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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#ShortStory: The Chronicles of Free & Stryker {The Suit Episode 4}

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.

Stryker placed the suit on. It came with a pair of black pants and boots for effect. The top was a metallic black and white scheme, which included a white face piece. The face piece had sensors for eyes, a dent to simulate a nose and a voice enhancer. He slammed the face piece down and the suit activated. He breathed deeply, took a step gingerly and then broke into a full run. He stopped just short of the docking bay doors and turned around. How fast had he run?

“How does it feel to be in one of our skins?”

Stryker turned around. “Vira. This is no different than wearing body armor.”

“Oh, really? And where do you think the command center got the technology?”

“You know what? I don’t care; I need to get use to this thing.”

“I agree, that you need training,” she said. “Let’s spar.”

Stryker pointed. “You and me?”

“Sure, everyone knows that you are a highly skilled fighter, for a human. I am a service class Nu Droid. Surely you can handle me.” She moved into a stance and gestured, welcoming him to advance. He walked toward her. She lashed out. “I noticed that Free only speaks to us when he is giving orders and when you speak it is with obvious contempt.”

“Really?” Stryker blocked her kick. “I hadn’t noticed.”

She followed with a chain of punches, all of which, Stryker blocked. “Well I have. I try to understand but, in my opinion, this decreases the possibility of a successful mission.”

“Free’s plan will work as long as we are on the same page.”

“And how can we be on the same page if we don’t communicate?” She swiped his feet, knocking him down to the floor.

He kicked flipped to his feet. “Good move.”

“Thank you.” She kicked him in his chest. And he fell back to the floor. “What do you have against us?”

Stryker lay on the floor. “Maybe it is because every time I look at you, all I see is the Droids who enslaved my people.”

“So you think that we are all the same?”

Stryker sat up and crossed his legs. “No. But how are you guys so different? You lack a respect for life. You kill to accomplish your mission. And the resistance turns a blind eye because you get the job done. But that’s not what we are about. We respect life. Even if we hated you, we wouldn’t take your life because of it.”

“You think that we kill because we don’t respect life?”

“Yeah, what do you call it?”

“I call it trying to survive. Have you read our mission files? You haven’t because you don’t have access to it. You base your beliefs on the numbers, but sometimes numbers lie.”

“Numbers never lie.”

She reached out her hand. “I guess we should agree to disagree. But I assure you that I regret every life taken in the name of freedom.”

Stryker accepted her help. “What about your partner?”

“He—”

“What’s going on here?”

Stryker turned to Jacks. “Nothing, we were just sparring.”

“Sparring? You would spar with a gynoid. She is not even fighter class. Pathetic.” Jacks closed the distance and grabbed Stryker’s arm. “Perhaps you should battle a warrior.”

“Jacks don’t,” Vira said.

Stryker threw Jacks about fifteen feet. Jacks charged him and kicked him with a spinning wheel kick. Stryker caught his leg and slammed him to the ground. “I am starting to get the hang of this suit.”

Jacks tackled Stryker, pinned him against the wall and punched him relentlessly. Stryker gave as good as he got but it wasn’t enough.

Vira grabbed Jacks. “Please stop.”

Jacks stopped, but then slapped Vira. Stryker kneed him in the groin and struck him with his elbow.

The bay doors slowly opened. Air blew quickly out into open space. Stryker grabbed the railing, as did Jacks. However, Vira had nothing to hold on to and she found herself floating quickly out to space.

Even with the Android sensors, Free was almost a blur. He grabbed Vira’s arm with his gold metallic left hand. From the knuckles of his right hand, four unbreakable blades anchored in the wall of the ship. “I don’t recall allowing any of you to spar on this ship,” he said via wireless connection.

“Did you open the bay doors?” Jacks asked.

“Yes. Were you the one who started this fight?”

“Close the bay doors, you are going to suck us all out into space!”

“I started it,” Vira said. “I asked Stryker to spar because I thought it would help the mission.”

Free turned to Stryker. “Is this true?”

“Yes, but that clown over there took it too far.”

Free nodded and the bay doors closed. Stryker sighed. “Vira, you will repair the damage that I just did to the ship,” Free said. “Stryker return to your quarters and make sure that suit is still operational.  And Jacks, you are resigned to your quarters until I call for you.”

“What? You are just going to dismiss me, like I am some household pet?”  Jacks stepped toward Free.

Stryker stepped in front of Free. “Round two, baby.”

Free placed his hand on Stryker’s shoulder. He withdrew his claws and stood in front of Stryker. Jacks stopped two feet away.

“What right do you have to tell any of us what to do when you just tried to kill us?” Jacks said.

“Kill you? I just saved you. If you had fought a minute longer, Stryker would have injured you or worse. That would have jeopardized the mission.”

“Kill me? How arrogant.”

“From this distance, Stryker can shoot you right between the eyes.”

Jacks glared at Free and then walked away. Vira followed but grabbed Free by the arm. “We are not all the same.” She looked in his eyes, searching for something, released him and then walked away.

After she cleared the door, Free turned to Stryker. “What was she talking about?” Free asked.

“She is concerned. She thinks we hate all things Squad 7.”

“Hate? Strongly dislike would be more accurate,” Free said.

“I am not sure she is all that bad. Jacks on the other hand, he may be a problem.”

“Yes.”

Stryker leaned in close. “You do know that I don’t have my gun with me, don’t you? I have very little tactile sensation in this thing. That and the fact that we are on a ship.”

“You are smart,” Free said. “Figure it out and never let your guard down around him.”


 Epsiode 5 will post soon

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