Chapter 15: Bulwark – 2

One Forty-Five placed a piece of the pizza onto her plate. Brian had taken one as well, and was eying it excitedly. He motioned towards her with the pizza cutter prior to setting it down.

“Do you have to eat, or do you just choose to?”

She did not look up at him as she continued to contemplate the best way to start.

“I am equipped with a slot for a regeneration node, but there are none available here.”

“How often do you eat?”

One Forty-Five decided that beginning on the larger breaded side would be easiest. She picked up the piece and turned it appropriately.

“I eat once every other day. I am capable of eating less, however that schedule results in a loss of efficiency.”

“I’d imagine so.”

Brian picked up his piece and aimed the pointed side towards himself before taking a bite. Seeing this, One Forty-Five turned the pizza in her hand to match his lead.

He laid what was left on the plate.

“So, which do you prefer?”

“Regeneration. It is more efficient.”

Brian threw one of his hands up slightly.

“Of course. Can take the drone out of the Collective…”

“How does this relate to my implant?”

“It doesn’t. I was just curious. Never gotten to talk to a Liberated for longer than a few sentences.”

He wiped his hands on the napkin and reached into his pocket.

“That’s a fair question, though.”

Brian placed the container with the implant on the table.

One Forty-Five had finished her piece and looked to the tiny clear box on the table as she grabbed another.

“How long until you are finished?”

“It’s ready now. We can install it when we’re done here.”

“I thought you said that it would take several days.”

He nodded as he returned it to his pocket.

“I did. I lied.”

One Forty-Five stopped for a second, halfway through the slice that was in her hand.


Brian shrugged.

“I had to come up with some excuse to get you to go to lunch with me. Are you saying you would’ve come anyway?”

She looked down at her pizza.

“Your assessment was accurate.”

“I thought so.”

One Forty-Five finished her second piece and reached for a third.

Brian chuckled to himself and pointed to what was left of the pizza in the center of the table.

“We are One Forty-Five. Destroyer of Pizza.”

She stopped with the third slice halfway to her plate. He was correct. There were only six slices total and she was just about to the halfway mark. He hadn’t even finished his first. She dropped the third piece on her plate and looked back at Brian.

“I apologize. I will stop after this one.”

Brian scoffed.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve had plenty of pizza in my day. You like it, I take it?”

One Forty-Five picked up the slice a bit self-consciously now that she’d been caught tearing through the first two.


He picked up the crust, and what was still connected to it, off of his plate and took a bite.

“Good. Now we have some common ground.”

Brian finished the crust and grabbed his second piece, while motioning towards One Forty-Five with his other hand.

“So, I figure we’ll finish here, walk over to the Engineering Labs, and I’ll reinstall the implant. Maybe have a quick chat about Borg technology, and we’ll call it a day.”

“That is acceptable.”

He nodded affirmatively as he dropped the second piece on his plate.

“But first, we have an enemy to defeat.”



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