arms.

"Um… where did you get the gauntlets and the sword?"

"Ooh… these?" He looked at me mockingly "I built them!" he said, showing off the shining gauntlets and long red and blue sword, which was covered in strange markings.

My eyes widened as I looked him over.

"I built this stuff so I can defend myself in case we run into trouble here." he said.

Well, damn. I didn't expect him to actually make something in such little time. He knows a lot more than he admits.

"Yeah… about that… you're staying here."

He tilted his head, confused.

"What?" he asked.

If Talon is here, I'm going to find them. I can't risk Primus alerting them of my interference in any way, be it intentional or not.

"I don't have time for your mystical God bullshit. You're staying here. And don't. Touch. Anything." I said. I had my eyes turn red for effect.

With that I headed down to the vehicle bay and made alterations to my outfit. I had my stealth suit on, but on top of that, I put on a light trench coat, so that I would be able to move through the city on street level without much scrutiny. The heat would be quite unbearable, however, so Minerva made a tough call and suggested that I take my helmet off. I wasn't completely exposing my identity however, I had a pair of aviators and even contact lenses on to make me harder to recognize.

"You sure about these contacts?" I asked Minerva.

"Don't worry sir, they're convincing, nearly impossible to detect, and plus, they can scramble facial detection systems if necessary." said Minerva. "Besides, you need some sort of interface to help you process anything you see, since you won't have your faceplate to help."

She had a point.

I hopped out of the Cloud and onto the dusty outer roads of the city.

I had one main goal here, to prevent Talon from succeeding in their plans here.

But whether that means warning Helix so that they could prepare, or taking what Talon wants before they take it themselves… I still wasn't sure.

It would be a bit of a run before I reached the main city of Cairo.

I could use a little morning exercise.

Soon enough I had reached the busy heart of the city. People rushed around in the morning traffic, children scampered on their way to school, and everything seemed to be business as usual. Not nearly as developed as Napoli or Zurich, the city had a strange charm to it that was hard to describe. The scents of vendors selling herbs and spices mixing with the smell of gas powered hover vehicles and the dust in the air. A city steeped in tradition and technology.

I had little understanding of Arabic. Actually I had no understanding of Arabic. But Minerva was able to translate and provide me with Arabic phrases on my contacts that I could use to get around.

With help from a few locals and Minerva's GPS, we managed to zone in on Helix HQ. They were stationed not too far from the Anubis containment facility. Lovingly nicknamed "The Temple Of Anubis".

The building wasn't too tall, rather sporting most of its size in it's girth. The facility probably extended a good deal beyond what I could see. The word "Helix" printed on the front in both Arabic and English.

The day was young, and there didn't seem to be too much staff at their administration block.

I walked in to scope the place out undercover.

I tried walking past reception but I was called to the front desk.
"Hey! You! You cannot just walk in there!"

The front desk was staffed by a young egyptian man wearing khaki uniform who's badge read "Cadet Hamad".

I walked up to him. He didn't seem to recognize me, good.

"Excuse me, but who is in charge here?" I asked him.

"Ah, good morning my friend. Who is in charge? Well.. at the moment, it is a tough question. Technically it is supposed to be major Rogerson, but at the moment he is conducting field exerci-"

Hamad stopped himself.

"Heyy. Wait a minute. My friend I nearly accidentally gave you confidential information! No no there is no field exercise." He finished, folding his arms.

"Well… since your major is away, who is in command here?" I asked.

"Hey I never told you anything about him being away. If anyone asks you, I didn't say anything. Khalas? Okay? This is the third week in a row I am stuck with front desk duty." he said, slumping in his seat.

"I'd like an answer, Hamad." I said, with a slightly more serious tone.

"Okay fine, fine. Don't get so mad, otherwise captain Amari will-"
"I'll what?"

Hamad turned around with a startled jump.

Behind him was an Egyptian woman, wearing a navy blue Helix officer uniform. She had a green jacket over her shirt, with the sleeves rolled up, exposing muscular arms. Her hair was done in a short bob cut that reached her shoulders. But by far her most striking feature was her face tattoo. An eye of Horus, around her own right eye.

The name tag on her chest said:
'Captain Amari'

Hamad leapt to his feet and saluted.

"Good morning Ma'am!" He said, looking straight into blank space while saluting.

"At ease cadet" She said.

She then looked me over.

Amari.

That was a name I had heard before. A name I idolized when I was young.

"Captain Amari?" I asked.

"Yes, that's me." She replied.

She even had the eye tattoo...

"Like THE captain Ana Amari? Second in command at Overwatch?" I asked further.

She smirked.

"You must be familiar with my mother's work. Yes, THAT Ana Amari." She said.

I realized I was staring.

"Yes, apologies, you must hear that a lot." I said, still taken aback that my childhood hero's daughter was standing in front of me.

"Well, think nothing of it. Now, we would love to stay and chat but unfortunately Helix is rather busy at the moment. Maybe come back some other time." Said the captain.

"Busy with what exactly?" I asked, curious.

Suddenly her expression turned grim.

"Look, I'm a busy woman. I have more urgent things to attend to than to answer questions from a civilian. I asked you once. Leave." She said.

Hamad apparently didn't hear the "at ease" he was told, he stood, breathless looking back and forth between me and his captain.

"Fine, have it your way." I said, backing away.

"Oh, and for the record, I'd keep my guard up if I were you. There are people out there who could really cause some damage around here." I told them.

"Is that a threat, civilian?" asked captain Amari.

"I have more urgent things to attend to than answer you. Capitano."

The two looked a bit confused at the end there, because up till that point I was speaking Arabic (With Minerva's helpful contact lenses giving me hints) but my last word came out in Italian.

I hurried out of the building and back onto the street.

Shit.

A few streets away from the Helix HQ, I was hurrying down the street, trying to figure out what to do.

I wanted to try warning them first, but ended up pissing them off and landing back at square one.

I doubt they would take me seriously if I tried again.

Leaving my only remaining option as infiltrating the Anubis compound mysel-

"Agh!"

"Oof!"

I walked straight into someone without realizing.

The two of us were sprawled on the ground.

I got up first and helped up my unfortunate acquaintance.

"I am very sorry, I do apologize" I said, dusting off the man's clothes.

Then I realized he wasn't actually a man.

"Why thank you! It's not how I hoped we would meet again after all these years, but goodness. It's quite a change seeing you here, Leo."

It was Zenyatta. One of the Omnic monks who I had trained with half a decade ago at the Shambail temple.

I was completely speechless.

"What the fuck."

"Leo! My goodness, you look different. It's a small world after all, isn't it?"

I just stared at him. The omnic monk wore tattered robes and floated off the ground, just enough so that he was the same height as me, and his legs were folded.

Minerva chimed in.

"Uh, yeah… you're not hallucinating sir, it's actually him."

How… What… Why.

I snapped back to my senses and grabbed him by the shoulders.

I rushed him into a nearby alleyway.

He took my arms off of him.

"Now now, there is no need for violence, you could have simply asked me to follow you!" He said.

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE IN CAIRO!" I yelled at him.

The monk paused for a moment, waiting for me to calm down.

"Remember your training, Leo. Breath and focus…"

"Stop telling me to breathe, you don't even have lungs."

"Sir, that is not polite"

"Shut up Minerva"
"Who are you talking to, Leo?" he asked.
"Answer me mast- I mean Zenyatta." I said.

"Okay, fine. If you wish."

He looked at me, a little sad.

"I came because I was looking for you" he said.

"Who told you I was here?" I asked.

"Nobody. The Iris lead me onto your path."

My eye twitched.

What?

"Look, I don't know what the fuck is happening, Zenyatta, but we can catch up later." I said "You have to stop calling me by name all the time, I'm not supposed to be here."

"Then why are you here?" He asked.

How was I going to explain this.

"Its because I'm hunting down-"

"Talon." he completed.

"How did you know?" I asked, confused as hell.

"You are heading down a dangerous path. One that is dangerous enough for me to seek you out to counsel you. You are troubled, and Mondatta always sensed it. The world is changing, the Iris can sense as much." he put a hand on my shoulder. "Mondatta was unable to convince you to look to the Iris when you needed it most. I'm here to finish what he started".He said.

"The Iris told you I was after Talon?"

"Our destiny is not set in stone, we can still change what is to come."

I sighed.

He means well, and he knows something.

"Okay look, just come with me, and don't refer to me as Leonardo Carraro, he is supposed to be in Venezuela right now." I finally said.

We headed back to Helix HQ. This time I had a different plan.

"Zenyatta, wait out here, I won't be long." I told him as I headed back inside.

Hamad was still at reception. He had a coffee mug on the desk. Perfect.

He was reading a magazine or something, not paying attention to me as I came in.

I dropped a pill into his drink and cleared my throat to get his attention.

"Yes. What is it?" He said, putting away his paper.

He realized it was me.

"Hey, didn't the Captain ask you to go away?" He said, annoyed.

"I was just hoping I could use a restroom." I said.

"Ugh. Okay my friend, there is one just past reception on your left. Don't take too long, it's supposed to be employees only."

"Thank you very much" I said, walking past him to the restroom. I heard him sip his drink as I went past.

Upon getting in, I hid in a stall, where I took off my coat and pulled my faceplate out from inside it. I turned it on and placed it on my face. Upon doing so my suit activated and the rest of the helmet assembled around my neck and the back of my head, snapping to the faceplate and holding it in place. My gauntlets also formed around my arms.

"All systems online, sir." Said Minerva. "But stay cautious, I haven't had a chance to scan the building, or hack the security. It's up to you to stay hidden."

"Why haven't you gotten the drones to run a scan?"

"Helix has advanced anti aircraft measures and a very sensitive radar, they would be obliterated if they came close."

"Cazzo"

"Yeah, I know."

I hid in the employee restroom for about a minute.

And right on queue, Hamad stumbled in, nauseous.

"Ay, khara. Too much falafel." He said, trying not to throw up.

He opened the bathroom stall I was hiding in.

I had a pretty good remedy for nausea.

Unconsciousness.

I knocked him on both sides of the head with my gauntlets.

He fell to the floor.

I checked his pockets for anything useful, and found an access card.

It read "Room 27. Restricted entry".

"Looks like we are headed for room 27". I said with a smile.

I stepped out of the restroom and hurried down the hall.

"Minerva, I want every single security camera between me and that room disabled"

"Working on it sir."

The facility had numbered doors running down the length of it's corridors.

There were surprisingly few staff members around here, where was the rest of Helix?

35… 32... 29..

It had to be here somewhere. As I rushed down the corridors, I would occasionally see a security camera ahead of me, just as it was powering down.

"Keep up the good work."
"Hah, I can hack faster than you can run."
"I am NOT in the mood to race."

"Only because you'll lose, sir."
I rolled my eyes.

Luckily I had found the room I was looking for.

Outside there was a warning sign.

Danger, authorized personnel only

I opened the door and stepped in.

Inside the room things looked strange. I was in a small room with transparent walls, but beyond the walls there was a bigger room with a door and a large mirror on it. It was as if I had stepped inside a glass… box… inside a bigger room.

The door behind me suddenly locked, and suddenly the floor and ceiling started sparking with electricity.

"Sir, its a Tra-a -a-a-a-a-a-[_-}{\_\-_/\[-"

My suit began shorting out, Minerva's signal from the Cloud was being scrambled, filling my ear with static and error messages.

"Minerva? What's going on?" my voice modulator began fucking up, electricity sparked up and down through my suit. Luckily the inside was laced with insulative rubber, but that only dulled the pain of the voltage so much.

"AHAAGHHHHHHHHHH" I screamed trying to subdue the increasing pain and remain conscious.

Just as I began being able to smell burning hair, the current stopped. I fell to the floor.

The suit was completely fried.

Outside the glass box, the door opened and Captain Amari stepped through.

She had been watching me, that mirror was one sided…

A couple of other Helix soldiers were with her, armed with assault rifles.

The glass walls went down, and Amari knelt beside me. She turned me over so I was on my back.

"So, the world famous Ill Gatto, here in my base. I'm honored." she said, sarcastically.

I coughed, trying to get the burning smell out of my nose.

When I had finished coughing, I took a deep breath.

"What kind of fucked up room is this?" I asked, wheezing for more air.

"We leave key cards for this room with all cadets in case they are compromised, anyone who steals one will end up walking in and being tased." she said, proud of their fucking horrifying security system.

She said something in Arabic to the two soldiers who were with her who then nodded and left the room.

She offered me a hand.

"Get up, I think we can be civil, don't you?" she said.

I took her hand and she helped me up.

"So, you've heard of me?" I said.

"Yes, you've made rounds on the news. A vigilante who fights the mob." she said, a slight smile on her lips, but her eyes remaining determined.

She continued.

"The only reason we didn't fry you till you passed out, is because we respect what you've done. I respect what you've done."

"How touching" I adjusted my helmet's voice modulator, but it was completely screwed.

"You could have fucking killed me."

She chuckled.

"Don't be so dramatic, if we wanted you dead, you would be dead." She led me through the door and into a room with a table and a couple of seats. An interrogation room.

Fuck.

I've worked as hard as possible to avoid situations like these.

I sat down.

She sat across from me.

"So, is it coming off?" she asked. "That helmet of yours."

"No, nice try."

"I prefer to look people in the eyes when speaking with them."

Admittedly, it was a bit difficult seeing through the faceplate without the camera assistance.

I lowered the faceplate just enough so that my eyes were visible.

"Better?" I asked.

"It will do."

We looked at each other for a moment.

She looked fascinated, but confident. She knew she was in control, and had the air of a CEO meeting with an employee who showed excellence in the workplace.

I know because I've been on the other side of this situation.

She broke the silence.

"I have to ask, why do you do it?" she said.

"Because the system doesn't work. Crime will exist as long as there are people rich enough to put themselves above the law." I said.

Her smile grew wider.

"I like your spirit, cat." she said. "But my superiors won't appreciate your little stunt here at Helix, it's going to take more than spirit for you to get out of this one." she told me.

"Look, I-.. I mean.. one of my associates came here earlier and tried to warn you about a security threat, you turned him away, so I decided to get involved personally." I explained.

"Oh. That brat with the cheap glasses? Yeah, I was busy at the time, and Helix doesn't take tips from civilians."

"Cheap? Those aviators cost at least five hundred dollars! Classic Ray Bans!" I said, insulted.

"Okay, khara, sorry" she said, a bit startled. "What was this security threat you were talking about?"
"I came across documentations from a leaked source that indicated that the Anubis compound was a target for Talon operations, sometime in the near future. I wanted to know what they were after, so I came here to find out."

"Well, rest assured, Anubis is very well guarded, I have my best soldiers on the job."

"Switzerland was the last place they targeted." I looked her straight in the eyes. "And I think we both know what happened there."
Suddenly a good deal of confidence drained from her face.

"These documents you found, do you have them with you?"
"I can show them to you, but you have to let me go first."
She stood up.

"How do I know you'll come back?" she asked.

"I'm a man of my word." I said.

She narrowed her eyes at me.

"I would love to let you go. But I can't. What you did to Hamad is a punishable offense."

"Alright, fine. You don't have to release me, but just give me access to a phone or something, I can show you the documents if I can connect to my…" I paused and tried to think of something that wasn't 'Flying Base'.

"Intelligence sources." I finished.

She signalled for me to follow her out of the room.

"I can do that, but let's hope your evidence is solid, because if not we have to hand you over to federal police. You are a wanted man, Gatto."

She led me to a bigger circular room with computer screens lined against the wall, there were Helix officers supervising each one. A large hologram table was in the center, showing the Anubis compound.

"This is the command center." She said.

When we walked in, a number of officers looked at me. Some shocked, many angry.

A young woman holding a tablet in one hand quickly steps toward Amari and salutes.

"Good morning ma'am. Nothing to report from intel." she said.

"At ease lieutenant. I need you to get this man a computer."

"Actually, this will do." I said as I plucked the tablet out of her hand.

"Hey! Captain what-" she protested

"Not now Ame, lets see what he does."

I pulled out a messaging application and pinged the Cloud. After a few seconds I received a message back.

What happened sir? Are you alright?

I replied.

I need you to transfer the leaked Talon documents.

Right away sir. Please be careful.

She transferred the documents onto the tablet.

I handed the tablet over to the captain.

"There. Details of a cyber attack on the facility to take down the firewall and breach your defenses." I said.

She took the tablet from me and looked at it in disbelief.

"This is way too detailed, how long have they been planning this?"

"Long enough for you to start worrying." I replied.

She looked determined.

"Lieutenant, I want you to get these files analyzed, and make the required changes to our firewall"

The young woman nodded and hurried off to inform her fellow officers.

"Am I free to go now?" I asked.

She scoffed.

"Not until we have complete proof that those files are legitimate."

I got annoyed.

"Well, trust me. They're pretty fucking leg-"

I was interrupted by the sound of sirens.

"What's going on? Give me intel!" barked the captain to her officers.

Everyone panicked.

"Our servers are being hit by a virus, ma'am. We're going to end up losing all our data!"

Said an officer at a computer.

Amari panicked.

"Disconnect us from the external network then!"

"Ma'am, it's not coming from the external network!"

She turned to me.

"Was this you?"

"OF COURSE NOT!"

Suddenly the young lieutenant spoke up.

"Captain, I have an Idea. The attack pattern of the virus is similar to the one described by this document." she said, holding up the tablet.

"If it is the same virus detailed here, I could possibly whip up a program to effectively shut it down."

"Do it!."ordered the captain.

"I'm launching a counter attack, let's hope this works." she typed away.

She typed away at her station, the other officers and I crowded behind her, trying to see if her efforts would lead anywhere.

Suddenly, the lights went out.

For a brief moment, everyone held their breath.

I could practically hear every single heartbeat in the room.

The lights came back on.

"Defense successful, virus has been quarantined."

The entire room erupted in a collection of sighs of relief and cheers.

"Fuck, it worked." said the captain as she beamed at me.

I smiled, but she probably couldn't see it.

"What did I tell you, I'm a man of my word"

"That you are, Ill Gatto, thank you." she offered an arm.

"Friends call me Gat, and you're welcome."

"Well, Gat. Friends call me Fareeha." she said.

We shook hands.

"So… am I free to go?" I asked.

She tilted her head.

"Technically we should arrest you. But… maybe you were too fast for us and we couldn't grab a hold of you?" she said, suggestively.

I nodded in understanding.

"Ah… just slipped through your fingers."

She nodded.

The other officers gave me a brief salute.

I took my opportunity to take my leave.

"Minerva? Minerva?!" I tried making contact, but to no avail,

Fuck. I'm on the street dressed as a cat. In the heat. In public. Cazzo.

I hurried back to where I had left the cloud, clambering across Egyptian rooftops, attracting attention from confused pedestrians.

Eventually, when I was certain I was far enough away from the middle of town, I looked up to the sky and started waving my hands around, in an attempt to signal Minerva down.

The Cloud, emerged, and I hopped in.

I pulled my helmet off, sweating profusely.

"Fuck. This. Heat." I said, pulling off sections of armor.

"Sir, what the hell just happened?"

I explained the situation at Helix.

"Ah, well. That's a relief, this Fareeha of yours seems to hold you to a great deal of respect, I doubt she would have let you go if you weren't on the news for being a hero." Said Minerva.

"I don't know, something isn't right. I know I should feel better, because I stopped Talon from compromising the Anubis god program. But I don't. Something just feels wrong."

"Yeah, about things going wrong…"

Minerva paused.

"What?" I asked. "What happened?"

"They left."
"What?" I said, shocked.

"Yeah, it was strange, Jayce started glowing at the-"
"Primus"

"...Primus started glowing at the eyes." She finished.

"What the fuck? How? Why?"
"I'm not sure sir, and if I'm being honest, neither were they." She said.

"So they just wandered off?"
"Jayce said-"
"Primus."

"...Primus said he was being drawn somewhere, like something was calling him."
"Minerva COME ON! We can't just set him loose! He's dangerous!"

"Sir you cannot have possibly planned on keeping him forever."
"Just until I got an explanation for what Zurich wa-"

I was cut short by an explosion.

"Sir, I detected a detonation in-"
"No shit, I detected that too"

"...in the city center. Near the helix compound."

I ran to the observation deck and checked my live feed of city surveillance.

A cloud of sand and dust rose near the center of town.

I swore.

"Cazzo."

I put my helmet back on.

"For your sake,that better not have been your fault. Primus."

I was fully suited in combat armor and running down the streets, terrified citizens ran in, scattering everywhere.

Large swathes of dust were hanging in the air, people covered their faces to avoid breathing it.

"Sir, I don't think you should be down there on foot." Said Minerva in my ear.

"I'm dressed for the occasion, I'll be alright."

"Sir, I can have the Pantera operational at a moments notice, it will be safer for you."
"Minerva, its not ready yet. Its completely untested, if I drive that thing it's going to do more damage than whatever else is already fucking things up here."

I looked at my heads up display.

"Sir, drones have spotted multiple Minervium signatures coming from the blast zone."

My heart skipped a beat.

"Fuck, I think I'm reconsidering that Pantera thing."
"Sir, Watch out!"

A red blip appeared on my radar, closing in.

I looked up, an armoured figure with wings emerged from within the dust. It was flying straight at me.

In one hand it held a large ballistic weapon, and it wore a striking helmet on its head.

I readied my gauntlets.

Then I realized it wasn't flying.

It was bombing. I jumped out of the way.

It crashed on the ground, flying straight past me.

I turned around, startled. It lay motionless for a second, then slowly turned onto its back. I ran towards it, claws outstretched. When I approached, I realized what I was looking at.

"Hamad?" I asked.

"Ah, ya khara who the hell are you?" He said, wheezing after finishing his sentence.

I noticed his visor was broken on his helmet, half his face was exposed. He was wearing a Helix Raptora suit, standard issue flight capable armor that was known for surviving direct missiles. There was a fucking hole in his chest.

"Not, important. Tell me what happened here."
He looked at me more carefully.

"My friend! You are that Italian Cat! I know you! You knocked me out in that bathroom!"

"Sorry about that. But fuck, I'm asking you something, WHAT IS GOING ON?"

"Sir. Behind you." Said Minerva.

Instinctively, I turned around and swung my claw to catch whoever was behind me off guard.

Fareeha caught my arm, making me lose my balance and fall.

"Gat, calm the hell down, I'm not in the mood." She said.

She was dressed in a raptorion suit of her own, blue, and bearing resemblance to a falcon.

She pushed me aside and inspected Hamad's wounds.

"Captain, please, you need to leave, there is no stopping that thing!"

"Shut up Hamad, thats an order."
She looked him in the eyes.

"If my team doesn't make it, I don't deserve to survive either!" she said.

Her voice was trembling a little.

Whatever these two had seen, it was horrible enough to leave an Amari in fear.

"Fareeha, please, just tell me what you saw."
"Monsters." she said, not looking at me.

"More specific please" I asked.

"Robots, I think. They looked like it, large and armed to the teeth with all sorts of destructive weaponry. We've counted two of them, plus a smaller, more human enemy.

"What do we do captain?"
"We need to get as many people away from here as possible."

"Wait, two large robots? Did they come from the sky?"

Fareeha looked at me, a cold look in her eyes.

"They crashed straight into the city center." I could sense the dread in her voice.

"Hundreds, maybe thousands dead." She said. I stood up.

"These things, I know what they can do. You're right, we have to evacuate as many people as we can." Images of Zurich's ruined streets filled my mind.

"Minerva, activate the Cloud's defenses, I want you scanning the air for any more traces of Minervium, if you see one, destroy it at all costs" I ordered.

"My friend why are you talking to yourself?" said Hamad, his face drained of color. He was losing consciousness.
"Stay awake soldier!" said Fareeha. She grabbed his shoulders and tried to sit him up.

"We can get you out of this." She desperately tried to pick him up.

"Weapons are on high alert, I'm bringing the Cloud in to do a few sweeps." informed Minerva.

Out of the corner of my eyes I noticed a missile coming out of the clouds.

It was locked onto us.

"FAREEHA!" I screamed as I jumped in between the missile and her.

The explosion sent us flying into a building. I had wrapped myself around her in time to take a brunt of the force, but I was sure I had broken my rib again.

Fuck.

The wall we hit had collapsed.

"HAMAD!" She screamed as she wrestled out of my arms.

She stumbled out of the debris and looked around.

I got up and noticed that bits and pieces of his armor lay scattered all over the street.

My god…

Fareeha stood still, processing what had just happened.

She walked down to the middle of the street and picked up Hamads rocket launcher.

She then took off and flew straight into the city center.

"She's going to get herself killed."

"You nearly got killed yourself, sir." said Minerva.

"Who cares, look around."

I knew what I had to do.

"I can't let her die as well."

I ran into the fray.

As I got closer the dust got thicker. Cars lay crashed and burning, ruined buildings were strewn. Bodies filled the streets.

I heard rockets detonating somewhere in the city. Fareeha, most likely.

Closing in, I heard the sound of footsteps coming from nearby.

I ran toward the sound and found that it came from inside a clinic.

I stepped inside and found that it was filled with civilians.

They looked at me, scared.

"Please, don't kill us!" a man in the front of the group screamed out.

"Shut the fuck up!" I said. "Someone will hear you."

"Sir there's at least 40 people in here." Said Minerva.

"We have to get you out of here" I said. The terrified people looked to me, waiting for me to say something more.

"Well? Lets go!" I said.

"But the monsters, they are at our doorstep." One woman said.

Just as she said that, I saw a grenade roll in from outside.

Whoever the fuck keeps trying to blow me up is doing a disturbingly good job of sneaking up on me.

I threw myself on the grenade.
"EVERYONE GET OUT OF HERE"

The explosion shook the building to its core.

The entire building collapsed on top of us. Nobody would have survived.

But as the dust cleared everyone was intact. The entire group of civilians was unhurt, in fact many of them even looked better than they did before. My rib didn't feel broken anymore.

I noticed that the entire place was being illuminated by a warm yellow glow.

I looked up, and saw Zenyatta, hovering over the ground, emitting his aura. His three holographic arms were spread out as well.

"What the hell…"

"We are all one… within the Iris." He said to me. "Where did you go? I was looking for you Le-... I mean Gat."

"Long story."

I looked up from the wreckage.

And I finally found my giant robots. Not too far in the distance, I saw them. There weren't words. Three in total, two large and metallic, one smaller and more humanoid.

They fit Fareeha's description. Large metallic beings with thin dark purple bodies and massive wings on their bodies were not as big as the one from Zurich, bet they did bear a resemblance. But the smaller one. The human sized one. His entire appearance just screamed Wrong. His armor plating was the same deep purple as Minervium. His helmet was entirely black except for the purple visor, and silver plating over where his mouth would be.

They were a few hundred meters away from the clinic. Hovering at a considerable height. They were spinning around and firing wildly, trying to hit something. I looked closer and spotted two Raptorion suits.

"Fareeha…" I said.

"What?" Asked Zenyatta.

"Nothing. Get these people out of here. I'll deal with those three."

"Good luck Gat. But remember, not every situation can be won by force alone."
"Yeah, let me go and debate the fucking alien robot death machines. I'll deal with this however I have to, just do your part."

He sighed, but nodded in understanding.

I left him to tend to the survivors, and headed for the invaders.

"Hey! Cazzi over here!" I yelled trying to distract them.

Unfortunately, the first one to hear me was one of the Raptor suits. He looked back at me and didn't notice the smaller alien firing his laser. The shot landed in his back and sent him crashing.

"Shit."

The monsters all turned to me.

The small one looked like the leader, as the other two waited for his instruction.

"Destroy it." He said.

The other two aimed their arm cannons straight at me.

Fuck.

I was sent flying by this blast, my armor being pushed to its limits.

"Sir, your left leg is-"
"Hurting like a bitch" I groaned.

The explosion had knocked me well away from the center of town.

I was in a more wide open sandy area, dust covering my faceplate.

"... Broken, sir. It's broken." finished Minerva.

"We need to keep their attention as long as we can"

"Sir, you cannot kill them alone."
"I'm not alone, am I?" I said. "Bring her in, the Cloud. Make these things pay for what they did."
"I fully intend to sir. Weapons are nearly fully charged up."

I looked up, the aliens were coming back to finish the job.

"Minerva, if they kill me, please make sure you fucking finish them off."

"Don't say that sir."

"Thank you. For everything." I lay in the sand, the searing pain in my leg only getting worse.

The robots had returned, their leader front and center.

"You fool. You don't realise what is at stake."

"Vague much?" I said, straining.

"Once we eliminate that idiot, our plans will fall into place."

My eyes widened.

"Primus?"

"Hmm.. is that what he calls himself? Why did he name himself after that fool."

"You did all this, because you want to find him?"

"Maybe, maybe not. It isn't your concern really. You should be worrying about more… pressing issues."

His friends aimed their cannons at me once more.

They fired.

I closed my eyes.

I heard an explosion.

I opened my eyes and found myself in Fareeha's arms. Is this supposed to be heaven?

No. This was the third time I had survived an explosion within the last hour.

She had swooped down and grabbed me before the missiles hit.

"I guess we're even" I said.

"Are you alright?" She asked, eyes dead ahead.

"No, my legs are broken."

"They killed major Rogerson." She suddenly said.

"I saw his body on the street just a second ago."

I realised there was a tear in her eye, just visible against the tattoo.

"What happened to the rest of helix?" I asked.

She landed outside the dust cloud.

I looked around, we were in an open sandy area, Raptor suits were littered everywhere. Bodies, limbs, and armor were strewn around craters and rubble.

"Cristo" I said under my breath.

"Yes" I heard a voice behind me say.

We turned around.

"Look around, look at what happens to those who challenge Unicron." It was the humanoid invader.

"I'm out of fuel." said Fareeha. Her voice was filled with defeat.

"I'm not." I said, standing up.

The pain was bad. But I was still alive. I would make the most of it.

"Sir, what are you doing." Minerva asked.

I pressed a button on the inner arm of the suit. I had one more trick up my sleeve.

"Sir, I know what you're thinking. It won't be enough." She said,

"It's all I've got."

The larger robots aimed their cannons at me, primed.

Suddenly, another armored figure this time in red and blue landed in between me and the enemies.

Lots of armor today.

Purple genocide man seemed amused by this.

"Well, if it isn't the prime. It's about time you showed up. These two have been pretty boring if you ask me…"

Primus? What in the goddamn.

I looked at the red and blue armor. The gauntlets looked very similar to the one's Primus made on the Cloud. Holy shit where did he get the armor?

"Do you know what happened to the last person who threatened me?" Said Jayce. "He blew up."

Definitely Jayce, he must be talking about Zurich.

"Yeah!" I spoke up. "He blew up my fucking ship! And speaking of my ship…" I turned to the sky.

The Cloud uncloaked, it loomed over us, weaponry primed and aimed directly at the threats.

A capsule launched from the front, it landed right next to me.

I opened the hatch and stepped in, where my suit was quickly fitted with bulkier armor.

I stepped out again, ready to take the fight to them.

I charged at the leader, the upgraded armor propelling me forward, I let out a roar as I thrust my fist at his face.

But just as I came close enough to connect…

The purple figure swats me aside with a single hand, sending me flying across the battlefield.

I blacked out.

I woke up, Fareeha's face was the first thing I saw. Okay, was this heaven?

Then I saw Zenyatta's face. Fuck. I'm alive aren't I?

"He's awake." Said Fareeha. She looked very concerned.

How long was I out?

Almost as if she could read my mind.

"You had me so damn worried. You were out for at least twenty minutes. I thought you were dead."

"He very nearly was…" said Zenyatta.

I looked around me, I was in the Cloud's medbay. Medical droids were just powering down around me.

"What… what happened?" I asked.

Fareeha explained.

"You were knocked out. The man in the blue armor-"

"Jayce Primus" added Minerva.

"... yeah him. He took on all three of them, he had a large glowing sword which he used to fight him. This craft, the Cloud, it also assisted in taking them down."

"Yes, I was quite on point with my aim if I do say so mysel-"

"In the end, they kicked up so much dust that we couldn't actually see the end of the fight."

"Primus killed ALL THREE?" I said.

"With my help of course, sir." Said Minerva.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP"

"SHUT UP"

Said me and Fareeha said in unison.

"Where is he?" I asked.

"I'll call him back, sir." said Minerva, a little hurt.

A few minutes passed.

I learnt from Zenyatta that he managed to save the civilians, and that he 'sensed' my pain and came to find me. He was able to keep me stable, along with Fareeha, long enough to get me back in the Cloud after the fight. Angela was back in the Cloud too, she said that Primus got his armor from an ancient hidden alien Egyption tomb. Apparently his eyes started glowing and showed him the way to the crypt where the weapons and armor were kept. How? What?... uh... I don't fucking know. This shit just confuses me.

But one thing stuck out in my mind. Primus may be innocent.

But he is still dangerous. The aliens. The machines. Whatever they were.

They were here For Him.

He attracts destruction and death wherever he goes. Not because he wants to. But because he has dangerous enemies. Unicron, that's what the invaders called him. That's what Jayce said he was sent here to fight.

While I was still contemplating the entire revelation, Primus walked into the cargo bay. All of us were gathered here, waiting for him.

He stepped inside, and the bay doors shut.

He was still fully armored, his armor was battle worn, but still looked like it was made yesterday. His helmet hid his face. But the blue and red exterior wasn't going to scare me.

He stared at the floor.

We looked at him in silence for a second.

I decided to step up to him.

I stood barely a foot away from his face.

Well?

"What the fuck was that?" I demanded.

He didn't react.

looks like the truth isn't going to come easy.

I never pick the easy option anyway.

I will find out how to protect my world.

I'm not letting Primus stand in my way.

No more mister nice guy.

My eyes turned red.