"Out Of Time"
She didn't know how long it was, but all she knows is that she had to be focused on the fight. The mech prototype is proving to hold out even from her. She might be fluid on her movements, but Miranda has seen that the mech prototype, though with its weapons are sometimes sluggish, has dependable maneuverability if ever it needed to get out of a hairy situation. She took this in mind and kept her predictions wise. The directions she goes to also gets used against her. The mech prototype has long-range extensions of its own as she figured it out.
Miranda was holding out on her own as well, and was proficient in her current form with her gold-yellow chain-link metal layers keeping her protected but also adjusted to her bodily figure as she moved. She sometimes moved out of her defensive form and moved into offense since she sometimes finds new openings from the mech.
Using her extensions like loose whips, her offense tactic of using combinations with her fingers and arms to swing her Extension-Whips in attacking the mech.
Tide however was already annoyed. Activating one boost forward, he jumps back and slides before coming to a halt. He was panting within the mechanical suit, already seeing that he's at a disadvantage. His shoulder blaster cannons were already taken out of his suit. Though he's lighter, his own assurance for long-range combat is no longer existent. He chuckles at this, and decides on something when he spoke. "Dear dear Miranda. Even if you beat the information out of me, I would only squeeze my connections. Tyron is so deep in his own game that even I have no idea where to start looking for him.
"He said it once. I don't find him. He finds me," Tide concluded.
Miranda snorted while keeping her fingers folded, and her extensions out of her nails beside her. "That just makes it easier for me to hurt you."
"You have nothing to gain for hurting me, little girl. Acting like the spoiled child you are and not grasping the big picture of progress-"
"And you keep forgetting that using Sy-Tren metals directly is still against the law. I'm sorry if I'm acting this way, but your guilt won't be enough to save you." She said this while walking forward. "One of us will come out alive."
Tide grits his teeth while trying to control his rage. He controls the mechanical unit and walks forward as well. "Utopia of our making will be something you don't understand if you don't grasp our concept of preservation."
Miranda narrows her eyes at the mech while calming her tone. "That's your righteous mind speaking. Involving my family in this… It was a mistake. It will be your last." She suddenly sprints forward, making Tide react poorly. He tried to hold his ground by stopping and readying his arms. "That's exactly what I want you to do," she thought before she jumped from just 18 feet away before suddenly whipping her extensions towards the mech. And just as she figured, the extensions stuck to its arms while trying to possibly block whipping strikes. "Miscalculation," she thought then, "Your loss." Then she made her extensions' metallic layers spin like a saw before they completely cut through the mechanical arms, slicing it to sevenths each arm and made small explosions. Tide was heard screaming through the unit's intercoms while Miranda landed gracefully on the floor retracting her extensions.
Looking at the mech, Miranda saw it fall backwards to the floor. This was her chance of making sure the mechanical unit stays down. She sprints and jumps just as she was several feet away and landed on the chest of the mech while she felt its force. She heard her own feet tap while a small dent was made on the mech when she landed. Glaring at the mech's head, she puts her hands in front of her before her extensions quickly came out of her fingers. And as they extended and reached out all over the mech's body, she sub-divided every extension before she started to penetrate and cut through the mech's body.
Inside the mech, Tide was scared, feeling his own controls failing him and the inner parts of his mechanical suit being sliced from inside thanks to what Miranda penetrating the body.
And then Tide heard her speak, calm in her own tone but continued to conduct her activity of cutting through the suit. "Do you hear me, Tide? You will tell me what you know, even if it's just supplemental. I believe you when you mentioned you don't have much information about Tyron, but at least… you'll tell me your motivations." After she spoke, Tide saw the front screen turn off and the cockpit opened up revealing a half-angered Miranda with her chain-link irises red in color. Miranda retracts her extensions before she reached him with one hand and grabbed the collar of his clothing. She quickly pulls him and throws him off the mech suit, now with its legs cut off and its head no longer in place.
He lands on the floor and crawls back in fear. Sensing Miranda land in front of him and looking at him like a hunter after its prey, he got startled and crawled faster before he quickly got on his feet. He felt binds suddenly grab him from behind and tie up his arms and torso together, before he was pulled back and forced on his back. For several seconds, he heard heavy footsteps even as she walked casually. "Oh dear," he thought. "Would she mutilate me? What she'd do to me before interrogating me, will actually define her."
Miranda looked at him while she looked at his startled face. She tilts her head while gently putting her right foot on his chest. "Tell me something, Tide. Why help Tyron with this? Why initiate the conspiracy?" She asked this while she tried to stimulate a reaction with her foot gently touching his neck. She then released her extensions from her foot which slowly crawled to his face. Her extensions analyzed the emotional reactions of his face as well as some matching secretions of his sweat.
Tide didn't mind the extensions on his face as he looked up to her face, though human, no longer representing something that is fully human. He then looked towards one direction in the room where there was a disassembled mechanical unit. "You see one of the units over there? I know full well that he's using it as a model to raise an army of sorts. I built it for him, but the materials aren't made out of Sy-Tren Biometals." He hesitated to speak for a few seconds, seeing Miranda's neutral face and couldn't tell if she was satisfied with his answer or not. That's what fascinated him more and didn't feel any fear. Then he spoke more. "That however happened a decade ago. I've been long associated with Mister Tyron. He gave me the resources I need. But I always take it into mind to remove all the data related to my work and his contributions."
Miranda sensed Tide wasn't lying. She briefly looked at that disassembled mechanical unit and and made a quick scan before she looked back down at Jeffrey Tide. "How are you stimulated with what you'd discover?"
"I am VERY stimulated. I even asked Mister Tyron if I would be getting pieces of the rewards he gets whenever he finishes an operation. He does things using operations so certain events take place… seemingly unrelated at first until everything comes. Those operations last years if I'm right. He's more than a methodical man, Miss Pierce. He's… so much more." Tide said this just before Miranda's extensions were quickly retracted. He felt he was released from her foot before she suddenly knelt down and opened her hand before grasping his neck. He still had room to breathe as he glared at her. "Are you going to execute me now that you have what I need?"
She looked at him with patience. But inside, she felt she wanted her urge of killing him to come through. "Can you tell of my emotion?"
As soon as Tide was asked that question, he winced at it. He even chuckled at little and grinned. "Good to know I can't. It proves you were more than a success, Miss Pierce. You would be feared, while you can't be read by many of your future victims." He paused for a while before he continued. "One thing's for sure… They will bow down to you… in fear."
I felt I had a decision to make here. I have his neck on one hand. I could snap his neck as I look upon his eyes until he breathes his last. Or… I could penetrate his body with my extensions and damage from inside, then outside until he's no longer recognizable. And I'd do the second only if I have so much anger in my heart. He can't be allowed to live, so choosing his ultimate fate would have to be his way to go.
Then I had my decision in mind. And it's a lesser evil.
Miranda neared her face and mouth near one of his ears and she whispered. "They'll know your face. You'll be martyred. But that…" Her grip on his neck was doubled, making him start to choke. "…will not stop me. I'll find my ways around your admirers. I doubt you're always alone and without reputation. Now… Goodbye, Mr. Tide." She then raised her head away from his and saw him struggle. He even tried to move her arm, but she was too strong. Several seconds later, she increased her grip and looked him in the eyes. She continued increasing her grip until he suddenly breathed his last, and a snap was heard before his head went limp and his eyes were still.
Then she did the unthinkable and put her hand on his chest. Even if he has biologically a heart… he doesn't have the right one. She then suddenly puts her fingers on the corpse's coat. Penetrating the skin and meat all at the same time with her extensions, she pushed her hand into his chest with blood slowly seeping out. Digging into the chest of the corpse chest lead her to make a small smile in her face just before she pulled out an organ drenched in blood. She knew it was the heart to begin with. And putting it down just beside the head of the corpse, she squeezed the heart before it made a small explosion, covering her and the corpse with more pieces of what the heart once was. Her armor and skin slowly absorbs the blood and her back made blood-red light patterns just before they faded when they reached the mid-back, making her appear clean.
Finding a nearby locker, Miranda opens it and sees a female researcher's science attire before grabbing it. Her armor slowly turned back to her original nude skin to start with and grabbed the clothing for herself…
After that… Getting out was easy. I just had to blend in until I found a maintenance hatch. Everyone was panicking on what happened that they forgot security was the real issue. They even let me out because of it…
00:19… An older-style 24/7 highway diner…
Miranda was looking down while her elbows were on the table. She was seated on a long leather-covered chair with casually bright colors half-matching the rest of the diner's theme. The sound of the rain outside was the only thing she heard while being muffled by the windows that surrounded the diner. She softly sighs before she sensed the waitress was coming to her with a ceramic cup of coffee. The cup of black coffee was put down on the table and Miranda thanked the waitress who then nodded and walked off. She then proceeded to pick the cup of coffee up and sip some in.
There was a revelation. As soon as I was able to consume the drink, my scanners were going crazy, but it was bearable. For some reason, it had to be routine since it's my first time drinking as… a robot of sorts. At least that's what I first thought myself as. The scan showed its contents including the usual caffeine and a hint of sugar just the way I like it. Is my body able to feed off food easily? Or is there some other way this works? Those were the questions I had in mind.
Miranda puts her cup of coffee down and closes her eyes. She left reality again and opened her eyes, seeing herself inside the void and seeing the full-armored AI in front of her. "GX… There's something I need to ask."
GX who seemed neutral at the time had her attention towards Miranda. "You may ask."
"Is there anything specific I need to consume? I was wondering about it for a while now."
"Not really," GX replied then, "As I'm able to analyze it seems the bio-metal was able to graft itself onto your biology and made itself part of you. Because of that, I'm able to sense more of your body being influenced greatly by the metal you were injected with. So any of the food you eat becomes energy… or better yet the energy also goes to the bio-metal that is now part of you."
"Oh God…" Miranda muttered in disapproval. "What if there's something wrong and my mind gets hit? It should worry me."
"There's something else, Miranda." GX looked away briefly to think for a while before she turned her head and eyes back to her companion. "Your brain… I must tell the specifics. I've been examining your biological origins, or at least, part of it. Your brain is somehow unique right now. It once went through a process of brain healing."
Miranda nods and replies. "Before I was born, I was once supposed to be born via C-section since Mom had problems producing natural placenta. The latest technology of radial biology technology changed that and I was born, almost healthy. Apparently my brain was fragile from the moment the radiation hits Mom. It hit me too… and it had gotten me in danger of brain cancer and scarring.
"Then Dad had this idea. Few decades ago, he was able to formulate the solution to a problem that involved brain healing and how it can stay for a longer period of time without breaking. It involves a combination of fibrosis application and advanced neuroplasticity injection. He pumped me with that much until I was able to stabilize." Miranda sighed and put her hand on her face to try calming herself from what she told to GX before continuing. "He saved me after birth. If that didn't happen to me, I wouldn't be here at all." Looking at GX, she had a face of concern. "I don't want to consider myself lucky-"
"I'm not recommending you to feel compelled calling yourself fortunate," GX replied. "Your father was able to save you a great deal of suffering even if you never knew about it. Your own brain chemistry changed after that and several factors tied to one another even started to increase your intelligence at a faster rate."
"It was controlled," Miranda replied while crossing her arms over the other. "I was given motivation while I was bored. I was given something to do when I was too idle. That said, I got enough attention. Because of how it was, I'm completely different from the rest. But I still learned from the same age group… kinda."
"That said, you shouldn't worry about your brain being affected. Because of your origins, your brain is not susceptible to chemical damage. Remember: The bio-metal doesn't seek to control. It finds a biological host not to invade, but to co-exist. And eventually, I exist… your counterpart and your guide to what you are." GX smiled after her last statement.
And just as Miranda was to get to her full emotion of surprise, she opens her eyes in reality. She was called by the same waitress who served her coffee, having blonde short hair with no bangs or skirts on the side of her head. At this, Miranda raised an eyebrow. "Forgive me, but I was out of it for a while."
"Nah, it's fine. It's just…" The waitress spoke and hesitated, figuring out her next set of words just before she continues with a smile. "Pardon but… My sister… She studies at Saint Mary Guerrera's and she sometimes talks about you. You're Miranda Pierce, aren't ya?"
"I'm sorry. I'm Fran. Gin's sister. You know Gin Cole… the boy-like nerd but actually a girl and-"
"Yeah yeah… I'm sorry. Well, yes. I don't know her personally, but she's a great lab partner." Miranda was able to express her emotions by half as she figured she would. But it still is convincing as the conversation continues. "She helped me a few times to make a solution stable when it was overheating. That's… kinda how chemistry lands us."
"Yup… Gina kinda does that often. She's glad to help you." Fran replied this and scratched her head before taking a seat across Miranda's table. "Don't you find it weird she acts and looks like a boy?"
"I don't, really. In fact none of us do. All of us in there don't judge one another, or at least that's what I think." Miranda sighed, looking away towards the window where she saw droplets of the rain land and slowly descend down to its base. "I'm sorry. I… I'm thinking more about Dad. He… passed away."
Fran lowered her head and tried looking at Miranda even though the other didn't do the same. "I'm sorry. It's... I'm with ya. I kinda feel sorry right now-"
Miranda was listening in a partial blur while she was seeing more droplets come to the window and slowly descend, only thinking of what her times were like with her father Harold before he died in that explosion. She heard a critical choice of words when the thunder struck from afar and she winced. Shocked to hear of it, she looked right at Fran. "Wait… Could you please repeat that?"
Fran was a little surprised when she replied. "Oh…! Well… I know how it felt since I had a dad once."
"No, no… More recent than that."
"Oh, that. Harold Pierce's first death anniversary is today. Everyone's remembering it and they're gonna go to his grave the next morning. Your family's gonna be there-" But before Fran continued, she noticed something from Miranda, staring at the distance frozen. "Miranda?"
Miranda herself was in disbelief. "It… can't be…" she thought.
I thought at first it was impossible, but later on, I had no choice but to believe. It was already 2120…