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Chapter 25: Preparations
palladian23 wrote in superwebnovel
Author's Notes/Warnings: Mind control, unethical behavior, small outfits

As always, thanks to my wonderful editor gwoman for her work on this chapter!

Back to Chapter 24

The next morning, Lex woke later than she usually did, but when she went downstairs, she saw Lou in the kitchen eating breakfast. Lex prepared herself something to eat and then sat beside him.

“So how do you think it went yesterday?” she asked him.

Lou paused for a moment and appeared to think about it, then fixed Lex with a look before he spoke.

“It went a lot better than most bands for the first gig out. There was something different about it, though.”

“What?” Lex asked with a frown of confusion.

“The crowd really liked all the songs you sang on. I've heard a lot of good singers, but I never felt anything like when you were singing yesterday.” After a pause, Lou added, “Have you figured out everything your voice can do yet?”

Lex glanced into the frankly curious gaze Lou shot at her and bit her lip. “I'm still figuring it out, really.”

He nodded then and fell silent for a moment while he took another sip of coffee. “Well,” he said finally, “with the reception we got, I don't know if we'll be able to escape attention while we're on the road. We may end up with way more than we counted on.”

Shrugging, Lex replied, “I don't know about that. It seems like a lot of people don't care too much about music.”

“Maybe not where we come from,” Lou said in a considering tone, “but they might be more interested out here.”

Lex bit her lip. “Do you think I should stop singing? Or maybe we should change plans?”

Lou shook his head. “No, just wanted to tell you I don't think we'll be as invisible as you hoped when we perform.”

They were both silent for several seconds, then Lex noticed Lou looking in her direction again. “Have you been working with what Riss gave you from Lily? She said she'd pass it along to you, but Casey and I didn't hear any more about it.”

Lex felt uncomfortable, but replied, “I've been trying to work through some of the stuff in it, but I can't tell if anything's happening.”

“Why don't you practice with someone else?” Lou asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Lex shook her head, feeling the rising unease in her stomach. “I...” she trailed off for a moment as she tried to find the right words. “I hate telling people what to do. Plus, I worry that I'd say the wrong thing and something terrible would happen.”

Lex stared down at the bowl of granola she now felt unlikely to finish. Her tea had gotten cold, but she didn't think she could drink it anyway because her stomach continued to roil. She looked up when she heard Lou sigh, and met his eyes.

“You figured out how to use your voice in a potentially deadly situation, but you handled everything so that no one got hurt. Somehow, you figured out how to take care of the situation so that we all got out of there safely and you didn't even hurt anyone.”

She looked over at Lou a moment, a curious expression on her face. “So, what's all this about?” she asked, as it dawned on her that she and Lou had never had a conversation quite like this before.

Lou returned her glance and started to laugh. “Casey asked me to talk to you. She's been worried that you haven't been working on your new skills or trying to find out your limits. She kept saying that it would be better for you to figure out what you can do so that you can practice and hopefully improve in order to use your new talents later. Do you remember how it took you a couple of tries to say what you wanted to when you and Casey came for me?”

Lex nodded, looking sheepish. Lou shrugged. “No need to look like that. I think Casey was just worried about you and wanted to let you know that we're all willing to help.”

“Thanks. I'll keep working with the manual, and when I come to places where they want me to practice, I'll try to let you guys know.” Lex still felt uneasy but thought that if her friends trusted her enough to want to help, maybe she'd try it and see how it went.

Later that day, after they'd had some time to research recording equipment and discuss what they'd seen, they went and picked out some gear. For a couple thousand dollars they were able to get everything they needed, including a dual deck recorder that recorded to hard drives, a multitrack mixer, a mastering machine, an effects unit, and a CD duplicator and printer. While they were at the music store they also bought a number of books on recording techniques, which all four of them read and discussed over the following weeks.

Lex well remembered beginning the recording process. She and her friends learned by trial and error what worked for recording the instruments, and it became clear early on that they needed to record Lex's voice pieces separately. After dealing with too much outside noise in the first few recordings, they set up a broom closet off of the kitchen to be an isolation booth with just enough room for Lex to stand and record the sung tracks.

They'd been getting ready to record the voice track on the third piece they'd recorded one morning. Warming up in front the keyboard, Lex pressed the keys for the beginning and end of the scale exercises she sang. She cleared her throat after one run, thinking about her dry throat. She found it difficult to keep hydrated in the desert air, especially when singing, so she promised herself that she'd stop for a drink of water once she finished her exercise scales. As her throat dried out further, Lex found it difficult to keep her mind on the music and found herself racing for the end of the warm-up, the idea of water looming large in her thoughts. As she neared the end of the exercise, Lex thought she heard the slightest burr in her voice, as if another vocal cord had started vibrating, but put it out of her mind, the idea of water seeming much more important.

Lex looked in the direction of the kitchen once she'd finished singing. Casey, Lou, and Riss had all clustered by the sink, each of them drinking a glass of water. Lex just stopped for a moment, looking at them, and swallowed nervously.

Finally, she said, “I'm sorry,” in a barely audible voice. Lex felt her stomach crawl with embarrassment. How could I do this to my friends? Not that she felt sure about what she'd done, but it did seem to be too much of a coincidence.

It shocked her to realize they weren't angry. Lou just nodded and turned to Casey. “I told you there was something about her voice at the show,” he said. Casey nodded back at him in return.

Riss grinned as she finished her glass of water. “I hoped you'd been working with Lily's manual.”

“I'm really sorry,” Lex repeated, still having trouble taking them at face value. “I didn't mean to tell you what to do. I'm not even really sure what I did.”

Casey moved to where Lex stood by her keyboard, now carrying a glass of water for her. “I think you should practice. It's better to know how to use what you can do so that you can do something almost automatically if a problem comes up. That and you'll have less accidents if you know what you're doing.”

Riss and Lou nodded their agreement with this, and then Riss spoke up. “I think you should try again, to see if you can do it while meaning to. Try something else this time, other than being thirsty.”

Lex felt nervous, but the other three seemed into the idea, so after drinking a few sips of water, she went back to the keyboard and sang some more scales. She snuck a look at her three friends after a moment, only to see them watching her intently. Lex swallowed hard and tried to concentrate. As she sang the next set of scales, Lex tried to think of a time when she hadn't eaten for a long time and had eventually felt she would starve. She held the memory in her mind until she could feel it, and then something seemed to slide into place and Lex looked up as she felt that little burr start up in her voice again.

Casey held a hand to her stomach, and Lou gazed at her, an eyebrow raised. Riss stared straight at Lex as if trying to see into the other woman's mind. Lex stopped singing as she reached the end of the scale and waited.

Casey said, “If you were trying to make us all hungry, it sure worked for me. How about some lunch a little early?”

Lex nodded, finding the situation surreal, and then looked at the other two. Lou nodded as if something had been confirmed for him. “I told you that I really felt something there when you were singing. I think you can show the audience what you're feeling as you sing. I bet that'll get lots of people interested in our live shows.”

Looking over at Riss, Lex watched her friend, hoping that she wasn't angry. “I could feel it in my mind somewhere,” Riss said as she met Lex's eyes, “but it wasn't overpowering or anything.”

Relieved, Lex smiled in return. During lunch, the group decided that Lex should work with Riss for about an hour a day to try to perfect the new things she could do with her voice. Part of Lex didn't agree, but she didn't feel she could argue her way out of it.

“I think Riss would be the best choice because she seemed to be able to resist what you did better than Lou or I,” Casey explained. “If you could get her to do what you asked, you'd be doing well.”

The next afternoon, standing just feet apart in the far part of the warehouse, the part they'd been converting into a gym, Lex felt her stomach threatening to rebel. She looked Riss in the eye, then looked at the floor.

“Riss, we don't have to–”

Riss sighed, then cut into what Lex was saying. “Lex, we're going to do this. What's the problem?”

Lex looked at one wall, at some of the equipment they'd begun to set up, and finally looked Riss in the eye. “It's just not right. I don't want to tell people what to do. I can't–” She broke off and started studying the floor again.

“Lex,” Riss said, her voice firm. “I already told you that this is my choice. You're not doing something that I haven't agreed to. And I have to tell you, the thing you did where we all got thirsty, it didn't seem like a command to do anything. It was more like a suggestion in the back of my mind that sounded reasonable, so I did it. I still haven't heard you use the voice Casey told me about. I'm curious; I'd like to hear it.”

Lex could feel her posture crumpling inward. “I don't know...”

“Look, Lex,” Riss continued, tilting her head to look Lex in the eye, “I can see you're not comfortable, but that's all the more reason to figure out what you can do. For me, you know that I don't think there's anything I can't do with computers. But I don't spend all my time breaking into other people's computers and stealing or ruining what's there. It does mean that I know what I can do in case of emergency, though. Do you understand what I'm getting at?”

“I guess so,” Lex agreed, then sighed. “Are you really sure you want to hear the thing Casey told you about?”

Riss laughed lightly. “Yeah, I want to see what it's like.”

“OK,” said Lex, backing off a couple yards. “Start walking towards me.”

Riss began moving, and Lex cleared her throat, then worked to remember how the voice had felt as she'd said something. After a couple of false tries, Lex finally felt that odd contraction and the command to stop boomed out into the big room as Riss stood a few steps away.

Riss froze in place, but Lex could see her friend's muscles bunched up, as if still trying to walk forwards even while held in place. Lex cleared her throat again and gave the command to set her friend free, which came easily.

Riss just stared at Lex for a few seconds after she'd walked forward a clumsy step after being freed. Then she shook her head and gave the ghost of a smile. “That's a hell of a skill to have,” she said, shaking her head. “That felt truly weird.”

“I'm really, really sorry,” Lex replied, squeezing her hands together and feeling embarrassed.

“Hey, I asked to see what you could do,” Riss replied, bringing her head around so that she could meet Lex's gaze. “Don't be sorry. You've just got to work on it so you can do it right the first time, every time. It would come in handy in a dangerous situation,” Riss mused, then barked out a little laugh. “I'm really glad that you're on our side.”

“Well, thanks,” Lex said, smiling wryly. “Do you want me to work on the other voice first?”

Riss nodded, giving a small smile in return.

For the next hour, Lex tried sending different simple messages to Riss as she sang, eventually trying to accomplish the same thing while speaking. Afterward, Lex and Riss agreed to meet every day for at least an hour to help Lex master what she could do.

“Don't hold back on me, OK?” Riss said as she fixed Lex with a serious look. “I want to work on this too. I figure it can help me become more mentally resistant, if I realize what's going on and can work to break it,”

“All right, I won't,” Lex said with a small smile and a sigh, letting the rest of her arguments against the idea go.

Over the next couple of weeks, the group continued recording and finished putting the gym together while Riss and Lex learned more about Lex's new talents. The first new skill Lex had discovered, which they took to calling the Voice of Command, seemed to be effective for very simple commands, like “Stop” or “Come here” or “Wake up.” The Voice of Command seemed to be able to make people do things against their will, however, an idea that made Lex very uncomfortable.

She noticed that Riss had been correct in thinking that if she tested her will against the voice commands that she could learn to break them. When they first started practicing together, it would take over five minutes for Riss to begin moving on her own again once Lex had commanded her to stop. After a few weeks, the number of minutes until her friend got free had started to decrease, even though Riss could only move slowly at first until Lex gave a freeing command.

“It feels like I'm trying to walk despite a huge amount of weight or pressure piled on me, like I'm at the bottom of the Marianas Trench or something,” Riss had described the experience.

The second thing Riss and Lex had been working on they began to call the Voice of Persuasion. To Lex's relief, she didn't seem to be able to make Riss do anything against her will with that voice, but Riss described it as more of a siren song that could potentially convince someone to do something. As they practiced, Lex found she could deliver focused messages, making requests more complex than she could do with the Voice of Command. Riss became increasingly sensitive to them, to the point of being able to accurately describe Lex's requests much of the time.

While the group finished their album, they also set up some shows around town in order to practice performing and to see people's reactions to the new material they'd worked out. While they prepared to go on stage for their third show, Riss turned to Lex with a raised eyebrow.

“Why don't you try something out while we're on tonight?” she said, showing off the ghost of a smile. “Put a message in one of the songs to ask people to buy our CD.”

Lex shrugged, thinking about the fact that they'd just finished putting together their first bunch that day and had about 20 with them. “Why don't I just say something about it during one of the breaks, or just before we go off stage?”

Riss nodded. “Yeah, definitely say something then, but you should also try your Persuasion out on them, see how well it works.”

Lex looked back dubiously. “I don't know,” she responded. “That just doesn't sound right.”

“Come on,” Riss said, trying to persuade Lex. “It's a Tuesday night and there's not really much of a crowd. What would it hurt?”

“But what if the people don't have the money? It would be wrong to use Persuasion on them to try to buy a CD.”

Riss shrugged. “You're good enough at it now; ask them to buy the CD if they have spare cash.”

Lex frowned. “What song would I put it into, anyway?”

“I think you should add it to the song about being hungry,” Lou said, coming up behind the two women.

Glaring back at him, Lex said, “Lou, I would have thought you wouldn't encourage this!”

He shrugged. “I don't see any harm in it. From what Riss says, if someone really didn't want to buy our CD, you wouldn't convince them to do it anyway.”

As a result, Lex felt more nervous than normal as she stepped out onto the stage, but the sensation dissolved as she got into the performance, feeling her way through the songs as she normally did. The crowd seemed small but appreciative, so Lex found herself relaxing as the set wore on.

As Lou played the initial bars of the song she and Riss had discussed, Lex found her stomach clenching, nervous about the idea again. But she took a deep breath before she began to sing and resolved that she would just be doing a one-time test, and that she'd add the Voice of Persuasion somewhere near the middle of the song.

The taste in my head is as dry as my mouth
As I work, I walk, I write, I read
No matter what I do or where I go
I can't get away from what I need

The crushing, grinding emptiness fills me
I struggle not to think
But everything around me
Points to that missing link

I'm hungry
I crave what I don't have
I'm hungry
It takes the strength from me

Lex continued to sing, thinking of the times in her life when she'd been confronted with empty cupboards, or maybe just empty pockets, and no way to fill them or her empty belly. About halfway through the song Lex remembered her talk with Riss, and so she tried to send a message out to the crowd, hidden in the lyrics she sang. She felt the skill she'd used before kick in, and heard the familiar burr in her voice, so after she sent the message, Lex just continued singing. They performed a couple more songs to end the set, and once it was over, Lex introduced everyone and explained that they'd recently finished recording their first album and had copies for sale. She pointed at the table near the back of the room where Casey sat and took a final bow before beginning to dismantle her gear.

After they'd packed their equipment up and Lou had carried it out to the van, the three of them wandered back into the club to meet up with Casey. She stood near the table talking to someone setting up merchandise for the next band. Once Casey spotted them, she held up the empty box they'd brought the CDs to the show in.

“They bought every last one,” Casey said with a goofy smile. “Some of the people here who didn't get one seemed mad, actually. I got some good tips from some of the other bands on getting set up with an online distributor, and I took email information from the people who didn't get a copy so we can let them know once we're set up.”

Riss looked over at Lex with a look that said, “I told you so,” and Lex felt sick to her stomach.

“I shouldn't have done that. It was completely wrong,” Lex mumbled, scuffing her shoe on the floor.

Casey raised an eyebrow, while Riss spoke up. “You just encouraged them. Trust me, by now I know how this works. You didn't force anyone to buy our music who didn't want it.”

Lex looked at her friend dubiously, and Riss shook her head. “It's not like you have to do it every show or anything. I just wanted to see if it would work with people other than us, and it seems like it does.”

As Lex looked back up, she could see Casey looking at Lou with a raised eyebrow while he just shook his head. Lex sighed as Casey put a large hand on her shoulder.

“Look, there's no harm done. And don't worry about it; I'll set up the distributor. It's a good idea anyway, since we'll be on the road soon enough.”

Sighing, Lex nodded, resolving to forget about it and enjoy the rest of the lineup that evening.

Over the next few weeks, during the run up to their departure, the band practiced the songs that they planned to perform on tour at least a few times every day. Over meals they discussed the various venues and locations they'd perform at on their “first West coast tour,” as Casey insisted on calling it.

“I figure that's the way it is, since we've only really talked about hitting a few areas this first time. I figure it's sort of an initial look, and that the second time around we can hit a lot more places because we'll probably have a feel for where we want to look at most,” Casey explained.

“Why don't we just hit more places this time around?” Riss asked in return, shrugging.

“Well, when I talked to everyone about it, it seemed like most of us wanted to just try life on tour in order to see how things go,” Casey responded. “Even you didn't seem to like the idea of being on the road for months.”

Riss raised an eyebrow. “You're right about that. I didn't realize that's what it would take to do a lot more.”

Casey tilted her head to the side, thinking. “We can take as much or as little time as we want, but based on the amount of territory we all talked about when we started thinking about touring as a way to figure out where to settle, I think we'd really need several months to cover it all.”

Riss nodded then, and so did Lex as they all bent to look at the maps and schedules that Casey had printed out. For their first tour they'd decided to visit San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. They'd be playing at ten different venues all together, and they figured they'd be on the road nearly a month between playing the shows, visiting, and traveling.

A couple of weeks before their first show in San Diego found Lex and her friends busy making a large number of CDs. After they'd received a massive amount of raw supplies that they'd ordered, the group spent days making CDs by hand. After they had 300, everyone agreed to call it quits, even over Casey's argument.

“Look,” Riss said, putting the cover on the stack of blank CDs she'd been feeding into the CD printer the group had gotten. “That's 30 CDs for every venue we're playing. We're not likely to sell that many each time we play, anyway. I think any more would just be overkill.”

“I agree,” Lex chimed in, putting down the scissors she'd been wielding for hours to cut the CD inserts they'd gotten done at a local print shop. “Let's call it done.”

Lou looked over at Casey and nodded. Casey sighed and wiped her hands on her jeans, then closed the last CD case and put it in the box with the others.

“All right, but if we run into a situation like we did the other night, I'm going to make you take over for me and explain to your disappointed fans why we ran out.”

The group also decided to practice some simple team techniques in case anything happened on the road. From the first session Lex and Riss could see how Casey and Lou protectively closed in on them, protecting them from either side. Smiling to herself, Lex suggested a different version where Lou and Casey flanked her and Riss, but not so closely that they couldn't move.

The group did discuss, in detail, what to do if a situation came up where they'd need Lex's Voice of Command.

“We should think of some sort of code word or something,” Casey said, “in case Lex has to use it. That way, she can shout the code word, we all cover our ears, and then she says the command.”

Lex sighed. “All right, but only in case there's some sort of emergency.”

Everyone thought for a few moments, until Lex finally spoke up again. “How about if we use 'orange'? It's pretty short, and most other words don't sound like it.”

“Orange,” Casey mused, saying it slowly. “Sounds good to me. What do you all think?”

Riss shrugged and nodded, and Lou nodded as well. “OK, 'orange' is it, then,” Casey added with a smile.

Just a couple of days before they'd scheduled the tour to begin, Riss and Casey caught Lex in the kitchen after breakfast but just before she made it to the gym for her morning workout.

“Come on,” said Casey as she grabbed Lex's arm. “We need to do some shopping today.”

Lex felt confused, wondering what had prompted the trip. “You need me along?”

“Yeah,” Casey agreed with a grin. “Some of the things we need to get are for you.”

She felt puzzled, especially when she realized Riss would be going too, until they arrived at a clothing store in their local mall. Lex didn't mind as they browsed through a few shops, looking for things to wear on stage.

“Look,” Casey told them as they glanced through the racks, “I've been talking to some of the other bands and their managers, and the one thing they recommended as a way we could improve is to pay more attention to our look.”

Lex turned her attention from the t-shirts she'd been looking at and stared at Casey for a moment. “We don't have a look,” she stated, raising an eyebrow.

Casey barked out a laugh. “That's what they said. When we talked about it they said it really didn't matter for Lou as much as it did for you two. I asked what they'd recommend, based on what you guys sound like, and they said dark colors and maybe some leather.”

Riss stopped what she was doing as well, and now both she and Lex stared at Casey. The taller woman held up her hands. “Don't look at me like that, I'm just telling you what they said. A number of them talked about how your music sounds very Dark Ambient or Gothic, whatever that means, and that it was a common style of dress for that type of band.”

Lex sighed. “All right,” she agreed, willing to think about it. “Let's keep going and we'll see.”

Riss gave Casey another suspicious look and went back to browsing.

They bought a number of t-shirts for the two of them. Riss favored ones with cybernetic themes and found a number that she liked, and Lex felt most pleased that she'd found a small shop that sold anime-themed gear. She picked up a number of t-shirts to replace the ones she'd lost when they fled. Her favorites had designs that wrapped all the way around the shirt, with characters or their accessories winding from front to back.

They ran into a snag when they reached the leather shop, however. Riss completely refused to try on anything other than a slim-fitting leather coat that fell almost to her knees, but that ended up looking so good on her that it didn't seem to matter. Once Casey turned to work on Lex, Lex found that she had to veto some of the ideas her friend presented to her, as well.

“No, no, absolutely not,” she said in horror as Casey held up a bustier and short skirt to her.

“Which one don't you like?” the taller woman asked.

“Both of them...I can't wear stuff like that! I'd look like...I don't know. A total ass.” Lex frowned as she looked at the two rather small pieces of clothing, wishing them away.

“Come on, Lex. You know you're in good enough shape to wear something like this,” Casey said, trying to sound convincing as she shook the two hangers in Lex's direction.

Lex shook her head. “No, Casey, really. I just...couldn't. I'd be so uncomfortable I don't think I could sing right. Isn't there anything else I could try?”

“Well,” Casey said with a frown of her own, then pulled a pair of leather pants off the table behind her. Lex sighed, then gulped as she looked at them, but dutifully put out her hand to grab them so that she could try them on.

When she came back out into the main part of the store, Casey wolf whistled at her, and Lex could feel herself blushing in response. Riss raised an eyebrow and smiled.

“You guys,” Lex said, twisting her hands behind her. “How do they look?”

“I think they look great on you,” Casey said with a nod. “What do you think, Riss?”

Riss nodded as well. “You should get them. Maybe Casey would let us go home then.”

Casey shook her head. “You make it sound like we're on a death march or something. It's just some shopping.”

Lex just gave Casey a dour look, but Riss let out a small laugh. “Take a look at us. Do either Lex or I look like we'd like shopping?”

Casey gave a belly laugh. “Right. Lex, if you get the leather pants we can leave the store. Deal?”

“In that case, I'll get them,” Lex said, smiling for the first time since they'd gotten to the shop.

They made one more stop before they left, at a boot store. Lex left with some motorcycle boots and a pair of short red cowgirl boots. Riss got some slim black boots with a short heel and pointed toes, and even Casey found a new pair of fairly plain cowgirl boots that suited her.

“All right, ladies. Let's head home before Lou starts to think we've disappeared entirely,” Casey said with a smile.

The three of them fell silent as they drove home, Lex and Riss both looking out the windows as Casey drove. After a while, Lex spoke up.

“So, do you think we're ready?” she asked, addressing no one in particular.

Riss turned from the window and gave her a hard-to-decipher glance, but Casey just laughed. “I think we're all about as ready as we can be. Don't stress out about it too much; just remember that the main reason we're touring is to figure out where we want to settle.”

“Yeah,” Lex agreed, nodding at her friend as she met her eyes in the rear view mirror. “I just want to give people a good show even though we're not really planning on making a lifetime career out of it.”

Riss nodded. “I think we're ready. The things we've been practicing sound good, and even a few of the new pieces that we haven't added to the set yet have been getting good enough that I think we should use them as encores, or if we need to play longer at one of the venues.”

Lex smiled back at Riss. “I think you're right,” she replied, sitting back in her seat, feeling relieved.

The only thing that worries me, Lex thought as she looked out the window, are the non-musical encounters we might have. From everything they could tell (since Riss still had monitoring programs listening for mention of them), no one had found their trail, but Riss had noticed that an MSI team had been tasked to locate them and had now moved to investigate the states just west of the east coast. The thing that made Lex feel nervous in general was that they would be doing a lot of moving around and that plenty of people would be seeing them...

Lex shook her head to clear the train of thought away. She'd changed her appearance enough that no one was likely to recognize her, perhaps not even someone who'd known her well before the change. Since Casey had started dyeing her hair black, her appearance had changed, as well. Lou and Riss' looks hadn't changed much, but all in all, Lex thought none of them were likely to be identified and spotted. Everything should be fine, Lex told herself as she slid down the seat a little, resting her head on the back and watching the road pass by.

Forward to Chapter 26
Comments about anything you liked or that you thought could be improved are extremely welcome!

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Lex better practise "These are not the droids you are looking for"

Re: Just to be safe...

I know, right? It's funny, a lot of people would welcome this development, but not Lex. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!

Lex's negligence

So it seems Lax is perfectly happy to let MSI continue their horrific experiments. What happened to the woman who said that if she as ever in a fight with someone stronger, faster, and better than her she would pull out all the stops to win. That there are no rules in a fight? Did that woman somehow magically and idiotically just up and vanish? The change from that to this simpering woman who is perfectly happy to let MSI do as they please. I'm not saying she needs to seek revenge but I am saying she needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to beat them when they come for her and her friends.

Being in a fight with another person is pretty different than being in a fight with a massive organization with way more resources than you. Also, as I've heard it said, backing up to regroup is not giving up. Why do you think they say in an airplane that you should put your own mask on before trying to help anyone else out? There's no way you can help someone else if you're just barely hanging on yourself. The fight with MSI is not over, it's really only just started. They get back into it later on in the story, after they've been able to establish themselves a bit of a base. I invite you to read on to see how they handle it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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