Chapter 14: Learning to Run Before You Walk [Unedited]


"I can understand your need for secrecy in light of the NSF Mech being stripped away from you," Nelissa concurs. #gio

"In doing so," Lazaro confesses the obvious, "sharing the satellite weapon created an arms race to circumvent its safeguards." #gio

As clearly the sharpest knife in the drawer, Nelissa pauses the conversation, "Wait a minute: Can that thing monitor us?" #gio


Continuing, Lazaro states, "NSFm-1 Alpha makes this possible because he can connect to anything." #gio

Probing for further specifics, Nelissa asks, "But what specifically is he? And how were you able to succeed where others could not?" #gio

It is an opportune time for Nicolasa to chime in, "Let's just say that we've made...certain advances." #gio


Lazaro explains, "NSFm-1 Alpha is that way. We've not only effectively circumvented the need for Chakras but tested it as well." #gio

"What?" Lazaro has finally said something which peaks Nelissa's interest. She is all ears, and so am I. #gio

"Without bringing all seven Chakras together, the other six superpowers had no idea that we used the NSF Mech," Lazaro says. #gio


Still on the laptop, Otto admits, "I can't tell what's a real report and what has been fabricated." #gio

Nelissa opens up, "When I agreed to this meeting, you said that you had a way to control the NSF Mech without the need for Chakras." #gio

Now we're getting somewhere from an eavesdropping sense. Sectors are long - allowing me to bide my time for the answers to come. #gio


Meandering about - looking for an alternate manner of escape is my current order of business. #gio

I try to be all inconspicuous about it - acting like I belong, and in some ways I do but not in this sector. #gio

And certainly not in a medical gown - that was a dead giveaway, so the chase continues. #gio


The bulkheads close slowly enough for safety purposes - like a garage door. I leisurely bend underneath one as it shuts. #gio

It's the last one that I'll be able to get through on foot, so I find myself trapped within this circular maze. #gio

What I find to be really interesting from the map is that I wasn't even being housed in the highest security level - which is scary. #gio


I want to be free to live and exist and make my own decisions, but the amassing security guards do not see things that way. #gio

Honestly, I'd stop to ask them why, but I doubt that they'd be too talkative with the lockdown procedure engaging. #gio

From the outside in, various bulkheads close and all but halt my blowing past the ascending numbers of security levels. #gio


A free-spirited society, this most certainly is not, and although I'm not particularly self-conscious, I don't want the attention. #gio

Options exist, but they're best exercised when I depart this facility. Any aggression will change my status from search to destroy. #gio

And I don't want to hurt people. My thoughts are apparently not enough for the Nebulan Science Forces to let me be. #gio


There is no secret about who wears the pants as Nelissa affirms, "Your funding, prison time, and execution are of issue here." #gio

"Make that be the last time in which you ever question me for the fault of your incompetence," she orders. #gio

Speaking of wearing the pants, this is going to get really interesting by the time that I make it outside. #gio


"It's just a minor setback," Lazaro assures to the priceless look of astonishment or suspension of disbelief on Nelissa's face. #gio

"Are you kidding me?" Nelissa asks. "Is this some sort of a joke? I haven't heard one feasible idea on how to stop that thing." #gio

"Your condescending attitude is not helping the situation, General," Otto looks up to say assertively. #gio


"Lazaro, of course!" Nicolasa snaps back. "I've been handling that particular aspect for months." #gio

Right about now, Otto is shaking his head uncontrollably when he explains, "Biometrics place NSFm-1 Alpha in thirty different places!" #gio

Nelissa is cold and trite, "The government should continue to place its faith in this farce of an installation - why?" #gio


"Two uneventful shortcomings in one trip," Nelissa mentions, "are not making a good first impression on me." #gio

"Reports are coming in from the west and east wings of the facility regarding NSFm-1 Alpha," Otto alerts. #gio

"What about the biometric scans? Da--it," Lazaro says as Nicolasa enters, "didn't you sedate him?" #gio


Hey, I might as well try to exploit this access for so long as I am able to because the Nebulan Science Forces will figure things out. #gio

And when they do, I need to be as far away from this place as possible. I doubt that they'll make these same mistakes twice. #gio

I've gotten lucky. In order to not push that luck, I need to make a concerted push for the outside if I hope to continue the streak. #gio


Nobody expects an unexpected hack to chain the attack and seek out added targets on an unprotected network. Well, IT should have. #gio

Otto rushes to pull up my positional data on his laptop. While I'm in the network, I really should be spoofing his information. #gio

Yes, I should be. It doesn't tax my processing power too badly to both spoof his information and pull up a map of this base. #gio


"NSFm-1 Alpha!" Lazaro immediately calls out as the crimson red hue of Red Light Mode douses the conference room. #gio

It's nice to see that Lazaro is concerned, but we are not on the same page, so his feelings are really none of my concern. #gio

The focus of my concern is on navigating these spacious hallways within this Nebulan Science Forces complex. How big is this place? #gio


Red Light Mode. It can happen at any time and during any instance. For Nicolasa, this occurs in mid wipe. #gio

And yes, the Nebulan Science Forces have security cameras in their bathrooms. There is no longer a question of that. #gio

Nicolasa hurries out of the bathroom, but he forgets to wash his hands. People wonder why shaking hands has gone by the wayside. #gio


But I don't want to imagine their surprise. I want to witness the surprise of Lazaro, Nicolasa, Otto, and Nelissa. #gio

To do this, I tap back into the security cameras while dropping the loop ploy. It's a ruse which is best used again in the future. #gio

There's no use in playing it out right now. The Nebulan Science Forces will check the tapes' timestamps, so I readjust those as well. #gio


With the aforementioned example, one can only imagine their surprise when I picked myself up off of the ground and started running. #gio

Booking or hauling is more accurate of a description. This corridor is a personal track at my disposal with accessibly open doors. #gio

Now I can only imagine the surprise of the onlookers (some of whom are higher clearance civilians) when I raced by in my medical gown. #gio


From the information that I was able to pull down earlier, rehabilitation and conditioning techniques were certainly among it. #gio

Not only do I comprehend what needs to happen, but I apply what I've learned to my body. #gio

The guards are more concerned about my immediate well-being than recapturing me. It's like when a person falls out of a wheelchair. #gio


I put Juggles on a seeping slow thaw which I've masked via the method to be attributable to incremental power failures. #gio

It's the best that I can do to not put Juggles in further danger from the shock of revival to not be in a position to defend himself. #gio

This way, Juggles can break out at an optimal time of his choosing. I, on the other hand, have just been spotted by a pair of guards. #gio


Unfortunately, I can no more help Juggles than I seem to be able to help my crippled self. But I can offer him a fighting chance. #gio

A fighting chance is all that anybody really asks for, so I tap into his containment's code key console and work my magic. #gio

Thawing with freezer tubes is normally instantaneous, but this would alert everybody to the security breach. #gio


But wow, Greys actually exist! I have to give it up for the Nebulan Science Forces and their methods of secrecy. #gio

My HUD zooms in on the freezer tube with the Grey. A plate contains its name and sex details: Juggles and male, respectively. #gio

Juggles is a he. I'm left wondering how the Nebulan Science Forces actually determined that. #gio


I rake my hand across the loose handle and fall forward - outside into the hallway. Something needs to be done about my legs. #gio

Something needs to be done now because this corridor that I'm in features a collection of freezer tubes, and I can take a hint. #gio

Just in case I couldn't take the hint, my eyes scan the area and meet those of a Grey. Its frozen eyes show me my future if I dawdle. #gio


Locked. The only surprise would be if the door wasn't. Luckily, I don't have to pick the lock as a code key console is visible. #gio

I place my palm over the code key console and send out a burst of radio signals - every conceivable audio combination. #gio

Even with rolling encryption, the locking mechanism is no match as it unhinges. #gio


Wobbly doesn't quite describe this situation. It's not quite like a bike because I have literally forgotten how to walk. #gio

I would crawl, but it's like my legs just don't work, so I'm dragging myself across the floor with what's left of my adrenaline. #gio

This'll cause problems when I get out of this room, but at least initially, pushing my torso up allows me to reach the door handle. #gio


I bet that when I woke up this morning, I didn't think that I'd be trying to escape from a government facility. #gio

As ironic as this is, I'd better stow my astonishment away for a time when I can better sit back, relax, and reminisce. #gio

My back stiffens as I sit up. Rolling off of the gurney to my feet and the floor is uneventful. The legs give out from under me. #gio


If it can be connected to, I can connect to it. That's the bottom line. The manner through which I need to connect is irrelevant. #gio

Interestingly, the metal buckles which are holding the leather straps down give way well before the leather straps do. #gio

That was loud too, but the Nebulan Science Forces didn't make it to this level by not soundproofing their rooms. #gio


The best thing would be to wait for Nicolasa to leave the room, so as soon as my ears tell me that the door shuts, I make a move. #gio

Nicolasa may be out of my sight, but I am not out of the NSF's sight with the prying eyes and vigilant gaze of their cameras. #gio

Remotes are very popular because you don't have to get up. While strapped down, I set every monitor with my picture on it to loop. #gio

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