Falcon's Nest
An original sci-fi story
Book 1-Mirror Image; Part 1-Discovery

***

by 42Adams

* * *

The figure reclined, turning to the woman standing next to the elaborate throne. The woman spoke.
"Master, the product is ready. Our first prototype has been designed, and we are ready to begin." The hooded figure nodded, and its deep voice echoed through the huge chamber.
"Good job. Am I to watch, or do they want to keep their fearless leader in ignorance?" The woman shook her head.
"No, Master, you are to be the first one. They said...that it would obey the first person it sees. Like a baby chicken, er, sort of. Please follow, Master." The figure rose, following the woman through the dark hallways of the huge complex.

* * *

Jo Kerri sighed, staring out the window at the spring landscape around St. Francis' School for Girls, her green eyes soaking up the blooming flowers. She absently checked her red-brown hair to make sure it was in its perfectly formed ponytail, no hair out of place. Mrs. Serra was talking on and on about trigonometric ratios, and Jo was bored. She would give just about anything to be in art right now, or PE, or even English, for goodness sakes. Aargh...and it was made worse by the fact that she wasn't even in Alex's math class, no one she could talk to. But then again, Alex would be paying attention to all this, if she didn't already know it. But then again, that was Alex. All computers and science, and even, yuch, that optional Latin studies, with mythology and history studies.

"Miss Kerri? I repeat, what is the defination of a cosine? Since you seem to be so interested in my lecture, I was hoping you could sum some of it up for me, hm?" Jo felt a blush creep up from her neck, engulfing her entire face. "I thought not. Miss Kerri, one detention for tomorrow, and in the future, please try to pay attention." Jo sighed, glancing at the clock. Twenty minutes until blissful freedom.

* * *

Alex Fisher stared intently at the computer screen, fixing a few final bugs in her program. She blew a strand of dark brown hair out of her eyes, using the distraction to straighten her oval glasses. Her eyes, a deep blue, flicked up at Mr. Kenshaw, and she logged onto the internet. Her program was finished anyway, so she made a quick printout. She decided to look at the FutureCorp website, to look up on new products, news, whatnot. She knew she wasn't allowed to, but...she just had to hear the latest. There it was, the FutureCorp logo, a bird flying past an hourglass. She clicked on it...

* * *

"Start the machine..." The secretarial woman nodded, and a technician turned on the huge machine, the product of years of work, a machine whose existence had been hinted at, whose presence would soon be confirmed, but whose purpose was now being fulfilled. The cloaked figure turned to the computer, searching almost lethargically for the file, for the blueprints. But the lethargy was a simple savoring of this great triumph.

*ding*

There it was, an image, but beautifully rendered, examined, and studied. "Go ahead. Show me how, and then...I will greet my creation."

* * *

Deaville, the most technologically advanced of the US cities, flickered, for a single instant. Energy shut off and back on again, causing confusion and annoyance all through the city. But the effects of the power surge faded when it hit St. Francis'. There, screens flickered a bit, a little data was lost, and Alex found herself staring at a computer lover's dream...

* * *

A white light filled the room, and the dark figure stepped in front of the machine. A slow humming echoed through the room, and a beam of light traveled slowly across the bottom of the machine, which mostly resembled an elevator booth. The light reached the end, raised a tiny amount, and traversed the distance again, like a laser printer.

* * *

Its very existence had been theorized five years ago, and only last year, a prototype had been developed that could make lumps of plastic that could look like anything, but actually weren't. But this, this was a stereolithographer, a three-dimensional printer, able to create solid objects, out of anything, as long as you had it on hand. She didn't know how she had found it, but she wasn't going to let it go. She printed out the blueprints, the directions to build this wonderful machine. She was in shock, feeling the typical joy of discovery rushing through her. There were few limitations on what she could do with the machine, she though, as she glanced over the blueprints. Very few limits...

* * *

"Is it finished yet?" the leader demanded of the technicians. As these words were spoken, the beam of light stopped, and traveled quickly to its original position. And within the stereolithographer, or "fabber," sat their creation. It was humanoid, but sculpted perfectly. There were curves and bends constructed to leave the being as the most lithe, agile and aerodynamic robot in the world. It was the perfect shape, and even its face was perfect; expressionless, formed with utmost care, and the eyes even glowed with a blue light. The being itself could not pass off as a human, for its body was made of a blue metal, which swirled and changed even as you looked at it. With perfect grace, the robot bowed before the leader, and spoke.

"Hello, master. I am Speculum, and I await your orders." Suddenly, one of the technicians asked a cautious question.

"Er, what does the robot do?" The secretary turned to him.

"The robot definately has some power. I think the name alludes to the ability. I believe Speculum here can assume other forms." The robot bowed.

"Lady, you are correct. But Master, what are your orders?" The hooded figure considered. The criminal mastermind gave an unnerving smile.

"I assume your properties only affect those you can see, my servant. Why else would you be called 'Mirror?' So I ask you to rob a bank, without any alarm going until the money is found to be missing. Go."

* * *

"Thank God that's over," Jo sighed, walking next to Alex. "If I had to listen to one more minute of Mrs. Serra's rambling on geometric stuff, I was going to literally fall asleep. Talk about your suffering artists." The girl was of medium height, with a slim build covered by her school's white button-down shirt and (ugh) plaid skirt.

"How did Comp Sci go? Did you finish your program?" Alex, only a few days younger than her friend at 15 years old, nodded excitedly, almost bouncing up and down like a Superball. The girl had more energy than the Deaville Power Plant, yet still was able to sit attentively, listening to a lecture in math.

"Eh, had a couple of bugs that were easy to fix. But listen to this-"

"Hey, girls!" The two friends snapped their attention in unison to Aaron Mara, a student at the local high school, just a few blocks from St. Francis'. Jo waved her hand to the boy as he hopped onto the curb with them. He was a heavy boy, mostly due to a wide build, but certainly not thin. Athletic only when needed to be, he prefered books and computers to humans, but he was a nice enough guy. His glasses, rectangular and thick, hung somewhat lopsidedly on his nose. "What're you two talking about?" Alex turned to stare at his green eyes.

"Listen, Aaron, if I tell you, can you promise to keep it a secret?"

"Wait a minute. If it's illeagal-" Alex cut him off, exasperated.

"It's not illeagal, Aaron! It's just something I'd like to keep hidden, all right?" Aaron nodded slowly. Alex smiled. "Well, you see, I was checking out the FutureCorp website, and I-"

"Wait a minute! You went online during Computer Science?" Jo snapped. "What if-"

"Shut up, this is important. Anyway, the lights flickered, and when they came back on, I had jumped to a website that carried the blueprints for a stereolithographer!" She sighed at the blank gazes she received. "Really, you two. A stereolithographer is, well, sort of like a 3-D fax machine or printer. You can print out solid objects from plans or blueprints on your computer. Think about it: I could build one of these things and there's no limit as to what we could do." Aaron appeared skeptical as the three wandered past Jo's house.

"And you just found this on a website for a huge, international corporation? Alex, I don't trust this. Maybe you should tell someone." Alex grabbed the 14-year-old boy by his long brown hair.

"Listen, Aaron, I found this, and you said you're gonna keep it a secret. If ANYONE finds out about this, I'm going to assume you leaked, and I'll have to kill you!" she yelled, face red from annoyance.

"Calm down, Al! I won't tell anyone. It's just that I'm worried that this thing wasn't supposed to be there, and that it might not be safe, or that someone would get upset that you're trying to make one of these, stereo-thingamabobbers." Alex sighed.

"It's not like I'm STEALING anything; it was right on the sight. And anyway, I'm not making any money off of it. So it shouldn't matter."

* * *

"Hello?" the elderly man said cautiously, walking carefully into the bank. He walked with the gait of a man who was in charge, and knew that everyone had stepped out on a coffee break during hours. He froze when he saw the sight. The vault was open. Every teller and VP was lying sprawled on the floor. And over seven million dollers had vanished from the bank. The man, president of the First Deaville Bank, stared in shock at this. "What the hell happened here?" he demanded to the empty bank.

* * *

"Officials have no comment, but the fact that no alarm went off indicates an inside job. In other news, the international crime ring led by the mysterious Falcon has escalated activity in the Deaville area..." Jo frowned as she scribbled on her math homework. God, she hated trig. She barely paid the television notice, until... "And the science world was rocked by the dicovery of perterbatine, and the implications of its uses. Perterbatine is optimal for deep-space electronics, as a single charge can keep a perterbatine machine running for thousands of years, and that its name, meaning 'chaos,' is related to the unpredictability of its function."

* * *

"...You see, anything made of 'chaos' carries an unpredictability factor, which infuses a unique energy flow into the metal. If the machine is embedded with a microchip, we found that we can force this energy into a supernatural state, which expresses itself as an accelerated ability, partially affected by the shape of the machine, or, in the case of our sentinent robots, also hinted at by the name the robot gives itself." The secretary smiled at her boss.

"Good. And let me ask you: why do you believe we only need to give them an exterior form, Dan?" The woman smiled knowingly.

"Master, scientists say that perterbatine is beyond their conprehension, and what I told you was the compilation of their knowledge. However, I believe that perterbatine is a supernatural element, one of the types that cause and amplify paranormal phenomena. In fact, perterbatine is nearly sentinent in itself, and can develop independant thought and even a personality if steps are taken to do so. But the outer shape is highly malleable, and can be altered to an extent by the will of the perterbatine itself. In fact, when you decided to use perterbatine as our weapon, you took a genius step." The Falcon laughed at this.

"I know, I know."

* * *

ALex walked into the back room of the library.

"Mr. Petracox? I, er, need help with something..." She trailed off as she saw a woman in a white lab coat sitting across the table from the balding old man. And then her eyes were drawn to the machine resting next to the remarkably muscular woman. It was a fully functional stereolithograph, a "fabber," its metal cartidrages filled with the distinctive blue-white color of perterbatine. "Mr. Petracox? What's going on here?" she asked.

Fin...
Author's Note: This is just the beginning, and I hope this can speed up soon. Please r/r!