Author's note: Yep as promised, not one but two chapters in this update! Initially I was planning on slowly (and I mean really slowly) but surely writing chapters on my computer and just releasing everything once I'm done in a giant updatefest of glory! But since I have reason to believe I can actually stick to some tentative writing schedule (I'm also working on an original story) I'll release these two for your enjoyment and go from there. Review, review review!!! Seriously it helps!

Disclaimer: And now for something completely different, the following disclaimer will be written in code (and no I'm not a programmer so if I made a syntax error I don't really care.)

funct disclaimer() {
var AVP_Ownership=0;
var beliefIOwnAVP;
var you=1;
var tool;

scanf (%s,
printf("You are a tool");
}

}


Five years later…

The building of Graysite was finally complete. Everything had been built according to specification. The drill teams had begun their descent downwards toward the buried Pilot caves. And disaster had already struck. Just before piercing the final hundred meters or so, the drill team had struck a pocket of steam. The team was well trained and immediately attempted to pull themselves and their equipment back. However in their haste to get to safety, they accidentally switched off the automated correction controls, thereby misaligning the drill heads. This would not have been a problem if they had simply shut the machines down and performed a proper recovery. However, the operator of the MOLE driller had reported that the controls were jammed and he was unable to initiate the emergency shutdown. As a result three crew workers died and five more were in critical condition. And so a very distressed Weyland and a seemingly indifferent Van Grey now faced a very irate government inspector named Jack Morris in his office.

"I don't know what you think you're doing Mr. Weyland. Perhaps the exhilaration of your narrow escape from a jail sentence has made you light-headed. But the United Systems government cannot allow your company to instigate another disaster like LV-1201. Frankly I find it a shock that anyone else would even consider getting involved in this," Morris said, indicating Van Grey "but I'm going to see to it personally that you get shut down before the death toll rises on this new deal of yours."

"Mr. Morris, please. Don't you think you're overreacting?" Weyland said trying for his most placating tone. Truthfully he was just deferring to Van Grey's plan to deal with this consequence. Just one more shred of control he gave up to his mysterious partner. "This unfortunate incident wasn't on account of my company's project. The rate of industrial accidents involving death of workers in offworld environments has risen nearly-"

"Don't give me that percentage crap!" Morris cut him off indignantly. "As far as I'm concerned your entire company is an industrial accident, just waiting to happen. Maybe since the public let you off the hook for LV-1201, you haven't bothered to take a look at the public opinion regarding your company. Nearly 40% of people asked would like to see your company seized by the public offices. How your stock manages to stay in the high rollers is quite beyond me. Either your high-powered stockholders are brainwashed or else they're stupid! Stupidity may not be a crime but sending people to die on some cursed world thousands of light-years away is! And I'm gonna see to it that you don't do that anymore!"

"Mr. Morris, I'm sure there's no need for threats or insults here," Van Grey cut in before the situation could get worse. "Now I'm not sure which layer of society your 40% came from, but I can assure you that as a fellow businessman and stock-holder Weyland-Yutani still dominates the market in a wide variety of fields. And I am no fool. I instigated this partnership with Mr. Weyland because I believe this is a marvellous opportunity for ground-breaking research into an alien species that far surpasses our humble technology. We think of it as for the purpose of bettering ourselves, as well as for business applications. And speaking of bettering ourselves I'm sure you know that oftentimes, the most effective way to learn is to do so from mistakes. Mr. Weyland has made his mistakes, truly with disastrous results. However, he and his company are not fools either. We all learned something from LV-1201 and with that knowledge and my abilities at the forefront of this expedition; we can expect nothing short of success."

"You know what this sounds like, Mr. Van Grey?" Morris asked vehemently. "For all your fine speeches, all you've basically told me is: 'We know he fucked up but he's learned his lesson, so let him go and he won't do it again'. I used to work down at the DA's office in my younger years. You know who I heard that speech from all the time? Convicts. Anywhere from assault to rapists to good old murder one. Whether they were alone or backed by some well-meaning but clueless social worker it'd always be the same thing. Head down. Maybe a little feet shuffling. And out it'd come: 'I know I did her wrong. Let me go and I won't hurt anybody no more.' And we'd let'em out. And just as soon as somebody put a knife or a gun in their hand, there they'd be again right back at square one, doing the very same shit they got busted for. No offence, Mr Weyland. We let you go. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna allow someone to put the knife back in your hand."

"As colourful as that anecdote is I think you're missing the point-" Van Grey began but was cut off by Morris who had apparently decided he had enough.

"Save your mild-mannered fancy speeches, Mr. Van Grey. I don't know you. I don't know what kind of business you run. So you'll pardon me if your word doesn't make me feel all warm inside about this latest Weyland deathtrap. This order is non-negotiable. You are to cease operations on Beroc 7 until such time that a government team can be assembled to assess the site. If the committee assigned to this matter decides that the site is worth further investigation, we'll take it from there. The United System's government is willing to negotiate to recover some of your costs for this project but beyond that, you're involvement in…Greysite is done."

And that pretty much summed it up for the next three months. Weyland-Yutani lost control of the entire project and Jason Van Grey and his mysterious company faded back in the confusion. For his part, Weyland ran for his life, his office announcing a vacation to location unknown. With the board after his throat, he had no reason but to flee and hide and hope Van Grey could pull another miracle out of his bag of tricks. The public at large knew all about Greysite by this point and they were nearly as merciless as the board. The fact that official government press releases had attempted to soothe the issue by announcing that only routine safety checks would be performed, public outcry still demanded a complete shutdown. In short the situation seemed to have no redeeming features.

Raymond Weyland might have been set himself apart from his fellow billionaires in the last years but he was not any different when it came to hiding. Staying at a luxurious mountain cottage registered under the name of an opera virtuoso he happened to know, Weyland relied on the caretaker and the television to keep in touch with the real world. He didn't dare step outside himself for fear of that ultimate retribution his board might have finally arranged. His supplies were brought in by the caretaker or his wife and apart from placing them on the kitchen table they never ventured further in the house to see their guest. Weyland didn't exactly hide from them but apart from confirming their identity, he didn't bother sticking around when they were in the house. Any laundry he needed done was dropped down a chute and would return, pressed and clean in the living room the next day. What the caretakers thought of these arrangements Weyland didn't much care to know. When he wasn't waiting for contact from Van Grey, he spent his days pacing the house and watching for any news regarding his company or Greysite. His only recreation came from the owner's extensive video library. In fact Weyland watched more movies in those three months then he had in three years. And he might've stayed there until for another 6 months, until he had viewed the entire collection twice had the board's hired help not found him at last.

He was walking towards the kitchen to begin preparing his dinner when he first noticed the side door slightly ajar. Knowing himself to be very meticulous in securing the home, especially now that he was on the run, his suspicions were immediately raised. He quickly reached into his pocket and brought out what could've passed for a taser. It had started life as a taser but Weyland had a senior engineer at the weapons division tweak it to vary the voltage, including a lethal option. Weyland now inspected it carefully, making sure it was charged and ready to go. He'd feel pretty stupid if he burst in the kitchen with it and found nothing but safety first. And who else could be in the house? The caretaker? They'd dropped off the latest batch of groceries and other supplies at least three hours earlier. It didn't seem likely they would've stuck around or come back for anything. A simple thief? Screw it he thought, and flipped the switch to the lethal voltage. Even if it turned out to be someone harmless, he'd still have a chance to shut the taser down before he caused any permanent damage. He approached the door cautiously and remembering an action movie he recently watched kicked the kitchen door open to make sure there was no one hiding behind it. Unfortunately as he charged in he failed to check the other side of the doorway. With blurring speed black-clad hands gripped his own and twisted the arm holding the taser. A minute later his head was reeling from a blow he never even saw coming. The second one brought him to the ground. He didn't remember dropping the taser but the next time his eyes focused, he saw a non-descript man with a crew-cut casually holding the taser in his hand. He was using his other hand to hold a knife to Weyland's throat. He was dressed all in black, it seemed and his eyes held no pity.

"Poor little rich boy playing with his toys. What was that commando shit you just tried to pull?" he asked almost to himself.

"Please… I'll give you double. Triple. Half what I own. Just- please don't…" Weyland stuttered. His fear did not stem simply from the knowledge of what was going to happen but rather from the emptiness he saw in the assassin's eyes. He really could snap his neck in an instant and he'd feel no differently then if he snapped a pencil. He hadn't fallen silent because his killer cut him off. Rather, his voice fell away as he realized the futility of it.

As for the hit man himself, the plea seemed to amuse him somewhat. He smiled, but the smile never even came close to his eyes.

"Sorry. We've got enough money to keep us happy. It's just that a lot of people want to see you burn. We're men of simple tastes. Once our bank account has been satisfied, we're more than happy to help out our employers. In fact it's a solemn promise. Not something you're very familiar with, are you Weyland?"

"What are you… what do you want?" Weyland asked in a hushed voice.

"Not very smart are you? I told you. A lot of people want to see you burn. That's what's gonna happen. Get your business friend and his slick-shit lawyers to get you out of that. But we're betting it won't happen," the assassin intoned.

"We?" Weyland managed to choke out.

"Yeah, me and my brother. He's out there, just in case someone should interrupt the fun. It was my turn to have fun. Be glad for that. He enjoys this part a whole lot more," the assassin whispered. "Smell that. You're about to have a tragic cooking accident. Your board wishes you happy roasting." And with that he began bringing the taser to bear.

"Wait!" Weyland gasped out of desperation. "If you zap me with that thing, it'll kill me!"

"That's the idea," the killer said, quickly losing patience.

"No! The voltage is raised. I'll be burned to a crisp! They'll know it wasn't an accident!" Weyland was babbling now which only seemed to annoy the hit man more.

"I'm getting real tired of your bullshit. Your blabbing days are done. Now stop crying or I'll make this hurt more," the killer snarled.

"But-"

"I swear, one more word-"

It was the assassin who was now cut off as the right side of his head exploded in a burst of gore, leaving behind a red mist where half his head used to be. The knife pressure on Weyland's throat lessened immediately and the taser fell to the floor a second before the corpse of the hit man crumpled down on Weyland. Mercifully he fell to the right and he was spared the sight of the man's ruined temple up close. Still he let out a scream of shock as he tried to crawl away from the corpse. He had just cleared his legs when the kitchen door burst open again and another figure in black, presumably the late killer's brother burst in, sub-machine gun in hand. He took the scene in and in less than a second had the gun levelled at Weyland's head.

"What happened? What the fuck happened?!" he yelled.

"I don't know. I..I…" Weyland stuttered, too scared to be coherent.

The second hit man was a professional in his own right. Though his outburst might've denoted the emotions beneath, his actions were pure training. Recognizing the gunshot wound for what it was and quickly determining that the mark not only did not have the weapon needed to cause it, but would be incapable of using it, he quickly moved to secure himself away from windows or other possible snipe points. He was top-notch but he wasn't quite fast enough. A shot slammed into his shoulder, causing him to drop his gun. A second shot obliterated his knee and brought him crashing down. Even so the man's training was enough to avoid the final lethal shot. With a grunt of pain, the world of the second hitter focused only on dragging his body under the window sill and out of the line of fire. Grunting and breathing heavily he withdrew some sort of small syringe and shot himself the dose of adrenaline that would give him enough energy hopefully to last through the coming confrontation. The pain of the knee wound was excruciating and it was quite likely he would bleed to death. The sniper, whoever it was could wait as long as it took. As thoughts raced across his pain ridden brain the second assassin was more and more certain he would not live much longer. The only thing he could do was complete his last contract and in doing so also rob the mark's unknown protectors of their victory. Perhaps with Weyland shot the sniper might even rush in attempting to save him. Then the hitman might have a crack at him too. He had lost his brother. He would make damned sure everyone else would lose as well. He reached for his sidearm. First complete the mission objective. Rykov would expect no less. Rykov was dead. Dead like his brother was dead. Truly there was nothing else to live for other than this final task. He gripped his semi-auto firmly, cleared it of its leg holster and slowly raised it.

Weyland gaped at the second assassin incredulously. He was no expert in firearms even though his company manufactured enough of them. But the sight of two of the largest entry wounds he had even seen was just incompatible with the sight of the hitter still struggling to point a gun at him. It just didn't seem possible. The machine-like determinism. He would've expected this from a combat synth. But the man was clearly human. Blood was pouring from his shoulder and his ruined leg, he was muttering and doing what he could not to scream, and yet he was slowly but surely raising his gun taking aim directly at his head. In a few moments the sight of that gun barrel shaking ever so slight would be the last thing Weyland ever saw.

The door banged open again and the man that stepped through it gave both assassin and mark pause. He was a huge man, well over six feet with a muscular frame that seemed to fill the doorway. He was dressed all in black, pants, shoes and shit with a black leather jacket to top it off. Shaggy dark hair sprouted in all directions shorter in front but reaching down to the coat collar in the back, completely obscuring the back of his head and neck. His eyes were hidden behind dark sunglasses despite it being completely dark out. He was carrying what had to be the largest sniper rifle Weyland had ever seen. Of course if his head had been clearer he might have even recognized the model as being manufactured by his own company. The market for these weapons was very restrictive with only the USCM and certain specific military bodies having access to them. Black market copies were available sure. But if you were not of those specific military or governmental bodies or an employee of Weyland-Yutani security owning one was illegal. The WY-102 sniper rifle was essentially a portable rail gun, with rounds being fired having the ability to blow apart armoured steel at velocities way above supersonic. While it was not silent, its raw power made up for any loss of the element of surprise. The fact that the second assassin survived two shots and was still trying to complete his contract spoke wonders about his strength and determination.

All this was apparently quite irrelevant to the huge man wielding the gun. Easily without hurrying, he raised the sniper rifle and pointed it squarely at the assassin's forehead. The assassin for his part attempted to swing the gun around to his aggressor. He never had the chance. His face perfectly blank, Weyland's saviour fired. The assassin's face disappeared. The shot was loud but Weyland was still able to hear the sound of the wall crumbling behind what used to be the hitters head. The body slumped forward, blood quickly covering the floor where his head would've rested.

The big man lowered the rifle back to easy and glanced at Weyland with an expression that might've been appropriate at a lecture that's gone on too long. When he finally spoke his voice though powerful was oddly flat and monotone.

"Raymond Weyland. Your life has been threatened. You must be relocated."

"Who… who are you?" Weyland asked shakily. He was beginning to recover some of his wits, despite the two nearly headless corpses lying near him. The big man had saved him. But there was something strange about him. Weyland was frightened, no scratch that. He was scared shitless. But with the immediate threat gone, he was beginning to come to his senses. And all his senses told him not to take his "saviour" at face value.

"You must be relocated," the big man repeated as if this was so obvious no further questions were required.

"Wait! I'm grateful for you rescuing me but I'm not going anywhere till I find out what's going on. Who are you? Who sent you? Was it Van Grey?" the questions began flooding out of Weyland now. His manic inquisitions were as much an involuntary effect of the shock as a conscious effort to stall for time, to figure out what to do.

"No more questions. You must be relocated." the big man spoke again. Without waiting for a reply he shifted the huge rifle in his left hand and withdrew something from the inside of his jacket. Weyland's blood ran cold as once again he stared down the barrel of a pistol, silenced this time.

"No, no! What are you doing? You just saved me! What-"

That's as far as he got before a dart from the silenced gun hit him square in the chest. He plucked it out still sputtering angrily when his hand suddenly refused to obey him further and fell by his side. As Weyland lost consciousness he though he saw a second figure behind the big man. Then he thought no more.