Gookin’s Journal

In-character Subject: Chapter 9 – Fire and Silver
Submitted: 2007-8-2 14.21

It had taken weeks to plan. Dash, Procurator and Dragonram had been meeting in secret to discuss the plan over and over again. Finally, all was in place.

Dash, had the simple job. All he had to do was retrieve the fragments and give them to Dragonram. During Dragonrams attack, he would have to again, collect all the fragments before the program could completely destroy them.

Procurator had been the one conversing with the program wherever possible and had discovered that the program intended to destroy the shotgun fragments at some point. It had manipulated its own purpose to be that of destroying the fragments.

Secretly, Dash realised that this was partly to do with the fact that Gookin had more control over the program when he was in possession of a fragment. Clearly, Dragonram had known that the program would attempt to destroy them and had used this to formulate his plan.

Dash was worried for his friend. The Aggregator had been obligated to stay in Zero One, where it could have a constant connection to the Matrix. They could not jack Gookin out. The program did not want to leave, and Gookin had been stuck in his chair for almost two weeks now. His physical state had been deteriorating slowly, but no one had mentioned this for fear of someone slipping it to Gookin.

Yes, Gookin had discovered that he could take control of his RSI for brief periods while the program rested, though why it rested, no one could fathom.

Gookin had been able to laugh and smile, but conversations were always strained as they all knew that one likely outcome of the plan, was death.

Procurator had not once mentioned his promise to Gookin, although his First Mate always had an edge to his voice when they spoke inside the system. Procurator, believed that Gookin had lost almost all his trust in his Captain, up until the point where Procurator voiced that everything and anything was being done to get him out alive. Gookin had simply stopped talking and looked at his Captain with raw pain in his eyes. Gookin believed that there was no way out. The only way to stop the program was to kill it, and therefore, kill him.

Neither Dragonram, Dash nor Procurator could face this. It was hard to talk to a friend when they believed that death was their only option. The other 3 knew that it was not, but that it was likely to happen.

Dash stood up from the bench in Tabor North. He realised that speculating was not going to help things. He might as well get on with something.

At once, his phone began to ring.

“Hello?” Dash asked.
“Dash… break in to HQ… destroy fragments… get… first!”

It was Gookins voice on the other end, but Dash couldn’t make out what he was trying to say.
“Gookin, I can’t understand you. It’s all broken up, what – “
“Get the fragments!” Gookin screamed and then there was an eerie static.

A digital voice that was similar to Gookins was now heard.

“Too late. They are mine!”

Dash dropped the phone and span towards the Hardline. Prolimit was about to break into TGS HQ and steal the fragments.

Dash realised that he needed to contact the others and ran back for his phone. He jammed in the Faction Broadcast number.

“Everyone to HQ now. We have a hostile in the building!”

With that, he used the Hardline to teleport to the Hardline nearest HQ.

*

As he stepped out, he heard an almighty crash and Lorellei flew backwards out of the building but managed to spin and land on her feet.

She looked up.

“Dash, finally! Procurator is inside already. It’s Gookin, but he’s so strong!”
“Where is he now?”
“He was in the workroom. I was fighting him when he punched me right through the wall!”
“Shit Lore, your back!”

Protruding from Lorellei’s back was part of a pipe.

“Lor. Reconstruct now! You’ll do no more good here.”

Dash didn’t wait for an answer. He hyperjumped into the building, through the new hole in the side of the building. One of Procurators simulacra was in combat with Prolimit, while Procurator hurled virus after virus into his First Mate.

Dash ran past the combatants and yelled at Procurator,

“Hold him off for as long as possible!”

He sprinted out of the door and ran down the corridor. He broke the door to his office as he charged through it and sprinted up to the safe, withdrawing a key from his pocket.

He reached around the side of the safe, and pulled a small green wire out of the device it was connected to. His PDA buzzed in his jacket pocket, notifying him that the small bomb on the safe had been neutralised. He then wrenched the painting that covered the safe off of the wall and punched the code into the keypad.
There was a mechanical click and the safe door swung open. He heard a scream and knew that he was out of time. He scooped up the fragments and threw them into a bag that was lying by his desk. As he picked up the bag, he heard the click of a handgun and froze.

The digital voice sounded,

“Stand up slowly and step away from the bag. You’ve lost. No matter what happens, they are mine now!”

Dash’s head sagged. It was too late! No, there must be a way. There had to be a way. Gookins life depended on it!

Dash stood up slowly and turned around. Before him stood Gookin, no it was Prolimit. His eyes glowing brightly.

Dash’s mind raced. He had to think of something, and then his memory kicked in. He heard Gookins voice in his head.

“I’m going to put a small bomb in the desk drawer. Just in case, the other one fails. You can have one of the detonators.”

Dash looked up at his friends RSI and smiled.

“Thanks Gook.”
“Are you still so unintelligent that you cannot tell that Gookin is not here? Prolimit rules this body. You have lost! Hand over the fragments.”

Dash chuckled and stated,

“I’ll see you soon!”

In a flash, Dash grabbed the bag and somersaulted through the nearest window, bullets flying past him as he did so. As he fell, Dash pulled the small detonator out of his pocket and pressed the little red button.

He landed and dove through the revolving doors of the opposite building as there was an almighty explosion. Bricks and debris fell outside the doors he had jumped through, all the windows had smashed and then he saw the body land.

After the debris had finished falling, Dash stood up and slowly walked outside. His cell phone rang and made him jump.

He fumbled with it and then clicked it open.

“H- Hello?”
“Dash, its Procurator. Are you alright? Myself and Lor are fine. Is Selena with you?”
“S- Selena? No?”

Dash hoped to God that she hadn’t been in that explosion. He hoped that the body outside wasn’t hers.

“Well she is jacked in somewhere near you, we can’t quite get any exact locations. Whatever you set off was more than a bomb! It had some sort of code embedded into it that included a sort of kill code, well, more like a code to seriously injure!”

Dash dropped the phone and sprinted over to where the body had fell. Digging through the debris he finally found a hand and pulled the body out of the wreck.

His heart faltered as he looked down and saw the body of Gookin. He looked down with horror.

His friend opened his eyes and there was no glow.

“D-Dash… y-you have to g-go… He’ll come back.”

Dash noticed that Gookin was bleeding all over and his face was badly burnt.

“W-w-what have I done?”
“Y-y-you did w-what you had t-to. N-now go!”

With that Gookin closed his eyes and slumped. Then the body glitched and Dash knew what was coming. He jumped up and sprinted for the door to the building, where the bag and his cell phone lay.

He felt something sharp burn into his shoulder and he fell into a roll, scooping up the bag and drawing his gun. He turned around to stand facing Prolimit. He looked up and down the Program, noticing all the wounds.

The digital voice laughed loudly and it glitched again, sending out a blinding white light.

When Dash could see again, he was aiming at an unharmed body. The clothes were perfect and clean, there were no burns, no cuts, nothing!

“You see, you cannot harm me with your silly encoded explosives. The fragments are mine”

Prolimit altered his aim and shot, blowing the gun out of Dash’s unprepared hand.
Dash stood there, defenceless. His eyes filled with dear as he realised there was nothing he could do. A tear rolled down his cheek as he realised there was only one option for Gookin after this.

“Time to die, Dash!”

Dash saw Prolimits finger tighten around the trigger and prepared himself for the pain.

BOOM!
Dash felt no pain.

He realised that he hadn’t been shot and opened his eyes.

Selena stood next to the program holding its arm in the air. Tears rolled down her face as she let go of the arm and spun around and kicked her husband hard in the chest. He flew backwards out through the doors and smashed into the wreckage.

Selena muttered, “I’m sorry, my love,” and then turned towards Dash.

“Let’s go! The Machine Construct. He can’t get in there. The Agents have a vault ready for the fragments.”

Dash followed Selena out the back of the building and they jumped to the nearest Hardline. They sprinted unto it and saw Agent Brown waiting for them.

“Not the Hardline. Use this door.” He motioned to the entrance of a building.

Agent Brown drew his gun and looked around as Gookin landed next to him.

“Go now.” The Agent stated and then attacked Gookin.

The two operatives sprinted for the door and ran inside.

As the door closed they turned around to see Gookins fist smash through the Agents chest. The door clicked shut and Dash felt hands dragging him backwards.

“Dash, give me the bag!” Procurator stated.

Dash handed the bag to his Second in Command and slumped into a chair.

The fragments were safe…

It was done!

Errors

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