A cold outcome.

The recent destruction of the Mercy, which had relieved some, terrified others, and many chose to remain indifferent. Affected most of all, those who lived aboard it. Those who admired the technological marvel, that made their lives out of the things that were born of it–those who were proud of it.

Two of those people used to be Clara, and her identical clone, Clara-2. Clara, an overflowing ice conduit, had her hair constantly giving off snowflakes, and her skin tinged a light blue due to all the frostbite clinging to her body and clothing. Every step she took left behind a patch of ice where her feet touched, soon melting afterward–her power was immense. Unmatched, in many ways, but that was far from a good thing. In fact, she hated it. due to an accident in the past, her powers were vastly overcharged and began flowing outward from her body–it caused her endless anguish and torment, the pain unbearable, for one whole year. A year of wishing to die, of only sleeping when her body gave out on its own. Nowadays, she's learned to…constrain it. She used to freeze everything around in a half-mile radius, they were so out of whack, but through rigorous experimentation and focus, she can now contain her ice field to only her body, which is why she looks an awful lot like a Yuki-Onna in a sweatshirt and glasses.

Her clone, Clara-2, is identical to her in every way–same shape, appearance, outfit, even the same powers. But she is a more….pure version. She is not imperfect, like her original. Her skin is a normal healthy hue, and her body is neither cold nor frozen on the outside. Her powers are under her control. Sometimes, Clara is immensely jealous of her, but…she got over those feelings a long time ago. The pair were inseparable, and where Clara was a little brash, fun to be around, and sometimes lost her cool, Clara-2 was sweet, soft spoken, and loving.

Most of all, both of them are absolute geniuses. Both of them leading experts in robotics, AI, machinery, and the like. Many of the earlier Created (and indeed, some special ones today still are) were made by hand with those two at the helm, designing them, then building them, and in time that grew until an efficient assembly line was completed. Even then, they took the time out of their days to experiment and try building new variants, new minds, create new life and let it grow. They were important figures aboard the Mercy–moreso due to the fact they were married to its captain, Maximilian.


Following the Mercy's recent destruction…the Claras have divorced him. The stress, anger, and knowledge of their ex-husband's actions lately were weighing upon them, and Clara in particular could take it no longer. She is a woman who values intelligence. Prudence. Caution…thought. But the things her husband had been committing lately lacked many, if not all, of those things. First, it was the Damned that were murdered. As a result, someone she built personally and held dearly, Andromeda, defected TO the Damned and left them. The Mercy itself was never really high in respect of Yomi, their recent destroyers, as it is. And lately was the last straw: with the recent appearance of the Oceanics, who are just barely beginning to trust the surface again and come out to mingle with them and establish peace, he had tunnel-visioned and fired numerous missiles on the ocean–attempting to take down someone who had stolen a cloning machine and other tech from the Mercy…with no regard for those beneath the water's surface. Though thankfully none were hurt, what broke her is when he outright refused, despite Daniel's council, to apologize to the Oceanics for his actions because he didn't know them. It was such an…asinine reasoning. Selfish. Thoughtless. She couldn't take it anymore, and Clara-2 as a result couldn't either.

And so here we are today. Though the girls already pledged assistance to the Oceanics among the many other ex-Mercy goers, they were currently spending some time on the surface, in a warehouse on the docks. Inside were a pair of giant hardballer mechs, standing at roughly 18 feet tall, and their cockpits currently open. With a frame set up around them and some ladders, both Claras were doing maintenance on them–they were one of the very few thing that escaped the destruction in terms of technology, and were not Created…merely suits. Their pilots, Harper and Brandy, sat in the cockpits while they fiddled with the terminals inside, checking suit integrity, power, reserves, weapons, etc. Originally ,these two were Loki operatives–they were among those that assaulted the Mercy back during the Loki conflict, but, due to a combination of common sense and a shared love of coffee, they ended up defecting TO the Mercy and joining their civilian police force. The pair often used to walk around with their mechs' cockpits wide open, waving to others, chatting with them, and in general going about their day. They both are experts in firearm use and maintenance, and each has a…rather staggering collection of guns at home. Unfortunately, both of them have zero memory of ever serving Loki or performing tasks for her. When the day came that a secret meeting took place following Loki's "death", they were there, and they executed the very last orders they'd ever receive from her–to dissolve the organization…and for all operatives to use provided methods to thoroughly, and permanently, eradicate all evidence of who they were, what they did, and that the organization even ever existed. They would be remembered only by those that suffered them in the final battle. Some chose to end their lives, in deep, loyal service to the Loki they once knew–dead men tell no tales. Others used the memory erasure methods, and now only know the name in passing…a figure of the past, of a battle that is now merely history. All of their misdeeds forgotten–their adventures known only to time now.

H: "Check complete. Hardballer 1, all spiffed up and combat ready in here. Well, once you two finish the maintenance, that is."

B: "Hardballer 2, ready to rock and roll~. If we ever do, that is. We did lots of rolling, not a lot of rocking. Most of that we got was running from the Mercy before it went boom!"

C: "Yeah, well, you guys were meant to patrol in the first place–deal with everything from nuisances to straight up attacks. But the latter never happened really, so…."

Clara and Clara-2 finish their work, and close all the panels on the outside, sealing back the armor and ensuring it was all in place. they climb down, and Clara collapses on a hammock strung up between two parts of a large metal frame, Clara-2 sitting in a chair and eating ice cream straight out of a carton. Harper and Brandy lock the controls to their suits, then hop out, walking over and sitting across from one another at a table in the dimly lit warehouse. They open a mini fridge, and pull out some drinks, clinking them together for the hell of it before downing some of them.

B: "Ahhh~. So, we're helping those fish people now, huh?"

C: "Yup. You two I'll talk to them about maybe getting as guards or security in general or something. The suits are amphibious thankfully."

C2: "Do the fishy people like hugs, Clara?"

C: "I'm sure they do, Clara."

C2: "I miss the Mercy. And Andromeda. And Juno's not around much since she and Dan got together. I want a hug…lots of hugs."

Brandy gets up and trots over, happily hugging Clara-2 with a slight wiggle. Clara-2 leans in to it, smiling just a little while still eating her ice cream. Clara sighs.

C: "Well, you two can take the Hardballers out for a walk whenever you like. Gotta make sure they keep working, after all."

H: "Alright. Thanks, Clara, Clara-2."

B: "Yes, thank you~."

Brandy smooches Clara on the forehead, making the sweet girl happy again. She then walks over and sits across from Harper once more. Clara just sighs heavily.

H: "Say, Clara….you, uh….you two gonna be alright? You…got any idea what you're gonna do now that you…y'know…divorced?"

C: "Yes, yes, I'll be okay. I did have something in mind…distract myself from it all. Outside of maintenance and assisting the Oceanics, I was actually gonna drop by the Spiral and see about moving the contents of my old workshop. I wanna get every inch of scrap that I left behind back there, and get back to form. Just…building robots in my off time in my shop."

H: "Didn't the Damned take over and pacify the Spiral, though? Will your workshop even still be just…sitting there?"

C: "I froze over the upper portion of the skyscraper so nobody could get in. They can use the building all they like, but there's no way they could touch my stuff, ice is too thick, and it regenerates."

H: "Ah. That's…that works."

B: "…..Um, right! Well, uh, Harper, let's go take the Hardballers out now. Give these two time to relax, y'know?"

Harper sighs and nods in agreement. Saying goodbye, they get up and climb back in their mechs, leaving the cockpits open still as they fired them up. Currently lacking any weapons (aside from the compacted, hidden plasma chainsaw in their left arms) they left the warehouse to walk along the docks and head for the city.

Clara and Clara-2 meanwhile decided to go relax staring out at the sea together. Going just a stone's throw away from the door to the warehouse, they sit on the edge after taking off their shoes. Clara-2 smiles as she dip her feet in the water, slowly wading them back and forth. Clara tries to do the same, but…a frown comes to her face when her foot came near, and the water merely froze over, and she couldn't breach its surface to know the sensation of water against her skin again. Clara-2 is….blissfully unaware, humming and swaying side to side, whereas Clara just curls her legs up to herself and hugs them, hiding her face against her knees.

Does anyone spot either of these duos and come to meet them?


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