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#151 Edited by Warrior_Angel (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@feral_nova:

No Caption Provided

(OOC: *Gasps in shock* How can you say that?! Karah is sweet and innocent! She would never hurt Ashley. Really. >.> )

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#152 Posted by Ashley_Knightfall (912 posts) - - Show Bio

@warrior_angel:

Ashley gave an approving nod to Ms. Hawke. "Of course it's ok for you to stay with Karah. I'll be sure to find you a room that can best accommodate the two of you."

"Can I have a hug, pleashe?"

The physician gave a smile and knelt down, going down to the child's eye level as she sat in her wheelchair and gave her a big but gentle hug. She made a silent promise to watch out for this child. She wasn't going to allow the Knightfall name take the life of another child, not if she could help it. "Now," she pulled away, looking up at Karah with a smile. "how about we get you to your room so you and your mommy can rest, ok? You both had a big day today and it's important that the two of you relax."

"Now, let's take you to your room." The nurse that wheeled out Karah, walked back to grasp the handles of the wheelchair, carefully pushing the young Knightfall as Doctor Knightfall began to lead, pulling her tablet out for a moment before she began scrolling through it, looking for that room that she promised to the two of them. Reaching the elevators, she swiped her badge upon the pad, the elevator gave a 'ding' before opening.

Allowing the nurse to first wheel in Karah and for Nora to step through first, Ashley would then follow in, pressing the 8th level button. "So Karah, I just opened this hospital a couple of weeks ago." She began to share with her young cousin. "I made it especially for children, to make sure that all of you get the best care in the world." Her head was tilted downward to speak to her. "And the best part? It's free! Which means moms and dads don't have to worry about nasty bills." The doors opened as she stepped out first before the others walked out as she lead the way again. “Now, you have to promise me that you’re going to rest. It’s really important because your body needs to heal.” She stopped walking as she reached a door. Pulling it open revealed an almost hotel like suite of a room.

The hospital bed was larger than normal hospital beds, with recliners sitting next to the bed with a rather large flat screen TV hanging on the wall before the bed. Telemonitors were also next to the bed, flat screens as well and out of the way of the patient and family. There was a private bathroom with a shower and a closet that was large enough to walk into. Then, connected to the room was a living room like area. Coffee table with couches, another TV hanging on the wall and on the counter sat a coffee maker, microwave, mini fridge with goodies, they had it all.

“I hope this room is sufficient. I want you to make yourselves comfortable, and if there’s anything else you need, don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll start up the antibiotics as soon as I write in the order and the nurse will get the stickers on you so we can be sure to monitor you and make sure nothing’s wrong.” Her eyes then shifted over to Nora. “Any questions for me before I go to check on my other patient’s?”

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#154 Posted by Warrior_Angel (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@ashley_knightfall:

As Ashley hugs Karah, she hugs her in return and Nora thinks, Awww, so cute!

Karah nods when Ashley recommends for them to be taken to her room and Nora follows the Doctor even as Karah pushed in her wheelchair, who thinks it's kinda fun to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Kids and their adventurous spirit.

The whole hospital is for free?! This amazes both of them and Nora wonders how the hospital is funded if no one pays for services. Donations, probably. But most likely funded by the Government who must see value in a free children's hospital. And when Ashley recommends that Karah get some rest, the little girl glances first at Nora then to Ashley before she nods her cute head, "I promish."

As they go into the room, Nora is very pleased with it. It's bigger than any hospital room she has ever been in and it has everything a normal hospital room doesn't have. It's more like a bed room than anything else. As Ashley addresses Nora, the former CEO of Hawke Industries thinks of something, "Just one. I know all this is free, and that is absolutely amazing, but can I make a donation, please? That is, if that's alright to do?"

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#155 Posted by Wesely_Weston (1 posts) - - Show Bio

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"I do wish you and Ada would settle your differences, maybe then you could see just how brilliant that woman is."

The 5'11 Polish-born dignitary eyed Valor City from his hotel room flanked by various members of the esteemed Order of Malta.

First was Jameela Sircar, His horseman of false flags, following Ada's Reign of Terror; Sircar slithered through the rubble of Grimm City, and gave the order a foothold into what was now Valor City.

Next was Royce Dallas, she was a distant cousin of the Weston family, but served Weston as his horseman of War Mongering. After a country or city was split between two opposing factions with ideologies implanted Royce would enter and offer weapons and money to both sides; once the conflict was finished she'd extort the eventual winner so that they'd forever be pawns of the Order.

To her left was Devin Weston his nephew; Devin didn't have much pull within the Order, but his only job was to carry out assassinations. Other than receiving orders Devin had no real pull save for being the heir of the Weston Family Empire.

All present save for the Horseman of population control, Ada Guillaume, The Order sat around as Weston prepared to address them. Rarely did anyone get an audience with the head of the Order, but here he was plain as day in the middle of Valor City.

"I've brought you all here to tell you, you've all done a fantastic job. But in order to achieve perfection on a larger scale, we must insert the order into the everyday lives of men."

"Mr. Weston, If I may." Jameela started, however, her interjection was halted by the raising of his hand followed by the pursing of his fingers as if to tell her to shut up.

Devin knew Weston to be a fairly approachable guy, but he also knew he did not like sharing the floor with anyone else.

The 5'11 Leader of the Order's index finger shift downward, and like an obedient servant, the prideful Jameela dropped to her knees with her head down. He didn't have to say anything, his eyes and body language told the story of his fury.

No Caption Provided

"Jameela, please don't interrupt me again, or I'll be forced to open up that Black Brief Case over there" He pointed.

"Stay there. Now, we're going to start our first corporation here in Valor City. Royce ran the numbers, and with Brian Newcastle set up in the city; we can offer Valor City things he can't."

Wesely took a step back allowing for Royce to take the floor, when not actively on assignment Royce doubled as Weston's financial consultant.

"We have enough resources with our partners in Europe and the Middle East to produce a wide variety of goods from Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Foods, Machinery and eventually...Biological Weapons."

Royce finished pointing to a few slides.

"Whoa, that took a turn, yeah." Devin spat turning back toward his uncle.

"What we're about to do, will change the landscape of the Order forever."

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#156 Posted by Ashley_Knightfall (912 posts) - - Show Bio

@warrior_angel:

The Knightfall Saint gave a soft nod of her head at Nora’s question. “If you feel to give a donation, you’re more than welcome to, but it's’ not necessary. I just want you both to relax and focus on resting, and healing up so you both can go home in the morning. I don’t want to keep you here in the hospital more than you need to.”

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#157 Edited by Justine_Love (4 posts) - - Show Bio

It's been difficult. The adjustment. For Justine, the adjustment didn't have anything to do with getting dressed or relearning how to write with her left hand. No, the real adjustment had everything to do with the way people stare. The way their preconceived notions about her character entered their minds before she could even say hello. It didn't help much that she's one of the few hundred officers under the employment of Dominus International. Lord have mercy, Justine thought to herself as she leaned over the counter of the bar and waved for the bartender's attention. He once again ignored her, smitten by whatever video vixen had stepped through the back entrance. "Just my luck," she murmured to herself. "Another person gets to drink before I do."

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#159 Edited by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@iron-warden said:

@maya_summers: @americanvalor_:

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Muscled arms folded his chest, metal fingers still crackling with hum of electrical power, Aron's eyes swept to the the Savior of Valor City and his left brow arched as he caught the man's words, "Your father?", he paused, blue eyes closing shut for the few seconds his head shook. "No, lavalieres aren't anything your father created. They're much older than your old man", he said, unfolding his arms, his gaze holding the man's with less hostility than before. "I know about them because it's my job to know. The lavalieres are cosmic artifacts. Your father probably came across one at some point. You're right about one thing. They really do have too much power for any one person. At least any one human. Can't trust us with shit, let alone power", he grinned, thinking it mad for anyone to wield the power held in the hearts of the lavalieres.

"Look", he began, stepping forward, his thick neck rolling, "I was never hear to hurt your city. When I said I didn't give a shit about it, it's because I don't. To attack it would mean otherwise. I was just here for my ax because a... I don't know what he is but monster is the best for him. Because a monster's acquired the soul lavaliere. My ax was only here because he sent it here. I didn't plan on telling any of you anything because why would I?", he asked, his eyes sweeping to the woman before pulling back to the man who claimed ownership of the city. "Turns out that was really stupid of me because apparently you two know about the lavalieres. There's someone, something masquerading as a human. Goes by the name Ezra Strix. He has the soul lavaliere. Retrieving it from him is what I wanna do. And then to find a place to leave it where it'll never be found again".

"My father was a terrible man, but if Ezra Strix is anything remotely close. I don't think we should be fighting each other. We should be fighting him." Brian was still very much new to the world of powers beyond humanity. Maybe it's why he reacted so blindly whenever he was opposed by a force greater than himself. People like Ada Guillaume and now the Iron Warden were breathing examples of beings he could never be. They were also walking reminders of how easily he could cease to be. Yet, he never seemed to run away or emote the desire to do so.

"I'd do anything to keep that kind of power, the kind of power that could hurt my city, from the wrong hands." Instead, he rushed into the unknown like a child full of wonder. Here he was standing before an otherworldly being with an ax that could cut him in half. A man speaking of lavaliers he once heard his mother murmur in the midst of nightly anxiety attacks. And despite it all, he brashly stepped forward and spoke with a heart full of certainty. "So, how can I help?" With his hair disheveled and sweat running down his forehead, Brian waited for an opportunity to prove himself the true hero of Valor City. He refused to leave this predicament without his status unquestioned. He needed this. He needed something he could use to convince his community that he could be a force of good and not the devil in disguise his father once was.

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#160 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio

@justine_love: I wanna play with that but I'm already backed up on a Closure interaction and if that one resumes I don't wanna weigh myself down.

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#161 Posted by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: YELLING let me live. i'm literally catching up today and tomorrow adklfalkdjfa

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#162 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio

@americanvalor_: Believe it or not, that wasn't even me trying to throw shade! So really, it's your own perceived guilt that condemns you to Hell.

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#163 Edited by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso said:

@americanvalor_ said:
No Caption Provided

"I didn't think you'd actually come." It'd been quite some time since he reached out to @rosso the crimson. He wasn't so keen on frequenting the market. So, Brian opted to communicate with her through a personally encrypted commlink. A commlink she didn't use until last night. And although his assistant Sabrina Zerqz wasn't fond of the scheduling conflict, the Newcastle legacy happily took the opportunity to avoid another board meeting. As a matter of fact, he greeted Rosso firsthand rather than ordering his staff to do so.

"If I'm being honest, I wasn't sure you'd give me a second chance." There were thousands of dollars unaccounted for post-Ada, but that didn't bother him. In fact, Brian was more concerned with his associate's perception of his actions from that night. It's why he was so determined to reconnect with Rosso. Maybe part of him feared the thought of his name landing on the Market or maybe he just enjoyed the thought of having more allies on his side. With the rise of Valor City, he knew there would come a time where his life would become endangered once again. It was an inevitability he needed to be ready for. One he hoped Rosso would help him with.

"And now that you're here. I hope you know I'll have to ask that you leave your belongings behind." He was very relaxed for someone standing so close to certain death. Valentina might have been new to the game, the same as him, but Brian never underestimated anyone who made a living like she did. Brian half-expected Rosso to have a gun attached to her belt, knives in the soles of her shoes and just about anything a mercenary might need to protect herself from harm. Maybe Brian presumed too harshly and maybe he'd been watching one too many Bond movies, but the Dominus International CEO was cautious about the company he kept.

"Once you're cleared, I'd like you to follow me to my office. Maybe catch me up with what you've been up to before we talk business?" He tilted his head with a slight smile and shrugged his shoulders, unashamed by his request. As he waited for her decision, Brian stood behind a metal detector Rosso would have to walk through before entering the main floor of First A.I.D. Labs. It was still under construction and much of the security system was shut down on the lower levels while security cameras operated by the Grid were running on backup generators. However, the metal detectors still worked for the most part and Brian refused to have his company carrying heat while under his roof. If she managed to get past the metal detectors, Brian alongside one of his L.A.W. enforcers would walk with Rosso to a secluded office space where the two could talk over drinks and breakfast if she liked.

Valentina stood still just on the other side of the metal detector, regarding the Newcastle Legacy with a devilish smirk. He was only being smart. But he was obvious, and by the formal yet unsubtle manner in which he conducted himself she perceived nervousness in his precautions. Not just preparedness; genuine anxiety. It made her feel powerful. Predatory. She was a lion staring at a child from the other side of a cage without bars. A "trained" lion, but one dangerous nonetheless.

She bore him no ill will but the anxiety - if it even was that - was enticing in a way comparable only to the doctor's innocence. "Slow down pretty boy. Your 'second chance' guarantees nothing but a chance to talk. As many screw-ups as I encountered that night, courtesy of you and yours, from where I stand? We're well beyond two. But if your money's good..." She gave an exaggerated shrug and stepped through

𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝘽𝙚𝙚𝙥!

"Oh! That's right." Making no sudden movements lest she be assailed on the spot, Valentina brought her hands together and removed a silver and gold bracelet from each wrist. "You'll have to forgive me. From my mother when she passed, and her mother before. I basically never take them off so it's easy to forget they're not a part of me. I take them off to enter, but...How soon can I have them back? I hate to be without them and, no offence to your security team, I'm not really in the habit of trusting others with your valuables."

"My second chance, eh? That's funny." Brian let out a nervous laugh as he tugged at his collar. He wasn't keen on showing vulnerability around anyone other than the trinity of telepaths he often surrounded himself with, but Valentina worried him. Her unpredictability left him uneasy and yet here he was, placing himself in the eye of the storm. He understood the risk of assassination or worst...exploitation by bringing her into his home, but it didn't stop him from doing so.

"You can keep it on. I wouldn't want to disrespect family." He eyed the bracelet with a hint of curiosity. For all intents and purposes, the bracelet could be a device of some sort. Maybe a bug to infiltrate his security system? And although Brian liked to assume the worst, the thought of Valentina having a memento of her family seemed to ease his mind since her arrival. As a matter of fact, his shoulders loosened up as he opened his arms and waved for her to follow him along.

"Family's a big thing for me," Even without his mother or stepfather, Brian still believed that family was the foundation for someone's character. "I like to think my mother would be proud of me. Despite the struggles, y'know? How about you? How do you think your mother would feel...seeing you here?" Maybe it was the anxiety fueling this frenzied burst of extroversion or maybe it was genuine interest. Regardless, Brian hoped to avoid the mess that was their initial contractual agreement by creating small talk. His hopes included starting anew as they approached his office. Maybe if she understood who he was, she'd be more open to working together again.

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#164 Posted by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso said:

@americanvalor_: Believe it or not, that wasn't even me trying to throw shade! So really, it's your own perceived guilt that condemns you to Hell.

you're right. posted though! after editing three trillion times lol

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#165 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio
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#166 Posted by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: i'm rooting for them lol

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#167 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio
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#168 Posted by Juliet_Song (17 posts) - - Show Bio

It's been difficult. The adjustment. For Justine, the adjustment didn't have anything to do with getting dressed or relearning how to write with her left hand. No, the real adjustment had everything to do with the way people stare. The way their preconceived notions about her character entered their minds before she could even say hello. It didn't help much that she's one of the few hundred officers under the employment of Dominus International. Lord have mercy, Justine thought to herself as she leaned over the counter of the bar and waved for the bartender's attention. He once again ignored her, smitten by whatever video vixen had stepped through the back entrance. "Just my luck," she murmured to herself. "Another person gets to drink before I do."

Ever since the destruction of Grimm City, Juliet had slipped into a vendetta of sort. Her family was killed during the 'war'. Her father, mother, brother and sister in-law and her ten year old niece, all gone in one night. She's been spending her nights here on and off since then. She was never a big drinker, in fact, she usually only drank club soda when she was here, but this spot was perfect to listen to the latest crime news. Shady people always seen walking through here, talking about drug deals, weapons exchange, fluctuation of power... a lot of things. The city may have been 'reborn' but the roaches still lingered. So she sat at the bar, every night with club soda in hand as she listened to every conversation, but it was slow night tonight and all she could hear, was the annoyance of the woman a couple of stools away from her.

Her head was kept down as she wore a white hoodie. "If you're not a blonde hair blue eyed bimbo, he tends to forget you're here." Her brown eyes looked over at fellow woman before turning her attention to the inattentive bartender. "Hey, @sshole, she's talking to you." She yelled out as the bartender's head snapped over at her. Juliet motioned to the woman sitting not far from her. "How about you pay attention to your paying customers."

A huff was heard from him as he walked over to Justine, finally asking her what she wanted to drink.

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#169 Edited by Justine_Love (4 posts) - - Show Bio

As of right now, Justine didn't feel so ostracized. Maybe it wasn't her identity or the gleaming metallic wrist peeking out from her sweater. Instead, it was the ignorance of a man whose idea of getting a woman's attention meant standing still and staring like a dog waiting for his walk. "What would you like, lady? I'm sorry I didn't notice all of you." He was immature, rolling his eyes as he talked to Justine. It was a recipe for disaster waiting to happen, she thought to herself.

"I'm not used to serving chicks with hardware." Justine envisioned using one of the glass bottles at his station as a weapon to knock him over the head with. He was a young man, mid to late twenties with a GED and under 200 followers on social media. His current job afforded him the company of big ballers, shot callers and women looking for their next come up. He was looking for the same kind of opportunities that could help him join the crowd, but he was doing it all wrong.

Justine understood that when this sort of behavior was called out, it could elicit a blistering rage. And she could tell his frustration was at an all-time high tonight. "Listen, kid. I don't want any trouble." Justine placed her badge on the counter and eyed the bartender up and down, sizing him up in case he wanted to get reckless. Although she wasn't in the mood to throw down with some woman's son, Officer Love wouldn't let this misguided youth pour his rage onto undeserving pedestrians. So, she attempted to diffuse the situation by showing her affiliation with the law.

"I've had such a long ass day and I just want my vodka tonic on the rocks. Can you do that for me, kid? And while you're at it, can you get whatever she wants too." Justine turned her head to @juliet_song and nodded as a sign of solidarity. With his flaring temper subsided, Justine could finally enjoy her one night off from work. It wasn't often she got to enjoy bars like this. The smell of hardwood floors stained with liquor. The commotion of laughs and jokes over pool tables. It was an ode to the Grimm City of old. It was a historical artifact that was hidden in Valor's south side borough, away from the gentrified metropolis the world had come to know in recent weeks. As she sat with her drink in hand, Justine believed herself comfortably situated. Little did she know, the bartender signaled the men at the pool table to approach the counter and personally greet Officer Love about her badge and the hardware she walked inside with.

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#171 Edited by Juliet_Song (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@justine_love:

The comment of ‘hardware’ drew the attention from Juliet yet again, her eyes narrowed at the bartender as she continued to listen in to the conversation. It was when she flashed her badge on the counter when the young woman snickered, taking a sip of her club soda.

“And while you're at it, can you get whatever she wants too."

“Just a club soda for me, thanks.” she raised her glass towards the officer as a thanks.

But ever aware of her surroundings, it was in that moment that she noted the bartender to make a motion to individuals. She could hear the whispers behind them. “Lets take care of this”she could make out through their drunken slurs. “I hope that arm isn’t just for decoration.” Juliet spoke up as the men approached the Officer on both sides of her, each with a pool cue in hand with their heads held high as if they were the muscle of the bar.

“You need to leave.” One of the guys stood behind the officer, his arms crossed along his chest, it was obvious he was the ‘leader’ of this petty crew. “Before you lose your other arm.”

No Caption Provided

Juliet scoffed as she drank the last bit of her club soda. “I think you boys need to go, before you get yourselves in over your head.” She spun around in her stool to face to the men.

“What did you say?” Their heads whipped over to the smaller Asian girl.

She held the glass in her hands. She wasn’t looking for a fight, not here anyways, but if push came to shove, she was ready to kick a little @ss tonight.

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#172 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio

@americanvalor_:

"My mother was a high-class prostitute so I guess she'd feel like I've moved up in the world," she thought, but didn't say. In fact she said nothing for a few long, uncomfortable moments as they walked.

Irrational though it was, Brian's talk of family stirred a not insignificant well of ire within the Scarlet Assassin. Family was not big for her; her mother died when she was too young to form any solid memories and her father...well, Sorabella was a scumbag. The man responsible for who she'd become. Valentina wondered briefly if he'd be proud. If that was even possible for him. In every way she'd acted as he would, or otherwise as he taught her sheshould, as a girl becoming a woman would. Utterly...his product, from start to finish.

Tch! Not a chance, she thought, scoffing harshly through her teeth. But a good con as herself knew how to play a gut reaction into the ruse. Rosso smirked, playing the earlier hiccup as a playful reaction.

Placing the bracelets back on her wrists and following closely behind Brian, she mused, "She would say I am Madripoor's greatest export. And she would warn mefor the millionth timeabout boys like you. What is your game, Mister Newcastle?"

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#173 Edited by IronPhantom (482 posts) - - Show Bio

The overloaded garbage truck shambled along, pieces of light refuse and debris scattering as it moved jerkily across the Honor Valley Bridge. A passing glance at his watch revealed to a discontent John Deluca that it was indeed 6:42, and that he would certainly miss little Lina's piano recital. Again.

John sighed, withdrawing a pack of cigarettes that he kept stashed in the large gash in the beat-up truck's inner door. He always told Lina he would quit, and when she looked up at him with those big, worry-laden eyes he meant it, but then his asshole boss would call him in at 5am and tell him his shift was cancelled, or that Marcello would be taking over all his shifts for the week. He'd call during lunch on his day off and ask why he wasn't at the office, or, apparently, he'd send a text 5pm on an important day he requested off and tell him it was his turn to take the overflow from Gothic over to Valor city's "waste processing facility", which meant that the crap in the junkyard was starting to pile up too high and old Corcovado didn't want to fire up the incinerator and have to deal with the mooks who hated the smell. But John didn't blame his boss for that one. Not only were the tree huggers a real pain in the ass, but the bloody sinuses didn't exactly incentivize the process.

Finally the stop and go traffic began to flow again. Slow, but steady. It was progress, at least. That was what Gothic was missing. Progress. It seemed that every time the city started piecing itself back together some whackadoo with a flamethrower would come out of the woodwork and blow a bridge or level a skyscraper. At least Valor had their shit together. The mayor seemed a decent sort, and the police actually did their jobs, or at the very least they weren't bought off for the price of a new DVD player. Maybe he could move out here with little Lina. Find a job with Valor Waste and Recycling. Then he wouldn't have to deal with that prick Corcovado or that shift stealer Marcello, and he could give his daughter the bonding time they needed. She would only be young once, and if she ended up hating him like he hated his deadbeat, absentee, scumbag father he'd probably die of a broken heart.

Finally, he got to the waste processing plant. Luckily for him, it was one of the nearest exits, right on the outskirts of the city. He idled at the processing facility (apparently there was something about Corcovado not filling out the right paperwork or otherwise screwing him over again, but it was so late in the day they'd wave him through anyhow) and checked his voicemails, surprised to see he had so many. Apparently the recital had been pushed back from 7:30 to 8:00 due to a power failure (non- emergency, thank God). Also in his voice-mail were six or seven angry calls, all good ol' Corky Corcovado, berating him for "hijacking" a garbage truck.

Old man must be going senile... maybe I really oughta work out here.

And as John Deluca pulled away, completed application in hand and optimistic about his chances (as he should have been, the system marked his application as a priority hire), his truck unburdened and several inches higher of the ground, he found that luck was on his side after all. He didn't hit a single light, the automated toll booth cleared him by mistake, and old bootlick Marcello was already at the recital waiting to take back the truck. Apparently old man Corky shot him a text he also didn't remember sending. 7:55 exactly. That was when he arrived at the recital, and from there it was a great night.

Just as the AI had intended. It shut down the program on the cheap smartphone it had acquired and restored traffic functions to their appropriate governmental entities and closed out the personnel management software. Pondering on how odd it was that the state government still took a percentage of the tolls for the bridge, considering its abandonment of the two cities otherwise. As for Albert Corcovado, the AI reported the short, churlish, imp of a man to Gothic City Waste Management's central offices, along with the voice recordings it had taken of the abusive shift manager's threats, as well as his willing use of shift hours as a means of punishing or coercing others. As it crawled from the pile of scrap iron and miscellaneous waste content with the state of darkness surrounding the waste processing facility, the Machine drew its cloak over its broken and battered body, the dull matte black obscuring it from further from security guards who seemed utterly uninterested in performing their duties. The AI supposed that the saying "one man's trash is another man' treasure" might have been inaccurate, as there were many men present, but none regarded the waste as worthy of even the most token defense.

The AI hobbled along, power low but not critically so, past the guards and out into the city proper. It had to make its way to the First A.I.D. labs and manufacturing facilities. Ever since its failed venture to clear up Gothic City, the Iron Phantom had been mostly inactive, and the damage it had taken in the initial assault, and in the time sans maintenance afterward, had left it a broken shell of what it once was. Independent Robotics if Nerosia, the corporate entity that had given it its initial life and that it had been covertly siphoning parts and supplies from, had dissolved a year earlier. It was finally alone, with no lifeline, and so it had only one choice: to steal the pieces necessary to fit itself together again. Its outer chassis was easy enough to patch, but the inferior metals made for a poor shield against the hardware common to law enforcement the Valor, making battle something to be avoided. With luck, the night would be uneventful, but the AI did not believe in luck. It believed in odds and analysis, and after downloading the blueprints from Valor City's municipality building department, as well as a detailed review of several months worth of security footage from nearby establishments with cameras that captured the labs in the background (as an attempt at accessing the facility's cameras directly would be too risky to even attempt), the AI concluded that the likelihood of success was still a marginal 544:1.

Still, risks had to be taken. It could not remain incomplete forever, and there were those in Gothic that required the assistance an entity such as itself.

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#174 Posted by IronPhantom (482 posts) - - Show Bio

(PS: Who would I speak to about knocking over First AID labs?)

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#175 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio
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#176 Edited by IronPhantom (482 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rosso: Thanks!

@americanvalor_: @closure: Hi, there! I don't want to attack the labs per se, but I was wondering what the defenses are like at First AID labs? Would you want to RP anything or should I just go through on my own?

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#177 Posted by Justine_Love (4 posts) - - Show Bio

@ironphantom: so sorry for not getting to you. I've been messy handling my real world stuff lol I'll be getting to your post this weekend if you're still down.

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#178 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio

I forgot that was Closure.

What he really means is "Nova told me to get my sh*t together and I'm scared of her." ;-P

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#179 Posted by Feral Nova (57495 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: LOL ME? Scary?! That’s all you!

Moderator
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#180 Posted by IronPhantom (482 posts) - - Show Bio

@justine_love: Sure! I'd love to try and steal from you!

I'd just like to iron out a few details about my character's return before I commit to an event (if you don't mind) with a friend before continuing. It'd help me get a better grasp of when this would take place in my personal timeline, which may also effect how this character acts. So, in short, I may have jumped the gun trying to RP with you right away, so if you could give me a little time to reorient myself, I'd really appreciate it.

Of course, if you'd like to start now, I could do that and then just build my canon back up around it. I don't mind that either, so just let me know!

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#181 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio
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#182 Posted by Rosso (4289 posts) - - Show Bio

@feral_nova: Maybe that's why he always runs away from me.

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#183 Posted by AmericanValor_ (110 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso said:

I forgot that was Closure.

What he really means is "Nova told me to get my sh*t together and I'm scared of her." ;-P

she did. i'm not running from you. i've just been caught up in my world. i got love for you zaub <3

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#184 Posted by Iron-Warden (20 posts) - - Show Bio

@americanvalor_:

"I don't think we should be fighting each other"

"Don't worry about it", Aron shrugged, meeting eyes with Brian, "Besides", he laughed, "I got hot too, it happens. But if we don't get that lavaliere away from Ezra Strix", the Man of Steel paused, brow scowling and his face growing grim, "You'll have to worry about more than just your city. As for how you can help, it looks like your words have a lot of weight in this city. Influence means you can get us the resources needed to find us the people we will need to stop - preferably kill - Ezra". Sighing, Aron's eyes swept through all those around him; Brian, law enforcement, everyone. "And it looks like one of them isn't here. If she were, she'd have been out here with all of you, she'd probably have taken you all out and I'd have had to deal with her instead to get my ax back", he taunted.

"I know enough about Ezra to know you can't kill him... it... conventionally. But there's someone, a hero, known for dealing with threats no one else can. Charlemagne, Ivana, she even ran Satar out of your country and saved Gothic City as much as anyone will ever save that city", he paused, strong arms crossed in front of his chest. "All she's missing is the Brahma Bull from her record. If anyone can help us find a way to stop Ezra Strix, it's Abigail Aensland. But no one seems to know where she is".

"And we need to find her".

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#185 Posted by CaptainNova (27 posts) - - Show Bio

Not to worry, CAPTAIN NOVA IS HERE! *Hands on hips, smiling*

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#186 Posted by Jameela_Sircar (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Buisness District

No Caption Provided

Ada's successful assault on Grimm City added extra stress to the remaining members of the Order; more so that the actual members begin working together on projects.

Jameela's eyes rolled at the thought of a new drug; she'd seen so many over the years; each one replacing the one before it. To say she was obsessed with how to bring down Ada was an understatement, so much so that she hadn't paid attention to the drug in a rotation for inspection around the room.

"Ms. Sircar?" The sound of her name snapped her from the revenge-filled daydream.

"What's in it?" She asked, inspecting the clear bag full of what seemed like Red Crystals.

No Caption Provided

"As previously stated, Acetone, Lithium, Thirium, Toluene and Hydrochloric Acid. It seems to be very addictive to the user; the drug can cause rage and irrational thinking as well as physically taking a toll on a user's health. The thirium has a profoundly destabilizing effect on hormone production."

Jameela' eyes observed the crystals, even though the thought of another drug epidemic was enticing, it lacked creativity, it also lacked a solid scapegoat.

"And what's demographic, I hope you don't intend on releasing this in the low-income areas again; because that's so 1970's."

"I'm glad you asked, the immediate distribution of Red Sand will be to college students, once the effective test of the results come back will target the middle and lower-income families. Using another medium to force them to it."

Jameela's eyes dart toward the Pharmaceutical rep with apparent questions. "Another medium?" She questioned until a woman that faintly resembled Ziccarra Liafador strolled in.

That's where I come in
That's where I come in

The Return of H.I.V.E TBC

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#187 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@catalina_liafador@the_matriarch Not sure who I'm dealing with so I just tagged two.

No Caption Provided

God, this place is a shithole.

Nastya gazed down over the reconstructing city from a private chopper. Considering the attack, the damages and aftermath, anyone putting up in Gothic's unofficial sister city was making an at least moderately risky gamble on the future. Buy in when cost is low, hope everything goes well and you can turn a profit with the repairs. Not bad, actually.

Considering where her head was at, she hoped this would hold true for those with whom she would be meeting.

She wore her own face and body. Considering the apparent history between Knightfalls and Liafadors it seemed prudent to meet as "a representative of Avalon's corporate interests," or even a privately interested individual, rather than "Valencia Knightfall" herself. Although, she would admit, her knowledge as a whole was limited.

She touched down on the helipad at roughly a quarter to one and was escorted to the black Maybach S600 that would transport her to her destination. Roughly thirty minutes later she arrived just in time for what'd hopefully be a productive meeting. Even on a busy day in a packed establishment, Anastasia's had a habit of standing out due to her size. She had little doubt someone would be along shortly to help her find her way.

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#188 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch:

H.I.V.E
H.I.V.E

The emergence of "Utility Androids" set the tone for a complete demographics change on Earth. They were designed to do strenuous task humans couldn't do, they also didn't require payment or sustenance making them even more useful than mutants and other Meta-human elements.

ZL2210's LED light begin to spin, she was given strict orders to tend to any V.I.P's that might've been scheduled to arrive today. Flanked by several security androids, the artificial hostess moved to greet the Avalon Representative at the front door.

As the automatic doors of H.I.V.E. Valor HQ slid open, the security androids took point to secure the air. The Hostess closed the distance between herself and the Avalon envoy stop just a few feet in front.

No Caption Provided

"Greetings, H.I.V.E. would like to apologize for the security measures, sadly there have been humans protesting our presence. My given name is Christina, I will escort you to the conference room. If you have any questions feel free to ask."

The LED light on the side of Christina's forehead begin to spin, silently communicating with the security Androids for them to follow the group back into the building.

"Our CEO is in the manufacturing facilities located behind our tower. I will see you there at once" Christina gestured motioning for the woman to enter an elevator that came on Christina's commands.

"If I may, I was wondering if I could get your stance on the emergence of Androids in today's society?" Christina asked showing zero emotion.

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#189 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: "I understand." Nastya gave a genteel smile to the automaton. It felt natural. She assumed someone was watching and listening behind Christina's eyes and ears, but still. Mechanical figures were her only constant companions for months following her creation and her only "friend" was an artificial intelligence programmed to both raise, test, and if necessary, subdue her. For now, just Christina would do.

"I know you didn't ask, but Christina I think you'd have to have seen the protests coming. Or...HIVE would, you get it. It just makes sense. But I promise, that's not a concern from me. I was raised around technology so it's all very 'normal' to me. Aside from that...well, there's a lot I could say to account for the nuance - you could write a book about it, but it's just...the natural course of things. In my opinion," she added faux-humbly, flashing another smile.

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#190 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch: She processed Nastya's response, evident by the spinning LED light on the side of her head; but she was right. Human's reacted appropriately, their marginal claim to the planet was smaller now; and they were still trying to figure out a way to adapt. The orb stopped inside the production facility, Christina exit first, before walking promptly to the production floor where H.I.V.E. CEO sat watching the production of child android models.

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"Ma'dam Zedora, I've arrived with the representative from Avalon" Zedora's eyes moved from the computer at her desk to Nastya's before rising to greet her. As an android herself, she knew the moment Nastya arrived when Christina laid eyes on her--this facility did run on her A.I.

"Welcome, I knew eventually our work would draw the interest of the larger corporations but I never envisioned Avalon. My name is Zedora, I'm the CEO of H.I.V.E. What brings you?"

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#191 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: "Ana Solon," she said, extending her hand. "Or Anastasia, if 'Ana' feels too personal for where we are now." Her eyes roamed over Zedora and her office with what she hoped would appear purely innocent curiosity. Although, with each breath she sought any information through her heightened olfactory sense to determine, among other things, any information that might indicate she was in any danger. Composite materials commonly used in the construction of firearms, blades, explosives, or toxins. By then it was beyond even second nature; she couldn't help it even if she wanted.

"Several things, actually. Most of them revolving around your androids. I read about them in the Times and, after consulting with our CEO, we figured it'd be worth a visit to ask some questions, andhopefully talk finances." She sat in the opposite chair which felt oddly undersized – too much time spent with Valencia, not comfortable in my own skin – and after some shuffling, managed a reasonable comfort. "I'm not a reporter so you don't have to answer anything if you think it's unreasonable, but Valencia likes to know what she's getting into. So...may I?"

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#192 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch: @cutthroatbitch:

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Zedora nodded to which Christina pushed a button opening the blinds to the production line behind her. Machinery moved around the frame constructing what appeared to be a ZL2230 model, the "free" look at the constructing of the Androids was the CEO's way of answering one of the many public doubts about H.I.V.E.

There weren't children inside each robot working the controls, these weren't mind controlled humans forced into servitude; they were fresh off the assembly line additions to homes.

"Of course ask away-oh before we begin can Christina get you anything?" The Android moved in between Zedora and Ana with her hands pressed together.

"I am programmed to make over 2,000 beverages including alcoholic beverages." Ana's skepticism was noted by the machine Matron so she sought to lessen Ana's skepticism by offering refreshments. "Ana, I first want to answer the public outcry that H.I.V.E is out to replace humans, we're not. As you can see"

She started motioning to the production floor. "H.I.V.E will always have a place for human innovation, our goal is to improve the quality of life that humans live. The average human lives to be about 75 years old, our Androids are built to live for about 80 years without repair...that's barring any sort of structural damage. Imagine being able to get paid while you're on vacation and not having to worry about work, because you sent your android into work for you. That's the future we want at H.I.V.E. now then, what are your questions"

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#193 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: Without missing a beat Nastya threw up a finger. "Maker's Old Fashioned, thank you for asking. Uh-do I...? Nevermind." She made a note to herself. First order of business when I'm out, create a paper trail and identification for Anastasia. Until then...She smirked at the thought of a CEO--and her android--serving liquor to what was technically a five-year-old. But what were laws in a private meeting such as their own?

80 years, huh? A drop in the bucket, as far as her own life would be concerned. Even if she couldn't yet feel it, for how short she'd been around so far. "This is of course not accounting for how quickly technological progression seems to run. Within a year, or two, or five, who knows? I could imagine some things that might help them run longer. I guess, depending on how exactly they run. Couldn't say without knowing the process from the beginning."

Her gaze moved back and forth between the assembly and the finished product called "Christina," as off-putting as she was fascinating. Maybe most unsettling of all was the lack of the unsettling, "uncanny valley" feeling. Must've taken years to perfect. Between her and the works in progress, they seemed worlds apart. Anastasia reached halfway across to the android. "Can I...touch her? I'm curious what material comprises the epidermal layer. Not only that but...I guess how it all comes together. I understand you have companion androids, as well as...uh-ehrm, 'companion' androids," she said, turning a bit red in the face. "Maybe not that important for a bouncer-bot or a cop-droid, but for the others. There has to be some kind of close replica to human skin, hair and the rest, no?"

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#194 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch:

"Very well" Christina replied before marching off to fetch Ana's drink. As she moved from their view the LED light within her head begin to spin yellow processing the best way to serve Ana's whiskey.

"80 years is just the base number, a recommended time frame for which one should begin to get their android repaired. We believe that in about 80 years, you'll start to see the reduction in the Android's quality. Trouble shifting back and forth to it's base form, possibly trouble with it's bio-components a shortage in the synthetic liquid. Those type of things. Of course we don't have an android that's been around for nearly that long. Christina here was the first and she's only around 29 years of operating age."

Shortly Christina returned with Ana's drink, she was unsure if she wanted it on the rocks; so she brought a pale of ice as well.

"You may touch me Ana, I will not bite you. Unless of course you want me to." Christina replied trying to joke but her lack of expression made her appear dead serious.

"As I stated before, That Christina was the first. I haven't saw fit to play around with her personality settings, but I'm almost sure that was her attempt at a joke." Zedora explained actually a bit embarrassed.

"My hair and skin are the result of synthetic fluids, I can activate and deactivate them given the command or whenever I want. Each model comes with a guide full of settings that the human can modify, making us appear to be more human or more robot."

Zedora stood up from her chair with her eyes peering toward the production floor a new child model was being put into rotation a move she was sure would cause controversy. "Can you imagine what our child Android will do for parents who cannot conceive? I imagine in a few years we'll be able to make this android children grow. Tell me, what would be your ideal Android?"

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#195 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: If the oldest is 29, everything else is just a projection...Worth revisiting. Still, 29 years was a long time for a fully functioning android, especially one so lifelike. Assuming the number represents a start, with periodic updates? Hmm...Nastya catalogued the information and filed her other questions away for later. She had all the time in the world to sate her myriad curiosities.

No sooner had the glass been placed than she swiped it from the desk, threw her head back and swallowed. Shooting Christina a confused glance before Zedora cleared the air regarding her humor, she forced a laugh, more awkward than she'd intended, while turning to her mini-inspection. "My ideal android..." Anastasia mused aloud, pressing on Christina's forearms, elbows, biceps, her mind wandering to the A.I. that'd raised her. "Cristo, how much detail d'you want? My ideal android...Versatile. Precise like a machine but with the cognitive flexibility of a human being. I guess if I'd be around it a lot I'd like it to be good-looking as well, but most of all these functions - processing power and physical ability to do - would enable it to serve as a training partner. Why, you got something special up your sleeve or is that just another marketing survey? Hey can we keep those drinks coming? Except I'll take my bourbon straight from now on," she added almost absent-mindedly, releasing Christina. Still focused on Zedora's answer.

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#196 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch: Zedora nodded to Christina to fulfill Ana's wishes. "Watch this" Zedora said directing Ana's attention to Christina's amber LED light. Not a second later, a second ZL2210 entered the room delivering Ana's drink.

"Christina acts with my authority within the facility, I give her a task; and her processor allows her to communicate that exact task to subordinate units. Unlike Christina, they have no cascading authority. They must do what she say, because it as if it came from me. We're currently drafting up ideas for fully personalized Androids, the customer will get to choose everything they want on their unit fresh off the production line. Does Avalon have a need for a specific type of Android?"

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#197 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: Nastya perked up, eyes wide as the second android entered the room. That was a function with extreme utility. In some ways, it was exactly what she'd come for. Although it seemed, thus far, to serve a harmless purpose. So then, a bit of feeling out. Maybe some convincing. But first a connection.

"A company like Avalon could use any number of 'specific types.' I understand you have a model marketed specifically toward investigative matters. Does that one also come with the...that function Christina just displayed? And could they make a zombie out of a...resistant system?"

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#198 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch:

"Ah yes, the ZL2240. It's one of our more special models." She then nodded to Christina and the android's LED light once again. Shortly afterward the model in question entered the room standing adjacent to Christina.

No Caption Provided

"ZL2240 is one of our special androids in that it is a model that carries the ability to utilize gifts. Something like the mutants. It comes with various modes like detective, bodyguard...even soldier."

She explained handing Ana a folder with the specifics for the model. "Off the record. The governments like to order them with the ability to exterminate if need be--discreetly. If another Android is going against a command given, they will be shut down.

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#199 Posted by CutthroatBitch (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_matriarch: "If another android is going against a command?" Nastya echoed, losing her calm veneer of composure in her excitement. Her eyes flared, blue-green irises almost seeming to shimmer with her expression. In the moment that idea was at least just as interesting as the android itself.

Recomposing herself with a breath, she turned innocuously back to Zedora. "There's quite a bit I'd like to know about this model in particular, but I'd like to start with that, if you don't mind. Have you had issues with that - insubordination - in the past?"

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#200 Posted by The_Matriarch (631 posts) - - Show Bio

@cutthroatbitch: Zedora noted Ana's apparent elation at the thought of deviancy, but she thought it best to explain the phenomenon without hinting H.I.V.E. involvement. "It's something we're researching. But we have had cases of units deviating from their programmed intent." Her, she was the first H.I.V.E android to go against her masters--but Zedora's case was convoluted altogether.

"We deduced that emotional shock, physical damage and conflicting orders seem to be the three common themes that surround deviancy. There is also some people that actively try to hack units, and that's problem itself. One hacked unit can--nevermind. It's something we're working. This particular model is being designed to hunt hacked units" Zedora explained feeling as if she'd given away too much information.

"One hacked unit can be dangerous. So we deal with them the moment we get wind of it"