Friday, October 4, 2013

#ShortStory: The Chronicles of Free & Stryker {The Suit Episode 6}

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.

She ran in, turning herself into a moving target. Stryker followed her in, going in the opposite direction as they concentrated their fire on her. He blasted the guns right out of their hands. “Surrender or I aim for your head next.” The two of them stood up. He gestured and they moved away from the equipment. “Agent Vira, are you okay?”

Vira dropped down to her knees. “I will need repairs immediately.” She fell face forward.

“Vira! Stay with me!” She remained motionless on the floor. He turned to the remaining crewmembers. “Which one of you is Magu?”

“I—I am,” an android said in the far corner.

“Are you the one who contacted the United Planets?”

“Yes, but I was told to do so by my commanding officer.”

“So you set us up.”

“If you kill all of us you won’t survive, the organic component has been disabled and you are surrounded. So just give up.”

“Whatever.” Stryker took several more shots decapitating the remaining androids.

“All is lost,” Vira said.

“Glad that you are still with us,” Stryker said. He walked to the controls and opened his facemask. His suit powered down. “Do me a favor. Don’t die and shoot anyone that comes through the door.”

The door opened.

“I would rather not shoot him,” Vira said.

Stryker turned around. Free walked through, his clothes ragged, but he was unhurt. “What’s the situation?”

“Bout as bad as it can get,” Stryker said. “We walked right into a trap.”

“Okay, so let’s just walk back out.”

“Working on it.” Stryker turned around and adjusted the controls.

“What happened to you?” Free asked.

“I was shot…a lot,” Vira said.

“Can you make it until we get back?”

“I am not a soldier; it takes a lot less to kill me.”

“Hang on,” Stryker said. “I need to move us to a good jump point.”

“Jump point? Magu said that the organic component was destroyed,” Vira said. “Did he lie?”

“No,” Stryker said. “I am jumping manually.”

“But we could end up lost forever or at the heart of a sun!” Vira coughed. Her voice sounded less organic.

“Don’t worry,” Free said. “Stryker is the best pilot I know.”

“The best pilot anyone knows.”

“He has a ninety percent success rate,” Free said. “A hundred percent when we use my sixth sense.”

“That is remarkable, but that is a ten percent chance that we will miss our destination.”

“A risk worth taking.”

“Either way, I don’t think that I will make it,” Vira said.

Escort ships fired upon them as the broke away.  The ship rocked gently and the shields dropped five percent. “We don’t believe in giving up,” Free said. The familiar sound of Free’s blades caught Stryker off guard. Free cut her top uniform away and studied her wounds. Stryker turned his eyes back to the screen in front of him. Now was not the time to be distracted.

“What are you doing?” Vira asked.

“Trying to save you.”

“Free…all Droids aren’t bad, despite what happened today. Jacks has his CPU in the right place, but he will do anything to complete a mission. That doesn’t excuse what he did, but if I am not able to speak as a character witness at his tribunal….”

“I know that it is a human concept, but you should try having faith.”

“My people have faith…. Hey, when we survive this, how about I take you out? I know that I am not human. But I am not bad, not bad, not bad, not bad, not bad.”

Her loop stopped.

Stryker’s heart stopped. He wanted to ask but couldn’t find the words. “Preparing to jump…” He pressed the initiation button and opened a jump point. Stryker dived in. Left. Right. Up. Straight. Loop left. Straight. Left. He followed his heart through the swirling tunnels. Hoping. Praying that when they came out on the other end, they would be somewhere safe.

How long did they travel? Minutes? Hours? All he knew was that he was growing tired. His adrenaline had long gone and his heart was broken. When they came out on the other end, he immediately checked his instruments. “We—we made it. We are in the Delta Quadrant!” He raised his hands and turned around to see Free cradling Vira’s limp body. Stryker lowered his arms. “Is she?”

“I rerouted her systems, but they all failed. The last one failed shortly after you entered into the slipstream.”

“I—I will signal for help.”

“You know, when I first saw her, I saw only a bunch of wires and metals. Not too different from me, but without an organic heart or brain. But if that is all she is why do I feel….”

“Help is on the way buddy. We don’t have to give up. We can both have a little faith.”

Next Episode will post soon.

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