((OOC note. I played around with the POV of this post, and took the RP Vlad and I did and wrote this out from his perspective))
Vlad Cetes leaned against a burnt out lamp post across the street from St Alms, hidden in the shadows.
He stared at the cathedral doors, observing the scene with well practiced patience. She had been inside for at least half an hour, talking to the imposter priest and he could hear everything being said thanks to a few special implants that were hacked into the church's security surveilance.
He listened to their conversation though he really didn't consider it eavesdropping per se. It was more or less gathering intel.
It didn't mean he was a goddamned stalker, after all, even if he was standing outside of a random cathedral in the middle of the goddamned night just to make sure she was okay.
Not that he cared or anything, he told himself.
He was beyond caring about anyone or anything. No human emotion. Most of his humanity had been replaced over time with artificial implants. Emotions were weakness, actions based on anything other than logic were a hindrance.
So why are you here? That little voice in the back of his mind nagged him. He told it to shut the fuck up.
Movement across the street caught his attention. He watched as another person entered into the cathedral.
He could hear them. Shalee, Micah, and Kathetel. He grimaced as he heard Kathetel's threat.
He ran across the street and pushed open the stained glass doors, easing into the foyer in time to see Micah die.
As Kathetel forced Shalee to start walking, Vlad yelled out, "Cease and desist immediately."
He spun around bringing Shalee with him, looking at Vlad. "Vlad!" She screamed out his name, only to be choked by the agent.
He advanced toward the agent, "Release her at once, or die." As he spoke he was communicating via the Nexus, a highly sophisticated implant that gave him thought to thought communication with his subordinates. He gave the orders for some of his guards to move in on the cathedral.
Kathetel laughed, his voice ringing out across the chapel. "Make one more step and she dies."
The security team entered in with their rifles drawn."I believe we have a standoff, human." Vlad said.
"Human? You must be joking." His fingers tightened around Shalee's throat to the point that she started gasping. "Send your men away and she lives."
"I do not believe a human can asphyxiate a standard human being faster than aimed projectiles can eliminate a human's ability to live. You have five seconds to release her, or they will shoot."
The agent scooped her up into his arms and started to back away, using her as a shield. "Shoot me and she dies too."
"And what is she to me?" He bluffed. "It appears though you were interrogating her. If she dies, you lose. You think you can attack me and walk away?"
"I don't need to. I just need to get the girl out of here," he said as he continues walking backwards making his way to the backdoor.
Vlad sent a mental command to a guard -Flashbang! Now!-. The guard instantly tossed a cylindrical object towards the back door. As it exploded, it's magneisum charge blinded the room with light while emitting a 180 dB sound.
The agent had lightning fast reflexes but wasn't able to make it through the door in time with Shalee struggling in his arms. His vision changed, adapting with the burst of light as the pair of them were blown forward by the blast, and in the process he lost his hold on her.
Vlad Cetes sprinted forward and grabbed Shalee. She fell into his arms, smearing Micah's blood across his shirt. As she went limp, he scooped his arm beneath her knees and started to carry her towards the exit, crouching as security provided fire over the top of them.
Railgun projectiles pierced the billowing smoke as another grenade was set off. Tear gas filled the chapel.
Shalee buried her head against Vlad's shoulder, terrified, coughing, gasping for breath.
"Fight through the gas Shalee, it wont kill you."
Kathetel made it half way up the aisle before falling to his knees, choking on the smoke, bleeding.
The security officers continuously ripped into him with bullets, slaughtering his body long after he died.
Once outside, Vlad carried her across the street. "Are you alright?"
She was pale, trembling, still in shock. She stared at him with wide eyes then finally shook her head.
He couldn't leave her like this.
Without a second thought, he carried her off to his waiting shuttle. Once inside he sat her gently down onto one of the seats then headed off to give orders to the pilot to join up with the legion. Armed security kept watch out of the portholes.
He went back to her, easing himself down beside her.
She was still in shock, white as a ghost, staring off at nothing. Finally she broke the silence, "You were following me...why?"
"That will remain a secret." Because I don't know..
She was too out of it to argue. "I can't go home. I don't even know where Saint is ...but I can't face him now." Tears dripped down her cheeks. "I just can't. And oh god...I saw him die. Micah." She glanced down at her blood splattered hands.
"We will go to Stain. It is far enough away, give you time to think."
The shuttle docked aboard the Legion, then a course was set and cloak was activated. They would not be followed.
"I've never been to Stain." She attempted small talk, though he did not respond.
"How are you so calm?"
"Calm under pressure is a nature of my enhancements. The elimination of emotion is one of the steps of evolution."
Her expression showed her confusion, "I don't know what you mean."
"My medulla oblongata has been surgically removed. I do not feel joy, pain, anger, sadness...no emotions. I function off of logic."
"No emotion? No love?"
"And you are okay with this? How long have you been this way?"
"It does not matter. My path is set."
"But why? What happened to make you like this?"
He ignored her question and checked the time.
"Why wont you tell me? What are you hiding?"
"I realized early on that humanity was flawed, that it had to evolve or die."
She shook her head, "So you chose to do this to yourself?"
"I have seen it's benefits against humanity. I chose correctly."
"Without emotion you're little more than a drone with flesh."
"Negative. Drones do not have true intelligence. I have the benefits of machines and humans, augmented with the AI of the Sleepers."
"And thats enough for you?"
"No. There is always more to be done."
"For your whole life, you will never know love or happiness or joy..?"
"The process isn't complete. I will eventually be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. That is the goal..though for the moment that is unreachable."
"To be like God..." she frowned.
"There is no God....yet. To be a god, that is the ultimate goal."
"There is a God."
"I will not debate the obvious. Believe what you want." He glanced to her, noting her disapproving frown. At least her color was starting to return. Sparking her anger made her forget about what she had witnessed. "We are almost to Stain."
As she turned her head, he caught a glimpse of her reflection against one of the viewport glasses. Her words replayed through his mind again, "No emotion, no love?" "Negative."
That nagging voice whispered against the back of his mind. "Liar."