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
Von Rictor sat in his chair waiting for the finally moments of a long project to conclude. The monitor was off and there was a low humming in the background. He closed his eyes, took his glasses off and rested them on the control surface Then he leaned back and waited with a calm look on his face. He looked almost at peace.
There is a moment when you can feel fate acting upon you. You can fight it and try to muddle the results. You can go with it and ride it along to your destiny. You can embrace your fate and make the very most of it. The only thing you can not do it deny it. Von Rictor had embraced the genius that made him. He had never questioned the morality of his work. He had never let anyone stop him. He had taken hold of the possibility of success and fought tooth and nail for it. He had unlocked the secrets of creation and built his own army. He had been an unstoppable success, until he created the cybers. They had been a failure unlike any other.
In his efforts to replace and hunt down the cybers, Von Rictor suffered many failures. The problem was that any replacement creature had to be highly intelligent and creative. Unfortunately there seemed to be a balance in the science of genetics that appeared to be unbreakable. High intelligence included independence and free will. The cybers’ had been creative, smart and fast but rebellious. The Fixed Ideas were big, dumb and slow. They would follow his every whim but children could outwit them.
Von Rictor had finally turned to mother nature for his answer. It was simple. If he introduced randomly varied the genetic structure each creation would be a little different from the rest. Eventually one would decide to be loyal to him, no matter how dark or sinister his plans were. That creation would live. The rest would die. His plan called for the creation of a thousand new experiments each different and unique. With accelerated learning and aging he could create and evaluate this new serries in half the time it took to create the cybers. These would have a programmed five year life span. Only Von Rictor would be able to allow them to live longer. The first of a thousand containers hissed as it opened.
A little over five years later...
Midnight Five moved with the grace of Cybersix and the power of Data Seven. He demanded the air move aside as his form stretched out and flowed. He landed hard enough to damage older buildings. He left a trail of shattered timbers and falling bricks until he learned to be more careful. He stopped to look across the rooftops of Mercadia.
Midnight five was a big man. He wore tight black which accented his muscled physique. It was a flat black that did not shimmer or do anything to reveal his presence. His hands were gloved and his hair was tied back into a pony tail. He twitched and looked to his left. He saw movement and vanished in a blur. It was only a bird startled from it’s sleep.
The man in black kept going. Rooftops passed under him. He headed towards the giant statue. He didn’t know why he went this way. There were many unanswered questions about his life. He did not debate them. He ran on instinct when he did not know fact.
He landed on the statue in a crouch and then stood up. The wind was strong this high above the city. He was heavy enough not to worry about being blown off. He walked up the statue’s back until he reached the head. From there he looked across the bay. The city was still heavily damaged.
He stepped off the statue. Gravity reveled in it’s dominion over him. He landed hard enough to shatter the cobblestones beneath him. Someone screamed and ran. Midnight Five burst into a sprint. Instinct guided him away from the populated streets, He was looking for something. He leapt back to the roofs and continued on until the city stopped and the forest began. He ran as fast as he could. He passed cars.
Eventually he reached the crater. It was a huge blasted area of earth where Von Rictor’s last laboratory had been. It had stood on the side of a cliff facing the ocean. Now it was strewn with rubble and inhabited by a few abominations.
Midnight Five landed on black, hard packed earth. One of the abominations attacked him, lumbering forward in blind lust for sustenance. Midnight five flowed out of the way. He leapt away towards the forest. The solution was immediate and obvious for the midnight. The abomination would never see it coming.
Midnight Five opened his hand flat and slashed at a tree. Von Rictor had never taught him about trees. Bark and wood splintered and Midnight’s hand erupted in pain. He turned and kicked the tree instead and it fell on the abomination which vanished in a green glow. The other abominations, less starved of sustenance, moved away.
Midnight Five returned and picked up the vial of sustenance from the deactivated abomination. He looked at the vial hard with a confused look, then he tucked it into his shirt and moved away. He searched the area carefully. He didn’t know what he was looking for but knew he’d recognize it if found. He didn’t find it.
Dawn breached the darkness and the man in black felt worried, exposed. He took to the darkness of the forest. He wanted to return to the town and continue his search but he recognized the danger of being seen. He climbed up into a tree and slept. Tough as he was the tree was difficult to sleep in. He eventually found sleep in foliage under a bush. It was not clean, but it was softer then hardwood. His hand stung but he ignored it.
Adrian waxed poetic, something he was prone to doing and good at. The class half listened. Lori sat looking down, in a huff. This bunch was hard enough to teach at the best of times. With Lori fuming, they hardly listened at all. Lori received most of their attention. Adrian supposed the girl was attractive, if Adrian had been ten years younger and actually male. As do most teachers, he continued on, ignoring the malcontents.
Lucas, just down the hall, was having his own problems. There were frogs from one end of his class to the other. They were jumping and hopping and into everything. Girls were screaming. Boys were playing with the frogs. Lucas was scrambling around trying to collect them. It was a disaster. Someone had left the lid loose on the bin of frogs they were going to dissect later and it got tipped over right after lunch.
Adrian heard a loud thud and went to investigate. It came from Lucas’s class and when Adrian approached, he saw the mess. He couldn’t open the door because the frog’s might escape. He just stood there and laughed. Eventually the rest of Adrian’s class snuck down the hall to see what all the noise was about. They too took to laughing. Lucas finally noticed, his hands full of frogs, frogs in his shirt and one sitting on his head. He paused to frown hopelessly.
The Dean appeared in the hall and Adrian scooted his class back into their classroom. The Dean walked by the class full of frogs casually looking in. He stumbled and did a double take, almost falling over. Lucas had re-captured most of the frogs and the students had gotten into the act but it was still chaos. The Dean rolled his eyes, laughed, and walked away.
Later, walking home, Adrian skipped going to the restaurant with Lucas by pretending to not feel well. He went straight home instead. He didn’t feel bad, he felt great. He had finally fully recovered from the explosion and wanted to stretch his, her legs.
Cybersix started early that night while the sun still streaked the horizon in crimson. Tonight was just for fun. She had plenty to worry about. The Fixed Ideas were disappearing rapidly and, with them, her supply of sustenance. She didn’t worry about that tonight. She had enough sustenance for a while, months. She and Data Seven had gone Fixed Idea hunting while they were plentiful. Tonight she just ran.
It was a good clear night with a bright slice of the moon hanging in the sky. There was little wind and the bay waters were calm. The moon rippled in the water. The city skyline was remarkably different with cranes and scaffolding, all erected to begin the long process of rebuilding the city. Cybersix enjoyed the new terrain to explore.
Jose knew what to look for. She was easy to find and he cursed his luck at seeing her.
"Blast her! It seems not even father could stop her, how disappointing" Jose grinned.
Jose stood on the roof of a building under reconstruction. He looked across the city skyline with a pair of binoculars watching Cybersix. Beside the tiny man were two Fixed Ideas. They looked dull and confused, normal. One of them had a rocket launcher.
“Want I should shoot her?” It asked.
"No, you fool, you can’t hit a cyber with something so primitive."
Jose watched and waited. It would be a long time before the Fixed Ideas did anything unless he instructed them to. He had ordered them to eat on a regular basis but with his erratic schedule they would not eat if they missed their scheduled eating time. He had to be careful they didn’t starve.
Jose was far too joyful for someone who’s empire had been smashed. The creature that lumbered behind him, in the shadows, was his cause for joy. It was an abomination, easily lured by sustenance. Programmed to obey Von Rictor, it was easy enough for his clone to control.
"Sneak up and destroy her!"
The abomination obeyed. It’s green form shifted and became dull gray, blending into twilight. It’s shape changed and flowed like wet clay as it moved. Rather then leap, it stretched out and grabbed the next building. It was slow, like Terra had been, but this one was much stronger. It has survived the explosion that had killed most of the other abominations. Jose had not bothered naming it. He had, however, starved it of sustenance enough that Cybersix looked like a good meal.
Cybersix saw the gray abomination long before it reached her. In a way she was relieved. She had been waiting for Jose to surface, hoping that he too had been destroyed. Obviously he hadn’t. She spotted his diminutive form atop the shoulder’s of a Fixed Idea some number of buildings away. She knew how hard the abomination would be to fight. Jose would just unleash it on the city if she turned away. She fought. She ran up and forced it off the roof as it stretched out. The creature simply caught the fire escape below and formed up into a solid shape there. It looked up and simply stretched itself upwards fast enough to hit Cybersix and knock her off her feet. She rolled back up and hit it hard, splattering gray goo across the rooftop. She seemed to have hurt it.
Jose watched as if he were at the theaters.
"Ha! I should have brought popcorn!."
Cybersix hit it several times before it struck back. When it did, it came from an unexpected angle and hit her square on. She fell, the wind knocked out of her. She got up and kicked it backwards. The lost material began to dry, like blood. The creature did not slow however, no matter how many times she hit it. It was like fighting water. When it hit back, it hurt.
Minutes later she was developing a bright purple bruise across her cheek Her ribs hurt. Her back and shoulders ached from falling down. She could not beat it. The creature kept advancing. Certainly it was hurt but it showed no sign of pain or exhaustion. Cybersix breathed in gasps. She leapt away to buy a moment to catch her breath.
Midnight Five was not sure what to think when he saw the fight. Something clicked. There was recognition here. Both of the combatants were familiar, in different ways. One was loosing and slowly retreating, the woman. He had to make a decision. He could stand and watch and he figured it would be over fairly soon, one way or another. They were both injured. The choice, however, was ruled by that human part of his soul that remained through the genetic manipulation. It was a tiny bit of chivalry remembered though never instructed.
"Data Seven." Cybersix gasped, relieved. The black form smashed into the abomination, splattering it’s form. It was not Data Seven. Midnight Five did not stop. He pummeled the creature as it tried to reform. Finally he tossed the remaining moving blob off the building.
"Kill him!" Jose instructed the Fixed Idea with the rocket launcher. Jose ran away with the other Fixed Idea.
The rockets exploded out of the launcher at the two on the far roof. Confused, but aware, Cybersix tried to warn her unexpected savoir.
"Look out." She said leaping clear.
Midnight Five looked at the missiles. He did not move until they were right on top of him. Cybersix gasped. Midnight Five swatted them aside like flies. The continued on their way and exploded in the air some distance away. Midnight Five looked at the Fixed Ideal. On some level the poor creature understood. Rather then fire the other two missiles, it turned and ran.
Midnight Five exploded off the roof into the air. He landed and there was a green glow. A fixed idea went off-line. The Midnight looked coldly unemotional with the dark gaze of a predator who has made a kill. He fingered the vial of sustenance, disinterestedly.
Cybersix caught up.
"What are you?" She asked with a mix of fear an awe.
"I am a Midnight."
"Cyber series two. Faster, Stronger, shorter lived."
Cyber Six’s jaw dropped.
"How long?" She asked, after a moment to compose herself.
"I was programmed to go off-line two months ago. I do not know why I am still alive."
"Perhaps the sustenance-"
"I do not need sustenance, not of this kind anyway." He held up the green vial.
"I do." Cybersix said.
Midnight Five nodded. "Then it is yours, and the other I have obtained as well."
Cybersix nodded. "Who are you?"
"I am Midnight Five."
Jose watched from what he thought was a safe distance.
"What is that! I must have it!"
The Fixed Idea had no idea. It had felt fear. It was not programmed to feel fear. It was scared of the man in black. It did not want to meet it again.
"I don’t want it." The creation finally said.
"Fool. I have never seen anything like it. Father must have created them after I came to Mercadia. It moves like a cyber. It fights like Data Seven. It must be mine!"
"Do you have somewhere to stay." Cybersix asked.
"I have nothing." Midnight Five replied.
Cybersix paused, remembering when that was true of her. She had indeed lost everything, except a photograph. That doesn’t keep you company at night though. Now she had friends. She had Data Seven. She had a home.
"Come with me. I know where you can stay."
Midnight Five nodded without saying anything more.
They moved across the rooftops until they reached her apartment. Midnight Five was faster. He could leap farther and had learned to do so without destroying the roof he landed on. He slowed to let her keep up. Cybersix figures that Data Seven could move like that. They reached her apartment.
Midnight Five nodded and lay down on the floor. He was a sleep quickly. She thought to wake him and give him the couch, at the very least, but he decided not to. She put a blanket over him and went to bed herself, wondering. She had never heard of the Midnights. Certainly Von Rictor would not completely abandon the cyber project. No matter what kind of failure he called it, there was an undeniable success to it. She smiled as she fell asleep.
Cybersix woke first. Midnight Five slept through breakfast and she finally woke him. Perhaps he was stronger but slept longer? She didn’t know.
"Good morning. I have to leave. Cereal is in the cupboard. Milk is in the fridge. There are these literature novels to read. I’ll return later this after noon."
Midnight Five nodded. He would read everything before she returned.
"You seem a little distracted today Adrian." Lucas said. "I have some kind of idea what that means. What is going on?"
"Huh? Oh it’s nothing Lucas." Adrian brushed it off.
"And you always say that too. Come on, what is it?"
Adrian took a breath. "There is another Cyber, but it’s not a cyber. It’s something- He’s something new."
"Okay. We’ll beat this thing no matter what it is." Lucas stated.
"No, you don’t understand. It, he, saved my life last night."
"Oh. Well where is he?"
"He’s at my apartment. I’m not quite sure what to do with him. He doesn’t seem to know a lot about people, like I did when I first got away." Adrian said biting his lip.
"You’re a teacher. Teach him. Now, he’ll need a job. What is he good at?"
The bell rang and Adrain and Lucas returned to class.
"Construction?" Midnight Five looked confused.
"Look, it’s only temporary until we can find you something better to do." Cybersix explained. "We’ve got it all lined up and everything. You can start tomorrow. The city has plenty of need for workers. They won’t look at you twice."
"I don’t understand. Why must I work?"
"You need money. Money pays for food and residence, like this one."
"Barter." Midnight stated.
"Right." Cybersix replied.
"Von Rictor provided for me before."
"You’ll have to provide for yourself now."
"All right." Midnight nodded thoughtfully.
Midnight Five lifted a beam that was impossibly heavy. A dozen workers turned and muttered to themselves, surprised.
"Where do you want this Joe?"
"Over there please Mike."
Cybersix had recommended he choose another name. He understood the logic in that. He was beginning to understand how strong he really was. Later he would feign an injury and pretend he was much weaker then he really was. He did not like the deception but recognized it’s necessity.
During the morning he worked, when it was cool. In the evening Cybersix taught him about the world outside of Von Rictor’s lab. At night they prowled the rooftops. It was a week later that Midnight Five left Cybersix and Data Seven and went exploring on his own. He felt a connection with Cybersix. She was like a sister. Yet he still sought something else. At night he went looking for it. He did not find it.
Days passed and Midnight Five became a great asset for Cybersix. He did not require sustenance and passed along any he found to her. As Mike Ferol he was a well paid construction worker. He enjoyed the job and never went looking for another. When the others were not working he used his full strength but the rest of the time he pretended himself into normal society. It was a time of discovery.
Many foods were new for him. Television opened his horizons to places he hadn’t dreamed of. He read like a starving man drinks water. Cybersix was delighted with his progress. He remained frustrated and somewhat distant though. Cybersix was patient and did not expect him to change overnight.
Lucas got along well with Mike Ferol. They sat in the coffee shop and watched European football on the television. Mike was fascinated.
"Good coordination." He said between bites.
"Yeah, watch this." Lucas hollered. "Goal! Yes!"
Adrian rolled his eyes at the ceiling. Mike noticed. Lucas pretended not to. Mike frowned, confused.
"Why doesn’t....he...like it?" Mike asked nodding towards Adrian.
Lucas laughed. "That’s one of the world’s greatest mysteries."
Mike wasn’t sure he understood but Adrian smiled. Mike paid exactly his amount of the bill and got up and left.
It was strange to just walk. All his life he had been taught to press the limitations of his body, to move as fast as he could. He did not like it. He felt weak, vulnerable but he was learning and exploring these things. He had much to hide. He ate twice as much as a man his size. His blood ran with a blue color. He was stronger then anyone he had ever met, except perhaps Data Seven. He liked to run with the cat.
He made himself tired at work so he could sleep. Even still he stayed up reading to finish a book he was interested in. He had discovered the library and now did a lot of his learning on his own. He did not know how a frog could turn into a prince but the story fascinated him.
When he fell asleep he dreamed of things he could not have, could not find. They would have to wait for another day. For now he had a home and a life and the rest would fall into place just like in the story books. Or would it?
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