Saturday, October 5, 2013

#ShortStory: The Chronicles of Free & Stryker {The Suit Episode 7}

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 sat right in front of Jacks. In front and to the left of Stryker, stood one of the guards—a free human who fell asleep periodically. Free sat in the stand and testified for and against Jacks. Testifying that in the heat of the situation that Jacks attempted to kill him. But that it was Vira, who believed that Jacks acted in what he thought was the best interest of the mission. Vira’s words weighed heavily, she was a hero who fought bravely to not only complete the mission but to protect her friends. Free was honor bound to repeat what Vira said. Stryker was not, and gave him a scathing report.

The Tribunal deliberated for three hours before coming back with a verdict.

“We have come to the conclusion that, Jacks acted to contribute to the success of the mission,” Judge Te said. His large head loomed over the courtroom. He was telepathic and all of his fingers lit up when he used his powers. Thankfully, his fingers were dim; otherwise, he would have heard several insults thrown at him. Te held up his hand. “But we will find him guilty of attempted manslaughter.”

Stryker celebrated on the inside.

“He will lose all rights of lawful citizens and serve one-hundred and fifty years in a Nu Droid prison without possibility of parole.”

Jacks stood up. “This is outrageous! I have served you faithfully for fifty years. How could you take their word over mine?”

“Sit down, Jacks,” the judge said.

“No. You sit down.” He turned to Stryker. “This is your fault!”

He ran toward Stryker. Stryker reached for the guards gun with his left hand, pulled it out as smooth as water and shot out Jacks’s knees. Jacks fell forward and slid to the guard’s feet. Stryker spun the gun and put it back into the guard’s holster. 

Free slowly walked over. He looked down upon Jacks. “I told you so,” he said.

In the circular transport, Stryker stared at the ceiling’s twisted metal pattern.

“What’s wrong?” Fee asked.

“Don’t you think that this was all a little strange? What were the Droids after? Two covert teams? For what purpose?”

“You think they were after me?”

“All of your abilities are confidential for a reason,” Stryker said.

“And what if I am not the member of Squad 13 the Droids want?”

“What? You think it is me? I don’t even have a sixth sense.”

“And yet, you are the only living creature that can pilot the slipstream with ninety percent accuracy. That makes you very valuable.”

“I never thought of that…. Eh, well I got a new suit out of it. I am going to make some more modifications. It doesn’t matter if they are coming for me or you—I won’t make it easy.”

 The transport stopped and the two men walked with a purpose to the engineering section. Inside they found the engineers working on the engine of the space station. They walked past a junk area of sort. Sometimes people would come by and get used parts if they wanted to save a credit or two. Free stopped and paid his respect. Some of those parts belonged to Nu Droids and Cyborgs. They didn’t always bury their dead.

Once they past the junk area, they came to a white room with a medical bed in the center of it. A white sheet covered the bed. Under the white sheet, a body lay. Free sat at the head. Stryker stayed at the foot of the bed, unwilling to look at the diagnostic. There were no machines attached to the body to indicate that it was still alive.

Free pulled the covers back to reveal the head of Vira. Her soft brown eyes stared at the ceiling. Free looked down and pinched his nose. He then placed his hands on her eyes and closed them. “You were right, you are not human, but you are not bad either.”

Her eyes popped open. “Does that mean we have a date?” Free hopped back and looked to Stryker. Stryker shrugged and looked at him. “Free? Are you still there?”

“Yes. Are you…okay?”

“Yes. Without access to the great machine on Tek Nos, it will take some time before all of my systems are online. The engineers will repair me manually. Right now, my brain is online, but I can’t see, can’t smell, can’t move... can’t even pick up radio signals. I don’t know the words to express how happy I am that you came to see me. I wish I could show you—well you see the shape I am in. The spirit is willing but the flesh is non-operational.”

“Vira,” Free said. “You talk too much. All I asked was if you were okay… and Stryker is here.”
            “Oh…awkward. Hi Stryker.”

“Hi Vira. I am glad you are okay. And Free may not tell you, but he is glad that you are okay too.”
            “Yeah…about that date thing,” Free said.

“If you don’t want to do it,” Vira said. “I understand.”

“Well, I would like to paint Frazier’s comet as it flies past Omicron-1, they says that it happens only once every four thousand years, so I was kind of hoping that you could go with me if you are repaired by then.” Free slapped his forehead and rubbed his hands through his wool-textured hair. “I know it sounds incredibly boring, but it was the first thing that came to mind.”

“Oh, no. I mean yes. That is a lovely idea. I would love to go.”

The End

We will return to Ruth and Boaz next week. Look for “The Date” to be posted next month.

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