Falcon's Nest
An original sci-fi story
Book 1-Mirror Image; Part 2-A New Breed

***

by 42Adams

* * *

"The Falcon will be pleased, Speculum. This acquisition is very...useful." The efficient woman with her hair in a loose bun nodded to the tall figure. As she turned back to the front, walking through the cavernous chambers of the Falcon's Nest, Speculum melted into the exact image of the woman, walking identically to her, until a sharp glare from the woman made him change back, walking submissively. It was odd that the robot was definatively male, and seemed to be a true prankster. The woman, Dan, sighed. She stopped at a large door and looked to Speculum. "Listen, the Falcon will be in soon to see you. Be respectful, or you may find yourself as a toaster oven." She turned curtly and stalked off, glaring back at the robot. "What I go through for you, love," she muttered.

* * *

"Mr. Petracox, why do you have a stereolithographer in the back room?" She absentmindedly blew her dark hair from her eyes, staring intently at the two people before her. The woman, with black hair and tanned skin, looked anxiously towards Mr. Petracox, an aging man with large square glasses and a balding head of white hair, who cleared his throat nervously.

"Um, Alexandra, I'd hoped you didn't know what this was. I suppose that YOU would've, though. Then, I suppose we have to tell you." The woman raised her hand.

"Enough, Bob. I'll handle this. Alex, is it? Well, Alex, I am a scientist from FutureCorp, and I have been working on the R&D of the stereolithographer. Except...I also joined a criminal organization known as the Falcon's Flock. It is headed by a mysterious figure we lowly scientists know only as the Falcon. I, as one of the chief engineer on the stereolithographer project, was forced to bring the blueprints to the Falcon, and then I learned of our plans for the 'fabber.' Other members were ordered to steal tons of perterbatine, and I was placed on a design team. I was ordered to design a robot, inside and out, built to be aerodynamically perfect. And then...only today, the robot was 'printed' out from the fabber, and I saw it. It had a microchip built into it, so it would be intelligent, and it was built entirely of perterbatine. The being can mimic any shape it has in front of it, so it is called Speculum. And the Falcon hopes to use the robot, and others like it, to take over the world. But no one can stop them, for the perterbatine carries supernatural powers, which no one can match. So, I came to Bob for aid." Alex smiled, adjusting her glasses, and looked at Mr. Petracox.

"Bob?" The elderly man blushed furiously, and both women smiled. He shot a glance at the high school student, and sat back.

"So now you know why Amanda came by to visit me. Are you satisfied now?" Alex stepped towards the stereolithographer, looking at the perterbatine.

"Why did you build this, Miss Amanda? Why did you put perterbatine in it? Are you going to try fighting the Falcon by yourself? Or are you going to build robots to fight theirs? Because I have a better idea."

* * *

The tall figure stepped into the main chamber, pausing at the entrance. The room was dark, cavernous, and was in fact a huge computer. The Falcon walked over to a suspended chair, attached via a maze of cables to the vast network. There, a black hooded cloak lay. After slipping it on, the criminal mastermind glared at the room. It constantly reminded Falcon about the fiasco involving an attempt at creating a parallel world within a computer with which to attack government sites, steal information and the like. With an angry scream, the most powerful person on the planet kicked a metal wall. Damn all those incompetant technicians, interfering policemen, and especially that damned traitor, Robert Petracox! Suddenly, a faint skittering filled the room. A knife was pulled from the recesses of the cloak, and the Falcon crouched low, looking desparately for the maker of the noise. The noise came again to the left, and searching yellow eyes scanned the area, panicked and angry. Angry that those worthless guards and checkpoints couldn't keep out an attacker. And then the shape threw itself at the Falcon, who screamed in agony, expecting a knife in the side, or even a blow to the head. But the attacker was hugging? the Falcon.

"Hello, creator-parent. Dan-lady said to remain here, and I wanted to show you how well I function. She does not appreciate me, and I thought that my creator-parent would enjoy to see its child's abilities." The Falcon was silent, and then began to laugh.

"A sense of humor, a sense of jocularity, a personality! My child, you are perfect! You are unique, and I am indeed proud of you, Speculum. But I have a reason I created you. There is an FBI branch within Deaville which is currently housing some very confidential information involving several of my best operatives. I need you to use your copy ability to infiltrate that base, find the information, and get out with the papers. Remember, I don't want a commotion, so you must find someone in the offices with clearance to these files." Speculum, now in his sleek natural form, paused.

"Creator-parent, why do you not use your computers to find this information?" The Falcon scowled.

"This is information that the FBI does not want me to be able to find or access, and everything in the computer world can be accessed by me. Now, could you please go, and start this mission, Speculum? I will be very pleased if you do it well." The robot nodded, and marched from the room. The Falcon spun around at another sound to see Dan, the assistant, standing in the entrance to the room.

"Very touching, dear, but the Cambodian ambassador is here to see you. There are some weapons he wishes to acquire." The Falcon smiled, and crossed the room, heavy boots clicking at every step.

* * *

"C'mon, Aaron, Jo, you two HAVE to come with me. It's really, really cool, and it can count towards community service," Alex added slyly, hoping to rope in her two fellow sophmores for the hope of college presteige. But the two were silent. "I'll throw in some cookies, look you two, I'll even help you with geometry, Alex, okay?" Her two friends sighed in unison, acquiesing to the plea. She smiled. "You two are NOT going to regret this."

* * *

Alex smiled with her bright blue eyes at Jo and Aaron. She was fully dressed in blue armor, which was heavily jointed. It followed the contours of her body, but the centerpiece was the helmet which let her brown hair loose in a ponytail out the back, and shielded her head from danger. It was spherical, and closely molded the contours of her head, ending in a knight-like visor. She twirled, stopping in front of Aaron.

"So, do you like?" she asked jovially. Aaron was staring slack-jawed at nothing in particular. Jo, however, was in hysterics.

"You wan us to wear experimental battle armor in order to fight deadly robots built by the most powerful criminal organization in the world? Have you been hit too many times with a volleyball, Alex, or have all those books warped your mind?" Alex pouted, looking right into Aaron's eyes. He ran his hand through his blond hair, melting under the pleading gaze of an attractive member of the opposite sex.

"I'm all for it," he said enthusiastically. Jo shot daggers from her eyes as Mr. Petracox began to measure Aaron for his armor.

"Is everyone here crazy? I mean, this is dangerous! You could be hurt or even killed!" Alex was grinning like a maniac. "Oh, don't tell me: you've been watching too many cartoons. It's all that Japanese animé, isn't it? You've got delusions of grandeur, and you're going to get yourself killed!" Jo suddenly froze. "God, I would look so cool in that. But...wait a minute, you said I can get community service credit for this?" Amanda smiled at the 15-year-old girl, and stood up.

"Jo, what you could do is benefit the entire world, saving it from the horrors of the Falcon's Flock. You won't be famous, you won't be thanked, but you will be helping people all over the world." Jo looked over to where Mr. Petracox was designing armor for Aaron.

"All right. I'm in."

* * *

'Do it for parent-creator,' Speculum thought to himself. He steeled himself, holding the appearance of an official-looking man he had seen three blocks back, and walked into the front office of the FBI building. He nodded to the guard, who didn't notice the quiet-looking man entering the FBI. Anyone who entered would be stopped at the first checkpoint if they weren't on official business. As Speculum turned the corner, he melted into the shape of the guard, and passed quickly through the first checkpoint. He shifted his form moment to moment, trying doors, checkpoints, attempting to find someone who would have access to the required rooms. 'Why isn't this a challenge? I want a challenge. I want to FIGHT someone, I want to find someone who can beat me.' He wandered aimlessly, angry at the lack of attention of these people. They didn't seem to notice this stranger among their midst, the man whose appearance changed regularly. He felt the need to punch a wall, release energy. 'But not before I finish parent-creator's request. I can attack people when I am finished.' And then he thought of a way to make the mission a real challenge. 'I'll just memorize the papers instead of taking them! That'll pose some challenge.' He sighed as he shifted forms into a portly woman with a high-level badge, and passed into another sector of the office building.

* * *

"So, we have this armor, so what do we do now?" Jo asked. She was impatient, she was worried that something would go wrong. Most of all, she was feeling silly.

"We have to wait to hear something about the appearance of this robot. That's all we have to go on, so until then, keep your armor with you." Alex, ever-enthusiastic about this new crusade, was still smiling, but Jo was distraught.

"But, this must be so heavy!" she protested.

"No; perterbatine is as light as aluminum, so it won't be a hassle if you stick it with your soccer or swimming stuff at school," Alex responded. Jo sighed, and removed her armor.

"Well, I have to get home. You guys tell me when we're needed, all right?" She stuffed the perterbatine armor into her bookbag and left. Alex gave a brief smile and left, pulling Aaron after her. Suddenly, Amanda looked at Mr. Petracox.

"Rob, we forgot to tell them what the suits will do for them." After a pause, her glance hardened. "The suits WILL help them, won't they?" Rob, lost in space, nodded absently.

"Well, it's not much, but it will enhance their natural abilities. I'll work on adding new abilities, but this is what they'll have to work with."

* * *

Aaron dropped the hunks of metal onto his bed and sat down at his desk with some art homework. It was an open assignment, so Aaron let his mind wander. As he worked, the sketch took the shape of a woman wearing a tight metal body suit. She had black hair which flowed freely to the middle of her back, and as he sketched, she had a fair complexion, and hazel eyes. But most intriguing was her face, beautiful, but dangerous, and hardened after years of seeing life's injustices. As Aaron completed coloring the woman's cheeks, he stopped to look at the figure. He had tried to sketch Alex as she had looked in that armor, as a sort of tribute to their new occupation, but this woman was very different, and incredibly familiar. He shook off his confusion, and headed downstairs as his mother called for dinner.

* * *

Happily strutting through the halls of the Falcon's Nest, Speculum threw open the door of the main audience chamber.

"Parent-creator! I have found the information for you!" he cried. The menacing figure of the Falcon leapt from the throne-like chair, landing neatly on the ground. Dan approached from behind, the woman frowning slightly at the presence of the childish robot.

"Speculum, wonderful! Except...where are the papers?" Speculum smiled broadly, the blue face lighting up.

"I thought that the policemen would know if the papers were missing, so I memorized them word for word. 'The following men and women are being kept in maximum-security prisons internationally as members of the crime ring known as Falcon's Flock. First, Brandon Kennedy, captured January 23, 1999 in Tokyo on charges of smuggling. Kept in maximum-security facility 44-d3, cell block 9-666. Second, Joanna D. Fetraman, captured on June 19, 1999 in Barcelona on charges of assault and carrying a concealed weapon. Kept in M-S facility 39-r5, cell block 7-042. Third..." He continued to speak, and Dan, scowling, had pulled out a notepad and was scribbling furiously. The Falcon was grinning like a maniac (which was only fair, since most criminal leaders are), hazel eyes beaming upon the loyal robot.

* * *

"I knew it! Damn robot was nothing but trouble, knew he would get away first chance he got-" she was mumbling, storming down the long corridor. "I tried to warn you, love, but you didn't listen. God, you're trusting, you're your own person, and that's why I love you, but this is just plain dangerous!" Dan threw open the doors to the Falcon's private chambers. "Falcon! The fledgling has left the nest!" The bed in which the Falcon slept became a cloud of flying beddings when the greatest criminal mastermind in the world sat straight up in pure shock.

"WHAT?!" In a moment, the Falcon was again dressed in a black robe and storming after Dan. "Have every agent start tracking him! That chip should be like a beacon, so get the technicians on him as well! Give everyone vid-lenses and access the display chamber!" Within minutes, the entire base was a flurry of activity searching for a bright blue robot about 7 feet tall who could look like anyone. However, it was not a difficult search.

* * *

"...Authorities have not been able to explain or comment on the rampage, but only warn residents to stay away from the Main Streest area. If you encounter the vandalist, please do not attempt to apprehend him, or her, as there are conflicting eyewitnesses." Alex shut off the radio.

"There! Now all we have to do is get the armor on and go down to Main Street!" she said triumphantly. "Come on, guys!" The two reluctant heroes slipped into the perterbatine armor and followed Alex out of the house. But once there, the warriors found a slight hitch in their plans: there was no way to travel to Main Street.

"Oh darn it," Jo said mock-upset, "Now we won't be able to endanger our lives against an evil robot." As she spoke, she stepped backwards towards her own house. She was stopped when she stepped on the tail of her neighbor's cat. The screech sent her twenty feet straight up, and when she landed in a form enviable of any Olympic athlete, she found the stares of her two friends upon her.

"Jo, since when could adrenaline make your muscles THAT much stronger?" Aaron questioned, awed. Alex gave a Mona Lisa-like grin and grabbed the two's shoulders.

"Guys, think about it. Since we're now superheroes, we must have superpowers. So, I'm thinking our natural abilities have been enhanced. And if that's right..." Her voice faded as Alex's front lawn faded into a gray mist.

* * *

"...I should be a full-blown psychic!" she concluded, happily. "You see, Jo is a great athlete, so she's gotten faster and stronger. I'm really smart, so my intelligence has been escalated into psychic abilities."

"And what about me?" Aaron demanded. Alex turned to her indignant friend.

"Well, I don't know. What are you good at?" But there wasn't a response. Instead, an explosion rocked the street. The three new heroes whirled around to see the commotion. The normally elegant and quiet Main Street was in ruins. Everything from the National Bank to Little Joey's Pizzeria had sustained some damage. The road itself was torn up, asphalt and pieces of metal scattered through the rubble. And standing in the center of it was what appeared to be a young man, but sculpted from a milky-blue metal and glowing blue eyes. He turned to the three teenagers and his face broke into a smile.

"So, are you here to fight me? Parent-creator sent some of its children after me, but they couldn't beat me. What makes you think you can?" Jo swallowed, and stepped forward.

"Listen, we're here to stop you, to fight you and to beat you, unless you promise to stop doing bad things."

"Like robbing that bank? I can't promise that; if parent-creator wills it, I must do it." Aaron followed suit, stepping forward.

"Then we have to destroy you." The robot grinned.

"You might indeed be a real challenge. Then ready, fight!"

Fin...
This is the second part of the first book, I hope the third will be out soon. Please r/r!