Chapter 21:

Past Greyness and Present Anger

Idolatry


Her whole body was hurting.

In fact, it was hurting so much that she wasn’t even sure of what was hurting.

It was quite bothersome if she said so herself, but it wasn't her first time in such a state and probably wouldn't be the last too.

All that mattered now was the fact that, as long as she could still feel it, nothing major was damaged.

Either way, since she could feel the pain, it would be fair to assume that she was almost repaired, so she just had to wait.

As time passed and her mind cleared up enough, she left her resting place on the ground and checked her internal clock.

"Half... hour..."

Talking with some small holes on her chest was quite hard, but it wasn't the right time to focus on it.

It wouldn’t be too inaccurate to say that a good part of her body was pulverized even, and this much wasn't that fatal as long as she had her top hat.

“You should have blown me up, it would at least give you all a chance.”

The repair process was almost completed by now and she could move around with little to no remaining pain.

When she got up though, she noticed that her mind was filled with a feeling she felt less than a couple of times.

“If Lily is well, I kill them...” It was easy to feel the anger in the girl's phrase, but her face held an eerie smile as she continued. “If she is not, then they will beg to be killed.”

By this point, the ancient nanomachines from her hat had finished filling the holes that once showed the mechanical inner parts of her body.

The red coolant liquid that once covered most of the area had been returned to where it should be too, so she was mostly well.

The only problem was how malformed her clothes were.

Her pink frilly dress had several mismatched pieces that seemed to be part of a different set, one that was grey in color and had no patterns.

She couldn't recognize the grey clothes, but Amy knew that it was some kind of uniform though.

An outdated and forgotten one even.

“It took my mental image or was it based on something else?" She asked herself while trying to understand why her clothes were messed up. "Well... Whatever. This is not me, little ones. Fix it, please.”

Her annoyed voice made the machines restart their process, fixing the “unsightly” clothes in no time and returning Amy to her right state.

“Good. You can all sleep now.”

Having finished their job, and with barely enough energy to function, Amy’s pink miniature top hat reappeared on her head little by little.

The low battery notice warning the girl to don't mess up again until it could be recharged.

“Now, the room is…”

Once again, little had changed around the office.

The covered bodies were still where Lily left them, almost everything was in ruins and the chest was open.

All differences were in the fact that there was a new trail of blood from the open vault to the exit.

There was also an oxygen mask and an unloaded revolver thrown along the trail, but those didn't matter.

Better hidden than these, Amy could also see that every in both rooms had been destroyed.

“I see… Why I was not finished out is a mystery, but it is not hard to understand what happened here.” Asserted herself as she looked around, stopping only when she felt an abnormality by her hip. "This one is a tasteless weapon..."

She drew the patterned six-shooter from where it was stuck on her dress and checked if it was a working weapon.

"Not the best, but I assume I can use it now."

Once more, she felt that this weapon was more than a random gun, but she wanted nothing to do with that.

Ignoring the weird feeling on the back of her head, the classy revolver returned to her hip and she started to watch what she still had from the cameras.

“One of the guards made quick work of everything in the other office and then... Then they knocked the scientist too and then went down with both bodies? That is weird.”

Amy watched as the guards carried both unconscious women to the stairway under Richard's orders and then vanished on one of the lower floors.

Her recordings ended then, likely because her access was overrun by this point, but it was good enough.

Weirdly enough, she still had a good deal of access beyond the computer mainframe for some reason.

And even weirder than that, she could see that the security room was still locked and that a middle-aged man was still hidden there.

“They did not kill Lily nor did they force the door open… Are they both hostages? Why would they need hostages by this point? Is there something only Lily can do? If so, where are they headed to?” The girl had several questions that she couldn't answer at all.

First of all, the current situation didn't fit Lily's earlier conclusions, but that was the only conclusion that seemed fitting at all.

Second, the soldiers hurrying to another floor instead of taking their time to open the security room made no sense when there was no menace around.

And third, their movements were timed weirdly for someone following orders.

She wasn't thinking all mercenaries would lack discipline, but they were too much.

Either way, she needed some leads and a plan now, but the pink idol wasn't well suited to neither. 

On the bright side, she didn’t need the whole picture as long as she could manage to find out where her protection target was located.

“Hmmm… I could deal with a head-on engagement, but I do not think I can manage to uncover this mystery by myself... I have someone to interrogate though.” As was noted before, the middle-aged man was still barricaded inside the security room.

It wasn't as if she suspected him, but it was better than nothing at least.

“First things first… Both the witness and the working computer are inside the security room, so..." With no time to lose, Amy left the office and walked to the front of the security room where an older lawyer should still be cowering.

“Excuse me, Mr. Herman, but I need to use this room. Could you kindly open the door?”

She waited for a few seconds for an answer...

And then for a minute...

And then for five...

All she got was silence though.

“Excuse me, Mr. Herman…!”

“I’m not opening this door and you better not try something too. I already told you goons what I’m going to do if you take me down…”

An answer finally came after she had started to knock with enough force, but how unhelpful this answer was only made her suppressed anger grow.

“Have I said anything of taking you down?”

“I know how you people work even if I don’t know why you’re using that weird girl to bring the message, so just drop it.”

“It will be as such then, sir…?”

The conversation with the lawyer was too tiresome to be acceptable and there seemed to be little to gain from going with the flow by now.

Or this much was the justification she used to start kicking the hinges of the heavy door in front of her.

She kind of wanted to break something by this point too, so even the words of the lawyer weren't meaning much.

“Making noise won't help you. I’m not answering any… W-what?! How?!”

Pieces of metal and concrete and metal were mounting up on the floor and the door was slowly being dislodged from its position.

After that, it didn't take much for a gap to appear on the mispositioned door and for an eerie smiling girl to pass through it.

“You can answer the easy way or the hard way, Mr. Herman. I do not care which one you choose.”

Before Herman could react to the monster breaking inside the room, Amy had already grabbed the man by the neck.

And the older man could only nod in acknowledgment at the aggressive words of the smiling idol.

“Good. You opened the will, right?”

Once again, he nodded towards the girl that, although smaller than her, had him pinned.

“I see… And you killed the doctor too, right?”

“I…”

“Shut up! Just nod and stay quiet. I care little for your excuses and even less for what you did, but I lack the time.”

Mr. Herman bit his mouth and forced himself to not say anything more, mostly because his survival instincts were saying so.

“You killed her, did you not? Probably an accident, but did it nevertheless.”

He stopped for a little more and then nodded weakly.

“After that, you heard the door opening and went to check, which is where you became covered in blood, am I right?”

More nodding, all confirming everything Amy knew after the detective session with Lily.

“Very well. You cannot open this elevator, can you?”

The idol pointed to the heavy elevator at the back of the room, but for this one time, she received a negative answer.

"You know where Richard went?"

The main in a bloodied suit waved his head negatively this time.

"Any idea what is the plan?"

His expression changed to a confused one as he tried to somehow answer with nods only.

"You can talk this one time."

"The security man wanted to use the safe elevator and destroy the computer but I was sure he would deal with me too after seeing that he was taken away from the will so I locked the door and barricaded myself after reading the thing but the doctor fell and I fled and shots were fired and..."

"Shut the hells up again!"

The rapid fire of words stopped with the sudden shout as Amy tried to organize whatever Mr. Herman had tried to say.

“If they used an elevator, then it is somewhere I can go too… Good. I am done with you now.”

She threw the man away after saying so, taking her time to organize all information she had while approaching the console of the security room.

“You can either leave or hide here. Make a noise and I will end you, you see?”

Without even answering, Herman instantly got up and ran through the broken door with fear in his eyes.

Amy didn’t bother to look towards him though as she was focusing on what was more important.

“Most countermeasures went down, but my faithful helpers seemed to be doing a lot of work... Elevators, emergency stairs, and the mainframe are all still under my hold. The first one being her is suspicious though.”

She had a lot of direct contact with the systems on the emergency stairs and the mainframe, so it wasn't unexpected that they weren't cracked.

The army of abnormal fans burning through the enemy's countermeasure was helping too.

Even so, being able to keep hold of the elevators was weird.

“I am failing to see what is the big plan here, but... It is either superhero jumping down the trap at the stairs or entering a booby-trapped elevator, is it not?”

She only had two decent paths and, even then, she had to deduce on which floor her target was.

Or that was what she thought before, almost without an effort, she managed to access some of the cameras.

More than that, these cameras were showing exactly who she was looking for as they walked towards their goal.

She could also see that this one floor was the same that the missing scientists from before went.

“They just went down some floors and entered in an elevator that was still under my influence... Is someone luring me? Why would someone lure me? More than that, why would someone lure who they just killed? What is happening here…?”

It made too little sense in many dimensions unless the whole basis of her deductions were wrong.

The signs were pointing to somewhere they shouldn’t, but it didn’t matter much in the end.

“It will end soon, no matter what. I may have to break my promise again though…”

Even if she was being moved around or if it was only a trap, all the pink girl could do was follow through with it.

The bait on this trap was simply too big for her to ignore.

She turned around and started to walk away from the security room, her hand on the revolver at her hip.

She climbed down to the right floor, passing through the door that had been cut open by the scientists a good while ago and walking to the elevators.

Getting there, she soon noticed how most of the dozen or so of their doors were damaged in some form, leaving only three working ones.

“Two of them on the same floor that should not exist and one waiting for me here... I cannot believe I was right at first and never thought of this much.”

Little to no feeling was used in these words and even the weakening smile on the idol’s face was reaching its limits, but that was, again, beyond the point.

“How long can I go all-out here?" She asked herself while running some numbers on her head. "An hour? A little more if I bet on my resistance? That should be enough. Here goes nothing, right?”

Overclocking was less suicidal than fighting who knows how many guards by herself, so it was an easy choice.

She would need a maintenance leave after doing such this many times in a day though.

Ignoring it all for now, Amy entered the open elevator right in front of her, giving it the order to depart towards the floor that shouldn’t be there.

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