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December 05, 2022

Anachronocity v3p6

By Josh Brown

Land of the Bizarre - Part Six

Several beefy men carrying Alex rushed by Katlyn. It took her a moment to register this, then she turned and chased after them without a single clue as to what could possible have happened now. She failed to notice the young girl running down the corridor beside the men.

In the medical bay once more, soon to be a second home, Mama rushed over to administer to Alex on the examination bed on which the men placed him.

Katlyn pulled one of the men aside. "What happened?"

The square-jawed man glanced at her once, said nothing.

Humph. "What happened?" she asked more forcibly.

"You must be Katlyn."

Katlyn turned to the sound of the voice. A young girl stood, hands on hips, inspecting Katlyn with a sharp glare. "Thanks guys," the girl said. Both men turned and left without another word.

"Alex accidentally drank a highly potent drug not meant for ingestion." The girl glanced over her shoulder as Mama withdrew a rather menacing needle from Alex's stomach. "He told me everything," she said without looking back.

He what? Katlyn stared at the girl. After all that work lying to Sela and everyone else, Alex up and told this girl everything? No, surely the girl was referring to the cover story. Katlyn told herself not to jump to conclusions.

The girl leaned in and whispered, "You know, the fact that you're from the past?"

Katlyn flushed with anger. It took everything she had to hold that anger at bay. Why would Alex do such a thing? How could he without even talking to her?

"And who exactly are you?" Katlyn said. She bit her tongue to keep from saying anything else.

"Bethany." Whether or not the girl could see how pissed Katlyn was, she flashed a smile and winked. "Be glad he told me. Without me, you two would never come even close to finding a way back."

Somehow, Katlyn doubted that. This brat made her cringe. Of all the people on this ship... Katlyn turned to Mama. "How is he?"

"No worries, dearie. I extract most of the drug. Once the rest of it passes through his system, he'll be all right."

Warily, Katlyn left the medical bay.

***

In the center of the conference room table, the holographic image of a building flickered in and out as it rotated in short, jerky intervals. Eight men traveled around the building, always two on any given side at either end. About ten feet away from the building stood a large barbed-wire fence. It surrounded the building, giving entrance only via a single road blocked by a gate and two guard shacks on both sides of the road. Once past the gate, the road led straight up to a set of enormous double doors.

Sela stood rigid at the end of the table, SoftPAD abandoned in front of her, as Yerik spoke on the security specifics of this building hovering before her. Seat around the table were the rest of Sela's main crew--Mama, Bethany, Horus, the energetic couple (Nicolas and Heather) Alex had the misfortune of living beside, and the pilot.

"All guards," Yerik said, "carry much powerful weapons. Single blast will take large chunk of your body. Main concern is wall-mounted defense. Guards vitals not only tied in to system, so to is heat signature. If at any time more than eight people is detected around perimeter, defense will activate and kill all within twenty feet. Council is very adamant about protecting assets within. No qualms about kill own guards should need arise."

"The defenses should be a problem," Bethany said. She leaned across the table and halted the rotating of the hologram with the press of a button underneath it. "Most likely all controls for the system are located inside the building. However, from what little information I've been able to gather about Interpol's newest defense designs--" she tapped another button and the image tilted forward, "--so confident are they that nobody can get to the building without permission, they've left the roof completely open." Red dots appeared as Bethany pressed her finger into the image at each corner of the roof and once in the middle. She sat back down. "Charges in each of those spots will collapse the roof. They'll also destroy the defense system in the process. The main control rooms in all Interpol buildings are always dead center."

"Aren't they designed to go off if destroyed?" asked Sela.

Bethany grinned. "Precisely. We want the system to activate."

"To kill the guards for us."

"Yep. It's a pure plan."

"How do we get on the roof?"

"Oh, oh! That's the best part. With some of the spare parts I found around the ship, I was able to install a coordinate-guided system on eight of our bombs. It's not enough to level the building, but we should be able to get five of them on the roof where we need them. We can launch them from space."

"What about those inside?"

"Well," Bethany grinned again, "if they're smart--and we're dealing with Interpol, so we know they aren't--they'd stay inside. We're counting on the surprise of the collapsing roof to get some of them outside where they will promptly die with the patrolling guards. The area will be uninhabitable for an hour. They'll know this, but they'll have a roof falling on their heads. So, they'll panic. I'd say at least a third of them will pile out before they realize their tragic mistake."

"There's no way to protect against the gas the defense system releases, correct?" Sela directed the question at Mama who verified the hostile gas had no counter. "So, how do we finish the job?"

"We fly in," the pilot, Jared, said. "Fly right over that eetee haven and drop enough explosives on it to make the first wave of the war look like the festival of peace."

Bethany nodded. "Right. We can open the cargo bay door, put up a one way shield to keep the gas out and blow it away from the sky."

"All right." Sela flipped off the hologram and sank down in her seat. "Anything else? How is Alex doing about his little mishap a couple days ago?"

"He's fine now," Mama said. "Gonna have terrible stomach pangs, the poor boy. But he'll get better eventually. No worries."

Yerik muttered something under his breath that Sela was sure entailed how tragic it was that he survived. She ignored it. "How long until we arrive at Calisto, Jared?"

"Two weeks barring any problems."

"Okay, two weeks people. Get this plan finalized. I don't want any problems with its deployment. Nick, keep looking into that building. I'd prefer to know what is so special inside, but we're blowing it no matter what."

"Aye, aye, boss."

"That's all."

To be continued...
Article © Josh Brown. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-04-17
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