“I write this now on the anniversary of Reynold’s death as a remembrance of his sacrifice and a warning to those who would forget the lesson. By now you have heard mutterings of Reynold’s sacrifice and one of your teammates may have used the codename Reynold. It’s time you heard the full story.

At the time, I was running with a pair of thieves, who claimed to be twins though they weren’t actually related, an A.I. I had liberated named C8Y and Reynold who was the one who helped me clear rooms of hostiles. Reynold and I had become close since I recruited him as a kid. I stood as his best man at his wedding and had personally dealt with the assassin that tried to kill him at it. In a word, we were like brothers.

We had been doing work for Prometheus at the time and weren’t surprised when one of the lead researchers contacted us about a weapon’s lab in the Utah desert going dark. Unfortunately, one of the twins accepted the job before we could chime in and ask for more information so we were stuck with very little information and not enough time to complete the mission and get the information ourselves. It was a terrible situation that could have been avoided but we were stuck with it so we took a shock wagon out to the site since one of the few things the researcher had deigned to tell us was that if containment was breached we were supposed to purge the facility.

We hit the dirt in full armor and hazard suits with enough firepower to level a small apartment complex. But it wasn’t an apartment complex that we were headed into. The lab was an older variant that still looked like a huge dome. It was an incredibly large facility and was home to more than one research project.

The front door was an airlock made from reinforced blast doors. It would have taken a year to cut through them but we were lucky, or maybe unlucky, because the doors were unlocked. When we got inside there were no flashing lights or sirens to signal that something had gone wrong. There was only one thing that showed that something had gone wrong. Every surface was covered in blood. Now some readers are probably thinking that I am exaggerating, I am not.

Needless to say, everyone was nervous as we advanced through the facility. The fact that we were so on edge was probably the only reason we managed to react to the man who came sprinting down the hall at us. The automatic pistols the twins were using plinked off some kind of carapace as his arm turned into a spike. He was moving faster than some cars I had seen and was already in the air pouncing at one of the twins when Reynold and I fired on him. My Equalizers bit into the carapace, which we realized looked to be made of a substance similar to bone. Reynold’s plasma thrower proved way more effective. As the plasma bathed the man-thing it burst into flames and rolled around on the ground until it expired. After seeing how effective it was we reconvened at the shock wagon and pulled out our own plasmas.

With our plasmas at the ready we moved through the facility. C8Y took up residence in my head and used the advanced sensor systems that served as my five senses to help keep lookout for us. The first couple groups of man-things charged us and C8Y’s warnings saved us and once we opened up one of the creatures she explained what was going on. Whatever the research had been originally was unknown but the things attacking us had a nanite hub, like the one I have, implanted in them. Its control had been hooked directly to their brains and reverted them to an animal like state. The nanites were following the confusing directions the damaged brains were giving them and protect their hosts. It was scary to say the least, I had left any altering of the nanites in my body to C8Y because they had warned me that my mind couldn’t handle it when they put it in. When she had been running the show, I had been able to reshape my body to flow under doorways and create bladed limbs that were insanely sharp. We had a job to do though so I couldn’t dwell on it.

I don’t know where we lost the first of the twins. All I know is that he just wasn’t there all of a sudden. I went through a doorway with him behind me and he never came through that doorway. The other twin was distraught and she went running off on her own. We gave pursuit but we weren’t fast enough. We found her with a spike imbedded in her stomach and watched as nanites poured into the open wound, filling it with a nanite hub. Then she stood back up as her flesh knit together and was covered by a bony carapace.”

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