Beast in the Machine

Noise. Voices. Muffled, yet legible. Also… unfamiliar. “Wake him up.” Machinery. The vibrations thrum slowly through the frame that _they_ welded onto me. Information hurls itself into my mind. My body goes stiff. I clench my teeth as my processor activates, sifting through the data. **Sensory systems online. ** **Weapon systems online. ** **Detachment cycle: Processing… complete.** My restraints hiss open, dropping me to the floor. I struggle to rise, the steel limbs that have been grafted to my body clumsy and foreign. My light shade flickers in the darkness. Slowly, an image appears. A thick wall of reinforced glass separates me from a lab. **Warning. Containment pod breached. Lockin— Lock— Command Overridden. Activating release.** The glass rises. Air rushes in. My sensors immediately get to work. Crisp sounds reach my ears, enhanced by high quality audio augments. Recycled air slips across my scent sensors. There’s more. Metals, oil, electricity. Flesh. The voices again. Two floors above. “We shouldn’t have done this.” “Save your regret for later. We need to leave.” Their footsteps retreat down a hallway, the sound indicative of lightweight armour. Weapons-grade elastomer. The information fires into my brain before being swiftly snapped up by my processor. I try to think. _PAIN._ My mind feels as though it’s been sliced up, separated into compartments and soldered back together. I scream, my vocal unit translating. The roar echoes off the walls. My ‘vision’ heightens, the picture on my light shade sharpening as my echo-locater warms to its task. **Administering enmity stimulant.** Something stabs into my back. My pain disappears, replaced by a fury more potent than anything I’ve ever experienced. Everything feels red. **Enmity stimulant administered. Weapon systems activated. ** I lash out. At the machinery, the walls, the floor. _They_ did this to me. _They_ are why I’m like this. Who are _they_? Does it matter? _They_ must pay. _They_ must suffer. Suddenly I’m sprinting out of the lab, plasma-lined claws gouging the steel floor beneath me. Klaxon sirens blare around me. Up ahead, to the right. Faint traces of ozone and the high-pitched hum of tiny magnetic drives. The suppression drones are scrap before they turn the corner. I crash against the walls in my haste, leaving ragged gashes in the thick steel. Noise… voices. Hundreds of them. Close. I inhale deeply. Moisture. Meat. An exit. I sprint down more corridors. A blast door hangs open, sabotaged. I sniff. Defenceless. I start forwards, then pause, sniffing again. A polymer-titanium blend. Bipedal defence drones. A growl ripples across my vocal unit. I charge, hurling myself into the drones as they turn the corner. I swing, clawing, biting, mauling, ripping, _shredding, KILLING_. Body plating buckles. Servos shatter like glass. Streaks of plasma dance around me, planting ugly black marks in the ground. The few that hit their target splash against my shields, flaring briefly before dissipating. Then it’s over. I lunge through the gaping doors, skidding onto the streets. My fury persists. Programming urges me forward. The hunt begins. _Thanks for reading my take on how PROJECT Warwick may have been freed from the lab where he was experimented on. Feel free to leave feedback!_

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