Web of Chaos
In the old closed-down store, Lel and Erwin sat around playing games on their PADs.
“Hey, newbie. You wanna walk with me? Maybe find a bite to eat,” said Erwin.
“I have a name,” said Lel.
“Ok, ok. Lel was it?”
“Come on. I’m buying. You’ll get out of this dump soon my friend.”
“Good. Cos I don’t have any money. The only money I get’s from the G.E.”
“You move up, you’ll get more. We help each other out. Stinking aliens take our jobs
we’ll do something about it… Right?” Erwin slurred some words.
“Damn right,” said Lel.
Black SWAT trucks flew low over hills dense with trees, barreling toward a run-down old factory building.
This time the G.E had not left, and they opened fire, energy blasts, and bullets shot out from the factory. Surrounded they had no way to escape, desperate they shot and blasted everywhere.
The SWAT exited their trucks, and other police cars flew in to secure the perimeter.
Inside the G.E members yelled out orders to each other, no one person in charge. Outnumbered, the fear of death swept through them.
The SWAT teams stormed the factory and made their way through the building. Using deadly force, they made sure to stop the G.E.
Frustrated, the few remaining G.E cursed.
All the other G.E members unconscious or dead, the last G.E standing surrendered.
Outside, Gill watched and listened over the SWAT’s cameras and microphones. Hearing the Arkvee was gone he wanted to have a little talk with the uninjured and conscious G.E member who gave up.
Going inside, Gill proceeded over to the G.E prisoner. With the handcuffed man kneeling down on the floor in front of him, Gill pulled out his Falchion and aimed it at the G.E member’s head.
“Man, you can’t shoot me, all these police.”
“Do you see anyone trying to stop me,” said Gill as the SWAT and other officers stood around watching.
“I don’t know anything… They moved the Arkvee yesterday.”
“I can see that. Not helpful.” Gill put the gun closer to the man’s face.
“Ok, they moved an exo-armor the night before. Some weird alien one.”
“I don”t know man… Big. Brobdingnagian or Rephaim maybe.”
“And where was it sent?”
“I don’t know that. Or where the Arkvee is. They don’t tell nobody.”
“How many trucks and what did they look like?”
“The Arkvee. You were here right. You must have seen them dismantle it and the trucks they loaded it onto.”
“No trucks man… A ship.”
“Shit,” said Gill in his head backing away from the man. “Does it have weapons?”
“I don’t know. Looks like a basic dropship.”
Turning, Gill hurried over to the Chief of police who kept a close eye on him. “Take all your officers off the case. It’s just going to get you all killed.”
“We can’t just run away from this,” said the Chief of police.
“I’ll call in a fireteam with a ship.”
“You can’t have Marines running around fully armored on Earth. The public’s not going to go for that. The media will have a field day with you.”
“Yes. With Anlon and me. Not you. Deny everything, and prove you didn’t make the call.”
“We’re lucky to be alive. We knew the Arkvee wasn’t working. But now we know the G.E have a working ship and no idea concerning its weapons.”
Going back to his car, Gill sat down and thought out a message. “Requesting a fireteam with a ship. The G.E has amassed more capability than we had previously known. Attach the latest report, The G.E.“
The Aivot typed out the message and attached the document.
“Send,” thought Gill.
The Aivot sent the message.
Snorri headed out of his apartment complex. Waiting outside for a minute, he saw a small bus with strips of blue light detailing it coming down the street. It stopped in front of him, and he squeezed his way on much to the dismay of the few passengers onboard. Sitting down he took up two seats.
Going through traffic and not stopping once, the bus took the first passenger to their stop. It did the same for the next passenger and the one after, pausing where each person wanted to get off and not picking up any new ones.
Snorri’s turn came. Getting out in front of a huge factory building, he trudged over to the double doors, scanned his PAD, and headed inside. A robotic workforce moved large furniture around. Snorri lumbered over to a machine which spit out an upholstered couch, and he picked it up as though it was light as a feather. Carrying it, he took it a short distance. A robot heading his direction stopped in front of him, and Snorri handed the wheeled machine the couch. He hiked back to grab another one.
Wearing a pinstripe suit, Jonah drove Wendy to their next assigned job. She stared out the window, watching the buildings pass by.
Pulling up to a huge factory building with the name Legerdemain lit up on it, they got out of the car, each carrying one small bag of equipment. Jonah scanned his PAD, and they entered. Turning to the right, they walked for a bit and stopped at an inoperative machine.
Jonah held up a tablet and scanned the red and yellow machine.
“Yeah, this is the one,” said Jonah handing Wendy the tablet.
Taking the tablet, Wendy looked at its screen.
Jonah sniffed, looked at the machine and looked back at Wendy. “Ok, you studied for this. Run a diagnostic, see if that identifies any issues.”
Poking at the tablet, Wendy connected to the machines WiFi and waited for it and the tablet to return possible causes of malfunction. A good bit later they ended up opening the machine and searching for what could be wrong.
Not sure she liked all this work for a no-pay internship, Wendy sighed. She believed she deserved something for it.
Later that evening, in the back of the old closed-down store, Lel supported his drunk companion as they hobbled to the door.
“Look, look, You check on the exo. I’m going home,” said Erwin slurring his words.
“K,” said Erwin stumbling off past the gray, dirty walls on either side of them.
Going into the store, Lel went over to the pile hiding the exo-armor, removed some clothes and picked up the torso. He sneezed from the dust. Opening the back door and looking around, Lel snuck out and put the piece of exo-armor into the trunk of his car. Figuring he could squeeze an arm of the exo-armor into it as well, he proceeded back to get it.
Gill tracked where the supposed dropship might have gone off to and contemplated how it managed to stay hidden. “There’s no way they could have gotten their hands on a black Dunamis… is there? Where would they have gotten that kind of money.“
Receiving a call from Sydnie, Gill ceased mulling over his predicament and answered. “Hello, sweetie.”
“Hello… Look I have a rainbow drink,” said Sydnie holding up the glass of a drink layered with yellow at the top, green in the middle, a blue at the bottom. It smelled of raspberries.
“Oh. Is it tasty?”
“Yeah,” she said putting it down on the table, the colors sloshing around. She looked at it for a bit. “It’s half gone.”
“It’s half full.”
“No, no. It is… half… gone,” said Sydnie stepping back and pointing at the glass, arm outstretched.
“Ok,” said Gill with a small quiet chuckle and smiling.
A flagged message from Jovan Anlon showed on his display. “Open,” he thought, and it opened while Sydnie talked about some show he didn’t know.
“Fireteam, Martial Call has been dispatched. The personnel records are attached. Contact will be established upon their arrival. 📎Alexander Lucas 📎Melissa Darva 📎Gunnar Bardrick 📎Liam Mason 📎Cathan Hudson,” read the message.
“I don’t know what that is,” said Gill to Sydnie, not sure at all what she had been saying.
Describing the show from the beginning, Sydnie rambled on.
Finding the registered owner of the car who’s camera picked up the G.E vehicle he had tracked, Gill headed to the address listed on the citizen’s records. On the drive, he acknowledged what Sydnie talked about every so often.
Pulling up to an extensive apartment complex, Gill got out. As he approached the door, it unlocked for him. “Ok, sweetie. I have to go now. I’ll talk to you later.”
“You can tell me more about the show next time.”
“Ok. Bye,” said Sydnie frowning and her voice trailing off.
Getting on the elevator, Gill ascended thirteen floors. Going to unit 13250, Gill rang the doorbell.
“Yes,” said a woman.
Holding up his PAD to the door’s camera, Gill paused for a second. “Hello, Sute Achikita. I’m here to ask you a few questions.”
“I have nothing to say to you,” said Achikita.
“You could really help my investigation. You are aware of all the people the G.E killed recently?”
“Yeah, so. I don’t know any G.E. I don’t have anything to do with them.”
“Very well,” said Gill walking away, having hacked every device on her home network through her WIFI.
Copyright Conrad Brubaker 2018