Regina scrutinized the German man before her with searching eyes. She didn't know if she could trust this man, but at the same time he held valuable information as to what happened to this place. Hell, he may even have an idea as to how to escape this hellhole. Besides, you never really FULLY trust anyone, no matter how close they are to you. So Regina calmly took the seat beside the man and crossed her legs.
"Alright first things first. My name is Regina Queens, I am the commanding officer of a team of Marines that was sent here to investigate…an anomaly in this region. We are currently at war in Vietnam and we didn't want to take any chances with letting a possible enemy ship slip into the borders of our country unnoticed. And you are…?" Regina gestured to the man.
The German man smiled at her.
"My name is Luca Fischer and I was the chief of the cybernetic weapons division of a company called the Esper Industries here in The Metropolis City Of Citadel."
Regina raised a delicate crimson colored eyebrow.
"Citadel, is that this city's full name?" Regina asked. Luca nodded his head then a look of disdain crossed his features.
"Yes, you must have been communicating with old John Hammond then if you just know the city by the 'Metropolis' part. The crazy bastard keeps preaching about Metropolis this and Metropolis that! Talking about how 'his' city will rise from the ashes of it's self destruction like the legendary Phoenix. Bunch of bullshit, this city is dead and from the things I've seen crawling around out there, it's not ever getting back up." Luca sighed. "This city is a husk of it's former self, just like the rest of Tau Ceti."
Regina put a hand on her chin and narrowed her eyes in thought.
"What do you mean 'like the rest of Tau Ceti'?" Regina asked. Luca gave her a slightly surprised look.
"You mean you don't know?"
Regina's eyebrow twitched and she gave Luca an annoyed glare.
"I obviously don't know if I'm asking you." Regina growled out. Luca blinked and then rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"Heh, heh, sorry about that. I guess it's just such common knowledge to those who live here that I forgot that you are an outsider. We don't really see many visitors here…, well we usually see them in pieces lying next to the dens of Rad Scorpions and such." Luca took a sip of water from the glass that sat on the table beside him then went on.
"Tau Ceti is the name of this self sustaining country. It is made up of eight city states, The Metropolis City Of Citadel, The Technological City Of Von Braun, The Underground Mining City Of Ishimaru, The Underwater City Of Atlantica, The Forest City Of Arcadia, The Military City Of Reach, The Floating City Of Icarus, and The City Of Haven: Rickenbacker. Each city performs a specific job that helps keep Tau Ceti up and running and each has it's own founder. The Metropolis City Of Citadel is run by, you guessed it, John Hammond. The city is kind of a jack of all trades. Pretty high end technology, decent living quarters, has decent farming ranges, but it's more of a city based around entertainment."
Regina gave him a blank stare.
"Well, I am thoroughly entertained already." Regina stated in a sarcastic tone.
"If your entertained now, then you're going to have a great time when venturing deeper into the city. The farther into the city you go, the more monstrous forms of the Many and other mutant creatures and Cyborgs you'll encounter. Don't even get me started on the security either, you could handle a Cyborg Midwife with no problem but with the way you are right now I wouldn't dare put you in the same room with any of the stronger Cyborgs, especially the Cortex Reavers."
Regina tilted her head to the side in curiosity.
"What is a Cortex Reaver?" The vermillion haired soldier asked, Luca sighed tiredly.
"That is…something for another time, anyway let me tell you of the Many." Luca took another sip of water and cleared his throat.
"The Many were created in a lab facility called Beta Grove at the bioengineering sector of The Technological City Of Von Braun. The sector had always been highly praised, for not only were they recreating extinct creatures but also modifying some of them and creating new sub species of the animals. They even created entirely new species. One of the species it created was parasitic in nature, the scientists dubbed them Annelids. Most people call them the Many, for that is what they refer to themselves as."
The crimson eyed soldier gave Luca a quizzical look.
"They…call themselves the Many? I've been in this Godforsaken city for a couple of days now and the mutants that have attacked my people are not very mutated at all AND they don't talk."
"Let me explain. The Many are parasitic, each life form of the Many starts out as an egg. They are waist high, flesh colored, spherical pods that hold the Many's primary form of infection: Annelid Worms, which are genetically female. Some eggs are duds and just hold potent acids or maybe even Annelid Wasps which are the genetically male versions of the female worms. Anyway, when a host grows near, the Annelid Worms will hatch out of their eggs, swarm their target and borrow into it's body. The grub like worms will eventually consume the human life form's inner body and subsume his or her will, and use them as a puppet. This transformation process takes about a week."
Regina's crimson red eyes widened in recognition.
"So what you are saying is, is that these people were turned just recently?"
"Precisely. The reason why you haven't heard any of these non evolved infected talk is because their minds are still trying to ward off the infection. It takes some amount of concentration to talk, something that they just don't have. Now, the Many are not the only highly aggressive parasitoids running around here, they are however the most common in this area, which is the reason why I attacked you. Your red eyes make you look exactly like one of the non evolved infected."
Regina shrugged her shoulders, sounded logical to her, although if the team ran into anymore survivors they would probably immediately mistake her for one of the Many. That would be a problem. Luca reached inside his lab coat pocket and took out a packet of cigarettes, he took two out of the pack and gestured for Regina to take one. Regina gave him a small smile.
"Well, don't mind if I do!" Regina took the cigarette and started to search her pockets.
"Um Luca, you wouldn't happen to have a light on you, would you?" Regina asked him. Luca took out lighter from his pocket and lit the end of Regina's cigarette while she puffed on it.
"You're welcome. Now, I am supposing that you want to know why exactly Tau Ceti is in the state it is in today?" Luca asked. Regina nodded her head.
"That would be very helpful and in return for all of this information you are giving me I'll help you with…whatever it is you need help with." Regina said. Luca nodded his head in agreement.
"It is a deal. The reason for the country's state of disrepair is because of, as anyone might have guessed, war. Not a war between people but between monsters."
Regina took a drag of her cigarette and exhaled a cloud of smoke.
"Monsters?" Regina asked quizzically. Luca nodded solemnly.
"Yes, The Many, The Cyborgs, The Dinosaurs, The Mutants, and a whole bunch of other genetically, and cybernetically, engineered monstrosities. Heh, some of the damned creatures were actual products of mother nature and we simply woke them up. But at any rate, Tau Ceti's unsupervised use of EDEN and Cybernetic Enhancements to create creatures that should have never seen the light of day was it's downfall. The use of such monstrosities as weapons ultimately opens up a gap for the weapons to turn on their masters." Luca paused and took a drag of his cigarette.
"Ain't that the truth, but what is EDEN? Two of my other…colleagues, informed me that these creatures were pumped full of a substance called ADAM."
Luca seemed greatly surprised by this.
"Your…'colleagues' have been to…, no, they SURVIVED Rapture?" Luca asked incredulously. Regina gave him a small smirk.
"Yes, one of them is a Big Sister and the other a Prototype Big Daddy." Regina informed. Luca nodded his head in understanding.
"I don't really know anything about these 'Big Sisters' but I do know that the Big Daddies are at the top of the food chain down there. If anything can live through Rapture and escape it, it's a Big Daddy." Luca took another drag of his cigarette and continued. "When ADAM was discovered in Rapture our country's founder made a deal with Andrew Ryan, he offered up a large sum of money for their research on the substance, Andrew Ryan would have been a fool NOT to accept it. Our founder also paid for other various Rapture businesses such as the Circus Of Value Vending Machines, the Power To The People Vending Machines, and the Gatherer's Garden Machines but these machines are mostly found in entertainment sections of our cities since they are…more user friendly than Tau Ceti's own professional versions of the machines. The deal was that for Rapture's major businesses' services, seventy-five percent of the profits would go to them. Like I said, a deal that they would be foolish to not accept but it was because of Rapture's greed that Tau Ceti was able to make a major break through involving ADAM and the slugs that created it." Luca took one last drag of his cigarette before putting it out in an ash tray that sat on the table beside him.
"Through genetic manipulation, we were able to modify the ADAM Slug into a whole new type of life form. Though it would still need a female host in order to create enough of the genetic substance, ADAM, to be useful, it could now be implanted within ADULT female hosts and generate three times as much ADAM. The Slug had also turned into a creature that could reproduce by the thousands every single year and the ADAM it produced is slightly more potent than what was produced by the original deep sea parasite. We called the new ADAM Slug, Parasite Eve and the new substance, EDEN." Luca sighed deeply.
"With EDEN and advanced cybernetics we were able to advance Plasmid and Tonic development and even create a new set of paranormal inducing substances altogether. We called them Psionics and Implants. Unlike Plasmids and Tonics, Psionics and Implants do not cause the user to devolve into mindless savage animals but one cannot simply inject a Psionic into their system and use it. For PSI users to generate their powers effectively enough, they need to be in possession of a Black Ops PSI-AMP. It's a circular black orb that fits in the palm of either of your hands and is connected to a vein in your arm by a wire with a hypodermic needle on the end of it. Normally Psionic powers can only be detected in a lab environment, since by themselves Psionic powers are vastly weaker than Plasmids. This was done on purpose to avoid physical deformities and mental problems. But with a Black Ops PSI-AMP, Psionic powers can be boosted to a level comparable to Plasmids."
Regina absorbed all of the information she was given and nodded her head in understanding, it was a lot to digest but she managed to memorize every single word Luca said.
She was a certified genius after all.
"Now, for what I need your help with…." Luca sighed. "Regina Queens, I need your help getting to my daughter, Anna Fischer. She is all the way on the other side of the country in The City Of Haven: Rickenbacker, the only SAFE place in the country and the only way you are getting out of this hellhole. The reason why you were able to land in The Metropolis City Of Citadel, or even find it for that matter, was because the fog cloaking systems were down and the anti air and sea missile systems were offline as well. The fog systems not only hide our medium sized country from view, but also disables all electrical appliances within it. It also messes with compasses, making navigation impossible. The anti air and sea missiles will shoot any unauthorized vessel that gets to close to either of the city states on sight…or any vessel that attempts to leave the country as well. The City Of Haven: Rickenbacker, is the only safe way to get out of this place for it contains vessels that are authorized to leave, it's the only way to the outside world."
Regina opened her mouth to say something.
"The missiles also target underwater vessels as well. Remember, The Underwater City of Atlantica is also armed." Luca added. Regina sighed.
"This…is going to be MUCH tougher than I thought." Regina stated as she sat there with her arms crossed. Luca gave Regina a stern stare.
"Commander Regina Queens, I want you to take me with you to Rickenbacker. If you agree, I'll turn you into a Psionic user. Face it, you haven't even crossed HALF of this country and it's only going to get harder from here on out. Your going to need all the help you can get. Citadel is on lock down right now by old John Hammond, to get to the city of Von Braun we are going to need his genetic key. Besides, you all could use a guide I presume, it must be frustrating to base all of your battle plans on guesses and luck."
Regina grimaced, she hated that word.
It was a word that most of her male colleagues used when she performed something that was much more impressive than any of them could hope to accomplish. 'Luck' was something that people used to excuse her from the picture, something that subtracted from her skills. If they were going to get out of here alive, they were going to need more than just luck.