Research Bay 4, D Wing, Cell #26
Do you know what its like to not have access to a majority of your senses for most of the time and, when you do get them, they only last for about two seconds before being crisped into black goo?
Abel does, and he's far from amused as his vision blurs back into focus, only to witness a brilliant red flash, right before everything goes black again.
The droids weren't stupid, that's for sure. Not only had they learned to just keep breaking his body, but that some parts of him would come back faster and sooner than others, such as his sensory organs. So, keep breaking those and he'll be too busy fixing them to fix any other part of him. Good plan, right?
The Major stews in his own juices, somewhat literally, for some indeterminate span of time. Well, that's not entirely true. Somewhere in his body, there's a little magical spell that keeps track of time. A little thing, really, but it's a life-saver in a time like this.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock... except it doesn't really go tick or tock. More like a feeling that says, "It's 090311. It's 090312. It's 090313." Abel clings to that feeling, though, reveling in any sort of stimulation that doesn't involving searing pain right now.
Having grown largely numb to the fire criss-crossing his nervous system, the soldier is surprised when he realizes that it isn't there anymore. His vision returns soon after, fading up to stark contrasts, then subtler grays, and finally full color. His hearing and sense of smell soon follow.
It's a good thing that Pinkerdroids lack any sort of cookies to toss, as the sight isn't a very pretty one. Take a human, and then strip their skin and about half of the muscle off. Next, throw lasers at them for the better part of two hours, and then focus on only the human's head for another hour or so. In the end, you get a blackened corpse with deep pockmarks here and there, and a charred skull for a head.
When the Pinkerdroids stopped firing on Abel, the Major's eyes were the first things to be reverted. Two optical nerves seemingly "grew" up into his sockets, bulging and then blooming into eyes with lovely brown irises. His auditory and olfactory nerves were next, although these were a lot less dramatic than his eyes; just some tissue springing up against his skull, really.
As the Major's throat and vocal cords are repaired, he takes a careful look around the room. There's a small hovering thing up near the ceiling, a wheeled Pinkerdroid with its lasing weaponry aimed squarely at the soldier's head, and then there's a humanoid Pinkerdroid, who is currently standing patiently at what is left of Abel's feet.
Blinking, because his eyelids are back by now, along with some of the other basic muscles on his head, Abel comments in a calm voice, "Would you please stop shooting me? It stings something awful."
"Of course," the humanoid Pinkerdroid replies, "I'm here to talk, and as long as you remain peaceful, we will."
"Okay. Am I allowed up?"
"If you're capable of such action, yes. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Inquisitor unit I28, but you may call me Jerry," the Pinkerdroid's voice declares.
That voice has a fairly human range of expression, as the Inquisitor units were designed specifically to deal with powerful people in stressful situations. It is built to be tougher than any of the other Pinkerdroid units, and it lacks any sort of weapon whatsoever. An Inquisitor like Jerry even has limits on its strength, preventing it from performing even the most simple of superhuman feats. Its electronic brain is designed to deal and negotiate with humanistic thought processes, although it has a bit a difficulty understanding them.
"You're here," Jerry continues in a calm tone, "because you destroyed no less than five Pinkerdroid units, seriously injured a motorist, broke several traffic regulations, and endangered the public's safety."
Abel slowly levers himself up now, his skin complete. His current nudity doesn't bother him in the least, although the slight itching of his hair coming back is annoying, even if it is all in his mind. He thinks over what the droid has said and what he remembers doing, and then nods, "True."
The Major has no problems speaking the truth right now, as he was never completely mirandized, which throws out any possibility of using his statements as evidence against him. He continues, "Sorry about the guy on the bike. Not sorry about the 'bots." 'Also not sure why I fired in he first place. They must have rubbed me the wrong way or something...'
"We are aware that you are a dimensional Anomaly, otherwise known as an avatar, and we are curious about your particular dimensional anomalous abilities. If you woul-" Jerry stops as he finds Abel on his feet and pushing the droid back against the cell's wall.
Being called an 'avatar' just triggered so many alarm bells and reactions in the Major's head that it ceases to be amusing. As the armed Pinkerdroid is swiveling to track Abel, the soldier is glaring into Jerry's face, "I. Am. Not. An. Avatar." He spits out the word like an insult, before releasing Jerry, unaware that only the Inquisitor's radio signal kept him from being turned into grilled cheese again.
"I do not like avatars. Do not associate me with them," he practically growls, adjusting his now-present beret slightly.
Jerry pushes himself off of the wall and nods, a humanistic gesture of agreement, "Duly noted. You are just an anomaly, then. We are curious as to the full extent of your abilities, and it has been decided that having you as an active participant would be far more fruitful than trial-and-error."
Abel eyes the Pinkerdroid for a moment and then shrugs, "What's in it for me? Other than having a useful body, that is."
"We know of your past military record, and we are willing to weigh that evidence in determining whether or not you are truly an endangerment to the public. Cooperating with us will also work in your favor," Jerry blatantly lies, but his words are inflected to be the utter truth, "Quite frankly, Major Abel, your actions this morning are damning enough for you to be put away for a long, long time."
'Carrot and stick all rolled into one. I feel like I'm a rabbit. If I go along with this, I probably won't ever get out, but if I don't, I never will. Damned if a do, damneder if I don't.'
"Alright, what do you want to know?"
"First, our records have you as being feline. What happened to your ears, tail, and fur?"
"What triggered this change?"
"I remember a bright flash. I thought you guys were interested in what I do, not what I know."
"We're interested in both, Major Abel, why did you shoot the officers who came to see you?"
"You're not being very forthcoming, Major Abel."
"No, no I'm not, but that is a result of my information, not my willingness to impart it."
"Why do you not die?"
"Because I'm dead."
"You have a heartbeat, though, body heat, and respiration."
"Remnants of life. They can be turned off," and he does so.
Inside, Abel isn't sure if he should be more freaked about the fact that he is capable of stopping his heart and lungs with a thought, the fact that doing so doesn't kill him, or the fact that he's so bloody calm about the whole matter. It isn't as if he's been doing this for years, you know! 'Yes it is. I'm been like this for millennia. What's a heartbeat other than a muscle contraction? It isn't really all that important.'
Now worried about how he is answering himself, the soldier lets his heart and lungs go about their business again. The watcher-bot overhead records everything that it can.
"Why do your body and clothes regenerate?" Jerry continues the line of questioning.
"I have evidence to the contrary."
"You have evidence of them coming back after being detroyed, not of them regenerating."
"Regeneration would require that I be alive, which I am not. To the best of my knowledge, it is a temporal reversion process limited to me and my equipment."
"All of your equipment will 'come back'?"
"Given enough time, yes, although I don't plan on shooting anything up as long as I'm treated fairly."
As Abel's mind digs through hundreds of similar situations in his 'past', looking for parallels and diving strategies, he notes to himself that somebody higher up probably made a gamble on sending Jerry in to talk to him. Luckily for them, it paid off.
I am a Rational man...