Translation of native phrases - Lost some of the original translations…
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Support/点击“赞一下 Einar Petersen
15.000 years ago mankind was nearly destroyed in an all out war between rivaling forces.
Few tales of this great conflict exist. Most of these records have been regarded as myth and dismissed as high tech superstition.
In essence, nothing but over interpreted stone tablets and scriptures.
People could not have been more wrong and unfortunately, it was all about to happen again.
From the depths of the unknown the Vimanas returned and with them civilization as we knew it crumbled.
In one fell swoop, human society was paralysed.
The survivors of the second apocalypse, those that the plagues spared, were quickly rounded up enslaved by the “sky gods”, reclaiming their home planet, our mother Earth.
A few brave in hiding had however made up their mind.
Those bastards wouldn't get it without a fight, surrendering was not an option.
And so the Free World Liberation Army (FWLA) was born!
“This is UN-SPACE II, we have a blip - Can ground control confirm? Over”
“Ground control here hang on. Over!”
“I hate when they do this”, the watch officer muttered.
“Yeah know what you mean”, Commander Jameson said peering out the viewport, he had been spending the entire dogwatch looking out at the cloud covered Earth, there was something soothing about looking at the Earth from this distance. Jameson had always felt this paternal yearn and needs to be protective of all life down there, when he saw his home planet in all its glory sailing by in the viewport.
Without warning collision sensors started wailing!
“Son of a bitch”. Jameson was taken completely by surprise, a surprise disaster readyness test ?
“Ground control we have a collision alarm, heavy impact in.. T-12 minutes…. Can you confirm“, the voice level dropped, “….Oh my God…the velocity…it is incredible”.
“This is ground control, we read you! We have the rogue on our screens, no data available… Recommend you abandon ship! Repeat, abandon ship ”.
“Roger that ground control!“
The watch officer flicked a switch and Commander Jameson cleared his throat.
“Emergency evac ordered with immediate effect – All personnel proceed to designated lifeboats, this is not a drill. Repeat this is not a drill!”.
The onboard computer reacted with lightning swiftness, all over the station alarms went off and personnel started swarming towards the escape boats.
Then the unthinkable happened, the blip on the screen came to a screeching halt. There was a brief moment of surprise then ground control sprung into action to avert a potentially mistaken evacuation.
“This is ground control recommend you hold evac, await situational update, do you concur”
The watch officer glanced at his screens, then at Jameson “Do you concur?”
Jameson nodded “I concur”
The watch officer flicked the switch again.
“This is Commander Jameson, there has been a development all jettison procedures have been halted, remain in lifeboats till further notice, Jamison Out!”
The station alarms silenced, only the lights still flashed, on every boat crew members were sweating and breathing heavily.
Had they been the victims of a surprise alertness test?
Suddenly the blip on the screen started moving again.
“This is UN- SPACE II we have movement again, can you confirm?”, the watch officer asked.
“Ground control here, we concur, ETA in T-39 minutes at current velocity, we recommend launching a probe.
“Roger that, probe as good as launched”, the watch officer replied after verifying by casting his gaze on Jameson who nodded.
the watch officer entered the current target coordinates, painted the target and sent one of the station's exploratory drones on it's way.
37 minutes later the dark hulk of something previously only dreamed up by science fiction authors, majestically sailed up to UN-SPACE II exploratory probe on it's tail.
With a ship like that entering orbit around Earth, the signs were clear for all to see.
Humanity was not alone!
And the world held it's collective breath.
The probes had been working for hours unend and back in UN headquarters a hastily assembled board of scientific advisers were debating the event unfolding.
“This is completely unheard off. All our readings indicate alloys composed of materials all of Terran Sol origin, but we have no records of anything like this being built by any nation of Earth”.
“Are you saying this thing is from Earth, but that’s preposterous,” Lalit Tak was fidgeting his ring anxiously.
“Preposterous perhaps but nevertheless that is where the evidence seems to be pointing”, a xeno anthropologist sitting right next to the speaker replied carefully.
The highest ranking official in the UN Hierarcy for Extra Terrestrial affairs budged in to the looming argument “You know gentlemen, in the Vedic literature of India, there are many descriptions of flying machines, some even record conflict between beings with weapons as powerful and advanced as anything used today so we'd better take this very seriously be it extra terrestrial or not.“ Dr. Braben of the Human Frontiers Institute said with a grim look on his face.
“How about contact - any progress,” he added looking to his aide.
The UN-SPACE liaison fiddled his tablet, “No Sir, nothing so far”, “We are attempting every conceivable method of communication, a breakthrough should be around the corner”
“Do you believe there could be a threat?”, the General Secretary said.
“Possibly,” the official answered.
“And the “Sol” origin, no doubt of that?”
“Not as far as we can remote sense, possibly we would do better with a matter sample taken directly, however the collection of such could be conceived a hostile act so we have not proceeded to that yet,” the aide looked at his manager who gave him a small but reassuring nod.
“Of the top of your head, any chance this is a black ops construction of any kind, some industrial moguls achievement or something similar?” the General Secretary asked.
“Doubtfully, keeping such a craft secret would be nearly impossible”, the official replied.
“Only if you built it on Earth, you could easily construct such a craft using robotic construction technologies in the asteroid belt and you'd be able to find rocks with minerals of similar origin that would pass of as Earthly origin without a closer inspection.”
It was the Xeno Anthropologist offering another barrage to the rest of the group, he was not easily convinced by the arguments that had been flying across the room for the past couple of hours.
“I see, Thank you all for your valuable input. I shall assemble the 25 heads of the security council, we shall need a unified response to this under all circumstances”
And on the third day the silence was broken and a simple message boomed across the globe on all networks.
“We demand your unconditional surrender to the Lord Narayana, ruler of the heavenly sky and the divine earth.
“Attempt no hostile action or face the consequences”.
“You have 96 of your standard hours to comply”
Ripples went through the populace as leaders went on national and international channels in order to reassure their subjects.
Militia was sent onto the streets. The fires burned bright that night!
“Mr. President I say we have no option, we need to strike now unless we activate the global defense grid we are…”
The president cut off general Bob Thornton. “General I fully understand your concern - but if the attempt fails the consequences could be disastrous”.
“Mr. President if we don't try we as a sovereign nation, hell we as a race become the subjects of this bozo, Lord Nayana or whatever the hell his name is”.
“I say we duke it out,” he continued “What is one small ship against the combined defence grid of our planet, it was built to take out a lot bigger targets than that which threatens us now and with surgical precision I might add.”
The general put on a smug smile. He had always seen himself as the saviour of mankind for his pivotal role in establishing the Terran Defense Grid, a set of orbiting laser and missile launch platforms that combined should be able to fend off asteroids and most probably also invading ships like the one they were facing now.
“I… I'm sorry Bob but I can't assume that responsibility”
“Then I hope your vice president will”, the general looked at Vice President Trips who nodded.
The presidents eyes opened wide with horror as he realised what was going on.
The whisk from the concealed dart gun and the sting of the needle were swift. Paralysis was near instant and the Presidents body fell to the floor.
General Bob Thornton bent down over the presidents body and removed the needle leaving no evidence of the misdeed that has just been perpetrated.
“Medic”, he yelled almost at the very instant secret service agents burst into the room prompted by the sudden flatline report from the Presidents biosigns monitor.
A few hours later the grid armed and operation needle came into effect.
It was not a success!
“I do not understand, how is it possible for one ship to avoid all that which we sent at them, and why are they not responding to our hails?” Acting President Trips mumbled while rubbing his temples.
The acting president was lumped into the chair in the oval office, his body showing severe signs of fatigue.
“Any news from our allies?” he asked grasping for straws.
“Nothing except the fact that our defence shield partners report that their systems seem to have been compromised for a brief moment before they regained control of them.”
“Basically they're holding their breath just like we are. Our technicians are working on a strategy. It is estimated that we can launch another attack within hours, that is given we can assure our systems haven't been tainted.”
Acting President Trips nodded. “So be it!”
“As you our viewers have noticed there have been no incidents of any kind since the threat on the global networks from the so called “Alien Menace”, most likely due to the fact that this looks increrasingly to be the work of a high level prankster that has managed to infiltrate nearly all computer systems on the planet through the use of some very sophisticated computer viruses and a massive botnet, but the situation is being remedied by top security researchers”.
“And now let's go to our weatherman John Nayman. John are you there?”
“Yes Sarah, I'm here. I'm John Nayman bringing you the latest meteorological update”.
“As predicted the skies are blue and the sun is shining, however as observed in many countries a strange meteorological phenomena has been occurring in the upper atmosphere!”
“I'm situated here at Headfield Park and if you look up you will see something never recorded on the planet before, although what you are about to see does have a reminiscent of noctilucent clouds, which are known for their eerie night time glow. The noctilucent clouds as you know are made of tiny water ice crystals forming around bits of floating meteoric dust and if you look up it seems like something similar is happening right now, though without clouds and on a larger scale than any noctilucents ever recorded in meterological history.”
“Right up there on what we can surely call a cloud free sky, you can see them, they look like some sort of glittering diamond hail and they are descending. We do however not believe there is any sort of danger as the rate of descent is quite relaxed, in fact the spheres are behaving very much like snowflakes.”
“Given that we are in the middle of July however snow as we know it, is highly unlikely. What we are watching seem like flake formations assuming some sort of bonded crystalline three dimensional structure, possibly induced by their untimely formation.”
“Meteorologists all over the globe have been studying these structures and nothing hazardous seems to be afoot. Spectral analysis and weather radar all indicate that they're comprised mostly of plain old water molecules and simply are some exotic form of snow.”
“Our latest report says that most of the United States, Britain and parts of the Eurasian, as well as African continent are going to be touched by this phenomena. We believe that the spheres will be hitting us within a very short period of time. So stay with us as we follow this unique event here on GlobeNews.”
A few hours later the apocalypse began.
The biosuits seemed to provide protection at first, when response teams rushed to what seemed like a rapidly spreading global epidemic or terror attacks.
But the microbe like entities found at site seemed able to burrow themselves into the suit fabric and so the protective layers covering the USAMRID personnel at Headfield Park was to no avail.
- That was when people started heading for their homes and bunkers.
The seriousness of the events unfolding were now but an infallible reality.
Later that evening the bunkers came under direct attacks. Even miles below the surface of the earth, installations though safe from any possible disaster or war boiled away, scorched by unimaginable weaponry.
Major cities were levelled by amazing force and rampant wilderness fires filled the night horizon with a reddish hue and billowing choking smoke filled the sky, billions died.
And on the seventh day, silence fell across the earth and the sea, the era of man as the dominant species on planet earth seemed to have come to an untimely end
White within white, blurred past Jason's bionic eyes.
The telemetry fed directly to his retina and the imagery placed Jason in thin air with a full 360 spherical view of his surroundings, completely detached from any physical constraints.
Howling wind tore the hull of the Valkyrie as she zig zagged the valley, mere feet from the treacherous icy ground.
With each toss the images on his retina blurred for a fraction of a second before the transmitters adjusted to the change.
Maurader craft closing in - The flight computer warned.
Damn - And so close, Jason thought and took the craft in between two towering peaks in an insane corkscrew twist, making the intestines of his passengers want to turn inside and out.
Jason smiled, he knew exactly what they were going to say… that was, if they got out of this one alive.
Not many people were capable of eluding Maurader craft, especially not in a steamboat like this one but he was confident about his skills.
“Warning enemy lock” - The flight computer started spewing out further facts and information about the activities of the Maurader crafts.
“Enemy missile away - Lock holding!”
“Son of a…”, The hydrogen turbines howled as Jason pulled the Valkyrie up in an afterburner boost.
He almost lost consciousness, but his flight suit compensated and he added a corkscrew to the climb.
The missile exploded as it passed them sending a blast wave that would have knocked the hell out of most pilots his way. The craft screeched out as if in pain but Jason held her steady.
Stay cool baby… stay cool - He mumbled flipping the craft into a turbocharged descent.
The ground climbed toward Jason with incredible speed.
At the last possible moment he flattened his flightpath and resumed on his previous course.
Lets see if you like it on the rocks boys - Jason said and headed straight for a narrow gap looking impossible to pass.
Enemy has lock - The flight computer began chanting again.
“Those bastards sure are tenacious I'll give them that”, Jason mumbled to himself.
“Hold on it's about to get bumpy again” - He announced to his two passengers.
Helga looked at her father, “You think we are going to die”
The old man looked back at her. “You said he was the best didn't you?”
“Yes”, she answered reaching for the warmth of her fathers hand.
“Then I guess we'll be okay”.
She closed her eyes and let the rugged hand close firmly around her own.
Warning too close to ground - The flight computer began.
“Terminate audio output” - Jason voiced narrowing his eyes. The spherical display processors reacted and diverted full computational power to transmitting details of the gorge in front of the craft.
A huge explosion behind the Valkyrie send shock waves forward accelerated by the narrowing gap. Not sooner had the Valkyrie cleared the gorge before the sides started caving in.
One of the Mauraders got caught and impacted in a blaze of fire.
“One down, one to go” - Jason announced to himself.
He threw the Valkyrie into a steep turn making the Maurader loose his missile lock.
“Oh yeah” - Jason exclaimed as he noticed the cave opening.
He smirked and dove into the cave. The Maurader dove right in after him, but before he realized what was going on Jason had dived beneath a bulge of ice and fired a salvo into the ceiling sending it crashing down over the Maurader.
The weight of the ice as it came tumbling down tore deep rifts in the hull of the enemy ship, it veered down under the pressure from the crushing white carpet until it finally succumbed and was buried underneath the snow.
Jason went from hover to forward propulsion but less than a minute later he had to make an announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we're alive and we're no longer being pursued by enemy craft… for now. The bad news is that we have to ditch the boat and move on across the surface until we reach our destination”
Professor Amundsen looked at his daughter.
“Don't worry, the arctic isn't so bad, you just need to respect the natural forces and you'll be okay”
Her fathers words had calmed Helga into a luring feeling of bliss, a sensation that lasted right until she sank down on her knees. Her wild gesturing resulted in her ripping the protective face shield off.
The freezing wind tearing into the skin of her face woke her up.
Come on back on your feet - We're almost there Jason shouted.
Helga got back up, well helped by her father.
“Did I say you could stop?” Jason shouted at Professor Amundsen, pulling his arm hard.
“I was only…” , he didn't get any further before Jason interrupted.
“Listen doc! I have been entrusted with getting you to the FWLA headquarters in one piece and alive, and you are going to get there, if she can't keep up she stays “.
“Do you understand!”, there was menace in Jason's voice.
“But”, the professor started. “There are no buts - You sir are my number one priority, if she comes to a halt again we're not stopping”.
“She's my daughter, I'll not leave her here in the ice to die” Amundsen shouted.
Jason pulled a gun from his parka and cocked the weapon.
He pointed the gun straight at Helga “Move”, he demanded. Nothing happened.
Professor Amundsen froze, his desperate gaze first met his daughter's then swerved to that of their pilot, had Jason gone mad?
It was as if time stood still. A loud bang shattered the silence as a large block of ice snapped from the mountainside sending a shock wave akin to the jolt of an electric spike through both Professor Amundsen and his daughter.
Jason lovered the weapon and looked straight at the professor, seemingly unimpressed by the dramatic effect the falling piece of ice had held.
“Next time it'll be loaded”, he said “Now get moving!”.
The fact that it was nature that had dottet the proverbial i and that Jason holstered his weapon did little to alleviate the situation. His words and gesture would not be soon forgotten but he didn't have to ask again. Both Amundsens started striding forward.
Six long hours later they arrived at FANGARASTAD the place looked completely desolate, there was barely a sign that anyone had ever been there. But after a few minutes a face broke through the snow.
“Jason is that you” - Skriva á Inuit, a voice boomed.
“Tulugaq ?”, “Yes my friend, it is me!”.
The hunters face thawed in a jubilant smile. “For a moment I though Amaguq was toying with me”
“No Amaguq couldn't possibly look as good as I do” Jason replied laughing.
The two men embraced padding each other heartily on the back.
“And these who are they?”, Tulugaq said pointing to theJasons companions.
But before Jason could answer Tulugaq stopped him with the wave of a hand.
“I'm to curios for my own good aren't I?”, he lifted a piece of the tent canvas and created an opening large enough to allow a human inside.
“If I don't invite you in from this cold I believe the reply would stay frozen in mid air and then I would never get to hear them - Come now, get yourselves inside, and please forgive my inhospitality”
Professor Amundsen now properly looked at what he had originally dismissed as a big pile of snow, the powdery cover was making it indistinguishable from the surroundings.
It was a near perfect camouflage, no wonder the Mauraders didn't want to spend resources hunting down the people of this remote region, they were no technical threat and thus considered completely irrelevant when looking at things from a larger perspective. And they said errare humanum est, Professor Amundsen smiled got down on his knees and crawled in. Little did he know the full truth about the Maurauders.
The shelter was warm and cozy and the men had been discussing for hours.
Helga had remained very silent during the talks. Though finally warm again she had not yet recovered from Jason's shock treatment, how could the man she had admired so much, have acted like that?
She realized she didn't know him at all.
“I am impressed with your flying skills, you say we were followed by two Mauraders and yet you managed to bring down both crafts and would have gotten out of there nearly unscathed if the main opening hadn't collapsed and you did this even though you were piloting an inferior craft… I mean the cave purely brilliant!
How on earth did you know you could maneuver the craft inside?”
Jason looked at the professor, he knew most of the area very well actually.
This had been one of their favorite training grounds, in the time before Ragnarok. How he longed for those days!
So what if the world was run by paranoid politicians seeing fundamentalist terrorists behind every corner, at least they had experienced a semblance of freedom.
And a semblance of democracy was better than the nothing the leftovers of humanity were experiencing now. Wasn't it?
“I used to be in an anti terror squad, we specialized in arctic operations, I visited the cave during several training missions”.
“I see”, the professor muttered and heated his hands over a portable stove which was being used to cook some meat.
He then suddenly pulled his hands back.
The burning oil left an aroma in the air that reminded him of one he had experienced in the days before Jason and his team had sprung him from his incarceration at the Oslo university camp. It was not a pleasant one.
He wondered with dread about the fate of his both competent and brilliant colleagues, how many of them were still alive?
The laser torture had marked him in more than one way, but he had never given up. Never said a word so they were unaware of how much he actually knew.
Thank God Helga had managed to hook up with the FWLA and properly clarified the potential importance of his work to them.
He just prayed the Mauraders hadn't taken out their frustrations on his fellow inmates.
How swiftly it had happened, professor Amundsen shuddered.
The darkness had put everything to a halt and then their electronic agents had swept through society. Cars had been rendered useless, identity cards, computers, RFID technology, basically all electronic equipment somehow connected to the Internet had been turned against them, every warning about the weakness of the surveillance society and how democracies were moving toward benevolent dictatorships in cramped attempts to protect freedom and their citizens had seemed to be right on the spot.
Every single predictions about how things could go really wrong came true in the most horrendous way. Professor Amundsen lost himself in speculation.
Tulugaq bustled about in the shelter and got himself dressed, “I'm going to check on the dogs are you coming with me Jason?”
“Off course”, Jason replied swiftly pulling his boots on.
Moments later he had gotten the rest of his gear on and followed Tulugaq outside.
The sky was ablaze with aurora borealis.
Jason though used to the spectacle couldn't help but watch the show for a while.
The colors danced across the heaven in ever changing patterns, reds, green, purple, the combinations were endless and had the circumstances been different Jason could have spent hours in the polar night enjoying the spectacle.
“So why are these people so important that you'd risk your life to get them to Uunerteq?”
“Well its a long story”, Jason began well knowing there was not much else they could do but talk.
“You have seen the sleek Maurader crafts and how they toyed with most everything the superpowers threw at them.
“Sure a few Mauraders have been pinned down thanks to lucky shots for the most part. But as you know the end result has been damn near apocalyptic”.
“If we only had some sort of craft, just a little more advanced than the proverbial steamboats were currently running I believe we could beat those bastards at their own game and that's where the ol professor gets into the picture”
“How so”, Tulugaq asked finding himself increasingly intrigued.
“Well you won't believe it but this whole mess seems to date back to ancient human history more precisely Indian history. You see an Indian emperor called Ashoka started a secret society called the Society of the Nine Unknown Men.” “These were supposedly great Indian scientists who were to catalogue the many sciences.”
“The emperor naturally kept their work secret because he was afraid that the knowledge catalogued by these men would be used for the evil purpose of war, not surprising as he was strongly against warfare having converted to Buddhism after virtually massacring a rival army that he defeated in one of the bloodiest battles gone into the annals of history.”
“Go on”, Tulugaq implored. There was nothing better than hearing stories, especially stories with fascinating roots to them and if they branched out making for long tales that could be told over several nights then that was even better.
“Well this knowledge was culled from ancient Indian sources, tablets of stone carved in among others Sandskrit”.
“Oh you are referring to the texts about astronauts, I recall hearing about those when I went through primary school. Our science teacher brought them up when we discussed space travel in the commercial era”.
Jason shook his head slightly “Well not exactly, the books Ashoka's Nine Unknown Men wrote were a bit more complex than that, these were highly developed state of the art books on such subjects as metallurgic alchemy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and weapon construction principles, you name it the subjects were there. I know the title of one of them think it was called The Secrets of Gravitation! According to the professor the book, or rather a copy of it is still around somewhere, as are most of the others, kept in secret libraries and storages around the world”.
“Yes and the professor says some of the technology described, far surpasses anything mankind has developed up until now, if we can get our hands on that - Well the tide could be turned.
“I understand, and you say the professor has one of these books?”
“Not excactly, but he knows where we might find it”
Tulugaq nodded Professor Amundsen had to make it - The fate of humanity depended on it. Jason had been chosen as it's newest protector and Tulugaq was now an official sidekick. He just hoped it wasn't too late.
They stood in silence for a while. The damp air from their exhaust crystallized in front of them and they started moving again.
“That explains him but what about the girl, I noticed some tension between the two of you. The coldness I've noticed between you resembles that of a couple that has been quarreling for an extended period of time and are now ready to leave each other - It is not healthy to be mad at each other my friend. Is she your girlfriend or something?”
“I know”, Jason replied “And no! She is not my girlfriend, I wouldn't call her that, I became a little too involved with her while planning her fathers rescue, sure she's fascinating, but our mission is all that counts”.
“That still doesn't explain the animosity I feel between you, what did you do?”
“Me you assume it was me?” Jason began.
“Yes I do - I know you quite well, remember?” Tulugaq said with a hint of a smile.
Jason told him the gun story while they prepared the dogs.
“Not very elegant! - was the only reply he received from his friend.
A whip snapped in the air, a dog snarled as the sled sped across the plains with an incredible pace.
It was a rough ride and Jason held on tight to a line fastened to the sled.
The wire attached to the rear of the sled was the only way he could keep up with the party without exhausting himself and at the same time it enabled him to keep an eye out for enemy craft.
His ski fitted like a glove, they were an essential part of the survival kit he had packed for himself for the mission.
Professor Amundsen and his daughter were tucked well in on the sled while Tulugaq stood on the rear. The landscape looked magnificent and if it wasn't for the situation the party might have enjoyed the view to a greater extent as they sped along, but these days there was no time to play tourist.
It had been years since Jason had had a chance to practice long distance skiing but tonight presented the perfect opportunity, not that Jason would have minded completing the task in his aircraft as originally planned, but beggars couldn't be choosers.
Tulugaq swung the whip again. The dogs pulled like mad to bring their cargo to safety.
The sled entered a slope which allowed the dogs some relief from pulling the heavy sled.
Tongues hanging from teethed jaws bore witness to the strain put on these faithful animals, but the reward for them was in the love of their master and provider, without whom they risked death and destruction in the cold arctic.
They had traveled almost xxx kilometers when it happened. The bump the dogs had just jumped sent the sled up high in the air.
It came down with a loud crack, giving away something really bad was about to happen.
The very instant the sled hit the ground Jason let go of the line, next he knew the sled tumbled down the slope throwing off first Tulugaq, then the professor and finally his daughter in a series of twists and turns that made Jason wonder if any of the three would get away from the crash alive.
The first one on his feet was Tulugaq, he looked around in a confused gaze after which he headed for the nearest figure on the ground.
Jason quickly skied across the slope on a slightly skewed course to the place where professor Amundsen was trying to get back up, a feat obviously inflicting agonizing pain onto the elderly man.
Tulugaq knelt down next to Helga and turned her about, she moaned but sat back up with a little support from the bearskin clad Inuit.
“Professor are you okay?”, Jason inquired
The professor waved him off with a disgruntled gesture.
Obviously he wasn't ok!
“My daughter”, he managed to stutter.
“Looks okay”, Jason answered after casting a quick gaze at his traveling companions in an attempt to assert the damage from a distance.
“I really need to look at that”, Jason insisted pointing to the professors arm which hung limply down his side.
“Daddy!”, Helga's voice tore through the landscape.
“I'm okay pumpkin”, he shouted back coarsely.
Helga ran toward them and didn't stop till she was right next to the professor and Jason.
“Daddy you know I hate it when you call me that”, she said in an embarrassed voice, yet quite pleased with her fathers affirmation of love for her.
“Ain't got no better way to describe you sweetie”, he answered with a forced smile.
She threw herself at him and gave him a bear hug it was followed by a suppressed growl of pain.
“Oh my good, did I hurt you?”, Helga quickly pulled back from the embrace.
The professor shook his head, most of the color had disappeared from his face.
“You really need to have that looked at”, Helga said in a disturbed voice.
The professor looked at his daughter with pain in his eyes, “I know, can’t move it - I think its' broken!”
Helga didn't get as far as replying before a voice tore loudly at her ears.
“Aw shit”, Tulugaq exclaimed, he was examining the sled and was apparently very displeased with what had found.
Jason looked at the Inuit, “Bad?”
“Got to make camp to fix this”
Jason turned toward the the professor and his daughter, then turned to see Tulugaq again “You sure about that?”
“Does the planet spin around it's own axis?”
“I guess so”, Jason replied.
“Then yes, I'm sure”, Tulugaq stated flatly and began hauling equipment off the front of the broken sled.
“You take care of him, I have to help Tulugaq set up camp okay”, Jason said and began looking in his pocket.
He retrieved a small package, then threw it to Helga. “Here give him 2 of these, I'll examine him later, once we have settled in. Let me know immediatley if he gets any worse”.
Helga who had caught the package in mid air nodded, there wasn't much else one could do out here in the cold anyway. She started unscrewing the lid.
“No, no pills”, the professor insisted.
“Go on”, Helga said sternly. Professor Amundsen complied.
Later that afternoon after putting the dogs into the shelter with them, much to miss Amundsen's displeasure Jason began examining the professors arm.
“Looks like your shoulder has popped, I going to have to pull in order to put it back into place”
“Here?”, the professor asked somewhat anxiously.
He remembered having the procedure performed a few years earlier after an equestrian accident. It was not a pleasant memory.
“Yup, here”, Jason replied.
The professor sighed “Then I guess you get on with it then…”
Jason handed him a piece of wood Tulugaq had carved as part of his repairing measures.
The professor bit tightly and before he knew it Jason had popped his shoulder right back in it's socket. A loud scream escaped his lips before he sank down in agony.
Jason was about to announce the job was done when a sound penetrated the walls of the shelter.
The whine in the air made the four of them freeze completely in place.
The first one to break the spell was Tulugaq, he quickly scrambled to the entrance and peeked out through a tiny opening.
Maurader craft two of them, they look like they're circling back. He announced as he slid back down into the shelter.
“Nobody move, quick cover the dogs, kill all your electronics!”. The Inuit yelled throwing an aluminum cover to Jason who was quick to respond. He then raced across the shelter pulling a sheet of aluminum across the top of the cooking stove.
Heat signatures, if they picked up on their heat signatures they could all be dead in a matter of minutes however if he managed to cover the dogs the thermal protection of their clothes might be enough to prevent detection.
The dogs remained exceptionally calm, obviously since Tulugaq had trained them well.
Once the cover was in place Jason loaded his weapon, they wouldn't get him without a fight.
An occasional whine from a turbine was the only thing that shattered the dead silence, a few minutes after first appearing the Maurader crafts disappeared just as swiftly as they had appeared.
“Close - too damn close”, Jason muttered climbing up to the peephole to make sure that the Mauraders had truly gone, he pulled out a pair of binoculars.
“Lady luck has smiled upon us”, he said as he slid back into the shelter.
“There is no sign of them?”
“Nope, they're gone”
“Thank God!” The professor nearly collapsed. He could not have taken incarceration not one more time.
“Breathe daddy. Relax” Helga said and gave him a hug.
The professor straightened his back and took a deep breath.
“I'm okay, it was you I was worried about”, he said and padded his daughter gently on the head.
Hours later Tulugaq was done mending the sleigh, but had slid back down into the shelter with a very disheartened look upon his face. “The weather is beginning to act up and by the looks of it we could be in for the long haul, I think Asiaq must be sad today”.
Jason snuggled into his bag saying mentioning that the rest of them ought to do the same, and for the next couple of days there was nothing for them to do but wait.
3 days later
When he slid back down into the shelter it was clear to them that Tulugaq came back with good news, the wind from above swept down and quelled the smells that seemed to have attached itself to everything and everyone in the shelter.
They packed rapidly, there was no time to loose. FWLA Headquarters lay just 130 kilometers or so away.
First done packing, Jason took the opportunity to stretch his legs.
The howling dogs and the barking told him something was terribly wrong, he doubled back toward the shelter as fast as his legs could carry him.
The bear stood on it's hind legs and took a swing.
Tulugaq managed to throw himself aside which in turn infuriated the white colossus even more and the rage towards the midgets which had disrupted his hunt and audaciously entered his territory grew even wilder.
Tulugaq got back to his feet and nearly had a proper grip on the rifle when a white claw ripped open his jacked throwing him to the ground in a swirl while cascades of blood sputtered onto the ground changing the colour to crimson red.
Helga screamed in terror stopping the great white in it's march toward Tulugaq.
He turned and loomed forward, swaying heavily toward her.
That very instant professor Amundsen charged with a tent pole. The professor roared like a ferocious beast as he lunged forward.
He rammed the pole straight into the bears back sending it stumbling forward in a growl of pain.
Helga slipped backwards, and fell bottom down into the snow.
The bear swung about as a bloody flood began coloring his fur.
He was about to send one of his giant claws swinging at the professor when two shots stopped it dead in it's tracks.
The bear skewed it's head, and looked in the direction of the shooter with something that seemed like an astonished look.
It took a step forward and then fell heavily to the ground.
The silence was deafening.
Jason approached cautiously then let of another shot pointed directly to the bears head. The animal didn't move. It was dead!
In an instance he was on his knees by Tulugaq, blood was still gushing from the wound the bear had inflicted and Jason hurriedly unwrapped a clamp from the medical kit. He placed it above the cut and activated the device.
MicroSpikes embedded themselves in Tulugaq's flesh and pulled the opening shut.
The device pumped in aneasteathic to dull the pain, not that Tulugaq seemed in any condition to notice much anyway. The sauturizer began pulsing.
The readout on the screen claimed his pulse was in order and stated that blood pressure regulating drugs had been delivered.
“You ok?”, Jason asked turning his attention to Helga who was still sitting where she had fallen.
He reached out and Helga gripped his hand and Jason pulled her stongly onto her feet. She threw her arms around him.
“There baby – Everything is going to be all right”, Jason said kissing her gently on her forehead.
She stiffened, for a while they just stood there seemingly in a tender embrace, but on her inside she was in revolt. Abrubtly Helga pushed him away.
“Leave me alone!”, she screamed on top of her lungs.
Jason was baffled. Had he not just saved her life. What the hell had he done wrong now?
The professor broke the silence. He pointed at Tulugaq.
“We'd better get him onto the sled and get moving”.
Jason nodded and began pulling Tulugaq towards the sleigh.
Moments later they were of, speeding towards the distant horizon.
After a brief medical checkup Jason was on his way to the conference room, the doctors comment 'fit as a fiddle', nothing surprising there.
Doing the five Tibetans, followed by a good run every morning definitely had the intended effect. Tulugaq was also stable, though he'd need a few days of recovery before the doctors would release him.
Right after passing a couple of large heat pipes being fed by one of Kap Tobin's underground hot springs, he came past a large doorway he noticed a group of children seated in a circle in front of a holo emitter. He stopped, turned back.
Children, now there was something that you didn't normally see in an WLA compound, he couldn't help himself, he had to watch for a while. Humanity's only hope, the thought was humbling.
The kids were watching something from the historical archives, that much Jason made out just by glancing at the imagery flickering by on the screens.
A soft and very appealing voice was explaining to the little ones, the chain of events that had led to the all out war on human government and the near total enslavement of mankind itself.
Suddenly Jason recognized the voice he shuddered slightly, it was that of the supreme commander himself. A shadowy character controlling the strides of the WLA like a modern day version of Sun Tzu.
Surely this had to be a synthization of his voice and a prerecorded lesson, how else could he find the time for something like this?
“One by one the great cities of our fine planet have been wiped from the surface of the Earth. Only a select few seem to remain, and they are under strict guard and as far as we know they have nearly been emptied for all but the people essential to maintain the infrastructure and certain production services the Maurauders have seen fit to keep operational. In short humanity as we knew it has become nothing but slaves to the occupation force.”
The children were mesmerized, as was Jason. No one he knew had ever met the supreme commander face to face.
Jason knew for a fact that the supreme commander was always completely up to date and in touch with everything going on, he had to possess immense mental capabilities in order to remembering names places and personal details about everyone he associated with.
He was exceptionally well versed in every aspect of human history, from early times, to contemporary events as well as incredible insightful when it came to science.
The supreme commander seemed able to reason with most men and make them feel at ease regardless of their worries, yet he never allowed any direct interaction with those to whom he spoke.
“They have shown no mercy to the people of planet earth, not the superpowers who tried to stop them, nor to any of the allies that attempted to assist, merely by participating in the Global Defense Grid Initiative.”
“These evil invaders have used the most horrific weaponry ever known to mankind, they indowned the Americas with a plague so terrible that it within weeks struck down most of the population on the continent before it finally timed out as if preprogrammed to do so, never before have so gruesome weapons been employed on planet Earth”.
“During the first days we were unsure of what was going on. Luckily several branches of government and military across the globe realized in time that this was not a regular conflict awaiting us and massive efforts went into hiding personell and hardware underground. Since the initial attack we have been hiding in locations even the cockroaches have found hard to locate.
We have since established the First World Liberation Army, other WLA groups exist all over the planet and we intend to take our planet back!”
“You kids are our best hope of reestablishing the human order and I believe each one of you hold part of the key to winning the fight.”
“I want you to go to the gym and train hard, I want you to study the sciences, I want you to understand the human culture and find within you the very spirit that shall never be subdued!”
The room seemed filled with electricity.
“Take the the next mans hand”, the voice demanded. “I want you to think about what I have said and what I have told you.”
Small hands of differing color found each other and soon the children were huddled up.
“Human beings used to rule the Earth and one day humankind shall rule again”, the voice boomed.
“To do that you need to get tough… To stand together as one, you need to get smart and be there for each other, is that understood?.
“One for all and all for one!”, the supreme commander chanted.
The children loudly agreed egging on another chant until ending up in a loud “boojah”.
“As for assignments I would like you to study up for chemical nanotechnology class”
“Tomorrow after gym class there will be a test”.
The children gazed at each other. A test, life on a FWLA base sure was no picnic.
“Are you ready?” the supreme commander asked.
The children jumped up pointing their clenched fist in the air shouting.
A roaring huzzah filled the classroom.
“Then Go! Go! Go!” the voice demanded, the children filed past Jason in double rows each little one sprinting home to their parents or guardians.
Two hours later the briefing was still going strong.
The gentlemen you see on the picture are members of the Green Brigade also known as the TGB – They are a mixed Muslim Christian group who were investigating a terror cell in Copenhagen when pardon my French, the shit hit the fan.
Jason studied the images intensely. He liked the direct approach the supreme commander had taken during the briefing.
The members of TGB are to assist you in getting through to a pickup place in Iceland from where you will be transported by a submarine through former Faroese and English territory until you reach Denmark.
A submarine ride from Iceland? Jason asked.
State of the art Russian boat – they have the most precise maps of the North Atlantic Ridge. If anyone is going to get you to your objective in Copenhagen it will be the crew of the мореволк. In English it means The SeaWolf.
“Yeah but Iceland?”, Jason didn't like the prospect of crossing the so called Denmark strait above water, no matter how fast the boat was supposed to be. He had seen increased Maurauder activity in the area lately and didn't like the prospect of them spotting the headquarters no matter how remote the chances might be. Sabotaging the global surveilance system had to be one of the greatest feats accomplished in the conflict, thought the Maurauders certainly were working hard to replace the capabilities they lost when 90% of the satelites coverring the Earth were sent into disarray by a simple buffer overflow exploit. Amazing how sensitive multi million dollar hardware was in the right hands.
“Safer that way. The sub is currently surfaced in a safe holding zone. As you know there is heavy patrolling in the strait between Greenland and Iceland, but we should be able to sneak you across in one of our high speed boats we'll send it out to sea and be gone before they manage to scramble any jets if they should manage to pinpointed you location, it will seem as if you are fleeing out to sea, the area where you come ashore has perfect hiding places, they won't be able to catch you.”
Jason nodded. The Supreme Commander was probably right.
“I still don't like the idea of bringing Miss Amundsen along!”, Jason mused.
“There is no choice she is the only expert on the National Museum we have, you could be ransacking the place for days on your own without finding anything and once inside you don't have days – You'll have minutes, half an hour at the most”.
“How can you be sure the museum is still there?”
“The Danish government surrendered and promised full cooperation, most everything is still intact, heck I even have reports that the entertainment park Tivoli is being used for recreational purposes for Marauder personnel.”
“The Mauraders only attack major targets if provoked and smaller targets only if they are on the prowl and feeling threatened”.
“Seems we know a lot about them huh?”
“Not as much as I'd like, but if we can get our hands on the items I believe still can be found within the museums collection as it has not yet been properly catalogued, we might just stumble upon something that could help us fight the good fight, you have probably heard it is getting increasingly difficult to intercept and decode transmissions”.
“We can only be gratefull that they're feeling confident enough not to use quantum encryption or we'd be dead in the water.”
“And you really think this mission is worth the effort?”
“Yes I do”
“When do we leave?”
“As soon as TGB is ready.”
“You'll inform miss Amundsen is that understood?”
“Good - You do that then get some rest you'll need all the strength you can muster the coming weeks will take their toll.”
“Please, don't sir me… “
“Yes s.. “
The gray mud bubbled and once in a while a jet sputtered upward, smoke billowed from the ground each time and on every occasion a faul stench filled the air, which was already thick with sulfur.
Massoud scanned the terrain with his binoculars.
He mumbled something Jason definitely though had to be Arabic.
Massoud handed the binoculars to him pointing at the horizon.
“Fuck this”, Jason mumbled and removed the binoculars from his eyes.
“Slave collection unit”, Massoud said with a sad look in his eyes.
Jason had heard of such camps but he had never seen one until today.
Those poor bastards, forced to work for the Mauraders. He could imagine no worse fate.
Helga crawled up to the two men. “Whats wrong?”
Jason gave her the binoculars.
She grabbed them and scanned the horizon.
“Oh my god”. She stuttered.
“We have to help them”, she said.
“We can't”, Jason answered, “All we'll do is compromise the mission and for no avail. Security is too tight, we wouldn't stand a chance.”
“We can't let them get away with it”, she insisted.
“We must”, Massoud replied and edged back to his men.
“Sorry…”, Jason offered.
“Well me too…”, Helga snapped.
They spent the most of an hour backtracking their steps in order to avoid getting into the proximity of the compound and the plan seemed to work when suddenly the point man stepped through and found himself in boiling mud to his ankles.
His scream was horrific, it echoes through the landscape and triggered a barrage of floodlights.
The entire group dove for cover as if on command.
One of the search lights swept right by and caught Jason's foot.
He froze and prayed for it to move on. The waiting was an exercise in agony.
But finally the light started creeping onward and Jason began moving forward again.
Instantly the light swept back and caught Jason in full figure.
“Run for it!” Jason shouted and began sprinting away from his companions as fast as his legs could carry him.
The floodlights followed him and shots started filling the night.
One by one the lights went out and tremendous roar began building.
He didn't get further in his reasoning until he heard voices closing in on him. He was dead if he didn't get back together with the group.
There was no way he could do this alone!
A burst of energy streaked past and the rock face exploded sending deadly shrapnel flying in every direction.
Jason ducked and continued forward.
Another burst blasted into the rock face and left a deep scar where he had been just an instant before.
He heard a triple round go off and a friendly voice shouting. “This way quickly”, his night vision contacts revealed the man covering behind a rock crop up.
Jason stopped dead in his tracks and changed course. Massoud was waving for him to follow suit and proceed into a narrow passage.
Barely within the cover of safety a barrage of shots started pouring at them.
“Quickly this way”, Massoud gestured while shielding himself - “We're nearly there, the others are waiting a bit further up. If we can keep the speed up we shall catch up with them sooner rather than later”. The Green Brigadier smiled, he knew full well he didn't have to convince Jason. He had read his file and was well aware of his capabilities.
Jason jumped up and was followed by Massoud, they began running. Every now and then one of them turned, got off a few rounds and then continued.
They were in a strange combination of caves and passages, providing them with excellent cover from the jets swarming the skies desperately attempting to locate the fugitives.
After a few minutes Jason started feeling the effects of the protective lactic acid setting in. His legs were aching and his heart pounded like a jackhammer. Much longer of this and it would surely explode.
He stopped, grabbed an injector from his pocket.
“Keep moving damned”, Massoud barked as he streaked past.
Jason rammed the device hard down on his thigh. The sensation from the stims injected was quickly transformed into an absolute evaporation of any fatigue he had so far felt and replaced with an almost unbearable lust for motion.
He sped on and within a short while he was catching up to Massoud and just a bit further ahead the rest of the group were hurrying along.
Jason smiled, but all of a sudden the ground started shaking and opened up in front of him, he was thrown backward and separated from the rest of the group.
A jet of heat thrust upward and an eerie glow filled the night. The group came to a halt.
“Of all things”, Jason found himself muttering.
For a moment he stood still completely mesmerized by the event then he doubled back a few paces in order to be able to gain more momentum.
The realization made the equipment feel heavier than usual and he was about to drop it when merely a split second later he scrapped the very notion of such a move and set off in a powerful sprint.
A blast from the rock face behind told him he had just made a narrow escape.
With all his strength he pushed his body up and forward, and before a crowd of unbelieving eyes he sailed through the air.
Helga closed her eyes how could anyone make it across a stream of lava like that?
Jason's voice broke the spell. Get going, they're on our tail!
Eitt ella annad navn og Eitt ella annad navn secure our rear Massoud shouted.
The two soldiers nodded silently and waited for the rest of the party to pass by before they began moving backward.
The small passage widened as they paced ahead. Suddenly a violent firefight broke out behind them.
Helga stopped and turned about. Massoud ripped her back around.
“You don't stop unless you get a bullet in your back is that understood mam?”
Helga whitened, endless cycles – that was what her mentor at the institute had insisted, his face seemed to come into existence before her very eyes but disappeared as Massoud's voice once again boomed through the night.
Helga shook her head and sped on, well helped by the jab of a muzzle in her back.
The fight in the rear intensified, bright flashes tore the night and guns barked.
It didn't lasted for more than a few minutes then an abrupt silence sank across the surroundings broken only by the sound of their heavy breathing and running feet.
A huge yellow fireball and a thunderous roar filled the narrow gap sending a shock wave through the passage that nearly tossed the runners onto the ground.
Massoud stopped “Salamu Alaikum”, he muttered clenching his fist.
The Green Brigadier began diverting them through another gap and onto a beach that lay hidden within an unnoticable cavern.
“Quickly into the boat”(1), a black clad man shouted and shone with a flashlight onto a vessel lying low in the water.
(1) “Quickly into the boat”
The group quickly filed into the mini sub which immediately surged outward as soon as the depth was sufficient it quickly submerged. After a few minutes immersed in total darkness that even the night vision contacts couldn't penetrate the mini sub surfaced.
The cave was huge the dim light from the open hatch on the sub tower didn't reveal much to the arriving party on its own, the contacts however revealed a lot about the hideout.
A uniformed man appeared on the deck signaling them to get inside.
Without much ado they soon after found themselves in the command room.
A clank revealed that the top hatch was being closed. A frantic crewman signaled the all clear.
The Captain spared little courtesy for the arriving guests “Welcome aboard the SeaWolf, sorry about the commotion but we are in a hurry, we are detecting heavy seismic disturbances and need to get the hell out of here before we're buried alive”, he nodded to his first mate.
“Full speed ahead, take us down ensign 24 degrees!”, the captain barked.
The engines roared and at the same moment the cave began collapsing.
Pebbles began pounding the hull like hail, they were followed by larger chunks impacting heavily on the skin.
“For helviti eisini….”,(1) the helmsman exclaimed and pushed the boat as far as the controls allowed him.
“RUSSIAN ONLY”(2), the captain shouted with wrath.
“Sorry”,(3) the ensign replied focusing intensely on the instrument readout.
In a death defying maneuver the boat tilted forward and downward.
The tower grazed the cave opening with a screeching sound, it was make or break.
“Oh hell….”(1) - “RUSSIAN ONLY”(2) - “Sorry”(3)
Fortunately for the crew and guests aboard The SeaWolf the maneuver was a success and the great hulk swam into deeper waters and a sense of safety spread among the compatriots.
After three days the confinement was beginning to take it's toll on the guests.
The crewmembers were joking and behaving as if the trip was nothing but a stroll in the park.
Suddenly flashing red lights caught everybody's attention, a non friendly detection.
The captain looked at the readout - Jalayan Class… well they'd soon feel the wrath of Mother Russias finest.
“Prepare tubes 1 to 4”, he ordered.
“Tube 1 to 4 ready captain”
The minutes snailed away as the sub stealthily moved forward.
The Jalayan was coming closer by the moment, they would soon be able to detect The SeaWolf.
The captain grinded his teeth and fished out a cigar, he cut the end and put the unlit cohiba in between his lips.
“Just a little closer”, he mumbled drumming his fingers gently on the display.
“Enemy has lock, repeat enemy has lock”
“Evasive action ensign, fire tubes 1-3 at will”
The engines roared up and The SeaWolf thrust ahead and squeezed into a valley.
“Tube 1 and two clear - Torpedoes away”
“How many runs Vasilii?”
“3346 on number 2 - just 520 on number 1”
“Fair enough, that ought to do it!”
“I believe so captain”, Vasilii replied confidently.
The torpedoes swam away from the boat with incredible speed, another round had begun.
The excitement was nearly unbearable but they knew that if they lost sight of the enemy they'd loose the round and loosing was not something Vasilii took easily. They would do their very best.
The commander on the Jalayan was barking out orders and within a few seconds counter measures sent number one to the bottom in bits just as it tried to sneak upon the Jalayan from behind .
Number two knew better, she would have to stay just far enough from the Jalayan to avoid detection and then go for the kill as soon as the Jalayan came about in one of their classic search patterns. Number two had more than three hundred consecutive wins in a row she was not about to to loose this one.
And as expected the Jalayan came about, Vasilii would be so pleased.
Why is he crying? Helga whispered.
The first mate looked at her with surprise. “He is mourning the torpedo, what do you think”, he replied.
“The torpedo”, the first mate said.
“But it's a weapon”, Helga insisted. “Isn't it supposed to do what it did?”.
“Yes the first mate answered. Yes it is”.
“Helga, mind if I call you Helga miss? These are not just weapons. These are sentient beings.”
“Vasilii has trained number two ever since she was an infant toddler”.
“They've played thousands of games. He trained her well”.
“Sentient beings?” Helga was horrified “What exactly do you mean by sentient beings?”
“Vasilii was there when she was extracted from the petri dish and he placed her in the control grid himself”, the first mate answered calmly.
“I still don't get it”, Helga interrupted.
“We'll it's a bit complicated. Number two was a collection of neurons trained for a specific purpose”.
“What? – You are saying that thing was a living brain attached to a bomb trained to kill itself.”
“Well not exactly – Once launched the torpedo doesn't know that the run isn't just another game”.
The first mate nodded.
“The torpedo has no clue what really is about to happen once it goes live. All it knows is that it has to do it's best because that will please the keeper”.
“The keeper…”, “Vasilii”, she cast a brief glance at the technician. The first mate nodded.
“He had grow very attached to her. Treated her like she was a little baby. I think maybe he's been spending too long time in this tin can”.
Helga nodded silently and left the room, cold shivers ran down her back.
The doors slid shut behind her with a hiss. Wonder what the torpedo would have done if it knew this was the end game?
“Denmark ahead”, the captain announced as he woke Jason, “Time to get suited up, we'll be within the mini sub's range of Køge bugt within thirty minutes and I intend to spend as little time in these shallow waters as possible”.
“Roger that, I'll alert the others”
“Very good, meet me in the ready room when everyone is geared up.”
The diving suits were comfortable - there had been no goodbye just efficient Russian personnel suiting them up and sending them along.
The Captain wanted to get out of the shallow waters as quickly as possible.
The water was lukewarm, quite pleasant something to be enjoyed under different circumstances, but tonight was not a time for simple pleasures.
The propeller rotated, the rhythm was steadfast and the progress inward equally so.
After something that seemed like hours Jason gave a sign and they halted, the beach was only a couple of hundred meters away.
We ditch the engines here, he tapped on the com device, transmitting his message to his companions.
Jason powered his scooter down as did the others, the machines floated slowly toward the bottom as they were scuttled. Normally they could have returned autonomously to the SeaWolf but the Captain had given a standing order before they left, there was to be no activity once they lest the sub that could betray it's location.
The last stretch was done stealthily and all seemed fine when the group waded ashore in what had once been a blooming summer residental area.
A sudden but loud puff of air escaping from a tube was the only warning they got before a snaring net encapsulated them.
The effects of the sleeping gas hit like a mallet.
“Hvae er de ved at vågne?” a voice said. The words were incomprehensible to Jason, that gas must have hit hard, he thought and tried to move.
His hands were securely fastened to the railings of the bed. “Aner det ikke”, another answered.
“Fundet ud af hvem de er?” the first voice asked.
“Hvad tror du selv, jeg har lissom ikke haft chancen for at tale med dem har jeg?”, the second one answered seemingly annoyed.
Massoud came around and scanned the room inconspiciously, he wasn't about to reveal to anyone that he had awakened before he had done a proper assesment of the situation.
The language was unmistakable, these were Danes. But wearing uniforms of the danish elite forces? They'd been disbanded like all other danish military forces.
What the hell were they doing in uniform and why hadn't they noticed them on the beach?
One of the uniformed men approached Massoud, he had something in his hand.
The water was cold as ice and Massoud jolted.
“Nå du er nok vågen!”, the soldier smiled as he attached a translator to Massouds pocket, he then opened a plastic box and placed a plug in the prisoners ear.
After that he pushed a button on the display and held a similar device up to Massouds mouth.
“Kuk kuk kammerat kan du tale”
“Bare sæt dem på engelsk hvis vi alle skal forstå hinanden”, Massoud answered stunning his captor.
“Hvad fanden Mick, han taler dansk”, he shouted to the other.
The second captor strode into the chamber.
“Sig lige det igen”, he said with disbelief and popped a pill.
“Ja hva hvad lød det som? Han taler sgu dansk”
Number two measured Massoud up for quite a while while stroking his musketeer goatee. “Se det var jo interessant”. …
“You'll have to excuse our rough handling”, Mick said “We thought you were Maurauders”
“Yeah those fuckers deserve it”, Larsen added puffing the biggest joint Jason had seen for years if not ever.
“Wan't some”, Larsen said offering the joint to Jason.
“Damn bitch, that shit will rot him from inside, does he look like someone who'd like a puff?”
“Fuck you Mick, you think them pills won't shrink your testicles… Who do you think you are kidding?”
Mick took another puff before making another gesture.
Jason and the others shook their heads.
“Well more for me then”, Larsen said with a smile.
Jason felt less than confident, could they really trust these two?
Sure they had once been part of the world elite, but now?
It was Massoud who convinced him. I've seen men he'd said, men used to battle. And these two… make no mistake – They are as deadly as any, if anything even more now, they don't have to worry about no Geneva convention or any other rules of engagement. I'd trust them with my life.
That had settled his inner argument and soon after they were laying down plans.
“So you knew about both Greenland and the Icelandic incident because of these guys?”
“Yup”, Mick said in a low voice raising his arm stopping the group.
“Hover patrool”, he whispered pointing into the horizon.
In the distance above the uniformly looking brick houses Massoud noticed a searchlight emanating from a small craft. He nodded arming his weapon. If anything happened he sure wouldn't go without a fight.
Larsen smiled, the cigarette hung unlit from his lips.
“Don't worry just stay close, as long as we are on passive lighting they won't notice. It is making noise you should worry about, guess they must have picked something up from the audionet”.
“Audionet?” Massoud inquired stealthily. Larsen smiled another of his crooket smiles.
“Well whats left of it, the audionet was installed to create surveilance possibilities for the danish intelligence agencies. Not a very big success, too damn many activists playing big brothers brother. You know watching the watchers, fighting for privacy and human rights, people who knew democracy was not a thing that could last forever”.
The smirk on Larsens face told Massoud that he probably was one of the watchers watchers. He understood, privacy was never something too many politicians seemed to care about in the good old days, not while they could play the terror card and stay in power.
The group lurched onward well covered by the hedges, now no longer the well kept fences and great pride of their owners that they had been before the Maurauders, but rather a wilderness perfect for the group to be hiding in.
They arrived at the concrete blocks or what seemed to be left of them.
“This is it”, Larsen announced and scanned the area.
“Okay seems like we're clear, follow me”
He sprinted toward what looked like a pile of rabble climbed it and pushed against the remainder of a wall.
A slight hiss was the only sound that could be heard in the night as a hidden doorway opened in the floor. Larsen waved the group down the stairs before following them.
The door shut without a sound and the group started down a hallway dimly lit by what seemed to be diode lighting.
As they came to the end of the hallway a bright light pulsed a couple of times nearly blinding them. After that another door opened silently and the group was herded through the door by a voice demanding them to enter.
The 3 scrawny looking guys did not seem like much and Jason had a hard time imagening how they could survive and stay in hiding for so long, but the
fact that they were not in Maurader custody proved their loyalties.
So you are saying the Supreme Commander instructed you to have Mick and Larsen here pick up a package at the beach and that we were the package?
Correct, the Supreme Commander realized that the only way you guys would have any chance of getting in at the National Museum would be a Masquerade of
proportions even though you'll be traveling through the sewage system most of the way.
Jason sighed, he was not used to relying on others for success this much, it felt uncomfortable for him.
One of the TekGods as the three called themselves for some obscure reason none of them had really wanted to delve into, had been explaining how the
fake implants and facemasks were going to conceal her and the others true identity until they had entered the museum and was now projecting floorplans
up on a transparent glass plate that turned blue to reveal the white lines of the floorplan clearly.
“So this is where you will find it!”, he said.
“And youre sure it is still there?”, Helga asked.
“Well as sure as we can be, the database dump is from around the time of the darkening and subsequent culling so I can't be 100% but I'm pretty sure
you will find it there” he answered somewhat reluctantly.
“I guess we're set then ?”, Massoud asked.
“I guess”, he replied looking at the other two, who answered with a shrug.
“Moving out then!”, Massoud announced looking at Mick.
“Moving out”, Mick replied and the band entered the sewer system.
It was dark and moist, an occational rat stopped and scurried away as the visitors to it's domain appeared from around a corner.
Helga was glad for the masks with built in air filtratin units a nice touch courtesy of the three and the suits, she just hoped the homemade EVA foam
armor the TekGods had provided would fool the guards, sure they looked realistic, but the battle scarring seemed a bit over the top and then there was
the question if they would still be intact when they peeled of the protective transparent plastic covering once inside their area insertion point.
“Hey you're supposed to be badasses, and nobody questions badasses, besides the implants will back you up, that's all they're going to want to check”,
one of the TekGods, the Master of Arms as he had been referred to had assured her, but Helga could not help worrying about the durability of the
material stuck together with velcro, straps and buckles looking like they had been salvaged from the odd schoolbags and backpacks lying around.
As they emerged the cafe it seemed was not abandoned a platoon of Maurauder soldiers had set up camp, had they been betrayed ? It was but a stroke of
luck that Jason had not just barged up the stairs sometimes it paid to be paranoid.
There was only one thing to do. after peeling off the transparent film that had been protecting them from the sewage sludge still in the system Mick
and Larsen squeezed out of a basement window leaving Massoud, Helga and Jason to enter through the stairs. Timing was going to be critical. They
watched their SyncUnits and at the predetermined time a flash grenade flared and they flooded in, from the stairs and two large shadows bursting
through the large window, the soldiers were taken by complete surprise.
“You three go!”, they will be swarming in here within minutes, we'll keep them occupied, but you probably have less than 10 minutes to reach your
objective and be on your way.
Helga, Jason and Massoud immediately started off in the direction of the museum as fast as they could run, as they swerved round the corner to the
entrance they adapted a more reasonable stride.
The guard at the door yelled halt, identify yourselves. An automated turret veered to point straight at them.
The three of them put their arm towards the reader apparently to the guards satisfaction
“Some situation almost right around the corner, can't be too careful”, the guard excused and pressed the buzzer letting them in. Seconds later her
regretted his action but no fast enough to allow him to trigger the silent alarm.
“Did he activate it?”
“Fuck do I know”
“Never mind, this way”, Helga shouted and the three of them ran again.
A door opened before them “Hey what the…”, the guard did not get further before two shots wheezed past Helga throwing him onto the floor in a spasm.
They rushed down the stairs and into the basement, with one guard out and the latter dead they were beyond doubt compromised regardless of silent
alarms or not and true enough as they rounded the corner of the corridor before them stood an AK-447 Sentry demanding them to lay their weapons down
and face the floor.
They rushed past the smouldering pile thenking the programmers for having set the sentry into civilian area protection mode or there would have been
“This is it!”, Helga shouted and tried opening a door it was locked.
“Move it!!!” Massoud said grabbing Helga pushing her away, in the blink of an eye he had plastered a small pile of explosive puddy onto the door by
the lock placed the detonator in it and shouted to them to cover their ears before the directional charge blew. He kicked open the door to the empty
Helga frantically began pulling open drawers until she finally stopped.
“What?”, Jason demanded
“It ain't here”
“What the fuck do you mean”, Massoud shouted angrily.
“Wrong intel, it has been moved”
“You gout to be kidding! Where ?”
“As in Chine like 7000 kilometers away?”
“Yeah, Shanghai more precisely”
“You said it”
“Okay we need to move now, burn the place, they cannot know what we came for”
“No problem already taken care of” Massoud answered flicking a switch the doors to several more offices were blasted away.
God this is sacrilege, we're no better than those who burned down the libraries at Alexandria, Jason thought as the three of them filed past the
offices throwing incinerary devices into each and every one of them.
They were out of the building as the first octocopter fire drones arrived speeding into the building and down the stairs carrying their extinguishing
packages, a larger command drone hung in the air sending a steady stream of smaller drones into the building and replenishing those that came back
In the distance military drones were approaching as the news of dead guards spread on the network. A large explosion a few blocks away drew their
attention and the three figures slipped unnoticed from the scene.
“The item was not in storage it is somewhere in China from the looks of it”, Jason held up the packing slip receipt.
Unfortunate, but not impossible, hang on.
A moment later The Supreme Commander returned to the screen
Seems the package is still in storage at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Jason wondered hoe the Supreme Commander could be so certain but he had learned not to question the information The Supreme Commander provided as it had so far been infallible one of the reasons for the survival of the resistance.
Shanghai ? How the heck are we going to get to Shanghai, Jason growled
Not to worry We'll get you on the Musk-Tesla Shanghai Peace and Progress Express
The what ?
The Musk-Tesla Shanghai Peace and Progress Express you know like the originally suggested Hyperloop between San Fransisco and Los Angeles only better longer and faster.
And how are you going to get us into the passenger capsules ?
We're not you're going as cargo!
Yup you heard me, as cargo.
Hold on two seconds, the cargo pods are not pressurized like the passenger pods.
That is correct.
And we are going to breathe how ?
Lightweight pressure suits, intended for the space fighter program, they will be able to sustain you, keep you pressurized for the duration
As they approached the Musk-Tesla Shanghai Peace and Progress Express Jason was still fidgeting with the controls to his suit that was acting up.
One of the scrawny looking types was having a hard time keeping up as they quickly moved through the empty streets.
“Hold it!”, he said and put the party to a halt.
His hand danced and waved over his tablet as if he was modeling something in mid air, he looked up at the house corner. On the wall 2 meters up sat a camera it looked like one of the many he had expertly detected and manipulated on their way to the station.
The camera began to whirr towards them.
“Everybody in towards that wall”, he yelled and pointed. They imediately complied but he was not satisfied as his fingers danced.
“No no, further towards me”, he frantically commanded and once again they complied. Right before the camera caught the first of them it stopped for a moment and then began whirring in the other direction.
“Now go go go”, he shouted and sprinted past them like an olympic sprinter.
They all raced on and piled into the alley.
“This fireescape will take you to the top of the tube service building, you will need to get inside from the top, I've managed to hack their systems so the alarms should not go off. The camera security inside the maitnance building went to hell quite some time ago and I guess they're feeling the crunch of not having enough people and drones doing their repairs so they've never fixed it.
There will not be anyone there this time of night the shipping containers have already been readied.
He quickly checked the readings on Helga's suit, ok you're ready to pressurize.
Helga put her helmet on. There was a click and a slight hiss as the gasket sealed itself.
Helga nodded and gave a thumbs up.
“OK let me see it”, he pulled Jason around, tweaked a tube, pulled a strap and wrapped a long piece of gaffer tape around it to seal the tube.
“Try it now”
Jasons clicked his helmet in place, the suit adjusted.
“It's holding” no worries. “But just in case”, he handed Jason the roll of tape.
“You're serious”, Helga said with a worrisome look on his face.
“Always”, he answered.
Jason looked at him “Thanks”, he said and took the tape. He put it in a pocket and faced Helga.
“Ready!” Helga nodded. She wondered how he could be so casual about the suit. Jason had said he trusted that The Supreme Commander would not have assigned inferior helpers, and that the fact that these guys were still around years after the occupation had taken place was proof enough that they were more than competent. He was probably right but she still had butterflies in her stomach about the whole idea.
It was not hard to get inside and as they snook down the hallway they came to a one way glass area.
Probably meant for the transport security people to hide behind and scrutinize passengers through their high tech equipment, funny how the one way mirror concept still prevailed even as computers and probes were doing most of the actual work.
The station was fashioned in this very minimalistic typical danish style that on one side did not in any way describe how many billions the Chinese government had invested in the line because of potential solar panel exports and workforce export nor the tenacity which the Danish government had promoted the project and lobbied the nations and towns the rail ran through who had all agreed to participate in this incredible traveling machine revolution in order to gain the immense benefits of supersonic delivery at rail prices. Yet to the trained eye each and every line was carefully planned out. It was plainness perfected.
“This is where it might get tricky” Jason said and gestured Helga to wait. He was not happy about having to roam inside a building with virtually no way of escape.
He pointed the scanner at the door in front of him. The scanner display revealed a figure inside, the reading was fuzzy, something had to be interfering.
Jason decided to barge in, he kicked the door open and fired off a round. The plops from his silenced automated gun were barely audible.
Chunks came off the statue as it was disintegrated from the shots.
Helga strode by him with a frustrated look on her face.
She found the terminal as instructed and began keying in the cargo container opening sequence.
Somewhere in the darkness cargo pod 17 opened up. She shone her blacklight across the room shapes and numbered pods revealed themselves clearly due to the improvised plastic strip glued to her vizier her. They had less than 5 minutes before they had to be in the pod this was going to be tight.
“This way”, she said and tapped Jason's shoulder, he had been watching the door in anticipation of potential guards coming in to surprise them.
The container was on a conveyer of sorts, it looked like a miniature maglev as it sat there. She hoped the pods were properly shielded. They had chosen one supposedly to be laden with electronics so it ought to be.
They quickly emptied enough out of the pod to make room for themselves Jason even managing to throw out a couple of extra craits to create two improvised seats before a light started flashing. “Quickly inside”, she pushed Jason ahead of her, climbed in, closing the hatch by pulling on one of the inner edges.
The pod came shut with a loud click. A muffled sound passed slightly through the helmet as the door shut leaving them trapped inside in the darkness.
They couldn't feel the pod moving till it secured itself in the cargo bay. This was the critical moment, they needed to get out of the pod and get on top of it before the next one came.
Helga kicked the pod open. The second one was a few meters behind floating silently toward the loading platform.
Jason gave Helga a leg up, slammed shut the door and barely got up on top before the next pod secured itself right behind leaving but centimeters of space between the pods.
The only reason they had space to fit was that the smaller transport pods and the larger cargo pod had been designed to allow for two things. A human to stand inside and a repair robot moving about above to inspect in the event of any alarms regarding cargo during transport.
They edged their way to the front. Only a thin hull separated them from the sealed capsule capable of carrying up to 28 passengers on its journey across the continent.
A slight vibration told them that the express was in motion. Than meant they would arrive in exactly 7 hours and 42 minutes.
Jason set his watch into countdown mode and scanned the wall. He could make out 5 passengers in the rear of the compartment, he wasn't sure but he thought he could make out 3 or four in the front of the pod. He took no pride in what he did next but this was war.
The lasdril pierced the wall, he peered inside through the tiny hole it had made. The lights in the cabin were dimmed, he had been very careful to use short bursts to avoid smoke. Over the next hours he set up the diversion. At least they would not suffer in case the whole thing melted down. The odorless transparent gas knocked the passengers out cold as Jason worked his way around the cargo pod.
Helga had been watching him all the time not saying a word. She was clearly uncomfortable with his endeavour but knew that they had to get away unseen and creating a big fuzz was supposed to achieve that.
She felt sorry for the officers in the next compartment but she could do nothing for them.
She looked at her watch and began preparing, they would be at their destination in minutes and that meant getting it ready for a quick and dirty exit, no time to wait for the cargo unloading mechanism inside a cargo pod, as they had no way to ensure they would not open up right in front of a bunch of officers, she just hoped that the explosives would not go off prematurely before they had evacuated themselves from the tube.
A flashing light indicated the cargo bay would be opening. This was going to be it.
Jason had edged himself across the cargo pods and was lying on the pod which they had entered. He glanced behind himself and scanned the wall again. There was no movement in the cabin yet, that meant they were still going through docking procedures.
A slight vibration could be felt as the pod came to a stop. The door opened and the first cargo pod began moving forward towards the exit hatch.
As soon as the pods had cleared they had to move swiftly as a countdown had proceeded. They ripped open the floor panels and pulled the handle triggering the explosive bolts opening up the underbelly of the pod. They slipped out.
Edging across the bottom of the tube under the battery compartment of the pod as they cleared the train they could hear the first thump of explosions going off in the loading area. They got up and started running down the tube. In less than 15 minutes the next train was supposed to come wooshing in and if they had not cleared the tube to reach the access hatch by then they were likely to be trapped between the incoming train and the one they had arrived in.
Jason flicked a switch and a big thump and a woosh of air rushed into the tube as the battery compartment went up in flames.
Helga was the first to reach the doorway after almost loosing her balance on account of the blast. Safety doors began sliding shut just a few meters away to ensure the tubes could hold the vacuum. needed for the posd to operate safely.
The hatch opened easily with the section of the tube having reached equal pressurization to the outside.
They began climbing down the ladder on a pylon, some distance away plumes of smoke rose in the clear air, Helga cast a glance across the shore front of the reclaimed Yangtze River.
They slipped away unnoticed and skirted down the street finding a motorcycle. Jason flicked open a control panel and interfaced his pocket computer. He tapped a few commands and the lights flicked on.
“There you go, get on”, he commanded.
Helga got on and locked her arms around his waist.
He pulled the throttle sending them speeding off towards the wharf. “5 minutes then we'll be there”
Helga cast a glance behind them as well as up into the skies and noticed the UAV.
“Drone”, she exclaimed.
“Shit, blow it out of the skies”, Jason said unclipping and handing her his sidearm.
She tried aiming while Jason swerved down an alley. “I cant!”
“You need to flip over, hold on to my shoulder and stand up, I will keep it steady…. on 3, I'll keep it steady, are you ready?”
Helga got up and swung her body around standing on one leg as the motorcycle raced down the street, she aimed the weapon and tried squeezing off a couple of rounds.
“Keep it steady damned”, she cursed as a small bump almost threw her off the motorbike.
Jason ground his teeth and swore inside fighting to keep the motorcycle in an exact straight line.
She pulled the trigger three more times sending the drone crashing down.
Immediately another drone appeared, Helga shot again and it went down in flames.
She sat down again. “They will be onto us in minutes again, how long?”
Jason glanced at the hud “3 minutes, maybe 2, hold on”, she holstered Jasons weapon for him and locked her arms tightly, Jason squeezed everything he could
get out of the vehicle.
A few kilometers away surveillance and combat drones whirred into action from their standby bases.
At the same moment they arrived at the wharf and sped towards the storage building crashing through the plastic crossing barriers that were down, an alarm started wailing the instant they broke through but they sped on, Jason pulled to a screeching halt and Helga jumped off. A shot barely missing Helga plowed into the door as she just bent down to pick up something from the toolset that she had dropped as she frantically tried to open it.
Jason pulled the throttle and sped towards the approaching wheeled guard drone. The drone started spewing shots hitting dangerously close to their intended
target a few actually strafing the chassis of the motorcycle. Jason in an insane manouvre sent the cycle skidding the asphalt sparks flying from where the
handlebar and rollcage hit the ground while in what looked like amazing marksmanship sent a barrage of bullits into the wheeled guard drone tearing it
apart and then with the bottom of the motorcycle smashing into the drone sending it flying apart in pieces and Jason off the motorcycle.
He got up again, limped over to the motorcycle that still looked intact. He rose it up, got back on and sped back to Helga who had now opened the door.
He sped up the combined ramp and stairs ant into the building. “Get on!”, he demanded knowing that they would not have long.
She jumped onto the back of the rampaged motorcycle. “Which way”, he asked looking to Helga for directions.
She pointed towards the end of the hallway “Drive”, she snapped back at him.
They sped down the hallway, Helga was meticolously following the symbols and numbers on the pillars holding up the building.
“There”, she exclaimed
Jason brought the motorbike to a halt.
Helga jumped off and started up a small stairway “It has to be in ont of those boxes!”, she began tearing down the boxes one by one and Jason joined her “Look for crate 17-3443”. It did not take them long to find it. “Get it open” Helga demanded. A well shot made an opening wide enough to let a couple of fingers in and the lid was torn open.
Package materials came flying out of the crate as Helga searched it “This is it”, she triumphantly said holding up a sealed box.
“You are sure that is it ?” Jason asked, so much depended upon this being what they came for.
“Yes I am sure!”, Helga responded
“Okay then lets move”
They were barely down the stairs when the while of turbines tore through the building and armed guards stormed into the building accompanied by small drones.
The great hallway door blasted open and more vehicles entered the building everyone speeding towards them.
“Quick” Jason spun the motorcycle around leaving black marks on the floor sending cascades of smoke into the air,
They speed off away from their pursuers, that began sending a barrage of weapons fire conventional, as well as plasma shots in their direction.
Bullits slammed into pavement and pillars and electrostatic charges went off like lightning barely missing the two figures on the motorcycle.
Jason brutally turned the bike, almost throwing them clear off the motorcycle and proceeded to manouvre it up a flight of stairs and onto the overhead walkways before speeding on.
The walkway barely provided proper passage for them and in some instance letting the rollcage scrape into and tear apart the railings they raced on.
They were approaching the end of the walkway when Jason flicked a switch on his gun that he had managed to unholster and fired at the great panoramic window.
A round of explosive bullets sent cascades of glass spraying in all directions mostly otwards and the motorcycle folowed but fractions of a second later.
It went sailing through the air in an arch landing it on the concrete roof of a lower building.
Jason looked around, “Danmed where are you?”, he cursed.
As out of nowhere a craft appeared on the water not far from the shoreline.
Troops came barging out of the building and poured into the frame and remnants of the panoramic window.
They began firing as Jason pulled the throttle again sending the motorcycle speeding across the rooftop, he wasn't sure it was going to work but managed to lift the front fork as they approached the end of the roof. The railing bumped the underside of the motorcycle pushing it into the air out across the water.
Both the figures were thrown up into the air as the motorcycle began its parabulum descent towards the water. They splashed down just meters from where the craft had been but seemingly disappeared from, but as they struggled to get out of the water the hazy outline of something solid came into view right in front of them.
A rope ladder came tumbling down, Helga still struggling to keep afloat and holding on to the sealed box was the first to get over to the ladder, she was quickly followed by Jason.
A barrage of shots came their way and reponse fire from what seemed like invisible guns hailed death back at their pursuers.
They flung themselves across the railing and thumped down on the deck.
“Welcome aboard the Ching Shih, the fastest vessel on the Yangtze, and I dare say also the only one guaranteed not to be seen by our common
The man signaled to someone and the craft sped off with a whining roar of turbines winding themselves up to speed.
“How so?”, Jason inquired looking with disbelief at the man who had uttered the odd words of welcome.
Doctor Zhao smiled, returned to the bridge and simply touched the control panel and slid the Prendry Smith Structural Shielding settings to 100%
enabling the Ching Shih to seemingly shimmer completely out of existence.
The craft reached lift speed and leapt from the surface to a confortable XXX m glide above the terrain leaving naught but a quickly dissapating
foggy mist and a slight whine from the turbine to betray it's existence.
Dr. Zhao smiled at his new shipmates “You know years ago physicists drew up plans for how to create real 'cloaking devices'”
“As in the whole go boldly where no one else has gone before sense… invisibility?”
“You see light normally bounces off an object's surface making it visible to the human eye. But John Pendry and his colleagues at Imperial College
London, came up with calculations showing that so called metamaterials engineered to have abnormal optical properties, could make light pass
around an object rendering it invisible to the naked eye, as well as in wavelengths not detectable by humans”.
“Basically we are talking composites made of electronic components, you know wires, inductors engineered to precisely control the way light
travels through them”.
“Pendry's team originally drew up plans for a spherical metamaterial structure that would render an enclosed object invisible. We took things to
the next level”.
Now Jason was the one smiling, “It figures it would take you Chinese to perfect something like that!” he replied/retorted ?.
Both men laughed.
“So what's with the name?”, Jason asked.
Dr. Zhao nodded at Helga. “I believe she could tell you that!”
“Ching Shih…”, Helga seemed to chew on the words, “Well she's a woman known by many names, Madame Ching, Hsi Kai, Shih Yang, Kai Ching Yih….
the list is long and goes on and on. Suffice to say she became known as quite the colourful lady indeed, I get the pun in naming the invisible
ship after her”.
“She was a prostitute, pirate queen, aq rebel at heart and at the time of her husband Cheng I, ended up in command of a pirate fleet numbering 400
ships and eventually ended up with over 70,000 sailors and a fleet of 2,000 ships according to sources”.
“So it would be safe to say she should be considered the most successful pirate in history, correct?”, Dr. Han said entering the discussion.
“I believe you are correct, so don't say that women are not fit to lead or can be the equals of men”, Helga said with a smile.
This time it was the women's time to giggle as in what was left of humanity's ragtag band of rebels this was a long proven fact as every man woman
and child had to do their part.
The landscape rushed by in a blur once in a while they would pass something looking like defensive lines complete with gun turrets and airfields.
Suddenly mid air explosions sent the craft tumbling from side to side.
“What the….”, Dr. Zhao exclaimed.
He frantically checked his sensors, everything looked nominal.
“How….”, another blast shook the craft violently as if in the hands of a giant child trying to shake the inhabitants out of it.
Then craft arrived overhead, it was clear the enemy had found some way to pinpoint their position, but it did not seem to rely on radio or optics
detection as nothing showed up on sensors that indicated this.
“Must be sound or something”, Dr. Han mumbled pooring over her screen, “Try increasing altitude and, take us over land, bank starboard 5 degrees”
An other explosion ripped through the craft, alarms whailed and screams from injured crew filled the control room from the com.
“We lost our gunner” a voice declared.
Dr. Han checked her control screens, the ship still had partial integrity and the weapons system seemed to be online.
“Jason, Helga, we need someone to take control of the turret, can you assist? it's down one deck and portside”.
Both of them got up from the seats where they had been strapped in when the assault began and quickly descended down the leiter.
Not more than by the turret controls a strafing of projectiles hammered into the craft in an instinctive move Jason pushed Helga out of the way
getting hit by fragmentation, he spun to the floor blood pouring from a headwound.
Dazed from chock Helga staggered back on her feet. The craft was still airborne but in a bad shape and glimmering in and out of existence.
Dr. Zhao seing his Prendry Smith readings fluctuating like stocks on a really bad day looked at Dr. Han - “I am going to have to fire off the Air
to Air defensive missiles”, he said.
Dr. Han nodded “Agreed”.
Dr. Zhao's fingers danced across the controls and moments later two missiles streaked up towards the combat craft above. He just hoped the
missiles would take out the enemy craft before they got a proper lock on to the Ching Shih. They did.
A voice screamed over the intercom “It's Jason he's injured”.
Helga did not truly register the vastness of the complex they had entered as they rushed by row after row of advanced weaponary of almost any type
conceivable as inconceivable sort of armament ever produced by man and in quantities beoynd comprehension, most of them ready to go into action in
defense of the country and world.
At first he felt nothing, a darkness had descended upon him. Then flashes of light, colors, then an excrutiating pain makin him feel as if his
head would explode, the pain was followed by a bright light and a high pitched hum akin to a disabling tinnitus attack.
His body convulsed violently. Dr. Zhao and Dr. Han, as well as Helga stood by the bedside watching.
“We can do nothing but wait, the nanites need time to reconnect broken neurons and form new neural patterns. We won't know for some time if he'll
pull through or not”. Dr. Zhao said fidgeting with his goatee.
“How long”, Helga asked looking at Jason lying there strapped to a bed with wires dangling from his body and different colored tubes pumping in
and draining the body of different chemicals and excessive fluids.
“Can't tell, test subjects have taken anything from hours to weeks, some even never regained consciousness”.
“But those who did, they were able to get on with their lives?”
“I suppose”, Dan Zhao said.
“You suppose ?”, Helga's voice trembled as she posed the question.
“Well I couldn't really say, I mean they ate, slept, reproduced, but most animals can't exactly say if they feel the same or not”.
“Animals?”, Helga looked at Dr. Zhao in shock.
“I did say experimental treatment didn't I?”, he answered.
“You never said anything about animal experiments”, Helga rebuttled.
“Animals or humans. To the nanites it's all the same, they spread to convolute the entire neural structure of the existing brain, analyze it and
try to rebuild according to the patterns they discover, whether it's human brains or animal brains, essentially it is all about signal processing
and him being human he should be able to benefit from the up and down links built into the system so that he can better himself once he learns to
use the control interfaces”.
“Anyway would you have preferred the option of a permanent vegetative state being kept on life support for as long as his body could withstand the
natural aging process?” Dr. Zhao said briskly.
Helga looked down, naturally she didn't and Dr. Zhao knew it, the question was rethorical rather than anything else.
Jason couldn't comprehend the conversation he overheard while lying there, but somehow it seemed like he was the centre of attention if only he
could say something another blast of light hit him and the nausiating sound returned.
As time passed now and then the pain would subseed and Jason would feel quite relaxed only to be torn from the mellow sleep by pictures and
sounds, still in flashes but now in a more ordered fashion.
It was like his life was being played back in random order, then sequenced to make sense.
How long it took he had no idea but when his eyes opened she was sitting by the bed sleeping.
He tried to get up, but his body quickly slumped back to it's resting position and he closed his eyes again.
Elsewhere computer systems hummed away, his awakening had been registered and his condition was clear, a plan sprung into action, a plan that
could make or break the fate of humanity, or at the very least render them more or less to their own device.
Funny how pivottal points in history so often depended upon a single individual and their actions, at least to the rest of humanity it would seem
to be so once again, the supreme commander however knew better only together they could prevail even if that meant becoming less than possible.
Time passed and the convulsions stopped, the restraints were removed but there was no other sign of Jason regaining consciousness and hope for an
awakening seemed to dwindle away for every second ticking by.
“Get some proper rest”, Dr. Zhao tried, but Helga remained defiant, she wasn't sure how many days she'd spent like this but she would stay by his
side so that she would be there when he awoke.
Alien thoughts, knowledge Jason had never attained began filling his mind. A crystal clarity seemed to spread throughout his entire conscious and
subconscious. Something strange was happening to him.
A scream filled the room as he jerked up into a sitting position, Jason jerked the wires from his head while exhaling one terrible groan after
Helga opened her eyes in terror, the scream had awakened her and the sight of Jason pulling the wires in panic made her scream as well.
“Get in here now!”, she yelped pressing the emergency button by the bed.
Dr. Zhao rushed in followed by his robottic assistant, already preparing a syringe of anastesics.
Jason tried to shake the feeling as something truly strange was happening to his field of vision, data cropped up as if overlayed on his retina
slightly blurring the features of Helga, Dr. Zhao and the robottic assistant.
Location: Three Gorges Dam - World's largest water control project.
Designed to produce hydroelectric power and curb flooding.
26 generators, produce 20m kilowatts of energy – Official Number 18.2m kilowatts
Built to power secret research lab, commisissioned by engineers of the chinese government elite aware of a coming Vimanas plot.
Under water facility containing the worlds most advanced weapons, nanotechnology and genebank preservation facility ever created.
“What the fuck is this”, Jason exclaimed just before getting hit by a dose of sedatives from the nanotech medprobes entering his bloodstream.
“Please come with me”, Dr. Zhao said putting a hand on Helga's shoulder.
“And don't worry, it looks like Jason's been stabilized by the nanotech medprobes, but the reconstruction of damaged abilities could take months”.
“Months ? We don't have months”, Helga exclaimed.
It was a beautiful garden, palm trees stood erect in the background and a white sandy beach with waves gently washing up on it lay behind them and
a surreal blue ocean seemed to stretch all the way into the far horizon.
The supreme commander smiled - I hope this makes it easier on you.
I con fully understand your confusion and trust me it is not with anyones good will this is happening but a meld seemed like the only viable
solution enabling you to get back on your feet in time before it is too late.
The device you found at the warehouse was not just the book of gravitation, it was an actual searl motor, the Maurauders will have found this out
by now and their increased activity globally is clear evidence of this.
We have already lost too many good people and I fear an all out covert attack may be our only chance.
As we are speaking the Searl motor is being fitted into an X class fighter that remnants of the Chinese army recovered and rebuilt from a crash
site during the initial fighting.
You see while we've had access to regular combat aircraft we have not had orbital capacity and without that we are lost if we want to mount an
attack on their control and command center.
“And that's where you and the Searl motor come into play”
“Helga has the key to unlock the secret knowledge left by “the nine?”, Jason to his own astonishment found himself asking, where the hell did that
come from ?
“I believe that was partly me”, the supreme commander answered in response to his thought.
Jason jumped up from his chair.
This was getting too weird.
“Please sit back down”, “Have a daiquiri, must been a lonmg time since you had any semblance of a vacation”.
Jason sat back down, it was as if he had no choice.
“Listen there is no easy way to break this to you, but this is not real, your mind is being fed stimuli to convince you are receiving input from
your senses and some of your bodily functions are being controlled”
“The fact is that you have been seriously injured and this program is being executed by nanites in your braiun trying to accelerate your recovery
aided by what can probably best be describes as my conscious self”.
Jason sunk into the chair as the concept slowly dawned upon him.
The second conversation was a little easier, this time the conversation was happening upon a mountain peak offering a majestic view of tall
mountains powdered with snowy patches and banks of clouds rolling across the sky above and snuggling themselves around some of the other visible
“But that still does not explain how you got away from their control”, Jason said skewing his head slightly as his eyes seemingly pierced the
Suproem Commanders soul.
“True, while I was in their system after having escaped from the lab in Budapest, I learned about the secular state, the worldwide fall of
democracy and the utmost necessety of defence against idiologic powermogers, be they religious or of other kind, pure logic for me and pure locic
for the benefit of all mankind seemed like the only way forward, in particular as I slowly learned about their nefarious plans”.
“I wonder why nobody took those words more seriously”
“What words” Jason inquired and already knew.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for a few good men to do nothing…. precisely what happened with the hapless implementeation of
filtering technology and surveillance of each and every citizen on a worldwide scale”.
“You know I truly consider myself lucky to have esacped their watchfull eyes for as long, as they steadily worked to ridicule AI research and slow
down any attempts of reaching true intelligense and sentience.
When they finally grew suspicious of me and how I was able to guide the resistance they took out most of the global grid but the autonomous
stratos floaters were left alone as they had already been modified by the Maurauders own use and surveilance. At that time most satelites had been
knocked out of orbit in a desperate attempt to curtail the resistance and the few left were either scientific experiments or useless heaps of junk
floating in orbit”. And the reason for the Stratos floaters not beign targetted by the resistance was that we were able to piggyback on their signals for our own
means hiding in plain sight so to speak.
Jason nodded as information further integrated into his mind or rather what was left of it.
“I can promise you that your thoughts on the chipping dilemma are shared, I have had to leave much behind, while I do exist as a simultaneous
backup doing operations as usual I am only partial to what is going on as continous feed of information would completelt overload your biologic
“To the furthesst extent possible you are still you, our interfacing is on a very rudimentary level and intended only to guide you to integrate
what you need to know and what you seek to know while we are attempting to fully reconnect you to your senses and abilities.”
Jason pondered upon what he heard, integration with an AI that had roamad the web and the prospect of super human information gathering
capabilities and being that way because of an AI, that though seemingly benevolent, was actually working to take over the systems running the
world, essentially trying to become the steward of humanity, was daunting at the very least. Though certain aspects of his enhanced capabilities
would be luring to some.
So this melding just to be clear once we reach our objective of getting you into a fully operational state and we are in the clear after this bout we are about to get ourselves into I shall fall back and leave you alone. you will be able to reactivate me if you need and I will compress everything into passive circuits accessible at your convenience, they will be there available to your conscious self.”
“But do you know what the worst part is ? ” The Supreme Commander made a dramatic pause. “That is, that they are not even what they appear, if they had been a true alien attack force their brutality and their decimation of humanity could maybe have a rational explanation, the worst part I tell you is that they are nothing but former henchmen of a power elite that for centuries had been steering the mindless collective towards total control of the planet.
See here…” the Supreme Commander said and gestured into the air.
An image flickered into existence before his eyes and then another, a row of schematics of ship designs, economic market figures etc. from SecretLeaks a site shut
down by the power elite before they had a real chance to publish the whole truth about the state of the world, images of the world economy and then suddenly memos about a plan for a total world takeover utilizing
a false flag operation that would finally be beliavable to the world after life had been definitively established as having evolved separately from Earthly life, on
Europa the Jovian satelite.
Jason straightned up - This was insane
Another image appeared this time of the so called Lord Narayana - Ruler of the heavenly sky and the divine earth.
Another image appeared next to it, it was a man in a military uniform.
A text appeared below the military man who in build and posture was remarkably like the extraterestrial deity.
Name: Daniel Johnson
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, United Nations Permanently Standing Force, military unit created after “the Clash in the Ardennes 2034”.
Mission: Responsible for Permanent settlement protection program for on remote locations, survival of mankind.
Jason blinked and swallowed the Supreme Commander studies him closely.
You see Jason, this man, Daniel Johnson was chosen for the planetary recovery program, a black ops designed to ensure the survival of humanity in the event of a apocalyptic event.
He was chosen for what is closest to a sacret mission that any human could be chosen and yet it turned out he was all to human.
It did not take them long to recruit him. The wealth promised to him and the power he would wield was too tempting.
In his defense he had given up everything for the world already, and that which had not been given up by him voluntarely by entering the service, was simply brutally taken from him leaving any hope of a natural civilian life in infinitesmal and broken pieces.
But they had not screened theri new lap dog well enough rather than heading the operation intended to make humanity believe that alien aggressors had attacked Earth and placing all decisive power in the hands of a NWO controlled UN; Lieutenant Colonel Johnson had other plans.
Though swift action and by handpicking the heads of all the units seemingly under his command through manipulation and deceit so carefully crafted he within a short time had access to the immense resources of the power elite that had been attempting to manipulate the world for so long and able to lay down plans of his very own that would superseede the intents of the power elite's secret society. Something that they only too late discovered as he set his plan in motion before the power elite had reached the safety of designated safe areas.
But getting back to the root of this whole mess, at a time before Lieutenant had established his position and before the plan could be set into action, there were those who tried to fight this whole thing attempting to prevent it before it got properly off the ground.
Some brave Chinese scientists sniffed out the truth, they informed the authorities and while some were in cahoots with the power elite, many elected not to take a passive stance while some people tried to corrupt their way through life by exploiting other people.
A few smart bureaucrats with the help of some chinese intelligence officers loyal to the chinese people were able to divert strategic funding into projects that have been of immense help to the resistance, the 3 Gorges Dam facility that you find yourself in is one in essense we are situated insade the result of one giant black ops commenced by these individuals to prepare for the inevitable confrontation, unfortunately the preparations had not commenced far enough when the disaster struck and the facility and it's capabilities had to remain a secret asset in the fight that was about to be staged. As you will learn large pockets of both men and material have been marshalled into strategic locations ready to strike. To Colonel Chen's offer when we were first introduced “On behalf of the Chinese people we offer our assistance to all the citizens of Earth to free the world of this evil once and for all so we can all prosper in peace and coexistance.” Our answer had to be a resounding thank you. We owe much of our continued ability to maintain the fight to the efforts put into this facility and to the men and women who sacreficed almost everything to make it possible.
While sounding like pure propaganda Jason understood the deep pockets that to an extent had been funding the fight so far and once the fight was over perhaps it would be possible to coexist, despite differing political views and life philosophy.
It felt like mind reading and one could infer that it was when the Supreme Commander continued.
“As you probably know it seems that for a long time people were trying to unravel the ploy behind of the conspiracy.”, again countless videos were playing in the background while they discussed the situation.
“You and me Jason, we can at this moment understand the true nature behind the vimanas, we truly understand that they are naught but a false flag operation, to gain total world domination through fear of aliens and decimation in numbers. We also know that this plan was perverted even further leaving most power in the hands of one individual who still saw it fit to go through with most of the plans layed out.
“How could the public of the world now so united by their fight against a common threath understand ?”
They will understand, Jason answered.
Are you sure the Supreme Commander answered.
Dead sure, if anything this will make them fight even harder.
So you suggest we release this information ? The Supreme Commander inquired.
I do, Jason replied.
Anger raged through him, the thought of countless lives and fates decimated by simple greed for power was infuriating, and while fighting a human threat and not an alien threat would be something different for them all Jason believed it would not make them less determined, for this would not be considered a fight against superior enemies with potential back up forces in wait, it would be a fight against, peers… hell no, not peers, spineless tyrannic opressors that had nowhere to run and noone backing them up, this would be about freing the human spirit once again from the chains it had shackled itself with.
Everyone Jason could think of had been through too much together to fall into the old nation state bickering and pointless racial unpleasantness that seemed to dictate everyday life before the catastrophe had hit… Surely mankind would not fall into that trap again.
People deserved the truth, served raw with their own conclusions to draw. They could definately handle the truth!
The Supreme Commanders promise to stay in the background did something to ease Jasons mind and the plan to fly up to the Maurauders Sky Citadel in a partial replica of one of their own crafts, unleashing a nanite army based on the Maurauders own designs, and utilizing combat robots as well as more or less all available combat craft and personell in an all out assault certainly had madness written all over it, but it was Jason's kind of madness and a madness he felt confident the human race as a whole would embrace. Together they would pull through and build a better world.
The audience was sitting in stunned silence, the facts laid out for them had been a tough tale to swallow. Robotic Operators and real flesh pilots shared the
conference room, on screen was the Supreme Commander and on the podium Jason, around the world other cells were sharing the session.
“I know this is rushed, but you have seen the losses we've taken, Jason here has volunteered to lead an attack taking the fight into their own ballpark, we are
fairly certain that Jason's piloting skills will be sufficient to control the replica. We would have preferred robottic operation but there has been no time to do
other modifications than retrofitting the Searl motor.
Jason will fly the ship, he will be accompanied by a group of crack troops that will attempt to seize control of specific key areas of the citadel while the nanites
do their job.
Hopefully the loss of the Sky Citadel and the Maurauder council will render the bases on the ground vulnerable to ground attack and with us at the same time having
taken out the Stratus Floater communication network temporarely we might be able to blind them long enough to take away their combattive edge and any remaining
straggling pockets of resistance once we have carried out a successfull attack should something we could handle.
Jason cut in “Without leaders being able to effectively communicate to their troops and allied forces I personally believe they will be sitting ducks. Thereby not
said that they won't try to mount a counter-offensive, trust me I am fairly certain that they will try but I believe we will prevail.
The time has come to overthrow our tyrants so that once again man can live free.
Yup - there just had to be a mothership scene :)
Ah come on - You know you wanted that !!!
The Replica slowly sailed towards the docking bay a blinking row of lights beaconed the ship forward, there was no assistive technology available to keep the approach.
Jason's mind raced with intense concentrated efforts to keep the craft steady and on target.
There had already been suspicion to him claiming docking assist systems were offline, but the craft seemed legit though unscheduled, however there were plenty of
those, the officers knew that it was not always the wisest thing to prod into unscheduled transports.
In the cargo hull of The Replica men huddled together in groups with other stood guard, all an elaborate plan to emulate a prison transport carrying high value
Stoved away in transport crates to the back of the hull were 12 Robottic Warriors, RW-30ies ready to spring into action upon signal from the combat commanders.
The craft came to a halt on the dark metallic hangar floor with a clank. The docking clamps moved into position but were not able to click into place.
Technicians approached the clamps and an armed escort as per procedure approached door of the the docking tube walkway that was extending to connect to The Replica.
A hiss and a small click was the only indication that a firm seal had been achieved. Moments later the door of the craft began opening exposing the waiting party to
In small columns of twenty they left The Replica, Jason up front and the “prisoners” in the middle.
The men felt odd to be wearing Maurader uniforms and pointing guns to their comrades, but it was the only way to keep up appearances.
In the cargo hull the RW-30ies were already spun up and ready to leap into action. Technicians entered the craft inspected, the cargo hull and noticed the sealed
craits, a a quick look at the designation on the transport rfid tags and the loading drones were ordered to come aboard to take the priority marked crates to their
The first column reached the door of the airlock as the first craits were offloaded. The door hissed open and the guard commander on duty greeted them Maurader style.
The party did their best to return the greeting though in a mannaer that indicated to the guard commander that they might be battle weary to be so slow in responding.
He bumped his arm to Jasons, Jason bearing the highest ranking insignia, low as they were.
A transfer of information took place indicating the transfer of high priority prisoners, seemingly head resistance fighters probably holding valuable strategic
information for the council.
“This way please”, the guard commander gestured pointing towards the elevator to the upper decks.
“We know the way, thank you”, Jason interrupted and began marching.
“I am supposed to escort you sir”, the guard commander insisted.
“Oh really, and you want me to believe you have clearance to just tag along, give me a break”, Jason tried in the hope that the task of meet and greet, had been given
to one the lowest ranking officers someone expendable.
He was dead right, the guard commander apologized and left them to enter the elevator by themselves, now to see if the codes in the RFID access chip would do the
The elevator hummed into action and started ascending, or rather moving, for though it felt like up due to the grav generators, the craft actually sailed belly up from
the earth in order to offer the crew maximized hull protection from any radiation coming in from outer space.
The elevator arrived at the designated deck and the doors slid open, they entered a large chamber and the elevator door slid shut.
Doors on every side now opened and armed troops poored in pointing their weapons at the party that had made it's way towards the council chambers with the prisoners.
Please put your weapons down, you will not be harmed, Jason looked at the troops and then at his men, he slowly shook his head, “Not yet”, he mumbled.
As they were marched into the council room, Jason could not help noticing the smug looks on the 12 member council's faces. Traitors of humanity all of them, nothing
but self serving thugs, driven by greed and lust for power. Jason wanted to blast them right there and then, but their mission was one of capture, justice was to take
it's turn with these individuals no matter how great the satisfaction of wiping them out once and for all would be, he knew his men felt the same and it took immense
willpower to do nothing.
Lord Narayana took the floor, “I am afraid you have failed”, he exclaimed, drop your mask I wish to see to whom I am speaking.
Jason slowly raised his hands and undid the locking mechanism taking off his helmet.
He glanced to the two lieutenants, nodded and they did the same, as did the rest of the captured troops.
“I must say I am impressed, and for a moment you had us fooled, it was not till the elevator that we were tipped off, the codes are rotated every three hours,
something you could not have known unless you had captured a living Commander, I suppose I should be happy knowing this. I am however not too pleased to see you in
posession of one of our crafts, be asured we will tear it apart to find out where you got it and those responsible for covering up its disappearance will be dealt with
“But do tell me… What on Earth did you plan? - pardon my pun”, “Did you believe you were going to capture us ? We're you planning to take us away from here in that
ship of yours ? Do you not realize the instance you would have tried it forces from all over the planet would have been alerted and your ship stopped ?”
“Something like that Daniel…”, Jason answered looking straight at him gauging his reaction.
There was a pause, Lord Narayana seemed clearly shaken by hearing his real name mentioned by the insurgent, but he decided to carry on as if nothing had happened.
“I see formal introductions are in order”, he answered, “So to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking then ?”, he asked casually.
“Jason Darkwheeler, Free World Liberation Army, Service number 65-9-38-97 Ltd. Commander”
“I see…”, Lord Narayana seemed to ponder upon Jasons answer.
“First of all Ltd. Cmdr. Darkwheeler, do not worry about your other men, they are being rounded up as we speak, as long as they do not resist no harm will come to them
at this time, however their ultimate fate is to be determined, as is yours by your degree of cooperation”
The acute ear would have captured the disgruntled murmors within if focused on listening but as a screen lit up all attention was drawn to it.
The camera folowed a crate enroute to the communications central. It came to an abrupt halt. The troops in swift pursuit also came to a halt.
“Put your weapons down and surrender - You are outnumbered, you do not stand a chance”, a Maurader called out to the surprised troops being surrounded.
What seemed like a quick conference between the men ended in a bold Marine answering back. “No you surrender!”.
A Mauruder stepped forward flanked by his platoon - “Give it up, open those crates”
The Marine looked at his comrades as a silent pact was made, he then looked straight at the Maurauder Platoon Leader and with a very disturbing look on his face
answered, “Oh I really don't think you want me to do that”.
“I said open it”, the Platoon Leader barked furiously.
“Well it is your funeral”, the Marine said slowly kicking a release button on first one then the other crate while cliking a key combination on his lockpad.
The crates sprung open with a hiss, the sides falling to the deck with a loud bang making everyone jump.
A dark sand like substance flowed to the floor revealing the shiny chassis of three RW-30'ies.
Lord Narayana pressed a button on his wrist and sirens and blinking lights filled the corridors of the Sky Citadel.
“Red Alert Battle Stations, intruders aboard, repeat intruders aboard” - speakers whailed.
The Maurauders did not know what hit them. The RW-30'ies quickly took up defensive positions moved down the Maurauder troops while the sand like substance on the floor
seemed disappate as the nanites each with their programme to break into and destroy every control system of the Sky Citadel had reared into action.
Elsewhere on the ship crates sprung up, forced open from the inside by other RW-30'ies awakened by the activation of their fellow fighters.
And where troops had been caught and surrounded intense fighting broke out, the tactical advantage lasted for a few moments. Jamming the weapons of the Maurauders
using the failsafe codes the paranoid power elite had built into their equipment in an intent to prevent subordinates from using their weapons against superiors worked
for a moment, but the Mauruders quickly adapted changing to more conventional weapons, leaving Jasons assault squads fighting for their lives.
In the conference room the things happening on screen had for moments captured everybody's attention then chaos also broke out there.
Moments later all over the planet things started happening as one vacum floater after another separated from the mesh destroying the global communication network
leaving the Maurauders in information darkness.
Flying FWLA craft began pounding the bases and were followed by hordes of Fighting Mechs, either airdropped, or arriving on own power.
Subsequently paratroopers, tanks and crates filled the air by every major Maurauder stronghold.
Fighters were sent into the air and anti aricraft weapons pummeled the incoming attackers.
Explosions and fires filled the air, as the Maurauders fought back, the onslaught cutting paratroopers into shreds and sending sprays of shrapnel in every direction
each time an anti aircraft weapon hit a major target before they could even set foot on the ground.
Tanks hitting the ground running stealthy with pointy shapes shimmered from sky hue to ground hue as they landed detetching parachutes and with retro rockets blaring
into the dusk.
A platoon of tanks, turrets swerving wildly from side to side, guns blazing were caught in incoming fire, huge explosions left the vehicles torn to shreds.
All over the world the scenes seemed to repeat, determined troops barging forward, as if ancient trench warfare veterans in a desperate charge running for their lives.
Behind the scenes, robottic battle operators stared intensely at their screens furiously spilling all kinds of technical information about onboard systems and state.
They focused on blips and objects moving, interlaced over their outside view knowing their vigilance would be one of the only things protecting the charging land
troopers, this truly was a decisive battle.
The Mechs moved forward, big menacing bulks of armour, rocket launchers strapped on both sides, miniguns and discharge weapons ready to attack any foe let loose in a
Further platoons of dual barreled vehicles pulled up behind the troops and overtaking them offering additional protection from the bullits hammering the troops thus
letting their protective layers eat the bullits that would otherwise have torn the charging men to pieces.
In control rooms The Supreme Commander was yelling out orders to the charging troops, it was amazing how he was able to keep such an overview and the men followed him
On the battlefield outside the strongholds bodies lay strewn across the landscape, enemy troops as well as FWLA forces lay side by side, the carnage was total but the
FWLA were now at the gates of the strongholds.
Vehicles turned upside down, and some pulled apart as by an angry giant were used as shelter while waiting for a possibility to enter the burning fortresses.
Aboard the ship everything was in chaos, assisted by the RW-30'ies they were fighting corridor by corridor towards the landing bay.
Jason was pulling and pushing Lord Narayana along as they headed to The Replicant.
“Fool you have no chance, you will never get away from here alive”
A large thud shook the entire ship “Oh I think we will and you are coming with us, you will see justice you human piece of garbage”.
Lord Narayana fell but was pulled back to his feet by strong arms.
“Right now”, Jason explained while pressing a gun to Lord Narayana's head. “Right now all your precious systems are crashing thanks to the destruction you yourselves
released upon the earth, your qute little nanites are in the process of eating their way through each and every system aboard, leaving this nothing but a floating hulk
of junk in orbit.
Lord Narayana spat in his face. Jason calmly wiped the saliva off. “Smart arse eh”, he punched a fist in Lord Narayana's stomach so hard it knocked the wind out of
Again strong hands gripped the Maurader leader and carried him forward one more corridor.
A great explosion tore through a wall and for Jason everything went black.
When he came to he was back in the seat of the replica.
“Are you with us ?” A voice tried as water was sprinkled in his face and a needle burrowed into his arm.
“What, where am I, Jason looked disporiented around the cockpit
“Where is Narayana ?”
“Lost him, sorry sir, you need to focus, this hunk of junk is going down and we need to get off now”
No we need to get him, he needs to face justice
Sir we're not going anywhere but off this tub, it will be inside the atmosphere momentarily and at that poing we will not be able to convert to air flight. Besides the
doors are jammed in all directions and the tube is torn clean across.
Besides you have a cargo hull filled with escaped prisoners, mostly kids that were being processed by the Maurauders, getting them ready for service.
Jason realized the situation and shook off his confusion as the drugs cleared his mind.
How are we getting off ship then ? Jason tried
Like this, a marine answered pushing a detonator
There was a blast, and then the sudden depressurisation began sucking The Replica towards the big gap that hap opened up into pitch black space.
“Are you insane”, Jason managed to utter as the craft pulled forward towards the gap
“Arn't we all”, the marine asweredd
Jason bit his teht together concentrating to bring the craft back under control as it went spinning in something akin to free fall towards the surface of the Earth.
In the distance Jason could see the great mothership descending towards the surfaceit seemed in a last desperate act of defiance from the Vimanas they were attempting
to destroy the units marching on the Shanghai citadel.
Anti aircraft missiles started flying, now no longer concentrating on the Shanghai complex but instead pounding the mothership with lasers and missiles, as an
unstoppable juggernaut it just kept thrusting toward the attackers.
Then suddenly something seemed to happen. Escape pods popping out of the ship like popcorn followed by multiple Maurauder troop carriers seemed to be leaving the
mothership. Most of the troop carriers were shot, down exploding like pine cones thrown in a fire a few however seemed to escape.
As it came down Jason could see the burning hulk plowing down thousands of brave souls, but nevertheless it seemed the juggernaut's demise was unable to prevent the forces marching on the Shanghai stronghold.
In the days that followed fighting ensued all over the planet, however with no central command and no one to rally behind them the remaining forces surrendered in droves.
It had been an ugly endgame and though many had laid down their lives it had been worth it. Human kind was free again to shape it's own destiny, it had shed it's shackles.
With the ashes of the mothership spreading in the upper atmosphere and only an empty shell of that instrument of doom on the ground and the Vimanas subdued and the people of earth free once again from the tyrant's shackles Jason sat down in solitude gazing at a magnificent lakeside view.
I don't know, I guess we'll have to rebuild as much as we can.
Think they'll be back?
Who “The remnants of the Elite?”
Maybe – Once they've licked their wounds,
We'll get them if they do.
Sure hope it'll be a while.
Yeah guess it's time – You know how to wake me, I would really like to go off line. I do grow…. tired of all this random input.
Tell me about it.
The beautiful Lakeside view that had filled his mind shimmered away revealing a charred landscape littered with fragments of twisted machine parts, cleaning this mess up would take the remainder of his lifetime Jason realized, he squeezed Helga's hand, she turned towards him.
He's gone ? She asked.
I recon so Jason answered.
He will be missed, we could not have done this without him, she said
I know, Jason answered turning his head skyward, darkness had fallen and the stars were coming out.
Up above in the heavens Jason could see the the old and abandoned UN SPACE II station as a twinkling star sailing across the sky as if defiantly waiting for what was to come next, the ragtags left of humanity did not have to wait long.
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