It was difficult for Andrew Green to determine exactly what the nature of the emergency could be, not that he really tried very hard. When he was first brought to the ‘secret government installation’ Her Majesty’s servants made clear that while he was not under any circumstances allowed to leave the rooms assigned him, he would be encouraged to continue with his research as long as he proved willing to also explore any little avenues which they found interesting and while one of the purposes for all the guards, complicated defenses and security systems was to keep an eye on the scientist and artificer residents like himself, their real job was to protect said residents. They made sure that none of the people irritated by various failed attempts to take over the world could bother the residents with plots for revenge. Also, they prevented jealous rivals from sneaking in and stealing or sabotaging the geniuses.

In the end, if Green wanted to be fair about it, which of course he never would, the change in his circumstances was a distinct improvement. He was safer than his own defenses ever made him. He had no bills. The government provided all the vastly expensive and hard to come by materials he needed and on a more reliable and timely basis than had the black market for no cost except the time it took to fill out the forms. They no longer persecuted him, trying to find out what he was up to and stop him. The cooking provided was far better than what he could have managed (Do you realize how difficult it could be to get delivery to your super secret hideout?). Besides, it is not like Green went out much even before he was caught.

Of course, staying in because you are busy and staying in because you have no choice are two entirely different kettles of fish. And, though he spent a lot of time working on weapons as well as the advanced robotics, Green was never allowed to build or test them without ‘supervision’. They also stressed how he was in no way allowed to ever arm the robots they allowed him to keep with him in his lab. There was also his frustrated monomania at having to take anyone’s orders or ask anyone’s permission about anything which occasionally, like now, sent him rampaging through his high tech cage screaming at the top of his lungs in a bewildering jumble of languages. Yet, the sound of explosions, raised voices, and the harsh barking of various weapons penetrated the walls of his vault, with increasing volume, interrupting him mid-tirade and destroying his trains of thought.

With a petulant command, Green dispatched his two electro-mechanical assistants to carry another complaint to the guards. “It’s probably just one of the lesser scientists attempting, crudely, to escape again.” Grumbling much more quietly, he stamped his way back into his lab. Green was fully absorbed in his work within moments. He was attempting to improve the mechanism which extended and retracted the reinforced titanium claws his blasted keepers wouldn’t allow him to reinstall in the robots who served him. It still jammed sometimes at the top range of force the arm could put behind a thrust. Then the claws would have to be removed entirely for repair if the fingers were ever to be used again. The problem was moot as long as he remained a ‘guest’ in that government funded purgatory, but Green believed in planning ahead. He did not even notice when the robots failed to return until he asked one for a tool and the tool was not promptly delivered.

With a barely contained growl of pure rage at yet another distraction, Green charged out into the stairwell leading up from his vault to the triple locked and guarded door which led to the rest of a complex he had never seen (except through the security cameras whose feed he tapped among so many other things he was not supposed to be able to do). Green did not make it past the inner door before he tripped over the fallen form of his favorite of the two creations who served him, female formed and fully functional in esoteric ways which made his solitude easier to endure without the bother and trouble of a human assistant who might object. Green just had time to see the other robot crumpled halfway up the stairs and the unconscious guard leaned gently against the inside of the upper door when he felt another body step in close behind him while at the same time his arms were pinioned to his sides and a sharp blade nicked his throat.

The voice straight out of his nightmares and the target of so many of his tirades sounded harshly in Green’s ear, sending his world spinning with panic. “You know the saying, ‘Those the gods would destroy, they first make mad,’?”

Green did not dare nod his head lest he slit his own weasand, but Peter Morland’s voice continued on regardless. “Well you, Green, are no god, but you certainly did make me mad.” Without further ado, the blade traced a deadly line of fire deep into the neck, slitting esophagus and jugular with one swift stroke. Green felt his blood gushing down his throat into his lungs, drowning him even as he bled swiftly towards death with Peter Morland’s arm still holding him helpless.

Green woke choking and gasping, bound tightly up in the sheets the benevolent state provided and kept clean. Before he could calm his pounding heart and free himself he noticed the nude young woman with green hair and bloody eyes sitting at his feet, one hand resting lightly upon his bare ankle. If it were not for the early morning erection bound at a painful angle within his cotton cocoon, Green might have lost the sudden skirmish between toilet training and dignity on a panic stimulated full bladder.

“You may take this as your only warning. Morland knows about the one you sent after him and has dealt with the problem. This time he is content to let the authorities handle the recriminations. If there is a next time, he will not be so forgiving.” Grey patted the ankle lightly and stood.

She crossed over to the mirror hung on the back of the bathroom door by a previous ‘tenant’. She leaned close and exhaled slowly onto the glass. As he stared, strange designs in maroon, hunter, and silver, glowed a moment under her skin, then the reflected image flowed into a dark paneled room Green never before had seen. With a brief harsh glance back, she stepped through to that other room and the reflection returned just as it had been before.

The next morning when the guards invaded Green’s room to find out how he was contacting the world outside, they were surprised to find Green curled naked in a corner of the lab with his favorite robot and every mirror in the room smashed.

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