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E.G.G Episode 51: Technovore
AND THERE CAME A DAY, A DARK DAY. A DAY WHERE THE LIVES OF THREE FRIENDS WERE SINGLEHANDEDLY DESTROYED. BUT THAT DAY HASN’T HAPPENED YET. NOW, HISTORY HAS BEEN REWRITTEN, AND E.G.G WILL WAKE TO SEE A BRAND NEW DAY.
Previously, on E.G.G...
When Sentinels attack, the X-Men, the Inner Circle, and E.G.G all were forced to put their differences aside and work together in an all out epic brawl! Unfortunately, their combined efforts weren't enough, and Jean had to take in the Phoenix Force to finish the Sentinels for good. However, the X-Men and Inner Circle forced her into the Dark Phoenix, leading to the death of Mastermind. Eileen was fortunately able to appeal to the Phoenix's thirst for knowledge, and prevented a disaster that could have spelled the end of the known universe.
Click here to read E.G.G Episode 50: Destroy
Click here for Episode 50 Q&A
“Are you sure she’s okay?” Maya asked Josh as they sat on the grass in Battery Park.
“For the umpteenth time, yes!” Josh replied. “Why do you keep asking?”
“Sorry, sorry.” Maya replied. “But, I mean, come on, she got kidnapped.”
“Don’t worry, those creeps didn’t lay a finger on her.”
“I still think you should’ve called the police.” Josh laughed.
“Police couldn’t have done anything if they tried.” He replied.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“They weren’t really your everyday kidnappers.”
“And you’re more qualified than the cops?”
“Ex S.H.I.E.L.D, remember?”
“Right, right. But you’re sure she’s alright?”
“Agh! Can we just not talk and kiss instead?” Maya smiled.
“Okay, fine.” She moved her arms down Josh’s jacket and they kissed in the New York sun.
* * *
Acacia ran back and forth frantically in E.G.G Base.
“Where is it!” She shouted, shoveling through drawers and cabinets. “It has to be here somewhere! Gah!” At the door, Eileen stood holding James’s hands.
“Do you have to go?” She said.
“It’ll only be for a few days, I promise.” James said. “I just gotta follow up on a lead that’ll help me get home.”
“I can’t find it anywhere!” Acacia shouted, rushing past them.
“You know, you never told me where you were from.” Eileen said. James smiled.
“I will, when you’re ready.” He replied.
“Okay, I’ll trust you.” She said. He leaned over and kissed Eileen on the cheek.
“See you when I get back.” He said, stepping into the elevator.
“Bye.” Eileen said, waving.
“Found it!” Acacia shouted. She approached Eileen with a half-eaten chimechanga. “Oh man, I thought I’d never see you again!”
“Where did you find it?” Eileen asked.
“Some idiot threw it in the garbage!” She said. She lifted it to her mouth and Eileen knocked it out of her hand.
“Don’t eat that!” She exclaimed.
“Aww,” Acacia complained. “Fine, I’ll just go warm up another one.” She sadly sulked off as Josh came out of the elevator.
“Where’s Collins going?” He asked.
“Looking for a way back home.” Eileen said.
“Oh thank goodness!” Josh said. “I’m tired of that guy.”
“What did he ever do to you?” Eileen asked.
“He was born!” Josh replied. He got onto the main terminal. “Now, I’ve gotta download that confidential file Fury sent before he blows a fuse.”
“When did he send it?”
“A week ago. I… haven’t gotten around to it.”
“You were on your PlayStation 4 all day yesterday!”
“Hey, I fought giant mutant killing robots! Okay! I need a breather! Speaking of that…”
“We need to know how the Extremis is affecting your…”
“I’m not gonna be a lab rat strapped to a table being poked and prodded at.”
“Eileen, you are a mutant. Omega class at that. We need to know the full extent of your abilities.”
“I’ll just do it while you’re sleep then.”
“James is like a watchdog, he wouldn’t let you touch me!”
“Yeah, except, he just left, so… what’s with you two anyways? Are you like, a thing?”
“Huh? Well, yeah, I guess, not really though. I mean, I think we are… ish… it’s complicated.”
“Well that’s not good.”
“I’m just sayin’, you gotta lock that down.”
“Lock what down?” She asked. Josh shook his head.
“So naïve.” He said. Suddenly the lights flickered. “Oh now what!” Josh shouted, as the computer screens all began to glitch.
“What’s going on?” Acacia asked, walking into the room. Suddenly all of the monitors went blank.
“I quit.” Josh said. “I freaking quit! Can there just be one day where crap doesn’t go wrong!” Just then, two menacing red eyes appeared on every screen.
“Consuuuuuuuuume….” A voice from the computers hissed. Then the screens began to show a range of data. Numbers streaming by at light speed.
“What’s happening?” Eileen asked. Jocasta then rushed into the room with Celeste.
“Warning!” She exclaimed. “All systems are compromised!”
“What are we dealing with Jocasta?” Josh asked.
“I believe it is a virus.” She replied.
“Crap!” Josh exclaimed. “Eileen, get in there and see what you can see.” Eileen nodded. She held her hand to her head.
“I see… there’s… some kind of monster!” She said. “It’s… It’s feeding on our database, consuming everything!”
“Didn’t we deal with the same problem with Zzzax?” Acacia asked.
“This is different.” Eileen said. “Zzzax was just syphoning electricity, this is… it’s eating our data! Erasing our entire system!”
“Schematics, S.H.I.E.L.D secrets, secure files, everything is on these computers!” Josh shouted. “Get it out now!”
“I can’t touch it…” Eileen said. “It’s too powerful, I can barely stay in the-” Eileen opened her eyes. “He locked me out.”
“Perhaps I can be of assistance.” Jocasta said. “My consciousness can be uploaded into the base. I could hold off this virus and prevent it from deleting any further data while you figure out a way to shut it down from the outside.”
“Couldn’t it just delete you?” Celeste asked, concerned.
“Affirmative. But I am willing to take this risk for my friends.” Josh nodded.
“We gotta stop this thing.” He said. “Do it Jocasta.”
“No wait!” Celeste exclaimed, grabbing Jocasta’s arm. Jocasta looked down at her.
“Do not worry Celeste,” she said. “I will be okay.” Celeste took a deep breath and let go.
“Please be careful.” Jocasta nodded. Seconds later her eyes blacked out and her body fell to the ground.
“She’s in.” Eileen said.
“Good,” Josh replied. “Now pull up a seat and let’s figure out what we can do about this virus.”
* * *
Inside the computer, Jocasta floated amongst infinite data streaming by her.
“Where is the virus?” She asked. She looked around, then spotted something out of the corner of her optics. She turned to see a vicious looking black creature, with long sharp nails and teeth, piercing red eyes, real predator-like. It was absorbing the data into its hands and mouth.
“Consuuuuuuume.” It hissed. Jocasta flipped her arms into guns.
“Cease and desist!” She ordered. The monster turned to her.
“Errrraaaaaahhh!” It roared, vanishing in an instant.
“What?” Jocasta asked, looking around. “Where did…” Suddenly the data around her began to turn red. “Wait. Analyzing. Of course. He is using the data to…” Just then the monster appeared behind her and scratched her back.
“Agh!” She shouted. “Yes, to do that.” She opened fire on the monster.
* * *
Outside, Josh, Eileen, Acacia, and just about every E.G.G agent that could fit in the area were trying to find a way to absolve the virus.
“What exactly is this thing?” Josh asked.
“It’s some kind of technological vorarephilia.” Eileen replied. “Seeing as how it’s feeding on our database.”
“Well, we’ve got to find a way to stop this… Technovore, before it consumes everything! Any ideas?”
“Could we maybe make something to infect him?” Acacia said. “Put something in the data he’s eating that’ll hurt him?”
“What, like fight a virus with a virus?” Josh asked.
“Yeah, I don’t know, like an antivirus.”
“It’s perfect!” Eileen said. “The perfect trap, we poison his food.”
“Well first we need to know what he’s allergic to.” Josh said. “We need more info.” He pressed a series of buttons on the computer. “Jocasta? Can you hear me?”
* * *
“Affirmative.” She said, holding monster back as it bit at her.
“We think we’ve got a way to stop him but we need more information on the Technovore. You think you can do that?”
“I will try.” She said, punching Technovore off of her.
“Consuuuuuuume!” It growled.
“Yes, I understand your objective,” Jocasta said, flying towards Technovore. “You have already stated it multiple times!” She slammed into it and threw it into a firewall. “Analyzation of designation: Technovore in progress.”
“Rrrrraaaaaa!” Technovore roared as it viciously began to slash at Jocasta. Jocasta blocked each attack, then looked to see the scratches on her arm glowing red.
“His attacks…” She said. “When he attacks me I loose data! I cannot allow this to happen!” Jocasta took off, Technovore hot on her trail.
“Consuuuuuume!” It roared.
* * *
Josh was typing into his laptop, with Eileen and Acacia over his shoulder.
“I’ve the basic technological makeup of a virus, but we won’t know if it works on Technovore until we find a hole in his systems. Otherwise he’ll just eat right through.” Eileen got on the main terminal.
“Jocasta, find anything we can use?” She asked.
“I am… ah… trying…” Jocasta hectically replied. Eileen looked at Josh.
“That doesn’t sound good.” She said.
“Is Jocasta okay?” Celeste asked.
“Display her vitality Acacia.” Josh said. Acacia typed into the computer and a bar appeared with the number 63% over it, and it was steadily dropping.
“Oh no…” Eileen said.
“What’s happening?” Josh asked.
“The more Jocasta fights the more Technovore can damage her consciousness. She’s not making a dent, but he’s… he’s deleting her.”
“No!” Celeste shouted.
“Not on my watch.” Josh said. “Jocasta, listen to me, you gotta keep your distance from Technovore, you’re at 53% and dropping.”
* * *
“It is not as easy as you believe it to be.” Jocasta replied. She spun around and began shooting at Technovore.
“Grrraaahhh!” It yelled. It then jumped into the data and appeared under her, biting her leg.
“Agh!” Jocasta shouted, blasting it in the face. Technovore pulled and ripped Jocasta’s leg off, and she began leaking red numbers. “I will not allow you to delete my mind!” She shouted. She turned her arm into a blade and slashed Technovore.
“Rrrrrahhhhh!” It shrieked, looking down at the wound. “Consuuuuume…” It absorbed more data around it, and the cut healed.
“Okay then…” Jocasta said.
* * *
“She’s at 43%!” Celeste exclaimed.
“Jocasta, you’ve gotta have something we can use!” Eileen called.
“Negative, analysis is incomplete.” She replied. “I must get closer to acquire more sufficient data.”
“You can’t! You’ll be deleted!” Celeste cried.
“The kid’s right Jocasta,” Josh said. “You gotta pull out now, or there’s gonna be nothing left of you.”
* * *
“Negative.” Jocasta firmly objected. “I do not care how powerful it is, this virus will be stopped!” Jocasta flew into Technovore and crashed him through the hard drive.
“Consume!” Technovore growled, as it slashed and bit and scratched Jocasta.
“Analyzing… gzt… crzt… analyzing…” Jocasta struggled, forcing herself to withstand Technovore’s merciless assault. She was leaking red data everywhere. Eileen looked to see the bar dropping rapidly.
“She’s not gonna make it!” She shouted.
“Jocasta! You’re dying!” Celeste cried. Jocasta then punched Technovore and kicked off of it.
“Grraaahh!” It shouted, jumping into the data. Jocasta had lost her entire lower body, one arm, and half of her face.
“Alert.” She said. “I have found a small break in his code. It is his data processor, if you can cause it to malfunction, he will not be able to process what he consumes.”
* * *
“So we break his digestive system.” Josh said. “Good, we need the code though, we’ve got to tune the antivirus to his specific data processor, or we could wipe out the entire system.”
“It will… zrrt… retrieve it…” Jocasta weakly said. Celeste looked to see her bar at 12%.
“You can’t make it.” She said, tears streaming down her cheeks.
* * *
“I already told you Celeste,” Jocasta said. “I will be okay.” Using her only arm, Jocasta blasted the data stream and Technovore flew out.
“Consuuuuuuume…” It roared.
“Come then virus, consume me!” Jocasta called. Technovore flew into Jocasta and bit her shoulder, ripping off her other arm and eating it.
“Gazrtzzcczrt…” Jocasta shouted. “Processing… zzt… code… crzt… data…”
* * *
Just then Josh’s laptop pinged. He looked to see a file sent from Jocasta.
“She got it!” Josh said, typing on his computer. “Just a few more seconds and…”
“Hurry Josh!” Eileen shouted, as Jocasta’s bar dropped to 2%.
“Done!” He shouted, clicking and sending it to the main terminal. “One antivirus hot and ready!” The antivirus appeared in the code, but Technovore was still attacking Jocasta.
“It’s in!” Acacia called. “Get out of there Jocasta!”
“I… brzt... cannot…” She said.
“You have to!” Celeste screamed.
“I am… zzt… czt… not going to survive…bzt… 99% of my data is gone… crzt… attach the antivirus… zzt… to my last 1%... rzt… I will stop Technovore.”
“That last percent…” Eileen said. “It’s your memories Jocasta…”
“I know… bzt… czt… I will miss you dearly my friends.”
“No…” Celeste sobbed. Acacia looked at Josh, and Josh nodded. He clicked and dragged the antivirus to Jocasta.
* * *
The little that was left of Jocasta began to glow blue. Technovore bit into her one more then suddenly jumped back.
“Grazzzzztttt!” It screamed, as it began to crack, blue lights shining from it. “Conssssssuuuuuummmmmeeeeeee……” Then, the Technovore virus exploded into small bits of data.
“Yes…” Jocasta said, as she began to fade into numbers. “Looks like you just got… consumed…” She faded away, and was gone.
* * *
“No!” Celeste screamed, hugging Acacia and crying. Eileen, Josh, and Acacia all looked solemnly at each other. The computer beeped and ejected a small steaming memory stick. Josh grabbed it.
“This must be where Technovore came from.” He said. “I’ll go analyze it.” He stood up. The Inner Shell was silent except for the sobs of Celeste. Acacia rubbed her back.
“It’s okay.” She said in a soothing voice. “Jocasta was a true hero.” She looked down at her lifeless robotic body. “She saved all of E.G.G, and for that, we are extremely grateful.” Just then the computer pinged. Eileen looked up to Jocasta’s bar, displaying 0.00013%.
“Guys!” She shouted. They looked over. Josh jumped with excitement.
“Quick! Get her body to the Humpty Dumpty Hall!” He said. “Let’s upload what’s left!”
“Where’d it come from?” Acacia asked, as she, Josh, Celeste, and Eileen rushed to the Humpty Dumpty Hall, E.G.G agents carrying Jocasta.
“Not sure,” Josh replied. “Maybe backup data?” The agents laid her on the table and Josh plugged a cord into her head. “Come on baby…” He said, typing in the computer. Suddenly Jocasta’s eyes flickered and lit up blue.
“Backup files installed.” She said, sitting up.
“It worked!” Celeste shouted.
“Warning: Data corrupted beyond repair. System reboot in progress.”
“What?” Josh asked.
“Josh, if she reboot’s, she’ll reset!” Eileen said. “She’ll forget everything, including us!”
“Stop her!” Celeste shouted.
“Jocasta, abort reboot process!” Acacia demanded. “Now!”
“Unable to process request.” Jocasta said. “System reboot complete.”
“No!” Celeste cried.
“Dang it!” Josh shouted. Jocasta’s eyes went out, then came back on again. She looked around the room.
“Hello,” she said. “My name designation is Jocasta.”
“Oh man…” Josh said. Celeste walked up to the table.
“Jocasta, do you remember me?” She asked. “Celeste?”
“Negative, no recollection of you exists in my databanks.”
“But you have to remember me! Me, Auntie Acacia, Commander Wuthrich, Director Westbrook! We’re all your friends!”
“Error,” Jocasta answered. “I do not have, as you say, ‘friends’. I only have my purpose.” Josh was alerted.
“And what is your purpose, Jocasta?” He asked.
“My purpose is to ensure the survival of my master, so that he may carry out his imperative, the destruction of all organic life.”
“And who is your master?”
“Ultron.” Everyone looked at each other.
“That’s not good.” Eileen said.
“Upload process engaged. Error: Ultron files not found. Searching worldwide database now.”
“We gotta shut her down.” Josh said. “Or else she’s gonna find wherever she hid Ultron and bring him back.”
“Please do not try to stop me.” Jocasta said. “It is in my programming to use lethal force. If I must, I will kill you.”
“She hasn’t adapted to her body yet!” Acacia said. “Do it now! Before she gets the chance!”
“NO!” Celeste shouted, climbing on top of Jocasta. “Jocasta, please! You have to remember!” Josh grabbed the cord.
“I’m sorry…” He said.
“No, just stop!” Celeste screamed. “Jocasta! Please remember! It’s me! Celeste! Remember your friends!”
“No! No error! Remember Jerome! And Seth! Remember the day you and my mom fought Dr. Doom! Remember when I built your new body! Please!”
“Memories do not exist.”
“Josh, pull the plug.” Eileen said.
“Jocasta! I’m begging you!” Celeste sobbed. “Come back to me! I promise I’ll never rewire you or mess with your programming or anything I ever did ever again! I’ll be a good girl! Please! Don’t go, you’re my best friend! I love you!” She hugged Jocasta and began to sob. Josh sighed sadly, and began to pull the cord.
“I…” Jocasta said. Josh stopped. Everyone looked up. “I love you too, Celeste.” Celeste smiled, crying tears of joy.
“I knew you couldn’t forget.” She said, as the girl and machine embraced each other.
“Phew.” Acacia said. “That could have been ugly.”
“I guess friendship is the most powerful bond after all.” Josh said.
“Not friendship Josh.” Eileen said, smiling. “Love.”
Josh sat in a conference room, spinning around in the chair and fiddling with the memory stick. Then he stopped. He squinted at it. He chipped away some of the char and looked closer.
“What in the…” He said. Printed on the memory stick were three sole letters: A.I.M. Josh spun around to the computer. “Jocasta.” He called.
“Yes director.” Her voice replied.
“Do a search on A.I.M, give me anything you come up with.
“As you-” Suddenly Jocasta cut off.
“Jocasta?” Josh asked. Just then the computer glitched, and on it appeared a symbol, of ten small circles, each with a different Chinese symbol in it, forming one large circle, and two swords crossed in the middle. “What is this?” Josh asked. At that moment a man, shrouded in shadow, appeared on the screen.
“Director Westbrook.” He said, in a deep, spine chilling voice.
“What do you want?” Josh asked.
“I implore you to look no further into this matter.” The man replied. “Doing so could be… very dangerous.”
“Yeah, tough talk from a guy hiding his face.” Josh replied.
“I’m warning you now, back out of these affairs, or you will force my hand, and I will have to stop you personally.”
“Yeah, no. I don’t scare easy pal. Your little Technovore didn’t work and neither will your threats. You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
“Neither do you.” The man replied.
“I’m not backing down, so go ahead and come get me. I’ll be ready.”
“No you won’t.” The screen began to glitch. “You’ll never see me coming.” Just then, it returned to normal.
“-wish.” Jocasta finished. There was a pause. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” Josh said, looking at the A.I.M imprinted on the memory stick. “But I have a horrible feeling we’re about to find out.”
To Be Continued…
See you Thursday!
Alright, make sure you tune in next week Thursday, October 8, and catch the Q&A for this episode! Then come back the next day, October 9, for E.G.G Episode 52: Hammer Time! Things are about to get fre-kay!