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The Procedure 1Chapter One:
"So you really think he can be disconnected? I had him as Operative material the instant I saw his psych eval," asked the nurse later that night. She, and the man she was talking to, were both riding in a car driving along an Automated Freeway. It was the perfect place to hold clandestine conversations.
"Your eye for insight in people serves you well, yet again," replied the man, in his characteristic bass voice. "His files show he could be an effective infiltrator just about anywhere. He learns rapidly and absorbs information like a sponge does liquid, according to his education record. And the keen understanding of various things helps us already."
"Good. But how do we approach him?"
"Leave that to me." He grabbed the wheel, and with a turning motion indicated to the computer that he wished to change off the Freeway. The car obeyed its orders, steering onto the exit lane and ramping up out of the tunnel to street level. With his feet back on the pedals and hands ready to
The Valanna Vendetta II"Earth Control, this is the corvette Nebuchadnezzar requesting clearance for re-entry." Matt Black spoke these words into his comlink for what seemed to be the thousandth time now. He sat at the pilot's chair of his ship, maintaining Earth orbit with practiced ease.
Normally Morgan would be the one flying the ship, her lightning-fast reflexes and all. But she hadn't gone on this mission. She had gone out with Plasma Team escorting that cargo hauler. "Damn Plasma Team," Matt muttered to himself, not even realizing he was thinking out loud. "Always 'borrowing' my team! Why, I'll probably be the only one left in Ion Team once he's done! He's already got all the girls with him!"
Just as he finished, the comm crackled back to life. "Corvette Nebuchadnezzar, you have been successfully cleared for atmospheric flight. HQ would like to add that Berth 7 is clear and ready for your arrival. Welcome home, Ion Team."
Matt replied to the flight controller, "No place like it. Good day to you, sir."
Upgrades 8Commander Link follwed Samus out of the hatch, hauling himself up to the ground above. He joined Samus, who was crouching behind a low bush for cover.
"This is bad," he remarked, hearing Samus' earlier statement. "That was our entire ammo supply. And I see we have a few casualties." He indicated several scattered bodies, all sheathed in Federation Power Armor. There were dozens upon dozens more of the Space Pirate variety, but it seemed there were enough Space Pirates living to make up for their dead.
Samus continued to study her enemy's movements. She and Link were on a small ledge with bushes for cover, overlooking a moderately sized clearing. Over on the opposite side and slightly to the left, the wrecked ship, aflame from the earlier battle, remained standing in its ruined condition.
Link pointed to three Space Pirate tanks near the center, their gun turrets patrolling the surrounding area. "If you can at least distract them, we can hit the infantry Pirates with no problem. Shouldn
You Only Live Forever 8James emerged from the teleporter back in familiar territory. The previous double row of eggs that had once greeted him before remained, as well as the strange creatures that inhabited said space. James knew he had to fight his way back through once more. This time, he decided to take the side opposite the side he had taken before, or the even-numbered side. James passed Egg 16 uneventfully, but had to shoot down some bat-like creatures passing 14.
James noticed a door leading from the wall just above Egg 12, and as he crept up to it he dropped the magazine from his weapon and put the next one in. Then he slowly rotated the doorknob, and burst in with his gun raised.
Cthulhu was just relaxing in her home when a figure dressed entirely in black came barging in with his weapon up. Fearing for her life, she threw her hands up.
James saw that there was no threat, just a figure in green robes, and lowered his weapon. "Oh. Sorry for the misunderstanding there."
"Perfectly alright," replied t
The Matt Black EA No. 2The cold, hard floor was familiar to Matt as he pulled himself to his feet. "Ow," he grunted as he checked himself for injuries, "That wasn't the brightest idea. Now what?"
As he spoke to himself, he examined his surroundings. There was, of course, the chilly concrete Matt had just picked himself up from. It had a slight indentation and small cracks where he had been. "Holy shit," remarked Matt. He hadn't broken a single bone.
His jaw dropped even further as he looked at the ceiling. Directly above the dent in the floor, a metal structure had embedded itself. To others, it would be strange, but to Matt it was all too recognizable. "I hope they're alright," he prayed, touching his fingertips to the metal of the wrecked escape pod.
-SIX HOURS EARLIER-
"We got a clusterfuck of bogeys swarming our location! The plan's gone!" the comlink crackled to life once more. As Matt listened, his friend Roger could barely be heard over the sounds of rifle fire and explosions. "There's no way we can g
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