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Hidden Safe House, Italian Alps, Italy
Aliki opened her eyes to see a tiled ceiling above her. Groaning she shifted slightly and felt a surge of pain run through her body. Turning her head she saw a bundle of wires feeding into a machine, the display showing ECG output, as well as a great number of other medical data fields.
"What? Where am I?" She asked as she removed the wires from her arm, an alarm sounding from the machine. Sliding to the edge of the bed she got to her feet only to feel shooting pain running through her legs. Looking down she saw that from the knees down her legs were encased in cybernetic bracers, thick clunky bands of metal that kept her legs rigid. "What happened to my legs?"
Her answer was nothing but silence prompting her to shuffle to the door, a massive key-pad protected metal shutter with an amber flashing light above it. Reaching out Aliki stroked the keypad before noticing a space concealed behind a bundle of electrical wires. "I could fit through there." She mused before trying to climb up the side of the wall, only for her legs to buckle, sending her crashing to the floor. "Why can't I climb the wall? These bracers, I have to get them off." She cried out in the hope somebody would hear her. Reaching down Aliki touched the left bracer only to feel an electrical shock run up her arm.
"Try the door." A mechanical voice stated over the PA system.
"Who are you?" Aliki asked as she pushed on the door.” Where are you?"
"One is for you to locate." The voice announced. "The other is for you to calculate." It added as Aliki punched the keypad in frustration, the device shattering from the blow causing the door to slide open. "What? How did I do that?"
"You'll learn in time. For now turn left and head to the room marked with a biohazard sticker." The voice ordered as Aliki limped down the corridor, her legs aching with each step. "While you're walking I will tell you about recent events. You were brought to this facility after an accident."
"Accident?" Aliki gasped as she turned the corner and looked out the window to see a cave thermo-blasted out of the ice. "Where is Margot?!"
"Carry on to the objective," The computerised voice buzzed, "and find out for yourself." It stated as Aliki continued walking. "When my men found you it appeared as if you had been hit by a car. We were lucky to secure you for transport." Half listening Aliki reached the door and watched as the air-lock hissed open. "Step inside." The voice ordered.
"But the contents are potentially dangerous." Aliki stammered as she stepped inside the room, a cool blue UV light illuminating the room. "What's inside?"
"You'll find out." The voice told her. "I calculate that the files on the desk will be of most help." It stated as Aliki slumped down on a chair and pulled the files towards her. Flicking through a selection of names she didn't recognise Aliki stopped as she came to one that made her blood freeze. "Margot?! What did you do to her?!"
"See for yourself." The computerised voice announced, the slight hint of mockery creeping into the tone of her guides voice. Turning towards the morgue drawers at the back of the room Aliki walked over, took a deep breath and rolled the one labelled with Margot’s name open. Unzipping the body bag she saw a desecrated face staring back at her, which despite the extensive damage afflicted to it, Aliki recognised as being that of her sister.
"Margot!? What happened to you?" She asked as she noticed the extensive damage to Margot's body.
"Your enhanced abilities." The voice stated. "After proper recovery your strength, speed and agility will be double what it was."
"What does that have to do with Margot?" Aliki cried as the automatic lock sealed her in the morgue as thick plumes of green gas seeped out of the floor.
"Where did you think your enhanced abilities and attributes came from?" The voice hissed. "Now I've calculated your response and know that you want to kill me." It stated as Aliki pocketed a scalpel from the desk and looked around the room for a plausible escape route. "To that I say come and find me." Aliki didn't respond as she zeroed in on the ventilation system in the corner of the room. Ripping the cover off she squeezed inside and pulled herself into the corridor outside the lab.
"You calculated right!" Aliki snarled as she looked up at the security camera above her and smiled. "Now where do I find you?"
"Follow the trunk wiring to the security room." The voice told her. "I'll be waiting for you inside."
Limping along the corridor Aliki followed the thick black wiring to the reinforced door that led into the security room. Taking a deep breath she entered the room and instantly regretted it as the occupant struck her with the butt of a shotgun, the blow staggering her. Off balance Aliki lashed out, slashing her assailant across the cheek. Collapsing to the floor, her attacker, a bespectacled man wearing a polo shirt, chinos and tennis shoes exploded into a shower of photons.
"What in the..." Aliki asked only to be interrupted as the computer screens all around the room turned on to reveal the 'dead' man's face.
"I calculated that you'd defeat my hard light holographic-decoy." The man stated. "Just as I calculate..." Before he could finish Aliki smashed her fist into the nearest monitor, terminating the image. "...that you would do that. Now stop destroying my property or I'll have to bill you."
"Bill me? You cannibalised my sister to turn me into a freak!" Aliki screamed. "You abducted me, forced me into a nightmare and you're worried about property damage?! Who the hell do you think you are?!?!"
"In professional circles I'm called the Calculator." The man stated. "You and I have much to discuss. Starting with the debt you owe me for your very expensive restoration."