A hour later... Novomoskovsky Administrative District, Moscow...
The sun slowly rose, half of it shining brightly over the horizon as the dark clouds overhead started to turn into a light grey. The snow still fell, despite the growing break in the clouds—exposing the dark blue sky ahead. The white stars slowly began to fade with the rising sun, as cold and bitter wind seemingly blew the stars away. With the broken window at the radio tower, the cold swept through as the now dark facility. However, this wasn't a concern of the armoured being stood inside the dark place.
It paced around, looking back outside the window as it found the remains of the helicopter that had disappeared off the grid only an hour before. The black monitors of the facility then flashed red, displaying the МИДА symbol.
«How could you allow this to happen?» The being growled, looking back towards the monitor. The screen flashed, as it suddenly faded to static for only a moment before it returned back to the red state.
Allow which to happen? The text read, Allow them to destroy our GZ-231 Attack Helicopter, or allow myself to be removed from this district temporarily?
Very simple, in the case of the GZ-231. It was simply operating outside it's parameters, it is after all an Anti-Armour vehicle, not an Anti-Infantry vehicle. The sensors couldn't properly align with our enemies smaller frames. As for the district, something blocked my reach and sensors for a time. Completely knocked me blind.
«Gagarin?» The being asked, as it walked to a desk with a skeleton propped up against it.
Would explain the expunged information. It would also explain all the RFBA tabs left around this place.
«But our infiltrators were definitely here?»
Yes, they were. And I have discovered one of two interesting things about our foes here.
The being turned towards the monitors instantly, stepping up towards them as it pressed it's fists against the command console. It narrowed it's eyes, as it spoke in a stern matter: «Which are what?»
First, the location of our mysterious City. They are allegedly servants there, warriors sent here for whichever reason. The screen flashed, as suddenly a set of longitude and latitude coordinates appeared on the monitor as the being quickly absorbed the information.
«And the second?» The being asked.
One of the monitors suddenly transformed into a still-image of an armoured being, standing in front of the monitor as the being drew it's attention to it. A red monitor then flashed, We have a traitor.
«A traitor?» The being inquired, looking back over the image of the Titan standing.
Indeed. Staff Officer Avgust Boris, a member of the Moscow Intelligence and Defence Administration two centuries ago. Stationed at a Cosmodrome in a unified Traveler's Defence Force, before being reported killed. Odd to see that he is alive, is it not?
The being stared at the screen, as it tapped the command console under it's hand. It looked away from the monitor, as it spoke slowly and cunningly: «Send me his markers. All information that you have about this traitor. Everything is important here.»
Of course. Anything else? The monitor winked. The being nodded it's head, before replying: «You said he was stationed at a Cosmodrome?»
Indeed. The Galaktika Cosmodrome. Along the Russian-Kazakstan border. Very interesting...
«What?» The being asked, as the monitor displayed information about the Cosmodrome: it's location, it's size, it's purpose and it's schematics.
It is a civilian Cosmodrome, operated under the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics. But it is hiding something more than just starships for exploration.
«Tell me, Muromets.»
It contains more than colony ships. It is also hiding one of our missing Warminds and an essential technology from our Golden Age.
The monitor displayed two logos, one of which belonged to the Warmind: Rasputin. The second belonged to the technology: SIVA. The being seemingly smiled when this information was revealed, as the monitor than winked once more: Thought they would have been hiding at a military installation. But apparently not.
«Very good. Prepare a transmission from every station you have under your control. Mark this City of ours, and the Galaktika Cosmodrome. We have an announcement to make.»
The monitor flashed, Of course, sir.
Unknown location... Deep underground, Moscow...
Avgust looked at his two fellow occupants in the tight elevator, as the blue lights overhead flickered. Teash kept herself as far away as possible within the tight space as Zareph leaned against a wall. The Titan looked back towards the door of the elevator, as the container shook. Avgust didn't even know why he agreed to enter the elevator, considering he knew nothing about whatever, or whoever told him to. But the lift was eerily quiet, as Avgust could almost feel the eyes of his two comrades focused completely on him.
Had they abandoned all trust they had in him? Avgust did after all refuse to reveal much about what he had said and heard from the two things he had discussed with. Perhaps they were thinking he didn't care to tell them about anything that was happening, and that he was somehow involved with the situation. But how could they? The things targeting them in the capital were also targeting him.
The elevator slowed down, as the railing and cables above could be heard screeching to a halt. Everyone inside the elevator shifted uncomfortably, as it finally reached a complete halt. The door lights flashed, as the sound of air escaping could be heard as the doors opened slowly. The entire room was dark, as Avgust quickly lifted his Thunderlord up.
Svarog appeared over his shoulder, providing a sharp light that cut through the darkness easily. As Avgust looked around, his Ghost adjusted it's angle to keep it's light pointed in the direction the Titan was looking in. It appeared to be a domed room, a bench lining the wall opposing a drop in the ground attached to another room. To Avgust, it seemed to be a platform for a railway.
Suddenly, blue lights snapped overhead as the darkness was expelled completely from the room. It was indeed a platform, as Avgust looked around to all the writings on the wall.
Метро, РФБА 7. Metro, RFBA 7.
Новомосковск Округ Восторгать. Novomoskovksy Okrug Entrance. '
"Is this a train station?" Zareph asked, looking around as he lowered his auto rifle and looked along the walls and strange symbols.
"Close, faster." Avgust replied, "A Metro. A Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics one."
"The Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics?" Teash asked, "Isn't that like the organisation that created the Cosmodrome?"
Avgust nodded his head, "They have their symbols attached everywhere there."
"So is this, POGA thing like the opposite of that MNAA one?" Zareph asked, trying his best to translated the symbols that were strange to him.
"RFBA and MIDA." Avgust corrected, "And I am not sure. Perhaps it is, considering the voice that I talked to just told us that it wasn't connected to either MIDA or Muromets. It's just strange."
"MIDA is the Moscow Intelligence and Defence Administration, correct?" Teash asked, "So what does a defence organisation manage to have something against a space agency?"
"That is what I am wondering..." Avgust responded, as Svarog looked towards a dark tunnel way. Two bright lights cut through the darkness as they grew in size and intensity. The sound of wheels beating against the railway was heard, as there was a sudden sound of screeching as the object became clearer and clearer as it slowed down.
It was a single blue cart, with an orange circle in the centre of the cart. The white letters of РФБА were painted in the centre of the orange circle. The voice was heard again, speaking in Russian: «Please step onto the cart. Muromets is sweeping the entire district, we cannot stay here too long or we risk being discovered.»
"Avgust?" Zareph asked, obviously looking for a translation for what the voice said.
"It is telling us to step onto the cart, because Muromets is looking for us." Avgust replied, as the cart doors shot open to allow the three Guardians entry onto the vehicle. Zareph shrugged, stepping onto the cart first before he turned back and looked at Avgust and Teash.
Avgust stepped onto the cart next, as Teash followed on after him. The second all the Guardians stepped onto the cart, the doors sealed completely as the cart began to roll back into the dark tunnel. Teash stepped away from Avgust and Zareph, taking a seat on the furthest place possible from the two.
"Any idea what Muromets is?" Zareph asked, "Can you at least ask it that?"
"Don't know if it is listening, but I can try." Avgust said, switching languages back into Russian: «Are you listening?»
«Yes, of course.» The voice replied, coming through the speakers inside the cart.
«Mind telling me what 'Muromets' exactly is, and why we are fleeing from it?» Avgust asked.
«Muromets is a programming much like me, designed to serve the Moscow Intelligence and Defence Administration. In many ways, it is the 'Big Brother' of the entire capital. Controls camera's all across the capital, defence systems... Muromets can control all of Moscow. Except I am not allowing it.» The voice said.
"So?" Zareph asked, as Avgust looked towards the Hunter.
"Muromets is a program that serves MIDA. Controls camera's, the defence systems all over the capital. Our 'friend' here however is not allowing it control over all of Moscow."
"And who is our 'friend?" Teash then asked.
«And what are you exactly?» Avgust asked for the Warlock.
«I am a program designed to serve the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics. I was once just a simple database for every operation the Bureau organised out into our Sol System. However, when the Darkness came I became more than just a simple database. They gave me the locations and codes to every military Cosmodrome, direct access to weapons. Gave me equal control over Moscow with Muromets, so that they could ensure I could protect myself.»
"It is a program similar to Muromets, but instead it was a database for the RFBA. It holds locations and codes to every military and civilian Cosmodrome in existence. Has almost equal control over Moscow like Muromets." Avgust translated into English.
Teash and Zareph remained silent, as the cart continued to accelerate through the Metro. But Avgust had his own questions, so he continued: «So in a way, you and Muromets are brothers? What happened between you?»
«Brothers would be an improper term.» The voice replied, «Muromets was skeptical about the powers the Kremlin gave me. It believed itself to be the defender of Moscow. When the Darkness came, it searched for the defender first. Muromets was glad to claim that responsibility, as it fought against the Darkness. I remained silent as Muromet's fought, as I continued my responsibility of keeping in contact with the Cosmodromes.
«Whatever happened, Muromets' facility was breached. It was corrupted by the Darkness, as it tried to use its powers to uproot me and steal the information of the Cosmodromes. I resisted, as was my responsibility. However Muromets overreached, and presented me the opportunity to disable it. So I did, and Muromets powered off. I quickly hid my information containing all the RFBA's operations and Cosmodromes on it, and terminated myself.»
«That was two centuries ago.» Avgust observed, «So how were you reactivated?»
«That is a question I have myself. Muromets was reactivated at the same time I was. Someone was responsible for our reactivation, but there is no information to who has done it... except the reactivation key.»
«Long Winter. A reactivation protocol that is used to raise Moscow into a constant state of combat readiness. But it couldn't have been legitimate, as I watched the capital fall. And with Muromets being breached, I couldn't trust it being allowed full combat capabilities.»
Avgust fell silent, looking at both Zareph and Teash as he took a minute to consider what this voice was telling him. The voice then continued: «But Muromets was too quick for me, seized many assets before I could stop it. However, I still limit its information and complete control over Moscow, including the more dangerous weapons.»
«Which are?» Avgust asked.
«Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, nuclear warheads, full bomber capabilities... and with Muromets intentions to ensure Moscow is the only place that remains standing on this world, especially with whichever thing activated us. And if it can find access to the weapons at our military Cosmodromes... I couldn't allow it to put your City in the firing line.»
«How do you know about the City?» Avgust asked, this time a bit more sharp.
«I didn't, but Muromets and it's master did. Through whatever means, I do not know. We just know it is there, and your entire population is there. And if they get ahold of these weapons and find the location of the City...»
«Then it will be the end of us.» Avgust concluded, as he turned back towards the two Guardians in the cart. He replaced his Russian with English, as he spoke directly to the two: "Teash, Zareph... we have a big problem."
"Even bigger than being trapped in Moscow with some mean killer robots?" Zareph asked, as Avgust nodded his head grimly.
"Muromets was breached by the Darkness, and since it's reactivation is has sought to find control of weapons that would allow it to destroy the City. Intercontinental missiles, nuclear warheads and bomber capabilities. Possibly more if it can find access of the Cosmodromes still out there."
"Great..." Teash said, folding her arms as she looked away from the rest of the group. "Just what we need to hear right after the Great Disaster."
Zareph just fell completely silent, as he sighed looked outside of the front window of the cart that allowed them to look further into the Metro. Avgust looked down at the floor, as the voice returned.
«Now that you know what is at risk, you understand why I need your help. I can reach only so far. But I have a plan to help, and if you listen to me... we might be able to fight back against Muromets and it's master. But first I need to bring you to me.»
«Where are we headed?» Avgust asked as Teash and Zareph looked back to the Titan.
«The headquarters of the Russian Federal Bureau of Aeronautics. Right within striking distance of the Kremlin. Along the border of the Western Administrative Okrug. Closest I can get to you without Muromets discovering our position.»
Avgust looked towards his two teammates, as he delivered the news: "According to our 'friend,' we are heading to the Western Administrative Okrug to give us striking capability of where Muromets is. If we can shut it down for good, than we can stop it from threatening the City."
"Well, I guess that is the only real course of action right now." Zareph replied, "Especially if we don't want to return home to a crater."
A blue light could be seen ahead of the cart, as the sudden squeaking of the brakes could be heard as the cart shook a bit and slowed down. Teash slowly stood up, looking between the two as she spoke: "Don't really have any choice, do we?"
"No, we don't." Avgust replied, as the hole became larger and larger as the blue light slowly replaced the darkness completely. The cart slowed completely, as it stopped right at the the platform. The Guardians filed at the door, waiting as the doors snapped open completely. Avgust stepped off first, looking around the facility as he rested the Thunderlord on his shoulder.
«We don't have much time.» The voice spoke.