|Tales of the Confederate: Inception
Author: Pi-Eta PM
It is 2042, and America's economy is still recovering in the aftermath of the First Oil War. Technology has advanced significantly, and James Saturday will find himself wedged between corporates, fanatics and megalomaniacs, all across the world from Dover, England to Botswana. Please feel free to give this a read and a thought. I'm new at this.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 16 - Words: 23,318 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Updated: 07-11-12 - Published: 06-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3033340
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Pieces of the Puzzle
Bainbridge Sirovsky rolled over his fat form. The tray was there again, with stale bread and a jug of water. He ate the bread and sipped the water, keeping some in reserve. His abductor (or was it abductors?) had not been kindly to provide more stylish meals. To his unknowing James also sat in the cell next to him, pondering on escape, and whether it was possible.
The walls were soundproof, the door was thick steel and the floor was concrete. James took out his last trick up his sleeve. Despite being searched, he had managed to retain the contact lens that he wore. He highly doubted there was internet connection, but was inclined to try it anyway.
James put the contact back on his pupil, and spoke the code phrase: "Elizabeth." His right eye was filled with a user interface. Using his thoughts, he selected an SOS, and started transmitting. He could only hope that his captors wouldn't receive it first.
Kaufmann was alerted by a beep on the computer. A signal was emanating somewhere close - his eyes drifted to James' cell. Cheeky bastard, he thought. Grabbing his dart gun, he opened the cell door...and was booted full in the face. The gun flew across the room. It landed near the entrance. Julius recovered and landed James with a left hook, dropping him to the floor. His opponent grabbed his leg, but he kicked James with the other side until he went still. Then, hurrying, Julius blocked the frequency the SOS was transmitting at, and opened the transmission itself. He saw it was broadcasting a help message, and more specifically, coordinates. He cursed himself for not being careful. He turned back to put James back in his cell. James was gone. He couldn't have escaped, as the door was heavily padlocked and rigged with more sensors than Fort Knox. He pressed a button on the console.
In another corner of the warehouse, where a small cabin had been built a person awoke. The person looked at his watch. Then picked up his sniper rifle and went to work.
James saw the little concrete cabin - bunker - in the corner of the warehouse, and felt his senses tingle. He entered the cabin, dart gun at the ready. The lights were off, and soft opera music was coming from a nearby gramophone, giving it an eerie feel. He reached for the light switches. The ceiling lights didn't come on. Instead, a blinking red light did. James saw the bomb, and leapt through one of the windows just as it detonated, shrapnel slicing through the air like a hot knife through butter, leaving burning wisps in their wake.
James pushed himself off the ground. The ground where the bunker was was now a smoking crater. Something flashed past his eye: a laser spot on his chest. He ran horizontally across the spacy warehouse as the unseen sniper fired in his wake. The ground sparked behind him as bullets bit into them. Another assault was coming up front, Kaufmann had also taken up arms and was rushing towards him, firing wildly in order to throw him into the sniper's line of fire. He refused to be led to his death and fired back at Julius. After a single dart left the gun's barrel, it clicked empty. Frustrated he threw it away and looked for the sniper. The laser spot was slithering across the floor; the sniper was moving. He glimpsed catwalks in the darkness above the lamps that hung low. If there were catwalks, there had to be a ladder or an elevator.
He spotted a cargo elevator next to one of the walls. It was probably made to operate silently so that he wouldn't hear it but now that he saw it, he only had the sni-
A shot struck the concrete close to him and James realised he was standing still. The sniper was playing with him. If that was not the case he'd be dead by now. James ran counter-clockwise around the warehouse, avoiding Kaufmann - who had run out of ammunition - and forcing the sniper to move in order to keep relative distance. Once he was on the other side of the warehouse, James charged at the cargo elevator on the other side, barging past Kaufmann, and jammed the recall button. The sniper who moved had moved opposite to James, fell. The elevator dropped from under his feet and he hung onto the catwalk, trying to pull himself up and dropping the rifle in the process. James grabbed it, turned the suppressed rifle to Kaufmann, and shot his legs.
Julius dropped to the floor, the twin bullet wounds bleeding.
The sniper had pulled himself up and called the elevator. He brought it down, while James had turned his back, and got ready to step out...as the elevator hit the floor with a hollow clang. James swiveled on one foot and fired two direct shots into the intruder's chest.
The form of the sniper crumpled forwards into the light of the warehouse, and James saw the shocked, dead, pale face of Amber Mitchell.
Angela Saturday and Jake McIntyre sipped macha in her penthouse at the InfiniCorp HQ building. On the roof, guards patrolled and were ready to take on anything short of a jet plane. Most were ex-military, some SEALs. Their commander strode behind them, checking each and every one.
Justin FitzWilliam, an ex-soldier of the UN, poked one of his subordinates who was looking through a pair of binoculars with the barrel of his M4. "Sir?" the soldier snapped to attention.
"Just checking. This is no time for birdwatching, Larque."
Jacques de Larque, ex-French Intelligence, spoke an apology and turned back to his binoculars while FitzWilliam went on to the next man. Larque scanned the highs and lows of the cityscape of Dover. Satisfied that he saw no-one, he put the binoculars back on his belt. On one of the buildings he had scanned, a figure in urban camouflage fatigues broke into a run across one of the rooftops, and took up position there.
McIntyre saw the glint of the sniper scope. Angela did too, but was not alarmed at all at the prospect of someone about to fire on them. The sniper fired. The shell struck the window, but failed even to cause crack in it. However, McIntyre noticed that the sniper had not moved at all, even after noticing the bulletproof glass. Angela's phone trilled, and she received a report from downstairs. "What is it?"
The new chief of security, Evan Decker replied, "There's a car outside, Madame," he said. "It's trying to get access to the restricted area on the West Side, but we're not letting it through." Shouting filled the background and distorted what Decker had to say. A pause. Then several gunshots in the background, followed by bodies hitting the floor.
Angela turned to Jake. "We're under attack!"
McIntyre walked to the bar, and pressed a panel set into the underside of the counter. The walls hummed, and the floor beneath the bar flipped down to reveal an entire arsenal of weapons she kept in reserve. On the roof the mercenaries attached lines to their torsos and jumped off the side. They slid down the side of the buildings, and crashed in through the second floor to deal with the attackers. Only de Larque and Fitzwilliam were left on the roof.
The sniper had other plans. He spoke quickly into his radio, and laid low, waiting for his chance. In the lobby the merc went up against highly trained gunmen, and they were losing. They were outnumbered and outgunned, but that was before McIntyre arrived. The elevator chimed once, and out came the equivalent of an airstrike. One hand with a pulse rifle, and the other a resonance weapon. Resonance technology was still in its infancy, but the first prototype had been invented. It looked like a futuristic assault rifle with glowing parts, and it used vibration to kill, compensating with absurdly tedious reload time. Moreover, it was too heavy to lug around and only worked at three metres.
McIntyre aimed the resonance gun towards the rocket-launcher-bearing man, and blew him to dust. He aimed his rifle, and dropped another man. The gunmen now had his attention, and opened fire with all their weapons at once. A rocket whizzed past, and he blew another assailant to dust from behind a column when the resonance weapon reloaded. The mercenaries were now firing in retaliation, killing more gunmen than previously. McIntyre rattled off a whole clip and stopped to reload with one hand while aiming the resonance weapon with the other. Another attacker crumbled to dust. He put the pulse rifle between his knees and pulled the clip out, replacing it with a 100-round drum magazine. Rattling off another burst, he threw the resonance weapon at the area with the highest concentration of gunmen. It discharged as it hit the ground, killing two. It was the last shot. McIntyre knew that he had no ammo left other than the drum, but nevertheless chose to fight on. They had to win.
De Larque saw the helicopter before he heard it. The unmarked AgustaWestland Apache headed towards the building, machine guns and missiles primed, locked on to him and Commander FitzWilliam's bodies, ready to shred them to gory chunks. He had no weapons to deal with it, other than a grenade launcher, which he knew would be next to ineffective against an attack helicopter equipped with Hellfire missiles. In spite of all odds, he started pumping out all the HE shells he had, attempting to bring the aircraft down. Almost all of the shells fell short, but one struck the chaingun below the cockpit, disabling it. Commander FitzWilliam fared much better, as he had a stinger launcher. But before he got to firing it a Hellfire missile turned him to a slurry of blood, organs and pulverised bones and causing the stinger launcher to explode. Pieces of FitzWilliam was hurled across the roof, brain fluid splattering de Larque. He thought he was next, but the pilot decided he was not a threat, and moved on to his next imminent target - the penthouse below him.
Jacques dashed down the stairs and found the penthouse empty, the elevator doors open and the helicopter hovering outside the window, searching for its target. Seeing none, he began to escalate, but once de Larque came into sight a grin of satisfaction filled the pilot's face, as he unleashed all his remaining Hellfires. de Larque somehow managed to cram himself into one of the elevators, and hit the button for the ground floor.
The Hellfires broke cleanly through the bulletproof glass, but kept going until it hit the back wall and detonating simultaneously and cutting the penthouse clean in half. de Larque felt the explosion in the elevator, and felt the cables being severed. The metal box fell to its doom.
Captain FitzWilliam had been a friend, a mentor, and almost like a father to him after serving InfiniCorp together for almost five years. He was now dead, because of some stupid terrorist, and Jacques didn't even know why. And know he never would. Soon he would join FitzWilliam and all the unfortunate soldiers who had died serving a great cause-
A jolt knocked him to the floor. But it wasn't the elevator hitting the ground at a high speed. It was more like an electric jolt, almost overwhelming. When Jacques pulled himself straight he was not doomed any longer. The elevator continued at an almost leisurely pace to the - not ground anymore - second floor, whereas it opened and he stepped out onto the second floor of the building, expecting a firefight between the gunmen and mercenaries, but there was nobody in sight.
In the ruins of the lobby both InfiniCorp personnel and intruders looked up in unison as the top slice of the building slid off the rest of it, and continued down to the impact point on the street outside, flattening cars. Luckily citizens had already been escorted by the law department, but any bystanders were crushed to death by the tons of cement, glass and twisted metal. Dust plumes exploded into the lobby and blinded both sides. In a void of greyness McIntyre saw a limping figure with a gun, and fired two rapid shots, killing the man. He retreated into a meeting room on the ground floor and waited for the cloud to clear. Lacking night vision gear he had no wish to become prey to those who did. Though he was sure the enemy was not sufficiently equipped for this situation, he could not be sure.
McIntyre heard the distinguishable crashed and explosion of something outside from the rest of the chaos and gunfire. The helicopter.
The pilot pulled his aircraft backwards to avoid the debris from the building as it cascaded down onto the street below, where it crushed thirty cars and killed anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way. He pulled clear at the last second, but failed to escape what fate had in store for him. By some stroke of luck, by some random dice of destiny being tossed, the pieces of FitzWilliam's stinger that were big enough were catapulted forwards by the building breaking up, and causing them to land straight into the Apache's rotors. The helicopter wiggled furiously for a split-second in the air, then the rotors broke off completely, leaping into the air ahead of the helicopter. The pilot panicked. The copilot was smarter, however, and opened the cockpit window and jumped out, trying to catch a ledge on a building. Meanwhile the pilot, being the fanatic he was, pulled out the SA-18 in the cockpit and took his own life.
The copilot, grasping the balcony of the second-top floor of the opposite building, pulled himself up and stared at the turmoil raging below him. Then the cloud of dust was upon him in an instant, and he was temporarily blinded. That was what prevented him from escaping to safety when the dismantled rotor blades descended on him and decapitated him from shoulder to hip, and dragged his body down onto the ruined streets just as the helicopter hit the ground and detonated.
Jacques was lost in a strange world. At first there seemed to be no differences, but a closer examination revealed a myriad of differences a casual glance would not. The lights were tinted slightly blue, and the oak panelling on the walls had a different texture from what he remembered. All that was cast aside as he remembered FitzWilliam was gone. The two did not exactly see eye to eye, but the loss was almost too much for Jacques to bear. He sensed a person in front of him. Looking up there was a scruffy, old man with one blind eye and a chest full of medals. A war veteran, thought Jacques.
The man stuck out a coarse hand. "Chad Italini. How are you feeling?"
de Larque hesitated, unsure whether he should shake hands with a total stranger.
Italini pulled his hand back. "Thought you wouldn't want that." There was a feel of authority in his voice, a voice that once commanded soldiers on the battlefield. "I used to live in your world, you know," he continued, not seeming to care that de Larque didn't understand. "But then I found this - how should I say it? This...other world."
"I don't understand," said Jacques. "Is this some kind of sick joke? My friend was killed by terrorists and now I'm supposed to sit here and listen to you tell stories about other worlds instead of avenging him? Who are you supposed to be, anyway?"
Italini didn't answer.
"He's one of InfiniCorp's CEOs, Larque," a voice said from behind him. "You ought to treat him with more respect." Jacques didn't have to turn around to know it was his employer, Angela Saturday speaking.
"Why me? No," Jacques said. "Where am I?"
Italini spoke first. "We can talk in my office," he piped up. Italini led the way to a furnished room with hardwood panels and models of sailing ships out of the 1800s. "You see, Monsieur de Larque, there is not exactly one universe."
Italini crashed into his armchair, swiveling it around like a child would, despite his age. "Every decision anyone has ever made, created a universe where, that choice had been made differently, thus creating alternate universes where things go one way or another. A very good example would be your wife, whom you divorced three years ago. I've read a file on you. Over here you're still happily married."
Jacques froze. He was still married, here? 'Happily Married' was probably an exaggerated term. His wife had left him after her mother was killed in a car crash. Jacques had been so caught up in his job he missed her funeral. But hell, his mother-in-law probably didn't have an accident over here. And it wasn't even him. It was, the way Italini explained it, another version of him, who had taken a different path in life than him. He also noticed an advancement in technology in this dimension - universe, he corrected himself - from the holographic computers and photovoltaic glass devices he had seen.
Italini pushed a button under his desk. The wall behind him opened up and the holographic computers booted up, displaying information. "I think it's about time you learned about us, Jacques." He grabbed the Frenchman by the collar. "In you go."
He was tossed into the unfurnished white room without an explanation. Was he a prisoner now? Or just a 'guest'? Then as if my a trigger, information started to flood into his brain. Finally he had all the pieces to the puzzle.