Donít Call Them Ruth-Less: Tales of Wynston and Quinn
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08.15.2012 , 01:28 PM |
December, 28 ATC: The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape
"Quinn! Ready to be someone else?"
Quinn looked up from his console. "I...wasn't planning on it."
"And that's your problem. You still don't have the secret-agent mindset." Wynston grinned and waved a flat metallic device. "Your disguise generator is in. You can look like anybody you want now. With some very convincing forcefield tricks to tangibly back it up."
"I, too, can officially deny my age and species?"
"And gender," said Wynston.
Quinn scowled at him.
"Or not," said Wynston. "I'm just saying, it would save you the trouble of warding off adoring women."
"I'm hoping there are less extreme methods. All right, show me how it works."
"Just loop the strap over your shoulder for now. Ideally we do some surgery, get this implanted, but, first things first. You see these lights here, indicating control buttons. Once a profile is selected - and there's one up now - "
"What profile will be showing up when you activate that on me."
"...It's not important."
Quinn pulled the device out of Wynston's hands. "I'm not giving this back until you agree to give me something dignified."
"You're a cynic, Agent Quinn."
"You're untrustworthy, Agent Wynston."
Wynston raised his wrist console and hit a few buttons. "Fine. Transmitting Generic Soldier Number Three Thousand and Two now."
"The image will be clothed," specified Quinn.
"Wow, I hadn't even thought of tampering with that," said Wynston. "Missed opportunity. - Well, not really, most illusion profiles let you show your own clothes over them. Here. Tap the green button twice, firmly, then green and yellow together."
A few faint green lines slid across Quinn's vision. He opened a nearby cabinet to check a mirror therein.
It was, in fact, a fairly generic soldier staring at him. Blond, grey-eyed, still seemingly dressed in the pseudo-uniform Quinn favored.
Quinn touched the stranger's face and watched his own motions in the mirror. "Fascinating," he said. "It even feels real."
"Remarkable technology. It took us years to develop it to this point, and we had the luxury of starting from a very convincing version of the tech." Wynston reached out for the device, hit a few buttons. "Try this one."
Quinn hit the activation sequence and saw his image change, shrink, to a petite brunette Zabrak...a decidedly female one. In a short red dress. "I don't like that one," he said, in a voice that came out disturbingly squeaky.
"I think you look quite nice."
Quinn shuddered. "Don't start."
"Images smaller than yourself have limits anyway. You can look the part, but we can't forcefield away your basic body mass. So it's risky to operate like that."
"I see." Quinn hurriedly tapped yellow, yellow, yellow-plus-green, and saw the image dissolve to reveal his true face (and clothes) again.
"Good guess on the deactivation control. Now, we have an extensive database of physical profiles to choose from; you can load a few into the device at once and choose among them in the field. You're not obligated to walk around with one active all the time. I do, obviously -" he ran a hand over his delicate features, his unscarred blue skin - "with a few rare exceptions when I'm around people who knew me before; but a lot of us only use the disguises for specific assignments. Now, if you're satisfied with the basics, we're going to want to implant the device."
"Usually we drill a slot into the pelvis. Easy button access; the control lights are visible under the skin for your convenience, and it doesn't look much different from other cybernetic gadgets; and the bulk of it is protected by bone."
Quinn shifted uncomfortably, touching one hip. "I'm using that iliac crest."
"You've got another one just like it," Wynston said, gesturing at Quinn's other side. "I don't see the problem."
"Will you be performing this surgery?"
"Yes, in point of fact."
"See? That's the problem."
"What, you think I'm going to do something underhanded while operating on you?" Wynston's smile went beyond malicious. "I could tell you stories about my old Intelligence colleagues..."
"Really. I didn't think you could talk about that."
"To you? Sure I can." Wynston clapped Quinn on the shoulder. "Our work unites us in bonds of trust, comrade. And now you're going under the knife."
"Bonds of trust do
figure into our relationship, agent."
Wynston produced a scalpel out of nowhere and smiled winningly. "Let's get started."
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