Founded in early 2009 following the vanishing of the wizarding world, this hush-hush group originally sought to find out what happened to avoid facing the same fate but now serves to research ways to safely defend themselves against the likes of magic should the need ever arise.
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by: Orion
#18505
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June 8th, 12:08pm
She said goodbye and headed out the door on May the twelfth. It closed behind her. It hasn’t opened ever since then. The lights had turned off five times and back on another five. Two more times made a week of that door staying closed. By that time, Simon had already started talking to himself, pacing in his box. The poor mutant next door was screaming desperately to themselves at that point, begging for food. Well, at least they had water in their killing boxes. Sink, toilet, shower…everything necessary to pretend to be human except for a source of food…

”My name is Simon Dabrowski. I’m twenty six years old. I’m a freak of nature. I don’t feel pain. I don’t feel hunger. I don’t need to sleep. My name is Simon Dabrowski…”

Back and forth, the pale, deathly figure stalked, never getting tired. He kept reminding himself who he was, even as his neighbor headed down the path of shrieking madness. Silence came on the second week. On the sixteenth day, the lights did not come on in the morning. Out of his little window, Simon saw that the labs were dark and abandoned. Even the emergency lights were dark. They were abandoned, then. He’d been left alone. Too bad he was already dead, then…

On the twentieth day since the door closed, Simon laid down and didn’t get up. It was easier to just drift and not worry about anything. He was going mad, too. It started small with vivid imaginings. Eventually, it built up to talking to himself. He’d told himself story after story in the hopes that his imagination would feed his need for mental stimulation. Simon even got to the point that he stopped breathing, mouth moving silently as he stared vacantly. Three days later, even the soundless mouthing stopped. There was no sign of life in the mutant until the twenty fifth day when an explosion above him shook the foundations that made up his stone walled cell. Deep cracks in the ceiling became something new to look at and revitalized the prisoner.

Two days later, the door opened.

”Another dead one…Geezus…that makes five?”

Simon tried to correct them, jaw and lips working slowly as he came out of his stupor. He took his first breath in weeks.

”Not…dead…”

A scream and a thrown flashlight bounced off of Simon’s chest as he slowly sat up. The two men wearing orange safety vests and hard hats started freaking out. Simon thought the histrionics were unnecessary, so he just sat and waited politely for the men to finish.

Well, they didn’t. They had themselves a freak out for a good half hour before Simon found himself in a straight jacket being escorted out of the basement facility. For the first time in two years, he was out of the sub, sub, subbasement of the special hell that idiots went to when they died. Well, maybe THAT was histrionic. But even out of the sub-subbasement, they were still in a holding cell-like facility. That was boring, but at least there were new things to ignore.

Simon hugged himself involuntarily and sat in the chair he was given. People flurried all around him making phone calls and talking to people about “Another mutant” and this and that and the other thing. So he was alive. Great…but he wasn’t alive. Had to have a pulse, be breathing, all that fun jazz to be alive, after all. Still, Simon was animate. He had a free will. That was surprising enough for a corpse, right? He didn’t move until the door to his new holding room…an interrogation cell by the look of it…opened letting in a grey clothed figure. Simon squinted a bit to make out who was approaching.

”Hiya. What’s your name?”

His South London accent rippled out with a hint of gravel from disuse, but the chipper tone juxtaposed the corpselike features.
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by: Cole
#18659
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Internal affairs and auditing was simple compared to the investigative work he had done in the military. At least that was what he had thought it was going to be. He thought it was just going to be looking into bad office behavior, maybe some wage fraud or even, hopefully, some big scandal to uncover. In way, he supposed, he did get the scandal. But even that hope of a scandal hadn’t prepared him for the amount of absolute fairytale bullshit when he took the position in this division. At least now Mikhail understood why the opportunity had been presented as so important in need of a certain type of individual with specific training and higher paying than his last position. Because he was having to deal with literal monsters that his government had decided it needed to make. He understood the threat that the magical world presented to them but just because they were arming themselves against freaks of nature, did that really mean they had to make their own?

Ah, well. It was too late to stop it. Now there was only clean up left. Had Mikhail had his way, the entire project would have been wiped and erased from happening. But the higher ups believed that some of the assets could recoup the loss after the bombing that had taken place. That the creatures that had been made could still be useful. Despite that very bombing being caused by one of their wayward assets. It was a mess really. Even the files that had been managed to be salvage were charred and so redacted that they were mostly incoherent gramble of a mad scientist. But with the clean up of the labs still ongoing, Mikhail was hopeful that they would find something more that would help his investigation along.

As it were it would seem that they had found something interesting and it definitely was a thing. The message he woke to that morning had described that the team had found an asset but it was more of a walking, talking corpse than anything else. Which Mikhail had initially dismissed as an exaggeration of his subordinates until he walked into the attached room that the creature was being held and saw it through the one-way glass. It looked like one of the actors off that stupid zombie show that had gotten so popular over the last year minus the straightjacket, which had been an intelligent touch for once considering some of the people he worked with.

Once he had been full informed on the situation, Mikhail had armed himself with a notebook and a coffee to head into the interview room. This would be the first asset that they had found alive that appeared to be from the early sessions of the program. Perhaps the asset would shed some light on what had actually happened down there, how many of them had been made, how many of them were missing. He looked up at the gravel voice and frowned more. Damn, that was unnerving and even disgusting. But he would just have to deal with it. Without answering the creature, he took his seat slowly setting up his notebook and coffee with ease. He clicked his pen against the book a few times before making some starting notes about the creature’s demeanor. With a sip of his coffee and a breath, he began.

”I am Agent Mikhail Russo. What are you called?”
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by: Orion
#18665
So, while Simon had expected the man to be disgusted (which he was) and distant (which he was), he hadn't expected to be outright ignored completely. The mutant scowled at the treatment and pursed his lips, contemplating throwing harassment at the agent. Before he could begin spewing his patented brand of vitriolic vim and vigor, however, the agent...Russo apparently...finally decided to be human. Well, almost. Irony, the mutant thought, was a talking corpse thinking that the agent interviewing him was inhuman. But then again, the guy had all the expressions of a dead fish. Simon smirked at that comparison, trying to add scales to Russo's face in his imagination. When the question of identity was finally turned on him, Dabrowski faltered. Given name? Name his friends called him? Nickname? Identification number? The hell did this guy want?

"Uh...? I've been called a lot of things, Mikey. Aces. Simon. Dabrowski...Stupid Pollack...you know...healthy, wholesome things like that."

He smirked and leaned forward, trying to read what Russo was scribbling down.

"My program identification was M-8 if that's what you were talking about...Aces and Eights? Get it?"

The smirk grew broader in an invitation to connect. Of course, Dead Fish Boy probably wasn't going to laugh at the connection or smile, inhuman bastard...
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by: Cole
#18667
The shorthand on the notebook was a scrawling chicken scratch of notes; a description of Simon from the blackened dead veins that were prominent through his translucent green skin to the earthen grave smell emitting from him. Mikhail wrote down the various names he listed off but circled M-8 quietly. ”Eight? That was pretty early in the program,” he commented. Early enough to still be using convicts and street scum from the way Ahoudi’s notes had read. A small scowl crossed his features before going calm again.

He would have to look through the case files again but most of the older ones had gone missing or, perhaps, Ahoudi had felt she only needed to record the results for her personal use. Either way Mikhail wasn’t entirely sure what to do with the zombie sitting in front of him. Especially when he attempted to make a joke about his own name. Another frown tugged at the corner of his mouth as his blue eyes watched the other man intently, staring him down until he felt the weight of his own situation.

”So… Simon,” he began, letting the distaste of his name seep into his tone, ”The intention of the program was to make creatures that could be used as a defense against other supernatural threats. Tell me what your capabilities are.”

The assessment could start on something easy. Have this thing talk about itself a little bit before moving on to ask about what else had been bred in that underground hell. Then they could figure out what assets were missing and which were dead. Then the re-collection could begin for those missing. While it wouldn’t be the perfect division unit at least it was something.
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by: Orion
#18670
This guy was just a bona fide genius, wasn't he? Simon bit back some sarcastic remarks again about how, no, Eight was just arbitrarily assigned and he was brand new to the program...except there was so much bullshit on that statement that it would likely spontaneously summon all the cattle in America across the pond to stampede him in irony. Rather than say anything, the mutant decided to play it safe and say nothing unless he was asked. And, he'd even permit himself to be sarcastic at that point, too.

The noted he'd peeked at were...well, either this guy was using some form of note taking Simon hadn't seen before or he was a crazy motherfucker, using loops and doodles and scrawling like he was having a seizure. And what if the old dude did? It certainly would be a bad thing, with Aces chained to the chair and restrained like he was. He'd be of no help. Probably would just sit here and watch him die, judging him Olympic style. Five point four from the mutant judge, because fuck you, right? Sure...

When the subject came around to him and the point of his continued existence, Simon couldn't help but sneer a little at the disdain the agent was showing him. Two could play that game...

"Well, Russel," he started, intentionally using the wrong name. "It's been a minute since I was last evaluated, but the spark notes are this: I don't feel pain, I don't need to eat, breathe, or sleep, I'm stronger than anyone, and I'm adorable, cuddly, and have a fifteen year drive-train warranty. Careful, though, I lose half my value when you drive me off the lot."

He smirked, knowing his humor wasn't going to be appreciated. He couldn't help it. It had been so long since he could mouth off without getting in trouble or getting ignored. The odds were good that he'd be ignored, given Dead Fish Boy's demeanor. He would still try it, if only to give himself some entertainment.
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by: Cole
#18676
Mikhail frowned as the only acknowledgement to the wrong name. So this one had a quiet attitude under all that. Yet, he was managing to keep it quiet and mostly civil. Well at least his brain wasn’t as rotten out as his flesh was. Though his expressions and respect could definitely use some work much to Mikhail’s disapproval. He tapped his pen a few more times as he digested the new information. No pain, no need for nutrients, no sleep. Sounded like a perfect weapon if it weren’t for his obvious and startling appearance. At least the higher ups would be happy to hear about some vaguely good news.

”This improved strength… How improved?” he asked intently, watching the other, ”Also I understand you were found in a cell. Do you know anything about the others like you? I want to go over what could potentially have gotten out of the labs before they get hurt or start hurting the public.”

The likeliness of more missing mutants roaming free was an annoying and concerning idea but more likely than Mikhail was comfortable part. The number of dead they had found didn’t add up with the number of still open files they had managed to scrape together. Hopefully this… Eight? M-8 it had said… would be able to put a few more edge pieces on the oversized puzzle that had been forced on Mikhail’s plate.
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by: Orion
#18678
Simon smirked at the visible response he was given. It wasn’t my much more than a frown, but that crack in the façade was enough to encourage him into further shenanigans.

“How improved? I could pick your mum up, which is useful whenever the city works needs to do their maintenance work on her foundation.”

Not his best ‘your mama is so fat’ joke, but it was good enough. Simon shrugged once more in the canvas and haven an honest answer the second go around.

”I was able to do five reps with a five hundred kilogram deadlift before I was told to stop. I felt some strain and fatigue, but they didn’t have more weight. They estimated maybe max weight for a deadlift is closer to eight hundred kilograms.”

Simon’s facts were straight forward and simple; it had been about a year since he did an evaluation, but he was pretty sure his numbers were right. The follow up question wasn’t interesting, though...Mikey’s apparent concern for the escaped mutants would have been heart warming...if he had a heart. Simon watched carefully, then answered.

“Sure. I don’t know what happened with most of the seven previously to me, but I had a front row seat for the next two series they’d made. I can tell you what I know...but I gotta ask...what’s the carrot for me? Do I answer your questions and go back in a box or do I get a pat on the head?”

It was important to know what he could be rewarded with. After all, he had lived in a box for years, one way or another. It was time for some benefits to being Zombie People’s Sexiest Man of the Year.
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by: Cole
#18714
”As a grown adult, do you need more reward than doing the right thing?” Mikhail countered more sharply than he initially intended. But this zombie’s attitude was annoying. At best. If he looked more into it, Mikhail would probably find it disrespectful but that would break down their talks so he would dismiss it as nerves after being locked in the dark for so long. Perhaps, even the thing forgetting how common courtesy and manners worked. He made more notes to send the mutant to the medical labs for further evaluation. They would need to know exactly what it was capable of if they were even to consider teaming it up with one of the agents. After all, the other one… What was his name? The shadow walker? Ah, dammit it didn’t much matter. Either way the concept of handler and mutant was being tested and proving, so far, to be a positive resource for Mi5.

Perhaps if this one could be convinced to do more there could be another pair like that on the field. That would be hell of an advantage. He broke from his musings quietly and looked at the creature across from him. He leaned back in his seat calmly, sipping his coffee as he thought. If the creature need more motivation than decency than Mikhail supposed he could oblige him of that. ”So strength and conserving resources. That’s a useful talent. It could really be used with an agent if you’d be willing,” he said easily, ”Obviously you really can’t be allowed to leave with your appearance but I’m sure we could work something out. But you’d have to prove yourself. We could work up to that. First though, give me a little something useful and I’ll let you out of that jacket.”
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by: Orion
#18715
All vital capacity went out of the mutant at the rebuke. Slack expression, stilled breathing, and the slow bowing of his head signaled Simon’s acknowledgement that he was not an equal, nor was his sarcasm appreciated. Despite the submission, his expression hardened when he did rebound and look back up. Disgust mingled with machismo; Simon’s southern London accent thickened with the next words.

”You know I was skimmed out of a jail cell, right? Vehicular homicide in connection with grand theft auto. Whatever qualifications got me into this fairytale bullshit, it wasn’t decency or altruism or any of those fancy shit -bird ideas. I wanna see sunlight, Russo. I haven’t lived outside of a government numbered box in eight goddamn years and I will fucking do just about anything to taste fresh air again. So...you want info? Pick a number, one to a hundred forty, and I’ll tell you about the life and times of the retard specimen assigned to it.”

He slammed himself forward in his restraints, the earlier hint of desperation now a closer to an obsession.

”One, Four, Six, and Seven are all dead. Nine and Ten are abroad in another lab getting who knows what done to them. Two, Three, and Five and Twenty Eight are the loyalists, serving the Doc like pets or guard dogs. Wherever she is, that’s where they’ll be. They left us to starve and I’m only able to bitch about it because I can’t!”

He panted out of habit.
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by: Cole
#18719
Mikhail watched the outburst impassively. So he wanted an out well wasn’t that a convenient thing to know. That would be an easy enough bargaining chip to work with. Though if he ever hoped to walk free looking the way he did, boy, the creature was stupid or delusional. Probably both with the way he was acting. But then it had given him some important information so the least he could do was stick to his own word.

Mikhail rose silently, ”If you attack me or try to escape, you forfeit any consideration for better treatment,” he said plainly then undid the jacket. He returned to his seat calmly to look over his note, scratching away at the paper. He wouldn’t have to worry about four of the first series of mutants, that was a nice turn of events he supposed. But the other four sounded like an issue if they were still working for Ahoudi. Not to mention they had no knowledge of more labs abroad. So two, three, five, and- No… That wasn’t right. Twenty-eight was familiar…

Mikhail moved suddenly to pull out his cell phone. He skimmed through the files he had had sent to him when they were found in the lab. Twenty-eight, right the blonde… He frowned again then looked at the zombie. ”Twenty-eight isn’t with the doctor,” he commented, ”You say that one is loyal to the doctor but I have a video of it killing an assistant and escaping the labs. We’ve even had sightings of the creature in the city.”
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by: Orion
#18768
Simon felt himself inferior and stupid. Stupid…it was stupid that he had that emotional outburst. He needed to be better in control of himself, better behaved instead of acting out like a child or an…an…animal. A thing. And yet, here he was, acting just like that. Simon shut down in the storm of emotions flooding through them, letting the feelings die down into the nothingness he should have been feeling. After all, he didn’t feel things, so emotional pain was just superfluous, trained responses from back when he was a person instead of a monster.

The blank face filtered back onto the mutant as he passively allowed the jacket to be removed. Slowly, he began to check his skin and joints for any damage the canvas might have caused. It was important, since he couldn’t feel anything. His failing eyes were the only defense he had left against injury. Soon, he wouldn’t even be able to do that…then what? He’d be dependent on assclowns like this for his wellbeing.

”It…creature…we aren’t people to you. We’re…things. Objects…less than animals, right?”

The tired, blank tone was the real voice of the mutant. No more bullshit, no more sarcasm, no more combativeness. Simon sighed and continued his selfcare check. Yeah…he’d be dependent on the government soon enough. Probably another six or seven months and he’d be blind enough that he couldn’t navigate without direction. Or, maybe the magic would prevent his decay to that point…who knew? He was dead. A thing. A creature.

”I know I’ll never be out of the facility. I also know if I keep up the rate of decay that’s been my horrible life for the last two years, I’m gonna be legally blind by the end of the year. I’m bored, useless, and alone. So, what’s the point, Russo? What’s the damned point?”
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by: Cole
#18770
Mikhail watched calmly as the creature looked over his own state. If he couldn’t feel pain then he must be checking for mistaken injuries. That made sense. He allowed the quiet to stretch through the routine as he watched him over intently, nearly curious about the development. It was Simon’s question and flatness that drew him out of his thoughts. His blue eyes settled on the despondent expression but his own remained impassive.

”You are an intelligent weapon. That was what you were meant to be and what you agreed to, is it not?”

He had little pity for someone who agreed to his position and now that it hadn’t worked out like he wanted it to, he was going to moan and complain about it. Mikhail put his pen down then leaned forward on his elbows to watch the other. ”The point is we can still attempt to use you for other methods. You can still do good. Not to mention with proper medical care we may be able to help improve your condition enough to make you functional,” he said intently, ”That good work will be rewarded. Within reason we can work on getting you things you enjoy.” It was baiting but who cared. If he needed more of a carrot than a stick to behave then so be it. If he could be convinced even as an intel collector for the files they were missing or illegible by redaction then that was better than nothing if Simon’s health really was failing. Most of the creatures had been deemed failures so who knew when they would expire. Or if the mutations in them sped up their personal decay like a half-life.
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by: Orion
#18772
His hands seemed to move of their own accord. They clasped in his lap as docile and peaceful as domesticated animals. It was his purpose, after all. Intelligent weapon. Without thinking about it, Simon nodded his consent and submission to that nomenclature. It WAS what he signed up for. He exchanged his sentence and future for an uncertainty and capability. He served and in exchange, he was taken care of, he was made stronger, and he had a purpose.

Purpose. That was a funny word. All his life, he’d been searching for some sort of meaning. He wasn’t a good enough son to keep his parents together. He wasn’t a good enough student to mean anything. He failed his friends in the gang and he’d gone to jail. Failure, failure, failure. Maybe here, he had a chance to actually be something, somebody. Useful. If he could be useful…

”A notebook. No, two. One for you, one for me. And the files….give them to me and I’ll fill in the blanks with what I know. That’ll be your notebook. The other one is for me. Okay? And I want pens, pencils, markers…drawing stuff. It’s a small ask, a show of faith. Okay? Five files a day at first until you see if what I have is any good. I’ll…I want…”

His jaw flexed slightly and the small sigh that escaped bespoke an even smaller hope. What he wanted didn’t matter. He knew how this game was played. He knew better than to try anything stupid. Wanting things was a stupid thing to try. But, if what he wanted was in line with what the agent had to offer, things would go better for him.

”I just want things to go smooth. You get what you want, I get what I want. Is that-…is that okay?”

He was down to bargaining. After all, this guy was an intractable wall. He had power, Simon did not. The bluster was out of the mutant because there was no power that he had that he couldn’t be given…and couldn’t be taken away. This was going to be more like prison than the previous two years had been, so the best thing to do was to get along and get through this. Hell, maybe he’d even get to see sunlight someday if he was good enough.
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by: Cole
#18774
Mikhail relaxed back into his chair at the mutant’s bargaining tactic. As much of a tactic as it was at least the creature had been reasonable about his requests. But then with most of the early mutants had been criminals of some kind so if this one wanted to act like this was prison then mind as well indulge him. ”I think a notebook is reasonable. They have also set up a room for you in one of the lower levels,” he said calmly, ”We will provide you with clothing since that seems to be your only need, correct?”

He watched him for some affirmation then leaned forward again, ”Now. You spoke about M-28 working for the doctor but our information has that creature listed as a runaway. A danger to the public that we’ve been trying to track down considering the tests results we have managed to salvage. Is there a possibility it is still working for Ahoudi?” He needed to assess the one threat he knew about. Arlo was mostly contained after being paired with Katarina. Perhaps Simon’s behavior would benefit from a similar set up. The only other major loose end was the ex-agent Matt. He had been declared dead but it was really more of a missing in Mikhail’s book considering a body had never been produced. But he would circle back to that loose end once he had a bit more information about the bigger problem that he had no information on.
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by: Orion
#18783
Clothing. Shit. Would it be the prison uniforms or could he actually have people clothing? And if he could have something other than the dove grey scrubs he’d been living in forever, what would he want?

”Jeans, boots, black shirt, canvas jacket, military style, y’now? Old style olive drab. Or fuck it. Whatever.”

He shrugged disconsolately. The gesture was too bony and angular and it called out to a childish habit of machismo. He couldn’t change his situation for better or worse. He could go along with things willingly or eal with it unwillingly, but all that was really left to him was the ride. It wasn’t an enjoyable one and it wasn’t going to be easy. What he really wanted was impossible. How fair was that? All he wanted was to go outside. How many years did he waste inside school, looking out? And how many months did he waste sitting inside and playing video games instead of going outside like his foster parents told him to do? Hell, even in the gang, he’d slept all day and cavorted all night in clubs. He’d taken the sun for granted, and now he’d be denied its warmth and its light forever.

Was this hell? No, it was just bureaucracy. Close enough, right? Simon rolled his head back and thought about Twenty Eight. Little Twenty Eight. Blonde, pretty, sharp as a knife, wielded like one, deadly.

”Corrigan. She was picked up as a homeless kid. Little weird, but easily trained. Doc treated her like a pet, almost. But you abuse any dog long enough, they’re gonna bite you and run off, right? Yeah...Ahoudi shoulda taken better care of her little pet and not fed her to the monsters so many times. That’s probably what made Twenty Eight snap. Being given to Two and Three too many times as punishment. Hell, they drove Five insane, and they caused more of the experiments to go crazy than anything Ahoudi did…”

He shrugged again. They were gone, Twenty Eight was gone, and all that was left was Eight. All by himself. Alone…again. Forever? Maybe. Maybe this WAS hell. A special hell, just for him. Would Emmaline’s parents be happy to see how he’d suffered? Her mom certainly had spat at him in court, wanting him to rot in hell. Here he was, rotting, and in hell. Wish granted, Missus Carter. Maybe he’d write her a letter and let her know that she got her wish.
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