It was just a body without its head, floating inside the container. There was no visible wound on the body to indicate that someone had removed the head. It almost looked smooth as if there had never been a head there in the first place.
‘My sources did tell me that our ‘retired’ Supreme Commander, had lost a fight against One Horn, and that his body seemed to have been mostly destroyed, aside from his head, but this… this makes no sense.’ Mona thought as she walked up to the container trying to see if she could find the head. It didn’t take her long to find what she was looking for.
Off to the side, a few meters away another glass container was seen. Inside It was filled with liquid and she could see a floating head. One that was without a doubt Oscar’s. However, when making eye contact with such a thing, she felt her stomach churning, goosebumps appearing over her arms.
It looked like Oscar without a shadow of a doubt, but for whatever reason he now had a creepy smile spread across his face. It stretched from ear to ear, and it wouldn’t stop. Getting closer to it, she placed her hand on the glass.
“Richard… how is this meant to help us win the war? What have you done to him?” Mona mumbled the question to herself. In that split second as she lifted her hand off of the glass container, the eyes inside moved and were now staring right at her, while the smile still hadn’t faded.
“It’s alive!” Mona let out a scream as she nearly fell over backwards. She quickly stabilised herself and was glad that she was the only one in the room. As she slowly regained some of her calm demeanor people knew her foe. She started to walk around the room and found that the eyes of Oscar continually followed her.
“Oscar, what has he done to you? Are you really still alive there? You can hear me, right?” Mona asked, but there was no reply, no blinking, only his eyes that followed her every step and that unsettling smile that wouldn’t disappear.
‘Now what do I do?’ Mona thought as she waited in the room, there were four doors in total, the one she came from, one to her left, one to her right and another straight ahead, but only her own had opened up.
‘I guess I have no other choice but to wait until the other two are done. Unfortunately, I doubt he will have made their tests as easy as mine. Hopefully Logan or Quinn can figure out what has happened to Oscar, and what exactly we should do with him.’
Logan was currently face to face with one of Richard’s clones. However, unlike Quinn, he didn’t give the other any chance to speak, instead he instantly took control over the situation.
“You told me that Jim was the one who killed my parents. That he was the one who had taken over the AI in my house, but for what?” Logan asked. “Judging from what we have learned from you, we have gathered that you are a person who is willing to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING for the sake of the human race.”
“Now I don’t know if you were telling the truth, or you simply allowed it to happen because you found that my skills would surpass my parents but only if you thought I needed something to give me that extra push to grow stronger, to give me a reason to fight our enemy. I just know that my parents are dead, Jim is dead and even the real you is dead, so what does that mean now?” Logan asked him with slinted eyes, his balled up hands shaking.
Clone Richard was silent for a while, he was patiently waiting for Logan to let out all of his anger.
“I deeply regret what has happened to your family, but I have told you the truth.” The clone replied. “You saw it in your own family’s logs, how there was a promise between our families. I promised that I would protect them, yet I failed to save your parents, and it was even at the hands of my own blood line.”
“Whatever you want to do, you’ll have to decide for yourself. The members of your Green family have always acted out of a desire to discover new things and to accumulate knowledge, not because of revenge, Logan. Seeing as their blood runs through your veins, I’m sure you’ll do the right thing.”
“Should you pass, and I pray that you do, the reward that awaits you will be all the knowledge I have amassed over my lifetime. The creation of clones, the world’s REAL history and more. However, once you gain possession of that knowledge, there will be others like you who will come after you to seek it out.”
“While the pursuit of knowledge might be a noble thing, certain things can’t be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Now that I can no longer protect you, you’ll have to be able to protect yourself.”
Stepping aside, a teleporter started to rise out from the ground. Logan didn’t know what his test was, but it seemed like it would be one that was to test his strength. One of the areas that he was lacking in.
Logan understood that this was his last chance to refuse to take the test. If he went through, there was likely no way out for him, other than completing the task or die trying.
‘Knowledge, is that what I want? All I’ve been thinking about all this time were my parents…but is Richard telling me to forget about all that, to just enjoy life as me?’
Not yet clear about his answer, Logan hoped that he might find it in the reward itself. After a bit of hesitation, he concluded that he had come too far to just abandon everything.
Once stepping through the teleporter, he experienced the usual feeling of getting transported somewhere else. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t end up anywhere that he recognised.
Immediately, Logan put on his speed suit and started to scan the area. Since it was dark and night on the planet, night vision was a basic requirement. Looking around, he found himself in some sort of junkyard. There were several scraps of rubbish metals and more all over the place, but so far no signs of any beasts.
Carefully checking out the area, Logan was waiting for his AI to gather more information. It quickly became apparent that this planet wasn’t one that was on his database.
‘Could it be one of the planets of the sector we are currently in? Since the reward should be behind the door in that room I was just in, there has to be a way for me to return. Is that my test, to survive and find the teleporter back?’ Logan wondered.
Figuring that this was a new planet, Logan decided to have a look at what exactly this rubbish was. There were things he had never seen before, and things that looked similar. Walking up to one of the large piles, he soon saw objects falling down from the top of the pile. Looking more closely, he discovered a single horn sticking out from the top.
Quickly, Logan jumped back, and readied his blasters.
Moving from the rubbish, it revealed a beast that looked similar to a muscular dog, only its jaws seemed to extend far wider than should be possible. Opening its mouth it revealed a tongue that would be as long as a frog and seemingly just as flexible.
Unfortunately, that creature wasn’t alone. Logan noticed that other trash piles started moving and more and more of the dog-like beasts began to appear.
One of the beasts, opened its mouth wide growling at Logan, so he wasted no time using his blaster firing directly in its mouth.
“How do you like the power of a raw intermediate crystal?!” Logan shouted, confident that the beast wouldn’t get up from it. He was right, but there were already ten of his buddies in the area around Logan, and if there were more of them, he began to worry how many his blaster could kill before running out of energy.
Quinn was ready to hear the details of his test and was waiting for Eno to explain, but instead. The clone stepped to the side, and there was a platform underneath him.
“For your test to begin, we first must make some preparations, please step on here.” The clone instructed him.
On the ground, Quinn could see a strange circle with several different shapes and characters he was unable to read. He was worried that this could be something disastrous.
‘Have you seen this before? Does it have something to do with the equivalent exchange ability?’ Quinn asked.
‘I have no clue what is about to happen. It’s your call Quinn.’ Vincent replied.
Quinn had already made up his mind, so he decided to not hesitate and step on the strange circle. The next message that had appeared he wasn’t expecting.
[System has been overridden]
[System will now temporarily go offline]
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