[A new Cyber Knight is on the verge of being unleashed on the New Boston Zone]
Acidic water dripped down in a steady rain on the street corner, leaking from far above. The Soldier paced on his circuit, but avoided the contaminant from outside. Guard duty on the street was far below his rank, but the Soldier knew his place and had not opened his mouth. Yessir, was all his commander had heard, even if it irked his pride. Bright red uniform and Knight Horizon issued Squad-Support MG--both flecked now in the spray from the leak.
Blast the lazy clean-up crews who were nowhere to be seen. Blast the Mars Corp for their shoddy workmanship that turned a beautifully planned dome into a cracked, collapsing, worthless hunk of concrete hanging over the NBZ like the headman's axe. And, blast the stalker who had come over the walls at the Knight Horizon Research Facility, code-named M27-Bifrost, and caused the whole security stir.
Feeling willful, the Soldier broke his patrol cycle and arced farther away from the mist on the acrid breeze. What had they said the intruder had been hunting? Personnel records? Doubtless, she was trying to scalp some paydata. Whatever it was, the Cyber Knight had stirred up the bee's nest. A V of three hunter drone buzzed overhead, cruising around the steady water-fall. Even the machines wanted to keep themselves clean.
The Soldier stopped and checked his weapon, and looked around the street. Where was the rest of the squad assigned to this block? Those scum-guzzling idiots, where had they wandered off to? Shimmering static filled the Soldier's eyes as he engaged his low-light cyber-eyes and peered down the street. A form lying at the mouth of an alley gave a dire answer to his question. The real answer came with an earth-shaking explosion from the direction of the Bifrost that flung the Soldier to the concrete and jarred his bones against the ground. Groaning to his feet, his squad member's fate came into focus--dead, slit-throat. The ground still trembled as the Soldier turned toward M27-Bifrost in a dead sprint under the roar of drones and gun-fire. Death may have passed over him today, but his commander would not be so merciful if the Cyber Knight scored her target.