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The Insurgency S2E2: Chipped (Rank-Up)
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200 points Rank-Up build for The Insurgency (Galactic Imperium)
About this creation

Raleigh, North Carolina
January 19, 2098

William woke up feeling very well rested. Today was no ordinary day. It was a special day, occurring once a year. It was his birthday.

He hopped out of bed and moved to the living area of Dino's apartment. He could see his roommate already awake and in the kitchen cooking up something that smelled very delicious.

William: "That better taste as good as it smells," William said walking into the kitchen.

Dino turned around when he heard him come in and smiled.

Dino: "Happy birthday, man!"
William: "Thanks."
Dino: "Hang on, I have something for you," he said before quickly rushing out of the kitchen to retrieve his gift.

Dino: "I sort of forgot to give it to you before but then I thought now would be a good time," he said returning with a small but ornate looking box. "Although I guess it's nothing too special."

William took the box and opened it. Inside was a large, dark colored talon of some sort.

William: "Is this..."
Dino: "From the Gorron we fought on Fuyoria."
William: "I can't believe you kept this! Oh man, that was a crazy week..."
Dino: "We were trapped in that cave for three days."
William: "I remember. Probably the most intense mission ever... This is a great memento. I think I can still see my blood on it..."

Dino: "Glad you like it. Claire get you anything?"
William: "Yeah, she gave me her gift a little early."
Dino: "Expecting another one tonight?" he said with a smirk.
William: "Let's not go there..."

IIA Headquarters

Later the two of them made their way to the office. Inside, William was wished a happy birthday by a couple of his colleagues. When they went up to the floor they mainly worked from, more people said it.

He noticed his girlfriend approaching him which immediately made him smile. Claire grabbed him and gave him a long kiss on the cheek.

Claire: "Happy birthday, dear," she said pulling away.
William: "Thank you, darling. Is Arthur in yet?"
Claire: "Yeah, he's in his office."
William: "I need to talk to him."

They never got to finish their talk about the prophecy. William needed answers and Arthur definitely had them. He went into the director's office to get them.

Arthur: "William! Happy birthday, lad!" he said excitedly. Arthur's good mood was almost never gone.

William: "Thanks. But I think we need to finish our conversation... Abou-"
Arthur: "Yes. We do need to finish talking... But after the party," Arthur said with a slight smile.

Even though he didn't show it, William was annoyed by Arthur's unwillingness to tell him what he wanted to know. But hopefully he would after the party. He could wait until then.

A few hours later, it was decided the "workday" was over and the little celebration for William was to begin. One of Arthur's ways of making working for the IIA "fun" was to have little parties and events like this from time to time. He believed it was a morale booster.

The cake was put out along with some other food items. None of it was anything too fancy but people were just glad they didn't have to keep working.

Victor went up to William holding his gift in his hand.

Victor: "I heard you were a bit of a collector," he said showing William the bottle of something alcoholic with a bow on it.

William: "Oh, thanks man. This is great. I left all of the good stuff back in L.A.," he chuckled.

Merek, another colleague, approached William as well.

William: "Merek! What's going on?"
Merek: "Hey pal. Honestly birthdays aren't a big deal for my people. Another part of human culture I see. But twenty-six years... Pretty good considering your line of work."
William: "Yeah well let's hope we can all get through a couple more."

When Merek walked away, William turned towards Claire who was standing next to him.

William: "This is kind of lame," he said to her quietly.
Claire: "Yeah... It's just the way Arthur does things."
William: "I'm guessing it would look bad if we left?"
Claire: "You can't leave your own birthday party."
William: "Claire, come on, this is not a party."

On the other side of the floor, something odd was happening. Agent Felix was standing in front of the cake just staring at it, with his eye twitching slightly. As Merek was walking past, he stopped when he noticed the agent acting strangely.

Merek: "You alright, Felix?"
Felix: "I'm fine," he said coldly.
Merek: "You sure?"

Felix spun around with an angry look on his face.

Felix: "I said I'm fine!" the agent spat.
Merek: "Okay, I was just asking..."

But Felix's unusual bout of rage was not over. His arm shot forward and he grabbed Merek by the throat.

Felix: "You're an imbecile!"

Merek clawed at Felix's hand as he struggled to breath. Using his other hand, Felix pulled out his gun and jabbed it into his victim's abdomen. He pulled the trigger.

Several screams suddenly sounded from around the office as people were startled by the gunshot. Everyone turned towards Merek's body on the floor and Felix standing over him in a bloodstained uniform, gun tightly gripped in his hand.

Claire put her hands over her mouth to muffle a shriek, unable to believe what had happened. William just stared with his mouth open.

Arthur: "What the hell? Felix... What have you done?"

Felix looked up at Arthur, the same fury still in his eyes. He then lunged at the director and grabbed him, putting his gun next to his temple. More people screamed. Arthur grunted and tried to get away but Felix only held him tighter and dug the gun barrel deeper into his skin.

William saw the helpless look on Arthur's face, begging for him to do something. He began to move forward.

Felix: "Stay back!" Felix yelled.

The regular drones were scared out of their minds by the madman before them. Even the highly trained field agents were unsure of what to do. They didn't want their director to be shot because of them.

William: "Felix, what are you doing, man? Put the gun down," he spoke in a calm voice inching ever so slightly closer to them.

Felix: "It's... Driving me crazy!" he said scrunching up his face. He looked to be in pain. "The knocks... Make them stop!"

William: "Let him go, Felix."

Felix: "My head... AAGH!"

As he was distracted by the pain, William used the opportunity to quickly take out his own gun and aim it at Felix. The bullet grazed his shoulder causing him to let go of Arthur and go stumbling backwards. Before he collapsed to the ground, Arthur swiped the gun out of his hand and pointed it at him. He and William stood over the agent who was now clutching his head and writhing on the floor. He soon passed out.
William and Arthur exchanged worried glances.

The both of them, along with Claire, took Felix down to the R&D wing to see what the scientists would make of this. Felix was strapped down to an operating table as Q ran several scans.

Q: "This is Felix Loiter, correct?" he asked without looking up from his screens.
Arthur: "Yes. He's been a brilliant agent, I can't believe he could've done something like this."

William: "I've known Felix since the war. He's not like this. There has to be a reason for this... Outburst."

Q: "Yes, perhaps. Scans of his brain are showing some unusual activity. Happy birthday by the way."

William: "Kinda got ruined didn't it?"
Claire: "What's wrong with his brain?"
Q: "He-" Q then cut himself off with a pause. He stared at the data for a few seconds before speaking again. "Oh... This is most unusual."

Arthur: "What is it?" he asked eager to know what was wrong.
Q: "There's something here, in his brain. Something that shouldn't be there. It appears to be... A microchip of some sort."
William: "That's what made him do this?"
Q: "Most likely. I'll remove it for further examination."
Arthur: "Is that safe?"
Q: "Should be. But it will take a while."

William and Claire went back upstairs. The floor was nearly empty now. Everyone had been allowed to leave because of this rather traumatic event. The couple saw Dino sitting glumly in a corner and went towards him. He was looking at the bloodstain on the floor left by Merek's wound. The mess had been cleaned up but the blood was taking longer to remove.

William: "He was a good guy. He didn't deserve that," William said sadly.
Dino: "What happened to Felix?"
Claire: "Q found some sort of chip in his brain that made him go crazy."
Dino: "A chip? What is he, some sort of cyborg?"
William: "I don't think so. This feels different."

William had a theory about Felix. But he didn't have enough evidence to know for certain. However if he ended up being correct, the system was about to have a very big problem on its hand.
Suddenly his communicator began to vibrate. He took it out and looked at the screen.

William: "It's Q. He has some news."

William went alone to see what the scientist had found. Q and Arthur turned around when they heard him coming.

William: "Well?"

Q held up the small chip he had removed from Felix's brain, so William could see it.

William: "That's what caused this?"

Q: "Sort of. This chip was designed to manipulate functions of the nervous system. But its settings haven't been adjusted. There were no changes made to Felix's chip so that's not what caused the outburst. However, it seems that it was wired incorrectly into his brain. Recently it began to affect him, causing him to have severe headaches and affect his thinking."

Arthur: "Does it sound familiar, William?"

It did. In his encounter with Xion Corsair, William learned of twenty-five human beings that he had built from scratch, which could be programmed to be "better". Could it be possible they had just found one of them?

William: "He's a Cast?"
Q: "I believe so."

Just then Felix was beginning to wake up. They all turned around and watched as he was getting oriented.

Felix: "W-where am I? What happened?"
Arthur: "You don't remember?"
Felix: "I... Merek! Where's Merek? Is he alright?"

William and Arthur looked at each other. This was not going to be an easy conversation.

Arthur: "Merek is dead. You... Killed him..."

Felix: "What? No... I was having massive headaches and then I just blacked out... I killed him?" he said his voice breaking. Tears were forming in his eyes. He then turned to look at Q.

Felix: "What's wrong with me, Q?"

Q thought for a moment before speaking.
Q: "You're not who you think you are, Mr. Loiter. You're not real."
Felix: "What do you mean I'm not real?"
Q: "You're not a real human being."

When he heard this Felix was completely shocked.

Felix: "Is that some sort of joke?" he asked looking around at William and Arthur.

William saw how scared and confused the man was. He felt bad that this was happening to him. He and Arthur stayed quiet as Q was explaining the situation.

Q: "You were never born. You were built in a lab by a scientist."
Felix: "That's not possible."
William: "It's true, Felix. There was a man out there who figured out how to do it. He made you."

Felix: "No..." he said shaking his head unable to hold back his tears. "No, how can I not be real?! I'm Felix Loiter. I'm twenty-five years old. I was born March 16... On the Moon. To Trent and Mary Loiter. We moved to Earth when I was twelve. My parents were killed in an Aurelia bombing, and I wanted revenge. That's why I joined the Imperium."

Q: "None of that is true. Those memories are just implants. Considering they include the Moon and Earth, you were created no more than a few years ago, after The Shift."

Felix: "That can't be right, I... I fought in the war. We fought together, William, you remember, right?"
William: "You came in late. And pretty much out of nowhere... I'm sorry, Felix."

Felix went quiet and laid back on his bed letting everything sink in.

Arthur: "Felix, do you know anything about the others like you?"
Felix: "I didn't know there were others like me... Have they gone crazy too?"

Q: "The fact that we haven't heard about anything similar makes me think not. And actually, I believe yours to be an isolated incident. Your chip was wired incorrectly. Assuming the ones in the others weren't, they might be fine."

Felix: "So what happens to me now?"
Arthur: "If you are to be considered human, you'll likely have to go to prison, I'm afraid. There will be a trial first of course. That should be interesting..."
Felix: "Prison?" he asked sadly.
William: "You killed someone. You almost killed Arthur too."

Felix looked at Arthur, whose face confirmed the fact. This was something else he hadn't known and didn't remember from his blackout.

Arthur: "I am so very sorry this happened to you. You never asked for it. You'll be handed over to the police now."

Almost immediately a couple agents came to take Felix away. When they left, Q excused himself to return to some other work. Arthur and William were then left alone.

Arthur: "A most unfortunate event. On your special day no less."
William: "Oh yeah, I actually forgot about that."

Arthur: "Well I suppose now it's even more imperative we find the rest of the Casts. They may not turn out like Agent Loiter but we should still keep an eye on them. Still, I can't believe one of our own was a Cast. Felix went undetected for years. Anyone could be one of these things and we'd have no idea."

William: "What if we're Casts?" he said jokingly. "Don't make me have an existential crisis, Arthur... Well anyways, our talk. You're not avoiding it are you?"
Arthur: "Oh, no. Yes, of course, you should know all the details. Let's go into my office."

Arthur led William into his office to explain to him all he knew about the prophecy.

Arthur: "Those Ratha villagers were indeed an odd bunch. But their prophecy was most interesting. Do you remember it?"

William: "Well not word for word but I think I remember the overall message."
Arthur: "I wrote it down," he said before looking at his computer screen and reciting it.

Arthur: "In the jungles of Ratha, a being of pure evil will emerge, his only desire being to govern the weak. Only one can combat this evil: the Hero with no fear. The chosen one, the disgraced soldier. He will come from the new planet, a world shaped by war. In his journey, the chosen one will face many challenges but ultimately, will bring salvation to his side."

Hearing it again did make William a little nervous.

William: "So... Salvation. You said you think it's a weapon?"
Arthur: "Yes."
William: "Well... What kind of weapon?"
Arthur: "It'll be big. Very destructive."

William: "That's all you know?"
Arthur: "Even that, I don't know for certain."
William: "I'm just not getting it, Arthur. What made you think it's a weapon in the first place?"

Arthur: "We've seen the word "Salvation" before when we acquired some documents from Qoter. They ended up being mostly corrupted but we got a few things. Salvation was the code name for a top secret military project that was being led by them. It was never finished because they ran out of funding. It also disappeared. Or they hid it. But I think if we can find it and finish building it, it could have immense power capable of wiping out Aurelia or any of our enemies. And you just might be the key to finding it."

William: "Can't you just ask Qoter about it? They are our allies after all."
Arthur: "We have. The Governor doesn't know any more than we do. It was decades ago, before his time. And most information about it has been lost or erased."

William: "Then that sucks."
Arthur: "I'm surprised the word doesn't mean anything to you."
William: "It's just a word."
Arthur: "It has biblical meaning. Although I don't think that's relevant. But seriously, you don't know anything about a weapon?"
William: "I have no idea, Arthur."
Arthur: "Hmm... Well I'm sure you still are the chosen one. Maybe it's not time yet."

William: "Maybe," he said in a slightly sarcastic tone. "I guess that's all you can tell me."
Arthur: "I had really hoped you would know more."
William: "Sorry."
Arthur: "It's alright. Anyways it's been quite a day... I never said thank you for how you dealt with Felix."
William: "Come on, I couldn't let you get killed."

Arthur scoffed.

Arthur: "Well you should get some rest. Go home. Try to enjoy what's left of your birthday. We still have that cake. No one had the appetite to eat it..."

William: "Right... Goodnight, Arthur."

William then got up and left the office.

Later that evening he sat alone at a bar, waiting for someone.

He was soon joined by his brother.

Oliver: "Hey, Willy," he said sitting down on the stool next to him.

William turned towards him and smiled.

Oliver: "You alright?"
William: "Yeah I just had a weird day."
Oliver: "I've been having too many of those myself."
William: "How's dad doing?"

He didn't really care that much but still felt that he had to ask. Oliver's face fell when he did.

Oliver: "Not so good. They say he doesn't have a lot of time left."
William: "Right," he said staring down into his drink.

He rotated the glass on the counter and watched the ice cubes move around. After a few moments of awkward silence, Oliver spoke up again.

Oliver: "But let's not worry about that right now. It's your birthday."

Oliver grabbed the glass in front of him that William had already ordered for him and raised it up.

Oliver: "To a long life and a happy one."
William: "A quick death and an easy one."
Oliver: "A pretty girl and an honest one."
William: "A cold beer and another one!"

The brothers, both grinning from ear to ear, clinked their glasses together and drank.


So I guess this is kind of like a second start to season 2 since we see William and everyone. I hadn't intended on this being the next episode but I had to do the rank-up so... But actually I think this works better than what was originally supposed to be the second episode.

Also Felix Loiter is a nod to the Bond character, Felix Leiter lol :P


 I like it 
  March 8, 2018
I love it! The Felix character reminded me of the clones in Blade Runner.
Captain Kenbo
 I like it 
Grandson Fifticinco
  February 23, 2018
Great episode, as always, Kenbo! Personally I prefer shorter episodes so this is pretty great. Also, I was wondering, are you going to show where ALL the casts ended up? If not, would you let someone else use them in their story? *hint hint* ~G~
 I made it 
  February 23, 2018
Quoting Grandson Fifticinco Great episode, as always, Kenbo! Personally I prefer shorter episodes so this is pretty great. Also, I was wondering, are you going to show where ALL the casts ended up? If not, would you let someone else use them in their story? *hint hint* ~G~
No I'm not so please go ahead! I actually would like if other people kind of showed stuff like that in their own series because I don't think I will be able to cover everything I want to haha. If you do show Casts just remember all 25 are "human"
 I made it 
  February 19, 2018
Quoting Traykar Pawfoot This was a good episode, but I'm vary of the notion that of all the places one of these casts could be, one would be in the IAA.
Well... You might have a point there... :P
 I like it 
  February 19, 2018
Great stuff! The others have said it all already! But I will add that I always love the detail in your sets. That kitchen set, for example, is lovely! Great stuff. Your points will be added! --Blast--
  February 18, 2018
This was a good episode, but I'm vary of the notion that of all the places one of these casts could be, one would be in the IAA.
 I like it 
  February 18, 2018
Very nice, Kenbo! I like the setting for it, and the story was quite good too. Nicely done with bringing the Casts back in, too. Looking forward to seeing what you have comimg next!
 I like it 
  February 18, 2018
Great stuff here mate! Really like where you're taking the idea of the Casts, and I really enjoyed the feel of this episode. Birthday episodes can sometimes be difficult to write, but you've done this one really well! Great stuff. Looking forward to your next one!
 I like it 
  February 18, 2018
Good job on this episode. Coincidentally my next episode will involve Phil's birthday. :P You know what they say, great minds think alike.
By Captain Kenbo
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