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Siberia, Russia

11:30am: Novosibirsk Time Zone

            There was a blinding light as Guardian began to regain consciousness. All he could see were silhouettes of people walking around him. He was tied to a table with cuffs on his wrists and ankles. “Where am I? What’s going on?” Guardian yelled. When he looked to his right, the communicator he had been given by Bluestone was on the table next to it, but it was split open and had multiple wires plugged into it. 

            The door opened, and a man walked in. He was tall and had a very muscular build. He attached a few electrodes to his head. Seconds later, another man walked in. “So this is the enhanced that you found.” He asked. The first man replied “It is. This one is Guardian. He is a known accomplice to the Elites and has ties to the President’s assassination.” The second one then punched the first “You fool! You were supposed to grab the powerful one! We need someone with firepower. Not this overpowered nurse! We need a stronger one.” The first man replied “Kaiser was very specific when he gave our orders. We were to catch one, and they needed to have a communicator. He didn’t care if we went for him or the girl.” The second man replied “Very well, Colonel Barnes. I will leave you to work.” The second man then walked out of the room and closed the door. Barnes went and locked it. “So what are you gonna do? Kill me?” Barnes replied “Your communicator is locked. Fix that problem, and I’ll go easy on you.” Guardian’s cuffs then detached from the table. Barnes then pushed a button on the console, shocking Guardian repeatedly. Groaning, Guardian said, “It’s gonna take more than a few volts of electricity to get me to talk.” Barnes then replied, “That can be arranged.” He then turned the amperage and the voltage dials and pushed the button again. 

Guardian screamed in pain and collapsed on the ground. Smoke was coming out of the electrodes and the cuffs. “That looked like it hurt a lot,” Barnes said. “Wanna go again?” Guardian then got back up and said “I’m not gonna let you into that phone. “Big mistake,” Barnes said as he increased the voltage even more and pushed the button. The pain was so intense, that Guardian quickly yelled “Stop! Override: Guardian B-1!” The communicator on the table then turned on and unlocked itself. “Good,” Barnes said. He unlocked the doors and two men walked in. “Put him with the other two and prepare him to be wiped,” Barnes said. To Guardian, he said “You will make a fine addition to our collection. But now our pawns are in place.” Guardian then asked, “What are you planning here?” Barnes simply replied, “You will see the fruits of your compliance soon enough.”

Elites II: Miami, FL

6 am 

            It was early morning when a red Acura drove up in front of the base. Jay and Nicole had finally returned home. When they walked into the Atrium, the entire place was deserted. The two visited each bedroom, nobody was there. Jay finally reached the mission lab. When he did, he saw Sam, Rob, and Nat running scans searching for Jordan Barnes. “Did you guys pull an all-nighter, or were you guys just excited to see us?” Ruby asked. Nat quickly replied “Just the all-nighter, but it’s good to see you Nic.” Jay walked in, excited to see his friends together again. But there was a new face with them too. “I don’t think we’ve met before,” Jay said. Nicole walked up to Sam and hugged her. “Sorry. Did I miss something?” Nicole replied “Sorry. This is Sam. She’s Wade’s girlfriend.” Jay then extended his hand and said “Sorry. I’m Jay. So where’s Wade then? I didn’t see him when we walked in.” Natalie then chimed in and said “That’s why We’re here. We need your help to find him. We know who took him, but we don’t have any way to find them.” Nicole and Jay paused for a moment. Jay then replied “I think we may have a way to find him. We successfully captured Arnim Kaiser’s final unit. And I got his neural drive. Tonight, we can try to talk to him.”

            The five of them walked through the science lab when Nat noticed an oddly shaped object under a tarp. Nat walked slowly to the tarp and pulled it off. Underneath was a robotic body, with a skin-like substance attached to most of its body. “What the hell is he doing here!? Why is he under there!” Nat then created an energy sphere and prepared to launch it at the robot. Before she could, Jay stepped in and yelled: “Stop!” He grabbed her arm and lowered it, and the sphere dissipated. “How is this thing still here! It tried to kill me twice! I blew the bastard up!” Nat was infuriated at the sight of her former friend turned foe inside of their own home. Jay intervened and said “I know he hurt you. But I’ve looked into his programming. He wasn’t in control of his own actions. Endgame put these codes into his head so that if we got too close to discovering their intentions, he would turn against us and do whatever it takes to kill us. If he was somehow defeated, he would take up the alias of Onyx and return to his superiors to be given further instructions. But because his superiors were either arrested or killed, he went to the next person in line. And he happened to have been our president before his assassination. I’m still working on repairs, but you really didn’t make it easy. You had to hit the generator! He’s almost fixed” Nat then placed the tarp back over the metal body. Nicole then said “Tonight, we go to University Labs. They offered to hold Kaiser’s body for us. We’ll all be suited up. Including you Sam.” Sam then replied “Don’t worry about me. Fruit Roll will be there.” Rob cringed at the name and said “Fruit Roll? What kind of name is that?” Sam replied “Fruit Roll is a common expression to imply… let’s just say people who don’t love like everyone else. I’m talking about gays and lesbians if it wasn’t obvious before ” Nat replied “Yeah, that’s not gonna work. Don’t get me wrong but it’s a good idea and cause, but we try to be more in unison. We all codenamed ourselves as rocks or gemstones that matched our colors. If you’re gonna be with us, you’ll be like us.” Jay then says “How about Bismuth. Those gemstones have the same colors like a rainbow, and the colors become more complex as they come, kinda like your statement.” Sam pondered for a moment and said. “Bismuth… I like that.” Jay replied “So it’s settled. We leave tonight. And we can all use some sleep.”

            While Sam and Nat went off to sleep, the others decided to head off to the recreation room. They needed some time off from all their stressful lives. Jayson and Rob decided it would be nice to play some ping pong. The two were deep into their match when Nicole walked into the room and headed for the minifridge. Rob just stared at her while still hitting the plastic ball back. Nic eventually noticed he had been staring and shot him a look back. When she looked back, Rob started to raise his eyebrows repeatedly with a sense of lust in his eyes. Nic scoffed and walked away in disgust. As soon as that happened, the ping pong ball flew right past Rob and into the wall. “Yes!” Exclaimed Jay. “Gotta get your head in the game bro!” He then looked at his friend, still staring off at Nic. “Or, maybe you’re playing a different game. Have anything you want to talk about?” Rob then turned to his friend and asked “Who wouldn’t wanna date me? I’m adorable, smart, and have a great personality. But half the stuff I do just pisses her off even more than the stuff you do.” Jay took no time coming up with a response. “Yeah, but I don’t act like a horny douche every time I’m around her.” Rob replied “Whoa. Harsh much?” Jay then said “Nic is like a sister to me, it’s safe to say I know her better than a lot of you guys do… except for Natalie because they’re actual sisters. So here’s a piece of advice. Stop trying to steal a kiss from her every time you guys spar… or in general.” Rob then said “She digs that though. People think that’s adorable.” Jay replied “I had to take you to the hospital with second-degree burns, and she was holding back! Second of all, nobody thinks that’s adorable. It just makes you look like a jerk.” “Maybe,” Rob said. Jay then put his hand on his friend’s shoulder and said “You shouldn’t beat yourself up too hard about it. Nicole is a real mystery. You can never really tell what she’s hiding behind that scowl or smile. But if I were you, I wouldn’t probe too deep. You could find out things that you didn’t want to know about her. Maybe those secrets are best kept in the closet until she wants to reveal them.” Rob then asked “Do you know any of her secrets? As you said, you two are like sister and brother.” Jay replied “I can’t say. You have to earn her trust. Not mine. If we’re being honest, I don’t like the idea of dating teammates, but if you think you should give it a try, I don’t care.”


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Jeremy Gay
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