Imperfection - Prologue, Ch1 and Ch2

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  • 8/2/2019 Imperfection - Prologue, Ch1 and Ch2


  • 8/2/2019 Imperfection - Prologue, Ch1 and Ch2



    I have a lot of faith that youll deliver, and it would be wise that you make sure this goes well.

    Dont worry, maam. Weve got the backing of all the majorcompanies, if anyone can afford a

    venture like this, its us.

    You had better be right. Im sinking a lot of money into this project, and I guarantee I will- take you

    and your whole damn studio into the ground if this fails. And not even your fucking chicken will be

    able to stop me.

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    IMPERFECTIONPart OneLilly (kvalheim) Clayton

    A Monday Night Combat Story

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    April 2, Year 3040

    Darkness the world seems clouded, empty thoughts appear as soon as they disappear, and fuzzy

    voices are heard.

    Routine birthing again? I thought we had enough of these for the teams, and its not like we need

    to replace emevery five minutes like the Sparks and Sins.

    Naah, nah man, this aint for the show. Hell, I dunno where this ones going, cept that some big

    shot upper class is paying us a ton for this. And what the fat cats want, they get.

    Muffled laughter. Things start to become clearer, the glass tank distorting two hunched figures

    operating machines. It feels like drowning, but air still flows into fresh lungs. The figures leer

    forward, and then hurry back at their machines.

    Well,quit staring, you know she aint real. Go get to it, Mick just called down, we need a whole

    new set of those new pros spawned in for the new season. They want to add another pair of teams

    for some special four-way shows and they need in within the next hour.

    aightman, just just gimme a sec. Son of a--- the personality replicator is on the fritz, -again-.

    Seriously? Well, no time to fix it If anything goes wrong, well, at least this isnt Assassin.

    Yeah, I mean, the hell a rogue Pit going to do? Releasing the clamps, and Ill send it down to the

    pens, least let it meet the other Pros before we ship it off.

    A loud noise, a bang, and the water rushes out of the prison. Its clear now, a tube, a glass womb

    acting as packaging for another product. Before even taking a breath, the world becomes dark again.

    * * *

    It was several hours later and deep within the back rooms of the Monday Night Combat training

    grounds, there sat a young girl in a small grey concrete room. She was slender, fair skinned, and her

    hair was a long deep brown that she quickly tied up into two ponytails. Her eyes were a deep hazel,

    and stared curiously around, a sort of uncomfortable expression as she tried to piece together

    where she was. There was a sort of similarity one could see between her and one of the standard Pit

    Girls, but this one was younger, couldnt possibly be more than 19, and wore a plain vest and shorts,

    no team markings. A small speaker in the top corner began to buzz, and a monotonous voice, similar

    to a certain trademark commentators but much less lively, began to drone out.

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    Welcome to your stasis cell. You have been commissioned under order of a donator to Monday

    Night Combat, but for the next [two-thousand-seven-hundred-and-sixty] days you will be grown

    alongside the regular stock. This message is brought to you by Regenitol.

    The girl in the room stood up, and peered around. Her mind was effectively blank, but already this

    seemed like a cage, but was yet to be seen as either a safe confined space or an inescapable fortress.

    She looked over to a small sliding glass door, and upon opening it revealed rack upon rack of

    identical low-cut vests and shorts, a closet full of tools, belts, boots and gloves lying adjacent to it.

    They too had no team colour, instead manufactured in a neutral beige and white. As she changed,

    the door slid open, and strangely enough, a small floating bot approached, similar in appearance to a

    slimbot but neutral coloured and with a small monitor in the head. It simply displayed a small notice,


    This flashed several times, before the Bot returned to wherever it had come from. The young Pit

    simply nodded silently, and once changed, stepped out into a long, LONG corridor. A line offluorescent red arrows dotted the floor, and an identical line of blue arrows ran parallel in the same

    direction. A holographic sign on the wall read Destination: FDA and Recreation, flickering a few

    times, before turning into more arrows that demanded to be followed. A small group of red bots

    sped past along the similarly coloured path, and she decided to follow, cautiously examining the

    path in curiosity, like an infant child.

    * * *

    Eventually, she approached a large room, far too large for the five or six brightly coloured Pros

    sitting at grey metal tables. The girl took a few more steps, and as she did so, one of the strangers,

    the Assassin, stood and walked away with a sneer.

    The girl sat at the far end of the furthest table, and simply looked over at the group, who were

    talking in hushed voices. Each of them would peer over in turn, before adding something to the

    secret discussion. Eventually, a few of them Cheston, Combat girl and Assault moved over,

    carrying trays of heavily branded food boxes and cans.

    So, Kid Assault started, sitting on the next chair, Whats the deal with you?

    The girl stared blankly, thinking for a moment, yet just as she opened her mouth to talk, the Combat

    Girl swung around on her stool, wrapping her arm around the girls shoulder, a warm smile on her


    Cmon, darlin, dont be shy! Were all brothers and sisters here, well cept Assassin. You best be

    steerin clear of her unless you wanna catch a mighty foul case of the ugly, bless her heart.

    The young girl peered a little confused back, and uttered out slowly,

    Oh okay?

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    There was a strange silence for a split second, before Cheston stroked his furry chin, leaning


    Very peculiar you sound like her all right, he motioned to Combat Girl, but you lack the same

    perkiness and exuberance. Very, very peculiar.

    Upon saying this, Assault too peered at her, stroking his chin in a similar manner. However, the pairs

    actions put Combat Girl on the defensive a little, and she grabbed the younger clone in a very

    protective manner.

    Now you two hush your holes, yhear! Dont you listen to these two, sweetie, youre as good as any

    of us. Ill take care of ya, darlin, and you can come on down to my humble quarters whenever you

    need a listenin ear.

    Now hold on, we werent

    I said hush it, gorilla-boy!

    The young Pit-girl nodded slowly, a weak smile growing on her face. The others looked to each other

    fleetingly, then back, with reassuring smiles. Assault gave a smile that was dangerously close to his

    trademark charming one, speaking softly,

    Come on girl; lets bring you back over with the others. You may not fight with us but a fine girl like

    you can eat with us.

    * * *

    They all regrouped at the main table, Combat girl jealously hoarding the young Pit and making sure

    she got a seat beside her. The whole Hotshots team was here, not in armour, but still team-coloured

    vests with more sponsor logos on them than was entirely necessary (especially given that viewers

    rarely entered the premises), and they were all talking to each other in separate conversations that

    were nearly impossible to follow. Assassin still hadnt returned, but there was a silhouette in the far

    corner of someone repeatedly punching the wall. However, the conversation slowly died down as

    they one-by-one noticed the new arrival, and in turn introduced themselves. They went on for agood few minutes as they said hello in turn, mostly interrupting each other. It got to her time to

    introducer herself, though, and she simply stared. Her mouth opened slowly, and a soft voice from

    her side whispered in her ear,

    Cmon, darlin, tell them your name.

    With a small nod, she replied quietly,

    I guess I dont think I have a name

    Combat girl let out a small chuckle.

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    Course you got a name, silly! Heck, by the looks of you Id guess youre one of em Pit Girls. Looks

    like you hit it lucky, darlin, I used to have it easy like that, until they moved well the best of us, into

    the teams. Sides, aint nobody going to pick a fight with me and walk away with all their teeth in

    their head, bless em.

    I see the girl nodded, and grabbed a pouch of Spunky-branded-food-sustenance. It went down

    easily, but still tasted like cheap, processed garbage. They continued like this, chatting and eating,

    long into the afternoon, until a large klaxon sounded.



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    Chapter One

    December 21, Year 3045

    Europa Colony

    Hold your horses; itll be done in a minute!

    The snowfall was getting heavier, almost clouding the oppressive shape of Jupiter in the morning

    sky, but still a slender young woman was working atop a burnt and battered old Jackbot, sounds of

    wrenches turning and electricity sparking echoing against the thick concrete walls of the work yard.

    The woman jumped down after a few seconds, and was greeted by a warmly wrapped Combat Girl,

    who took her in a tight embrace for a moment.

    Good to see ya, darlin! My, youre lookin all grown up, out here fixin and workin. Been a long

    trip, shame you had to leave six months before our ship.

    A pleasure to see ya too, Combat.

    The Pit girl brushed a few snowflakes off her grey-yellow parka, and ran a hand through her hair for

    a moment.

    What say we go inside? This Europa air is freezin my bones, Ill be glad once this holiday game is

    over and we get back home. Oh, and Im countin on yall to win.

    Nodding slightly, the Combat Girl stepped a little to the side, motioning towards the Jackbot. Like Pit

    Girl, its colours were also a steely grey with bright yellow highlights; however, it had scorch marks all

    over and several large bullet holes.

    Friend of yours?

    This ol rust bucket? One of the security jackbots, some outlanders blew the well, I best not be

    sayin more, they like to keep the show combat out of the real combat.

    Once more nodding, the Combat girl circled the pile of machinery, grinning.

    Well, shes a beauty, I trust yall be doing your best to fix er up. Least, as long as you aint planning

    to send it out against us!

    They laughed a little with each other, walking into the dark corridor as blast doors slowly slammed

    against each other with a deafening bang. Small red lights flickered into life, illuminating the room,

    and the pair followed them towards a large concrete room filled with monitors. There were

    thousands of them, covering nearly every wall, each showing different possible plays and replays

    from countless past matches. In the center crouched a slim man, his hair ragged and one eye

    covered with a black patch. Four empty cans of energy boosters rolled on the floor, and he was

    frantically scribbling down.

    Cmon, sniper, we aint got all day.

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    Aagh, fine! I spend all day trying to guarantee our win but you meatheads wont follow myflawless

    tactics anyway. Will you at least lookat these play sheets?

    Now now, sweetie, we can take a look at those little pictures later, maybe hang them on the fridge

    after the game. Now cmon, weve got a game.

    The Sniper growled, and stormed off down the hall. A few feet behind, Pit Girl tapped Combat on the

    shoulder, raising an eyebrow. She uttered out,

    Whats the deal with him?

    Awe, dontworry about it darlin, hes just a heap of crazy, bless him. Now I be supposing they want

    you away from the team rooms before the game, but come down after our victory!

    With that, Combat Girl left down the same hall that sniper stormed down, disappearing into the

    dimly lit depths. Pit sat down for a moment next to the sheets, staring at where her friend had left,

    and thought for a moment. There was something in her, more than just being a near-exact biological

    replicate, which made Combat seem like a sister to her. It was very strange, for as far as she knew,

    and from what she saw from the other Pit Girls, she was supposed to be this sort of perky,

    independent, very confident individual; but she never quite felt that. She had made attempts to fix

    it, trying to make her accent (which did not come perfectly to her) fit, and was mostly happy with

    her life, but there was always this nagging feeling at the back of her mind.

    Her train of thought was ruined by a large speaker the voice was mostly distorted, but the gist of it

    came through. The management wanted her to come up to the office, and fairly urgently at that. She

    stood to her feet, and headed up a stairway that had retracted from the wall.

    * * *

    Ah, youre here!

    The Pit Girl arrived at a large office space, the walls much cleaner and more colourful that the drab

    concrete of the rest of the complex. There was a large window that made up the whole back wall,

    showing a plain white skyline of ice, with a few structures closeby, and the combat arena about 15miles away. At the large wooden desk was a plain man in a plain suit, with a suitably plain nametag

    reading Mr Blunt, non-combat management

    Did you want me for something, sir?

    Take a seat.

    The girl took off her thick parka, hanging it on the back, and sat there was a slight wobble and

    adjustment as the airChair2 took her weight, and then floated at a standstill.

    Now, Ive got a little proposi--- well, lets cut to the chase, Im not going to give you the illusion ofchoice. Were transferring you into one of the series entertainment contingents.

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    fraid youve lost me there.

    What Im saying is that were putting you into one of the teams. Not for combat, of course, weve

    got enough combatants. No, the Hotshots need another Pit Girlnasty incident, one of Beths

    rockets managed to hit a faulty support, whole wall crashed onto the last one. But youll be fine.

    Well sure, I spose so. She smiled, screaming happily inside her head. There had been a sort of

    sense that most of what shed been working on lately was mundane and fairly useless, and it would

    be a part of the actual show. The main reason however was that over the last couple of years shed

    gotten very close with that particular team, since theyd been friends since her spawning.

    ExcellentOh, and one more thing. Your contract with us is at about a halfway point, so I suppose I

    should tell you a few things. Youll be with this team for the rest of your time with us, and then

    youre going into full time service in a classified manner. Your funder will speak to you in the next

    few days about that. Now, be gone, I have work

    The woman slipped out of the room, and jumped a little in joy. She hurried on down the stairs,

    almost tripping on several occasions, following the maze of corridors and the trail of red lights until

    she reached a small briefing room. Inside, Assault stood at the shimmering board, surrounded by

    Sniper, Combat Girl, Tank and Cheston, all discussing tactics whilst sniper berated them all for not

    using his own. Pit Girl entered quietly, a soft smile on her lips, as she approached the group, and

    Assault took notice, interrupting himself.

    And it seems heres our new blood, but I guess were all quite familiar with this one he smirked,

    motioning her over. She slowly stepped forwards, smiling with what had become sort of her

    trademark soft smile, much less ecstatic that it should be, but with a more sincere tone to it.

    Im really, wow, I cant wait to spend the next few seasons with you guys. I spose Ill have to be

    headin over to the Arena before you guys for the pregame check-ups, but Ill be sure to meet back

    with yall after the game.

    * * *

    It was a ten minute hover car drive to the stadium over the ice plains to the stadium a large

    cylindrical hole bored into the glacier, the stands half-encased and packed with freezing rowdy

    crowds. The car touched down in a large metal garage, where officials carrying tablets and match

    statistics randomly shouted out names, and the occasional over class limousine would be greeted by

    hordes of assistants scrambling over each other to be the new favourite employee. The Pit Girl,

    surrounded by a few Hotshots team officials, stopped momentarily and stared for a moment there

    was a very rich group of people, dressed immaculately and barging past the rabble, demanding

    something unintelligible from the ticket booth. They were yelling,

    Get out of my way, scum, youll only turn your seat into a hideous shanty hut or something. For

    goodness sake, youd think these bums would get enough of watching violence with their petty little

    drug fights.

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    Pit Girl almost frowned in disgust, the only thing really stopping her being the perkiness in her DNA

    she may be different, but traces still made it hard to express anger or disgust. She simply moved

    along with the rest of the team officials. There was a small room behind the spawn, with an old

    industrial stairwell. (the Arena, as well as most of the surrounding facilities, was part of an initial

    mining effort which fell flat due to lack of funding. The owners sold it for next to nothing and now

    Monday Night Combat make a killing off a winter extravaganza) A flickering sign read Exhibition

    Balcony. One of the team directors, a scrawny little man with a clipboard, spoke quickly, not once

    looking up.

    Right, up the stairs, do your thing for the Cameras, then back here in 5 for Pit duty. Go, go, I got

    bigger things to do now

    The girl opened her mouth momentarily, then sighed, and followed the stairs up. They were old and

    rickety, and it took a good while to walk all the way up. Finally she reached the top; a round

    platform, chain bridges connecting it to the winners platform and a special VIP stand. A group of

    camera-bots hovered around the edge, swaying in the ice-cold wind. Upon stepping out into the

    outdoors, the Pit Girl immediately started to shiver, wrapping her arms tight. A few feet away, the

    Icemen Pitgirl was standing calmly, and looked over.

    Why howdy there, darlin. New to the field of combat are ya?

    The girl stood blankly for a moment; there was something very haunting the woman talking to her

    looked exactly like her, save for the Blue colouring to her Red. Even more so than Combat girl, who

    although unerringly similar, was just different enough, but there was a strange feeling here that was

    like she was looking into a mirror.

    First game, right? Dont sweat, teams only matter for them fighters down in the arena. Were all

    good up here.

    Uh thanks. Its mighty cold up here, aint you freezing?

    There was a small pang of annoyance in her head. This accent, the ridiculous southern accent that

    her DNA and her peers were screaming at her to adopt, just felt so forced. Still, she thought, what

    choice was there? Better to conform and stay alive than become a faulty product and be scrapped.

    The Icemen girl laughed, pointing to a small dial on her glove.

    You really just are out of the tank, arent ya? These outfits are electronically warmed, keeps us

    lookin fine while the weather aint.

    With a sigh of relief, the girl turned up her own, and instantly felt much more comfortable. The

    cameras suddenly came much closer, and a director wrapped tightly in a jacket came out, shouting,

    Fifteen seconds! Ladies positions, you know the drill, chirpy and sexy ten seconds,go!

    Loud music suddenly started to fill the arena, accompanied by loud cheering; then, a very

    recognisable voice started to resonate, introducing itself as Mickey Cantor. The words didnt matter

    much to the Pit Girl, who was busy trying imitating her blue partner, smiling and posing in front ofthe camera. It was all over very quickly, and before she knew it the cameras were off, sounds of

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    gunfire filled the arena floor below and she was being rushed down back to the spawning rooms.

    Now she just had to cheer on the team, and wait for the final whistle to blow.

    It was a crushing defeat in the end.

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    Chapter Two

    December 22, Year 3045

    The team locker rooms were filled with a sombre mood the next morning. The Pit Girl strolled in,

    carrying a few cases of equipment, trying to embody the chirpy persona she was supposed to


    Morninboys, we all are feelinfresh for another days work?

    The team replied with a joined groan, with the exception of Combat Girl, who jumped up to Pit.

    You bet, darlin. Here, let me help you with those.

    She picked up a few of the cases, and they kept walking down towards the engineering room. A fewmechanics were working on an assortment of pipes and cogs, impossible to tell what they were

    actually doing. The pair dropped the cases onto a metal table, and then each sat down on it,

    swinging legs in unison.

    The teams in a mighty foul mood that loss get to them?

    Seems so. They aint taking it well. Heck, even Assault seems down, and he aint never failed to rally

    the morale.

    They both sat quite quietly for a moment, the quiet rumbling of the machinery echoing, a slight

    breeze from the vents blowing their pigtails forward in unison. Combat girl jumped up, laughing.

    Enough of that, heck, were all still alive here. Come on, youre still workin on that ol Jack?

    Not so much since going red, but its still a side project.

    Then cmon, were gonna finish it up. Heck of a heap more exciting than sticking around in this

    steam room or trying to kick-start the ol team.

    With a slight chirp of happiness, the Pit Girl jumped up, and led the way down yet more repetitive

    corridors. She thought momentarily that even though it was absolutely freezing on the pitch, there

    was a much nicer aesthetic feel to the place compared to these steel and concrete labyrinths that

    the MNC Corporation seemed to love. She had only been in two locations, but this industrial colony

    felt awfully similar to the spawning complex. Almost hadnt crossed her mind that shed be back

    there in a month

    Hey, cuckoo, anyone in there?

    They had stopped, and Combat Girl was tapping Pit on the head. She laughed shyly, brushing a loose

    hair aside.

    Oh, sorry got a little lost there.

    Well, were here aint we?

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    They looked through the large doorway on the right. It was the same work yard, covered in a thick

    layer of snow. Since the last game, the Jackbot hadnt moved, and was covered in icicles. Grabbing a

    ladder and a toolbox, Pit Girl trudged through the white ground and set up. Combat too, grabbed a

    kit and opened the front hatch.

    Boy, this wirings more tangled than a mule with a jump-rope.

    Pit Girl looked over, raising an eyebrow with a puzzled expression.

    Oh, Im sorry darlin, that wasnt my best comparison.

    They laughed a moment, and got back to working. Pit was tinkering with one of the Ammo-mule

    rocket loaders, and smiled a little, speaking,

    You know, they told me last night they dont need this ol bucket anymore.

    Oh, well thats mighty disappointin

    Pit Girl laughed loudly, shaking her head.

    Oh heavens no! Instead, I get to keep this all for myself, long as I keep it disarmed

    Coincidently, at this moment she was removing the loader, tossing it aside. It hit the snow, quickly

    collected by a small salvage-bot that disappeared as quickly and unnoticed as it arrived.

    Well thats marvellous, darlin. Whatre you gonna do with it?

    Heck, I could make it our team mascot? But Im likin the grey and yellow scheme, makes it feel

    more of my own. I might even name the old rust pot.

    They laughed and worked well into the day, the dim sun and goliath shadow of Jupiter peering down

    at them from the sky. There was very little to do that day, as all the games were over until the

    LazeRazor Winter Holiday Blitz Bonanza on the 25th

    , and since they had lost the match, they

    wouldnt be participating. There were a few VIP audience tour groups going around, mostly rich

    metropolitan Tokyo-types who tried to take pictures of absolutely everything, and the occasional US

    celebrity trying to buy off some of the clones while officials tried to distract them. It wasnt too much

    of a hassle, they were both used to being public figures; it also helped when half the time it was

    someone else who looked and acted exactly like you.

    Phew, this thing just does not want to run!

    Combat girl lifted her cap and wiped her brow a little, shaking her head. Pit Girl was deeply focussed

    on repairing some circuits in the machines head.

    Just a sec one more this should do it

    The eyes sparked a little, and Combat jumped to her feet, stepping back. Pit gave a few more

    tweaks, and the Jackbot flashed into life, accidently knocking the girl off as it snapped into position

    she landed in the snow unharmed but with a grin on her face. Her teammate smiled warmly,

    Oh, Im so proud of you darlin. Come on, lets see what it does!

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    Okay, well Jackbot, identify!

    The machine sparked momentarily, a few sparks bursting from its joints. It seemed to almost die for

    a moment, but then a deep monotonous drone came from speakers under the head.


    The two girls high-fived, cheering;

    Great! I suppose we should leave it there, its getting late. Heck, I never know what time it is on

    these moons. Combat girl laughed, picking up her toolkit and heading towards the door. Pit Girl

    followed, carrying the ladder.

    This was totally worthwhile, heck; Ive always wanted my own robot.

    A hearty laugh came from Combat girl, who was dropping off her tools into the locker.

    Since when!

    Since always!

    Dont be such a child, darlin! Still, getting that heap working was quite a feat.

    The pair packed up their repair tools, and closed the blast door, brushing off the snow on their

    shoulders and hats. The lights of the corridor flickered on, and the two girls walked back towards the

    Locker room.

    * * *

    The locker room was empty upon their return, which was puzzling. The two peered around, but

    there was nothing to see save for a solitary black figure twirling a knife in the corner. Both instantly

    knew who the black concealed woman was, and rolled eyes simultaneously as they stepped

    forwards. The Assassin held up a hand, pointed to Combat Girl and motioned for her to go away.

    Why, thats mighty rude! Im part of this team and I aint leavin

    The concealed woman shook her head, laughing lowly.

    You will- leave. Now. I want a word with your little friend.

    Fine, but you watch your attitude, Missy.

    The Combat Girl strutted off, patting Pit on the shoulder and whispering,

    You be careful around her, darlin. It aint her fault, she just gets jealous around those who can

    show their face in daylight.

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    A smirk grew on Pit Girls face, and she waved her friend goodbye; she turned back to Assassin and

    raised an eyebrow.

    So, what ya want?

    You can drop the accent there. Ive seen you around here, and you must know as well as I do thatyoure not just another wise-ass southern piece of eye-candy.

    The Pit Girl scowled, folding her arms. It wasnt exactly an insult towards her, but she had gotten

    pretty defensive about her close friendship with Combat Girl; even the Icemen Pit Girl seemed

    pleasant enough. Besides, she had tried so hard to get the accent right, would be a shame to drop it


    I aint dropping nothing, missy; now whatre you on about?

    You can play dumb all you want, doesnt change the fact that I know about you. See, Im not like

    these mindless gun-happy thugsand as far as Ive seen, my kin arent either. Seems a silly mistake

    on whoever picked my DNA, but fact of the matter is that one day, Im going to get out of here. I

    figured from the looks of you, you didnt belong here either, and unless you want to risk being found

    as faulty and sent to processing, youd want to get out of here too.

    The Pit Girl leaned on the lockers, peering in a puzzled manner.

    What on earth are you talkin about? she questioned, her voice in a slightly more concerned tone,

    much less of the southern accent coming through. Processing? Escaping?

    Assassin stepped closer, staring down in a nearly threatening manner but her face was still a blank

    mask as she spoke. Her voice was much lower, and much darker than before.

    There was another, the a few years ago. They cloned an Assault, but they must have messed up the

    personality replication; he was far, far too arrogant, a real hot-head. The crowd hated him, and the

    producers took him away one day, for processing. Nobody saw him since.

    She stepped even closer, almost walking past, but stopping and placing a hand on Pits shoulder.

    I dont like you. Hell, when I saw theyd cloned another one of you shallow crowd-pleasers, I was so

    enraged that I well I lost it, broke my wrist punching the wall. But youre unique, and I respect that,

    because it means that you can at least be useful in getting me out of here.

    With that, she walked off. Pit Girl looked at her disappear, a puzzled expression on her face, and

    sighed. There was only one person she could talk to now

    * * *

    *Alright, alright, Im coming!

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    Combat Girl opened the door to her quarters, to see Pit Girl leaning on the wall outside. She had her

    head lowered a little, eyes peering up.

    What can I do ye for, darlin?

    Pit Girls voice was quite soft, a fair bit of the usual enthusiasm gone.

    Can I come in? I need to talk

    Well, sure, as I told you, my doors always open.

    The girl walked in, and sat down on the small springy bed. The room was painted orange, with lots of

    hotshots posters around the room. Half-built contraptions and bots filled the floor. Combat Girl

    came and sat next to her, smiling.

    Whats on your mind?

    Pit girl rubbed the back of her neck, nervously.

    I need to knowI can trust you

    The older clone faced her, looking into Pits eyes with a warm, sisterly smile. Pit Girl knew it in her

    heart; she could trust her. Heck, they were almost the same person, and she could trust herself. She

    lay back, clutching her pigtails.

    You know Im not perfect, right? You know Im not as chirpy as you, or the other Pit Girl

    yesterday I can barely keep up the accent. Assassin kept saying things, she wants me to help her

    escape, and then wants me to leave to or the producers will kill me. Her lips quivered a little andshe pulled tighter at her hair.

    Combat Girl lay back next to her, and looked to Pit with a warming smile.

    Darlin, Ive known you were different since the day you strode out of the spawning room. I aint

    gonna judge you on it, heck, Im glad of it much more enjoyable to have a friend who aint an exact

    copy of myself. She laughed, and sat up, pulling Pit up with her.

    And dont let that ol Assassin get to you, Darlin. I told you before, that girl is a whole mess of

    grumpy, something not right in that ugly ol head of her, bless her heart. Trust me, youll be fine.

    The Combat then shook her head, chuckling softly.

    Besides, dont worry about the accent; you might be shy buy youre just as southern as I am!

    They both smiled happily, and stared around. The wall clock a small digital series of numbers

    straight on the wall - was reading 13pm Jupiter Standard Time, which was fairly late in the evening.

    Pit Girl stood up, and gave a quick sincere hug to Combat.

    Thanks a lot, Combat youre a great friend. I guess we should go join the others wonder where

    they could have gotten to