Mirucullus – Episode 2: Klx the Chain-breaker – Arcetrium was a prison for inactive prisoners, located south of Aassiman kingdom on the eastern side of Dusky Desert. It was established almost two-hundred and fifty years ago, by the Bureau of Cyborg Security, also known as BCS, when the first cyborgs produced. Inside its premises were placed all those mechanical beings, which their initial programming had altered systems. Usually, it happened because of a virus, known as the Bug; a microscopic organism created by the chemical disposals of the two first big Cyborg factories, located in Cojarna desert. Also, later in the years to come, many thugs managed to hack and manipulate them into doing crimes while they were hiding in their lairs.
The prison building had three floors, two of which were underground. In the first one, BCS kept the cyborg’s heads, using their information in case someone wanted to check their old files. In the second, they were holding their bodies, selling them for spare parts in a small prize, since the growing danger still existed in their bodies. Despite the previous floors, no one knew what was laying hidden in the basement of Arcetrium or how large and tall it was. A well-protected secret, even from someone like Daphne, who had just arrived three days after the incident in Minalstis.
As she was walking in the lobby, she noticed the four flying armed drones on each corner, and a big sign saying: ‘Do not expect to be treated like your ancestors did.’ It was a famous quote by Temperepus, a great general of Aassiman kingdom, who used it to warn his enemies and their spies during an epic battle, on the Dusky Desert almost two-hundred years ago. Reading his name Daphne giggled, as she recalled the so-called hero and his drinking problem. They were always fighting for the last drink, and he was losing every time. The room had solid steel walls and on the wall in front of her she could see a dark-haired young guard clad in green uniform and protected by a bulletproof glass.
“Evening officer Genero.” She greeted while she could see the tag on his chest, “I am here to check the database of a particular cyborg.”
The young officer didn’t seem willing to assist her, but after releasing a deep sigh he spoke: “I will need your permission ticket from the embassy in Aassiman.”
“I don’t need one …” she said firmly, “… I am a founding member of the embassy.”
“That’s impossible.” Genero gushed, “The embassy was founded five hundred years ago. What are you, an immortal?”
“Yes, you idiot! I am an immortal!” She shouted and reached her hand, “Check my ID. Something you should have done already!”
Pressing a button on her left hand, a hologram of her appeared. Next to it, amongst an extended digit and her full name, which was so long that the young officer didn’t even check, there was a long list with all of her titles. One of those was naming her as one of the founding members of the ‘Embassy Program’; an initiative between the nine kingdoms, which was dictating that if a citizen wanted to use the services of a kingdom he didn’t belong, he would need a permission ticket from the local embassy building.
“Sorry ma’am …” said the officer surprised by the age he had read, “… I will call for someone to escort you to the main hall.”
Daphne nodded, and her gaze dropped once more on the flying armed drones and the quote on the wall. She giggled again.
Less than twenty minutes later, she was following a Floor Manager tagged with the last name ‘Morrise” in a slow pace that was irritating her. He had short gray hair and looked in his mid-fifties. He was wearing a navy-blue uniform and a black set of slim goggles on his face, blinking a red light every three seconds. Around her, she could see an endless room with countless rows of desks. On the ceiling, she observed many of the armed drones and cameras, following almost every step of her.
“Once again, I am sorry about what happened to the guard,” Morris said as they were reaching their destination. With his arm stretched forward and his palm facing up, he pointed the desk she was going to wait, “Here we are. Which cyborg unit would you prefer ma’am?”
“The X-355LK” she answered without responding on his pleads for forgiveness.
Morris touched his goggles on the right side and after a short mechanical sound he read something so interesting that made him giggle.
“Klx the Chain breaker …” he said and raised an eyebrow, “… what an interesting name.”
“Do you know how he earned this title Mr. Morrise?” Daphne asked with her gaze turned on the opposite way.
“No.” he answered abruptly, “Even though, from what I read in his description, he was quite the killing machine.”
“Yes, he was.” She said and turned her gaze on him, “But his outrage was more than justified.”
“With all the respect mam, you can’t justify a mass murder of forty-five people,” Morris stated frowned.
“You can if you know the real story behind those words in your report Officer.”
“What do you mean?”
“Klx was a killing machine indeed. A trained, or, if I had to rephrase, programmed ruthless warrior. He was used as a bodyguard for a hotel in Meroro kingdom, called: The Green Figglow. Have you ever heard about it?”
“The name rings a bell, but not so sure,” he answered while he seemed fascinated by her story.
“You will at the end of my next reference,” she said, “Behind the walls of the six-floored hostel a gang named Saberus, dealing mostly with human trafficking and drugs, were having a new patch of children, all of them ready to be sold, or even worse.”
“I remember now!” he interrupted her with enthusiasm, and his voice echoed across the room, “The local authorities arrested the hotel owner as a serial killer!”
“That’s right …” Daphne said with her eyes narrowed, “… Klx wasn’t a serial killer, though. He was defending another boy, named Joshua.”
“The Bug made him chooses the kid over his masters” Morris realized, “That explains why he attacked the entire gang.”
Daphne shook her head and said: “It wasn’t the bug that made him kill his masters. That boy, somehow, gave him something more rare and dangerous from the Cy-virus.”
“What exactly was that?”
“Conscience …” she answered and remained silent for a while, “… Klx was fully aware of his actions, and he was taking revenge for that boy’s death.”
“Yes, he did …” she shook her head, “… you see, Joshua didn’t qualify for a product. It seems he was very smart to be a slave. So, they had to get rid of him. Now, you see how Klx’s actions were justified?”
Morris nodded, and he began moving his hands in the air as he was typing on an invisible keyboard. “Your order will be here soon mam. I wish you a good day, and thanks for the story. And, for one more time, I want to say how sorry …”
“No need Officer Morris …” Daphne interrupted him, “… do you believe that in all these years of my existence, Genero was the only rude guy I have ever met?”
“I guess not,” he said with a giggle and slowly moved away.
She was waiting behind the steel desk, which was so high that it made her place her backpack on it to lift herself. After a short time, a man clad in gray carried a box on the table. She immediately noticed the technician before she was a Harum, a rare race; almost near extinction. They had dark blue skin, pitch black eyes and pointy heads like obelisks with human facial features. Their arms were longer than humans and had only three fingers. On the top of their spine, they had a long tentacle, which for some weird reason it was expensive on the black market. That only placed them in the top five of any hunter’s prey list.
Opening the box, by typing a code on a small panel, he brought forth the head Daphne was anticipating to see. What was left of Klx had bronze color, and its top was round and shiny. Between two blue glassy eyes, it had a thick black line from the forehead to its chin. Afterward, he pulled four cables from the base of the desk and connected them to the back of the head. Just before he brought Klx back to its artificial life, turned his gaze towards the Cyber Gnome and asked: “Are you sure about that?”
Knowing it was his duty to ask for a final confirmation she nodded.
“Good luck.” The technician said firmly and by pressing a button on his suits’ left arm started walking away, “In ten seconds he will be activated.”
“You piece of shit!” Klx screamed with his electric voice, “I will give you something to handcuff! I will rip off your freaking arm and shove …”
Daphne raised an eyebrow and remained silent. Apparently the cyborg’s consciousness were still frozen on his arrest.
“Can you calm down please?” she said with raised voice, after hearing a series of Klx’s blasphemes towards his invisible invader, “They arrested you already.”
Hearing Daphne’s last comment, he stopped his threats tersely and after a short moment of silence, he said: “Daphne the last Cyber Gnome. Did you help them capture me? Where am I?”
“Arcetrium …” she answered in a low voice, “… and, no. I didn’t help them capture you.”
“You have a cyber-brain like me?”
“Then, do you understand how difficult is for me to believe you?”
“The data you have, is not updated. I am not a High Counselor anymore …” her answer sounded sincere, but her gaze was betraying a nostalgia from the time she was carrying out quests for the Nine Kingdoms, “… besides, I know well enough that you don’t have an ordinary cyber-brain.”
“What makes you say that Gnome?”
“If you had, you would never avenge Joshua’s death.”
Klx fall into frozen silence. The Cyber Gnome before him seemed honest. He could read her past accomplishments and battles. She was one of the stronger Illusionists across the realm when magic was still used over technology. She took part in almost every war and epic battle in history and was a member of parties that brought down tyrants and countless Abyss’ abominations. Nevertheless, the most importantly hidden detail about Daphne was something Klx could only read, and he was going to use it to escape that place. All thanks to his hacking abilities, which years ago helped him gain all the information from Royal Central Intelligence.
“What bring you here then Ex- High Counselor?” he gasped in a funny robotic way.
“I am in need of the knowledge you gained three years ago, after the hacking terrorist act you committed.”
“That wasn’t my intents; I assure you.”
“I know. You were looking for the Saberus gang’s leader location. Did you find him?”
“It’s not him, is her …” Klx specified with an agitated tone, “… and if she were dead, she would be the only woman in my list-to-kill.”
“I admire your perspective for vengeance,” she said with her eyebrows raised, “Rare for a …”
“A cyborg?” he interrupted her, “And it is not a point of view, Gnome, is blindness while I am walking on a blood path.”
“I might be able to help you with that Klx. If you help me” she said with a devious tone.
“Allow me to consider this impossible, Gnome …” Klx giggled, “… but I won’t deny helping you. I don’t have something better to do, and I find it more interesting staying alive than deactivated in this shithole. So, what do you need?”
“I need to recruit a team of reckless and well-trained personages for a challenging mission. And you have the latest list of my candidate’s names.”
“What kind of mission is so dangerous?” Klx asked intrigued.
“A man, who probably is a Dark Summoner that survived the Sun-priests swap teams, released a powerful Demon outcast, called Mul’Gar. The demon called up minions and turned the entire town he was summoned into a demoralizing swamp resembled the Abyss. Unfortunately the demon hunter’s guild is no longer available, since their …” Daphne stopped, for it seemed that her following words were bringing back bad memories “… last battle. So, I need to find and train new ones.”
“Then you have to find him first …” Klx stated, “… the last demon hunter.”