Title: Lost and Found
Chapter: 6 - Of Admiration and Infiltration
Disclaimer: I do not own XS or related characters. JB-01, However, I do claim as my own character, so HANDS OFF, HE'S MINE!
Warnings: Violence, language and gore. Possible future citrus. SLASH.
A/N: 'Kay, gang, so gather round. I'm just going to tell you now; ANYTHING SCIENCE-Y THAT I MENTION IN THI FIC, WHILE BASED ON REAL FACTS, IS NOT ACTUALLY TRUE. In fact, the vast majority of it isn't even possible. So I don't want any reviews from anyone whining about how "so-and-so enzyme doesn't do that!" or "that isn't medically possible!". It's a fan fiction, kids. About magical boomerangs and talking panda mob-bosses. Ya gotta allow for a little suspension of disbelief.
That said, I know I've been flaking horribly on my updates, and I can only thank you all for remaining interested, and hope you enjoy the chapter.
When babies are born, they are perfect. Smooth, flawless and soft skin, downy hair, ten little fingers and ten little toes. Fragile bones, then undeveloped muscles, flesh and paper-thin tissue, ligaments connecting the arms to the shoulders and the legs to the hips...
But then, the transformation, the slow, gradual slip from undeniable perfection into flawed, jilted existence. Babies grow, become older, sometimes wiser, sometimes not. Cuts heal over and form tough white scars, bones break and mend, leaving hard, knitted knots in their place. Personalities develop, people become embittered, as the slow dawning of reality takes place.
For him, it was sharp. Unexpected, almost. Sure, he'd been wronged before; he'd had his trusted betrayed, been lied to, disappointed, wounded. But he'd always been prepared, mentally expectant even if not consciously, and therefore able to steel himself from true hurt, and thus, true realization. He'd maintained a naive, childlike mentality when it came to other people – he disliked his enemies passionately, but grudgingly accepted their occasional good deeds (towards him) and reluctantly extended the hand of peace when his cue was given.
Equally, when he loved, he did so ardently; and there was no doubt that he loved Chase Young.
However, somehow, he'd allowed that love to become the sword with which he was struck down – the weapon wielded against his heart, not only once, but several times. In the moments before he'd lost his limb, he had had the realization that even though he had surrendered to his not-so-secret love, he had felt nothing less than an absolute sense of peace. There was no shame in surrendering to Chase.
After all, his heart had surrendered the moment he'd laid eyes on him.
Now though, as he drifted in a white sea that viscerally, he knew to be caused by the anesthetic, he contemplated where he would go from here. He had offered his loyalty, his talent and ultimately, yes, his heart – had held it up into the sky and had it scoffed at, tossed aside and deemed unworthy, unnecessary. He had felt the sting of Chase's refusal countless times before, so he could, of course, bury his head in the ground – pretend that this instance was no different than the last, pretend that he was completely unaffected and charge onward with the single-minded determination that was characteristic of Jack Spicer.
Or, he could repair his body, flee, and regroup. Get his priorities straight, get his life sorted out, and recover from his accumulated heartaches. He could leave all of this Shen Gong Wu business behind him; there were other, more effective ways to take over the world, anyway. Apart from a select few, the Wu weren't even really that impressive; a whip, a ray-blaster, amour and a strong fist; all could be replicated a thousand fold by modern technology. But he was digressing from his point.
And he was running out of time. Already, the hazy fog of the sedative was fading, replaced with the sharp, intruding shock of the recovery room lights, however thoughtfully dimmed no doubt by JB-01. All thoughts of the choice he had to make, he eagerly anticipated the return of his other senses, anticipating the feeling of his new limb, whether it be pain, or any other sensation under the sea.
Instead he felt... nothing.
Then aching emptiness that had been pulling at his soul since the separation of arm and body was still present, still strong, dominating his senses. He felt a horrible rush of dread – what went wrong? Had the surgery been unsuccessful? Had Chase been right – had JB-01 failed?!
But no, he calmed himself, kicking his logic into high gear. Something within his own mechanics must have been faulty – something within the arm itself.
Something with the nerves themselves...
His newly awakened eyes lit with an all-consuming fury.
An ear-shattering "BANG!" shuttered through the lair, forcing a full-body shudder (though he would sooner kill than admit it,) from the warlord's heightened senses. A few minutes later, a protesting monotone voice he registered, through a haze of dislike, as JB-01's, accompanied by the chilly silence that could only be interpreted as the sound of utter rage, entered his field of awareness. Something was wrong - this wasn't just one of the boy genius' standard (though often unseen by the warlord nowadays) hiss-fits. This was a Problem.
Chase disliked Problems.
From the hallway connecting his meditation room to the conjoined guest suites, the brisk 'taptaptap' of Spicer's steel-bottomed boots reached him, and moments later, the boy himself entered the room.
And while his bottom half was still normally clothed in his clunky black boots and scuffed-up black jeans...
His top half was decidedly less clothed.
Chase Young, he reminded himself, was a near-thousand year old warrior overlord, with blood-caked hands and a soul black as death.
Therefore, it was impossible for him to be, even inwardly, gaping appreciatively at Jack Spicer's smooth, pale expanse of snow-white, lightly muscled chest, decorated here and there with delicately raised scars from the various battles he'd been in (and lost, no doubt,) over the years. And it was true, he'd seen it all before - but what roused him more even than Spicer's admittedly attractive body (and yes, he would readily admit that it was a pleasing form to his weighing eyes,) was the icy, wrathful look in those large cerise eyes of his.
Turning his attention back to the matter at hand, he rumbled from his meditative position on the floor, "What seems to be the problem, Spicer?"
Sounding like he'd never heard before, the young goth's reply came out in the form of a venomous hiss.
"This is the problem!"
And he thrust out what used to be a flesh and blood appendage - but no longer. Instead, the gentle lighting of the chamber reflected off of a long, elegant length of shining silver, as moonlight does on a lake. Far from the ugly, spindling mass he'd expected the arm to look like, this was far more beautiful than any human flesh could aspire to be - and as he gazed closely at it's details, he caught sight of a string a protective and strengthening runes spiraling about it's body, forming thing bracelets at his shoulder and wrist. It seemed that one of the only non-magical beings that participated in the epic battle for Shen Gong Wu had finally wised up to the power those ancient energies could imbue in even the most mundane of individuals. Yet still, he couldn't understand the source of the genius' upset.
"Elaborate." He demanded, raising an imperious ebony brow.
"Operative 44 betrayed me!" He growled menacingly, the glinting artificial fingers curling into a fist before him. "The fucking rat gave me faulty nerves! I can't feel anything!"
Closely examining the younger man's expression, the overlord spotted keenly how his enraged eyes shined with a thin layer of tears - the boy was truly frightened, terrified. His entire frame shuddered faintly with distress. Heaving a mental sigh, he stood and strode swiftly towards the one who had so captured his attention, unable to discard his troubles so easily, even if he had wished to.
Tipping up the boy's delicately heart-shaped chin, he looked deep into the goth's tumultuous, bloody eyes.
"Well, you know what you must do from here, Spicer... get even."
And slowly, a devious, malicious grin creeped over Jack's face.
Rather than storm the Pentagon with all of the reckless bluster that Chase use to associate with the redhead, he instead found himself trailing after Jack as he returned to his temporary laboratory. The teen's countenance, though still icy-cold, was noticeably calmer at the thought of revenge, and, he suspected, thoughtfulness over how he would reclaim feeling in his limb. A limb which he, despite all his valiant efforts, could not take his eyes off of. It was probably indecent to be so utterly captivated by a piece of machinery, even one so masterfully crafted as this, but he could not bring himself to care as he observed carefully the curve and bend, the gentle, ethereal play of the hall's candle light on it's metallic surface, the sheer artistry of the ageless runes looping in an infinite circle around the beautiful appendage, around and around, endlessly, eternally...
He was snapped out of his reverie by the sharp clinking of glass vials against each other, realizing they had arrived in the lab, and, looking to the source of the noise, saw Jack muttering to himself in the corner, rooting though vials and beakers of luridly colored liquids in his usual disorganized manner. Apparently finding the one he was looking for, he let out a triumphant "Ha!", clutching a long, thing vial full of acid green, sparkling liquid, run through with veins of royal blue. Placing the vial carefully into an empty rack on his worktable, the genius returned to his search. By the end of his hunt, his worktable was burdened with equipment, ranging from a rainbow of vialed liquids, to odd mechanical balls and canisters, what appeared to be a moderately sized syringe, and a...dart-gun?
"What is the meaning of all this, Spicer?"
Cerise eyes shot over to him, glimmering faintly with surprise; the teen hadn't expected him to follow. Turning that over in his mind, he nevertheless waited impatiently for his answer.
Confusedly, Spicer did so. "I'm going to track down Operative 44, find why he gave me beat goods, and then get my not-beat goods."
Apparently, he had thought too soon. "You're planning on storming the Pentagon? Do you realize how idiotic that is? Even with whatever superior technology you posses, do you truly wish to make enemies with an entire governmental organization? No, an entire country!"
The boy genius scoffed. "Even I'm not that idealistic. The synthetic nerves I'm planning on stealing are tiny; and I mean, REALLY tiny. I don't need to go there myself to steal them. I can use this."
Spicer held out his flesh hand, and sitting in the center of his ivory palm was what looked to be a tiny, lifelike robotic spider.
"I call it a Spyder. I can remotely control it from right here in the lab, and even if it is discovered, which has about a ten million-to-one chance of happening, they won't be able to track it back to be in any way. I even installed a self-incinerator that I can activated as soon as I'm noticed; it'll vaporize into thin air, as if it wasn't even there. Besides, these nerves are relatively low-priority on the Pentagon's "do not let fall into the wrong hands list". There's no money in curing things like nerve damage and paralyzation, and quality of life issues are none of their concern. To be honest, I don't even know why they have a project like this in the first place; it's a relatively new installment, apparently funded by some do-gooder rich outside benefactor who had his own scientists working on it for years. Probably some personal connection to the research..."
Reigning in his impressed expression, the overlord sighed, "Do get to the point, Spicer."
The techie scowled, but acquiesced, "Right. So, I can use it to steal the nerves. And as for my revenge on Op. 44..."
That fetching, merciless shine in Spicer's eyes returned, wickedly sharp and more poignant than ever.
"I'll be visiting his residence... personally."
A/N: Thanks for reading, y'all! Hope you enjoyed it, be looking out for the next installment; intrigue, infiltration, indecency and revenge all await!
Love and Peace!