"Hey! Hey!" Rex stole a moment from the fight with Breech to shake the violet haired girl in the blue long coat face down in the asphalt, the girl dropped into the fight quite suddenly through one of Breach's crimson portals, "You OK? Dues Mio! Wake up."
"So long Rex," Breach pitched her voice higher in a sing song tone, as she vanished through one of her own portals, but not before leaving a compliment of wild EVOs in her wake.
The girl groaned, her sparkling emerald eyes almost having a life their own, "What hit m..." she began to say before her eyes narrowed as she pushed Rex off her and saw the charging EVOs, "Watch out!"
"Hey!" Rex managed to protest, getting to his feet just fast enough to see the air ripple out like a pair of Circe's sonic waves and hit the handful of wild EVOs, a moment later they were still, standing motionless as if in a daze. Rex's jaw dropped as he let down his guard a moment, "Your a EVO too!"
"W-What?" The girl said drawing a sword from the sheath at her side. "N-Never mind, Paralyzing Glare only last so long."
"Que?" Rex said quizzically as he caught up beside her, shifting his own arm into the Big Fucking Sword, "You name your powers?"
The girl rose a quizzical eyebrow as Rex's BFS formed before answering, "Gargoyle's attack," She answered quickly as he blade cut deep Rex following behind her and the soon were back to back parrying the EVOs that were surrounding them, "And no, I didn't name them."
"Rex, who is the girl?" It was Agent Six, and Bobo arriving to add extra muscle to the fight.
"Didn't get her name but she's a EVO." Rex said quickly, shifting his arms into his bio-mechanical fists to knock back a pair of the beasts.
"Don't get to excited kid," Bobo dead paned as he fired of a few rounds from his twin blasters, "Your 2 for 0 with EVO women."
Rex glared at Bobo then looked back at the girl, "Zap um again...uh...miss."
"Caren," said said quickly, and did just as asked stunning the EVOs again.
"Rex," taking the moments pause the hook a thumb at his companions "That's Bobo and Agent Six," while running over to one of the EVOs, his hand placed on it's chest as circle lines spread out.
"What are you doing kid, you know you can't cure animals." Bobo quipped guns ready, eyebrow raised.
"Maybe this time..." the EVO began to shrink, soon a confused dog was among them, it yipped and ran off.
Before he could celebrate the other EVOs recovered, slashing Rex with the same attack. He grunted, shifting his legs and leaping away just as some Providence soldiers arrived to lay down cover fire.
"We better get you to Holiday," Six comments dryly, raising a single brow as he looked at the gash on Rex's back.
"Stand back," Caren said as she moved behind Rex, extending her hand as a white glow enveloped him, the torn flesh knitting closed.
Bobo raised his own brow, "She heals too, niiiiice."
Rex smiled rushing toward the EVOs again, "Thanks!"
Bobo joined him, Six about to when he noticed Caren hang back, just watching Rex.
"Just need a moment to see how his technique works."
Six raised his brow again, as Rex built out his junk blaster. And fired off a few shots. He almost tilted his glasses down as he saw Caren do the EXACT SAME THING. "How did you?"
She charged forward, standing by Rex's side, he gave a similar response, "Is that my gun?"
She nodded and only said, "Blue Magic."
Rex smirked a moment, "Sweet, can you do THIS?" Building out his jet pack he launched into the air, then gaining some altitude switched to his arms, delivering a Ariel pile driver to the EVOs. After a few more tussles the Providence soldiers had the rest netted and ready for containment. Rex extended his hand as Six and Bobo flanked his back.
"Nice to meet another EVO who fights the good fight."
She shook the hand but raised her own brow, "What's a EVO?"
"I think we better let Holiday have a look at her." Six said in his normal demeanor.
Rex nodded, "Come with us to the Keep, Caren."
She paused looking around as Six lead them back toward a drop-ship, "Sure..." a hint of hesitation in her voice.
Six kept a eye on her as the boarded the drop ship, raising a brow as she flinched as the door closed.
"So you can copy the powers of other EVOs?" Six asked curiously.
She nodded, "I guess that's a good explanation of Blue Magic."
"That is so cool!" Rex beamed. "Is it temporary or do you keep the skills?"
"I keep them," she said simply.
"What else can you do?" Rex wondered, finding Caren quite interesting. Bobo nodded off, Six listened quietly.
"Oh I know some white magic, and a few other skills, my real gift is being able to purify the corruption in the DEVOlved Ones...er EVOs I guess you call them."
Rex's jaw hit the floor, "You mean like me?"
Caren paused a moment, looked lost in thought a moment, then nodded, "Yeah I guess so. Kinda surprised the gods would give someone else the gift though." She paused again to point to the amulet around her neck, "I need this to prevent the burn back, how do you avoid the counter contamination?"
Rex looked distant a moment, looking at Six, "It's uh...complicated."
Caren fiddled with one of her rings and the item on her wrist as she hung her head, "I've been there..."
Six looked as the items in question curiously, "More control methods?"
She nodded, "Between Ranyc's ring, Erica's training, meditation, the Sanity Armlet, Sanity Ring, and Sanity Amulet I have enough means to control my own degeneration. But it wasn't always so."
Rex whistles, "Where can I get some gear like that. It's gotta beat being drained at Project Purgatory."
"You go to hell to drain you corruption?" Caren said with surprise, her hand moving to remove the Amulet.
Rex was quick to stop her, "No just the middle of the desert, besides you need that more then me."
Caren caught her words in her throat, "A-are you sure?"
"Do you need all that equipment?" Six wondered aloud as the ship shook a moment and landed, the door opening as he put his hand to his ear, "Holiday we may have another Rex, we're coming to the lab."
"Another Rex?" Holiday said confused.
Bobo yawned, and meandered out of the ship, "I'm going to go get a bit, find me when your done with the science stuff Rex."
He nodded, following Six as he lead Caren out of the ship, "I'll explain when we get there Holiday."
Caren let out a awed gasped as she was lead through Providence, "This place is even more advanced then Ranyc's home."
Rex smirked as he leaned back some wit ha cocky stride, "Yup Providence is the most advanced compound in the world."
Caren looked to Six a moment and sighed, "I suppose I could live without one or two items, it's their combined effects that give me the ultimate stability."
"Care to elaborate?" Six wondered.
She nodded, pausing now and again to look with awe, "The Sanity Armlet prevents degeneration caused by just normal combat."
Rex's looked like he was hit in the stomach a moment, "You risk going EVO just from fighting them?"
Caren sighed and nodded, "Y-yes. Which is where the ring come in. The Sanity Right ensures even if I do degenerate my mind remains intact. Ranyc's gift can counter a small amount of corruption when I use it."
"Sounds like a dangerous game," Six said calmly as they entered the lab.
Caren nodded, "And that brings me to the Sanity Amulet which gradually reduces corruption over time, doubles recovery rates via magic, and halves corruption gained when curing like Rex. It's my most powerful one of the artifacts but without the armlet I still gain normal corruption so it's main effect mostly keeps me even, the Armlet lets me bottom it out. But if it would really help Rex."
Rex paused but before he could speak Holiday walked over, "Whose the girl."
"She can apparently cure EVOs, but needs all those items," he points to her jewelery, "To keep from going rogue."
Holiday rose a eyebrow, "Mind if I run a few tests?"
Caren shook her head, "Go ahead."
Holiday led her over to a medical bed as Six and Rex followed. As a technician helped with the post op check up of Rex Holiday ran her tests on Caren.
"You better have a good reason for bringing a civilian EVO into Providence Six." White Knight addressed him and Holiday from his monitor.
"That's just it Knight," Holiday said astonished, "She isn't a EVO."
Knight narrowed his eyes, "Six said she can cure EVOs, what I going on here."
"She can," Six said, he paused a moment, nodded at Holiday and she slipped a disc into the chamber for Knight to see.
"The data is all there, while her method is more...intimate," a bit of color filling Holiday's cheeks as Knight inserted the disc, "It's all there, 5 test cases, even one incurable, and well she cured them."
"She has to," Knights voice cracking.
"Kiss the subject, yes." Six said casually, "But the effects are the same as Rex's. Active nanites deactivate."
"Here's the thing," Holiday began, "She doesn't have a single nanite in her body."
"She is pure, like you." Six said with a smirk.
"No nanites but she has EVO powers? How is this possible?" White Knight demanded.
"We aren't sure Knight, she had a very strange bio-field and as you can see her hair and ears are clearly some kind of EVO effect but her blood work is clean."
"We have her sealed for the moment to prevent infection," Six says calmly, "But we can't do that indefinitely."
Knight's voice almost cracked, almost, as his hand hovered on the control panel, "Keep me appraised."
The signal died, and White Knight looked out around his own sealed chamber. "Another person. Free of EVOs, but with their powers...I...Is such a thing even possible?"
His gaze drew to the disc, his eyes transfixed as he began to scan the findings, 'She says she has fought EVOs before. But needs those artifact to prevent degenerating. But only people with nanites can degenerate, or have powers. But this girl...'
Rex stormed down the hall, a serious look on his face, as he approached the security door he reached out his hand, nanites spread the lock disengaged.
"R-Rex what are you doing here?" A Providence Grunt said surprised.
"Your not going to stop me." A quick build out of his Smackhand brushed the grunt aside as he stormed forward.
The grunt tapped his ear a moment, "Rex is headed for the sterilized wing. Someone stop him."
Rex paused a moment, as klaxons blared, he snorted, "Doesn't matter, you have no right to lock her up. I'll free her!"
A few moments later Agent Six stood before Rex, his sword crossed, "What are you doing Rex?"
"Step aside Six, Caren isn't some lab rat you can just lock up. She has a life, probably family, you have no right to lock her up just because she has powers like me."
"You don't understand Rex, we..."
A Smackhand slap shut up Six as he was brush aside, Rex approached the next door and unlocked it, entering the wing where several Providence guards lifted their guns, Six was again in front of Rex.
"REX! She isn't locked up because she is like you, she is locked up BECAUSE of you."
"Not buying it Six. I'll go through you if I have to."
Six drew a disc from his pocket, "Just stand down for second and listen to me, if you breach her containment you could kill us all."
"Bull shit!" Rex snapped, "We were just fighting with her, how the hell could she be a danger now!"
"Stand down and I'll show you."
Rex paused, as Providence Grunts gathered around him, guns primed, he sighed, "You have 5 minutes Six."
He nodded leading Rex to a computer terminal, a dozen guns still trained on him. Six input the disc and brought up a scan of a blood map full of blue nanites on the screen. "Recognize it Rex?"
"Is that my blood?"
Six nodded, the screen changing to blood work with yellow nanites, "And this is every other living thing on earth except for 2 people."
He brought up a nanite free blood map, "Can you guess who this is?"
"Why am I looking at White Knight's blood?"
Rex's jaw dropped, "B-But she has long pointed ears and EVO powers..."
Six nodded the Providence grunts relaxed, lowering their guns, "Exactly. We don't know how or why but Caren doesn't have a single nanite in her BUT she has all the powers, appearance AND drawbacks of a EVO. We were lucky she hasn't been infected yet but Rex..." Six paused to let his words sink in, "You know first hand how dangerous EVO powers are, now imagine someone with all those powers but no nanites, now imagine what would happen if she got infected. Imagine all those powers magnified a hundred fold in a mad EVO or WORSE."
Rex's resolve was cracking, "D-Define worse."
"I can't." Six's words made Rex's blood run cold.
Rex turned, moving slowly toward the containment room where Caren was blissfully unaware of the dealings outside, "But we can't just..."
Six placed his hand on Rex's shoulder, "We wont, we explained everything to Caren, she understand the risk and this is a stop gap measure. But until we figure this out we can't risk infecting her, the consequences are unimaginable."
Rex reached out his hand to the airlock, tracing his fingers over it's face, "C-Can I talk to her?"
Six nodded, "This way."
"H-How are they treating you Caren?" Rex's voice was more subdued then normal as he spoke into the display that he had grown accustomed to being the way he spoke to White Knight, but here it was Caren on the other end.
She smiled genuinely, "You Providence is being quite hospitable, despite the obvious problem I am in."
"How is that even possible?" Rex tripped over his words, "You being nanite free I mean."
Caren paused a moment, though remained cheerful, "I don't know. Doctor Holiday has given me some text on world history to study but everything is sooo different, I mentioned this to her but she thinks it's some sort of 'psychotic break,' she insists I can't possibly come from the life she describes."
"But you disagree," Six said calmly, "You have another theory?"
Caren nodded, "At one point I and my friends found ourselves in a strange shadow world, there was even a 'evil' version of myself in there. I showed up after a fight with Breach, the differences are just too vast. How can I have EVO powers but not be one?"
"A parallel Earth?" Six wondered.
She nodded, "You have a better idea? What do you think Rex?"
Rex paused a moment in thought, "I believe her...remember Breach's 'dollhouse'? Whose to say she can't open portals to other realities?"