Kiwi: Shhh… be very, very quiet… I'm hiding from Torio. Yes, I am perfectly aware that I really should be finishing my various Transformers fics, or 'Losing Face', but c'mon, it's Repo! It's so awesome there's even an exclamation mark in the title!
Torio: Finish your fics for Skorm's sake, Kiwi!
Kiwi: Yeah, yeah, I know… I'll finish this one, I promise… eventually. Anyway, this is not only my first Repo! Fic, but it's also my first fic in which the central characters are not giant alien robots or cute little puffballs. I don't usually write human characters.
Torio: Just get on with it!
Kiwi: I don't own Repo! The Genetic Opera, m'kay? Now here's to hoping that I can finish this fic before I get sidetracked by- ooh, look, a shiny!
Prologue: Seventeen years before the events at the Genetic Opera…
Nathan Wallace didn't move from where he was huddled up in the corner of his cell. His eyes seemed distant, staring but not seeing.
"Nathan." Rotti repeated patiently, feigning concern. He shook the man gently. "Nathan."
"Marni…" Nathan murmured.
"Nathan, Marni is gone." Rotti told him.
"Gone?" Nathan asked. "She…she…" Finally, Nathan broke down. "Oh God, what have done?"
"It was a mistake." Rotti told him. "You didn't do it on purpose, Nathan."
"I killed her, oh my God, I killed her!"
"Calm down," Rotti said, gripping the man's shoulders, "Nathan, calm down." Rotti watched as Nathan managed to get himself somewhat under control. "Do you remember what happened?"
"I remember... somewhat." Nathan said. "It's all so vague." He closed his eyes. "Rotti, I don't want to remember."
"No, no, of course not. It was such a horrible event. I can understand that you do not want to remember."
"Wh-where's Shilo?" Nathan asked.
"That's what she wanted to name her. Shilo." Nathan choked back a sob. "I wanted some dull name, like Mary, but she said Shilo. Said it meant 'gift of God' or something, so we decided on Shilo…"
"And she is a gift from God." Rotti smoothly interrupted, knowing Nathan would ramble on if he let him. "The Genterns are attending to her. She is safe. It's a miracle she survived, you know."
"What happens now?" Nathan asked. "What's going to happen to Shilo?"
Rotti sighed. "I cannot continue to employ you as a doctor."
"Of course not." Nathan agreed. "But without a job-"
"I can help you out for a while." Rotti said. "Sadly, right now, GeneCo has no openings, but that may change in the future. Until then, you can do odd jobs around the building." Rotti glanced at Nathan and noted his anxious expression. "And yes, you will be permitted to have custody of Shilo. I'll do my best to keep this out of the records, Nathan."
"Thank you, Rotti."
Rotti left the cell smiling, schemes already hatching. Shilo was his back-up plan. His own children were shaping up to be spoiled brats, so in the event that none of them were suitable heirs, he would have Shilo. It was best to keep her as far away from his own children as possible.
As for Nathan, he would be grateful for the generosity for the first couple of weeks, but he wouldn't want to live on handouts forever. Plus he was indebted to Rotti; Gene Co. was his only chance of employment. Rotti would hold on to this debt until he could find a particularly unsavory job to punish him, or a way to put him to good use. Or both, preferably. Plus, if Nathan decided to turn down Rotti's offer of employment, it would be easy to rip Shilo away from him. Rotti practically owned Nathan; the former doctor just didn't know it yet.
Chapter one: Start of the Spiral
Six years after Marni's death…
Nathan jerked awake when the phone built into his watched beeped, alerting him that he had a message.
"Nathan Wallace, report to my office immediately." Rotti's voice said. "I may have a job for you."
Nathan shifted and winced. Shilo had fallen asleep leaning against his arm, and the limb was now asleep. He nudged the girl awake.
Shilo rubbed her eyes sleepily. Nathan smiled. "My boss just called me," he said to the tired girl, "so I have to go. Can you be good while I'm gone?"
"Yes, daddy." Shilo yawned. She flopped back down on the couch. "Night-night."
"I'm locking the door, okay. Don't answer it for anyone, and don't be wandering about outside."
"Okay." Shilo muttered, falling back asleep.
Nathan smiled warmly as he left the house.
Rotti shuffled through the paperwork. They had lost Dan again. Rotti was starting to doubt the man was worth the trouble it would take to get that damned liver back from him.
Two Repo Men injured, one killed. Rotti shook his head. It'd be a good month or two before Dan resurfaced, and now he was understaffed. Repo Men were difficult to replace.
Oh well, it was a good thing he already had a replacement standing by. "Ah, Nathan, you're here." He walked up to the ex-doctor. "I have something of great importance to speak with you about."
"A chance for employment, right?" Nathan asked. "So I can finally pay back all I owe you for helping us out all these years."
Rotti smiled. He had never pushed the issue about payment with Nathan. The man had assumed he was going to pay Rotti back on his own. Of course, Nathan had never been able to actually obtain a job. Rotti had made sure of that. "Yes, a job. And this one is permanent. It pays well, too. Within a few short years, you should be able to pay off all of your debt. Come, sit down."
Rotti led Nathan to a chair that had been placed next to his desk. He handed Nathan the paperwork and a pen. Nathan sat down and glanced over the papers. "Rotti, what sort of job is this?" He asked.
"Recently, a couple of my Repo men had a bad run-in with a dangerous criminal," Rotti explained, "and one of them, well, didn't make it out of there alive."
Nathan set the pen down. "A Repo Man? Rotti, I can't-"
"You have to." Rotti told him.
"You're asking me to willingly take people's lives." Nathan protested. "I swore an oath…" He paused. "I swore an oath to do no harm."
Rotti sighed. "You really have no choice, Nathan. I cannot support you forever, and your house is technically GeneCo property."
"I know." Nathan stated.
Rotti suppressed a smirk. Now for the final nail in the coffin. "And if you get tossed out on the street, well, I just can't bear to see such a horrible fate for such a precious little girl like Shilo."
"Please, anything else but this." Nathan pleaded. "Please."
"You have to look at this from my view." Rotti explained. "It is necessary for Repo Men to have medical training, but no one goes to med school actually planning to be a Repo Man. As of right now, Nathan, you are the only person I know who has medical training, but is not a doctor."
"Because I can't be a doctor anymore." Nathan stated.
"Repo Men do not need medical licenses. Your dreadful case of… malpractice does not matter here." Rotti said. "You are the only person I have who is qualified for this job."
"But-" Nathan started to protest.
"Do it for Shilo, Nathan." Rotti told him. "That way she can live a happy life."
"But what do I tell her!" Nathan yelled. "When I go off to work, what do I tell her? That daddy's got to go kill people, but don't worry, he'll be back by dinner?"
"She doesn't have to know." Rotti said. "As far as your records are concerned, you'll be listed as one of our doctors. Keeping the identities of our Repo Men secret is of top priority."
Nathan closed his eyes, deep in thought. "I have no choice, do I?"
"No, you don't."
Nathan picked up the pen. "You won't tell her, right? She never has to know?"
"That is correct." Rotti said, handing Nathan the Repo Man helmet.
Holding back his tears, Nathan Wallace signed his life away.
"Daddy! You're back!" Shilo ran up to her father, giving him a large hug. "Did you get a job?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah. Come sit with me. I need to talk to you."
Shilo followed her father, forgetting all about the tea party she had assembled with her stuffed animals. She sat down on the couch, beaming up at her weary father.
"Shilo, every once in a while, I will have to leave to go do my work. I'm… well, they call it being 'on-call'. Basically, when they call me, I go to work. If they don't call, I don't go. Sometimes, you will be here by yourself, and those are when you really need to behave."
Shilo nodded obediently. "What job did you get?" She asked innocently.
"I… I'm like a doctor."
"Wow." Shilo whispered. "So you're going to help lots of people, huh?"
"Yes." Nathan muttered. He looked, hoping that would keep him from breaking down.
How was he going to do this?
Graverobber sat on one of the graves, looking at the house. He had seen the man who lived there many times. After all, he frequented this graveyard enough to have noticed the family, if they could be called that. A father and a daughter; the remnants of a happy family, to be sure.
Something had been off today. The man was unusually solemn. He had seemed to be hiding something. He also looked positively ashamed, though of what, Graverobber couldn't guess. Obviously, something had changed.
Graverobber chuckled to himself. "I have the feeling that things are about to get very interesting."
Kiwi: Yeah, the first chapter is done. I know it's short. Anyway here's some author notes.
I treat Nathan and Repo Man as one character (kind of). This is because Nathan really just doesn't fit the bill for multiple personality disorder. If he did, then he would not be aware of Repo Man. So my view is that they aren't two distinct personalities, and poor Nate is just batshit crazy.
Also, Graverobber's in this. Simply because he is too awesome to leave out.
The reason why I had Nate wait 6 years before getting the Repo Man gig was so Shilo would be older. I mean, if she was an infant, and with Nate being as paranoid as he is, what would happen to her while he's out and about? (Not that leaving her alone at the age of 6 is going to win him father of the year awards…)
Umm… There is no set schedule for updates. Do not be surprised if I go months without posting a new chapter.
That's about it, for now. Review please!