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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Silver & Gold
By John Brengman

 


SILVER AND GOLD

BY: John Brengman

All games have one strategic play that is used only in extreme emergencies. Baseball has the bunt, pool has the bank shot, and football has the end run. To some, war is a game, and war too has its desperation move.

Although the Alusian Empire had recovered somewhat after the Resistance Wars, wars fought between it and the planet that was the founder of what was now the Terran Republic, the Empire was still weak. The Imperial Alusians, who were still loyal to what Emperor Incabulos and Fleet Commander Tchar had stood for had been reduced to a rebel faction which controlled the Empire from within the core of the planet Alusia. There they remained, for although the Resistance forces had left soon after the Evolved Intelligent Controlled Omnibus computer's engineered take over of the entire planet had failed, the citizens of Alusia had not forgotten the horrors that they had lived through while Incabulos had been on the throne. They also remembered Incabulos' fanatical armed forces, which had pillaged space in a vain attempt to return the Alusian solar system to the glory that it had once basked in. That was, of course, before the devastating nuclear and biological wars.

Since the Imperial Alusians were only marginally able to control their empire because of the frequent civilian raids on their headquarters and communications stations, they felt that now was the time for a punitive strike, an act of desperation that would cripple the Resistance and ease the pressure upon them at the same time. It wasn't long until one of the last Alusian military geniuses alive found a way to do just that thing.

The small but fast cargo ship angled toward Earth's night side. Sleek and shiny, the ship had been specially designed for raids, banditry, and skirmishes. The humans aboard this ship were either the best mercenaries this side of the Alusian Empire that a credit could buy, or they were the worst of the slimeballs, the dregs of civilization. It all depended on who you asked.

Earn Vorhees didn't care about what other people thought about them. In fact, he knew that the two men who comprised his crew also didn't care about what other people thought about them. They were mercenaries, payed to do someone elses' dirty work, which included piracy, espionage, and murder, the one aspect of the job that Vorhees liked the most.

Vorhees had been critically injured a few years ago when he had worked as a demolitions expert. Someone had laid a faulty charge, and Vorhees had gotten caught in the resulting blast from that charge.

The doctors had done a remarkable job putting Vorhees back together. Using bionics and cybernetics, they pratically created a whole new body for the broken man. Steel alloys were molded in the shape of the original bones which were too shattered to mend. These steel bones were used to re build the front and side areas of the skull and jaw, the light leg, and the right arm and hand.

The doctor had inserted a glass eye, special segmented ribs which were his own design, and would insure that Vorhees would never injure another rib again, and yet the specially designed flexible plastic alloy segmentation would also ensure that Vorhees would have no trouble breathing. The skin on his face and chest had been replaced with artificial skin. Bringing Earn Vorhees back to life had been a great success.

Saving Vorhees' life had been one thing, saving his mind had been another. After he'd gotten over the feelings of awkwardness and resentfullness that he had initially felt toward his new body, he began to appreciate it, and the the doctor's suuccessful efforts to save his life. He never forgave the technician who had almost robbed him of his life in the first place. Not only did Vorhees start dreaming of revenge, a revenge which he eventually terribly acted upon, but he also became sadistic and homicidal.

After he'd killed the man who'd almost ended his life, Vorhees went underground to escape the authorities, and eventually resurfaced on the frontier world of Tyrell, where he joined up two mercenaries who taught them their trade. In return, Vorhees bacame their leader.

"Course heading," Vorhees asked one of the mercenaries, who doubled as the ship's navigator.

"213.74, Captain,"the mercenary replied.

"Weapons Officer," the cyborg continued, "ready all weapons, including the Airborne Stun Devices."

"Aye sir," said the other mercenary, whose usual post was in the aft weapons compartment.

"All systems show green," the navigator noted. "Everything's ready, sir."

Vorhees paused. ""Navigator," he inquired. "What is the date, Earth standard."

"Depending on what side of the globe you're on, its either December 23rd, or December 24th, sir." The navigator murmured.

"Well well," Vorhees mused. "Merry Christmas, you Resistance sons of bitches! Go to Red Alert. Navigator, take us in!"

It was a cold winter night in Kentucky. Sure, it didn't snow too often, but Old Man Winter still had fun making life miserable for those who had to venture outside.

It was worse for the sentries, whose job it was to protect the gold kept at Fort Knox. From eight in the evening to one in the morning, a shift of thirty troopers from the Kentucky National Guard patrolled the grounds, and five more troopers patrolled the building itself.

The mercenary ship came in low over the fort grounds. Circling over the gorunds, the ship dropped small satilite-like devices which were kept hovering above the ground by small but strong air jets. Reaching their pre-programmed coordinates, the satilites each fired a huge cone of light at the ground. The light bathed everything within fifty yards of each satilite with an eerie glow.

The guards who were patrolling outside were only able to cast a curious gaze up into the sky at the beacons of lightbefore they were wracked by tremendous spasms of pain that echoed through their brains, and immediately immobilized their bodies with invisible, but highly effective paralusing rays.

The mercenary ship made another circle around the grounds and this time, came to a stop over one wing of the fort. A gun turret swung down from the underside of the ship and fired at the roof of the fort, immediately vaporizing a huge section of it.

Quickly after that, a hatch opened in the bottom of the ship, and two men dropped down through the hole made by their ship's weapon. Another man followed the first two about five seconds later.

Even before earn Vorhees got to the floor of Fort Knox, he heard the sounds of small laser fire. He knew his men were already busy taking out the resistance to their assualt. He knew that resistance was hopeless. That was what he paid his men for: to make sure that any resistance against any operation that Earn Vorhees was a part of would fail miserably. In this job, the rewards of doing ones' job included a steady pay of credits, and maybe a woman every now and then. Failure meant a very large dose of proton energy ending a man's life and career.

Vorhees tapped a button on his belt as he was dropping downward to the floor. Small jetpacks in his shoes were activated and he landed gently on the ground. He was glad that he and his men had gotten a hold of such outlawed devices as these shoe jetpacks. They were used often enough. Bootpacks, as they were called, could be legal, except that too often, they were used as they were being used now, to help commit a crime.

When he landed, Vorhees quickly surveyed the room and found that his men had done their jobs, and had taken out most of the resistance. Four dead bodies were proof of that. The last soldier was pinned down behind a pyramid of gold bricks. Vorhees smiled as he took his laser out of its holster and set it on light stun force.

Sprinting toward the heap of gold bricks, Vorhees lept into the air while he was about fifteen feet away. He quickly engaged his bootpacks, did a flip in mid air, and landed garcefully on top of the mound of gold. Before the guard knew it, he had been stunned.

Vorhees turned to his men. "Get the Transmat Chips onto that gold. Make sure that you propery set the field range and the miniturization grid. I don't want to have half a ton of steel girder, or a bunch of normal sized gold weighing the ship down."

"Don't worry, sir," came the reply. "We'll get all of it."

Vorhees turned back to the guard, who had fallen to the floor. Jumping to the ground, Vorhees picked the guard up, and saw that he was still conscious.

"Are you in pain?" The cyborg asked.

"Yes." The guard whispered.

"Do you want the pain to stop?"

"Yes."

"Fine," Vorhees hissed as he dropped the guards body which he had been holding with his left arm, while keeping his grip on the man's neck with his cybernetic right hand. "Let it be so," He said. He had already began to squeeze.

The gagging, wheezing, sputtering, and coughing that accompanied strangulation only served to excite Vorhees, who continued to tighten his robotic grip. Soon his fingers had shredded the man's skin, and were tearing through the helpless man's neck mescles as if they were jello. After cracking the spinal column, Vorhees dropped the battered body that he had mutilated, and triumphantly he examined his hands, which were covered with the red stains of murder.

"Rest in peace, fool." He muttered.

Elsewhere in the room, the other mercenaries engaged in a quiet conversation.

"Does he always do that?" One mercenary asked as he heard the contorted sounds that floted form behind the pile of gold.

"He's done that to about twenty other people." The other replied.

"Isn't that sick?"

"Maybe, but it does enhance his reputation."

"How do you mean?"

"It tells other people not to cross him, and therefore, his sickness keeps us alive."

The conversation was silenced as Vorhees approached. "ready?" He asked, his hands drenched in blood.

"Transmat Devices are in place, and properly set."

"Good." Vorhees sighed, then smiled as he noticed the looks on his comrades faces. "Let's get out of here."

The mercenaries pressed a button located on a device attached to their arms that looked like a watch, and instantly they were teleported to the waiting cargo ship. The gold, which had been reduced to microscopic size as it was teleported, also vanished.

Barely thirty minutes after the incident at Fort Knox had been reported to resistance Headquarters at Denver's Stapleton Airport, Dawn and Nikki Miller were hastily summoned before Marcie Warren II, daughter of the Marcie Warren who had become first a famous air pilot during the first alien war against Earth, and had worked her way up the ranks to eventually become the leader of the Resistance.

The daughter was almost a physical and psychological carbon copy of her mother. She possessed the same auburn hair, the same brown eyes, the same graceful body. She also had a shy streak that competed with a greater determination and dedication to her duty and her friends. Since Marcie Warren had eventually married a scientist who had worked at Hildebrand/Essen, her daughter was a genius in the fields of mechanics, physics, engineering, small unit tactics, and tactical strategy, all of which was needed by the Resistance in their campaign to keep the Terran Republic a stable place for humanity and its allies to prosper and grow.

Dawn and Nikki Miller could easily have been twins. Both women were very beautiful. Nikki had long, light yellow to brownish hair, while Dawn had sandy blonde hair. They were most alike in that they did almost everything together. They had spent their childhood together, had went to the same schools, took the same classes in college, and graduated from that college at the same time. They had also joined the Resistance together, but for different reasons. Nikki liked the element of adventure and excitement. Dawn joined the Resistance secretly to protect her sister from the dangers that maybe were shielded behind those glittering lights and adventuruous missions. Marcie Warren knew of this secret reason, and therefor made sure that the Millers got the same assignments, as a favor to Dawn.

As the two sisters entered Warren's office, they saw their commanding officer standing with her back to them, staring at a map of the Terran Republic, a spacefaring nation built upon a century of technological development, human leadership under aprtial Resistance guidance, and human determination in general. The Miller sisters immediately recognized the circumsatnces that brought them to this office as the circumstances of a situation that could threaten the existance of the Republic, and a whole century of progress.

Warren turned around and started to speak to the Miller sisters. "Well, we're in trouble." She said, "and it's up to you to help us get out of it." She sighed as she sat down behind her desk which was covered with papers and folders.

"Someone broke into Fort Knox, and right now, they are leaving Earth with a load of gold. I'm sure the Alusian Empire is behind this."

"The criminals are using a TC-41 cargo transport, one of the types manufactured at the Empire's Mustaka Orbital Complex. Because this is an Alusian military vessal, you will be going after one of the fastest ships in space. You will be using Cobra fighters, some of the fastest ships we've got. Our computer records show that particulat TC-412 to be decommissioned, the current owner is unknown, but we do kno who is flying her."

"A guard was found at Fort Knox. He had been murdered in the pattern that fits Earn Vorhees, a wanted criminal who is being sought after for over twenty murders, all of them done in this same pattern."

"The stolen gold must be recovered. Not only is the gold important to industrial interests at Hildebrand/Essen, but if this got out to the media and the economists, there'd be hell to pay. the gold is contained on several Transmat Chips, which, because of their marginally radioactive nature, are leaving a very nice Beta trail for us to find. Sergeant Beck will issue you a couple of fighters, the necessary ordinance, and a container to hold the Transmat Chips in. That's all, and good luck."

Marcie turned back toward the map, but as Nikki followed her sister through the door, the dark haired woman turned back toward her commanding officer.

"Commander," she asked. "How do you know that the Alusians are behind this?"

Without turning, Marcie answered Nikki with a question.

"Who else would steal only the gold that was alotted to the Resistance?"

Nikki looked at her scanner, located on the computer board in front of her, and saw the blip that had appeared there a couple of minutes before.

"Dawn," she said over the microphone attached to her flight jacket. "I've got an identification on that ship. It's a TC-41. That's the one we want."

"Are we in communications range?" Dawn asked.

"Yes."

"Are there any other ships in the area?"

"No other ships are on the scanners," Nikki replied.

"That's not unusual. Christmas Day is always quiet out here."

Nikki heard Dawn working on the computer of her Cobra A-717F fightercraft; she was patching a comm frequency into that of the ship they were following. Finally, she had accomplished this, and opened the comm frequency.

Dawn spoke with authority: "TC-41 cargo ship, this is Flight Commander Dawn Miller, of the Resistance Air Strike Command. You are under arrest for the theft of government property, and murder. Surrender immediately and prepare to be boarded."

A voice crackled back. "This is earn Vorhees, and I command this ship. Both you and your policeman friend there with you can stick your surrender order up your ass." With that, the cargo ship opened fire with a barrage of laser bolts that both Resistance fighters dodged using very quick evasive manuvers.

Nikki looked at her scanner. "Enemy is cahnging course," she noted. "He's on course 218.37, heading for Mars."

"Set course and speed to intercept with the enemy at Mars," Dawn ordered.

Together both ships gracefully turned toward the small point of light that was the planet Mars.

The barren desert surface of Mars could be seen far below the Resistance fighters. The mercenary cargo ship was a couple thousand kilometers ahead, and could only be seen through a magnified image. The sensors aboard the Resistance fightercraft showed that they were slowly gaining on the mercenary ship.

"Why here?" Nikki wondered aloud. "Why are they here?"

Dawn replied. "I don't know. There are no signs of a base, hidden or otherwise."

"Will we get these guys?" Nikki asked.

"Sure we will," Dawn replied reassuringly. "We'll bag these creeps."

Aboard the cargo ship, Vorhees was pleased. He'd lured the Resistance fighters right where he wanted to.

"Gunner," he yelled. "Fire at those fighters, and make sure you hit them!"

"Aye, sir," the weapons officer said as he pressed the trigger button on the control board in front of him.

Blue beams of energy arced through the Martian air. A beam from the first volley hit Nikki's fighter, sending it spiraling toward the ground, out of control. Dawn quickly dodged the rest of the lasers and set out after her sister.

Nikki was scared. She knew that the pilot training school had taught her to control her emotions, but this was real, not a simulation. In a few seconds, she and her ship would be permanentlycombined into one splatter of flesh and metal upon the surface of the red martian desert.Nikki sat frozen as her ship hurtled toward destruction.

Suddenly Nikki heard: "Nikki! Nikki! This is Dawn! Pull your stick back! You've only got a few seconds left! PULL YOUR GOD DAMNED STICK BACK!!"

Nikki quickly pulled the control stick back as far as it would go and the ship obediently pulled up. Suddenly, a large, red, rocky object loomed ahead. Before she could react, Nikki's fighter shook with the force of the impact with the object. "What did I hit?" She asked after she had steadied her ship.

"A cliff," responded Dawn. "Put a little more power into your engines, and you should be okay."

Nikki did so, and soon both fighters were back in space, on the trail of the mercenaries.

"Are you okay?" Dawn asked her sister.

"Some subsystems are not responding, but other than that, I'm fine."

"Let's get those bastards," Dawn said firmly, "before something else happens."

The three fighters streaked through space nearthe asteriod belt surrounding the inner planets of our solar system. Both the mercenaries and the Resistance fighters were firing blasts of laser energy at each other in an attempt to end what both sides felt was a chase that had lasted too long, but also a chase that neither side wanted to lose.

In desperation, Vorhees set the cargo ship's course into the asteriod field. Nikki and Dawn watched as the mercenary ship entered the field and started using its lasers and shields to clear a path through the nightmarish maze of boulders. Dawn was frustrated.

"We can't go in there!" She exclaimed in anger. "That ship has better shields than ours do. We'd never survive."

"Maybe we can force them out of the field," Nikki suggested.

There was silence while Dawn thought out the logistics of such a plan. "Did Sergeant Beck load any of the Seeking Impact Missiles on your ship?" She inquired.

"Yes," came the reply.

"Fire one at the mercenary," Dawn ordered. "Let something else chase him for a while. Hopefully the missile will catch him and knock a hole in the hull and stop him where he is."

Nikki set the missile, armed it, and then launched it. Both Resistance fighters then drifted through space, waiting for the outcome of this new race between the cargo ship, and a Terran missile.

"Vorhees!" The navigator shouted. "We've got a missile on our six. Vorhees could hear the lasers being fired, but the gunner's efforts were in vain.

"Evasive, quickly!" Vorhees ordered.

The outlaw vessel dodged and feinted through the asteroid belt, but still the missile stayed with them, gaining speed, and gaining on the mercenaries, who futily slipped their ship between two large rocks in an effort to escape. They tried to fire more lasers at the missile, but it was protected by the thousands of rocks that had made the asteriod field a good place to try to lose the Resistance fighters. they had lost the fighters, now they ahd to lose the missile. Trying as hard as they could, the mercenaries could not accomplish this task. The missile kept coming.

"Get us out of this asteroid field!" Vorhees ordered. "The instant we're out, abandon ship, and seperate the command pod!" The cyborg grimaced in disgust. "Set a course for home." They'd lost.

After a couple more evasive manuvers, the mercenary ship flew out of the asteriod field, and into the picturesque darkness of deep space. A second later, the ship seperated into two parts. One part engaged a pair of small ion engines and escaped. The other part was left; the sacrificial target for a hungry missile.

"This is a RNN news update. Today, high Resistance officials reported that gold apparently stolen from Fort Knox, Kentucky was returned. The criminals got away after they broke into the hgih security facility, stole the resistance's supply of gold, and murdered five guards. Resistance pilots Nikki and Dawn Miller were able to retreive the stolen gold after a chase which took them to the asteriod belt, where the criminals were finally engaged. Although the criminals escaped, the appropriate authorities have been notified as to their last known position. It is the general opinion of top officials at resistance Headquarters, and Hildebrand/Essen, that the theft of gold would not've done any damage to the world economy as the supply was used inside the Resistance organization itself. In other news..."

Earn Vorhees looked upon the spaceport of his homeworld, Mashuda IV and smiled. Let those stupid, lame-brained Alusian jerks do their own work from now on, he thought. He then frowned as he remembered his flight from the Sol solar system. Even as he arrived home, Earn Vorhees began to plot his revenge against the Resistance pilots who had crossed him. No one crossed Earn Vorhees! He began to swear.

"You may have won now, but I'll have my day. I always do. When we meet again, Dawn Miller, I promise you, you will die a most horrible death." He clenched his right fist, and then broke into a loud, evil, devious laugh.

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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