December 9, 2019

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 6

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And here it is: the penultimate chapter to part two of our solar system-spanning tale. Be sure to start back with story one chapter one, or read ‘em all and more original tales online.

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 6

Once she was safely out of sight, a hooded man at the bar stood up to depart in the opposite direction.  He was heavily augmented, so much so that it was hard to tell where the machine ended and the man began.  Nano-robots coursed through his veins.  Already, data recorded by his ocular implants was being transferred and analyzed by his contractors.  They would be pleased. All that remained now, he decided, was to kill the provider, then hunt for the girl.  He prided himself on carrying out a clean act. It was, after all, why they kept coming back for his services.

 

Andrea woke with a start.  She had returned to her suite, and after a long shower, decided to sleep off the ales before her meeting with Holderson.

The room around her was totally black. She sat upright, naked except for her briefs. Did I hear something, or was it just one of my crazy nightmares? The silence rang in her ears.

Suddenly, a spinner dart whizzed by her skull, slicing the pillow in half.  Her only warning was a heat shadow she sighted moving behind the curtain with her infra-ocular. She spun to her feet as quickly and quietly as she could.

The Assassin flipped on a red skull cap lamp. Andrea peered out from the shadows. I’ve got at least one advantage, she observed. He, or it, based on his heavy augmentation, needs visible light.

For an instant, the Assassin experienced a feeling close to confusion. His computer implants had mapped the room perfectly; the girl should now lay before him with a shattered brain pan.  Even augmented reflexes couldn’t dodge a lethal spinner dart…

Andrea lashed out of the darkness.  The gravity on Titan was familiar to her welcoming muscles, just like her native Mars.  She crashed heels-first onto her startled attacker, toppling him to the hard marble floor.  Andrea knew she had to take him down quickly; he was easily much stronger than her and more heavily armed. The Assassin swatted her like a gnat. Andrea felt a shoulder snapping crunch as she hit the floor. The Assassin felt furious. He had never botched a kill. Now there would be a mess, and he knew he would have to sanitize this room of this girl’s soon to be splattered body. He might even have to kill any curiosity seekers that might stumble by who were alarmed by the noise of the struggle .

“Dumb witch,” he roared as he swung a mechanical right hook at her.

Andrea swept up the tossed bed sheets and wrapped them like a noose around his throat, effectively blocking the skull lamp. Now they were back in darkness, her domain. She pulled tighter as he thrashed about, riding him like a bull.  She wasn’t even sure if she could choke someone this augmented, if cutting off his supply of blood and oxygen would have any effect.

Without warning, the Assassin rolled over, crushing Andrea as she now struggled as he pinned her to the floor.

“My turn,” He whispered coarsely as she felt his cold metal fingers slip around the small of her neck. One knee pressed hard into her sternum. She felt the blood throb and drain from her face.

Suddenly, the Assassin felt reality sputter.  Without warning, all his nerve endings lit up. Ganglions bundled together with nanotechnologies arced like overloaded circuits, and then went limp. Even the micro repair probes in his blood stream were not quick enough to respond to the mounting damage. His grip on Andrea loosened as he abruptly collapsed on top of her.

“Sorry darling, I’m an on top kind of girl,” Andrea coughed as she pulled the neural paralyzer from the base of his skull. She had barely reached it with her last gasp.

She coughed up some blood and then rinsed out her mouth. She knew she was no longer safe here. I doubt Holderson sent him, she considered, pulling on her black jumpsuit. If he wanted to kill me, we’d have all been dead back on Kumari.

She callously stepped on the dead Assassins’ crotch as she exited the suite.  I wonder if that was mechanical too? She glimmered. The paralyzer was spent, but she felt that it had served its purpose.  “Better you than me…”

 

The Commandant was not a happy man. “What the Hades are your guys doing out there, Jor? One luxury liner with a radium device on board, and now an armed scout ship?” He glared at the junior officer before him. Patience was not his particular virtue.

The newly appointed Admiral of the Outer Fleet hurriedly formed his answer. “Sir, these wastes of carbon are pirates. Give me the firepower, and I guarantee we will pulverize every asteroid from here to the Oort Cloud.”

The Commandant swiveled his chair and rubbed his closely cropped hair. Out the view port, the darkened Earth slid past.  “Every ship going outward past Mars will now have an armed escort,” he declared, “You will personally lead an Annihilator Task Force to the orbit of Uranus.” The Commandant stared down the Admiral.  “We can’t afford another Mars Revolt, Jor. Gravity keeps us planted. Here at Legion Headquarters, we use centrifugal force.”  He paused for effect, and then pointed outward.

“Out there,” he shouted, “I want you to use any means, ANY means, to keep the outer frontier colonies in line. And I want these pirates’ heads served up for brunch. Terra will maintain control over the Solar System.”

The Commandant motioned the Admiral out.  Fool… He felt his blood pressure dip slightly. One of his concubines would suffer dearly tonight before his rage would diminish completely.

 

The tube lift slid silently up into the office chamber. It brought Andrea smoothly up to floor level and then disappeared beneath her.  The large office room around her was spare and metallic looking.  An enormous bay window looked out on the dimly lit surface of Titan. Hulking ethane glaciers could be seen casting shadows in the dim orange twilight in the distance. Sparks of light slowly punctuated the gloom as spacecraft departed Cronos City and struggled to achieve orbit.

Even though the figure that sat before her was back to, Andrea knew who he was.

“This, of course, is one of the few windows in Cronos that actually offers a view of this gloomy world.  I think the average Titanian likes to live in denial,” D.R. Holderson said as he revolved to face her.

…to be continued…

Read The Cloaked Promise and other original tales of scifi from Dave Dickinson in their entirety.

 

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