Commentary: 1st chapter in. This will be a KOS-MOS centric multi-chaptered story, companion piece/alternate universe to "At the End of Her Road". Expect the first few chapters to be rather fast paced, but not too terribly fast, since this story will take off into the plans I have for it. At least I hope.
Summary: She wakes up in a world not unlike her own, yet feels disturbed at this. She remembers having a deeply melancholic memory, yet can not recall anything. With drive and a silent bible to guide her, the angel steps forth to confront the key to all gates.
Author Reinforce Vier presents...
I: Another Chance
Destiny's a bitch, isn't it?
It always happens to the most unluckiest of souls. Usually the pure hearted ones who simply want to be normal. They go off into the world, with a lucky smile on their face. Then they get used up. Or dead. Which ever comes first. Alone, everything shall kill you. It's not an opinion, it's a simple fact. Cold hard fact. If any soul in any world or even any universe, is alone, they will eventually die. That is... how nature works.
Even for an artificial creation. Whom previously was a god in a past life.
The dusty streets, the dim glows, the night lights, musty arid air... all humid and dry at the same time. A faint remembrance of a gentle loving touch and kindred gazes, both from family and significant others. The snap of a simple roll as it bursts it's juices into the mouth. The rites and rituals of ancients past. The rough edged walls of mortar and dirt. Moments like those... as life, past, present, and future. Moments...which were supposed to be forever.
Things...went south after those years.
"I guess both you and I still exist in this world, after all. As long as people, as long as the universe desires it, we will continue to exist. We haven't finished what we have to do yet. So, until then, sleep well, KOS-MOS."
Slept well indeed.
Vague distant voices. Some were warped beyond translation. Some were simply too distant to hear. Others seemed to be muted to the point of just noise. It troubled the already uncertain emotions deeply locked within. They were human voices but most were unrecognizable, just a dim strange feeling. Struggling to at least recognize one, dim weak senses focused, overclocking to the limit as a dying shell would allow. A soft voice, almost motherly and caring, was picked up.
Good morning, KOS-MOS...
Then there was a slight jolt, as if something had electrified flesh and bone. The jolt ripped throughout the synapses, overloading them on purpose to restart everything. The intense feeling of sweet shock only lasted for a second before dying quickly as it had come, replaced by heavy murmurs and caress of a cold icy embrace. Lids halfway shut in darkness before the jolting shock came suddenly again, this time centered in a fading core. As before, it spread outward before returning again, fading away once more. Just when a hazed unfocused mind was about to decide it wanted no more, the eerie muffled silence picked up a single strange warped thump. Followed by another and another.
Then the third and final shock came, slamming into the brokenness like a car crashing into a concrete wall. Like a virus, it aggressively invaded into a weakened center core, a hard impact felt like someone akin to kicking a car to start it up. That impact was soon replaced by a deep internal shock and incredible warmth, rapidly filling the synapses with adrenaline never felt before. Racks and trembling was followed by violent expels, the sudden restart giving an overload that needed to be dumped. What had previously been muffled faded and dreary was replaced by a blinding white light. A few heartbeats resounded to the side and then, she could see again.
Opened eyes saw nothing but the non-existent roof of an industrial building, the endless melancholic blue and the bright white sun telling her a warm hello. Something that would be close to described as "pleasant" cast over most of her prone body and something else told her it was sunlight rays with the temperature of eighty-five degrees. A feeling versus a statistic. Like a newborn, a hazy mind truly did not know what to feel. All that she felt as if she truly knew was that something was rooted deeply inside her, like a black box unable to be accessed. As if...
...Mind still fuzzy, she failed to draw a single logical conclusion.
It bothered her.
Well, it wasn't as if things were not going to get any worse. With that simple reassurance, the girl picked herself up from the floor, feeling a soft jump in energy which she thought had not existed. And for some odd reason...
Did her vision just static a pinch at the corner there?
"Welcome back, sir."
A silent gasp of shock at the unknown voice. She whirled her head side, hair whipping the naked skin of her shoulders, scanning for a source the voice had come from. But she could find none.
Her breathing quickened in pace, adrenaline levels slowly filling as her senses started to become more acute, sensitive to her very empty surroundings. Her vision picked up blood on the floor, the decrypt foundation and walls of the building as it would slowly crumble from old age, a metal slab which appeared to be an operating table...
Was that a gun on the floor?
"I'm inside you sir. Your head to be exact."
A mouth she had never known existed opened to give a shout, a noise, anything to express her displeasure.
She found that she could not.
Surprised at the lack of something which sound have come naturally, she tried again to make a shout.
A hand gently lifted to her lips, fingers brushing against the soft flesh, in complete utter disbelief. Nothing, there was absolutely nothing she could feel inside her neck. An airway to breathe yes, a throat to eat with, but not the other vital parts which she KNEW was normal anatomy of a human being. It just...
Was not there.
Slowly, but surely and with no choice whatsoever, the girl realized the awful truth.
She was mute.
"In 4770, we unleashed a weapon that changed the face of warfare..."
MOMO Mizrahi knew something was deeply wrong once as soon as the advertisement announced it's intentions. For one, it stated the date that their long lost friend was rebuilt. Two, Vector Industries was sure to put all their trademarks on everything to ensure it was theirs. They were a mega-corporation, it was impossible for any competition to trump them.
Three, so-called "CryNet Systems" had what looked to be a redone Vector logo. It stylized in two sideways Ys, but the offset location of the two halves and tail ends were unmistakeable.
"Now, CryNet Systems is proud to announce..."
The first probable thought which MOMO concluded was that perhaps CryNet Systems was a shell company of Vector, meant for the highly advanced private military contractors and government levels. It was most likely they had subsidiaries all over the universe and-
"...The Next generation of modern warfighter."
But that thought and other options were shot down as she remembered the UMN network had been destroyed some four years ago. Never much less the still-in-development MOMO Net.
At least they never told the name of their product.
"KOS-MOS D 2."
Her full undivided attention then was focused upon the holo-screen, sensors already scanning for full details. Recording and double, no triple checking, for any errors. In less than the tenth of a second, she had already gone over one hundred replays of the advertisement mentally, trying to detect any lie. Numbers and statistics were calculating in her head, computing and coming to the same conclusion at ninety five percent.
This was real.
Shocked at the reveal, MOMO was dumbstruck as she instantaneously recognized the contours and delicate features of her long gone friend. The smoothed cream skin, the drab blacks and pure whites of her attire, the armored sections of her exposed spine. They had even gotten her headgear spot on, with her name fully visible.
"Adapt. Engage. Survive. Generations ahead of it's time."
It was then the hand moved and experimentally clenched; MOMO could see the hexagonal shaped patterns her gloves displayed. Her friend had not those in person, she knew that much. It provided the Realian with a small sense of comfort at least.
"Victory comes as standard."
At that statement, she could not help but smile as a memory resurfaced. Remembrance was precious to her and she was thankful for it as she imagined their friend pulling off moves the rest of their team could only dream of. Despite the lack of emotions at times, she had never given up nor backed down from a fight. Always striving to protect them, against impossible odds. Even against the divine.
"A military tour de force."
The ad then panned it's camera to the six of the angel, slightly zooming out as it did so. MOMO watched the rest of the ad through as the angel turned slightly to the left, one eye looking over her shoulder. Like a true badass.
For a second, MOMO was sure she saw her smirk.
She was mute.
Mute. A person who never would talk. Because they couldn't talk.
At this sudden revelation, her heart beat spiked to levels which she was sure if she had weak myopic muscles and synapses, it would have lead to cardiac arrest. While normally, a sane person would have panicked and gripped their head in futile hope that this was not real, she instead felt unnaturally numb at the voice inside her and her own lack of voice. A sudden and very unexpected shock, but one that she instinctively knew she would have to deal with.
Especially if she wanted to survive.
For an odd strange pleasing reason, she felt as if she knew this voice inside her. Or rather, had known before and became extremely close with.
It spoke again. "Sir? Can't...you remember?"
Remember? Just remember what? What was there to remember when her body and mind had suddenly found itself in a creepy old abandoned building in perhaps the middle of nowhere? She had feelings of a faint remembrance, yes, however strange it was, but as for any actual memory?
The girl shook her head.
Was that... disappointment? Perhaps sadness?
As quickly as it had expressed it, the negative was swiftly covered up with a slight nervous chuckle.
"So the circle of flow has turned once more, I see..."
At this, the girl made a lost expression. Confused at the choice of wording, she furrowed her eyebrows, lips turning into a displeased pout. Choosing not to question it for now, she waited for the next lines the voice in her head would say. She did not have to wait even a second as it introduced itself to her.
"My designation officially by schematics is SECOND AI. Semi-Autonomous Enhanced Combat Ops: Neuro-integration Delivery. I am designed as a non-sentient information delivery Artificial Intelligence which can be used by CryNet System's KOS-MOS D 2 unit as a data storage, delivery, and transfer device that allows the unit to store data within the brain, and stream data directly into the brain in snap-quick real time. Because I am required to link up with the brain, I can store a nearly infinite amount of room for a myriad of valuable data such as video links, blueprints, audio files - that is music or recordings if you do not know - and I am required by bond to regulate all of KOS-MOS D 2 functions. In short, I am your guardian in a sense."
It paused to patiently wait for a reply.
"Yes. You are KOS-MOS D 2. Rebuilt by CryNet Systems just recently in fact. Formerly, were built by now bankrupt Vector Industries some ten years ago. Your name is an acronym standing for "Kosmos Obey Strategical Multiple Operation Systems Driver 2". Originally built to combat Gnosis starfish aliens from outer space and beyond, at the time you were extremely logical and calculative, the most advanced system in the entire universe. Nothing could even match your power, not even close. You are still the most advanced warfare combat system in the entire universe. You were activated in TC 4765, rebuilt in TC 4770 to regain your soul back. Shortly after this had happened, you denied some creepy pedophile dude in a business suit the universe's restart by crushing a necklace right in front of his face."
KOS-MOS was... floored.
"It was amazing, trust me."
Shock would not even register to her. Was... all of SECOND's crazy technobabble true?
"Please KOS-MOS. I understand it's hard at first, but over time, you shall become a goddess once more. All over again."
Her heart pulsed slightly harder at the mention of SECOND's "All over again". She wasn't too sure if she could trust the voice, but instead of apprehension, she felt oddly at terms with herself. It was as if they both were long lost friends or something of that sort. Something she knew, but had yet to experience. At least, with SECOND.
Just... why were these feelings so familiar to her? Why couldn't she remember anything?
KOS-MOS could only give a small sigh. It was best to just simply go along with the flow and do what was told. After all, she was essentially alone in an unfamiliar world.
"I don't want to be alone!"
Her eyes widened significantly at the voice. That plead for help. The voice...it shocked her to her very core. In a moment, her heart went from pumping with adrenaline from techno to getting hit with what she could only describe as a sledgehammer to the chest. A dangerous flash of pain slammed into her, exiting out her spine and if it could, explode the wall behind her. Memories, unknown pleasures and pain of what could only be described as life, threatened to overload her and...
Just as quickly it was gone, replaced by a soothing warmth spreading throughout her entire body.
KOS-MOS was left wondering what had just happened when SECOND answered her.
"I just gave you a sedative to calm your heart and keep your adrenaline levels at optimal. The numbness you felt earlier at the shock of your muteness was also the same exact sedative. You just simply could not feel it because you were so shocked. With that, you have my deepest condolences to your disability."
At the mention of her muteness again, KOS-MOS gave a melancholic frown. Partly because she knew she was never going to talk in her lifetime, but mostly because of the sedative flowing in her bloodstream. At her dip, a warmth which could only be a strong hand presented itself on the top of her head. She glanced up only to find air.
Was her AI...physically responsive to her emotions?
Bardiche's inner voice broke KOS-MOS out from her wandering thoughts.
"We can fight this."
The girl had to agree. As bizarre as all of this was, she was not going to suddenly angst from a flashback or something of the sort. Or being mute. She had no time for that.
The AI gave what could be best described as a sigh.
"Deus Angst Machina not withstanding, please do give me a name KOS-MOS."
"Yes. A name. Since we are essentially bonded together as OS and AI, I serve as your guardian. It is my duty to keep you informed of all and any threats whom seek to harm you. It is my very words which shall keep you safe from harm. I swear by my very soul, as your protector, it is my oath above all. Until death do us part, my Lord."
KOS-MOS gave a soft silent giggle at that, her lips opened in a warm smile. So he was a knight huh? Well...
Her eyes closed as she thought of a name to give her partner.
With a memory she never knew, her arms waved about in an immaculate flourish, as if she presented a sword to her servant. Her straight hand held out in front of her face like a silent prayer, it slowly dipped down to meet the line a kneeling person's shoulder would be. Gently, she gave two imaginary taps set a foot apart. Opening her lips in words that would never be heard, she declared the official name of her partner.
"Name: Bardiche accepted. Registered to driver: KOS-MOS. Hello, KOS-MOS."
The girl gave a heartfelt smile. A bit melancholic was seeping into her heart, but that was okay. Even if she did have a past life, it was a new start for her this time around. Even if she couldn't talk, that would not stop her from living. And even if she had an insane adventure with previous lost friends, she would make up for every single one of her mistakes if she indeed met them again.
Maybe... she wouldn't be so alone after all.
Closing Notes: Well, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and please don't worry so much about the sudden WHAM revelations in this chapter. It's all there in the manual anyways. As always, please do review and give out critique if there is critique to be needed. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this centric story.