Web of Chaos
Cornering Lel in an alleyway, Joe ventured closer to him with gun drawn and aimed at Lel’s chest. “You shouldn’t have stolen from us.”
“Come on. I did you a favor. As soon as that Rephaim shoots up people, the G.E will have everyone’s blessing to shoot some aliens,” said Lel kneeling down exhausted.
“We don’t know if it will do anything. Might even turn the suit over to the cops.”
“Oh, come on. A Rephaim ain’t going to do that. They’d kill us all if they weren’t so dumb.”
“Point taken. Still can’t let you live. Bad for business if anyone found out you got off screwing us over.” Joe aimed the gun at Lel’s head.
Without warning a police officer came behind Joe. “Put down the weapon!”
Joe froze scowling and muttering under his breath.
“Put down the weapon.”
Gradually lowering his gun, Joe carefully put it on the ground.
“Nice and easy. Get down on the ground.”
Joe put his hand on the ground and lowered himself down.
“Both of you. Now!”
Lel got down spreading his arms and legs spread eagle.
“Hands behind your back.”
They both put their hands on their backs, and two cops ran over and cuffed them as fast as they could.
Stomping out of the room in the bulky exo-armor, Snorri set out looking for whoever came into the building. In the stairwell he jumped up a whole flight of steps, gouging out a groove in the wall with his armored shoulder.
His helmet picked up what the intruders said. “We’ll take what he’s got.”
“Did you see the size of that bag?”
“I bet it was just laundry.”
“No. it must have been heavy. You could see stuff pressed to the sides through the cloth.”
“Could have been cans of food.”
“I wouldn’t mind hauling some food back.”
Snorri came upon the group. Five men dressed in dirty clothes held up old PADs and searched with their lights, checking each room. Snorri snorted, finding it laughable the five raggedy humans thought they could take him on, armor or none.
He came out of the darkness hammering one man with his fist, crushing them with a cracking and squishing sound. He grabbed another man before they could react to his sudden appearance. With one hand, Snorri squeezed the man’s shoulder breaking bones. Screaming in pain, the man looked at Snorri with eyes wide in terror. Snorri tossed the man so hard their neck snapped from the sudden jolt, and their body made a hole in the wall.
Two men pulled out large knives and stabbed Snorri. The blades glanced off the exo-armor, not leaving a single scratch. Grabbing both men’s heads, Snorri slammed them together with a sickening crack and squishing out their brains and eyes.
The last man ran for his life. Snorri lifted an arm, aimed it at the man’s back, and fired. The blast burned right through their spine and out the front leaving a cauterized hole. The body dropping onto the floor with a thud.
Snorri proceeded up to the ground floor. His helmet’s scanners picked up about twenty people right outside the broken, back door. Running full tilt Snorri burst through the doorway, crumbling its frame and sending the door flying.
Outside he saw various other aliens standing in a half circle watching him. Malphas walked out from behind the group. His head held high, he walked up to be within inches of Snorri.
“Snorri will kill all you humans,” said Snorri looking down.
Malphas looked up Snorri with his deep dark eyes. “I’m not human. Though the humans believe I am. Join our little resistance, and I’ll help you cause a bit more chaos than you could on your own.”
Heading west, Gill received a message from Yori Sato while the America landed beside an old strip mine; brown and rusty red dirt everywhere. Stagnant water filled large holes, but the area was barren, nothing living for two miles in every direction.
“The Rephaim has eluded capture. I observed some humans going in which were found dead later by the SWAT team when they had arrived. Before that, a group of aliens waited for the Rephaim, and he left with them. My equipment was somehow jammed. By the time I got close enough to ID anyone, they were driving off. Searching through CCTV now.”
“Great,” though Gill. Another SWAT team called in and no one to arrest. “Strike two. They’re not going to be happy with me. Of all the luck.“
The back ramp of the America opened, and the Marines rushed out targeting a small building. They got up close to it with no incident. Four small blue shields formed at the front of Liam’s ESAR, the barrel of his gun poking through the center of the overlapping rectangles. He kicked the door in and rushed inside, the other Marines following him.
Once the Marines secured the small building. Gill walked in as he received a missing person report filed by Wendy’s Mom. Her last known location flagged as the same building Gill fought the G.E in.
Looking around the dust-covered room for clues, Gill thought out a message. “I am sending you a report on Sute Achikita. Go to her and find out what she knows concerning Wendy Viella’s disappearance. I am giving you access to all of Achikita’s devices, including her car. Its GPS data showed it being near the Legerdemain warehouse repeatedly over the last few months. She must know something concerning the G.E… Send to Yori Sato and attach the Sute Achikita report.” His Aivot attached the report and sent the message.
Scanning for clues, the Aivot didn’t turn up anything useful in the first room. Gill faced Alexander. “It doesn’t look like the G.E used this place since they met with the Senator here years ago.”
“Nope,” said Alexander.
“Was hoping the dropship would be around here.”
“Might still be. Staying hidden from scans somehow.”
“I’ll check out the other rooms.” Gill headed off, and his Aivot scanned the surroundings. He decided to call Sydnie before she had to go to bed. Nothing much was happening anyway.
“Hi Daddy,” said Sydnie excited.
“Hello sweetie. You having fun?”
“Yeah. We have company. We’re throwing the Super Sami’s Super Show ball around in the house! Mommy let us.” Gill heard other kids yelling in the background.
“I got to go. Elexus is pulling my arm. She wants me to play.”
“Ok. Have fun with your friends.”
Gill headed to a different room. An outdated dust-covered computer sat on a desk. Picking it up, he blew the dust off and put it in his pocket. He doubted anything relating to the G.E would be on it, but he could jury-rig a way to power it up onboard the ship.
Wandering into a small room, Gill spotted a tiny red light and heard a whirring sound. A small drone flew up activated by his movement. He drew his Falchion gun but did not fire because of identifying the drone as a civilian model. Backing out of the room to be safe he attempted to hack the drone.
The drone darted out of the room past Gill. “Knock it down. Don’t destroy it,” said Gill as fast and loud as he could. Remembering all of Martial Call could hear him over the com channel, Gill realized Cathan could recover the drone without a problem. “Cathan, retrieve the drone, don’t let it escape.”
In his Banshee exo-armor, Cathan flew outside going after the drone. Zooming along just above the ground, he turned and flew straight up grabbing at it. The drone dodged in a sudden swerve. Cathan arched around in flight coming at the drone from above. Jamming its sensors, he snatched it out of the air and flew back to Gill.
“Thank you,” said Gill.
“I didn’t think it could have dodged me. They must have souped it up.”
“Just glad it wasn’t strapped with explosives. It’s still transmitting. They must not have realized it reactivated yet, or they would have shut it down I think. I got what I could. Shutting it down now.”
“So, we’re free to talk?”
“Yeah. It accessed the net through the nearest antenna to upload to an account on the cloud. I should be able to gain access in a little while. Hopefully before the account’s owner does.”
“So, let’s get out of here,” said Alexander. “Before we’re the targets.”
Diesel pushed the touchpad on the back of the truck. The door slid up revealing the three guys holding onto Wendy and Jonah.
“Remember I only need one of you,” said Diesel waving a gun at them. “So behave. Maybe two of you can get the job done faster, and all this will be over sooner.”
Jonah stepped down out of the truck. Not able to step down that amount of height, Wendy stood still and straight. One guy pushed her, but she refused to jump down. One of the guys lifted her up and put her down in front of Diesel.
“Come on inside.” Diesel pointing at the dropship.
Wendy and Jonah did not see it until they turned the direction Diesel directed.
“Holy shit,” thought Wendy realizing these kidnappers were not local thugs. “Are they going to take us off world.” She had never been off Earth. Scared, she knew she had little chance of ever seeing home again, and her mother would never know where she disappeared too. Wendy cried.
Forced inside they came face to face with the thirty-foot Onslaught Arkvee. Jonah blinked, and his head drooped. Tilting over, his eyes half shut, he stopped breathing.
Diesel jabbed him. “Breath man. You’re going to help us make the navigation compatible with the hardware. Or we’ll have that thing step on you.”
Jonah dropped to the floor unconscious.
“Looks like you’re up girl.” Diesel pushed her toward the Arkvee.
She did not want to touch the machine as though it would be a bad thing to do. She managed to muster up enough courage to speak. “I’ve never done work on war machines.”
“We both know that doesn’t matter.”
“I probably have to code an entire driver from scratch. Otherwise, you would have just updated or installed it.”
“Yeah, yeah. Get started.” Diesel handed Wendy a tablet. “Here’s everything you need. We’ll be watching. Don’t try anything funny.”
Wendy got to work reviewing what she needed to learn about the Onslaught’s systems. Nervous she kept rechecking everything.
Snorri sat in a truck looking out its one way tinted glass. The truck and accompanying cars drove underground. They parked in a cavernous structure with many massive support pillars. Everyone got out of the vehicles. In his exo-armor, Snorri watched Malphas saunter past him.
Motioning for Snorri to come over to him, Malphas turned and lead him to a table overloaded with food. “You might want to take your helmet off. Dig in. Enjoy yourself. I’ll be back with a plan. I just need to make a few arrangements to set things in motion.”
Too hungry to resist, Snorri could no longer force himself to be extra careful and took his helmet off. “Snorri will wait a few days at most.” He dug right into the food, wolfing it down.
Walking away, Malphas got into the back seat of a car. Another person got in the driver’s seat, and they drove off.
“Take me to the G.E. The idiots with the dropship,” said Malphas.
“Yes, Sir,” said the driver.
Copyright Conrad Brubaker 2018