Website Disclaimer: This document is intended for free distribution as long as it is completed and unchanged. It was written to be read by fans and to help promote the cartoon series: Cybersix. If you have a website you may display this work there. “Midnight Five” was created by Mark Charke. If you wish to use this character in a story, I would probably be more then happy, but please contact the author first. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
There's a time when the moon
Reveals it's face through the clouds,
I let out a sigh
And want to cry out loud,
But deep in my heart
I feel love so alive,
In the depths of my soul
I know we will survive.
I'm the one they would break
In their greed and their pride
But deep in my heart
I feel love so alive
In the depths of my soul
I know we will survive
It had been six months since the explosion. Time was told in Mercadia based on that event now. People referred to it as a base point for all their activities. They measured how much they had restored the city and their lives since they were so devastated. They repaved a street and renamed it memorial lane to commemorate the dead. They tried to move on, and ever day since "day one" was another day towards the normal lives they had once had.
Cybersix had only seen Jose once since the explosion, briefly, when he tried to set one of the surviving abominations after her. She knew he was managing Von Richter’s operation now. Although she had hunted down a number of Fixed Ideas and Techno's, there were still plenty of them. That meant Jose was making new ones and supplying them with sustenance.
It was discouraging in a sweet and sour kind of way. She would not die for lack of sustenance but her crusade to end Von Richter's work was not finished. It made her feel tired. She had thought it was over. She considered that, perhaps, this situation was better. Jose acted much like a child. He was impulsive and more predictable then his creator. Perhaps he too knew a way to cure her of the need for sustenance. She had to hope.
Cybersix continued her nightly rounds, always on the lookout for new creations. She never saw any. Only a large number of Fixed Ideas or Techno's presented her with any kind of serious threat. When Data 7 was with her, which was often, the number was doubled. When she was with Midnight Five, the only survivor of the second cyber series, there probably wasn't enough of Von Richter’s creations in the whole of the city to pose a serious threat. Unfortunately Midnight Five was very solitary. He got along best with Data 7
This evening was dark with little moonlight and plenty of clouds. Cybersix went looking for Jose. She guessed that he was probably constructing a lab of some sort. That would explain his absence in the city. He was busy. She opened the shutters on her apartment and let the wind speak to her. Her hunt began.
She and Data 7 raced across the town. It was a large city but there were only so many places that would make a good laboratory. Several abandoned buildings that had not been torn down or occupied were her first choices. Jose had a taste for large and posh. She considered more protected locations, underground or well hidden. It would take days to inspect them all.
Hours later two black silhouettes dropped from the rooftops above and landed on the overgrown grassy lawn of a large mansion. There had been some vandalism. One side had spray paint on it. Some of the windows had been broken and boarded over. The plants were untended. Somehow it had Jose written all over it.
So many times she had gone into such buildings suspecting a trap and still falling right into it. She proceeded around to the rear of the building. She looked into different windows, watching for light and listening for sounds within. It was silent and dark. Finally she leaped up and through the boards covering a second story window.
It was a noisy entry as wood broke. She rolled across the floor and came up on her feet. The room looked unused. Furniture, that which was still here, was covered in dusty white sheets. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling. Data 7 followed in after her and soon let out a sneeze.
She carefully opened the door and looked around. The hallway was empty. The dust on the floor was thick and there were no footprints. Data 7 shook his head. He could smell nothing. They went from room to room. They checked each floor and even snuck down into the basement with a candle taken from a wall bracket. The building was empty.
Cybersix sighed and threw herself into a covered chair. Dust billowed up around her.
"Where is he?"
Data 7 pawed the ground leaving five long claw marks in the wood.
"Yes Data 7. Midnight Five would make the search twice as fast. I just don't want to ask him. He seems so occupied. I know he's looking for something. If I ask for his help, he won’t say no. I think he should find whatever it is he is looking for. Perhaps," Cybersix said with a sly smiled, "my brother is looking for a companion."
Data 7 let out a low roar.
"No, I don't think Von Rictor made any other cats. I don't think Midnight Five is going to find a Data 8." Cybersix hugged the large cat and laughed.
The two left the building and took to the rooftops again. Each house was the same, a long and cautious search with no results. By early morning they were both a little tired and sat on a roof. A larger, masculine shape approached.
Midnight Five landed with the grace of a bulldozer. He often forgot his strength, and weight, and would collapse weak rooftops. The roof creaked when he landed but held. He winced, as he landed, embarrassed by his carelessness
"How goes your search." He asked Cybersix.
"My search?" Cybersix replied, surprised.
"Yes, I saw you looking at empty houses earlier."
"I wasn't sure I wanted to involve you. You seem to be busy." Cybersix shrugged.
"I don't know what I am looking for. I might as well help you. Perhaps I'll find what I am looking for, or some clue."
"No more hunting tonight. I have class in the morning."
"Tomorrow I will be working on one of those buildings you were looking through. Perhaps I could ask about other buildings I might be working on in the future." Midnight Five offered. He had been working in construction since he and Cybersix developed his alter ego Mike. Cybersix nodded. "That's a good idea."
"What are you looking for?" Midnight Five asked.
"Oh right, sorry. I'm looking for Jose. When we first me he was the little short fellow sitting on the shoulders of the Fixed Idea." Midnight Five nodded. Dawn broke the horizon.
"You look tired." Lucas said before stuffing a bagel into his mouth.
"It's Jose. I haven't seen him for a long time and I'm worried." Adrian said.
"Maybe he left, went to look for Von Richter's lab." Lucas shrugged.
"I don't think so. He risked everything to save this town, his town." Adrian shook his head.
They sat in the little cafe. A news report spoke about a series of break-ins into abandoned buildings. The report noted that nothing was stolen but windows were broken. Lucas watched the article.
"That could be him."
Adrian chuckled with a smile. He raised one eyebrow. "It wasn't him."
"Hmm?" Lucas muffled through a full mouth. "Oh."
They laughed. Adrian got up and patted Lucas on the shoulder. "I'll see you later. Take care."
Lucas jumped up and dropped some cash on the table. He grabbed a bagel and ran after Adrian.
"Hey, I haven't seen much of you lately. What's up?" Lucas asked "It's nothing Lucas." Adrian said. Lucas mouthed the works, predicting them. "It's Midnight Five, isn't it?" Lucas said flatly. "No, definitely not. He keeps to himself mostly." Adrian replied quickly and firmly. "Well, you could use some sleep." Lucas said. "That or get some sunglasses to hide the rings under your eyes. Whatever it is, you won't be able to deal with it if you are exhausted." Adrian nodded, yawning at the thought of sleep.
Midnight Five opened his eyes. It was dark but he could see everything in his room. His senses were all extremely sharp. It was a sparse room. He had few things. The walls were bare. He owned some books and kept them on a small shelf. Unlike Cybersix he had slept well. He got up and dressed in black. The hunt continued.
The steel muscles in his legs pulled tight and he launched from his window. His first moments of freedom he always enjoyed the most. He landed carefully. It would not do to leave a trail of destruction back to his apartment. He began the search immediately. He and Cybersix had made a list of locations and which of them would search them.
He moved across the city choosing to search the most likely sites first. His first target was an old dark building that once served as a hospital. It would have many facilities, already installed, that a lab would require. It had an elevator and sublevels but had been abandoned when a large hospital was built nearby.
The large man landed near the building silently. Immediately he suspected he had found the lair. There was activity within the building. He could hear someone moving around and there was a dim light in the window. Suddenly a Fixed Idea came out of the building. Midnight Five moved so fast the dull creature did not see him. Midnight Five watched from a nearby tree.
He watched for hours. He counted the different Fixed Ideas and noted the equipment that arrived early in the morning by truck. He saw Jose. The kid-like clone struck a chord in Midnight Five; recognition. This was what he was looking for. He was surprised but accepted the condition quickly. Midnight Five stepped out of the tree and walked over.
"What?" Jose said startled when the man in black appeared out of the shadows. "Get him! He must be here with Cybersix."
On some level Midnight Five recognized that the Fixed Ideas where preventing him from reaching what he had been trying to find for so long. Midnight Five attacked the Fixed Ideas as they came at him. His first punch finished one off. The Fixed Ideas were too well programmed to disobey Jose and listen to the fear they shouldn't have been able to feel but did.
Midnight Five was not Cybersix. He hit harder, faster and more often. More importantly, he finished them off, each and every one of them. While it is true they were tyring to finish him he showed less mercy then Cybersix or Data 7 would have. He did not truly consider these programmed machines more then that. Also the dark man was driven by something he could not explain.
Jose looked terrified. The toothy smile he usually wore was long gone. Midnight Five stepped through the mess he had made, towards Jose. The clone skittered backwards tripping over his own feet. He had never truly been afraid of Cybersix. He had, in fact, often been more afraid of Von Richter's more sinister creations then either Cybersix or Data 7. He was now more afraid then he had ever been before. He was afraid of Midnight Five and the calm look he wore.
The abominations had killed because they had been programmed to. Jose could understand that, especially when he controlled them absolutely. Cybersix and Data 7 generally did not kill unless they absolutely had to. Before him was a very intelligent creature, fully aware of what it was doing and with free will and choice, who was also one of the deadliest creations Von Richter had ever made. It had chose to destroy the Fixed Ideas. It probably could have defeated them otherwise.
"Uh..." Jose couldn’t think of anything to say. He backed up into the rear of one of the supply trucks. His eyes were riveted on Midnight Five as he slowly advanced.
A tall thin humanoid exited the hospital. Jose saw it and became noticeably relieved. The smile returned to his face.
"My cyber will finish you!"
Jose’s "Cyber" attacked Midnight Five. In a fraction of a second there was a glow and the cyber was deduced to smoke and clothing. Jose almost fainted. He was a little too eager and too proud of his simple creation. Midnight Five stepped into the truck and looked hard at the clone.
"Von Richter is dead. You are the closest thing there ever will be to Von Richter. It is to you I give my loyalty. I am your willing servant,if you will have me." Midnight Five dipped his head in submission.
It took Jose a minute to realize he wasn't going to end up like one of the many deactivated Fixed Ideas which smoked up the lawn nearby. Then he smiled. Jose knew about the midnight series. Von Richter's notes and files were accessible to him now. They should have all died by now, their programmed life span having passed. The notes said that any voluntarily loyal Midnight would be allowed to live beyond that. It did not say how Von Richter had planned to alter them so that they would live. Perhaps loyalty alone would keep them alive? He would run some tests.
"Excellent. First, clean this mess up. No, I have more important things for you to do. If you left any Fixed Ideas alive, they will clean it. Come with me!"
It was almost just a test to see if Midnight Five would really listen. He did. Jose was overjoyed as the last midnight followed him into the old hospital. Jose first ran a few tests. This midnight used a radically different form of sustenance that did not need to be replenished nearly as often. It could operate in the field longer. It was incredibly strong. It’s reflexes were amazing.
By morning Jose was still busy with tests, oblivious to all else.
"I must go to work soon."
"Work? You work for me!"
"If I do not go to work I will be missed."
Jose frowned, thinking about this. Midnight Five had mentioned, during the examination, that he had an alter ego. This was cybersix's idea, no doubt, the clone decided. He did not want Cybersix looking for the missing Midnight but, at the same time, he wondered how much he could trust this creature. If he told it to tell Cybersix that it had not found him, that the hospital was empty, would it really obey?
Jose was playing with fire and he knew it. If this thing rebelled, there wouldn't be anything he could do later. Right now, if he wanted to, he could probably find a means of destroying it during the testing. This might be his only chance to do so. Jose liked fire too much. This midnight, he figured, could take eliminate Cybersix once and for all time. The risks, he figured, were well worth it. Without Cybersix, Mercadia would soon be his and then the sky would be the limit. With Midnight Five beside him, he would fear no more rogue experiments.
Midnight Five agreed to say nothing. He went home, and tired, he went to work. He did not see Cybersix. His purpose revealed, he did not know what he would say to her. He truly felt that he should be loyal to his creator. He wondered how Cybersix felt in that regard. She had referred to Von Richter as her father, more then once. Midnight Five figured he felt the same, no stronger, loyalty. The trouble was that Von Richter was his father, Cybersix was his sister, and deserved the same loyalty. He had a lot to think about on the job the next day.
What would he do? Certainly Jose would call upon him to defeat Cybersix, but he couldn't do it, could he? Even Data 7, who's history he had learned by now, was something of a brother. When work ended he was still tearing himself apart with these thoughts, not noticing that he was not holding back his real strength very much. People watched the thoughtless strong man in awe. They respected the way he ignored their obvious praise and envy of his abilities in their looks.
They knew. They had to know by now. "Mike", they figured, was one of those strange monsters, gone good. It's too bad they didn't know, he'd just gone bad.
For two weeks Cybersix would go one way and Midnight Five would go the other. She wasn't sure what was going on but she knew something was wrong. She went hunting for Midnight Five and could not find him. She moved across the rooftops, tracing his favorite routes. It was little wonder he eluded her, she realized. He was faster and could disappear into the shadows just as quickly. He had a weakness though and she could contact him through it.
"Mike." Adrian said the next afternoon.
Mike was just leaving his latest worksite. He was dirty and looked odd standing beside the clean and neat school teacher. He said nothing, at first They walked together. They walked along an empty street. Birds flew by.
"He will ask me to destroy you." Mike stated flatly.
"What? What are you talking about? Oh, no." Adrian looked horrified. He paused thinking, figuring it out. "I don't understand. Why?"
"Don't you see what he is? He is driven. Look at what he can create. Everything I respect in you is because of him. He should rule." Mike tried to explain holding his hands up.
"He killed thousands! Thousands!" Adrian practically shrieked.
"They meant nothing to him because he is driven. He must be allowed to succeed. Then the destruction will stop. He can't help what he is, can you? I can do more good serving him, allowing him to succeed at his project, then I can by fighting him. Who cares who rules? With his science, he could make the world a paradise." Mike said calmly.
"He'll make it a nightmare!" Adrian shouted. "He's insane. You can't think this will produce something good!"
"It produced you." Mike countered.
“He considered me his worst failure!” Adrian snapped back.
"I must serve him. Jose must become Von Richter. I must find a way to make it happen."
Adrian shook his head. "But you care."
"I care." He stated, nodding his head.
"Then don't do this. He's dead. Let it all die with him."
"When Von Richter achieves his destiny he will bring humanity to a new level of greatness. He is evil. I know that but I believe in what will become of it. I have to. It's all I have."
The two stopped on a deserted area of the road. They looked at each other and stopped talking for a moment. The wind whistled dry leaves past them. Somewhere, something broke. A tear rolled down Cybersix's cheek.
"I will stop you." She said.
"I know." Midnight Five wiped the tear off her cheek. "Good bye sister."
"Good bye brother."
There was fluid motion in opposite directions. And then the street was empty, except of wind and leaves and dust.
As the rain falls on the mountains
On my soul just salty tears
I whisper you name
Until we're together
Our love will conquer fear