Field Trip

Piper paced back and forth outside of the debriefing rooms, waiting for her Alpha to finish with OSEC. Hers was decidedly faster, Neos sharing a neurolink meant information could be transferred in seconds. It also meant that the entire Neo population, already curious, nervous, or downright afraid of this LOGOS and his New Way were barraging her with questions. Normally, sharing information with other Neos was so commonplace it went unnoticed, something all Neos were habituated to, like a refrigerator running in the background. But with so many at the same time made things a bit… twitchy.

“Wishing for 429s?” Dove verbally asked with a smile, knocking purposely into Piper’s arm.

“Maybe the server will crash, blue screen.” Piper joked back, a little of Romeo’s dark humor bleeding through.

“It’ll die down soon.” Dove promised. “Probably.”

Piper rubbed her forehead, then grabbed her friend’s wrist. “Not soon enough. Let’s just go outside. Five minutes. Just to hear myself think.” Dove raised both her eyebrows. “Right outside, nowhere else." Piper pleaded. "And Foxtrot will be with us.” Fox And Dove exchanged glances, Foxtrot shaking his head no. “Please?” for good measure, she flashed doe eyes at her friend.

Dove let our a heavy sigh and relented, leading the way.“This is quieter?” she asked as she stepped outside. She, Foxtrot and an Alpha pup on loan Fox grabbed sat just outside the walls of the Spire.

“Much.” Piper said, slipping into a data stream like a warm bath, closing her eyes.

"So what has you so rattled?"

Just what it was saying. Join us. We’ll save you, The way it was saying it, it was creepy. I mean What does that even mean, why would it even say that, save us from what?

“His head was badly wounded, right? Maybe it was just nonsense.”

Pretty detailed nonsense. Then it said it’d free me from my jailer, and the fucker went after Romeo.

“You’re picking up words from the Alphas again? I thought we were supposed to help curb that from them, not vice versa.”

Seriously? That’s your take away Dove? He went after my Alpha.

“And your Alpha put him down. Look, you’re letting what some glitched Neo said get under your skin, that’s my take away. He was glitched, end of story. He’s neutralized. Come on, Piper, put it out of your head. They have flavor ice in the commissary, we’ll pick a couple up.”

Nah, I’ll pass, all they have is vanilla, and that’s like a base to which other flavors should be added. For some weird reason, though, I really feel like having coffee. The coffee thing was new. She wasn’t a big fan - It always smelled like hydroxycinnamic acid, but it had been on her mind since leaving the hospital. You go on in though. Romeo should be out soon. Dove raised another eyebrow.

“The pup won’t mind staying with me - will you? It’s -- Roach, right?”

“Yea. No not at all! Kinda nice to get some air.” Roach puffed happy to look all responsible like.

“We’ll let him know where you are.” Dove promised, happy to slip back inside away from all the noise outside of the Spire for a while.

Romeo poked his head out the door done with his debriefing. “Hey … are you spoiling my Neo without me knowing?” He asked in a flat tone. Piper grinned and nodded her head, pointing with mock accusations towards Roach.

Roach nearly jumped out of his skin. “NO SIR … just watching out for her is all!”

“I’m fucking with you kid … relax … you boots make it too easy sometimes.” Romeo snickered.

Roach couldn’t help but pout a bit at being such a newbie.

“Let me guess,” Piper said, extending her hand for help to her feet. “You were debriefed and OSEC wants us to check out the report of the possible Neo down in the Hive.”

“Your powers of reason and observation are second to none my dear Piper.” Romeo said stepping out to lean on the door. “We're bringing ‘backup’ too …” The Alpha alluded.

“I get it from my Alpha. According to Dove, I pick shit up. Who are we getting for Backup? Wren and Lima? Dove and Fox?” It was odd that they’d send two bonded pairs for the same mission, especially since the recent events left all the bonded’s spread very thin.

Romeo pointed casually to the boot.

Roach blinked. “What? Me?” He perked.

“A pup?” Piper asked, trying to hide a smile, “in the Hive? You sure that’s a good idea?”

“You know how it is right now so … Trial By Fire.” Romeo shrugged.

Roach shifted uncomfortably. Sure he was thrilled to be tagging along but the pair was making it so dire they had been messing with him … Right? Just getting into his head r-right?

“Hope he doesn’t get in too much trouble.” Piper said, patting the young Alpha on the arm.

“In the Hive? The whole place is nothing BUT trouble.” Romero rolled his eyes. “Finding a Neo down there … let try finding a purple fly while we’re at it.” His voice dripping with sarcasm. “Suit up pup … were out to find trouble. On purpose.”

Piper hadn’t yet had the chance to un-suit up from being sent after the glitch. She ran both hands through her hair and decided to rethink her stance on coffee. Before she could dwell too much on it, she was near trampled by Wren and Lima as they left the Spire on double time.

Checking out Zone 13, Wren explained on the go. Not sure of all the details, but it may be another attack.

“Be careful!” Piper called after them, hoping that their night in the Hive would be slightly more… uneventful than whatever Wren and Lima were going up against.

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