Lights from a mysterious source above come to life. A half naked man lies in the center of the rays, chained up like an animal. Five sets of wary eyes look upon the figure, not particularly impressed.
“GH-O.S.T” stated a shadowed figure speaking from one of five podiums surrounding an shackled individual. “You stand before the council of the Masters of Orran. Speak your piece and make your case.” The individual woke up, panicked, confounded. He looked down at the chains that bound his wrists. Cold metal links slunk into the ground from an unknown origin below the floor. They encased his neck, wrists, and ankles like they knew what he was capable of. Suddenly the chains jerked his gaze upwards, blinding him in light, facing the unknown speaker above, the speaker of the group. “MAKE YOUR CASE, GASTON HARRIS!” the figure commanded. Gaston gazed upon the solemn shadowed figures on their elevated planes, showing only the shines of their eyes. Some staring in anticipation, others in inquiry, all of their gazes read as unfamiliar to the chained man. Gaston fumbled with the proper words.
“I am Gaston Harris of the Omen Stealth Team. Where am I?”
“You are in a location, brought before us to show us what makes you special.”
Gaston just noticed that he was half naked, showing all of his ancient surgery scars that refused to heal. They knew what made him special, Gaston noted. He wondered how much they actually knew.
“How much do you know about me?” Gaston set the bait.
“Stuff that you have long forgotten, Mr. Harris.” said a gruff face doused in liquid black.
“Like what?” Gaston tugged slightly at the line.
“First off, you are a genetically and mechanically augmented killing machine created by the RL to serve the Omen Stealth Team.” The gruff speaker’s smile caught the gleam of stray light.
“Yawn, you picked the most obvious thing first. I was kinda excited. I don’t get captured by a secret cult every Tuesday.” Gaston smirked, he sensed the smile of the figure degrade into a cautious frown.
“We know that you have over five hundred confirmed kills on Apparatus employees including drones. You have destroyed over three Omega models. You have faced down Spideus and lived. According to your record, you went on thirty five live combat missions and fifty stealth missions.” a female voice said.
“Now you are just reading off my record. So you guys are on the inside of the RL, huh?” Gaston jested, noting that the female voice fell silent. She must be pissed, Gaston thought.
“We are apart from the RL, yet intertwined into every little crevice. Even your little black ops division.”
“Any tratorious smuck like Steele or Curious Candy can look at a soldiers files, but it takes a higher up to look into the secret factions. I don’t believe your whole story.” Gaston laughed, mocking them. He received enough information already, and they were starting to catch on.
“ENOUGH!” yelled the announcer. The other members turned their gaze towards the central speaker. The shadow council began to murmur among themselves. Gaston should not have heard them but thanks to his modifications, he did.
“He appears to not know where he is…” the female voice said.
“We must take advantage of this sudden memory loss, let him prove how talented he naturally is…” said the gruff voice from before, seemly eager for revenge.
“What did we reveal to him, I’m confused.” whispered a voice in a heavy accent.
“I think we should test him immediately, test his meddle.” proclaimed the announcer.
“But what meddle should we test, him gearless or well armed?” said a slightly familiar voice, but Gaston could not recall who owned it.
They continued their ramblings in hushed silence, all the while Gaston took his time to survey the chamber. Bright lights came down upon him from above, most likely suspended. The chamber was circular, with no visible exits. He wondered how he was going to bust out of here. He kept listening in and hearing nothing of worth. He decided to put an end to the escapade.
“I asked why am I here, all you do is shroud the apparent truth. You all realize that I am a spy as well as an assassin, so if you can cut the B.S., I’d appreciate it.” Gaston mocked.
“You are here to prove your worth and make your claim. We cannot tell you where we are until you can prove that you can be trusted. You are quite the accomplished individual, Mr. Harris, and the Masters are interested in recruiting you.” stated the woman.
“You stand to be the most talented and skilled assassin on the entire planet and you are here to show your worth to the Masters.” the gruff voice said.
“After the trials, we shall deem you worthy or not.” added the accented voice.
“So wait, are you all apart of a cult?”
“We are not a mere pagan religious group. We are the secret watchers behind the veil. We serve no god, only the greater good. We are the judges, the jury, and the en-actors. We take no sides, we only act to preserve the realm.” the female voice said.
“We collect organisms that are the best in their craft and allow them to teach the gift to others and prepare for the end.” the announcer declared.
“The end?” Gaston asked sarcastically.
“The end times. The final battle between the two factions on this world,” the announcer continued.
“So the RL and Apparatus pull a judgement day in the end, eh. Will we get an Austrian bodybuilder to be a cybernetic organism.” Gaston continues to tease.
“You joke and jest, do whatever helps you cope with the pain. Just remember, we seek your help, not your mouth. Just know that you are chained up and we put you there.” The announcer jested back.
Gaston’s eyes widened. “What pain, you don’t know anything about pain.”
The familiar voice from before speaks out “I think I do…” the man’s face becomes illuminated, showing a grotesque sheet of flesh over the entire left side. His eye was white and dead, his skin was leathery and suddenly recollection comes to the captive. He knew the face all too well. It was the face of one of the Generals in the RL. General “Grantfield” Gaister, his commanding officer and head of the O.S.T program. Gaston remembers now. Earlier, he returns from a mission and the General was there in the HQ, holding a tiny device. He pressed it and suddenly everything turned black.
Gaston laughed, “Just because Grantfield is in this cult, doesn’t mean that you all are as widespread as you say you are.”
“I think I can provide more proof,” said the gruffed voice, his face is now revealed as well. Gaston looks at his face and recognizes it immediately. “You are an Apparatus scientist. I forget your name, but I took a stab at you a few times.”
“He plays an equal role with this organization as much as I, and I don’t hold any scorn towards him. We play in the game of war in our respective roles, not bringing the Masters into the outside world, and not bringing the outside world into the council.” explained the general. “Now, GH-O.S.T, will you join us in our cause?”
“Sure, lets get further down the rabbit hole.”
“Be serious” the female voice commanded.
“I, Gaston Harris, swear fealty to the king.”
“Dammit Harris, be serious.” the General interjected.
Gaston takes several deep breaths, letting several moments pass by.
“I, Gaston Hale, dubbed GH-O.S.T by the RL, the most skilled assassin on all of Orran, swear my allegiance to be neutral in the Masters, to hone my skills and pass them on to others, to prepare for the end.”
“And shall you pass through the trials to prove yourself to the organization? To show that your vows are serious?” Asked the Apparatus scientist.
It appears that these loons want him to fight for his life, and fight he will do.
“I shall” repented Gaston.