Roy stopped his own impulse. There were simply to many of the Kermac elite commandos on the platform and there were a few civilians and innocents as well, not to mention the 200 plus Kermac already in the City. He also did not forget Cara who had remained on Desolate, tied up in the office of a fat man he had only briefly seen. He was certain Cara would die if he could not do something to get her rescued.
It was better to gather more information and then he could try to contact Uncle Sam and with him the Cerberus Robots. He was no longer under the influence and able to think. He could not explain who that voice was, however it was a familiar one and something that was on his side.
Phil, Riddick, Celyciia and even the Spy woman who most likely was Cherubim were completely surprised by the sudden and total Kermac dominance. Men and women looking like normal Union Citizens turned out to be heavily armed Kermac operatives. Riddick groaned. "Not again, please don't let it be true!"
Celyciia was not even as surprised this time as she was during their first time.
The Kermac disguised as a Terran Business Woman said. "Listen up, I am Kermac and this Planet is now under our control. We have occupied the GalNet Center and the Post Office and we are in Psionic Control of most of the citizens here. There are a few, like you four that resist Psionics, Anyone we see attempting to communicate anyway we will eliminate right away. Anyone trying to flee outside…please be our guests. This is Green Hell after all."
He made an all-encompassing gesture. "The only reason you are still alive is that we might need hostages at some point. Perhaps a few of you have knowledge of Union Technology we seek and you will be useful a little longer."
Phil said. "I am a Federal Police Officer and you realize that this is a declaration of war."
"I hoped for Fleet Officers, not useless cops."
Cherubim whispered. "There are only one or two Kermac, the rest are surgically altered Hugwag and Plato Slaves."
Celyciia hissed back. "Makes no difference, it looks you spooks screwed it all up. Instead of arresting the bunch you enabled them and now they getting Union Shields and whatever they want. The only good thing is they going to kill you and that might be a good thing."
The Kermac Commandos were as professional as a Special Forces Unit should be. The Kermac were neither fools nor children and managed to pull the Union Tiger's tail for as long as the Union existed and despite many setbacks and their continuous decline of influence and power, they were still the second most powerful society of this Galaxy.
They secured the hands of seven passengers. Celyciia, Ruddick, Phil and the blonde woman they all suspected to be none other than Cherubim herself and two other passengers who turned out to be Bio scientists that been on Harper's for a long weekend. The Galactic Chronicles Soldiers scanned everyone and collected PDDs and then one of them said to the Kermac. "None of them wears any cyber enhancements or Data Heads, we are secure."
The Kermac turned and with a bright flash and a loud explosion the SII GalNet Repeater Tower tilted of its base and tumbled sliding over the dome of the city.
Two Kermac Commandos pushed the Shuttle pilot into the open and threw him to the ground, just seconds before one of them shot the helpless man at almost point blank range. The killer said. "He tried to use the Shuttle GalNet. Let that be a lesson to you all. Comply and you might survive to see the glorious rise of the Kermac and serve the Masters."
The Shuttle lifted off all by itself and as soon as it passed through the Forcefield membrane, the invisible tractor beams guided by Kermac Commandos, cut off and the Shuttle fell into the Big Lake.
A larger Kermac ship descended moments later, barely finding room on the landing platform, even more Kermac, in Battle armor unloaded boxes and equipment.
It was clear they still believed Roy under their control as the lead Kermac put on a heavy Armor suit and said to Roy. "Your Job is to find the Maroon Cave, as that is the place we know the ship is hidden.
As they went down to the main level of the city, the real extend of the Kermac invasion became apparent. There were dead bodies everywhere!
Charles the Robot came to the North field where Sam was working once again at one of the Agra Bots and said. "Master, all GalNet connections to Anthill has been interrupted and an explosion has been registered via acoustic tremor sensors consistent with a 4000 gram demolition charge. Subsequent scrambled Myon pulse radio signals and approaching forces of twenty armored Flyers with active weapon signatures suggest an imminent attack on this compound."
Sam got up wiped his hands and said. "Sounds a little much for a Califerm raid."
"Threat analysis concludes it is a major, most likely Kermac attack. Weapon signatures are consistent with Kermac Weapons."
"I estimate 16 Flyers to arrive within twelve minutes. They ran into Lighting Dragons and three Flyers and occupants are no longer a threat."
"Activate your buddies and get me to the shed so I can heat up our Baby Tiger. Let's welcome the Kermac Marine Corps style!"
Charles grabbed Sam by the belt and flew him to a lean on to the main house. Sam disappeared behind the wooden doors while Charles sent the Activation signal to the nine other Cerberus.
Like Zombies clawing to the surface, the nine Cerberus broke through their buried transport containers and ten feet of dirt.
Sam inside the fragile looking lean on said. "It's time to wake up Baby Tiger. Activation Code Leviathan. USMC Master Sergeant Brown, verify Biometrics. Code key present." A deep mechanical voice responded. "Activation Authorization verified and accepted."
A dirt covered hatch popped open and Sam climbed down. The lean on was completely destroyed as an old but fully functional USMC Tiger Battle Tank rose with a power rumble equaling a minor earth quake.
The Integrated Auto Dresser assembled a USMC Quasimodo around Sam while he linked to the Cerberus robots and said. "Got to full Infantry Mode, targets on threat sensors. "
Ma Swanson and Clarion sat in the back of their store, tied up with Memory tape up to their necks. Three Kermac Soldiers had arrived this morning, killed their Son and tied them up. The Kermac were sitting on one of the tables and looked relaxed and in total control. One of them said. "This planet is not even half as tough as they said it would be. Our strike force will have reached the simpleton farmer by now. What a waste of resources sending that many to kill just one old marine."
Ma Swanson as tied up she was wasn't completing unable to move and had edged herself closer to the Force field controls. She rather wanted to die by Green Hell life forms than these cowardly Kermac.
She had almost reached it when one of the Soldiers saw her and he got up smacker her across the face and said. "What are you trying to do? Your GalNet terminal is destroyed and al the weapons in here are out of reach."
A second Galactic Council Alien and Kermac servant, a muscular big being got up as well and said. "She tried to reach these controls. I think they are for the Energy Fence. "
The first soldier laughed. "We are here for two days and I was outside. You realize we are wearing the latest in Kermac Armor?" He gestured across the displayed Armor suits. "Not this substandard civilian Union trash!"
The third Soldier was just admiring the latest SII manufactured Armor and said. "Well some of it isn't trash."
"Be silent Brokesh. We are Krthar and the strongest of all Galactic Council. I hoped to meet Petharians or Nul not these weak humans."
The three Soldiers returned to their seats, but not before kicking Ma Swanson several times and pushing her away from the Controls. Despite all the horrible treatment the Soldiers could not break the Swanson's spirit. Ma Swanson said. "You won't leave this planet alive, no matter what you are, you didn't bring enough soldiers. Green Hell will prevail!"
"Oh be silent stupid woman. We have ten Kermac Battle ships arriving soon and we will orbital bomb this place to ashes. "
Neither of the Kermac soldiers noticed the Klack technician who had managed to hide on top of the shelves. He used the distraction and angled for the H&K Raketen Gewehr that the Swanson's had kept in the shelves as Roy had almost paid for it and they never considered selling it.
The H&K accepted his targeting program after his sensor painted the three Kermac, and then he fired. Three micro missiles hissed across the room and detonated.
Two of the Kermac Soldiers were killed outright, the blast toppled shelves and caused a fire, and the Klack tumbled with a load of spare parts of the shelf and broke three of his six fragile legs. He crawled wounded to Ma Swanson who smiled at him, from her blistered singed face. "I wondered how long it would take you"
The Klack did not speak, his voice box had come loose and the Human ears would not understand his ultrasonic range voice, but he managed to find a sharp object and cut her loose.
Ma Swanson jumped up more agile than anyone would have thought and grabbed her Shrap gun from under the counter and aimed it at the last surviving and wounded Kermac Soldier who just regained his bearings. The missile had damaged his suit but it had protected him better than the other two. She said. "Get out, get out of my store!"
He coughed and said. "I had time to call for reinforcements. So beg for…"
Ma Swanson fired and the super accelerated steel shrapnel shredded the Soldiers right arm. "You got plenty of limbs and a head I can shoot if you don't move. Now get out!"
The Soldier stumbled and cried in pain as she kicked him in the rear and through the door.
They had not reached the Main Flyer bay of the City, where the armored flyers docked and got decontaminated when Roy knew something went wrong with the plans of the Kermac already. One of the muscular broad shouldered semi humanoid warriors no doubt one of the warrior and enforcer thrall species of the Galactic Council stomped running across the Concourse and skirted over the marble floor in his heavy armor suit, stopping only a few inches before the Kermac leader and he said something in a language Roy did not understand but the Psionic link between him and the Kermac still seemed to exist, even though he was completely under his own control, as he understood what the armored giant said. "We lost contact to the Strike group that was supposed to take care of the Marine farmer. "
"Send the second Strike Group and if they don't report in, commence orbital bombardment and liquefy the continent as soon as the battle ships are here." "It will be done." The big alien said with a wondering tone. "Master, can you see those tiny dots crawling all over my hands too?"
The Kermac barked annoyed. "If you sniffed Gartlun while on this mission I have you skinned alive! Now see to your orders and do not delay me!"
The Giant shrugged and walked off still looking at his hands. Roy wondered how Buzzsaws made it into the city. He of course had seen the tiny dots and he knew what they were.
The Kermac pushed him through the air lock into a waiting Landing tank of alien design. The Kermac was too busy to talk to the pilot; he didn't notice his strong warrior collapsing just before the doors closed.
The Kermac sat down as the landing tank detached itself and started to climb into the sky. Roy noticed six more of these following in a loose formation, and firing indiscriminately at Lightning dragons and surfacing water snakes. Every time they used the Energy weapons there was laughter and joy among the Kermac and sneering comments about Green Hell and the Union unable to cope and conquer Green Hell.
Again the voice inside Roy spoke. "My Child all Qaroniel is your weapon. Say and I will cleanse the intruders on the surface."
Roy now remembered who Qaroniel was and he answered in the same silent way. "We have to do it slow and try to alert the fleet. We can defeat them down here, but we can't do anything against Orbital bombardment and they have battleships coming."
"You are my warrior and Qaroniel will follow your lead."
The Kermac Commander Funfnacsecx of the Kermac Strike force was as confident as the Ministry of Control wizard who was running this entire operation. The Wizard of the Military had warned that sending such a strike force so deep into Union Space was suicide but they slipped past the Union Border Controls hitching a ride on Union Tiny Tim Transporters. It was so easy to use all the tools such a foolishly free society provided. Something like this would never been possible in Galactic Council controlled space. They did not allow lesser species to act on their own and nothing happened without the Ministry of Control knowing about.
A few Months ago a Branch of the Slide way Servicing Company opened a Freight Forwarding business on Pico's Colony, a little Union Colony in the fringe regions of the Spinward sector. They had no problems hiring five Tiny Tim Freighters, the largest civilian ships crisscrossing the Union by the million with genuine Union Transponder signatures. Funfnacsecx did not want to admit that he was deeply impressed when he saw the five Flatbed transporters show up. These particular ones were used to transport Space station parts. Two Kermac Battleships fitted on the platform and once secured and powered down they had no problem traversing half the Union without being detected. The Freight Company was told these were prototypes of new space ships to be tested and he was surprised how few questions they actually asked, especially since the freight bill was paid in advance.
The Tiny Tims had unloaded them in an unoccupied neighbor system and so deep in Union space there were no scanners and no Fleet Patrols.
Now he arrived at the Maxwell System and his first task was to take out the GalNet terminals and Buoys. To do this the Nul had developed a weapon that homed in on the unique energy signatures of these devices. Funfnacsecx also did not want to admit that all Kermac did was copy the Nul weapon; they were not able to develop something on their own. That the Kermac had not developed anything other than their PSI enhancers in the last 10,000 years was something Kermac Thought Police called subversive and negative facts that no one was allowed to think.
He had no qualms releasing a swarm of these missiles, causing tremendous damage and killed many thousands on Harper's Junction, including all passengers of a just departing space bus.
Extensive intelligence gathering by their man on Green Hell had told them the expected traffic and he knew no Clipper ships or Post Ships were expected for the next three days and Maxwell System was not a major traffic hub, his force should be able to destroy anything civilian that came unscheduled.
The man, called the Eternal Warrior , the Fist of the Union and many other names simply went by Richard to his friends. He had spent a long day going over reports. He was sitting on his desk covered with print outs and PDD's. He was from Earth and from a time when human kind did not believe in Exoterrestial life, when the thought of traveling faster than light was considered impossible and man fought man in endless meaningless wars. While he had access to the most sophisticated AI machines, while he counted Mother Machine among his personal friends and of course Centron the Alien brain deeply embedded in the Devi utterly loyal to him alone, he preferred to read reports on a piece of paper
Instead of having them filtered, condensed and direct neural fed into his brain as it was often done nowadays.
Even his desk and the green brass lamp were anachronisms, just as the two folded flags standing in corners behind him. One was the Flag of the United States and the other was the old United Stars Marine Flag. Both forgotten symbols, both still utterly dear to him.
In general he was not sentimental but there were things he missed about the old days and some of the things reminded him why he was still doing all this after 3000 years of service to Humankind and Union.
A few days ago he had heard that Phil an old friend had been killed, only to hear from Phil himself that he was alive and fine and on a big case. The initial news of an Immortal dead was somewhat disturbing. He knew Phil for a long time; Phil was even older than him. The old Detective did not receive his immortality from the Guardian as he did, but Phil Decker, Peter Baker, Wulf Starr and a strange fellow named Dark Cloud were immortals of Earth never the less. He knew the Detective well and liked that old gum shoe, who was as steadfast and true to his cause as they said he was. Phil had never wanted to stay in the lime light or be famous. Few knew he still existed and was still doing the same thing he did so long ago in the Streets of New York. Being a Police officer and really living by that simple yet so meaningful credo: To protect and serve...
Stahl smiled as he pushed the small message print out aside and returned to the main problem on his desk, the Pirate raid on the Silver Swan. This was much more serious than he told the passengers. The brazen pirate attack was anything but a random act. Pirates did not act so precise and did not risk to all this to raid a Cruise ship. They could have raided much more profitable targets, it was clear there was long term planning behind and someone knew details only a handful should have known. First the assassination attempt on the president, only a chosen few knew the President would meet the Wurgus on Harper's Junction. Even fewer knew that the Wurgus declined to fly their own ships to Pluribus and did not want to come aboard the Devi. That they decided to board a Cruise Liner was known to even fewer officials. Many thousand cruise ship trips were made every day in the Union. To know where the Silver Swan would be and that it was her who had the Wurgus Delegation aboard could only be done by someone who had access to all this information. Stahl looked up to stare in the half darkness of his room. "I dislike that ghostly woman with a passion, but Cherubim is right. We have a mole and one that is far up the chain."
Out of the dark a womanly voice said. "I came as fast as I could, it was a long trip even for me."
An inhumanly beautiful woman stepped into the circle of light. She had shining silver white hair much like a Saresii but she was not of that race. Her name was Alycia Lichfangh and only Stahl knew her true nature and her true form. Her large green eyes rested on the square face of the Admiral and any observer would have had no problem to see the deep love shining in them for that man. "I think it is time I accept your suggestion and I will help your PSI corps to find the spy in your midst. I am a Union Citizen now after all."
She surrounded the desk and put her hand on his cheek. "I have missed you Old Warrior."
"I have missed you too Alycia."
"You don't think his Cherubim will catch whoever is the mole?" "Oh she will, she has never failed in these regards, but she puts Earth first and still runs her TSI even though it supposed to be disbanded. We are the Union; Earth is just a part of it." He made a sweeping gesture. "This ship is filled with beings from all corners of the Universe and I am so proud to see them all work together and each brings different talent and a different story to the great epic that is our Union." His voice rose ever so slightly as he went on. "I was born on Earth but I have fought alongside Ult and Shaill and Klack and I saw them die and bleed and give their all to defend all this. I believe we have a chance, this Union is the real answer against whatever this Universe is throwing at us."
She kissed him on the cheek. "You even fought for me and almost died defending a monster."
He did not respond to that, and said. "I am glad you are on our side now. "
He got interrupted as Centron the Ship AI said. "Admiral, we are getting a long range GalCom burst with a fifty year old code, identified as coming from Green Hell and a Master Sergeant Sam Brown."
Captain Asmara Dana Tengku was very proud Admiral Stahl had picked her to be the 63rd. Captain of the USS Devastator. She still remembered the horror she felt when Stahl picked her out of the blue while she still was a Midshipman and made her Acting Captain of the Devi and now she was in Command. She nestled with the pin that held her tightly head scarf in place and stared at the immense main screen with one eye while she looked over the bridge watch roster with the other.
She had never seen the Admiral run, so she was quite surprised to see Stahl come running to the bridge. "Captain, lay course to the Maxwell system and get us there as fast as this boat of ours goes."
"What is the matter Admiral Stahl?" She asked.
"I just got a call for help from an old marine friend. He is on Green Hell and they are under attack by the Kermac."
"At best speed we are three days out, Sir."
"Alert Fleet Command and send anything that can shoot and is closer than us to the Maxwell System. Then raise me Harper's Junction."
One of the Comm. Officers said. "There is no connection possible, no GalNet receivers in the Area respond."
"Step on it, Captain. Red line her I have a bad feeling about this. Give me a direct line to the other Old Man. I think we are at war again."
There was strange light in the eyes of the Ancient Warrior as he said to no one in particular and more to himself. "Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war, That this foul deed shall smell above the earth…"
Phil, Celyciia, Riddick and Cherubim had been shoved into the elevator guarded by five muscular aliens. As the elevator was moving, Cherubim said. "No worries, those are just Krthar. I take them out now and then we discuss what we can do to solve this dilemma."
Ruddick snorted. "They might as well be Holdians, we are tied up and their guns are active"
One of the Kermac soldiers grunted. "You will be dead if you just lift a finger, human."
Phil rolled his eyes. "Just get it over with Cherubim. I know it you and they are as good as dead."
She lifted one of her fingers and said with a smile. "Like that?"
The Krthar laughed then gargled and sank to his knees followed only a heartbeat later by the rest. She said. "Elevator reduce descent speed to two kilometers an hour."
"System recognized Biometrics and complies."
To the horror of the others the bodies of the Aliens kept shriveling to their skeletons and even those crumbled to dust. Phil shivered. "Shiva Dust!"
Again no one really saw how he did it but he managed to strip the memory tape of his wrists and while Cherubim freed Celyciia, he cut Ruddick loose.
The Sergeant said. "You two creep me out more than those cursed Kermac. "
Celyciia rubbed her wrists and said. "I don't even want to know how you killed those four. What I do know is why you didn't know any of this will happen. Didn't I hear something about you wanting us off the case so you can monitor the spies?"
"Let me fill you in on that later, right now we got a situation we need to contain. It should illustrate to you however that our enemies have no restrictions and will do anything to destroy us."
Ruddick picked two blaster rifles and said. "You got a point there, and if this is over I quit the Police and start hunting the real bad guys." Then he handed one of the guns to Celyciia.
Phil held up a small PDD and said. "They killed the Repeaters in the area. I can't pick up GalNet or GalCom."
Cherubim sighed as the doors opened. "This is one time I wish Richard would come. This is definitely a situation where his canons can do more good than I can."
Phil's ancient gun barked with a loud dry bang as the elevator doors parted and two Kermac soldiers died. "What's the plan Cherubim?"
"Kill every Kermac, free the City population and find a way to alert the Fleet."
Sam opened the hatch of his tank and leaned with crossed arms at the rim after he opened his helmet and stared over the field of charred earth, Green Hells nature was formidable indeed but what could Nature do against atomic fire? Around him the a few bits and pieces of a well-trained and excellent equipped Commando Force, but well trained and top of the line Kermac equipment was still not the same as an elite Union Marine and a team of Cerberus. He had lost one of his Cerberus to concentrated hover tank fire. Sixteen Kermac tanks and about 200 soldiers would never return. His heart was heavy with grief as he saw his farm he had built with his own hands destroyed and the beautiful jungle turned to ashes. Instead of white clouds, columns of smoke soiled the blue sky and then he noticed wounded and burned Stomper limp across smoking ground. He never really liked Stompers, but seeing one suffer like this touched him. He knew this was only a little break, the old marine knowing that the enemy would return with more. Charles sensors had picked up several capital ships approaching.
Modern Cerberus robots with Mini TL's might have had a chance to disable or take down a Kermac Battle ship. But his were old and of course had no Translocators, not even Sam was able to get a permit for those.
Charles hovered closer and said. "One has jump engines..." Sam interrupted Charles. "You are not mine; I am taking care of you old tin head. I don't want to explain Roy I sent you to your doom. "Sam knew what the Robot suggested, turning itself into a relativistic projectile by disabling the Isah fields just before impact. Eight Tons of Battle robot would turn to a kinetic bullet of several million tons impact and basically turning himself into a Loki torpedo. That might kill one of the Kermac ships and disable it. Charles was the only of his Cerberus who had a FTL jump pack. "Master Roy might hold it against this unit that I have not done everything to protect his beloved world."
"The last shot has not been fired, Charles. The Eternal Warrior has received my Message and there is not a Galaxy far enough these Paper faces can hide from him."
"One places much hope on his timely arrival."
"Hope Charles, isn't that a little out of Robot character? You didn't turn sentient on me with burning all those loyalty pathways for Roy?"
"One is a robot; one will serve and execute any command you give."
"You always have been a little different than the other bots."
"One is an SII quality war machine after all."
"Go and take this Auto Doc to that Stomper, Charles. That thing can help 99 % of all know Union life forms maybe it can help that Stomper."
Ma Swanson lay flat on her belly behind a monstrous Ult Anti Hover Tank gun. This truly ancient war had been part of the weapon stash she had hidden under the shelves. She watched a swarm of Arrow Wasps aiming at her, but then moving away. A patch of Killer moss made a wide circle around her. She forgot to aim at the next Kermac Flyer as she saw that strange behavior. She expected to be dead by now, and just wanted to take as many of the bastards along, a Pandora swarm had killed the alien warrior in seconds but did not harm her and now even Killer moss left her alone. A big Water Snake shot out of the water, colliding with a Kermac Flyer, taking the machine down She grinned and padded the ground with her flat hand. "Yes Green Hell shows them!" Then she aimed and sent a bolt of plasma right through the cockpit window of the second flyer. Clarion her old and fragile husband stemmed his thin frame against the H&K Raketengewehr and took Kermac Soldiers under fire. Ma Swanson felt only hate as she saw her Husband fall with a smoking hole in his belly. She ignored the blistering hot energy beam impacting the ground next to her and took carefully aim.
They had reached the White Mountains and landed on a plateau they had blasted free of any vegetation, not far from the spot he had met Qaroniel the first time. He recognized the boulders. Two of the Kermac soldiers died as a camouflaged boulder attacked one of them and the other stepped into a stream of ants. The lead Kermac said. "Now find that cave!" Roy knew only of one cave and it was not far from where they were. The Kermac sneered. "All this subterfuge getting Harlex Gedde, then trying to abduct your parents was absolutely useless. The Ministry of Information tried but failed. That it would be that easy not even I imagined and I will be the next Wizard Supreme." Roy was not sure to whom the Kermac said all this but when he mentioned his parents, Roy lost his concentration and pulled his TKU. "You! It was you who killed my parents?" His TKU did not fire, it was dead. The Kermac Leader took a step backwards. "How did you manage to slip out of my control? Are your emotions that strong? Matters not, lead the way or I have the woman killed and vaporize Ant Hill. Your weapon was unloaded of course. I never trusted my Psionics that much." Roy was at the end of his nerves and yelled. "I don't know any cave other than the one over there. One of his men held a scanning device. "He is right master; I am picking up metal scan readings that are consistent with ancient Seenian and Saresii Tech." The Kermac Leader triumphantly spoke into his command pick-up. We found it bring the Tegohr down!" While the Kermac soldiers carefully closed in on that cave entrance, a big shadow appeared in the clouds. A Kermac Battleship was about to land and hundreds of Kermac soldiers came swarming from already opening hatches. Roy had to do something and yet all the planets power could not stand against that. Roy was about to give up and lose all hope. He was just a teenager, what could he do?"
They had decided to find the Slide Belt Company. Cherubim was certain they would find a Myon Repeater there, and a GalNet Terminal that was not destroyed most likely even an extended range unit.
To Celyciia it was uncanny and frightening to creep and sneak through a domed city with no one around, except to find a body here and there.
The Infrastructure and everything worked, the Station Computronic told them where to find the companies premises. It was on the lowest level, far underground.
They had run into several Kermac solider patrols but neither she nor Riddick had much to do. Cherubim truly was an unstoppable killer machine, like a human spider she had crawled across the ceiling dropped on Kermac guards and killed them without any visible weapons. Even as she explained to them that she was wearing Terran All terrain Boots with Gecko Soles and similar gloves, it was still a frightening sight to see a human being crawl along a ceiling like that.
They finally made it and found a half open roll gate.
A sign proclaimed it to be the premises of GH-SBS-Inc.
They peaked in and saw a pale man, two Kermac and a Human woman in a green Bio Suit. The pale man was operating a GalNet terminal and talking agitated. Celyciia was about to storm in when she was held back by the mysterious woman. She whispered. "Hold your horses a few moments. I am still tracing his call. We need to know who they talk to. GalNet services are not extended into Kermac Space…they talk to someone on our side."
So they crouched just outside the roll gate and pressed to the sided. The Kermac inside felt secure and they spoke loud enough for them to hear.
The pale man said to whoever he was talking to. "Your darling from the MOC is destroying everything, I tell you. This path will lead to the doom of all that is Kermac. How long do you think we can keep ships out of the system? The missing space bus will raise alerts!"
A voice answered. "Let that be my concern alone. It appears everything goes to plan. I was just informed we found the cave and the presence of Seenian Metals is confirmed."
Cherubim nodded. "I got the trace. Let's clean this pig sty. I know now who the traitor is,"
Celyciia jumped into the room and said what she wanted to say from the beginning of all this. "Federal Police, you are all under arrest!"
Stahl could not believe his ears as he had Elligott on the screen." Say that again!"
"I am telling you to turn your big boat around and head for Arsenal. The Devi is in need of upgrades and due for resupply." "Did you not hear what I said? There are Kermac attacking Green Hell!"
"Nonsense, Old Warrior. We would know about that and besides there is absolutely nothing in the Maxwell system worth risking a war. The President himself instructed me that the Army is conducting Orbital Assault training exercises in the Maxwell System."
"I was told by a Friend Kermac are attacking. None of the GalNet stations respond. Not Harper's Junction, not Desolate."
"It's a military exercise. The President told me that they have asked for a black out. The President scolded me for war mongering and asked me what would happen if the Assembly hears such rumors of Kermac attacking? They would scream for war and of course this is what you always want Richard. Play the big hero in your big ship. War is something we have to avoid at all cost!"
"I wonder why you ever chose to become an Admiral." Richard sneered, "There is something going on and we need to find out. I trust my source. There are things worth fighting for like the right of our citizens to live in peace and know that we do everything to keep them safe."
"We had these discussions a thousand times before. I am still the Admiral of the Fleet and I just gave you a deployment order."
"You gave me similar orders when they sent me to the Prison Colonies and decided to kill me, I have not forgotten that."
"And I have not forgotten that you are technically broke the law when you escaped. Everyone hailed you as a returning Hero and you did save our collective arses, you were pardoned by a civil authority, technically I could court martial you and trial you under Military laws any time I want."
"You know what? You do that, I insist! And you can add this to my charges; I am swinging by Maxwell System. Should I find Kermac instead of exercising Army, I am going to stuff that kilt of yours down your yellow belly!"
Stahl cut the transmission. Then he said fuming with Anger. "Centron, tell Engineering we fire up the old Engines."
Was close to tears. Not knowing how he could help Qaroniel, his beloved world, or how he could save Cara. The Planet was doomed. All he cared for would be gone soon."
Roy did not understand what the Voice meant.
The Kermac had actually forgotten about him and used their weapons to melt and blast rock away to increase the Cave entrance.
Then there was a sudden popping sound right next to him and Partner appeared and he had Cara the Saresii woman still bound and limb like dead between his big jaws.
Roy immediately felt Partners presence inside his mind and a wave of relieve. He dropped to his knees and felt for Cara's pulse. She was alive and she did not appear to be hurt.
Partner licked him and then sneezed and with his sneeze the same popping sound Partner made when he appeared vibrated thousands of times in the air. Beasts just like Partner appeared by the thousands and attacked the descending Kermac soldiers and tore them apart, devouring them, while shrugging of weapon fire like water, Partner licked Roy and sneezed again. Roy could not believe his eyes. "You did get help!"
The Kermac leader turned from the now metal gate they had excavated and disbelieve was on his face as he saw the Fury Hounds.
The Kermac Leader fired but Roy's sense had warned him and he had already thrown himself forward, avoiding the beam, Partner attacked like a streak of black lightning and his claws shredded the Battle suit of the Kermac Leader, while more Fury Hounds made short order of the remaining Kermac Roy was right behind is friend. "Don't kill him Partner, he is mine!" Roy grabbed the Kermac and pulled him out of the last pieces of his suit. The Kermac Battle ship above them started to list and then came crushing down in a mountain valley, swarming with black beasts tearing it to bits Roy's youthful face was gone and in its place a mask of pure hate and rage. The Kermac shivered in fear. "Spare me! I am a Wizard of great power. I am Kermac, supreme to brutes like you! How could I have failed?
"Qaroniel, come and take this man. Let Buzzsaws rip his brain, make him stick to a Trappers Palm, have Vamp Flies gnaw his innards!"
A trappers palm shot out of the ground and grew in moments; Roy took his first Aid kit from his leg pocket and stuck it to the Kermac who struggled without avail against the yellow goo. "What are you doing?" He demanded to know with a whiny voice.
"You will be devoured slowly and bit by bit, my Aid Kid has an Auto Doc who will try to keep you alive. So you will die for a very long time!" Roy got up and spat into the face of the Kermac.
The Kermac watched as Vamp Flies started to tear out tiny bits of his exposed skin. The Auto Doc was only a very basic model and had very limited nanite resources. The Kermac groaned, "What kind of monster are you?"
Roy said." I am a Greenie!"
Celyciia did it by the book and it felt good to do something by the book. She and Ruddick arrested the Kermac and the woman present. The Surgically altered Company owner sat with his bound hands on a box and said. "I knew it, he ruined everything."
Riddick said to Cherubim. "Who was the mole?"
Cherubim said. "The President of the United Stars is a Kermac Spy. Do you know understand why I had to let this play out to the end? I had to identify the person behind it all."
Phil, Celyciia and Riddick were shocked and Phil said. I feel like my two friends. That is way beyond a Police man's scope."
Riddick said. "Cherubim or whoever you are. If this is over I join your organization. Catching crooks makes no sense to me when we have Presidents collaborating with the Enemy."
Phil sighed. "And I wish my next case involves just a drug deal or a nice complicated murder case with an old toothless Boloth as suspect."
Captain Asmara Dana Tengku had no idea her ship could go that fast. The Devi had conventional ISAH pods but it was an alien ship and it had a set of ancient, little understood Tech Level 11 Engines that haven't been used in 1500 years and haven't been serviced in a Million years. Even Centron could not predict how long they would hold.
The Navigations Officer said. "Captain with that speed our ETA will be 12 more minutes to the Maxwell System.
She turned and looked at the brooding figure of the Admiral and said. "Sir I am the Captain right?"
"Yes you are!"
"Then I suggest you take the Conn. You standing there, makes us all nervous."
Commander Funfnacsecx did not feel as confident as he did earlier. Something went horribly wrong on Green Hell. One of his battle ships had ceased to transmit updates from the surface. There should not be anything on a planet's surface able to silence a battleship. Yet his hails went unanswered, there was no further communication from the advanced commando that took over the city. Not even the two groups of heavily armed Ground Troops responded. They however reported Cerberus Robots, hundreds of Marines and Tanks before they fell silent and now his Scanner Operator said. "Your Excellency something very big is coming down Quasi Space and it is very very fast!" There was fear in the eyes of every officer, Kermac or not. "
He didn't know who exactly said it but a voice said. "I don't think we will see another day, the Devastator has just arrived!"
"If that is an Army Exercise then my name is Donald Duck." Stahl grunted from the command seat.
"Sir we getting thousands of calls for help from short range GalNet PDD's. They are coming from Desolate, Harper's Junction and Green Hell. "
"There are nine Capital Kermac Units and there is debris of at least seven civilian craft including a space bus, Sir"
"We are detecting Energy Weapon fire from the Surface of Green Hell."
Stahl interrupted the flow of reports. "Launch Wolfcrafts, clip their claws but, I want at least one Kermac ship remaining as evidence. Sniper TL's target those engines. Marines prepare for boarding action. Comm. Send these images directly to the Assembly along with Admiral McElligott's private communique I received. Send a copy to GalNet Channel One."
He got up . "Captain take it from here, I am off dropping with my marines on Green Hell."
Admiral McElligott lost all color as one of his assistants switched on a GalNet Terminal and selected the most watched News Channel. The images showed Kermac Battle ships, a destroyed Space Bus and a heavily damaged space port and surface buildings identified as Harper's Junction. The images were simultaneous played with the Conversation he had with Stahl.
The Commentator, a famous Klack anchor said with unveiled accusation in his simulated voice. "The Kermac have attacked a Union System. Calls for help were not only ignored by our Highest Admiral, he actively tried to prevent our greatest Hero to render assistance. The Eternal warrior had been sent away before and came back to save us from certain destruction and now 1500 years , his heroism is again questioned by an old man who acts as if he is a Kermac Agent himself. The evidence certainly points towards the Admiral McElligott.
We are receiving millions of calls already demanding an investigation and an explanation."
McElligott sank into his seat. "My god, he was right again!" To his assistant he said. "But the President he called personally…"
His Office door flew open and Marines and the Chief Justice Advocate came in. The JAG officer said. "Admiral McElligott, I am here on behalf of the Assembly and I am here to place you under arrest and take you before the Assembly." Then he added. "O'Brock, is it true? We are friends for years!"
McElligott pale as a sheet. "The President…"