What is Life?

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What is Life?


Flames shot from the demon’s outstretched arm, barely missing Cameron’s head by centimeters. Quickly, her brain calculated the proper angle and she fired her trusty M-16. Muzzle flare list up the darkened room as the bullets shot from the barrel on full automatic. Anyone looking would be amazed that the recoil did not knock a woman as small as she onto her ass, but Cameron Tam was no ordinary woman.

Sure, she looked human. She breathed, she bled, she moved, and she spoke. But she was a machine, human tissue over an endo-steel skeleton. The creation of Nikolai Tesla for The Shop, the C.I.A.’s science and technology division.

Or at least, that’s what she began as. Now, she was much more. Thanks to some reprogramming by a hacker friend and her trusty A.I. compatriot, Cameron had gone from killing machine, to thinking machine. When Andromeda Spiridakos and S.A.R.A. were done, Cameron was for all intents and purposes, human, and after time with her betrothed, V.S. Ramachandran, she gained even more, a soul. She sometimes joked now, how her friends were the Blue Fairy and she Pinocchio. The wooden doll had become a real woman.

All this she thought about in less than a millisecond, even as her gunfire ripped into the demon. The creature took the injuries, the bullets barely injuring the creature, and fired another blast of Hellfire at Cameron.

She dodged again, with inhuman speed, tracking her target, even as she assessed the situation. Her partner, Jane, was down. Cameron knew Jane would recover, but still, seeing a friend down angered her. Cameron dove and dodged, Hellfire flying just past her each time. Quickly, she slung her M-16 over her shoulder, and extended her right arm, palm open outward. A blast of blue-green light shot from her palm, the implanted laser weapon firing at the demon.

The beam hit the hellspawned creature, who screamed in pain as the laser blast slammed into its chest. Hooves slid along stone as the creature toppled to the floor. Cameron quickly leaped across the room, grabbing Jane’s fallen sword, then bringing it down to sever the demon’s head from its shoulders.
As the creature died, Cameron turned her back on its final screams, moving to check on Jane. As she suspected, her sensors registers that Jane was alive, but unconscious. Cameron picked up the redhead, and carried her form the ruined building, and out to their car. As she belted Jane’s unconscious body into the passenger seat, she finally spoke, “Contact HQ”

The computer in the car responded and dialed the requested number. After only 2 rings, Agent Ivanova answered, “Report, Agent Tam”

“Agent Blue and I trailed the suspect to an abandoned apartment building in the Bronx. Suspect released three Class 4 Demons on us, and used the ensuing conflict to escape. Agent Blue is currently unconscious, but otherwise alright.”

“Very well agent Tam. Return Agent Blue to her residence, then report in”

“Yes, Ma’am”

The call ended, and Cameron slipped into the driver’s seat.


“Jane, you need to rest. I’ll file the paperwork at HQ. Agent Ivanova is expecting me.”

“Dammit Cameron, we should both face the music on this one.”, Jane Blue responded.

“Music? What music are you speaking of?”

“Don’t you DARE pull that uncomprehending android bs on me, Cam. I know you better”

Cameron smiled, “Yes, you do. Don’t worry Jane. There will be plenty for you to file in the morning. I promise. Now rest.” And with that, Cameron left her friend and partner to rest.

As she drove through Manhattan’s streets to the secret headquarters of The Agency, Cameron found herself talking aloud to the open air, “Odd, this sensation. Emotions are so…unquantifiable, so confusing at times, but I would not trade them. I have friends, I have a family of sorts even. What more could I want?”

“What else indeed, child?” said a voice next to her.

A normal person would have jammed on the breaks and looked to her side, but Cameron was no ordinary person, “Leananshidhe. What brings you to brighten my day?”

The lovely redheaded Fae sitting next to Cameron smiled sweetly. “I am merely delivering a message from your man’s former superiors.”

“You are delivering a message from Heaven? You?”

“I owed one a favor, and I was, as they say, in the neighborhood.” Lea said with a smile.

Cameron actually sighed. Fae could be such a pain in the neck at times, The Leananshidhe in particular.

“Very well. Deliver your message then”

Lea smiled again, “I am to tell you to expect a visitor at your domicile later this evening. One with a gift for you and your betrothed. And from me, congratulations”

Cameron looked to her side then, confusion on her face, even as Lea vanished

“Damned Fae.”

She continued on her way, her thoughts wondering what exactly Lea meant. As she did, her mind wandered over her past, as it often did since she gained a soul. She recalled the times friends had risked their lives for her, as well as the times she had done so for them. She remembered the first morning after her reprogramming, cooking breakfast in Andromeda’s apartment, and the reactions of everyone as they arrived for their breakfast meeting. And as she thought of this, her mind drifted to her V.S. Kind, gentle, caring V.S. The man who was why she had a soul. The man who saw past what she was to who she could become. The man she loved and who loved her in turn.

Again, she contemplated this thing humans called life, and how precious a gift it was. Many would classify her even now as a machine, and in some ways they would be right. However, she was more than that. For lack of a better term, she was alive.

Arriving at HQ, Cameron put her contemplations aside as she parked the car and made her way inside. Her M-16 she left in the trunk, though she did slip her official sidearm into its shoulder holster beneath her jacket. She nodded to the guards as she entered and made her way to the access elevator. As soon as she emerged, agent Ivanova, Assistant to The Director, approached, “Agent Tam. Good, you are here. The Director needs to speak with you.”

Cameron merely nodded and made her way to The Director’s office, knocking politely on the door.
“Enter” came from inside.

Cameron opened the door and walked into the office, closing the door behind her and standing at attention.

“Sit down Cameron” the Director said, her odd accent present as always. Cameron though it might be Eastern European, but was not able to place where exactly.

“I want to commend you and Agent Blue on a job well done. The summoner you were pursuing was apprehended blocks from where you were dealing with his minions by Agents Foley and Edwards and is now safely in lockdown.”

“Good to know ma’am.”

The Director continued, “I have a special job though, just for you Agent Tam. There is a special envoy of The Summer Court coming to New York to meet with persons unknown to us. I want you to shadow this envoy, and discover who they are meeting with, and why”

“Wouldn’t another agent be better suited for this, Director?”

“Not in this case. This Summer Envoy is someone you know personally, Lady Ariel.”

“Wonderful. I shall do my best, of course.”

“I expect nothing less Agent Tam. Dismissed.”

Arriving home, Cameron sighed. She made her way quickly through the store downstairs, The Flame of Knowledge quiet this late of an hour. Dolores was just locking up for the night as Cameron entered.

“Good evening Cameron. V.S. is out for a while. Consulting on something or other. He said to tell you he’d be home late this evening and to not hold dinner for him.”

Cameron smiled at Dolores, “Thanks. Have a pleasant evening”

The black woman smiled and exited the store, “You as well Cameron”

Cameron then made her way upstairs and sat down on the couch, flipping the Television on. PBS was running Guys and Dolls, one of her favorite musicals, and she sat there, watching, singing along with all the songs. Just as “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” ended, Cameron registered a presence in the room with her.

“Be not afraid, young one. I bring you tidings of joy.” A soft, gentle, and very male, voice said.

Cameron turned and looked at the obvious angel, standing in the room.

“I was told you would be visiting me this evening”

The angel nodded, “Yes. I am here to let you know that your prayers have been heard, and answered.”

Cameron looked at the angel for a moment, confusion on her face, “Wait…you mean?”

The angel smiled again, “Yes.” And with that, he disappeared.

Cameron sat there, a look of disbelief on her face. Even as she did, her internal monitoring systems began running systems checks.

“Systems normal. Except..How…how could I have missed that?”

Cameron looked around the room, “How am I going to tell V.S….”

“Tell me what Cameron?”, V.S. said as he entered their apartment.

Cameron leaped up from the couch and embraced her betrothed, “You’re home early!”

V.S. smiled, “Yes. Things went faster than I thought they would. Now, what is this you want to tell me?”

Cameron looked at V.S., still embracing him, “Uhm, well, believe it or not, but, I’m pregnant.”

V.S. looked at Cameron, “You’re what? How? I mean…” and with that, V.S. Ramamchandran, bearer of Heavenly Soulfire, scourge of demons and necromancers, fainted.

What is Life?

Shadows Over New York Keryth987