Saturday, September 28, 2013

#ShortStory: The Chronicles of Free & Stryker {The Suit Episode 2}

In the year 2304, sentient androids enslaved mankind, as well as many other humanoids throughout the galaxy. Over the centuries, pockets of resistance rose to oppose them. These are the chronicles of one such team, who even in the face of impossible odds, fight to free the galaxy.

Inside the command center, Stryker shifted as the seven-member council thumbed through their file. Free sat there as still as a mountain. His eyes forward, almost as if he was looking through the council. Did he have x-ray vision? Stryker would need to check on that later.

“Squad 13,” Trite said. The three-foot tall humanoid frog batted his left eye and then his right. “Your record is exemplary. Over the past four years, you have freed half a million slaves.”

“We are also pleased that your kill rate has been very low,” Eryin said. His metallic skin glistened under the light of the court. “However, the brutality with which you have engaged Droids is somewhat disturbing. The Nu Droids are officially at peace with the Droid Empire and we would prefer to keep it that way.”

“Most of the androids we have encountered have tried to kill us,” Free said.

“And I would prefer to live a long time,” Stryker said.

“We understand,” Trite said. “We recognize that you have been in dangerous situations, but the peace between the Nu Droids and Droids is crucial to our effectiveness.”

Free shrugged. “We couldn’t possibly know how a situation may turn out. We do not kill, unless we have no choice. That will not change no matter the situation.”

“Interesting,” Eryin said. He paused and stared as if he was trying to understand something. “We noticed in your files that in all of your campaigns; you have yet to work with a sympathetic Droid or Nu Droid. Is it that you have a problem working with technological life forms?”

“We don’t need to,” Stryker said. “We have always worked well on our own.”

“There have been times when we have worked with an inside agent,” Free said, “but they have always been organics.”

“Free, I have on file here that initially when you were assigned a squad,” Eryin said, “You turned down two of our Nu Droid agents. One of which is a highly decorated agent.”

“I also rejected several organics. I gave my reason for each one. My commanding officer accepted it and we moved on.”

“Are you trying to break us up?” Stryker asked

“No, your squad is without a doubt one of the more effective squads,” Trite said.

“Are we on probation?” Free asked.

“No,” Eryin said. “We have a mission that requires two of our best squads. “

“Two,” Stryker said. “Must be some mission.”

 “On the Planet Tek Nos, there are some who wish to defect. Nu Droids are a small group of androids and gynoids who defected long ago, so naturally we welcome all who would like to join our ranks. You will be doing what you have always done on the underground slipstream, except you will liberate other droids.”

Free and Stryker turned to one another and then back to the council. “No,” they said in unison.

Trite did a double take. “What? We are assessing your ability to complete this mission. It is not for you to answer yes or no. We give you orders and you follow them.”

 “Ma’am,” Stryker said. “We are a covert team, and we are very good at it. When it comes to suicide, I think we can all agree that we are the last ones you should consider.”

“We have been successful liberating Earth because Stryker is a human and I can pass for an android imitating a human,” Free said. “On Tek Nos, we would be at a disadvantage and the chance of killing being a necessity goes up exponentially.”

“That is why we are sending two of our best,” Eryin said. “This is very important to us. Free, your abilities are a result of a combination of Human and Droid technology. We have long ago given up hope of re-creating the environment that bore you; however, we are open to other avenues of advancement.”

“It is not just the potential asset,” Trite said. “They wish to be free as well. And the Resistance believes in freedom.”

 “They wish to defect,” Eryin said. “And the council has decided that we will aid them in their defection and asses the possibility of stealing a Transcendence Ship.”

Free looked to Eryin. “Transcendence?”

“Yes,” Eryin said, “these Droids have opposed the use of any life form for slipstream travel. Therefore, they intend to use the Transcendence ship to escape to the Delta Quadrant. They are determined to do this, with or without our help.”

“The ship I was on was stranded in the Delta Quadrant,” Free said. “Where exactly is this one?”

“They plan to hijack it right out of the Alpha Quadrant and bring it here.”

“Insane,” Free said. “With all due respect, how do we know this isn’t a trap?”

“Because they sent us the information needed to accomplish several missions,” Trite said.

“Okay. Okay. Okay.”  Stryker paced back and forth. “As a human, I can’t get anywhere near the Alpha Quadrant and I have a real problem with staying safely on a ship while my squad mate is surrounded by millions of hostiles.”

“We have considered what it would take for this mission to be successful,” Eryin said. “We have even constructed an experimental exo-suit to give you the appearance and abilities of an android, for your safety and the success of the mission.”

“It is not wise to take such a risky mission with an experimental suit,” Free said.

“You have the right to abandon the mission if it becomes too dangerous.”

“Do I get to keep the suit?” Stryker asked. “I mean after the mission?”

“As long as you serve the resistance.”
Stryker looked to Free, giving his best impression of a kid excited about dressing in a scary costume on Pumpkin day. The corner of Free’s mouth curled and he shook his head slightly. “We will do it,” Free said.

Next Episode is scheduled to be posted in the next 48 hours.

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