EPILOGUE

intercepted burst-transmission; location unknown
Timestamp: April 2nd, 2151

Coal: ...and that's pretty much the entire story.

Tome: Sorry that we couldn't be more specific in some cases... we weren't there for all of it, so we had to embellish a little.

Rook: Wow... so... that's it, huh?

Nox: Amazing...

Coal: To you, maybe. You didn't have to live through it. In fact, where the hell were you?!

Nox: I heard about the Hunters' renewed search for us through an informant, so I took to the hills. I got that stupid "ghost ping", but didn't respond for obvious reasons. Seriously. Don't try to search me out; I know everything, and if I don't show up on my own accord, I'm not interested!

Tome: Shut up! We could have really used your help. You and your goddamn secrets, I swear...

Coal: Knock it off, you two. What about you, Rook? Who was the "moon man"?

Rook: That was Calibur. He showed up to assassinate me because he was worried that I'd tip the scales too far in your favor. If it wasn't for Jotuz and this weird proximity alarm thing he built I probably wouldn't be here right now. Oh, and sorry about that, by the way.

Coal: Sorry about what?

Rook: About Jotuz. He's a little stir crazy. I think it's because of the heat.

Coal: Yeah, well, that can only be expected from a human... one shouldn't be living in those conditions...

Rook: Actually, he's a Reploid.

Coal: ...come again?

Rook: You know how Taggs got that new armor from Artemis, and he said it was NextGen? Well, the late Dr. Cain was working on a new model of Reploid called "NextGen"; Arty probably just took the design and applied it to armor. But Jotuz is one of the prototypes; a more civilian type, unlike Axl. In fact, his design is based on someone we know.

Nox: Who?

Rook: The littlest one of us all.

Tome: ... you're kidding. That crazy old coot is based off MY blueprints?

Rook: Yeah. In fact, your body is one of the main templates for most new models.

Tome: Huh. Well how about that.

Nox: As stimulating as that is, I have to ask: what about the Hunters? Shouldn't they have hunted us down by now?

Coal: That's what we thought as well. In the end, though, X approached us diplomatically.

Rook: That's a first.

Tome: He didn't even ask anything of us. He just said that it would look incredibly bad to say that one of the greatest Maverick Hunter bases in the world was infiltrated by just four of us and that it would also give the public too much information about our designs.

Coal: Plus they had their hands full trying to come up with a discreet but still legal was to punish Apex Labs.

Rook: What do they have to do with anything?

Coal: I dunno. The name came up a lot in Calibur's records, but other than that I can't be sure of anything.

Nox: I think they were commissioned by our fine feathered friend to develop a core similar to ours. At least, that's what my informant says.

Rook: Bastards... have they no respect for the dead? Let them rest in peace, and join our Lord and Father in heaven.

Tome: Heaven? Us? I don't think so.

Coal: Look, whatever they were attempting, the Hunters couldn't find any evidence of any sort of illegal activity during their raid... at least, nothing pertaining to what they were looking for. I think they decided on an under-the-table fine and a couple of years probation, plus full Hunter supervision if they try anything like it again.

Nox: That's appropriate, I think.

Rook: That's it? No investigation into the events? No loved ones concerned about the sudden disappearance of relatives?

Tome: Well, like I said, they couldn't afford to blotch their own record by telling the truth, or cause a public panic. So they said it was a weapons testing accident: a new bomb that went off. It also explained the damage to the surrounding area quite well.

Nox: A bomb? I would think you guys were a bit more precise with your work.

Tome: Well, they... they purposefully burned a lot of the bodies to make them look convincing, and even did the same thing to most of the levels so the investigators could have convincing photos to show the public. In fact, Commander Dorio is the one who's heading the cover-up campaign.

Nox: That's just sick... wait, Dorio? As in Commander Sevir Dorio of the 50th Black Ops unit?

Rook: Wait, isn't he the guy...?

Tome: Yeah, he's the one who was in charge of the first attempt to destroy us, the one right after the Third Maverick War. He's always had it in for us since we killed half his unit and sent two others into intensive care.

Nox: That guy has such a chip on his shoulder about that... seriously, why can't he just let it go? Nobody liked them anyway.

Rook: And what about Calibur?

Tome: He's dead.

Nox: ... what?!

Rook: ... what?!

Coal: They found his body in the furnace room of some motel in Dexter, Michigan. His core had exploded, and there were burns and cuts all over his body... also, some components of his brain had been ripped out of his head.

Nox: Think it could've been self-inflicted?

Tome: No, all signs point to homicide. Not that we care. But there was something else. They scanned his remains and found something: he was viral.

Nox: What?! He was a Maverick?? That's impossible! The Hunter bases have loads of scanning equipment to make sure one of their own can't go viral without them noticing it.

Tome: Nobody's sure, but they theorize that he used his Commander status to bypass a lot of security, and the stuff he didn't get around was tricked by some sort of block. The Hunters are scanning their databases looking for any sort of tampering with the data.

Coal: That's not the weirdest part. The weirdest part is that there were traces of Eternal Core energy all over the furnace room, going both in and out.

Rook: So... was it Reaper? It seems like his kind of vengeance thing.

Coal: Couldn't have been him. He's still sulking in Germany, not that I blame him. He's started terrorizing the surrounding towns as some hideous spectre of death, though.

Rook: ... at least he's getting some social interaction.

Nox: Was it Taggs?

Coal: It could've been. It's true that we haven't heard from him... but according to Reaper, he decided to lie low with Laffy for a while. A vacation, I suppose. And I haven't heard from him since he picked up his armor from the warehouse when Artemis sent me to make sure he got it.

Tome: Oh yeah, what does his new armor look like?

Coal: The jerk turned the black back to blue. Taggs apparently didn't like it; said it gave him too much of a "dark feeling". Pansy.

Tome: But other than that...?

Coal: Other than that, it's great. Still has all the shiny things from before, and he added a few new features.

Nox: Like wha--...

Rook: Wait, did you hear that?

Tome: Yeah, rustling. Someone else is here...

Coal: Hunters. I'm sure of it. Okay, break the transmission, silence the bastards, and scatter. We can't all afford to get captured now, can we?

transmission ended

THE END