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4U City Blue
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4U City Blue reveals the fate of Zoë and deals with Riff's continued efforts to liberate 4U City.

SynopsisEdit

The story begins with Riff watching a show called "4U City Cops" on opto-vision, which is about two police officers arresting an individual marked as being too sad. Izzy (DoR) tells Riff that alt-Torg needs him and asks if he is ready to apologize for what he said to her earlier. He just avoids her and goes to see alt-Torg. He needs help with a quick patrol and wants Riff to be his wingman. When they arrive they find a girl singing a sad song in the rain. Alt-Torg promptly shoots her with his dart gun and dumps her down a judgment chute without a moment's hesitation. Riff is shocked by his behavior, as it is different from his Torg's. Alt-Torg angrily tells him that they couldn't blow their cover to save one person and that his Riff would have understood that. Riff replies that his Torg would never have done such a thing. In the middle of their argument Izzy comes in and tells Riff that his trying to force entry into the robotics facility while in one of the squad's REA-5s has been tracked and a team from internal affairs was on its way there right now to judge them. Alt-Torg, thinking quickly, DFAs out a neighboring squad and has them take their place. Riff is again stunned at alt-Torg's cutthroat attitude and goes to his new room. Alt-torg comes in and reminds Riff that were it not for his actions he would be dead and the others would be judged. He then says that Riff has no right to judge him so harshly as he wasn't the Torg he knew. He then asks what happened to Riff's Zoë. Riff replies that his Mark 19, what alt-Torg knew as an REA-1, overheated and caught fire. Zoë was in the path of the flames and was burned alive. He tells alt-Torg that she died out in the rain in his arms, burned to death. Unexpectedly alt-Torg becomes jubilant upon hearing this and runs out of the room to tell Izzy. Riff gets up, wrench in hand, and says "you'd better run". Izzy stops him in the hall and says that alt-Torg was only acting that way because a Zoë has been found in the city and he thinks it is theirs. Izzy however believes she is the one from Riff's dimension. She shows him security tickets, which are orders and bits of data that can be accessed from certain computer terminals. She says that several months ago two were triggered simultaneously. One was a standing kill order for a person with certain DNA, that was Riff. The second one involved rushing a person into custody as soon as possible, she believes this person is Zoë. Riff asks if she knows where she is or how she is. Izzy shows him that those answers can only be found on one terminal in the upper levels of the Central Tower. When Izzy looks around Riff has vanished. Alt-Torg and Six Pack find her in a drug-induced haze mumbling about how Riff was going to blast his way into the central tower. Alt-Torg administers an emergency double dose of cleansing cocktail to Izzy and tells Six-Pack to suit up and find Riff. Izzy wakes up, and comments that having that much cleansing cocktail isn't good for her. Alt-Torg tells her that Riff is at the central tower and that he is being held up by a security bot. He also shows her a note saying that Riff will call for help from her when he needs it. The REA-5 opens fire on the security bot with akimbo guns, which he reconfigured to fire armor-piercing bullets. The suit manages to take out the security bot, but a lockdown is triggered and the doors to the tower slam down on one of the guns, breaking it. Finding himself surrounded by REA-5s, Riff announces his intentions to revolt against the city over all radio channels, and then proclaims that he, Riff, is coming for His Masterness. Higher levels are immediately triggered and the area is completely sealed off. Two skeletal robots labeled as REA-6s arrive from inside of the tower, flanking Oasis, who alt-Torg refers to as Harbinger. The suit opens fire, damaging one REA-6, but it's disabled when Harbinger uses one of her weapons (combination pickaxes and electrified spikes on cables) to damage the gun. She climbs on top of the REA-5 and pries it open to reveal not Riff, but Jeeves, who has been playing recorded messages in Riff's voice to simulate him fighting. Jeeves delivers one final taunt from Riff before detonating two coffee-bombs as a self-destruct. The REA-6s are destroyed, but Harbinger survives by taking shelter behind them. Meanwhile Riff is using a wrist-mounted grappling hook to scale the other side of the tower. He gets inside to the terminal he wants and finds that the information he is looking for is right out in the open with no security. He comments that this feels exactly like a trap before alt-Rammer arrives pointing a gun at him. Alt-Rammer puts the gun away (he only had it because it was contraband and felt Riff might like it) and says that he was quite disturbed when alt-Torg's squad abducted him, but was reassured when he saw Riff trying to force his way into the robotics facility. He then decided to wait by Zoë's security ticket and wait for Riff to get there. Riff remarks angrily that alt-Rammer now has his complete attention. Rammer reveals the REA-6, a robot enforcer scheduled to go into production soon. He says that once it replaces the REA-5s the last pieces of weaponry in human hands would vanish and revolution would be impossible. He tells Riff that the revolution must happen soon and that he needed to be kept in the loop about it. Riff asks why he should help alt-Rammer (as he thought alt-Rammer had faked the security ticket to get him there), to which he replies "because the security ticket wasn't faked, see for yourself". The computer screen shows a video feed of Zoë, horribly disfigured and burned lying in a hospital bed. Riff demands to know what is going on. Alt-Rammer states that when she arrived she was so near death that only the life support machines she is currently hooked into keep her alive. Her system is too unstable for any painkillers, so any conscious hours of hers are spent screaming in agony. Riff demands to know where she is. Alt-Rammer says that she is not in the standard medical wing and guesses that she is somewhere higher in the tower, where not even executives like himself can go. He leaves, giving Riff a pendantech, an escape route, and reminds him to keep him in the loop. Riff rewinds the live feed and listens to her screaming from her burns. As he exits the tower he vows silently to her that he will find a way to get to her and free her from the pain she is in, even if this means that he'll have to "finish her off" for that. He also promises to tear 4U City to the ground in her name.

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