Kinesis stood up, a little shake in her movements. Not the type you would expect from someone that had gotten a skull splitting bashing to their head. No, that would have been expected. Instead, what came over her was an odd, unnatural tremor that shivered down from head to toe, like she was a glitching model in an ill-optimized game.
The moment passed, and when it did, Kinesis's helmet was fully repaired, the gaping, ugly crack sealed over. She raised a hand in the air and crushed it into a fist. The grey construct energy spread throughout the storage room collapsed into her fist.
The odd, ringed darkness was gone without a single trace, as if it had never been there at all. With it gone, Earth's natural flow of energy could resume. Almost immediately, a drone zipped into the room through the hole Arthur had blasted out of.
It was an odd thing, unlike anything that any arms manufacturing corporation would have recognized. The drone's spherical grey head was attached to three prehensile, segmented tails, making it look like an oversized cell swimming about with flagellum.
Unlike regular drones, this one did not really fly or even hover, it looked like it organically swam through air in spite of its distinctively mechanical, metallic appearance, almost like a seamless fusion of machine and meat.
The drone's blinking red eye landed on Kinesis, and from it, a rough, grating man's voice grunted outwards.
"Is it done?"
"It is," said Kinesis. "I do not recognize your voice. You are not the usual one giving me orders."
A harsh laugh echoed out from the drone.
At the other end of the line was a powerfully built man sitting on what looked like a command chair surrounded by a ring of grey energy inscribed with strange, unrecognizable sigils of black. Recognizable technology like monitors and unrecognizable things that looked like pulsating metal folds of fleshy innards formed the walls of the odd room that contained him.
"There's been a sudden change in leadership," said the man with a wide grin made wider by rough scars that jutted out from his lips to his cheeks. Smoke trailed from a freshly lit cigar stuck between his oddly sharp teeth. His eyes were shaped like four pointed stars filled in with inky black while his white, blood-streaked hair stood straight in a spiky, short-cut mess. "Colonel Davos isn't leading this joint anymore."
"What does that mean?" said Kinesis.
"Right, you alien fuckers don't understand shut unless it's literal," said the man. "Means Colonel Davos has stepped down from the Irregulars Department."
"Stepped down? That is not possible. The department operates utilizing the Mother's shell and psycho-dimensional networks, and those are bonded only to those she chooses as her 'kin'."
"True. But there's another way to get in the Mother's good graces," said the man. He wiped his mouth, and blood stained a streak across his face.
Kinesis understood. "I see now. You have defeated Colonel Davos and consumed his blood."
"You figure things out quick, don't you?"
"The United States government does not oppose to this shift in leadership?"
"Government likes whoever can get results. And old Davos was being a little too nice for his own good.
If he had more balls, this Thanatos shitstorm would have been squashed on day one. I would've personally nuked that alien fucker as soon as he showed up from his pit in Haven," said the man. He spat in disgust. "But Davos was too weak. He gave books to Thanatos and said he felt a 'determination' in that thing's voice that'd help humanity. What a load of shit.
But that won't happen anymore.
Won't let alien scum walk all over the states and this world, taking advantage of our goodwill like parasites to get stronger and stronger."
"What about 22? I predict she will oppose your control over her."
"It does whatever I tell it to do, whether it wants to or not," said the man. "And you're asking too many questions for a walking, talking outworld disease. You made sure to kill Hammerhead, yeah?"
"Nice. And the Zero Factor? You confirmed it works?"
"I have confirmed that it can eliminate any flow of positive energy whether it originates from this planet or not."
"That's what I like to hear. Managing to steal that sample from the Panopticon was one hell of a godsend, I tell you.
Once we finish synthesizing that up, it'll finally be time to free humanity from not just you alien scum, but the Hivemind too. Now isn't that's something to get excited about, eh?"
"I am not concerned about the progress of your species. However, I desire to reconfirm the status of my previous agreement with Colonel Davos and the United States government."
"What, think I'm not trustworthy, is that it?"
"Yes." Kinesis replied bluntly and without hesitation.
The man grinned. "Well, guess that's one thing I like about you. You're honest. Though that doesn't count for shit if you're not human enough to know the weight behind a lie. But don't worry, S-class dog, your deal's still intact.
You help us clean house and takeover, and we'll connect you back to the Core and send you right back on to your home, wherever the hell it is."
"Now clear the area and return to base. Tie up any loose ends if you have to. And await further orders."
Kinesis saw the drone fly away, zipping back out of the crater with speed that outperformed any ordinary drone. She had two orders to fulfill. To tie up any loose ends – a phrase she was familiar with – and to return to base.
She acted on the first order, floating down the storage area and into the mansion. She descended three stories until she reached a room secured with fortified metal doors.
Or, more accurately, previously secured. The doors were warped and broken apart from the middle as if a bomb had gone off.
Through the doors was a sterile, white-tiled room reminiscent of a hospital. There, lying on the ground, was Bart Hammerhead. Large high-caliber bullet holes riddled his back, still leaking fresh blood that painted the clean white tiles with fresh red.
His arm was stretched out towards a hospital bed where a young woman lay nestled inside a medical chamber that looked like an advanced coffin. Tubes and wires jutted out of the chamber and into the woman, particularly around her lungs and gills, giving her the support to breathe.
Kinesis briefly analyzed the room. Bart Hammerhead's death would be ruled as an unlucky case of rogue A.I. involving Arthur.
The high caliber rounds that killed Hammerhead had been made from Kinesis's energy constructs but were created to exactly match the ammunition available to Arthur and the drones under his control.
The cause for Arthur's sudden insanity would be ruled as infiltration from Thanatos, who would now longer be present to defend himself, giving casus belli for the United States government to enact strong action against Haven.
In addition, Caliburn, a company that had long opposed the U.S. government by refusing to compromise itself and share data it had on high profile clients to the government, would now lose a massive amount of trust among its customers, most likely destroying it completely.
But Kinesis did not care much about these results, if at all. All she cared about was the orders she was given. Each one took her one step closer to returning home. Back to the Formless Grey. Back where she would become whole again.
Kinesis pointed her arm towards the girl entombed in the coffin that gave her life. Bullets shaped in the air beside her hand.
The girl's chest heaved up, then down in rhythmic, mechanically assisted motion. Her eyes were closed, her body still, unable to resist or, indeed, perceive anything at all.
Kinesis put her hand down. The constructs faded. She had only been given an order to 'tie up loose ends'. That was a vague statement open for interpretation. At its baseline, it meant there could be no survivors left.
But this fragile lifeform would die soon anyway. The networks in this domicile would shutdown in minutes. It would only take a few more minutes after that for her to suffocate. There was no need to assure her death.
Kinesis flew away.