Revised Sept/25/1996 - Story Originally Begun in October 1995
Volume 1 - "Metal Heart"
Prologue - "The Camera Eye"
(c) 1995-8 by Andy Skuse
Based on characters copyrighted by Youmex, AIC, Artmic
Mega Tokyo, 2022
In the dimly lit corridors of the Uizu laboratory, a man's
shadow appeared from around a corner, watched closely by a system of
electronic eyes that monitored the entire building. The shadow moved
occasionally to look up at a few of the video surveillance cameras to
inspect their running status.
"Raven-hakase . . . " the man
whispered into a tiny microphone
hidden inside his lab coat, "I am at the laboratory. Everything
appears to be
functioning properly. It is now twelve-thirty a.m. I just spoke with
Mason a few hours ago. He has accepted my invitation and will arrive
one-thirty a.m. I hope everything is functioning at your end, or this
will all be for nothing my friend."
Katsuhito Stingray turned away from one of the surveillance
cameras and walked toward a large window that opened into what looked
operating room. A handful of technicians milled about, fussing over a
wires and cables connected to a blue metallic torso mounted to a
pillar in the
center of the room. Watching the activities from the darkness of the dim
hallway, Katsuhito cocked his head again to aim his voice into the
his lab coat. "The work is proceeding slowly on the cybernetic labor
but it is my sincere belief that the project will come to fruition
within the next
few days. While this new technology will hopefully evolve into endless
applications, as you know it is the *other* project that concerns me
at the moment."
Dr. Stingray paused for a moment to gather his clouded thoughts and
continued his whispered dictation. "Since Mason seized the prototype
cyborg "Largo", I have not been able to divulge its present location. No
doubt he intends to use the cyborg to further his own ambitions to
chairman. It now appears that our fore-sightedness has served us well.
But I still fear that if Mason gets wind of our deception, that he may
retaliate against me in a violent manner. That is why it is imperative
cut this link as soon as Mason has confessed his plans. He is the most
dangerous man I have ever met. We must not underestimate his ability
The door to the laboratory suddenly swung open and a young
head poked out, his voice calling down the corridor."Dr. Stingray? We
need you in the lab sir."
Katsuhito flushed at being interrupted in his secret dictation
and pretended to cough. "I'll be right there," he responded. The young
technician nodded, and ducked back into the lab letting the door draw
to a close
Katsuhito watched the door close, and then hastily added a
to his running dictation to his distant accomplice Dr. Raven. "Well my
friend, work calls. The next time you hear my voice I will be in my
It will be tricky to get Mason to talk, but I believe the weeks of
have convinced him of my loyalty to his cause. Once he has divulged his
plans, store this recording in a safe place until our meeting
we will decide on our next move."
He paused for a moment to consider his next words, that lay
his conscience. "In the event I do not show up at our arranged meeting
please follow the instructions I spoke of earlier very carefully. The
must be sent anonymously, and the two recipients must never- I repeat,
*never* find out about each other's existence. Any contact between them
would create a risk to the knowledge they would each be protecting. And
please make sure that the video footage that you are recording goes
data units as well. If I fail tonight, then someday someone must know
truth. And please take care of my son. I may not be his father by
he is of my blood, and that is enough for me." Katsuhito flicked off
switch for the microphone's transmitter and moved toward the laboratory
The doctor thought to himself about the events of the last few
while staring through the huge glass panel into the eyes of the blue
that waited patiently for its first 'jolt of life'. Because Mason had
'procured' the "Largo" prototype cyborg before its testing was
many things were still uncertain about its function and performance.
Mason had simply
walked in when Katsuhito was not at the lab and took Largo away, with no
Powerless to recover the stolen prototype, Katsuhito vowed
'procurement' would not happen to his second cyborg. Secret testing had
recently been completed, and the being was deemed physically and
stable. Then, under the cloak of night, the cyborg was moved to a 'safe'
location in the industrial section of town, until Katsuhito could plan
strategy to deal with the ambitious Mason.
Now, the plan was reaching its climax, a confrontation between
Mason and the finest scientific mind that Genom had ever contracted.
Katsuhito knew that his research was valuable, and he was betting that
understood this fact; and was planning to pass it off as his own
Katsuhito however, would not be cast aside without a fight.
Sylia stared into her father's face on the screen of the
listening to his words as he explained why he wouldn't be home until
She was still just a naive young girl, but she thought she
overtone of fear in her father's voice. As he said good-night to her,
wondered why he would be afraid of anything, when he was so smart and
Fear would not introduce itself to her in its most extreme
later that morning, stealing her father away from her, and a childhood
had barely begun.
Mega Tokyo, 2036
Deep inside the darkened Genom Tower, a faint pulse of
beat in time to the footsteps of three shadowy invaders. Noiseless and
graceful in their movements, they made their way quietly through the
lightless corridors and hallways of the empty research complex to
arrive at a
thick, metal door labelled, 'CHAIRMAN'. Across the door, a wide, yellow
tape, coated with dust, with the words, 'AD POLICE CRIME SCENE LINE-
CROSS' on it, vainly attempted to bar the way.
The trio dropped their black, canvas enclosed burdens on the
softly and began to remove various small, metal items. Working
smallest of the three shadows placed a gray, palm-sized, rectangular
each corner of the door's frame and then stepped back, motioning his
companions to do the same. Pressing down on a keypad strapped to his
forearm, the leader took another step back and covered his eyes as the
vanished from view in a sharp, silent flash of blue light. The four
held their position around the three inch strip of door frame that
visible while the three figures scooped up their duffle bags and
through the now open doorway like liquid.
Moving in a straight, unerring line across the outer office's
the leading figure reached into his canvas bag and produced four more
gray rectangular boxes. Before him was the energy-locked door to the
chairman's main office and the route to their prize. He placed the
around the door's frame as he had done before and in the space of a few
seconds the dark, dusty, inner office beckoned to the three shadows
the open door frame. The intruders passed through as quickly and as
gracefully as they had before while the energy lock along the door's
continued to monitor the door for any attempt to open it by conventional
Once inside, the figures shook off their pattern of
began a frantic, random search of the room's walls. Minutes ticked by
intruders groped along even the tiniest lines in the walls surface.
The tallest shadow suddenly cried out in triumph as he forced
metal panel to slide along the west wall of the office. But before he
turn to his companions and reap their praise he suddenly felt something
burning his lungs. His companions watched as he slowly turned to them,
face twisting in agony, and fell to his knees. Instead of rushing
aid their fallen accomplice, the two standing shadows calmly reached
their canvas bags and each removed a black gas mask. Once they had them
fitted over their faces, they marched over the body of the tall, still
and entered the room beyond.
Inside, they found what amounted to a small TV studio. In
front of them,
a large, ornately carved, wooden desk faced an array of video monitors
mounted along the back wall. Amid the bank of screens, mounted at eye
with anyone seated at the desk, a video camera stared lifelessly. An
expensive high-back leather chair lay on the floor beside the desk
that the last occupant of the room had either fallen or made a hasty
the room. The entire room and its contents lay under a fine layer of
two shadows shrugged at each other and moved deeper into the strange
The shorter shadow moved slowly around the room as if
something that was not readily apparent. The other shadow stood in the
center of the room and watched his companion carry out the visual
waiting for a signal.
The scanning figure suddenly stopped and then smiled behind
mask as he spotted a crude metal panel underneath the desk that looked
a power outlet. He dropped to his knees and reached into his canvas bag,
producing a chrome-plated cube about the size of a man's fist. He
underneath the desk and placed the cube on the plush carpet just below
panel. Touching the cube's topmost face triggered a low cyclic hum
figures could feel in their feet. They became aware of the minutes
again as they waited for the device to perform its task.
The humming stopped abruptly, sending the shorter shadow
pry at the panel until it popped open, its energy lock little more
filings now. He reached into the magnetically shielded enclosure and
the smooth, slender metallic box that lay hidden within. Rising to his
slowly, he stood with the object outstretched in his hand for his
Along the top of the surgical-steel box were the letters 'OMS'
etched in the otherwise flawless face of the container. The shorter
hand trembled slightly as he worked the mechanical latch of the box.
lid hinged outward the shorter shadow suddenly began to shake violently
until he dropped the box from his flexing grip and fell to the floor
The remaining shadow casually reached under the desk and
chrome cube into his canvas bag. Ignoring his dead companion, he
a small set of plastic, non-conductive tweezers and flipped the steel
an upright position on the carpet so that he could view its contents.
the box was a vaguely heart-shaped metallic object bristling with tiny
electrodes and connector pins. Its shiny, black finish gleamed briefly
eye as he pressed down on the lid and then quickly picked the box up
deposited it in his canvas sack. Without a backward glance the shadow
passed through the inner office and set about removing the four gray
from the door frame. As he removed the last one, the inner section of
reappeared, looking exactly as it did before he and his companions had
Shifting the boxes in his satchel he quickly crossed the floor
outer office and through the metal doorway. He removed the last four
matter-displacers attached to the metal door's frame and placed them
carefully alongside the others in his bag. With a final mocking glare
surveillance camera that stared lifelessly down at him, the remaining
moved off down the dim corridor and passed out of sight around a
leaving the now tomb-like Genom Tower as it was, but forever more
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