"This isn't funny, Shadow."
"I think it's totally hilarious." The Bunny let out a light chuckle, before his head drooped to look at the ground. Shadow kept a clear sarcasm in his voice. He wasn't really joking, at all; But at least he would play along for the sake of possibly annoying Zax for his own amusement. With the one thing that he maintained throughout all his life; sarcasm. Meanwhile, she was clearly having none of it, clenching her fists by her sides and gritting her teeth. This was really an awful, truly annoying joke he was pulling.
"Okay.. Okay.. Not funny... Can you be serious now? Don't be on the level with the person who tried to eat you." Zax pauses for a moment, taking in a deep breath as she turned heel, and planted herself back on the couch. Bringing her legs up in a criss cross manner as she rested her palms on her knees. Psychotic.. that was a word that stuck with Shadow for some reason. The Android took notice of his silence, shooting a concerned, and even an annoyed gaze at him. Was he just going to keep this sick joke going? Or was he just having a breakdown? Zax was left wondering if what he said was true, which left an uncomfortable and awkward aura in the room.
"Why would I REALLY joke about something like that? Look. Zax. I'm going to need help here.." He began to approach the oddly tranquil Droid, who just kept her stare on him like a hawk. Deciding just not to even speak until he further explained himself.
"This isn't the first time you've joked like that. Don't be suprised when I don't believe you." She frowned, crossing her arms in a stubborn manner. Turning her head away with a huff as her eyes shut. Like dealing with a child, Shadow thought to himself. With that, he slowly sat beside his Creation, leaning forward with his hands together.
"I get it. Humor isn't your thing."
"..What's that supposed to mean?" She retorts, turning to face him as her robotic blue orbs opened to give him yet another annoyed glare.
"No! I.. didn't mean it like that. I.. sort of. I got used to being... alone. Sorta forget how to be politely social, alright?" Orange may have escaped, but Shadow wasn't about to get anywhere catching him without the help of Zax. "Maybe forgot some manners too, but I'm trying slowly." It didn't seem like Shadow was even getting anywhere, and just going off topic. "Alright, if you don't believe me, fine. That's fine. I'll just go OUTSIDE all alone and find him." Shadow raised his hands in defeat, and turned to face the doorway. Facing his back to the Android, who sat in a stunned silence now.
"..." It hit Zax like a pile of bricks. Outside? That was something way different. How'd he-
Shadow answered the questions before they came up in her mind, as if he knew she even had them. "I can't answer everything, but look. He managed to.. store energy in a way. Wake himself up when he wasn't being watched, and just.. break out! Can you believe that! The nerve of that little.."
"SHADOW! What EXACTLY did he do?!" She grabbed him by the shoulders, shaking him back into it just as he began to start mumbling and talking to himself.
"WHAT! Oh.. yes.. that bastard.. sabotaged my work! Disrupted my damn computers, and threw shit everywhere! Then Orange just.. up and left after smashing everything! You were charging here, I assume.. and I must've been asleep! THE ONE TIME I WAS ASLEEP, ZAX!" Shadow seemed to really start getting angry about this. Maybe because both his Creation escaped, and broke things of his. Or maybe just, he was always just a hothead. But what he spoke of was something Zax would never even notice, considering she never really left the main rooms. The hall leading to the lab and outer door was something she never really went to see, since the Bedroom, Kitchen, and Living room were interconnected. Along with the seemingly indefinitely locked Security room with all the things in it. Not like Shadow bothered to explain when she brought the subject up.
"..We need to find him, Shad. But.. look. Don't upset yourself thinking you caused this. Get yourself together.." She nodded to him, only to realize he was dozing off against the couch, as if on the brink of passing out. "Shadow! Are you even listening to me? Quit dozing off and mumbling on me!" That seemed to wake him up, and got him to straighten up.
"I hear you." He sighed, having to internally cool and rethink his attitude on himself for this entire situation. Finally standing up in unison the Droid, as they left to examine the Bunker's entrance and Lab door. "Look, Shadow. I know we don't exactly.. get along the best. But look, for.. the record, you're going to have to get better at your socialbility. Makes things much easier you know, out there and all." She spoke as they walked, as this was going to be interesting, and Zax couldn't lie to herself and say she wasn't excited. But for Shadow, he was starting to feel drozy again. It felt as if something was just surfacing. Returning. Remembering. Why did this keep happening? Shadow couldn't keep his mind straight, or clear one bit.
'I hear you Zax.'
October 24th, 2036
"Jack! You even listenin' to me?" A voice snapped Jack out of his thoughts. He, and the person were currently in his office. A small, dainty thing near the top floor of the Alkaloid building. One of the tallest skyscrapers in Crofield. Just being up there always made Jack feel professional and egotistical about how he was praised within the Company. But now-? It felt like everyone was out to get him.
"You were just calling me a Psychopath." The Scientist responds, leaning back in his seat. Behind him, was a large window. Letting in the natural sunlight into the dark, gloomy office. It was filled with decorations, awards, and framed photos. Yet everything seemed unorganized and messy, with scattered paperwork lying all around. The Human Jack let out a sigh, as the other remained quiet. Running a hand through his messy, unkempt brown hair. He had really let himself go at this point, and he felt it was only a matter of time before he did.. well, something.
"Jack. Please. Listen to me. Not as your Boss, but as your Brother! You have to get yourself together man, you can't just let everything you've done go to shit just because YOU feel like it! What's the matter with you?!"
"Jake. Honestly? You can fuck right off. You don't know ANYTHING about what the hell is going on! Don't you understand?! I'M AT THE TOP! ME! You, or anyone else can't fucking tell ME what to do. None of you godamn copy-cats can steal what's mine, so just quit trying." Jack responded, then letting out a sarcastic laugh as he kicked his feet up onto the desk, his mouth curving into a smile. That's it, show it to that idiot.
Jake's dark eyes looked his Brother up and down in disblief, before standing up and storming right up to the desk. Slamming both hands down onto it, making sure to get the Maniac's attention. "Listen up Jack. This has gotten to your head. This isn't you! Think about what you're saying! What would Mom-"
"Don't you fucking bring her up." Jack threatened, his smile fading. With his dead pan look glued to the former. Only showing off how unstable the latter really was. Matted hair, dark shade around his eyes, as if he was a serious insomniac just to add to his list of problems. Along with the loose, crumpled clothing. Hanging Tie, sleeves rolled up, collar undone.. the stereotypical stressed businessman. Jake couldn't be anymore worried.
"Mom. Wouldn't want to see her favorite Son turn out like this. Look.., I've made an appointment with a Therapist for you. Please. Attend it tommorow, and call me afterwards."
"Fuck you." Jack responds, grumbling under his breath. Clearly there was no reasoning with him.
"Great. All you do is curse at me for every little.. thing. Just. Think about it Jack. For your own safety on many fronts." Jake reassured, before taking in a deep breath before the Scientist, and exiting the office. Leaving Jack alone once more in the mess of his office. He couldn't believe this. Now his own Brother was after him. Getting him to give up his claims and position just for some.. what? Some bullshit doctor? He had a right to what he created, and he wasn't going to be sastified until everyone quit their copying and intruding on what HE does!
That's it. He stood up from his chair, and turned around to face the window behind him. The wonderful view of the City before him, with the central Park taking prime view. Bright, lively green trees and shrubbery. The clear, whispy blue sky. It was calm. With that, he was able to see some of his reflection in the glass. Glancing into his own gray eyes with a deathly gaze. This is what he had become? Maybe Jake really was right. Maybe.. just maybe..
He should go check in the basement. See what the 'ol lab had become. Where his Prototypes were. Maybe Tesla had something to say. Maybe the others too. He wasn't about to go down without a second opinion from an Android. His own Creation non the less. What a short, yet.. surprisingly impactful confrontation. He'd be sure to either punch Jake, or thank him later.
Shadow had been left to his own episode, back pressed against the wall. Leaving him in a dazed, angry mood at this point. These thoughts felt like they weren't his own; they couldn't be. He wasn't some crazy person! It felt like a Movie playing out in his head, so vivid, but it couldn't have really happened, could it? He used to be Jack after all. But even then, he didn't remember much before he became how he was now. Maybe it did really happen. The Scientist sighed quietly to himself, slinking himself off the wall and taking in a heavy, shaky breath. Seeing that Zax had already went into the room earlier, that left him alone in the hall. Only listening to the sound of his own breathing among the stale, depressing air around him.
'C'mon Shadow. Get It together. What would Zax say if she saw you like this?.' He thought to himself, finally fixing himself and standing straight. His void black, alien hands gripped at his head. Let everything settle back into place and just- calm it. For Zax. Why did the door feel so far away from him? Shadow attempted to reach out, only to muck that up and collapse into the nearby wall. Clutching his dark head as his protruding bunny ears drooped beside his head for once. He wasn't going Insane or something was he? Of course not! He staggered to regain his balance and train of thought. "Don't just start losing it when the real crazy one JUST escaped.. jackass." He muttered out in between shallow, cold breaths. It was true, and he needed to get back to it. This was all taking him back mentally to Jack. Although that thought, was buried a long time ago. He has nothing to do with that Man now.
That's exactly what he was going to do. As he did so many times before. It's best to forget than to live in misery at things he felt he had no control over. Shadow finally adjusted himself, and had to just let the thoughts exit him. Now was not the time, and the time would never come to get lost in his own outside memories. He made his short way to the door, and pushes it open with what strength he had left. The Laboratory he saw once more, was a huge disastrous mess. With Zax fumbling in the back with his computer. Three screens, a keyboard, and a basic, yet powerful set up for the Scientist to catalog and store critical information. The Android was panicking, tapping and furiously hitting the keyboard. Shadow entering didn't seem to even affect her from this business, only adding to his confusion.
But only once did he get closer behind the female, did he notice the problem. Each screen was blank with a simple error: "BROKE YOUR STUFF, STOLE THE SCUFFS- ANYTHING YOU LEFT ON THIS HERE COMPUTE-RRR! FIND ME WITH THE CROWS! - LOVE, YOUR BEST BUDDY! :3" Zax had opened a command prompt and seemed to be trying to override the crude block on the Computer, met with minimal success of course. The Scientist watched on in a bitter, annoyed silence at the hack. He hadn't noticed this before, or maybe he was just too busy with the physical items lying about. Shadow laid his hand along the Droid's shoulder, making her react with a surprised yelp. Snapping her head to the side to peek at who was behind her. Sighing in relief as it was just Shadow. Who else, anyways? Not like Orange broke his way back in.
"Shadow, I- I can explain, I found it like this, an-"
"Orange did it, I know." He grunted, quite annoyed at the dumb message the Psycho left behind. Probably as a form of mockery.
"Yeah uh.. sorry, just trying to patch up what I can first. He stole the data off this thing and then locked us out!" She moved back from the Computer, planting her arms across her chest. On the other hand, Shadow did not move to it as she expected he would. Staying as still as as a Statue as his form loomed over the monitors. Thoroughly examining the setup and noticing that, while everything else seemed so damaged, the Computer was purposely left in good condition. "You looking for something? Because.. I checked all I could! I mean, nothings out of order or anything like that.." Zax piped in, watching him go through and check all the wires and details of the desk.
"This hack. Orange could've never done that on his own. He must've had someone do it from the outside." He responded.
"..Outside, like, uh-"
"Yes Zax. The outside. An intruder accessed the computer and they must've stole the files." He finished, turning to face the Android. She stood speechless, unsure how such a thing could even happen. Disbelief painted on her face, she spoke, "How could that have even happened!"
"Someone.. using another Alkaloid uplink.. not an organic being. They probably used Orange as a conduit to do their bidding.. I could even think they damaged his programming! That's why he's so.. mental!" Shadow seemed proud to concluded this, boldly smiling and gesturing with his hands as he mentioned each detail. "Then.. he accessed my computer and allowed them to tamper with everything.. Alright! We need to follow his trail.."
"Trail? How would we even find that- Oh.. wait. The crow thing?" She questioned, a baffled look present as she held the side of her head. Did that mean something she didn't get?
"Yeeee-up. Crofield. Oh how I missed the City, you just don't have the same excitement in a Cave." He responded simply, never shedding his cocky grin. Shadow figured it out, or so he thought. Now with a lick of thought as to where Orange was headed, all they had to do was track the Psychopath. It couldn't be too hard, now could it?
"You mean a Bunker." She corrected.
"Timiti, tomati, its all the same." He responds, a chuckle coming right after.
"Half of those were clearly wrong.." Zax mumbles.