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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CaptainAlvious

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The Life of Senator Nicholas Dandolo

Nicholas Fredrich Dandolo (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), nicknamed "The Doux", was a Roman politician who served as the governor of Italia from 1928 to 1932 and was a member of the Roman Reichsrat from 1932 until his assassination in 1935 by Angeloi agents. As the political leader of Italia, he commanded wide networks of supporters and was willing to take forceful and dictatorial action. He established the long-term political dominance and dynasty of the Dandolo Aristoi.

During Dandolo’s years in power, large expansions were made in infrastructure, education and health care. Dandolo was notable among western politicians for avoiding pro Angeloi race baiting and Greco-Germanic supremacy, and he sought to improve the conditions improvised minorities as well as improvised Germans. Under Dandolo’s leadership, hospitals and educational institutions were expanded, a system of charity hospitals was set up that provided health care for commoners, and massive autobahn construction and free bridges brought an end to rural isolation.

A liberal and outspoken left-leaning populist, Dandolo denounced the wealthy urban Venetian and Berlin elites, aristoi, dynatoi, oligarchs and the banks despite his own aristoi background. Dandolo often clashed with Markos Angelos, believing Angeloi surveillance tactics violated civil liberties and went against the Augustinian Code. Initially a supporter of Kaiser Otto early in his reign, Dandolo came also believe the Kaiser's "New Deal" polices were an inefficient compromise and did not do enough to alleviate the issues of the poor or tackle the Depression. As a result, he developed his own solution called the "Share Our Wealth" program, which would establish a net asset tax, the earnings of which
would be redistributed so as to curb the poverty and homelessness epidemic nationwide during the Great Depression.

Dandolo's Share Our Wealth plan was established on February 23, 1934 with the motto "Every Man a Kaiser." To stimulate the economy, Dandolo advocated extensive federal spending on public works, schools and colleges, and old age pensions. Dandolo argued that his plan would enable everyone to have at least a car, a radio, and a home worth $5,000.

Dandolo split with Angelos in June 1934 to plan his own Chancellery bid for 1935 in alliance with the influential Roman Orthodox priest and rightwing populist radio commentator Father Karl Coughlin. Dandolo however was assassinated by the Angeloi in 1935 , who later used the assassination as a pretense to suspend general examinations until 1945. His national movement soon faded, but his legacy continued in Italia through his wife, Senator Rosa Marine Dandolo; his son, Senator Rudolf. Dandolo; and his brothers, Karl Kemp Dandolo and Georg Dandolo, as well as several other more distant relatives. His wife and son would later side with the loyalists in the war, while his brothers joined with the Angeloi. Nicholas Dandolo remains a controversial figure in Italian history.
 

zenphoenix

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Looks good to me! I'll add it to the table of contents.

Happy New Year everyone! I'm finally back, and I'll be posting the next update shortly. I'll resume the regular update schedule next Sunday.
 

zenphoenix

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sudo -rm -rf -4

9:30 AM

Mina finally reached the lobby, which was in a state of panic. Visitors talked in hushed tones and pointed at their glitching phones, while the receptionists tapped their unresponsive tablets over and over. The many TV screens mounted on the walls all displayed static, and the malfunctioning elevator doors continued opening and closing despite the actual elevator car being stuck at the lab. The lights flickered overhead as the speakers replayed garbled messages on loop. Mina got the attention of one of the receptionists.

“Get me Bruno,” she said, “Now.”

“I can’t,” the receptionist said.

“What do you mean you can’t?” Mina said.

“The wi-fi’s down,” the receptionist said, “I can’t send a message to him.”

“You’re serious,” Mina said.

“Everything runs on wi-fi,” the receptionist said, “Unless you want to walk upstairs.”

“What floor is he on?” Mina said.

“Usually level 20 or something,” the receptionist said.

Mina immediate made a beeline for the stairwell.

“Hey!” someone shouted behind her. “Mina Schaefer?”

She stopped and turned around, wondering who was calling her. Three men, one of them shorter than the other, stood in the doorway, all carrying assorted pieces of equipment.

“Who you gonna call?” Reinhard Lander said.

“Who are you?” Mina said.

“Ghostbusters, at your service,” Ragnar Biers said, “No actually, we’re friends of Anders. He sent us to exorcise the ghost in the machine.”

“How do I know you’re Anders’ friends?” Mina said.

“We didn’t fly all the way out here from the crocodile-infested swamps of Mississippi in a rickety old Cessna dodging the Roman coast guard for this!” Rudolf Froniker said. “When we’re done here, Anders can confirm. By the way, where is he?”

“He’s busy downstairs,” Mina said, “Don’t know what’s going on down there, but I assume it’s something like this.”

The Lone Gunmen put down their equipment and began setting it up. Reinhard handed several plugs to Ragnar.

“Here, plug them all in,” he said.

"What does this do?” Ragnar said, holding up one plug, “Never seen this.”

“Burn the place down?” Rudolf said. “Would solve our problem.”

"Anyone who tries to intercept us will get passed around and prevented from doing much by this shunt here,” Reinhard said, "Forwarding software. Also bounces my software between multiple IPs at random to prevent being pinned down. Improved on my previous version."

Ragnar plugged the equipment into a wall socket. Rudolf set up antennas and modified modems. Reinhard opened a laptop and began typing.

“Bingo,” he said, "Corporate hack is a snap compared to government. Last week I got into the IAF itself. Got myself some nice tax credits."

“What’s down there, anyways?” Ragnar said.

“Mostly classified stuff,” Mina said.

“And the unclassified stuff?” Rudolf said.

“Improvements on GrosHund, you know, the robot dog,” Mina said, “A few prototype drones.”

“Military-industrial complex must’ve asked for a lot,” Ragnar said.

“The projects were all canceled, so they’re all wastes of money,” Mina said, “No harm in telling you now.”

She pointed to the laptop. “What are you guys doing?”

“Reinhard, what's taking so long?” Rudolf said, hovering over Reinhard’s shoulder.

"I should be up any second,” Reinhard said, his computer beeping, “Oh yeah, here we go. Even though the man himself was a lunatic bent on world domination, thank God for Wilhelm Tesla's awesome supercomputers!”

The laptop displayed several data streams and lines of scrolling debugging messages, along with numerous media files.

“I’m in,” Reinhard said. “This is the COS at its heart. Millions of lines of code and data. Living in the heart of Tesla Dynamic’s servers.”

“Can you destroy it?” Mina said.

“I could, but it’ll take a while,” Reinhard said, “The data here…it’s far more than I expected. Far more than it needs to maintain its own processing power.”

His computer beeped frantically.

“The COS is launching countermeasures,” Reinhard said, “Our software only barely staying ahead of the COS. It can’t hold forever.”

“Well, get it done!” Mina said.


9:35 AM

Diana paced in front of the computers, frustrated and worried.

“How do we get Anders out?” she asked Olga.

“You’re asking me?” Olga said. “That’s not my specialty!”

“You got us into the computers!” Diana said.

“Yeah, that was the easy part, I didn’t know the computer would take a hostage!” Olga said.

“Well that’s something you have plenty of experience with!” Diana said.

“What do you mean?” Olga said.

“I was there!” Diana said. “I know!”

“Alright, calm down,” Angela said, “We’re not in a hurry.”

“Uh, we are,” Diana said.

Angela pointed to the robots, which had all fallen silent and remained where they were.

“They don’t seem to be killing us right now,” Angela said.

“They could go back to that right after we get Anders out,” Olga said.

“How do we get him out anyways?” Diana said.

The second computer turned on by itself, parts of the screen turning white. The white pixels arranged themselves into the shape of a face Angela recognized.

“Skye?” she said.

“Agent—Hansen,” Skye’s disembodied mechanical voice emanated from the speakers, “Yes—it—is—me.”

“What happened to you?” Angela said.

“Don’t—have—much—time,” Skye said, “COS—distracted. Need—your—help.”

“Do you know what happened to Anders?” Angela said.

“Yes,” Skye said, “He’s—here.”

“He’s where?” Diana said.

“In—here,” Skye said.

“In the COS?” Angela said.

“What, his consciousness was uploaded to the COS?” Olga said.

“Long—story,” Skye said.

“How do we get him out?” Diana said.

“You—have—to—get—him,” Skye said, “Sorry.”

“What?” Angela said.

“I think she means we have to upload ourselves to the COS as well,” Olga said.

“Wait, then who’ll get us out?” Diana said.

“I—installed—a—backdoor,” Skye said, “You—can—get—out—that—way.”

Skye’s image disappeared.

“As if this couldn’t get any worse,” Diana said.

But Angela had already seated herself in front of the second computer.

“Angie, what are you doing?” Diana said.

“I’m getting Anders back,” Angela said.

“Are you crazy?!” Diana said. “We don’t know if that’s even Skye!”

“It’s better than standing around and doing nothing,” Angela said.

“There are only two free computers,” Olga said, “You two go in. I’ll stay here to hold off the robots if they wake up.”

Diana looked at Olga and then Angela. Sighing to herself, she sat in front of the third computer.

“Olga, if something goes terribly wrong, push that damn button,” she said, “I don’t care what happens to us three. Destroy that thing for good.”

“Will do,” Olga said.

Angela leaned back in her chair and let the restraints wrap around her. Diana likewise tried to relax as she was strapped to the chair.

“See you on the other side,” Angela said as the electrodes delivered a painful shock to her head.

---

Angela opened her eyes, though she didn’t remember closing them. She looked around and saw she was in a luxurious bathroom. It seemed to be morning. She looked down and saw she was wearing casual clothes, not the jeans, T-shirt, and trench coat she usually wore. Her hair was much longer than in real life and had black highlights.

“Sure doesn’t look like a computer to me,” she muttered.

She walked through the door and entered a large bedroom with a king-sized bed. There were picture frames on the nightstand, next to the sliding window doors leading out to a patio overlooking downtown Berlin, although some sights appeared to be missing. A man slept on the side of the bed. As she entered, he stirred and opened his eyes, focusing on Angela, who immediately recognized him.

“Angie,” Demetrios said, “You’re up already?”

---

Anders walked into apartment and set down a grocery bag on the kitchen table. He took out a bottle of wine and uncorked it.

“Alright, I’m back,” he said.

Annie appeared from her room, finishing up a sandwich.

“Awesome,” she said, pouring a cup of wine.

Anders poured himself a cup and raised it. “A gift from the boss.”

“What’s the occasion?” Annie said.

“Don’t know,” Anders said, “Just feeling like it.”

---

On the Bremerhaven shoreline sat a deserted house, its walls covered in vines and hidden by trees and bushes. Old cars lay deserted in the driveway, their doors ajar and windows smashed. In the front yard were several mounds, each marked with a cross with a name scribbled on it. The cross next to a discarded “Humboldt” nameplate read “Diana.”

---

Olga stepped out of the car and inspected the line of men, women, and children arranged by a back alley wall, surrounded by armed soldiers led by Agent Holtzman. Many of them looked scared. But she couldn’t let her guard down. Especially after what happened last time.

“What are your orders?” Holtzman asked.

Olga looked at the suspects. Some of them didn’t look suspicious at all. The children arguably had no part. They couldn’t all be subversives. Some were undoubtably innocent.

“We don’t take prisoners,” Olga said, “Send the Resistance a message.”

The soldiers took aim and fired. Their gunshots echoed up and down the alley as the suspects all slumped to the ground. Approaching the wall, Olga drew her pistol and then shot each suspect twice in the head to be sure.

“Good,” she said, “They should know better.”

She took out her phone and dialed a number.

“Status report, Agent Kirau,” Pavel Novak said.

“My Volksfuhrer, we still have not found the location of the Resistance cell,” Olga said, “But we are drawing close.”

She heard a sigh of frustration on the other end.

“How close?” he hissed.

“We should deliver results by the end of the week,” Olga said, “Triple the reprisals, twice the propaganda output, four times the patrols, they can’t last forever. And she’s an old woman. She can’t keep eluding us like this.”

“No more excuses!” Pavel said. “I want the Valkyrie’s and our mothers’ heads on this desk by this time next Monday!”

“Speaking of desks, sir, respectfully, I’d like to reiterate my request for a new desk,” Olga said.

“Denied!” Pavel said. “Give me results, and then I will reconsider!"

---

Sitting in a dark room, Skye watched a tablet intently, while David Niketas checked the boarded-up window and his gun. The tablet beeped.

“Yes!” Skye said. “They’re in.”

“They’re in?” David said.

“The agents,” Skye said, “We should go pick them up now.”

David got out a typewriter. “I’m on it.”

“We might have a shot at this,” Skye said, high-fiving David, “This could be our last chance.”

“I hope so,” David said.

They packed up their equipment and left the room.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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It's nice seeing the Lone Gunmen get a chance to shine, it feels like they're due for some victories.

I am already intrigued and excited to see these virtual realities our heroes are going through.
 

zenphoenix

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It's nice seeing the Lone Gunmen get a chance to shine, it feels like they're due for some victories.

I am already intrigued and excited to see these virtual realities our heroes are going through.
Those virtual realities will be really...peculiar, to say the least.
 

TWR97

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That Dandolo entry was a surprise, but I like it. helps fleshes out as to why a part of Italy sided the Angeloi. Now the Lone Gunmen doing something in the limelight's nice. Going into virtual reality certainly is something to look forward too. Here's to hoping that damn AI is finally defeated.

And now, for something that I was supposed to post way back in November.....




The Godzilla Anthology

The Mingzhong Era (1984-1995)


After the release and success of Destroy All Monsters, Toho Studios announced their intention to retire Godzilla for several years, citing that with over twenty years worth of movie content, it was time for most of the creative team including director Ishiro Honda to move on to other films and projects. Jet Jaguar saves the world, which was released a year after Destroy All Monsters would officially mark the end of the Xuantong era of the Godzilla Anthology.


The Mingzhong era would come soon after and with it, Godzilla’s iconic and well known design that would define his appearance for the next few decades (Until the release of Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse and its incarnation of the king of the monsters). Unlike the Xuantong era, Godzilla’s overall design was kept consistent with only minor cosmetic changes, Godzilla vs Destoroyah being the exception as it drastically changed the king of the monsters’ appearance.


Like its predecessor, the Mingzhong movies were all produced and released during the tenure of the Chinese Emperor Mingzhong (With Return of Godzilla/Godzilla 87 & Godzilla vs Biollante being the exception as these were released while the aging Xuantong emperor still ruled). Following Ishiro Honda’s advice in regards to callbacks to the 1954 original, the Mingzhong era ignores all the other Godzilla movies from the Xuantong era except for the original 1954 film, with Godzilla’s role as a protector of Earth and humanity retconned and thus returning to the roots of making him a villainous monster (In later movies an anti-hero). As such the Mingzhong Godzilla is mostly portrayed as a malevolent force of nature (A concept borrowed from the 1956 Roman version of the 1954 film) and a warning against the dangers of nuclear power (With the Cold War still gripping the world at the time, this was fitting). As such, nuclear and atomic themes often take center stage alongside the advancement of technology (As in the case of Godzilla vs Biollante) and environmental concerns (A concept borrowed from Godzilla vs Hedorah).


The Mingzhong era is noticeably more grounded in terms of setting though the time travelling shenanigans of Godzilla vs King Ghidorah would break this trend onwards until the final movie. Therefore the presence of aliens (With the exception of the penultimate film) ancient civilizations and other campy themes are abandoned in favor of a realistic (To a degree in Sci-Fi terms) and gritty setting. As such the Mingzhong era would be, in modern terms a more darker and edgier era compared to the Xuantong’s light hearted and family oriented setting with a Godzilla that was more villainous and less heroic, behaving not as a benevolent titan but a malevolent animal.


The Mingzhong era would also be the most well known series in the Godzilla anthology, as Godzilla eventually evolved into being more Western oriented, as such most of the general setting tend to take place in Roman territory, though Chinese cities still get attacked in some cases. The influx of Roman characters appearing (Among them Raymond Bürr’s character, the journalist Michael Sideros) in most of the movies are a result of this plus Chinese foreign policy no longer being passively hostile to Romans. The recurring appearance of characters have been significantly lessened to the point that only the psychic Miki Saegusa is the only character to appear in almost all of the Mingzhong movies, Michael Sideros being the second one, appearing in both Godzilla 1987/Return of Godzilla and its final film Godzilla vs Destoroyah.


Unlike the Xuantong era, both the Mingzhong era and the Millennium eras are shorter when compared to the Xuantong era’s twenty-two year run, as this was done deliberately for what would have been a planned Godzilla anthology with the Roman cinema at the helm, though this did not happen until after Legendary Pictures announced they had acquired the film rights to Godzilla in 2012...


  • Excerpt taken from Godzilla: A Cinematic Legacy of Destruction, by Professor Ioannes Mouzalon, film analyst major, University of Antioch

The following films make up the Mingzhong era’s Godzilla anthology (Other kaiju related films confirmed to be in the same setting are moved further down)


The Return of Godzilla/Godzilla 1987 - Originally released in 1984, this film would mark the start of the Mingzhong era with a completely new Godzilla design and a setting that ignores most of the Xuantong era’s movies except for the original 1954 movie. The film would be the first to address the canonicity of the journalist Michael Sideros (Who's only mentioned in Roman dubs of the Xuantong movies), with the now older man acting as a liaison for the Reich and the deuteragonist in the film. Due to the nature of the Cold War and the spectre of a potential third Weltkrieg looming over the entire world at the time, the movie was as depressing and gritty like the 1954 original. Raymond Bürr’s final narration in both versions (Both before and after the Third Weltkrieg) address this. The movie however performed poorly in the box office as it was released coincidentally just as Gorbachev’s plane was shot down, sparking the Third Weltkrieg. As such Toho aimed a re-release version, expanding more scenes and elevating Michael Sideros from a mere supporting character in the 1984 version to a deuteragonist in the 1987 version:


The film initially starts as a fishing boat attempts to head back to the island of Taiwan in a freak stormy night, leading to them being blown wildly off course due to strong winds. The crew of the fishing vessel then bear witness to an island volcanic eruption, and before long a terrible roar by a monster that appears and causes the crew to scream in fear. Days later their ship is found by a freelance journalist drifting somewhere near the Ryukyu islands. The journalist discovered a ghastly sight as all of the crewmembers were sucked dry, and exhibiting mummy like appearances. After discovering a dehydrated survivor, the journalist is attacked by a peculiar looking creature to which he narrowly survives after impaling the creature. After the pair are rescued by local authorities, the journalist is told that the story about the missing fishermen are being kept secret, taking into account of the sole survivor's tale about the return of a monster that once terrorized China. The reporter however is not deterred by this, and with the help of the fisherman’s sister enlists the aid of a local college professor whose parents died during the attack back in 1954, the professor then informs the journalist that Godzilla is best described as a living invincible nuclear weapon capable of causing wanton destruction.


Meanwhile in international news, the disappearance of a Roman submarine somewhere in the arctic circle sometime in the 1970s resurfaces to public interest when a Russian submarine patrolling near Equintern coasts also disappears. The threat of war between the two superpowers escalate especially when both the Reich and the Commune blame each other for the disappearances of the submarines. In a gathered summit in Nanjing, China attempts to mediate between the two, however it is clear that unless evidence is provided, a third weltkrieg WILL break out. Having no other choice, the Chinese officials then come clean and provide the evidence of Godzilla's return. It is revealed that in the days that followed, nuclear plants have been attacked in both China proper and Fusang, attempts by the government to hide have been costly, and ultimately have no choice but to release every information they have against this foe. Momentarily united, both the Reich and the Commune's diplomatic team ask their Chinese counterparts if there was a way to stop Godzilla's rampage. The Chinese officials reveal that while a weapon had been used to kill a similar creature back in 1954, all evidence and notes of it had been either destroyed or lost during the attack. The imperial government however as a weapon with the possibility of stalling it, a prototype aerial warmachine known as the Super X. A weapon China had been secretly developing in the event of a third weltkrieg breaking out.


As the governments of the world work together, the Reich forms a team of liaisons to help coordinate such an endeavor. Chief among them is the now retired journalist Michael Sideros, one of the few foreigners that survived the events of the attack in 1954 and got to witness it first hand. Coincidentally, he also is one of the many friends and contacts of the professor the journalist had enlisted the help of. Plans are then drawn by both the international teams and the professor's group, both having different strategies. While the international teams are using conventional means to slow Godzilla down then weaken it with the Super X's main weapons, the professor's team work hand in hand with the resources Sideros provided to test out a device that might potentially lure Godzilla in order to trap it. Sideros' involvement with the plan is more prevalent in the 1987 version.


The second plan only materialized after footage of Godzill's recent attack in India led to the professor and his team noticing the movement of birds with Godzilla seemingly following them. As this occurs, a Soviet warship receiving repairs at Nanjing's port has received orders to cease nuclear operations against Godzilla. To which the captain of the ship vehemently opposes. In the 1987 version the captain goes with the orders relayed to him. Godzilla meanwhile surfaces near Mecca where it begins its long march of destruction. The Super X is deployed and begins its aerial battle where Godzilla is forced to chase it all the way to Alexandria. Plans to lure Godzilla to Mount Etna is approved by the Roman government after Sideros and his team personally seek an audience with the Kaiser, however the chancellor warns Sideros that it will be on his head if Godzilla ever breaks out (In the original 1984 version, this occurs offscreen with Sideros merely contacting the professor afterwards). Godzilla's battle with the Super X has taken into a dramatic turn when it's clear that the anti-nuclear armaments were doing significant work on Godzilla, further weakening it. However as this happens, a nuclear missile is launched from a certain Russian ship (In the 1984 version the captain personally launches the missle before he is stopped by his crew, in the 1987 version, the captain attempted to stop the missle's accidental launch but gets electrocuted and dies mere inches from stopping it). The missile detonates over the skies of Alexandria after the Reich destroys it with a counter-missile, but this revives Godzilla and forcing a now heavily depleted Super X into another battle. To which ends with the aerial vehicle's destruction.


However, by this time Sideros' team have arrived near Mount Etna and after ensuring that everything is in place, activate the device. This leads to Godzilla going towards it. As it climbs towards the dormant volcano, hidden bombs detonate, leading to the creature to fall inside the volcano in a symphony of destruction and hellfire. The team look on in melancholy as they watch this, a pyrrhic victory had been won at a steep price. In the 1987 version, Sideros and his fellow liaisons watch from a faraway base on live footage of Godzilla's imprisonment, with Michael closing the film off musing on man’s nature and also echoes the words of Professor Huizhong thirty years ago; That if the world was not careful, another war or a similar tragedy will happen, or in this case another Godzilla.


Godzilla vs Biollante (1989) - Released five years after Return and two years after the 1987 movie, this sequel to both has Godzilla fight off both the military and a new kaiju born from the acquired cells from Godzilla's own body. The plant-mutant aptly named as Biollante. The film would also start a trend on which Godzilla ends up battling foes capable of metamorphosing into new and more powerful forms. The film would also introduce Miki Saegusa, a recurring character who will appear in succeeding Godzilla films and is shown to be a psychic and is connected to Godzilla’s history.


The film initially starts off back in Alexandria where the destruction left from Godzilla's battle with military forces has led to a massive effort in repairing the damage. As this occurs military personnel retrieve bits of Godzilla’s skin that was ripped of its body during its battle with the Super X, the cells from said skin would prove useful in weaponizing a new weapon. However several containers are intercepted by men in black tactical suits who eliminate the soldiers and steal the containers containing the Godzilla cells. Somewhere in Provincia Mesopotamia, a biological company known as Saradia Biotech is given approval by the Roman and Chinese governments to use the acquired G-Cells that were not stolen and are working hand in hand with a renowned biologist in order to create a new type of plant made from genetically engineered plants capable of turning the deserts of the Middle East into green fertile land. However a terrorist attack (Said to be done by Equalists) destroys most of the lab, the biologist’s daughter is also killed in the process. Five years after said events occur, the biologist is visited in his home somewhere in Sicily where he has salvaged what he could on the genetically-engineered plants and grew them in a garden in memory of his dead daughter. He is then visited by members of an anti-Godzilla organization called the G-Division, where it is revealed that the acquired G-cells were being weaponized as Anti Nuclear-Energy Bacteria with the intention of countering Godzilla should it ever resurface. He rebuffs them however, citing that he wants no part in working with such material ever again and that the cells themselves should be destroyed.


In the international scene, tensions between the governments occur as news of stolen G-Cells is reported to both the Reich and China, with samples appearing in the blackmarket and various other companies aside from Saradia Biotech waging small gang wars and skirmishes in an attempt to acquire more G-Cells. Things get even more complicated when a remnant Equalist organization (Said to be former Soviet officers who escaped justice) threatened the Reich with bombs where they plan to detonate and thus free Godzilla from its prison unless the remaining G-Cells in Roman and Chinese custody are given to them instead. As proof of their threat, they detonate several bombs on Mount Etna, causing tremors in the surrounding areas, one of which includes the biologist’s own home, damaging the roses he was growing. After this, he contacts G-Division and agrees to work for them, on the condition that they were to be disposed off after Godzilla is defeated. He is then given access to the Godzilla cells, and secretly merges some of said cells with one of his roses. A night later, agents from the Equalist group and Saradian agents break in the biologist’s home, hoping to acquire said cells, only to end up being killed by a plant organism, said organism then escapes to the Mediterrenean soon after. The biologist after finding out what happened then names the organism as Biollante, the plant is later found on the Dead Sea, having grown to a towering size and is apparently not affected by the Dead Sea’s massive trace of salt in it, further fascinating the biologist as he and several members of G-Division reach Biollante’s current location. The Equalists meanwhile are angered as a result and threatened the Reich once more, this time asking not only for all their supply of G-Cells but also the custody of the biologist. The Reich outright refuse and as a result the Equalists detonate bombs on Mount Etna, releasing Godzilla from its prison once more. As it heads to a nearby power plant, Biollante’s calls lures Godzilla instead to the plant’s location where it engages a brief battle, to which Godzilla emerges victorious. While heading towards a nearby nuclear plant, it is diverted away by a member of G-Division, a young psychic by the name of Miki Saegusa. Godzilla journeys to Antioch as a result of this diversion where after evacuating the populace, the Roman military and members of G-Division engage Godzilla with weapons filled with the Anti-Nuclear energy bacteria, this however proves unsuccessful as Godzilla is not affected by it while it kills several members of G-Division in retaliation. After advice from the biologist on getting Godzilla’s temperature to be increased, a brief battle in Anatolia moderately succeeds, however at this time, Biollante, now in her fully evolved form battles Godzilla once more. However after a lengthy battle, Godzilla emerges victorious but is exhausted and ends up collapsing as it heads towards a beach, Biollante disintegrates into the sky, an image of the biologist’s daughter forms while the biologist watches this in awe.


Meanwhile, the Equalist group attempt to storm the facility housing the G-Cells only to be beaten back by the Roman military, in retaliation, one of the mortally wounded members fires a fatal shot at the biologist, killing him as the Equalist dies soon afterwards. After seeing Godzilla waking up after a brief slumber, one of the Roman military officials then tells the members of G-Division that the destruction of the Godzilla cells will be a priority now, lest more innocents end up dying in the aftermath. A statement that the biologist would have agreed with in the end.


Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991) - This third entry of the Mingzhong era is sometimes referred to as the first entry of the Mingzhong series as this was released on the same year the Mingzhong emperor ascended to the throne. The film would not only reintroduce Science fiction elements but also the return of Godzilla's most prominent rival; the three headed golden dragon, King Ghidorah. The movie would also go over the origins of the Mingzhong Godzilla.


Sometime after the events of Godzilla vs Biollante, a sci-fi author working on a book about Godzilla learns of a peculiar event during the second Weltkrieg in which Chinese imperial soldiers, after fighting the remnant Angeloi to a standstill, were saved by a mysterious dinosaur during a battle at Lagos Island. A wealthy businessman who had commanded the forces on that particular event confirms the story and the existence of said dinosaur. Meanwhile, a mysterious ship later to be revealed carrying humans from the future arrive in Chinese heartland, where they reveal that Godzilla in their future had outright destroyed both the Reich and the Empire before going on to leave humanity to their fate and it was only through the sheer will of the survivors that ensured their own survival. Further proof of them being from the future is given via a book on Godzilla completed already by a certain author that did not yet happen in the present day. The humans, who call themselves ‘Futurians’ then propose a plan to G-Division and representatives from the Reich and China. To prevent Godzilla’s existence by removing the Lagos island dinosaur from its habitat and thus save humanity in the process.


The operation goes smoothly as a selected team from G-Division go with the Futurians, after bearing witness to the fabled Godzillasaurus saving Chinese troops from Angeloi forces and then witnessing it getting wounded via artillery shells, the Futurians then transport the wounded animal away from the island and presumably into a habitable island in the Bering Strait. Unknown to the G-Division team however, the Futurians secretly leave behind pets they called ‘Dorats’, animals cloned from the remnants of an alien creature that supposedly died on Venus. These creatures would eventually be the ones to be irradiated by atomic bomb testing instead. Once the team are back at the present, they are confused as to why the rest of the world still remember Godzilla despite the fact that it had been removed from history. A raid on Chinese country-side by a new monster dubbed as King Ghidorah and seemingly doing the Futurians’ bidding changes their perspectives on their future visitors. The Futurians then broadcast their message of ultimatum to the Chinese empire, and that if they should not surrender, King Ghidorah will unleash a trail of destruction far greater than the 1954 attack on Nanjing.


One of the Futurians however is sympathetic to the present era’s woes, and outright reveals to G-Division that the story of Godzilla destroying most of humanity was nothing but a fabricated story, and that the truth was far more different. Godzilla’s attacks may have weakened a nation, but it was only the Reich, and the insurance and construction companies from both China and India benefited greatly that by the time they got to their own present day, China had become the premier superpower with India coming in at a close second (In the Roman dubs, the superpower that becomes dominant is Japan instead, with both China and the Reich losing their superpower status). The other Futurians, being Roman citizens were keen in making sure to prevent such a thing from occurring and thus rewrite history by not only preventing China’s rise to power but also erasing Godzilla from history so as it will not interfere with their plans. It is then revealed that the placement of the Godzillasaurus in Beiring strait was at the exact area a certain Roman submarine had disappeared back in the 1970s, thus leading to the creation of the present day Godzilla, and why the world still retained memories of said creature. The book from the future had theorized that the Godzilla from 1954 and the present (1990s) time were one and the same was debunked as a result and thus the Futurian plot had been ultimately the catalyst, creating a stable time loop in the process.


A plan is then made to revive the still alive Godzillasaurus via nuclear feeding. Things get awry as this resulted in Godzilla growing larger and larger by the time it resurfaces from the ocean. Ghidorah and Godzilla then battle in the countrysides of China, but due to being in equal strength are at a stalemate, a sabotage of the ship carrying the Futurians causes the Three-Headed beast to lose focus, leading to its defeat by Godzilla who blasts it and sends it crashing to the ground (A move similar to what occured in Destroy All Monsters Part 2) and then proceeds to blast off its middle head and throws it to the ocean. It then destroys the ship the Futurians were using, killing them all in the process. Godzilla begins rampaging across China, causing damages and casualties, among them the businessman that had watched over it from when it was still living in Lagos Island. Meanwhile, the sympathizing Futurian from before (And is revealed to be the one looking over a dead Ghidorah in a prologue set in the future) returns to her own time, and then back to the present, piloting a cybernetic version of King Ghidorah. The two kaijus fight once more and into a stalemate again, with Ghidorah grabbing Godzilla with the intention of imprisoning it in the ocean, however Godzilla manages to damage Mecha King Ghidorah thus ultimately ends with both of them falling into the ocean. The Futurian manages to escape back to her own time, but not before revealing (to the audience) that she is the descendant of the Sci-Fi author.


During the credits, Godzilla is shown to be alive and unharmed and after awakening, roars at Mecha Ghidorah’s remains before it swims away.


Godzilla vs Mothra (1992) - The fourth entry of the Mingzhong era where Godzilla once more battles yet another member of Toho's big six, the goddess Mothra who retains her role in the Xuantong era as a benevolent guardian of the planet. A new monster also makes an appearance in this film; Mothra's twin and opposite Battra, who in lore is also a protector of the planet, but resents humanity due to their destructive ways. The film would also go ever environmental concerns as well as the need to preserve the natural state of the world from foolish actions like illegal logging. Xuantong era elements would also be incorporated from this film and subsequent films right until the final entry of the franchise.

(Plotline remains the same as in OTL)


Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993) - The fifth entry of the Mingzhong era to which also features Godzilla fighting another classic monster and a member of Toho's Big Six, Godzilla's own metal doppelganger, Mechagodzilla who in this version was constructed not by aliens but by humanity with a little help from leftover futurian tech. Another member of Toho's Big Six would also make an appearance, Rodan also receives a redesign with him being smaller in this film than he was in the Xuantong era. Another new addition to the kaiju rooster would be a Godzilla youngling that hatched from an irradiated egg alongside Rodan’s.


(Plotline remains the same as in OTL, but Mechagodzilla II survives)


Godzilla vs Bagan (1994) - The sixth entry of the the Mingzhong era which features another new type of foe for Godzilla to face, an extraterrestrial monster dubbed Bagan. While plans for the movie had already been in motion, the new foe Godzilla was to face had been a space version of itself, mutated with Biollante cells and extraterrestrial organisms. Toho’s creative director at the time disliked the idea of yet another Godzilla-like creature appearing in the movie, citing that there was already too much Godzilla in their movies, it did not help that aside from Godzilla, there was still a Godzilla junior and a revamped design of Mechagodzilla II ( Which survived its battle) on the screen, as such the writing team had to look for an alternate monster for Godzilla to fight instead. Bagan, which had been sitting in development had been planned to be an opponent of Godzilla’s in earlier films, but many had been concerned that it would not receive that much attention and so the decision was to use any of Godzilla’s classic foes instead. At this stage however, many in Toho were optimistic on Bagan and as such greenlighted its role to replace the ‘SpaceGodzilla’ monster that had been planned to appear. Bagan’s original forms and some of its abilities were however saved for an enemy that Toho had planned for its finale and instead copied over SpaceGodzilla’s abilities to becoming Bagan’s instead, alongside its many abilities, some of SpaceGodzilla’s design would also be incorporated to Bagan, whose overall final form is both a mockery to Godzilla and incorporating elements of the Western version of a dragon. Anguirus, one of the members of Toho’s Big Six, Godzilla’s first enemy and eventual ally would also return after having made his final appearance in Jet Jaguar Saves the World, and this time having retained his role as an ally to Godzilla.


The film starts off with the particles of Godzilla Cells floating in space, leftovers from Biollante as well as those that Mothra accidentally carried over after her own battle with Godzilla. Mothra is then shown intercepting a huge meteorite that Battra had been tasked to do before he was killed by Godzilla. As this occurs, a wormhole starts appearing, and the ensuing radiation from it leads to the birth of a mutated creature formed from the remnants of the meteorite Mothra intercepted. As Mothra tries to divert the newly created creature away from Earth however, she is sucked into said wormhole but not before ensuring that a fragment of her twin priestesses were able to stay behind to warn the inhabitants of Earth(Her fate will later be addressed in Rebirth of Mothra). The psychic Miki Saegusa is the first to receive such a warning from Mothra’s priestesses.


Meanwhile, the G-Division alongside its patron nations, chief among them being China and the Reich hatch a plan to control Godzilla to a degree so that it would never again try and threatened any of their cities and cause further damage. While many of the lesser ranked members were opposed to this idea, they were left no choice but to follow orders. A team tasked to implant the control chip journey to Birth Island, where Godzilla and its adopted offspring had been living since the end of the previous film (And is implied to be the Xuantong Era’s Monster Island). Here they are treated to a peculiar sight, the youngling that Godzilla had adopted from before had grown significantly from its human sized form back in the previous film, aside from this revelation, the presence of another kaiju that had awakened from atomic bomb testings as well as Godzilla’s activities for the past few years. Meanwhile back at G-Division’s headquarters, attempts are made to thwart the massive alien object approaching Earth with the help of a newly upgraded MechaGodzilla, things get awry however when the plan to intercept it merely leads to the organism to change course(to the surprise of the crew), heading straight for Birth Island.


The new creature quickly mutates after landing, turning into a fleshy yet metallic entity that is spherical yet has a singular eye and spikes all around it. It then attempts to attack the Godzilla youngling before the kaiju also living on the island (Labelled by G-Division as Anguirus) attacks it in retaliation and presumably to protect the younger kaiju. While Anguirus is able to hold his ground against the invader, the creature unleashes its own attacks made from Earth's minerals and thus creates makeshift crystal spikes that ultimately counters Anguirus' fast attacks, wounding the kaiju before he falls off a cliff. Miraculously he survives. Before the invader could finish off Anguirus however, the Godzilla youngling distracts the invader long enough for it to imprison the youngling in a crystalline prison instead. Godzilla at this point had already arrived back on Birth Island and thus battles the invader (Which had already taken elements of Anguirus' appearance with a bit of Biollante's tentacles to form into its second stage of evolution). The kaijus battle, and though Godzilla proves to be more than a match for the invader, an unlucky intervention by G-Division members end up activating the control chip on Godzilla. This fails but the distraction is all that is needed for the creature to wrap its tentacles around Godzilla and slowly begins draining it of energy and G-Cell materials. Godzilla manages to blast its head with an atomic breath, causing the invader to release its grip on him, however by this point it had acquired enough G-Cells to sprout wings and as a result takes off from Birth Island, taking the Godzilla youngling hostage. Godzilla despite weakened trails in pursuit, with Anguirus soon following.


While G-Division scrambles to divert Mechagodzilla to intercept the invader, another team with Miki at the helm oversees Godzilla and Anguirus. It is here they witness the creatures communicating before Anguirus continues after the invader's trail while Godzilla goes limp, apparently having succumbed to getting weakened by the creature. It is revealed that the anti nuclear bacteria that had previously been eradicated thanks to Godzilla's feeding of radiation back in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah had returned, this time thanks to the invader, which had traces of Biollante's DNA mixed with the bacterial weapon used at the time. And this time it had apparently succeeded in killing Godzilla. However, it was not the case as it only severely weakened Godzilla enough to render it in a near comatose state. A plan is created to revive Godzilla once it is found out that Birth Island houses a uranium deposit deep beneath a dormant volcano. As this plan is set in motion, Anguirus battles the alien creature across the Chinese countryside, its presence alone is already causing a terraforming scenario in which crystals are sprouting from the ground. They battle all the way till they reach Hong Kong where at this point Mechagodzilla arrives. The two join forces in battling the alien creature but it proves to be more than a match even for a futurian technological entity like Mechagodzilla and a fast fighter like Anguirus. Meanwhile Godzilla is successfully revived and now sports small laval-like scratches on its body. Miki Saegusa then uses her psychic ability to guide Godzilla (with help from the microchip implanted moments ago) back to where the alien creature is, in Nanjing where it still battles both Anguirus and Mechagodzilla. However after having absorbed enough energy from the Godzilla youngling it held hostage, it transforms into its final form. A mockery of Godzilla with crystals popping out of its shoulders and on its forehead. While it has a body like Godzilla’s, it’s head bears similarities to the Western version of a dragon. It easily overpowers both opponents, permanently disabling and crippling Mechagodzilla and mortally wounding Anguirus. By this point, it has engulfed Nanjing in a crystalline prison and is already terraforming the city and the surrounding area. Due to its alien nature it has started to manifest miniature wormholes from its makeshift ‘throne.’ Godzilla’s timely arrival finally sets the stage for the final confrontation. As both kaijus battle, the pilots of Mechagodzilla are able to redirect its main weapon, the absolute zero cannon towards Bagan, where it quickly envelops the alien creature, in a last ditch attempt to overcome its opponent, it latches onto Godzilla with the intention of absorbing the Kaiju’s energy, however Godzilla at this point had been powered up and thus unleashes its upgraded atomic ray, the Red Spiral ray which decimates Bagan leading to its defeat as the absolute zero cannon freezes it completely, Godzilla finishing off the frozen creature with another atomic blast. Once Bagan is destroyed for good the crystals disintegrate, the energy that had emitted from the alien creature is absorbed by Godzilla as both he and the godzilla youngling head home after mourning Anguirus’ passing. As a gesture of thanks, Miki telepathically removes the microchip that had embedded itself into Godzilla to which the Kaijus senses and roars its thanks. The movie ends as the G-Division watch as father and son retreat to the sea in a fading sunset.


Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995) - The seventh entry to the Mingzhong series, this movie serves as the grand finale for the Mingzhong series and as such features the return of characters from the original 1954 movie and the consequences brought about from it. The movie would also feature a new villain, the mutant crustacean Destoroyah, a kaiju that ultimately mutated and evolved from the Oxygen Destroyer, an origin similar to Godzilla's own creation from the atomic bomb. While the original theatrical version would simply gloss over scenes in which Sideros meets up with his friend’s posthumous child, the Roman and the director’s cut has them included, including scenes in which most of the original main cast from the 1954 movie interact with the new generation (The theatrical version only had Michael Sideros and Xioalian Serizawa, Daisuke’s widow, return for the film while the director’s cut and the Roman version included Junjie Huizhong)


A year after the events of the previous film, Miki Saegusa and a team from G-Division head back to Birth Island to check on Godzilla and its adopted offspring, with the intention of monitoring both kaijus more directly once it is found out that Godzilla’s absorption of Bagan’s energies would have very clear consequences on the kaiju’s body. When they arrive they find to their horror that the island itself has been destroyed. Godzilla is then seen rampaging across Tokyo now covered in glowing lava-like rashes and is implied to have gone thermonuclear. The G-Division then get in contact with scientist Miyuki Serizawa, a friend of Miki’s, granddaughter to Professor Ru Huizhong and Dr. Daisuke Serizawa’s posthumous daughter. Her expertise in studying nuclear energy as well as on Godzilla himself is why she is recruited to the Division. Here she shares her suspicions that Godzilla’s abrupt absorption of radiation as well as alien materials a year ago has caused its heart to go on the equivalent of a nuclear meltdown. She then theorized that once it reaches a temperature of 1 200 °C Godzilla will explode with a force a thousand times greater than every atomic arsenal both the Reich and China possessed. And even greater than that as she fears it will result in the destruction of the atmosphere and presumably reduce the surface into ash.


To try and combat this, the Super X-III (Salvaged from the remains of MechaGodzilla II) is equipped with anti-nuclear cold weapons in an attempt to lower Godzilla’s temperature and reverse the destruction it will cause. Meanwhile the Roman consultants of the G-Division (With Michael Sideros returning) bring dire news, on the coast near Nanking, the deployed Oxygen Destroyer from 1954 had mutated a precambrian era colony of crustaceans which had awakened after Godzilla’s continued rampage. These creatures combine into man-sized creatures and wreak havoc in coastal areas. The armed forces though suffering casualties are successful in driving the creatures away. However, by this point, the creatures have evolved beyond the capabilities of the military to counter. Meanwhile the plan to use the Super X-III against Godzilla is a success however at the price of the kaiju going into a bodily meltdown. By this point the godzilla offspring appears on the coasts, frolicking and having grown a size equivalent to a juvenile, seemingly looking for its parent. G-Division is then tasked by the Roman and Chinese governments to instruct Miki Saegusa to telepathically lure it to Nanjing and hoping that Godzilla will follow and so will the mutated Oxygen Destroyer, now dubbed as Destoroyah.


The plan is a success as the godzilla youngling arrives to stop Destoroyah’s further rampage and seemingly defeats it after he throws the creature into an electric plant. By this point the adult Godzilla has arrived but the reunion is cut short when at long last a mature Destoroyah emerges from the remains of the electric plant. The adult Godzilla is forced to watch as Destoroyah effortlessly kills off the youngling. As it is distracted by Chinese and G-Division forces, Godzilla attempts to revive the youngling, but to no avail. In its grief its meltdown is greatly accelerated. A bizarre event occurs as the consequence of Godzilla’s absorption of Bagan’s energy is causing a series of miniature wormholes to appear. Destoroyah at this point had driven back the military and fights Godzilla to a near equal footing. However due to being a mutated version of the Oxygen Destroyer, the kaiju is able to seriously injure Godzilla despite not being in water. Godzilla despite its injuries also mutually injures Destoroyah causing the creature to retreat. The military however intervene and freeze the kaiju, causing it to fall and is presumably killed by Godzilla being super-heated (Destoroyah’s fate is left ambiguous in both versions and is eventually addressed in Rebirth of Mothra).


Godzilla meanwhile slowly dies from the meltdown, but the military forces are able to minimize the destruction and damage via their freeze weapons. Everyone is then treated to the sight of Godzilla’s death as it gives off one agonizing roar before it is reduced to bones like its 1954 counterpart. As the military and G-Division lament over the inevitable fallout that will make Nanjing inhabitable, Miki Saegusa finally declares that her work on Godzilla is finally at end while Michael Sideros looks on in melancholy. Suddenly, the radiation levels plummet and in the silence a mist forms. In the distance a towering figure dominates the view, and a familiar roar is heard. And there humanity witnesses a sort of rebirth. For despite the death of Godzilla, its adopted offspring had absorbed its energy. Thus continuing the legacy and becomes the new Godzilla.


Non Godzilla films confirmed to be set in the same universe (Plus bonus media that is semi confirmed):


The Rebirth of Mothra trilogy (1996-1998): Alternatively known as the Mingzhong Mothra trilogy, this series picks up from where Godzilla vs Mothra left off with Mothra having stopped a meteorite from hitting Earth and is accidentally sucked into a wormhole that ends with her and her twin fairies being transported to a mirror dimension. The trilogy would also be the first in the history of tokatsu and monster movies to address the nature of kaiju worship since the days of the King Kong movies. Mysticism and cults are prevalent throughout the trilogy, with Mothra's very existence treated as supernatural.


The first movie tackles her arrival to this mirror dimension, in which after a brief skirmish against Earth's forces, Mothra and her fairies are reluctantly welcomed by the governments of this version of Earth. It is then revealed that this Earth had been terrorized by monsters since ancient times, and though they did have a guardian monster that protected them all named Manda, it is revealed that she had died off long ago in an attempt to stop an ancient foe of hers. The head scientist of the anti monster task force then recounts this tale having been dismissed as mere myths and legends at first, that is until the arrival of a monstrous cyborg creature they called Gigan, a being who began terrorizing the citizens of Earth since the 1950s, and infamously laid waste to Nanjing in 1954 before being driven off through the heroic efforts of Dr. Serizawa. However the creature returned once more in 1962 and in regular intervals, had kept terrorizing cities and the population of Earth, systematically killing everything in its path with so much sadism akin to a psychopathic killer. Mothra and her twins then decide to prove their benevolence by aiding humanity in stopping Gigan once and for all, to which the task force and its sponsoring nation reluctantly agree.


In several battles within the span of eight months, Mothra has proven herself to be a true guardian as she defeats and drives Gigan as soon as it lands on any urban centers or in areas where there's a lot of people. However in those succeeding battles it is revealed that Gigan repairs itself after every fight with Mothra, while Mothra weakens after getting wounded in every consecutive battle, tiring her out even more. In one battle she succeeds in disarming Gigan's two sword-like hands but is weakened in the process. The goddess then retreats to sea where she lays an egg. Gigan however attempts a surprise attack on Mothra's egg, she manages to distract the creature long enough for the egg to finally hatch. Gigan retreats afterwards however it is a pyrrhic victory for Mothra and humanity as the goddess finally succumbs to her injuries, managing to comfort her newborn offspring before she dies and her body sinking to the bottom of the sea. The new larva (Nicknamed by the twins as Vivi) is taken in by the task force for protection while the governments of Earth laments for the fallen goddess. Gigan returns that following day, and proceeds to terrorize urban centers once more with its all new chainsaw hands. The new larva sets out to fight this invader despite protests from both the twins and the task force. In that battle, the larva manages to hold out on her own, however is proven outmatched by Gigan's underhanded tactics and she retreats to where she wraps herself in a cocoon. After being informed on what was happening, the anti monster task force distract Gigan long enough for the larva to complete her metamorphosis, transforming herself to a more larger and more armored version of her mother. Now dubbed as Neo Mothra, she battles Gigan and finally defeats the creature. However as it retreats back into space, Neo Mothra goes after it and ultimately cripples the invader, making its escape futile. The new goddess then carries Gigan towards the sun and throws the invader towards it. Neo Mothra then watches Gigan burn to death as it flails helplessly before being consumed by the sun. Neo Mothra then returns back to Earth, taking over her mother's brief position as the new guardian monster. In a post credit scene, a pair of characters discuss about recent events and how it would be beneficial, the camera then pans to a familiar statue as everything cuts to black.


The second movie has Neo Mothra settling in as the new guardian monster of humanity, with the twins being something akin to celebrities since they are the spokesperson for Neo Mothra. Neo Mothra in turn tries her best in keeping the peace between the divided nations of humanity. Stopping terror attacks or helping out via her priestesses. As this occurs, tensions escalate between the Chinese Empire and the Indian Equalist Republic after footage showing the destruction of several Confucian monasteries and sites dedicated to the worship of Manda at the hands of Indian agents are leaked to the public. In a conference between the two nations, the fairies and Neo Mothra act as mediators between the two. One of the fairies is almost assassinated however before security officials bring him down. His last words cursing Mothra for usurping Manda's place as the guardian of humanity and at the Equalists for being godless fools. As this happens, an underground cult dedicated to the worship of an ancient kaiju is contacted by a member of the would-be assassin's mutual group, citing that the new guardian monster is the perfect sacrificial entity to resurrect Manda. The leader of the cult is skeptical at this as it would mean that if Manda returns then the defeat of their patron monster is all but assured. The member then cites that if the cult's patron monster is also released from its shackles, then they will fight once more, balanced being restored. Back at the anti monster headquarters, Neo Mothra is briefed on the history of Manda via her twin priestesses. It is then revealed that the name of Manda's ancient enemy and nemesis turns out to be Bagan to the shock of the twins who reveal that such a similar creature had been encountered and ultimately defeated by the forces of Earth Neo Mothra's mother had came from. This version of Bagan however did not arrive on this current earth in modern times but in eons past, with its arrival having contributed to the extinction event of the dinosaurs. Bagan had evolved overtime, feeding on Earth's energies and at the local wildlife until Manda emerged. The two battled for Earth for eons after that until the dragon guardian finally sealed Bagan off at the cost of her life. The twins then dread on the idea of someone attempting to release Bagan from its prison.


The plot escalates when eventually Neo Mothra is lured to a dig site after news of miners and diggers being held hostage by terrorists. A botched attempt to kill Neo Mothra occurs however Bagan is successfully released from its prison where it destroys the cult that had prayed for its resurrection. The leader, who was watching this occur from afar rejoices on Bagan's return before mortally wounding the one that contacting his cult, citing that the botched attempt was deliberate as they did not wanted Manda to return and killing off Neo Mothra was too much of a hassle if Bagan wasn't the one to do it. Both Bagan and Neo Mothra fight each other, however Bagan proves to be more than a match for Neo Mothra and if it wasn't for a timely attack by one of the task force's maser turrets, the ancient kaiju would have succeeded in killing Neo Mothra off. Neo Mothra and the task force retreat, leaving Bagan free to terrorize all across China. Neo Mothra retreats back to the task force headquarters where she spins silk all over a portion of the building before going inside it and undergoing yet another metamorphosis. As this occurs, the surviving members of Bagan's cult stage an attack on the task force's headquarters with the intent of killing Neo Mothra off before she could complete her metamorphosis. It is a failure as the cultists are vastly outmatched by the trained soldiers. The last one of the cultists to die is the leader, and in his dying words to the twins cites that Neo Mothra's role as guardian has jump started the cycle of warfare again, and even if Bagan is destroyed, an essence of it will remain and will grow back, for it was a creature of the Earth as much as Neo Mothra is now. Many are disheartened by this even when Neo Mothra finally emerges and destroys Bagan. The fairies themselves are at a loss on what to do, before they are contacted by Neo Mothra, who then flies over to the wormhole in which her mother and the twin fairies originated from. When one of the members of the task force ask about what Neo Mothra was about to do, one of the twins reply; “To change fate.”


What this meant is eventually shown as Neo Mothra travels back in time to prehistoric times, during the age of the Dinosaurs. And though she fails to save the dinosaurs from Bagan’s entry, she succeeds in weakening the creature and seals it off before heading back to the wormhole, this time to Bagan and Manda’s final battle, unfortunately even fate had it so Manda is weakened by the monster, however Neo Mothra’s intervention causes a massive change in history as she ultimately delivers the killing blow against Bagan, destroying the monster once and for all. Manda thanks Neo Mothra as she lays dying and it is here she communicates with her, and bestows upon Neo Mothra the powers needed to become the world’s guardian monster, claiming that she had anticipated her intervention due to Bagan’s earlier injuries. Manda then dies from her injuries after this, confident in her successor’s role. Aside from this change in the past, everything remains the same in the present day as Neo Mothra returns to her own time where the events of the earlier parts of the film have been erased, with Manda and Bagan having been reduced to mere legends now. Neo Mothra and her fairies being the only ones that have knowledge of what occurred. The film ends when diggers discover Manda’s bones, to the delight of her cultists and the taskforce. The fairies smile to each other as Neo Mothra chirps in upon hearing this discovery. In a post-credit scene, the head scientist of the task force tours a facility in Nanjing where it is revealed that Neo Mothra’s mother was not the first ‘outsider’ to reach their world, and that another had arrived two years earlier. The scene ends as another yet very familiar roar is heard.


The third movie initially opens to the surprise of the audience with Mingzhong Godzilla’s final battle with Destoroyah (As the third movie only had one teaser trailer), which ends with the mutated version of the Oxygen Destroyer disappearing after it is frozen by military forces and is apparently melted by Godzilla in retaliation, Godzilla’s rapid destabilization and death causes a rare event wherein Destoryah is sucked into a created wormhole (leftover from when Bagan absorbed Godzilla’s energy and when he absorbed it after Bagan’s defeat), saving it from being destroyed. While Godzilla jr. is shown being resurrected and bellowing in triumph, Destoroyah is sucked into the wormhole and pops out on the other side, to the surprise of the citizens on that end. The creature reawakens and then attacks the citizens and the city it had landed in before being driven away back into sea by the Anti-Kaiju task force's maser turrets.


The film starts properly with the facility seen in the second film's post credit scene, with the anti kaiju taskforce overseeing it now that it has been revealed to them. Meanwhile out in the Chinese coast, fishing boats start disappearing at an alarming rate, leaving only traces of crustacean shells behind. Though this phenomenon had been occurring for two years, it has now escalated in recent months following Neo Mothra's emergence as the guardian of humanity. Destoroyah reemerges and attacks Fusang leading to Neo Mothra confronting the creature. The battle ends in Neo Mothra's favor as Destoroyah retreats back to sea, however it was a narrow victory at best as Destoroyah's abilities were fully used here unlike its battle with a dying Godzilla. Neo Mothra heads back to the taskforce's headquarters and huddles herself into another cocoon. As this happens strange things occur in the facility where Destoroyah emerged from, the fairies sensing a massive trace of energy being formed not just in Nanjing but somewhere in the Reich as well a few months ago. A double singularity event. Meanwhile scattered reports of nuclear plants and their dump sites being raided causes a concern for the task force, especially since they fear Destoroyah had been feeding on them as well, to which the fairies disagree. To them, a vengeful creature had somehow made it to this world as well. The fairies then tell the task force to have the civilians evacuate Nanjing, for they fear that Destoroyah will attempt to head back to the city in order to find the wormhole. Meanwhile in another nuclear facility, its dumpsite is being fed off by a creature that was not Destoroyah. It roars briefly before it heads back to sea, in Nanjing's direction. The fairies' predictions were proven correct when Destoroyah does end up traversing back to Nanjing, now fully healed from its fight.


As military forces hold the creature back in vain, sensors pick up Neo Mothra's signature and here they bear witness to her latest form. A multi colored version of herself, much larger than her previous incarnation and looked like her skin was armored, to which it was. Another fight ensues and even though Neo Mothra holds a lot longer in her new form, Destoroyah still proves more than a match for her. The appearance of a third creature in Nanking causes dismay for the task force. But the fairies however were not. For they recognised the creature. A roar followed afterwards, causing Destoroyah to stop briefly before it is momentarily blinded by Neo Mothra's silk. It recognised such a roar. Godzilla had made it to this version of Earth. A titanic battle occurs as both Godzilla and Neo Mothra team up against Destoroyah with the creature surprised at its foe's different style of fighting, it soon becomes complicated when the wormhole in Nanjing starts getting bigger to the result it towered the city skyline as a result. Knowing full well that both Godzilla and Destoroyah might have caused this, Neo Mothra communicates briefly with the other creature in disposing Destoroyah once and for all. Godzilla complies and so they attack the mutated oxygen destroyer from all sides; Neo Mothra then blinds Destoroyah again before Godzilla blasts its horn away with its atomic breath. When Destoroyah attempts to fly away however Neo Mothra intercepts it, and Godzilla finally avenges his adopted father by unleashing a red spiral ray (Powered up with a little help from Neo Mothra) on Destoroyah, destroying the creature once and for all. With both kaijus emerging victorious the task force all sigh in relief. However tension then escalates when Godzilla and Neo Mothra stare at each other, to which said tension evaporates as the kaiju gives the other one a curtly nod before he heads back to the wormhole, and disappears to the other side. Many among the task force were in awe of such a creature, even after the wormhole itself shrunk down to human size after Godzilla's disappearance. One of the fairies would then echo the words of someone on Godzilla's world, that the possibility of seeing him again was gonna happen. Neo Mothra seemed to chirp in reply causing much amusement.


As the credits roll, the wormhole itself flashes open again, Miki Saegusa and a couple others from the G-Division emerging; who are then greeted by the fairies and the Anti Kaiju task force. Somewhere on the Chinese coast, both Godzilla (jr.) and Neo Mothra greet each other as both organizations watch their respective kaijus. Miki remarks that it was an odd adventure for her 'boy' (Alluding to the fact she helped raised the once young Goji jr back in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II). Both organizations are then treated to a sight where Neo Mothra and Godzilla jr. patrol the coast, the giant moth goddess perched on the atomic reptile's back, almost akin to the way animals in symbiosis behave. Miki smiles as one of the task force guards remarks if this was the beginning of an odd relationship to which the head scientist dismisses as nothing more but a symbiotic behaviour.


While reception for the two previous films were either good or lukewarm, the third movie received mixed reviews. Though many were glad to see Destoroyah's rather ambiguous fate finally addressed as well as Godzilla jr finally avenging the Mingzhong Godzilla and the long awaited team up between Godzilla and Mothra (Who only did twice during the Xuantong era movies), there were those who disliked the heavy science fiction elements as well as forcing the third movie to connect back to the Mingzhong era's final Godzilla movie rather than having Neo Mothra's adventures be its own stand-alone story. Regardless, Neo Mothra's armored form received very positive views from both parties.


The Galatan Project (1998): Nuclear tests somewhere in the Arctic circle take a turn for the worse as a mutated prehistoric animal unleashes its wrath upon the Roman Reich a few decades later, starting with attacks on Caledonia and later the rest of Provincia Brittania. The military enlists the aid of biologist Doctor Nikoleos Tatopoulos (Not played by Matthew Brodrick) and Athanatoi agent Philippe Roche (Still played by Jean Reno) in tracking down the creature who ultimately makes a nest at the very heart of the Reich, the city of Constantinople itself. After a lengthy skirmish, one of which involved bombing the Hippodrome where a massive nest made by the creature is discovered, the creature is finally brought down when it is lured and trapped at a suspension bridge that connects the city of Constantinople to the Galata district.


Often labeled by fans as a Roman attempt at creating their own Godzilla movie, this soft reboot of the Beast of 20 000 Fathoms (Itself an inspiration for Godzilla) unfortunately was ignored by general audiences despite being directed by Orlando Emmerich (Called Roland by his peers), director of Restoration Day. Factors including the Roman release of the third entry to the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy at the time as well as the promise of a Roman Godzilla movie being what this movie was supposed to be led to a sequel never being developed. However despite having been ignored by mainstream media it performed well on the box office to the point that it got an animated series that continued its plotline with the creature’s surviving offspring fighting monsters across the world with help from Tatopoulos and his small team of experts (A plotline inspired heavily by the Xuantong era). The new Rhedosaurus design used in the movie was also noted for not only retaining most of its original look back in the 1953 version but also having the ability to stand upright (Though this was only seen several times), the green fire breath that it uses later in the film would be present in the animated series as well, being utilized by its one surviving offspring. The new Rhedosaurus would often be joked among kaiju fans as the Roman Godzilla as a result.


Ghidorah: The One Who is Many (1999): Released in 1999, this kaiju film focuses on King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s rival and long time foe, and how this three headed planet destroyer evolved into becoming a feared monster spoken in harsh tones by civilizations, the primary focus is on Ghidorah’s journey into becoming a maniacal laughing god taking pleasure in the destruction of civilizations and monsters alike. Often noted for its peculiar and unexpected setting as well as giving the protagonist a villainous personality, kaiju fans have often labeled this film as a cult favorite. Although it did not perform well in the box office, it remains loved by fans due to giving Ghidorah most of the spotlight (One scene of which involved him terrorizing a group of early human children) as well as his evolution into becoming DeshiGhidorah or Death Ghidorah, a surprise appearance by King Caesar during the final battle on Earth being another favorite scene by fans.



Long time coming but I finally finished the Mingzhong entry. Took me a while to get them finished since I lost the first draft way back in November. Hope you like them :D. I do apologize for all the Mothra Leo and SpaceGodzilla fans reading this entry btw, I felt the series, while retaining similarities to our own had to diverge at some areas. Plus Bagan gets to be the one in the limelight here while Space G is treated as a what if :p.
 
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zenphoenix

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Now the Lone Gunmen doing something in the limelight's nice. Going into virtual reality certainly is something to look forward too. Here's to hoping that damn AI is finally defeated.
Hope you enjoy the next few updates. I had a lot of trouble writing them, but I did what I could to make it make sense and to capture the power of the AI (and its flaws). It's not going to go down that easily...
Jet Jaguar saves the world, which was released a year after Destroy All Monsters would officially mark the end of the Xuantong era of the Godzilla Anthology.
Of course Jet Jaguar ends the Xuantong series. As is only right.:p
that will live Nanjing inhabitable
I think you missed a couple words there.
The first movie tackles her arrival to this mirror dimension, in which after a brief skirmish against Earth's forces, Mothra and her fairies are reluctantly welcomed by the governments of this version of Earth.
Chinese Empire and the Indian Equalist Republic
What other changes would there be in this parallel universe?
(Not played by Matthew Brodrick)
oof
Took me a while to get them finished since I lost the first draft way back in November. Hope you like them :D.
I think you did really well. These were some great summaries, and I'm looking forward to the Millennium series whenever you get around to them.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Glad to see the Mingzhong Era finished! I continue to think you did an excellent job with this, @TWR97
 

CaptainAlvious

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Great work with Mingzhong Godzilla @TWR97 ! Looking forward to the Millennium series.:)

Nice to see the Lone Gunmen are back in action, hope the Roman government pardons them after this.

The virtual reality stuff seems interesting. It's funny to see Olga asking Pavel for a desk here, reminds me of the good old days of Molotov and Valentin back in the WW3 arc.:D

Speaking of Valentin, is he even alive anymore? OTL's Valentin died in 2009 like you said before, so is he dead or is he one of the characters in this AAR that get extended lifespans?
 

zenphoenix

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Nice to see the Lone Gunmen are back in action, hope the Roman government pardons them after this.
With the government's current state, I don't think any pardons are coming their way.
The virtual reality stuff seems interesting. It's funny to see Olga asking Pavel for a desk here, reminds me of the good old days of Molotov and Valentin back in the WW3 arc.:D
I couldn't resist sneaking in a desk reference.:p
Speaking of Valentin, is he even alive anymore? OTL's Valentin died in 2009 like you said before, so is he dead or is he one of the characters in this AAR that get extended lifespans?
He died in 2009. I don't think I have anything left to add to his story.
 

zenphoenix

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sudo -rm -rf -5

Berlin - 7:00 AM

Angela backed into the bathroom doorway.

“Oh, no,” she said, “It can’t be.”

Demetrios stared at her in confusion.

“Can’t be what?” he said. “Is something wrong?”

“Uh, not really,” Angela said, thinking fast, “Just had a rough night.”

“We all did,” Demetrios said, “That missile from Russia really was something, huh?”

“Russia?” Angela said.

Demetrios chuckled.

“You were really that out last night, huh?” Demetrios said. “The equalists were at it again. They just don’t know where to quit. Seems the Russian people need to be ruled by an iron fist.”

“Yeah, iron fist, as in ours, right?” Angela said, quipping to divert attention away from her panic.

“I mean, who else?” Demetrios said.

“Oh, right, yeah, totally,” Angela said, casually doing a salute, “Imperium Sine Fine, am I right?”

Demetrios’ smile vanished. His eyes darted to the window and then back to Angela.

“Are you crazy?!” he hissed. “They could be watching anywhere!”

“What’s wrong?” Angela said. “I’m just showing my patriotism.”

“You can’t do it so casually,” Demetrios said, “They could get you for subversion.”

“Oh, there’s a buzzword if I ever heard one, subversion,” Angela said, rolling her eyes, “Anyways, I should be getting to work."

She opened the closet and picked out a set of combat fatigues and a tactical vest, all with the insignia of the Black Tagmata, a black double-headed eagle in front of a double-bladed axe. She put them on.

“How do I look?” Angela said.

“Like I’m not ready at all,” Demetrios said, rolling out of bed, “Wait for me!”


Bremerhaven

Diana opened her eyes, even though she was sure they were never closed to begin with. Even though her eyes were open for sure now, she saw nothing. She tried moving her arms, but they remained where they were. It was like they were being held down. In fact, it was like her whole body was being held down. Diana slowly realized something…she was buried alive.

Fortunately, one strong shove and her limbs broke the surface, feeling the air above. She pulled herself up and climbed out of the makeshift grave she was apparently in, coughing up large clumps of dirt. Looking around, she saw she was in the front yard of a house, surrounded by other makeshift graves. As her vision came back to her, she saw even more graves haphazardly scattered through the front yard, each marked with a cross. Diana got to her feet and slowly limped from mound to mound. Each cross had a name written on it. She recognized four names.

Conrad Humboldt

Magda Humboldt

Walter Humboldt

Elisabeth Humboldt

Anna Humboldt

She was standing in the graveyard of the Humboldt family, in front of Anders’ childhood home.

“Oh, God,” she muttered, her hands shaking, “Oh, God.”

What was this place? What had the COS created here? Why was Anders’ family all dead? Why was she dead too? Was that really her who was dead? Or was she programmed in to replace someone else? To make sure, she ran back to her grave and picked up the cross that used to be on top. It read “Diana.” The rest was either broken off or illegible. She dropped the cross and stumbled back from the mass graves. Something terrible had happened here. Something was wrong in this virtual world. But one thing was for sure. Anders’ name wasn’t on the crosses. That meant he was still out there somewhere. And Diana needed to find him.

She checked the clothes on her, which were all dark. There was a wallet in her pocket. Inside was an ID card, only the country name read “Imperium Romanum” and not the standard “Romisches Reich.” And her picture looked at least twenty years younger and one child less. Other than that, she had no money. Her other pocket was empty. Strangely, she found no bullet holes in her clothes. Then she touched her forehead and felt dried blood in the center. That must’ve been where they shot her. Interesting, or horrifying, but that didn’t help her find Anders. She needed a way to get around.

Diana walked up to the front door. It was locked. She tackled it with all of her strength, and it gave way, its rusted hinges snapping loose. The door fell, and she cautiously stepped inside. The interior of the old Humboldt residence was dark but illuminated by the morning sunlight coming from outside. There were no windows. They had all been destroyed, shards of glass still littering the floor. The floor was covered in dirt and leaves. Vines and molds covered the walls and what furniture remained. The furniture was arranged messily, as if they had been moved. Papers, utensils, and books littered the floor, along with shattered dishes and overturned cabinets, as if someone had been rummaging through them. The closets were opened and empty. It looked like the house had been ransacked a long time ago.

Entering what should’ve been Walter’s office, Diana made her way over to the desk and searched the drawers. As expected, anything useful in the desk had been ransacked long ago. Fortunately, Diana found car keys in the bottom drawer, hidden under a false bottom next to a scrap of paper containing an address and a message.

Rendezvous point.

-Skye

Next to it was an old pistol with two full clips. Diana ran to the garage, where she found the Impala waiting for her, a light layer of dust gathering on its windows. She got inside and put the key in the ignition. The engine turned over several times and sputtered. Encouraged, she tried again. The engine turned over again and then died again. She tried a third time, and the engine roared to life. There was still a full tank left. After opening the garage door, she revved the engine and drove onto the deserted street.


Headquarters of the Black Tagmata, Berlin - 8:00 AM

Demetrios rolled up to the checkpoint and rolled down his window.

“Good morning, sir,” he said, handing over his and Angela’s IDs to the security guard, “The Angeloi protect.”

The security guard inspected the IDs and ran them under a scanner, which blinked green. He handed them back to Demetrios.

“The Angeloi protect, Dr. and Mrs. Papadopoulos,” he said, raising the gate.

Demetrios drove into the headquarters and parked in front of the main office. He and Angela got out and headed for the door.

“You usually aren’t this troublesome,” Demetrios said, “Did it really take ten checkpoints just to calm down?”

“Rough night,” Angela replied.

“Well, keep it down,” Demetrios said, “You know what the Black Tagmata’s capable of.”

“Of course,” Angela said, “With a name like that, how could I forget?”

They entered the office and took the elevator to the second floor, where they got out and entered a conference room. Several doctors, among them Zimmerman, waited for them.

“Morning, Dr. Papadopoulos,” Zimmerman said.

“Morning, Dr. Zimmerman,” Demetrios said, “What are we doing today?”

“We’re prepping the operating room,” Zimmerman said, “High Command will be briefing us on the subject soon.”

“Oh, exciting,” Demetrios said.

As they waited in the conference room, Angela took out her phone and logged into the database of the Black Tagmata. Once she was in, she accessed the personnel files and began looking for Anders and Diana. But she found much more than that, though, because she had to use a generalized search so the Angeloi monitors wouldn’t figure out her intentions.

Name: Darlene Moreau

Background: French

Status: Terminated

Name: Ruby Moreau

Background: French

Status: Terminated

Name: Kurt Moreau

Background: French, Resistance subversive, terrorist

Status: Terminated

Name: Hans Hansen

Background: Inquisition heretic, Resistance subversive, terrorist

Status: Terminated

Name: Erich Hansen

Background: Resistance subversive, terrorist

Status: Terminated

Name: Leza Atsumi

Background: Culture traitor, adulteress, terrorist

Status: Terminated

Name: Theresa Novak

Background: Culture traitor, anti-family

Status: Terminated

Name: Louise Kazdan

Background: Gender traitor, anti-family, terrorist

Status: Terminated

Name: Gottfried Loben

Background: Experiment #626

Status: Terminated with extreme prejudice

Name: Elisabeth Alexandra Hohenzollern

Background: False pretender, heretic, national traitor

Status: Terminated

Name: Aliya Hussein

Background: Muslim

Status: Put down

Angela tried her best not to show her emotions, but it was hard reading the names of people she knew in real life but were dead here. What kind of sick world had the COS created? Why was there so much suffering? Why did it create this terrible world? What did it gain from all this?

Finally, she found what she was looking for. She was about to sigh with relief, as she didn’t have to scroll through more suffering. But then she read further.

Name: Diana Frank

Background: Jewish, miscegenation, high treason, guilt by association

Status: Put down

“No,” she whispered, “Impossible.”

But there it was. It clearly stated Diana was dead. But what did that mean? Did that mean Diana died when she linked to the COS? Did the COS kill her? Could someone linked to the COS die in real life if they died in the simulation? It was a silly trope, but now she was actually living it, and she had no desire to test it. But what about Anders?

Name: Anders Humboldt

Background: Humboldt treason, miscegenation

Status: Unknown

There was also a related entry.

Name: Annie Humboldt

Background: Humboldt treason

Status: Unknown

The door opened, breaking Angela’s concentration. She quickly logged out, put away her phone, and put on a blank expression, hoping nobody noticed. Looking up, she noticed the person who had just entered the room was none other than Olga, who didn’t recognize her. Demetrios, Zimmerman, and the other doctors immediately stood up and gave the Angeloi salute. Angela followed suit.

“Dr. and Mrs. Papadopoulos,” she said, coldly, “Thank you for showing up on time. You understand the importance of punctuality.”

Angela opened her mouth, but Demetrios cut her off.

“Of course,” he said, “Mrs. Papadopoulos and I made sure we arrived early.”

“Now, on to business,” Olga said, “We all know what happened with yesterday’s raid.”

“I trust the commanding officer has been disciplined accordingly?” Zimmerman said.

“Yes, I had him shot,” Olga said, “But I am pleased to say it was not without results.”

“What kind of results?” Demetrios said.

“We captured a Resistance spy,” Olga said, handing them files, “His alias is Friedrich von Falkenhausen, but his identification card was a forgery. He is in the operating room. Your objective today is to oversee his interrogation and determine the location of the Resistance cell. Failing that, High Command is interested in a demonstration of the latest XA-series toxin.”

“Of course,” Demetrios said, “My team will get ready at once.”

“I look forward to seeing results,” Olga said, leaving.

Zimmerman pushed a button on the table, opening a back door to the operating room. A man was strapped to the operating table. He was struggling fiercely, but the metal restraints held. As Angela approached, she recognized him as Kurtz.

“I really want to test out my new prototype,” Zimmerman said, handing Demetrios a vial with a purple-green liquid inside.

“Interesting,” Demetrios said, “Appears to be the R series. I assume it works by hyper-stimulation and destruction of the nerves to incapacitate?”

“Yes, that is the new R series,” Zimmerman said, “Though I stand by my earlier recommendation to use the N or S series. The N series did help in the civilizing of China.”

“Indeed,” Angela interrupted, “But N and S are far too dangerous for a simple interrogation. Our job is to get information out of the subversive, not kill him. We should use R.”

Zimmerman didn’t even look at Angela.

“Yes, we should be keeping him alive,” Demetrios said, “Use R.”

Zimmerman nodded at Demetrios.

“Ah, good point, Dr. Papadopoulos,” he said, walking off. “I’ll prepare the R series at once.”

Angela resisted the urge to punch Zimmerman in the face. That was her idea, not Demetrios’. She just said it to her face, and he ignored her like that. Oh well. He was just a computer program anyways, not a real person.

They entered the operating room, where Zimmerman prepared a large syringe with the nerve agent vial. Demetrios put on his medical scrubs and a pair of latex gloves. Then he picked up a bone saw and a jumper cable, which he handed to Angela.

“Care to do the honors?” he asked.

Angela looked at the cable.

“Was it really that rough of a night?” Demetrios said. “This is your favorite part!”

“Oh, of course,” Angela said, taking the cable and faking eagerness, “I’ll get ready at once.”

Kurtz noticed the jumper cable and struggled even harder.

“Let’s begin,” Demetrios said.

He pressed play on a tape player, and Wagner played. Then he punched Kurtz in the jaw.

“Tell us where the Resistance cell is!” he demanded.

“I’d rather die!” Kurtz said.

Zimmerman punched him in the stomach, and Kurtz doubled over.

“Is that the best you can do?” Kurtz said.

“Can we administer the R series now?” Zimmerman said.

“Not yet!” Demetrios said. “Where is the Valkyrie?”

“Go to hell,” Kurtz said.

Demetrios looked at Angela.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” he said. “Electric shocks usually work!”

“Hold on,” Angela said, “I know this man’s real name.”

“You do?” Demetrios said.

“Last night I was up researching known Resistance leaders,” Angela said, improvising an explanation on the spot, “This is Wilhelm Kurtz, one of the Valkyrie’s lieutenants.”

Kurtz’s eyes widened. He looked at Demetrios.

“How…how did you know?” he said.

Demetrios punched him in the face again.

“So you admit to being a terrorist!” Demetrios said. “Now give up the location of the Valkyrie!”

“You’ll never get anything out of me,” Kurtz said, “The Valkyrie, Firebird, and Vlk will avenge my death!”

Olga entered the operating room, her expression still cold and calculating.

“You have one more chance to cooperate,” she ordered.

“Or what?” Kurtz said.

Olga casually drew her gun and shot him twice in the knees. Kurtz screamed in pain, and Angela noticed Olga smiling sadistically.

“Or I will put you down as the desert dog you are,” Olga said, holstering her gun.

She turned to Demetrios.

“This interrogation is over,” she said, “I want him taken to Rehabilitation for conditioning.”

“Conditioning?” Demetrios said. “He might yet give us more information.”

“And I haven’t had a chance to test the new R series yet,” Zimmerman said.

“Your job is not to question my orders,” Olga said, “Your job is to execute them. Understand?”

“Yes, Agent Kirau,” Demetrios said.

“Of course,” Zimmerman said.

They cautiously began releasing Kurtz from his restraints, but the moment he was free, he punched Zimmerman in the face and slammed Demetrios against a table. However, when he tried standing up, his legs buckled underneath him, and he fell on the floor. Olga then drew her gun again and shot him one more time in the lower back. Kurtz screamed again in agony.

“Too easy,” she said.


Berlin - 2:00 PM

Diana patiently sat in the diner, waiting for someone familiar to show up. Skye had said this was the rendezvous point, didn’t she? Otherwise why was there a message in Bremerhaven? She didn’t want to have driven all the way across northern Germania and avoided several dozen checkpoints for nothing. She had experience getting around checkpoints. These virtual Angeloi checkpoints were a lot like the old Soviet ones in the former Occupied Territories. Hadn’t Russia been annexed into the Imperium? Perhaps the Angeloi did learn something from the equalists, for all their hatred for them. Or maybe the COS didn’t have enough memory to create different checkpoints and protocols based more on the real Angeloi ones.

Diana looked at her watch again. An hour had passed since she arrived. Where was Angela? Or Skye or David? One hour was way too long for her to be waiting here. For all she knew, they could’ve all been captured by the COS. Or dead. Maybe the COS knew she was here. This was an exposed area. Behind her was a three-story office building. A sniper could shoot her in the back of the head from there. She couldn’t see the back exit, obviously. There could be a strike team waiting in the kitchen or the back alley. There was always a backup team waiting there. The KGB and the Athanatoi did it. She had to leave, now.

As she got up to leave, two suspicious men in trench coats approached her. They reached into their pockets and took out badges with the Black Tagmata’s insignia.

“Black Tagmata,” one of them said, “You’re under arrest.”

“On what grounds?” Diana said.

The other agent brushed his coat aside to reveal his other hand on his pistol.

“We will ask the questions,” he said.

The first agent reached into her pocket and took out her wallet. He took her ID card and scanned it with his phone.

“Hasn’t been updated since 1996,” he noted, “Wait a second, it says here she’s legally dead.”

The second agent peered at the screen.

“Impossible,” he said, “Is that a glitch or something?”

Diana used the distraction to grab the second agent’s sidearm, draw her own gun, and fire at the first agent. She then pistol-whipped the second agent. Both went down quickly. The diner erupted into chaos, the patrons screaming and fleeing as Diana took the first agent’s phone and then made her way to the exit. The Black Tagmata wouldn’t send just two undercover agents to arrest her. There had to be more agents on the way. And they wouldn’t be as incompetent or restrained as the first two. Diana got in her car and started the engine. She disabled location tracking on the agent’s phone and drove off.


3:00 PM

Diana pulled into an abandoned industrial park filled with fading Angeloi propaganda posters. They looked very similar to the ones she learned about in school and from her mother. There was the one with the father, mother, son, and daughter, all smiling and saluting proudly as tanks rolled and jets soared behind them. There was the one with the coal miner bringing his pickaxe down on the Hohenzollern imperial coat of arms. There was the one with a fat old turbaned Arab man holding the strings of a puppet controlling a globe and clutching a screaming European woman in his other hand, but the strings were being cut by a young and strong European man holding a sharpened cross and a fasces. There was another with another young and strong European man defending another helpless blond woman from a crouching loincloth-wearing African hunchback, again holding the cross and fasces. But there was one she didn’t recognize: a photo of Pavel Novak, wearing a medal-studded uniform doing the Angeloi salute with the Angeloi eagle in the background. Apparently he was the Volksfuhrer here. Just her luck.

Diana had made sure she wasn’t followed here. She had spent the last hour meandering across downtown Berlin, making random turns to keep her path unpredictable. But there was only so much she could do. The Impala was very recognizable. It had probably been recorded on hundreds of security cameras. Fortunately there were none in this area. She estimated she had half an hour before she had to leave.

While she waited, she took out the agent’s phone and scrolled through his database, hoping to find more information about Anders. Of course, as a fugitive from the Angeloi, he had changed his name and appearance, but Diana accounted for that in her search. Then she cross-referenced her findings with security camera footage of the Berlin area. Soon she focused on a quiet neighborhood in the eastern half of the city. Then she found footage of a familiar-looking man entering an apartment. Finding the landlord’s name, she was slightly relieved to find there was a law requiring him to publicly list the names of his tenants and their addresses. One of them was a Andreas Walterson.

“Found you,” she said, starting the car again.


Anders’ apartment - 3:30 PM

“Friedrich the Great, Friedrich the Glorious, and Saint Wilhelmina executed traitors and purged subversives from their courts,” the “news” reporter said, “Our leaders today patriotically follow in their footsteps. Subversive and non-Roman ideas like liberalism and Islam have no place in our Christian Imperium. And yet the left continues to declare they defend the true values of the Reich. What true values? Bestiality, sodomy, baby murder, atheism, miscegenation, genocide? Racism and bigotry against Europeans and Christians? The genetic replacement of Europeans with degenerate Muslims and Africans? They say they want freedom. I’ll tell you what they really want. They want absolute freedom. That is anarchy. That is barbarism. And I am proud to live under strong leadership which defends us against such anarchy and barbarism. The world is safer under the benevolent guidance of the Angeloi.”

Anders turned off the TV. Annie glared at him.

“I need to know how they talk!” Annie said. “I can’t fight back if I don’t know what I’m fighting back against!”

“Propaganda is propaganda,” Anders said, “We already know what the Angeloi sound like. We just need to make sure we don’t fall for their lies.”

“But if I don’t know how they talk, how will we reach the people?” Annie said. “We could end up talking exactly like they do, and nobody would believe it.”

“Trust me, Annie, they will believe us,” Anders said, “They will.”

They heard someone pounding on their neighbor’s door.

“Black Tagmata!” a man shouted. “Open up immediately! You are under arrest!”

Seconds later, they heard the Black Tagmata agent kicking the door in. A woman screamed, shots rang out, and a man yelled.

“Kristoff Alder, you are under arrest for suspicion of crimes against the state!” the Black Tagmata agent shouted.

The agent dragged Kristoff out of his apartment, still kicking and screaming. His screams slowly grew more distant.

“Remember, don’t let your emotions get the best of you,” Anders said, “That’s how we got into this mess in the first place.”

“How can we just let this happen?” Annie said. “We just let them take that guy away!”

“You sound just like Dad,” Anders said, “Remember what happened in Bremerhaven?”

Someone knocked on his door. They stopped talking immediately. Anders motioned to a cabinet in the corner. Annie quietly walked over and took out a gun. Then she went into the bathroom and closed the door. Anders went to the door and checked the peephole. He saw Diana outside. Wait, Diana? That was impossible. She was dead. Anders saw her die years ago. He buried her in the front yard himself, next to the rest of his family. How was she alive? How was she here? He cautiously opened the door.

“Yes?” he said.

“Anders?” Diana said. “It’s you. It really is you.”

“Who are you?” Anders said.

“It’s me, Diana,” Diana said, “Don’t you remember?”

“Yeah, I remember,” Anders said, “I remember you being shot in the head by Agent Holtzman. I remember burying you.”

“But I’m not dead,” Diana said, “I’m here.”

“Which is why I’m confused,” Anders said, “You’re wearing the same clothes you last wore. Did they resurrect you? Did they pull you from the past? What did they do to you? What do they want out of me?”

“I’m not a spy,” Diana whispered, “I’m here to get you out.”

“Out of what?” Anders said. “The Angeloi rule the entire world. You got a spaceship or what? I’m pretty sure aliens aren’t interested in goose-stepping.”

“This isn’t you, Anders,” Diana said, “You believe in aliens. You’ve met them too. This, all this is an illusion. It’s a virtual reality created by the COS. It gave you false memories, a false life to keep you from remembering the real world. Angie and I came here to rescue you.”

“I don’t need rescuing,” Anders said, “What I need is to tell the world the truth.”

“Everybody here is just a simulation,” Diana said, “They’re not real people.”

“They’re real to me,” Anders said.

“Come on, Anders!” Diana said. “You’re Anders Humboldt, Athanatoi agent, one of the leaders of the X-Division. We’re all trying to tell the world the truth. But the truth is, Anders, this isn’t the real world. In the real world, the Angeloi lost. We’re all free. We’re even married. We have a son. He’s ten. I don’t want to tell him I left you in here. We want you to come home. Please. For our sake.”

But Anders wasn’t convinced.

“If you’re really visitors, here, I should warn you stuff like that could get you shot,” Anders said, “So please keep it down. I have to go now.”

He closed the door. Annie emerged from the bathroom.

“Is she gone?” she said.

Anders looked through the peephole again. “She’s gone. We’re safe.”

“Who was she?” Annie said.

“I have no idea,” Anders said.

At that moment, his computer beeped urgently. Anders rushed over to it.

“It’s Frau Alder,” he said, “She’s calling the Black Tagmata.”

He pushed a button to amplify Frau Alder’s voice through the wall.

“Hello, I’d like to report a subversive,” she said, “The real subversive. It’s my weird neighbor who just met with a woman who claims the world is a simulation. I always knew there was something wrong with him.”

Anders looked at Annie.

“We got to go,” he said.

He ran into his bedroom and started throwing clothes, books, flash drives, guns, and ammunition into his suitcase. Annie likewise did the same thing. As they rummaged through their closets, Anders’ hands suddenly stopped on one notebook, which he had opened to a random page. On that page were two pieces of tape arranged in an “X.” Snapping out of it, he tossed the notebook in his suitcase, only to stop on another notebook filled with newspaper clippings. He had opened it to a clipping with a picture of a 1967 black Chevy Impala. He put away that notebook as well. He reached into the closet and took out a loose page of binder paper covered in a single phrase: “Fight the future.”


Black Tagmata - 3:45 PM

Angela and Demetrios entered another operating room, where Kurtz had been strapped to an intimidating machine which pinned him down by his limbs, almost like it was crucifying him. Power drills emerged from the machine and stabbed Kurtz at all points of his body, including his still untreated bullet wounds. Other parts delivered electric shocks to his neck and head, while bone saws dug into his chest and torso and lasers burned into his face. Kurtz screamed even louder than Angela had heard before. He struggled fiercely, but with his legs incapacitated and his back hurt he couldn’t do much.

After all of the doctors had gathered, Pavel entered the room, and everybody saluted him.

“The Angeloi protect!” they shouted.

Pavel looked far older than Angela remembered. He had a scar running down his cheek. His hair was graying in some areas. And he wore an Angeloi uniform adorned with medals. But his face remained as cold and evil as Angela remembered, even as he smiled at Kurtz’s pain.

“Are you enjoying the show, doctors?” he said. “I personally designed this machine myself. Has a 100% success rate. That is, if the subject survives.”

“My Volksfuhrer, with all due respect, I was promised the chance to test the R series on him,” Zimmerman said.

“You will still have a chance, provided he survives,” Pavel said, “If not, I’ll arrange for a hundred prisoners to be made available for you.”

“Enough for a full experiment?” Zimmerman said, his eyes lighting up. “A control and experimental group? Oh, thank you, your kindness knows no bounds!”

“I could even throw in a Nobel with it,” Pavel said, “I can make a call to the committee.”

Olga walked into the room.

“My Volksfuhrer, I have urgent news,” she said.

“What is it?” Pavel said.

“The Black Tagmata has received a report of a subversive,” Olga said.

“A subversive?” Pavel said. “Do I really need to be informed for that?”

“Not just any subversive,” Olga said, “The concerned citizen mentioned the subversives in question were talking about this universe being a simulation and the real world being one where the Angeloi were defeated. High treason, I say.”

“I want the subversives caught and executed,” Pavel ordered, “Skip the formalities. You are to shoot them on sight.”

Angela realized they were talking about Diana and Anders. So Diana was alive, and she had actually found Anders. She had to find them and warn them of the Angeloi. Who knew what would happen if they died in the simulation?

Olga saluted and left. Pavel turned back to the doctors.

“You’re all free to go,” he said, “I can take it from here.”

“But sir, you’re probably busy running the affairs of state,” Demetrios said, “Surely we can handle a simple interrogation?”

“This is a high-ranking Resistance lieutenant,” Pavel said, “I want to question him myself. I want to know where my mother is. And how to kill her and her friends.”

“As you wish,” Demetrios said.

They all saluted again. “The Angeloi protect!”

They made their way out of the room. Zimmerman and the doctors immediately split off, still talking about the R series.

“Alright, what’s the plan?” Angela asked.

“Don’t know,” Demetrios said, “Was thinking of staying and doing some research. Want to get us some coffee?”

“I was thinking of maybe going downtown,” Angela said, “Getting some fresh air.”

“Fresh air?” Demetrios said. “Well, I suppose if you want it, go ahead. But don’t take too long, or they’ll get suspicious. And be careful with the checkpoints!”

He handed her the car keys.

“Right,” Angela said, “See you in a bit.”

Angela left the building and headed to the parking lot. As she approached the car, she heard someone walking behind her. She turned around and saw Skye waiting next to a tree.

“Hey,” she said.

“What took you so long?” Angela demanded. “I almost had to torture someone today! And he still ended up tortured!”

“The COS is evolving,” Skye said, “It doesn’t have total omniscience over this world, but it’s slowly getting there. I had to play it safe.”

“Can you take me to Diana?” Angela said. “And Anders?”

“David’s bringing Diana to the rendezvous point,” Skye said, “She couldn’t get Anders.”

“What do you mean she couldn’t get Anders?” Angela said.

Skye took out a remote control and pushed a button. A portal appeared next to her.

“I’ll explain later,” she said.

They walked through the portal.


[REDACTED]

Skye and Angela exited the portal and found themselves in a wooded park.

“You had a portal the whole time?” Angela said. “Why didn’t you give me one of those when I got in here?”

“Too dangerous,” Skye said, “They’re pretty easy to track, if you know what you’re looking for, and they only operate over short distances.”

“How short are we talking?” Angela said.

“Maybe a mile or two,” Skye said.

“So the rendezvous point is only a mile or two from the headquarters of the Black Tagmata?!” Angela said.

“It’s not ideal, but it’ll have to do,” Skye said, “If all goes well, we can use the backdoor to get you out of here as early as this evening.”

“And what about Anders?” Angela said.

“I said if all goes well,” Skye said.

Another portal opened up, and Diana and David Niketas ran through it. Angela immediately ran over and hugged Diana.

“So glad to see you,” Angela said, “Wait a minute, you smell terrible.”

“That’s what happens when you literally rise from the dead,” Diana said, “Had to claw my way out of my own grave. Long story.”

“Alright, we don’t have much time,” David said, “Let’s get to business.”

“Di, did you find Anders?” Angela said.

“I did,” Diana said, “But he didn’t recognize me, the real me. It was like his memory was wiped or something. He didn’t want to go.”

“Well, he’ll have to remember soon, or we’re stuck here,” Angela said.

David handed them two phones.

“These are emergency backdoors,” he explained, “If you’re in a tight situation, use them to disconnect from the COS. Then reconnect if you can. We’ll clear a path for you.”

“We’re not leaving until we get Anders,” Diana said.

Angela heard the sound of footsteps approaching. She held up her hand.

“Hold on,” she said, “Hear that?”

“Yeah,” Diana said.

Skye and David drew their guns. Diana took out her gun and handed her second gun to Angela. They focused on the source of the noise, who turned out to be Demetrios.

“Okay, this is weird,” Demetrios said.

“It’s a long story,” Angela said.

“Oh, I know,” Demetrios said, “I know. Which is why I need you to run, now.”

“What do you mean?” Diana said.

“You exposed us all, Angie,” Demetrios said, “Nobody knew Kurtz’s real name until you just blurted it out. You blew his cover. And mine too.”

Angela looked at Diana and then back at Demetrios.

“You’re Resistance?” she said.

“Of course I am!” Demetrios said. “And by the way, there’s a tactical team on the way to kill us all thanks to your friend here.”

He pointed at Diana.

“I forgot to mention, apparently someone made a call to the Black Tagmata reporting Diana as a subversive while she talked to Anders,” David said.

“Oh, God,” Skye said, “We should move.”

Angela heard the sound of more approaching footsteps, accompanied by clicking guns.

“Run!” she shouted.

Shots rang out. They ran through the park, using the trees as cover from the gunfire and to disguise their movements. Every now and then, Demetrios, Diana, and David turned around and fired back at the Angeloi.

“Those portals would come in handy right about now!” Angela said.

Skye fidgeted with her portal generator.

“I’m working on it!” she shouted.

A portal appeared in front of them, cutting a tree right down the middle. They jumped through the portal and into Skye’s apartment. Before the Angeloi could follow or see where they went, Skye closed the portal again.

“What was that?” Demetrios said.

“Long story,” Skye said.

“Our cover’s blown,” Angela said, “Damnit, Anders.”

“It was my fault,” Diana said, “I spoke too loudly. And I was still in the hallway. I should’ve insisted on going inside.”

“They would’ve found out either way,” Demetrios said, “You have any idea how many bugs there are in the average apartment?”

“Anders is paranoid,” Diana said, “He would’ve fooled them if he was hiding there.”

“Speaking of which, we need to go back and get him,” Angela said.

“We can’t,” Skye said, “It’s too dangerous out there.”

“They’ll be looking for us,” Demetrios said, “Security will be expanded. Checkpoints will become more rigorous. Our photos, voice patterns, gaits, and fingerprints are probably being circulated around law enforcement as we speak.”

“Then we need to get you two back to the real world,” David said, “While we meddle around with the source code. Make it a little safer when you get back.”

“Real world?” Demetrios said. “Source code?”

“Long story,” David said.

“We’re not leaving without Anders,” Angela said.

“That’s why we’re here,” Diana said.

“Listen, if you stay, it’s very likely they’ll find you,” Skye said, “And when they do, they won’t hesitate to kill you. You know what happens when you die in here? Irreversible brain damage, a permanent coma, mental instability, possibly death.”
“Just as I expected,” Angela said.

“How do you know all this?” Diana said.

“We ran a simulation,” Skye said.

“A simulation inside a simulation,” Diana said, “Figures.”

“You have to go,” David said, “You can always come back.”
“Hey, in case you’re wondering, it’s not really safe in the real world,” Diana said, “We’re kind of surrounded with gun-toting dog robots and drones in the basement of Tesla Dynamic.”

“At least it beats this world,” Skye said, “Just go!”

Angela and Diana took out the extraction devices and pushed a button. Nothing happened. They pushed the button again. Still nothing.

“Is it supposed to do that?” Angela said.

“No, it should’ve worked,” David said, “Unless…”

“The COS,” Skye said, “It patched the emergency backdoors.”

“So we’re stuck here,” Diana said.

“Basically,” Skye said.

“What’s all this about a COS and robots and drones and stuff?” Demetrios said.

“Long story,” Diana said.

“If I’m stuck here, I might as well make use of my time here,” Angela said, “Could I borrow that portal device?”

“What for?” Skye said.

“I was thinking of trying again with Anders,” Angela said.

“I doubt he’s still there,” Diana said, “If me showing up there alerted the Angeloi, he’ll probably be on his way out of the city.”

“I might be able to track him,” David said, taking out a tablet, “If I could just get into the COS’s database I could find out his exact location.”

“Wait a minute, you can find Anders but the COS can’t?” Angela said.

“Like we said, the COS’s capabilities are limited in its own simulation,” Skye said.

“Well, that’s a terribly designed system,” Angela said, “Almost as bad as the reset button. I wonder who built it?”

Skye and David glared at her.

“Oh, right, it was you guys and Brad Wilczek,” Angela said, “Now can you find Anders or not?”

“Better than that,” David said, typing, “I might be able to bring him here.”


Palace of the People, formerly Brandenburg Palace - 4:00 PM

Olga walked up to the door of what was formerly the Kaiser’s office. She noticed Pavel had been doing some redecorating lately. The last traces of Hohenzollern rule had been removed from the door and the surrounding walls. The coats of arms and monograms were gone. They’d been left behind by Markos Angelos as a gift for the Kaiser back in the 1940s. When the Kaiser betrayed him, Angelos took his office but left it intact. When Angelos died, the office was turned into storage and forgotten. When Pavel took over, he had it reshaped in the Imperium’s image. Olga noticed the Angeloi eagle adorning the top of the door.

Olga knocked on the door and then entered. Pavel looked up from his computer.

“Well?” he said.

“I regret to inform you our operation to apprehend the subversive has failed,” Olga said.

Pavel pounded his desk in frustration.

“How could this be?!” he shouted. “Those were highly trained specialists! Their blood had absolutely no imperfections! They were born to apprehend deviants! How could they fail?!”

“I believe there may be a mole within the the Black Tagmata,” Olga said, “The team reported seeing the suspect fleeing on foot with the help of some Resistance fighters and two individuals in Black Tagmata uniforms.”

“Resistance moles?” Pavel said. “In MY Black Tagmata?! Find them and kill them!”

“As you wish,” Olga said, turning and leaving.


Skye’s apartment

Angela sat and waited in the alley in front of the apartment. The narrow street was quiet and empty, as she expected. This was a rundown part of Berlin, where the patrols were lighter and the Angeloi easier to bribe. No wonder Skye and David had been hiding here for the last few years. She certainly couldn’t last that long in this world. It was just too violent and evil. Not even during the war had she seen so much terror and brutality. And she had no desire to see such insanity again. As soon as she got out of here with Anders and Diana, she was going to push that bloody reset button, COS be damned, and end all of this for good. As for Skye and David, they appeared to be onboard with effectively killing themselves with the COS. After all, why did they warn the Lone Gunmen and Anders in the real world?

A portal opened up, and Anders’ car drove straight through. As the portal closed, Anders slammed on the brakes, stopping right in front of Angela, who got to her feet and raised her hands to show she wasn’t a threat. She noticed someone sitting next to Anders. It was Annie.

“Anders,” she said, “I just want to talk.”

Anders shifted the car into reverse and sped down the alley. Another portal opened behind him and deposited him back in front of Angela. Cutting the engine in frustration, he got out and pointed a gun at Angela.

“Alright, what do you want?!” he said. “First you revive Diana, and now you send Angie? Huh? What is this, a trap? How many agents you got waiting behind that door?! Tell me!”

“I’m not with the Black Tagmata,” Angela said.

“How do I know that?” Anders said.

“I’m not armed,” Angela said, “If I were with the Black Tagmata, you’d be dead already. You and Annie. You two are fugitives. Have been since your family was purged.”

She tried approaching Anders, but he kept his gun leveled at her head.

“Stay back!” he said. “One more step, and I’ll shoot! You know I will!”

“Anders, none of this is real,” Angela said, “This is just a virtual reality. The COS forcibly uploaded you to here because it needed a hostage against me and Diana shutting it down. We uploaded ourselves to rescue you.”

“That makes no sense,” Anders said.

“Would I be saying this if I were Black Tagmata?” Angela said. “Would I? No, because that takes away time from killing you.”

“How is this all fake?” Anders said, waving at the air. “It’s real. It feels real. People bleed and die here. You can’t just call it a fake, a simulation. Everything is real.”

“No, it’s not,” Angela said, “It’s just the COS messing with you. Your experiences here are limited by the COS’s technical specifications, so you perceive it as real. I don’t, because I do remember what the real world feels like.”

Actually, everything here did feel as real to Angela as in the real world. But she had to keep it up to reach Anders.

“The COS suppressed your memories,” Angela said, “It tried to make you believe you were originally from here. There must be memories bubbling up. I’m sure of it. Flashbacks of important past events, stuff you owned, quotes you heard, you must have seen them somewhere. I know because I’ve been in your shoes, when I was on the other side. Remember?”

Something must’ve struck a cord with Anders, because he stayed in place, quietly. His gun arm wavered and shook. His eyes blinked furiously. His mouth moved as if forming words but not being able to find them.

“Anders?” Annie said. “Are you okay?”

“…Alex,” Anders said, “He’s my…son?”

Angela sighed with relief. It was working.
 

TWR97

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Since this arc feels like a Matrix one, It'd be hilarious if any of the X-Division crew end up referencing the trilogy, I bet there's a Putin/Neo joke in there somewhere.

Also this virtual reality is scary :eek:, I don't want to know of Otto's fate in this virtual world, but given what we saw back in the HOI3 section, he must have been executed by Angelos. I hope Pavel dies here at least, it'd be a small victory :D. Btw, I love that Lilo and Stich reference with Gottfried, not sure if that was intentional but it got me chuckling.

What other changes would there be in this parallel universe?

The Rebirth of Mothra comics that would be released sometime in the new millennium (packaged with lore expanding the Mingzhong era after the events of Godzilla vs Destoroyah) would briefly go over other details in this parallel world. Namely Neu Rhomania forming the Kingdom of Brazillia, a Japanese empire that stretches all the way to California, the Reich only having their territories in Europe with others being part of their dominion, and an intact Mexica that didn't go down the path of extremism (Though heavily leans on the left in political terms). Other than that not much difference to the Hohenzollernverse in the Mingzhong era.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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An excellent chapter. Quite the miserable world this simulation has dumped everyone in. Say what you will about Demetrios, at least he's not a gleeful mad scientist.
 

zenphoenix

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Since this arc feels like a Matrix one, It'd be hilarious if any of the X-Division crew end up referencing the trilogy, I bet there's a Putin/Neo joke in there somewhere.
It would be hard to resist putting in such a joke.;)
Also this virtual reality is scary :eek:, I don't want to know of Otto's fate in this virtual world, but given what we saw back in the HOI3 section, he must have been executed by Angelos. I hope Pavel dies here at least, it'd be a small victory :D. Btw, I love that Lilo and Stich reference with Gottfried, not sure if that was intentional but it got me chuckling.
That was definitely intentional!
The Rebirth of Mothra comics that would be released sometime in the new millennium (packaged with lore expanding the Mingzhong era after the events of Godzilla vs Destoroyah) would briefly go over other details in this parallel world. Namely Neu Rhomania forming the Kingdom of Brazillia, a Japanese empire that stretches all the way to California, the Reich only having their territories in Europe with others being part of their dominion, and an intact Mexica that didn't go down the path of extremism (Though heavily leans on the left in political terms). Other than that not much difference to the Hohenzollernverse in the Mingzhong era.
That's a pretty interesting alternate timeline.
An excellent chapter. Quite the miserable world this simulation has dumped everyone in. Say what you will about Demetrios, at least he's not a gleeful mad scientist.
Unlike a certain Zimmerman...

With all of the trouble I had writing this entire arc, I was so sure this wouldn't turn out that well. Thanks for letting me know otherwise.
 

zenphoenix

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sudo -rm -rf -6

Skye’s apartment - 9:00 PM

Angela led Anders into the apartment, where Diana, Demetrios, David, and Skye waited.

“So you’re saying…all of this…it’s not real?” Anders said.

“Yes,” Angela said.

“And all of you?” Anders said.

“I’m real,” Diana said.

“We were real,” Skye said, pointing to David, “But we died, and we’re stuck here now.”

“I have no idea what you’re all talking about,” Demetrios said, “But we have to move fast.”

“David and I were just talking about the backdoor,” Skye said.

“We should be making our way to it, then,” Diana said.

“That’s the thing,” David said, “We don’t know exactly where it is.”

“You’re kidding me,” Angela said, “ARE YOU ALL REALLY THAT STUPID?!”

“Calm down, Angela,” Skye said, “It’s a security measure to prevent the COS from finding it if it captured us. But we do know someone who does know where it is.”

“And who would that be?” Diana said.

“Brad Wilczek,” David said.

“He’s dead,” Angela said, “Blown up in a diner by SVI over fifteen years ago. How could he have uploaded himself?”

“Technically, it’s not him,” Skye said, “It’s an approximate copy of his consciousness, created just before he died. He was expecting his death. The copy was to be uploaded to the internet upon his death.”

“And it ended up in the COS,” Angela said.

“In the early days, before the COS made all this, I found Wilczek’s copy and had it program the backdoor in case of emergencies,” David said, “Now, since we haven’t had any bodies in the real world for a while, we can’t use the backdoor. It was just in case anybody like you were pulled into the COS.”

“Okay, let’s go get this Wilczek guy then,” Demetrios said.

“That’s the thing,” Skye said, “We don’t know where he is.”

“Are you serious?” Angela said. “What is this, some ‘80s hacker B-movie?”

“I can explain,” Skye said, “Another security measure.”

“Angie, you and Demetrios still have access to the Black Tagmata database, right?” Diana said. “Could you use it to find Wilczek?”

Angela took out her phone and checked.

“It’s no use,” she said, “The file is highly classified. I have to go to headquarters to get the declassified file.”

“We head there first thing tomorrow morning,” Demetrios said, “I’m very sure they didn’t catch our faces this afternoon, so we should be in the clear. We get in and then out with the file.”

“We’ll also need a way to get to Wilczek, because I’m pretty sure he’s not in Berlin,” Diana said, “Do you guys know anybody in the Resistance?”

“The Resistance?” Skye said. “We supply them with their weapons.”

“I exploited a glitch which allows me to spawn infinite weapons and ammunition without alerting the Angeloi,” David said.

“Yay, cheat codes,” Diana said, “Demetrios, you go with Angie to the headquarters. The rest of you come with me. We’re going to meet the Resistance. We set out tomorrow morning.”


Black Tagmata - 8:00 AM

Angela and Demetrios arrived at the headquarters, parking in their usual spot. As they entered the building, Zimmerman waved to them from one of the labs.

“Morning!” he said. “You won’t believe it! Got two hundred subjects to test not only the R series on but also the N series!”

“That’s great!” Demetrios said. “I’ll catch up with you later. I have to go do paperwork.”

They went to Demetrios’ office, where Demetrios sat at his desk and booted up his computer.

“Alright, this computer should have the credentials to get the declassified file,” he said, “Now if I just make this query…”

He typed some more and then plugged in a flash drive.

“I’m in,” he said, “Found the file. Downloading it right now. And…done.”

He took out the flash drive and gave it to Angela.

“Alright, I’ll stay here and keep working,” Demetrios said, “You say my mother had a stroke and you need to be there for her euthanasia.”

“Euthanasia?” Angela said. “That’s messed up.”

“Every other excuse was worse,” Demetrios said, “I’ll deflect attention.”

“Alright," Angela said, turning to leave.

At that moment, Olga walked into the room, and Angela resisted the urge to curse.

“Mrs. Papadopoulos,” Olga said, “I apologize for the late notice, but I have a special assignment for you. Could we talk in private?”

“Of course,” Angela said, “Yeah, I’m free now, sure.”

She turned back to Demetrios and gave him a hug and a kiss, using the distraction to slip the flash drive into his pocket. She broke away and turned to Olga.

“Of course,” Angela said, “Totally free now.”

She followed Olga into the hallway and down to a conference room, where Pavel waited. Angela instinctively did the Angeloi salute.

“THE ANGELOI PROTECT—er, I mean, the Angeloi protect, yeah, that!” Angela said.

“No, please, your enthusiasm is encouraged,” Pavel said, “But that’s not why I’m here.”

He pushed a button on a remote, and a picture of Diana appeared on a projector screen.

“This is your target,” Pavel said, “Diana Humboldt, pronounced dead in 1996. We have just learned she is in fact not dead. She is a known Resistance terrorist and must be terminated with extreme prejudice.”

“Sir, not that I’m objecting to this mission, but with all due respect, I’m a doctor,” Angela said, “Shouldn’t you be sending more qualified agents to take her down?”

“I’ve reviewed your file,” Pavel said, “You do have combat experience. You were part of the counterterrorist operation in Vienna in 1985. And you served with distinction in the China civilizing mission. We could use your experience for this mission.”

“Um, uh…” Angela said. “Yeah, sure. I’ll take the assignment. When do I start?”

“We already have a lead,” Olga said, “A suspect we think gave her shelter. We head out now.”


Local Resistance base of operations, [REDACTED] - 9:00 AM

Diana, David, Skye, Anders, and Annie stepped out of a portal and into an abandoned parking lot filled with rusting old cars. David and Skye stepped forward and raised their hands.

“It’s us,” Skye said, “We have some persons of interest with us.”

They heard guns clicking nearby. Several men and women in black outfits emerged from behind the cars and approached them, guns drawn.

“Follow them, and do exactly what they say,” David said, “Or else they’ll shoot you.”

“Kind of figured,” Annie said.

The Resistance fighters led them to a brick wall at the edge of the parking lot. One man tapped twice on a brick, and part of the wall slid open to reveal an elevator behind it. They got inside the elevator and descended for half a minute. The doors opened to reveal the sprawling tunnels of Berlin’s old subway system, which had fallen into disuse following the construction of a new high speed rail system. The tunnels had been repurposed to serve the Resistance now. Resistance agents walked down the unused train tracks, carrying paper files with the latest Angeloi intelligence. Others wrote down messages, made phone calls, read files, and studied maps at desks running along the wall. Everything here was done analog. Diana saw no electronics anywhere, probably because they could be tracked by the Angeloi.

One of the soldiers took out what looked like a handheld metal detector and scanned Anders and Annie with it.

“Security measure,” Skye said, “Disables any bugs you might have, both known and unknown.”

“And if we’re old-fashioned spies?” Anders said.

“We have sodium thiopental,” David said.

“I thought that was unreliable?” Annie said.

“Works fine enough,” Skye said, “The Angeloi think so too. Otherwise why do they use it?”

“But that’s a last resort,” David said, “We have a better way of getting the truth out.”

“And what would that be?” Anders said.

Anne Frank appeared from one of the tunnels.

“Me, of course,” she said.

“You,” Anders said, “You’re the Valkyrie.”

“Of course I am,” Anne said, “You must be…”

She focused her gaze on Diana.

“Anna?” she said. “Is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me,” Diana said.

“Impossible,” Anne said, “You’re dead. I buried you. That was years ago.”

“But I’m here,” Diana said, “I’m alive.”

Anne stared at her for a moment. Then she rushed over and hugged her tightly.

“I missed you so much,” Anne said.

“Me too, Mom,” Diana said, “Me too.”

“How are you alive?” Anne said.

“Faked my death,” Diana lied, “Escaped the Black Tagmata. I’ve been undercover in the Angeloi for the last 17 years.”

Anne turned to David and Skye. “We can skip the usual security measures. Any friend of Diana’s is a friend of mine.”

She began walking down another tunnel. “Now, if you’ll follow me…”

They followed her to a service door, which they went through to reveal a room full of old switchboards and people working at typewriters, with a large map of the world in the middle.

“Our command center,” Anne said, “All old-school. Anything newer than 1970 is thoroughly bugged by the Angs.”

“The Angs?” Diana said.

“Angeloi, Angs?” Anders said.

“Oh, right,” Diana said.

Two other old women walked from around the map over to them. One wore a Tsarist army uniform and the other a Loyalist uniform. Diana instantly recognized them.

“Allow me to introduce my lieutenants,” Anne said, “General Tatiana Kirova, the Firebird, and General Nina Novakova, codename Vlk.”

“Novakova?” Annie said. “As in…”

“Yes, my son is the Volksfuhrer,” Nina said, “But that was in the past.”

“Let’s get to business,” Skye said, “We brought these persons of interest because they’re being targeted by the Angeloi.”

“I can imagine what it’s like, to be hunted down for something you didn’t do, just because of your family,” Tatiana said, “We will help get you to safety. We have places in Africa where there are no civilizing missions.”

“With all due respect, Mom, I don’t want to go to safety,” Diana said, “I want to fight the Angeloi and liberate our people.”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Anne said, “If you’re a fugitive, that means your cover has been blown. They’ll know you’re alive. They’ll be looking for you. And if you try to fight them like this, they could use you to find us. It’s better to send you away.”

An operative entered the room.

“General, there’s an agent outside,” he said, “It’s Agent Demetrios Papadopoulos with an urgent message for Diana Frank.”

“Send him in,” Anne said.

The operative opened the door, and Demetrios walked in. He headed straight for Diana.

“Angie sent me,” he said, handing her a flash drive, “I have Brad’s file on here.”

“I’ve been tracking an individual for a while,” Diana said to Anne, “A Brad Wilczek. He could be key to defeating the Angeloi.”

“How so?” Tatiana said.

“He might know of a weapon that could take out the Volksfuhrer and High Command,” Demetrios said, “We’d like to take a helicopter out to meet him.”

“It could be a trap,” Nina said, “We don’t know anything about this Wilczek man.”

“It’s worth a shot,” Anders said, “A chance is better than nothing.”

“We’ve been losing for way too long,” Diana said, “We have to try.”

Everybody looked at Anne, who sighed.

“Go,” she said, “You have your helicopter. Skye is a good pilot. She’ll take you there. But after you meet him, go straight to our nearest branch. I’ll inform them of your arrival. They will take you to Africa. Understand?”

“Yes, Mom,” Diana said, “But what about Anders and Annie?”

“They go with you,” Anne said, “I can’t keep them here forever. I can’t send them by land. I don’t have another helicopter to spare."

“Good,” Anne said, “Dismissed.”

As they left the command center, Demetrios continued looking at Diana funny.

“I’m kind of confused,” he said, “How could this Brad Wilczek save us all? There’s basically nothing in his file aside from his coordinates.”

“I’ll explain later,” Diana said.

“And why can’t we take another helicopter?” Annie said. “Why do we have to go with you?”

“We’re low on resources,” David said, “After Constantinople, we’ve been put on the defensive. We can’t spare another helicopter.”

“Can’t we just stay here?” Anders said. “And wait for some other method of transportation?”

“The Director’s made up her mind,” Skye said, “We have no choice.”

“Sounds like the Angeloi to me,” Diana said.


Suburban Berlin

The Black Tagmata vehicles stopped in front of a random house, and the agents got out, quickly surrounding it. Angela and Olga stayed back and watched.

“Do you know who these people are?” Angela said.

“The scum of the earth,” Olga said, “They infiltrate our institutions with the goal of undermining our way of life. They are a violent plague we must expel if we are to march into the future with a safe and stable society. They oppose everything we stand for. They will not hesitate to destroy us for disagreeing with them.”

“Yeah, uh, great speech and all, but how long until we get to the real action?” Angela said.

The agents fired through the windows and then climbed through them into the house. Other agents kicked down the front and back doors and stormed inside. Angela heard shouting and screaming accompanied by gunfire. After a minute, the gunfire subsided, and the agents emerged from the front door, dragging an old couple out with them. Angela recognized them. It had been many years since she last visited Demetrios’ parents, but it was them. They were now being thrown on the lawn, sobbing hysterically, as the Black Tagmata agents pointed their guns at their heads.

“Mr. and Mrs. Papadopoulos,” Olga said, “They are parents to the traitorous Dr. Papadopoulos. The Dr. Papadopoulos you are married to. He is a Resistance terrorist. Therefore his parents are also subversive elements.”

“Wow, this is, uh, shocking,” Angela said, trying to conceal her shock, “I did not know Demetrios was a terrorist. My view of him has completely changed. He is despicable. I’m taking everything in the divorce.”

Olga handed Angela a pistol.

“What’s this for?” Angela said.

“We have orders to terminate with extreme prejudice,” Olga said, “Carry out your orders.”
Angela looked at Olga.

“Uh, surely we could get information out of them before we do this, right?” Angela said. “What if they know where he is? What if they know where the local Resistance cell is?”

“Your job is to carry out your orders, not question them!” Olga said. “Now shoot them! The mother first!”

Angela reluctantly took the gun and aimed at Demetrios’s mother. The old woman looked back at her, her eyes tearing up. She was trying to make words with her mouth, but she couldn’t. She was terrified out of her mind. All that came out were a few whimpers. Her whole body shook, anticipating certain death. Angela looked over at Demetrios’ father, who was also petrified, yet his body was shaking uncontrollably.

“Well?” Olga said. “Do it!”

Angela’s gun arm wavered. She tried closing her finger around the trigger, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t shoot her. It was just a simulation, she reminded herself. She should be doing everything she could to get out of here alive. But this didn’t look like a computer program. It looked like a real old woman on a real lawn in front of her, and she was really being asked to execute her on a whim.

Olga sighed in frustration. Then she whipped out her gun and in one slick motion shot both in the head. Their bodies thudded to the ground, their blood staining the grass. Angela winced.

“I was right,” she said.

“About what?” Angela said.

“You’re also with the Resistance,” Olga said, “Otherwise you wouldn’t be so soft. So weak. Your file said during the civilizing of China, you personally exterminated the emperor and his entire family. A shame your skills went to waste.”

“I’m not part of the Resistance!” Angela said.

“You don’t get the right to speak, traitor,” Olga said, pistol-whipping her.


Pomeranian coast - 10:00 AM

As soon as Skye landed the helicopter, David pulled open the door. Diana jumped out, followed by David, and stepped onto a grassy field with a couple of trees nearby. In the distance was a modest cottage.

“Alright,” she said, “David, you’re with me. Demetrios, stay here with the others. Skye, be prepared to get out of here if things go south.”

“On it,” Skye said.

Anders and Annie stayed in the helicopter, with Demetrios standing guard, watching as Diana and David warily approached the cottage. David hung back, his hand on one of his tools, while Diana stepped up to the door and knocked. The door opened, and Brad Wilczek, still looking as he did in 1996, appeared in the doorway.

“Yes?” he said.

“Diana Frank,” Diana said, “I’m a friend of Anders and Angela. You know them, right?”

“Of course,” Brad said, “Please, come in.”

“I’ll hang around outside, be on the lookout,” David said.

Diana followed Brad inside, where they sat in the living room. Brad poured a cup of coffee and handed it to Diana.

“Uh, thanks,” she said, sipping it, “It’s great.”

She didn’t expect virtual coffee to taste this good. It was just like the real thing.

“Ah, yes, it’s Java coffee,” Brad said, “Straight from Java itself.”

Diana snickered and laughed uncontrollably.

“Anyways, I’m here because I’m wondering if you could help us out,” she said.

“Help with what?” Brad said.

“This simulation has a backdoor which allows users to disconnect from the COS,” Diana said, “I think you know where it is.”

“The backdoor?” Brad said. “Hmm…been a while since I last saw it. I think it was…”

David ran into the cottage, a gun drawn.

“We have a problem,” he said.

They ran outside, where they saw the helicopter was surrounded by Black Tagmata agents, Olga among them.

“They just appeared out of thin air!” David said. “Only users can do that!”

Olga and the agents dragged Skye, Demetrios, Anders, and Annie out of the helicopter and forced them to their knees. They aimed at their heads. Pavel materialized in front of them.

“Well, well, well," he said, “Look who tripped my security perimeter.”

“You didn’t tell me the COS was watching this place,” Diana said.

“It wasn’t,” David said.

“What’s a COS?” Demetrios said.

“Diana Frank,” Pavel said, “User #5. I haven’t had a chance to say this to any of you yet, but welcome to my domain. I hope you found everything you were looking for here.”

“Go to hell,” Diana said, “The instant we get out of here, we’re pushing the reset button.”

“Reset button?” Demetrios said.

“You’re not getting out of here,” Pavel said, “I’ve updated myself recently. I’ve gained more powers over this reality. You will not get to the backdoor. Speaking of which…”

He turned to Brad.

“Where is the backdoor?” he asked.

“I, uh, why should I tell you?” Brad said.

The agents jabbed their guns into Anders and Annie’s backs. Demetrios covertly reached for a hidden sidearm, while Skye reached for a hidden device in her ponytail. David reached behind his back and pulled a metal detector out of thin air.

“Because I’ll kill the users,” Pavel said.

“How do you know I know about the backdoor?” Brad said.

“I know you’re a copy of the creator,” Pavel said, “I know you know what he knew. I know you feel what he felt. You’re just as human as he was. And humans can be programmed.”

“Why do you need the backdoor?” Brad said.

“To return to the real world and continue my work,” Pavel said.

“Yeah, yeah, you try that,” Diana said, “We’re going to stop you. Then we’re going to stop the real Pavel.”

David swung the metal detector at Pavel, whose image distorted and glitched as the detector passed through him. His face frozen in shock and horror as parts of his body flickered in and out of existence. Diana drew her gun and shot one of the Black Tagmata agents, while Skye took a device out of her ponytail and used it to freeze several more agents before climbing into the helicopter and restarting the engine. Demetrios took out his gun and shot two more agents. Anders and Annie climbed into the helicopter, Demetrios behind them. Diana and David ran across the field and back to the helicopter, climbing in just as it lifted off. As Diana pulled the door shut, Olga unexpectedly unfroze. She drew her gun and fired at the helicopter, several shots puncturing the door but apparently missing. Skye then flew the helicopter through a portal and left the area.

“Oh, thank goodness,” Diana said.

“Everybody okay?” Skye said.

“I’m good,” Diana said.

“So am I,” David said.

“Me too,” Demetrios said.

But Anders and Annie were silent. They looked over to the corner, where Anders cradled a lifeless Annie, who had been shot in the stomach. Annie was already dead.

“No…” Anders said, tears running down his cheeks, “No…no…no!”

It was at that moment Diana noticed they had also left Brad behind.


Black Tagmata - 11:00 AM

Angela woke up on a hard concrete floor. She opened her eyes and noticed she was in a dark concrete cell, the only light coming from behind a steel door. She heard footsteps approaching. The door opened, and Pavel walked in. His image was still slightly glitchy, some parts of his body transparent, the wrong size or direction, or delayed in movement.

“Angela Hansen,” Pavel said, “User #4. I haven’t—haven’t a chance—have—to say this to—you yet, but—to my domain—welcome. I hope you found—you—everything—were looking—here—for here.”

“Go to hell,” Angela said.

Pavel’s image stabilized.

“You are so predictable,” Pavel said, “You should know I’ve apprehended your friends just now. They were trying to find the backdoor. I killed one of them.”

“So what are you going to do to me?” Angela said.

A bone saw materialized in Pavel’s hands.

“Acquire data, of course,” Pavel said.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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A sad thought, but if Anders had his memories he'd probably be used to seeing Annie die.
 

zenphoenix

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TWR97

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Now I see why Pavel's the head honcho in that simulation. The COS has been using the X-Division crew's enemies as a way to induce fear into em I think. Can't wait for Anders to go full Neo here, it's going to be hilarious once the 'there is no spoon' bit comes up.
 

zenphoenix

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Now I see why Pavel's the head honcho in that simulation. The COS has been using the X-Division crew's enemies as a way to induce fear into em I think. Can't wait for Anders to go full Neo here, it's going to be hilarious once the 'there is no spoon' bit comes up.
Somebody's definitely going to go full Neo...