It was an ordinary day at Blood Gulch canyon. Church was trying to restrain Caboose during a sugar rush, Tucker was hanging out by his rock, and the Reds where... well, bored.
Dick Simmons yawned and leaned against one of the turrets on Red Base, staring at the sky, bored out of his gourd, looking for something, anything, to relieve the insane amount of boredom that was springing up in him.
At that moment, a large streak flashed through the sky, leaving a cloudy trail. Simmons perked up, following the streak's progress with his eyes, as it descended down, down, and then, Kaboom! The streak exploded in the caves.
Simmons grabbed his Battle Rifle, excited at the prospect of something that needed studying. He hopped in one of Lopez's motorcycles, and sped off.
Approaching the caves, Simmons coughed as he went deeper. Finally, the smoke cleared, and Simmons got a good look at what had caused all this.
He was slightly disappointed to see it was only a meteor, but when he looked closer, he saw what looked like a primitive handle on the side.
Curiosity taking the better of him, he reached over, and pulled it. Almost immediately, it flew off, and Simmons was pushed backward.
A milky white liquid slid out, moving cautiously across the ground. Simmons pulled himself to his feet, pressing a button on the headset above his ear, shining a light on the liquid. It stopped because of the light, and then moved for Simmons rapidly.
Simmons jumped back, but tripped over a small boulder. The liquid slid up his leg, completely covering it, and continuing the process all over his body.
When it tried to squeeze into his mouth, Simmons pulled on his helmet, but found it covering that as well. Finally, he couldn't move, and white filled his vision.
Simmons gasped, jerking up, and found himself in his bed, with his armor still on. He lifted his armor, and found it the same. He smiled, and took off the helmet. He turned it around, and found a strange helmet staring back at him.
Dropping it, Simmons was astonished when it somehow appeared on his head again. The HUD was a little different, strange symbols appearing, but he couldn't help but notice how good he felt. Stronger, faster, even smarter.
Grinning beneath the helmet, Simmons turned and tried to walk to the door. But the rush of adrenalin hit him again, and he sprinted out, faster than ever before.
"Whoa, butthead," Grif said, coming across him, "and what's with the dorky helmet? Nerd fest almost to town?"
Instead of the usual twitch of annoyance Simmons usually felt, deep, pulsing rage flew through him. Before he knew what he was doing, he had charged Grif, smashing him into the wall.
"Whoa!" Grif yelled, "I'm sorry, whatever it was!"
The rage left him, and Simmons dropped Grif. He stared at his hands, seeing new muscles surge into place. He gasped as he got a closer look at his armor. It seemed more... organic than before. Like a living skin.
"What happened, the-"Simmons gasped, remembering the cave. He stared at the suit. Could the liquid be on him now? Suddenly, he knew what it was.
Symbiote, he thought, fear coursing through him, then another thought hit him, but it's made me stronger and faster, and more of a man than ever before. Maybe it would better if I... kept it?
Simmons turned and growled at Grif, "You stay out of my way, Dexter."
Grif stumbled out of the way as Simmons darted to the door and slammed it open.
"What just happened?" Grif asked as the door closed just as violently.
The next few days, Simmons poured himself into his work more than ever before, his abilities enhanced by his knew suit. He scouted with ease, fixed the Warthog in minutes, and Grif was too scared to bother him anymore.
Only at night, with his armor off, did Simmons remember what the suit was, and fear coursed through him again. He always vowed never to wear it again, but the next morning, well... all he could remember was the euphoria that always flooded him when sliding it on.
After a while, it stopped coming off.
While this brought back the old worries, he soon found it could hide itself, appearing as himself again. He almost couldn't fell the armor.
The biggest change of all was how Simmons acted. He became reckless, impulsive, and the slightest things seemed to set him off. After Grif didn't clean a plate, Simmons nearly ripped the wall off.
After a while, the others, even Sarge stayed away from him, being cautious and weary when they couldn't. Although it stung a little bit, Simmons didn't mind. He had his cool new suit, and he was used to not having friends.
Simmons ducked behind cover as the Blues continued to fire on them from their higher perch. The Reds had been bogged down for several hours, and nothing was changing yet.
"Hey, Simmons?" Sarge asked, looking nervous. Simmons nodded at him. "Well, umm... couldn't you use your new suit to take ‘em out?"
Simmons grinned. "I'd hoped you'd ask."
Standing up, Simmons let all the frustrations of combat fill him. Anger took form as a buzzing in his head, and he felt himself get stronger. Euphoria filled him, and he tore towards the wall.
The Blues, on the top, started firing, but Simmons leaped past the bullets, dodging them easily. He reached the box canyon's wall and climbed it carefully.
Church scowled, looking around and frowning. They had lost sight of Simmons, and that was never a good thing.
Suddenly a strong fist grabbed his ankle, and Church looked down to see Simmons' hand on it. Panicking, he fired a full clip into Simmons. When the armor seemed to absorb them, Simmons laughed.
"Confused, Church? Let me tell it to you strait. I AM INVINCIBLE!"
He yanked Church, sending him tumbling from the cliff.
Simmons leaped up, seeing Tucker darting away. "GET BACK HERE, TUCKER!" he cried, and when Tucker continued running, he roared
Simmons charged after him like a primal animal, yipping and baying, power filling his body thanks to the symbiote. Tucker got near the end of the wall, and Simmons yelled triumphantly, "YOU CAN'T ESCAPE ME! I'LL CHASE YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
He grabbed and spun Tucker around, gripping his arms and dangling him off the cliff. Tucker yelled, "Simmons! You can't do this, AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!"
Simmons laughed, and then jerked when something struck him. His old voice coming through, he gasped, "Wha- What am I doing?"
He started to pull Tucker up, and suddenly, he swung him back. He yanked Tucker up again, and dropped him, crying, "What's this armor doing?!"
He reached up and tugged viciously at the helmet, trying to take it off. He struggled so much that he slipped of the cliff, crying as he fell.
The suit cushioned the impact, and it reverted to its milky white appearance, sliding of Simmons, who was left in his boxers.
Simmons groaned, and looked up to see the symbiote coming after him again. Scrambling to get away, he yelled, "Get away from me!"
At that moment, the suit shaped into a replica of a soldier, reaching for him. Simmons yelled, and closed his eyes.
There was the sound of burning rubber and a screech. Simmons opened his eyes to see the symbiote crushed under one of the Warthog's wheels. It slowly slid into a small crack in the ground.
Simmons was shaking and mumbling as Grif went behind him, and helped him up. "Come on," he said, "let's get you back into your old armor."
Both teams slowly departed, leaving silence in the air.
Then the symbiote slowly emerged from the crack. Furious against its former host for rejecting it, it searched Simmons's memories for another.
It found it, a soldier who had beaten Simmons up on multiple occasions. Strong, smart, and best of all, power hungry. A soldier in black armor.
Rest assured the symbiote is under control. We have sent it to a familiar outpost on the outer edges of space to be tested. Results have been... enlightening.
Upon landing, it detected and infected a soldier there. It preformed its action perfectly, enhancing that soldier's physical abilities, which he used successfully against the opposite force.
However, the human reaction has not changed. Any and all humans who are infected with the symbiote will reject it in the long run...
This brings us back to the early Freelancer experiments with the symbiote. Each Freelancer has a longer period before rejection. Maine's... attraction to the specimen proved disturbing, but another problem appears in face of this.
Before I continue, I wish to give you a brief description of how the Freelancers in turn were affected by the symbiote.
Agent Washington- Wash rejected the specimen almost directly after infection. Investigation has proven inconclusive.
Agent Maine- Maine was attracted to the specimen, and attempted to steal it. He was restrained.
Agent North Dakota- Ironically, the specimen rejected him, not the other way around.
Agent South Dakota- She, along with Maine, was attracted, but she showed restraint.
Agent Texas- No interaction.
One last thing... even though the symbiote seemed to be destroyed after initial separation from it's host in Blood Gulch, if the current Freelancer stationed at that outpost is infected, pardon the religion reference, but...
Heaven help them.
The Director of Project Freelancer
Tex scouted the outer edges of the canyon; searching for the one they called Simmons. If Church and Tucker's early reports could be trusted, he was now powerful enough to potentially defeat even her. And that wouldn't do.
As she came closer to the cliff were the encounter occurred, a strange feeling struck her: something close to fear and revulsion, but attraction at the same time.
A cloudy white liquid slowly made its way behind her. The feeling grew stronger as it got closer, but Tex simply shook it off, and took a step in its direction.
Her foot landed on it, and it started spreading along her armor. "Crap," she muttered, trying to shake, and then pull it off as it spread farther. Finally, it reached her helmet, and she struggled viciously as her body seemed to lock, and finally, white filled her vision.
She was in the same place, lying down, but something felt... different. She stood up, and looked at her armor. Same color, but it seemed organic. Adrenalin pulsed through her, and she scowled, looking into a small puddle of water, seeing a strange helmet staring back at her.
"Whoa," she said, staring.