Project: AKRA pt 12

***

The short cycles of the planet had given way to day as they trudged forward with no resistance, back to walking on the razor grass sawing slowly in the sunlight.  They marched forward with four of them still fully ‘armed’ in the limb sense of the word but at this point met no enemies.

Everyone knew what was coming before they actually rolled onto the bare ground, based on the loud roaring starting to filter through the trees.  Though Leio and Ziko were both reduced in combat efficiency, their squad was still in fairly good fighting capacity.  They made it through the surprise of the night, and still had four people capable of shooting larger weapons.  However, this new challenge they were coming up to was going to prove trying.

“There is no way we are making it across that,” Ziko said.  He knelt down to let Leio off of his shoulders as she sat down on the ground so he could better look over the edge of the cliff.  They stood next to some rocks and a tree, using the light cover as they looked over the shear corner of the massive cliff to the rumbling water hardly visible through the mist below.  On both sides of them the deep gorge was cut through the rock with no easy way down, and the height did not get any less extreme anywhere close that they could hike to make the descent easier.

“The two of them could not hope to swim across that water,” Agrest said, keeping his head turned upwards most of the time for any drones that might come flying over the tree tops.

“I have faith they could, but the risk is too great.”  Raist looked up and down the escarpment they were located on.  “It’d be better if the two of you stayed here to cover our escape.”

From where they were, the tip of the peak was barely visible against the tall trees of the other side of the river.  Their goal was close, but in every way seemed farther with every step they took.

“From here you guys should be able to build a pretty good choke point in the rocks over there.  The three of us are going to do a sprint to the target, and come back.  There is a good chance we will need as much cover fire and a clear path as possible on our way back.”

Agrest pointed to the rocks.  “It’s a good plan, since I’d hate trying to descend and climb back up with things shooting at us.  If you two have this locked down, it should help our escape.”

Raist finished, “Ziko, I am going to need you well-rested because as soon as we get here, we are running back to the extraction zone. I do not want to be in the forest again for another night.  The three of us should be able to handle AKRA, and I know you are strong, but we cannot be slowed even if you are carrying Leio.”

The problem was they had to make it back out of anti-air range to call their shuttle down.  Even if it was capable of firing, with how defended their target was, calling it anywhere close was risking being trapped here.

The group worked for a bit, positioning rocks and checking sight patterns so that the two staying behind would have clear cover fire on the three advancing members, both on the descent, the swim, and the climb before they disappeared into the other side.  Natural rock walls covered their backs, and a few shots through the rocks gave them some gun holes to fight anything that did come from the forest.  The three advancing soldiers dropped all but one weapon here so they could move faster now that the mission had become one of a sprint.

“Goodbye, Raist,” Leio told him as they embraced.  Raist was having to hold her up.  “I hope I see you again.  I really do.”  Her foot was realigned, but the large section of meat missing from her calf was something he tried to not look at.

“I’ll be back soon.”  He gave her butt a light squeeze as he turned away from her.  They spiked their rappel systems into the rock and Agrest and Philira already jumped over the edge.  Raist was preparing to do the same when a strange thought came to him.

‘Look at her one more time; it might be your last.’  He turned to face her, and she did a small wave, smiling at him, the normalcy making him think he was over-thinking again.  He turned back towards the cliff and crouched and launched off.

Advertisements

Project: AKRA pt 10

Raist took a prone position in the clearing Ziko had cut through the forest with his CSW, while the two close range fighters fought back-to-back against the horde, standing right above Raist.

He was taking careful burst shots, squeezing a few rounds, gauging whether the creature needed more rounds to die, then either delivering, or moving on to a new target.  The counter on the side of the rifle shot down rapidly.

He squeezed the final 30 into some creature hopping between the trees and as he rolled to his side to put a new magazine of 1,000 in.  The magazine was in, and his hand was going to the ‘accept’ toggle when he saw a huge bird diving out of the sky right at their group.

“Up…!” he started, but it was too slow.  Its mouth peeled open to reveal a tri-maw opening ready to consume one of them.  The creature was closing on them when its large neck was separated from its body, liquid exploding out the backside as its head crashed to the ground not far from them, its body gliding into another dead creature.

“What?”

Raist toggled the rifle back on, and saw a line of white tracers clearing the sides of part of the trees.  He knew that weapon anywhere: it was Leio’s Sweep Rifle, but she was aiming horizontally.  What killed the bird?

“It’s Agrest and Leio!” Philira shouted, another of her clips dumping out of her Plaz-Shot and hitting Raist in the head as she reloaded with robotic speed.

He didn’t need to tell the two he was with to not hit them, and he hoped the other two knew they were here.

Beasts continued advancing on them until all of them mysteriously stopped, turning and running as fast as they could.  Death had not scared them before, so it was definitely something different.

“Phi?”  Raist asked.

“Something’s coming…top of the trees.”

The strange silence had returned to the forest, though a few wounded screams still pierced the night.  Raist hated killing animals, and hearing their moans as they were sawed apart by the grass hurt his soul.

“Drone!”  Philira shouted, grabbing Ziko and diving to the shot-up ground.  Above them a large floating disk hovered over the scene of their battle.

“Shoot it!  Shoot it!” she yelled.

Raist was the only one of the three with the longer-range weapon and brought it to bear, and though he was giving it rapid bursts of ten sonic rounds that were undoubtedly flying straight through its hull, its size would not easily be brought down.  The two he was with were each rapidly reaching for their longer-range weapons as a firing arm extended above the disk.

A loud whoosh reached them long after the rocket did, rending the ground apart as they were flung through the air.  Raist crashed into one of the trees between two of the razor edges and escaped serious damage.  He switched his weapon to packet mode, morphing the small rounds into larger slugs designed to pierce before blowing apart inside their target.

He aimed at the disk that was readying another rocket and started shooting, catching the white tracers of the Sweep Rifle also on target of the drone.  The thin, fast spray of the Sweep rounds, and Raist’s exploding slugs were pounding away at the machine.  It tilted to one side for a moment, but righted itself.  Raist was sure it was going to fire again until its core exploded and it crashed somewhere into the trees above them.

He was breathing hard, his mind in combat mode, looking around everywhere for the next thing to kill, and with nothing moving for a long time he gradually began to come off his combat high.

Something was hurting his core and looking down, he saw a mat of the spiky grass imbedded into his chest after being propelled by the rocket.  He pulled each out; feeling the distant pain of sucking out the semi-vacuum each projectile had created in his body.

He pushed himself out of the slight cove of his tree and staggered to the clearing.  “Who is alive?”

“We are, but Ziko is hurt,” Philira’s voice had an edge he never heard before in it.

Raist ran over and saw Ziko slumped next to a tree almost exactly like where Raist had been blasted.  The difference was he was moved slightly to one side, right into its sharp edge.

“Zi…ko?” Raist asked nervously.

“Yo, I’m alive, but shit…these plants are even worse than the creatures.”

Ziko’s words made it seem like he was okay, but Raist realized Ziko’s left arm had been cut cleanly off right by the shoulder.  His nanites and suit sealed what was left of the arm to prevent any bleed off; it actually looked like he had a stub arm his entire life with how clean it was.  The fact he could talk clearly was a result of their advanced training, and very tailored drugs to block pain and maintain combat efficiency.

“Your ar—” Philira started, Raist grabbed her and shook his head no.

Project: AKRA pt 4

Continuing the story, they are about to get down to the planet

 

Ziko was by default the group mule based on his strength, but on raw speed no one could touch Philira.  For a moment her bright pink hair became visible, as did her youthful body as she disabled her camouflage to readjust some equipment.  Soldiers had specific natural hair colors based on their Class: Female Scouts were pink, female Supports were bright orange, male Supports were light blonde, Leaders had black and so on.  They could be manually overridden, but was rarely done.  Almost all combat was conducted in combat suits or stealth fields so this issue did not matter.  For most soldiers, their class was a mark of pride.

“Damn, I thought a saw an angel there for a moment,” Agrest said.

“Of death?”  Raist asked, slamming an energy clip into a pistol and watching the counter read ‘full’ before the text dissolved into the number ‘100’.

“Maybe, I don’t know. I was a little confused though…”

“Why?” Ziko asked.  Raist smiled, and tried to hide his laugh that Ziko fell right into a trap.

“Well, aren’t angels supposed to be hot?  I thought she’d be a bit bigger if you know what I mean.”

“Agrest…” Ziko started.

“Bigger?”  Philira asked.  “But I am not the shortest here.”

“Bigger like Leio over there.”  Agrest disabled his cloak to hold his two hands out in front of his chest.

Raist was snickering while he watched what shimmer was likely Ziko trying to catch Agrest while he was shouting, “Why the hell do you always fill her head with your perverted shit?!”

“Everyone has at least three-range cover in their weapon choices, right?”  Leio was updating a graphic overlay showing the positions of the squad, with colored ovals representing the effective range of their weapon choices.

Philira, being the lead, naturally had a powerful, short-range weapon; the graphic showed a dark red oval that covered a short distance in front and behind, covering from Ziko up to Raist in his middle position.  Conversely, at the back of the formation, Agrest’s personal Rail Rifle had by far the biggest range, but in an intense close range firefight could not keep up, and thus his main oval was less colored; nevertheless the vast coverage could still assist any of the team in a fight.

“Raist, you are a little weak on the close range,” Leio said, looking over the constantly updating data. “Not sure the pistol will cut it in these quarters.”

“Throw me the SSAW.”  A strange looking blue weapon was flung through the air and caught by something invisible.  “I’ve been meaning to try this out.”

“It’s slow on the recharge,” Philira commented easily.  “Here, let me show you something.”  A Vibro-Knife was picked up off the table, and Raist handed the SSAW over to the invisible tug.  She revealed herself and walked next to Raist, her hips touching his as she held the gun to show him.  “You can store a knife here in the lower duct.  Useful on the downtime,” she smiled at him and stepped away.  It was a slightly flirtatious or sensual move, but given her naivety in relationships, likely didn’t understand what she was doing.

He held the weapon in his shoulder, pretending to fire it then letting it drop while he drew the knife from where it was held.  “Damn, that is a pretty nice trick. That really is a good place to hide it.”

“Saved my life before.”  Raist wondered what creature or alien had a Vibro-Knife stabbed through its head to save Philira’s life.

“I’ll show you a trick later, how’s that sound?” Raist asked her slyly.

“What kind?” Philira asked, totally innocent.

“One that will leave you feeling real good.”

“Not Raist too…” Ziko moaned.

“Survive first, and I’ll show you.” He only did those jokes because he enjoyed how defensive Ziko would always become.

“I will,” she said firmly.  “No matter what.”

“Okay, looks good.”  Leio showed the planned formation to everyone, leaving comments open for anyone to input.  The unspoken rule they had acquired over the battles was that you made no recommendations about anyone’s main weapon, but you could request a change in either of their two sub-weapons, since it was often your ass that depended on it.

“Agrest,” Ziko began, “can you swap that inductor for something with a bit more range?  Maybe the Silvershot?”

“Aww, feeling lonely near the front, lil’ buddy?  I think Philira has enough firepower for both of you.  But even that still leaves my little angel up there out of range.”  Agrest gave Ziko a hard time, but swapped his weapon without protest.  Upon further review Ziko was indeed a bit bare on the covering fire.  Philira had him supported heavily, but only Raist had him within range of powerful rapid fire support.

He had finished, and at this point it was mostly small things others were finagling with.  “Orbital Sync in five…” Raist said.  Everyone stopped their banter, and shoved any supplies or extra energy cells in, packed up quickly, and went to the launch bay.

“Synch up?”  Leio asked.

Yes – Everyone responded on the Inter-Connect System, an implanted communication system that could reduce talking to a near-psychic level of communication.

Launch in three – Leio’s voice played in all of their minds while the air in the ship was pressed back into tanks, leaving the room they were in devoid of atmosphere, their suits protecting them against both the low pressure and the lack of air.

Two – The door opened up, the huge planet’s blue, green, and purple forests standing defiantly against the black of space.  At this distance the beauty defied the danger.

One – Each of them could feel their suits change as they prepared for entry.  The first change was the locking in with the launch system.

She didn’t have to say ‘zero’ or ‘go’ as the moment they were pulled out of the ship with by the launching system was obvious enough.  The catapult system was designed to ensure the even spacing of the entire team, as even the most trained jump could result in a vast dispersion pattern from orbit.  A pentagon shape of the five of them fell through space towards the planet.

Project: AKRA pt 3

This is a new story I am serializing right now, it is about a group of super elite soldiers sent in to recover ‘AKRA’ from a very hostile planet.  The team is getting ready right now.

 

“I told you guys everything that was said to me,” Raist answered.  “This has the feel of something way beyond what we normally take on.  Most of the time things turn out to only have minor consequences, but just the way the courier was talking, and the price it paid for equipment had the feeling that this was very serious.” Raist opened his eyes and looked right at Ziko then Agrest, hoping to calm his old friend’s worries.  He felt kind of bad leaving out some of the things, like that he was sure the courier was actually a girl, maybe a Scout given the hair color.

“What the hell is an AKRA anyway?”  Ziko stood up, turning in synch with the computerized commands of the machine to change its neutralization pattern.

“Has to be either a robot or comp unit,” Leio guessed as she pulled her arms down and ran her hands through her bright orange hair, shaking it gracefully as it waved down her shoulders.  “‘Data recovery?’ Come on, what else could it be?”

“I’m with you, but those were my words I had said to it,” Raist making sure that distinction was there.  “It was never explicitly stated other than when it said ‘data processing unit’.  The only thing we know for sure is that it has a recovery chip implanted in its system that we will be able to track it down with.”  He pointed over to where his clothes were, and a handheld scanner configured to the tracking chip slowly pulsed, showing that AKRA lay down on the hostile planet below.

Ziko’s question repeated itself in Raist’s mind: what was AKRA, and why was this feeling only getting worse?

***

“I recommend Level-2 survival supplies,” Raist spoke to the four silver-suited figures in front of him.  They were near deployment, grabbing the last of their gear in the armory before their descent.  The suits they had equipped were capable of a high tech camouflage as well as defensive in terms of ballistic attack.  Further, they carried extra medical nanites to synch with each soldier to provide advanced healing and drugs during combat.

“Studying the terrain, I would recommend at least three,” Agrest suggested.

“Go with at least one extra med pack as well,” Leio added.

Raist nodded, deferring to their specialties and around them everyone made necessary changes.

Once their suits were activated, the near-invisibility they provided would blend them in completely to their environment.  Each of them tested their nano-camouflage in turn, rendering each of their various differences in appearance such as the boldness of the two women’s natural hair colors, Agrest’s taller frame, and Ziko’s muscular body all unobservable.  There was only a vague shimmer of light where they were standing.

The technology involved a complex set of data transmission of accurately replicating the light pattern of objects behind the person. By projecting them on the multi-layer crystalline suit in the front, it created something as near invisibility as was visually possible.  It was a perfect invisibility as it used what was behind to person to relay to the front, making it applicable in any environment or any angle

“Expecting this mission will be a siege, or an extraction?”  Agrest asked, but he had already loaded many supplies; he knew how often the role of the Sniper meant he would be in hostile territory far longer than anyone expected.

If anyone was watching the room, they would be disturbed by the supplies and weapons floating in air like ghosts before they disappeared as they were pocketed or filed away in a cloaked backpack.

“We are running it as an extraction, but the terrain is extremely hostile, as I hope you guys had studied.  I am not over estimating this at all.”  Raist’s second statement was unnecessary to his crew. They all knew him well: he was not the type to exaggerate danger, at least before they went into it.  That fact actually put a bit of caution into their minds.

“The combat drones we have sent have been shot down at about halfway to planet-side,” Leio said, decloaking as she pulled up a holo of their target and the visualization of the effective kill zone around it.  Her tight combat suit left her still looking very attractive, perhaps more so with the way it hung tight to her legs and butt.  “Their air defenses are extremely solid, and even our low flying drones were killed when they approached horizontally.”

“From what I have seen, the forest looks extremely dense,” said Philira.  The voice came from a barely-visible ghost holding a Plaz-Shot Scattergun.  Only her tone was any clue as to whom had said the statement.  “I see why you chose this path.  Even if they knew we were in there, there would be no way to locate us for termination.”  ‘Termination’…only a Scout would so distantly comment on their likely death that way.

Big Scifi giveaway I am part of

Hey guys I am part of a big scifi giveaway this week.  I am giving away Project: AKRA if you have not picked it up yet.  Lots of new talent to check out.

http://sffbookbonanza.com/freebooks/

I am still hammering away at trying to be an author, so something like this could help big!

Enjoy if you check it out.

New story: Project: AKRA

Hey so I started slipdrift, but instead it is going to be Project: ARKA and this is due to some things with amazon and when the free period ends.  Anyway, all of them are part of the VayneLine Chronicles, here is project akra!

 

Project: AKRA

 

Ironically, the Emotion-Field concept as an aspect to reality proved so revolutionary that the first groups to find evidence of its existence fought and killed for its secrets, deeply contrary to the discovery’s eventual implications.  It was the first indication of higher dimensional aspects that influenced our reality, as well as our own ability to change them.

 

– Terran Intradex Ver. 4 Excerpt on ‘Emotion Field’

 

See Also: Star Priestess, Classed Soldier, Project: AKRA [Declassified]

 

“I have reason to believe you are the best…feel like putting that reputation to the test, soldier?”  The hooded figure had a light cloaking field over it that made it seemed almost like an illusion to the soldier it was speaking to.

A small smirk crossed the face of the soldier as he brushed two fingers through his short hair.  “Naturally.”

The hooded figure laughed, but its tone was masked by a voice-modder, rendering its tone completely neutral so it could not be identified in any form. “I know you have taken hard missions before, but I do not expect the survival rate to be particularly high on this.  There were only three groups that had both the clearance and the battle experience your group possesses.  I hate sending such a valued asset like your group on a mission like this, but it is one of particular import to the Star Priestesses.”

‘To the Star Priestesses’ meant for all intents ‘to the Aelisha’.

Though the black-haired man was arrogant, he was not stupid, and likewise answered carefully.  “Interesting; I assume this is your estimation of the danger.  If I may ask, is that an academic estimate, or a once-soldier’s estimate?”  A very small portion of Star Priestesses were soldiers, but a large percentage of Aelisha in secret operations like this were warriors.

“The latter,” the figure said in an easy tone that belied its long combat experience.  “A rather well-connected criminal syndicate has stolen a very valuable collection of data.  Its name is AKRA, an information processing and application unit.  It holds an understanding of the universe we are just barely starting to comprehend.”

“And it’s our job to recover the data,” the man offered.  It was probably an Aelisha he was dealing with most likely some high-rank diplomat or something similar.  For the briefest moment he mused about tackling the creature and ripping its cloak off to see whom it was.

“ ‘Naturally’,” the cloaked figure mimicked.

The black-haired soldier laughed at the imitation, but in his mind he could tell there was something deeply wrong with this mission his squad was going to undertake.  He always believed in his combat instincts, but this was different.  Something was calling to him beyond just his instincts, but he had no idea what it was saying.

Considering the credits his group was offered, some mysterious ‘clearances’ for advanced weaponry they recently had been given, and the entirely personal reason that he felt something calling on this job, he knew he would do it.  The soldier named Raist, told the figure they would take the job.  As soon as he had said so, the figure had turned and started walking out, shimmering like a ghost that was barely visible.  “Wait, one question though.  Why us?”

“You were asked for specifically.”

That was interesting.  He didn’t know too many people that knew him and were still alive.  “By whom?”

“You are not privy to that information.”

“Ha, I am used to that,” he said to the figure that had departed.

The figure was far enough away it was completely invisible, but before it had completely left the room, its voice said to Raist, “But know an old friend sends their… regards.”

Counting the friends he had that weren’t in his squad and were still alive took about four fingers.  He stood there for a moment, digesting the conversation that had just occurred.  He spun his pistol lazily out of habit, more concerned with his thoughts.  It crashed to the ground, and he crouched down quickly to grab it.  He saw something like a small string or thread against the background blackness of his pistol and grabbed it.  The single medium-length strand of hair was a bright pink.

‘That was a Solarian girl, maybe a Star Priestess or a Classed like me…I wonder who she was?  Something felt weird about her.’  All Star Priestesses and really anyone this deep in secrecy were a little weird though.  He shook his head, trying to stop thinking about things.  ‘Too many thoughts and feelings; just focus.’

 

Proud Infinity pt 32

Trego is in jail wondering if everything was just a dream.

 

“You would forsake me so fast?”  It was her voice.  I wondered how long before I would start hallucinating about her.

“Fuck you, go away,” I said to the darkness.  Damn, I hated just being used.  I kind of wanted to shoot her if the circumstances were such that way again.

Her…the cause of everything.  Guess it was not too long.  It was in the shadows of despair within my mind and the actual darkness in this cell that I definitely started to hate her.  I felt used beyond redemption.  White blood celled.

The bag was pulled off of my head, and her bright blue eyes were almost touching mine.  She smiled was wide as she brought her face back.  “Hi Tre!  My, what have they done to you?”

“Unfortunately…” my voice came haggard.  I had not spoken in a long time, and being deprived of water left my throat dry.  “My race has… our less than… glorious… moments towards each other.  Are you… real?  Or just here to…to torment me before I die?”

I honestly expected her to disappear, or maybe appear as the guy who was probably going to torture me.  But she stepped forward, putting her hands on my arms, and something happened as I was falling towards her.  I landed in her chest as she held me gently.  My arms hung limply at my side and I definitely could not feel them.

“Proud…you are real…” I mumbled, feeling her actually hugging me and feeling overwhelmed by that fact as I whimpered softly.

“Of course.  Why would I not be?  I had promised I would protect you, did I not?”

“Did…you?  Can’t… remember.  I can’t move…hunger…pain.  My arms…”

“I know.  I know.”  She held me there, and something warm was flowing from her into me.  I felt a strange awareness come over me, an awareness I once possessed slowly come back to me.

“Healing,” I stated and she nodded.  I could at least walk, even if I felt weak and out of it.  “But how can we get out of here?  I thought you cannot influence reality that much?”

“I have gotten stronger.  I am still limited, but enough to get you out of here.  I had to wait until everyone in your near reality counted on you dying.  To that reality it makes no difference if you actually die, or are simply gone.  The jail guard was killed in an accident today, he was the only one who knew you weren’t actually dead yet.”

“Complicated rules.”

Her eyes widened a bit at the simple truth of my statement.  “Indeed.  It is time we go.”

“Uh, are we going to teleport or something?  I don’t think we can just walk out.”

She disappeared, and I certainly did not make the trip with her.  “Uh, Proud?”

The door to my cell opened, and she was the one that had done it.  “Come on.”

“And if we are caught?”

“I will protect you.  It will not happen though.  Stay close.” She offered her hand and I reached for it, but my hand did not move.  She bent down, grabbing it, and I noticed my emaciated arm that she had taken.  I had been in this delusional state in this dark cell for longer than I likely knew.

At the very end of the hallway, I tried tugging her back as I saw the shadow of a guard coming.  She shook her head and sure enough the form on the wall had turned around and started walking away without ever turning the corner.  We walked through some sort of facility, and it was uncanny that at every turn someone would be walking through the opposite door, or turned engaged in something.  We continued in the strange ballad of perfect timing until we came out to a ship pad.

Proud Infinity pt 31

Getting close to the end, what is going to happen!?

 

I woke back up, eventually, and was still in chains.  Okay, so this was definitely ‘reality’ as much as I had flirted with different states of that word.  My mind went through a few scenarios on what exactly this meant.  There appeared to be no doubt I did indeed bomb the ReCorp building.  Sounds like I am probably slated to be executed here, maybe after I’m tortured awhile to see what I can produce as far as my contacts or whom I was working for.  It was all for a girl, man, all for some crazy girl.

Proud.  Hmm, did she really exist?  Evidently Mitreah did, as the info screen referenced her.  Yet, I could have sworn that Proud absorbed some bullets that would have laid me out.

Did I really live all those cycles over?  Of course.  I had to have, because how else could I have gotten that bomb, or found Mitreah’s secret phrase, or figure out the perfect paths for everything?  Or…what if I always had that bomb and Mitreah was given to me from a shadowy contact?  Was I an agent programmed to forget what exactly I was doing, and come up with some massively delusional story to hide the simple truth that I was just a terrorist against the Solarian Federation?

Damn, was that the truth?  It was true I could not remember even two cycles ago.  Ha, holy shit, I literally could not remember what had happened two cycles ago.

Had my secret neural trigger activated and blanked everything out?  “Uhh…” I tried moving my arms, and groaned from the pain of the wrist locks and my arms not being able to move.

“Proud…were you just a lie?  Was everything just a lie?”  Was I just an agent with his combat android sent to eliminate whatever advantage the Federation was developing here?

Another thought came to me.  What if indeed the cycle reset over and over, and that was simply Proud’s goal from the beginning: not so much saving the universe, but simply preventing the time fracture after which I no longer mattered?  I prevented it, so her goal was accomplished.  Why would she care about one stupid little Solarian locked up for his crimes?  This was especially true if it was for the whole universe’s sake.  As long as I did my duty, I was completely expendable.  Wow…that was fucked up.  I got played hard.  Maybe I would have cried, but the emotion felt foreign to me.  Distant.

 

***

 

Sometime later – ha what an ironic word, ‘sometime’ –  I had thought I had lost my arms.  I could no longer feel them, and it had been at least a few cycles as my hunger had disappeared, replaced by the slow consumption of myself.  In the pain and dark despair I eventually decided that I probably did indeed experience a time fracture, and Proud was real, but I had done what she wanted all along and there was no reason to ‘save’ me or ever even say anything to me again.  Hell, I fucked her and shot her to make it even worse.

Do we cry over a white blood cell that kills itself in our service?  Hardly.  All we do is expect them to make that decision again and again.  And I was probably worth infinitely less.

I was just a single white blood cell.  It was the metaphor I had settled on.  I did my part to help pull the universe out of the problem it was in.  Proud was some director, and I did my sacrifice, everything else moved on.  Wow…I hadn’t felt so abandoned in a while.  Yet I sympathized in a way.  I did not care about the individual blood cells dying to save me.  Why would the universe?

Proud Infinity pt 28

We are getting close to the end, how is it going to resolve!?

 

The cute girl of the space port leaned far forward as she dashed inhumanly fast at the other man on the ship.  He barely had time to look surprised before she punched him in the stomach, and slipped behind him, her arms going around his neck.  For a moment I thought she was going to kill him, but he simply fell to the ground unconscious from being choked out.  I threw their two bodies out of the way of the truck and we hopped in.  I hit a string of button prompts on the screen before it went to flashing ‘Ready?’ and we were off.  I remember how many times I had died trying to get the damn truck moving.

“Am I crazy?” I asked to the two woman with me.  Mitreah shrugged, saying probably, but she wasn’t one to judge.  Proud said no.  If I was crazy, at least it was fun.

We rumbled through the streets, passing by the millions of places I had seen so carefully in the scope of a single cycle.  I was shot there, I killed someone there…  We came now to the single road into ReCorp.  The gate opened for our vehicle, and on both sides the ground fell away into the huge pit.  I hoped this controlled vehicle wouldn’t decide to spill us over the edge.

“In case you are wondering, we are taking out the particle accelerator or disabling it in some other way to stop it from causing the creation of a dangerous particle.”

“You don’t need to justify anything to me,” Mitreah said.  “I am simply happy to be back to my old self.”

“I thought you might like to know.  Do you really not care what I tell you to do?”

“Often it is only our Creators that know our override, and no, you do not possess complete control over me, in case someone was thinking of doing something perverted.”  She smiled slyly at me. “Though to you, I might do things willingly…”

I shook my head only once. “No, I outgrew that a long time ago.”

“You seem sincere.  But my Creator died, and you seem fun enough, so I might have done this mission anyway if you asked.  This is what I truly enjoy; not sitting in an empty room people rarely come to.”  I had asked before, she only came if I knew her code word, she was too loyal to the nearly defunct spaceport.

Damn, this was scary; I had rarely made it this far before.  Everything I had done had been to bring me to this position, and now, well, now it was time.

In my hand was my Liner pistol, and a small satchel of high explosives from an ex-special operative.  I had long ago in all my annihilations gotten over the idea or revulsion of killing.  If I could spare them like at the dock I would.  This was too important even if they were innocent.  I was not convinced of their innocence or not, but it did not matter to me anymore.

The vehicle stopped, and some guy opened the door.  “Hey.”

“Hi,” I said, lifting my pistol and plugging him right in the chest.  I turned back to the two girls. “Let’s go.”  Proud jumped out gracefully, landing and walking behind me.  Mitreah jumped out, dashed across the room insanely fast, slashing a man who was standing there.  The only thing I saw was a spray across the wall behind him.

“Any idea where to go?” I asked the two of them.  I had not been inside here for a long time, and this one the first where I had my skills and the two women with me.  They responded ‘no’.  “Well, let’s see if we can’t get lucky this time.  We can always try again,” I said as I started laughing at my own joke.  Turning to my left I ran through a door shaped like a circular portal that opened as we got close.  If it was an accelerator, I only had to work my way to the middle where the core would be, so that seemed a good place to start heading.

We were running down a hallway, eerily empty, with Proud behind me and Mitreah the combat android in front of me.  Some guy stepped out from a corner, and before I even realized he was there, he was dead at her feet.  She crouched back down in a scary combat stance.

“Hey, this way,” I said to her as I took to the right as we headed a new way, and within seconds she caught up with us and was back on vanguard.  There was a sign warning about having protective suits on and I figured we might be getting close.  My fear of dying was long since gone; I had done it so many times.  I neared the portal, but it didn’t open.  I tried the handle and it was locked.

“Damn it!”  I pulled my pistol towards it, firing some rounds into the locking mechanism and front kicked the door, but it remained solid.  “No way.  A damn door is going to stop us?”

Proud Infinity pt 27

Hey guys hope you are enjoying these free segments, let me know with a like or a comment!  Trego is deep in the time loops and starting to figure out what is happening to him.

Here we go!

 

I woke up and I started laughing.  Let’s do this.  Even the universe was with me on this one.  I had spent so much time learning and doing everything.  Each of my attempts got me further and further.  The last couple times spent talking to Proud helped calm my mind.  I felt ready.  I was never a soldier, but I had become one.  I knew how to move, how to think, how to fight.  I had been transformed into this nearly unstoppable fighting force.

Okay.  I reviewed everything in my mind.  I could get onto the truck heading into ReCorp at the port, I could pick up the combat android, Mitreah, disguised as a receptionist, and the old guy would give me some old explosives with the right conversation tread.  And lastly Proud would only come with me into ReCorp if I asked her first at the bar, she really on it because things had to ‘come full circle’ which apparently really mattered to her.

I walked into the bar.  Everyone there was staring at me like they had what I think was the very first time, so many times ago.  I turned straight to my friend, long ago giving up what others ‘thought’ of me.  “Proud, I think I might have it this time.  Would you like to come?”

Her lips rose slightly in a knowing way.  “Of course.  How nice of you to ask me.”  I left those fools I was saving at the bar in their confusion.

“Alright, so I think this time I stand a really good chance.  I woke up and remembered everything.  It was pretty overwhelming, but I think this might be it this time.”

We held each other’s hand as we dashed towards the fence.  The old guy would not be here for a while, but I did not have the luxury of time as everything was precisely orchestrated.  I ran down a few streets, up a building and knocked on the door.  He was surprised as he always was, with his gun hidden right behind the door as I had found out once dying in the hallway.  He probably wondered at my hand ‘floating’ in the air gripping nothing.

I said the right words, which were unfortunately lies, about how I was an agent and used his operator name and some key phrases such as “Coding Alpha Delta, Operator task transference requested”.  His innocent face hardened, and nodded when I said it was vital I have any explosive he might be able to give me to stop an implanted enemy.

Taking the small pack he gave me we ran out of there over to the spaceport.  Alright, still plenty of time.  At the very edge of the sky the ship was just barely visible to even my highest magnification I could overlay on my eyes.  I needed to be on that, but time was on my side.

“Mitreah: Farewell fallen sword,” I said while walking straight towards Mitreah.  Her eyes glazed over for a moment and they changed the color slightly before coming back into focus.  She looked right at me, cold but absolute focus.

“Override confirmed.  What are your orders?”

I smiled. “Alright!”  I shook my hand with Proud’s in it and she looked back and nodded happily.  “You wouldn’t believe how long it took to figure that one out.”

“So far, so good, Tre.”

Still talking to the girl, “We are going to go onto the vehicle that ship is carrying and are riding it into ReCorp.  I need your entire combat mode powers unlocked, and it is imperative I am protected at all costs.  Oh, and can you do it with a normal personality?  I don’t like the coldness.”

Mitreah laughed. “Sure.  That final part is a strange request, but I cannot deny it is much more fun this way.  This should be entertaining.”

“Do you want another weapon?”

She shook her head. “I prefer my own.”  Her hand changed from its thin fingers into a sharp blade the length of her forearm.  I had seen that trick before and I guess I never realized how serious of a weapon it could be.  She always just struck me without the actual blade, but the razor edge would end anyone easily.

I walked with the two girls who were here to protect me out to the landing pad.  I felt poised, I felt ready.  I would stop the time fracture.

We still had a little time while it was landing.  I felt poised but there was a little doubt creeping in.  What would happen after the fracture was over?  I was not sure, and I actually did not care.  I had lived more than long enough, with more than enough experiences.  I wanted to complete the divine task given to me.  Maybe this was Proud’s purpose all along.

The ship had landed, and a large bay door had opened, the loose grav plate vehicle sitting there as two people went through the final checks before they would drive off.

I started walking up. “Hey, are you authorized to be here?”  It is always a good idea to question people before they question you.

“What?  Yes we are…”  He lifted his face from the screen he was holding.  I took out my Liner pistol and smashed it across his face.  He fell to the ground before I looked to the next one. “Mitreah, take him out, but try to not kill him.”