Beep, beep, Cameron’s watch woke him up. He checked the time, 6:07 p.m. He yawned and lifted the shade over the windows by pressing a button.
“Oh man, you could have given us a warning,” said Blare in reaction to the light shining in.
Peter could hear Allisha’s mp3 player music, “Could you turn it up any louder?”
“What?” she asked taking it out of her ears?
“Nothing.” he replied turning to look out the front glass shield.
“There it is,” Cameron sighed, “Delta.”
“Just like we left it eh, Cam?” remarked Blare.
Delta’s surface was scorched and dead. Every living thing was inside artificial living environments, “Who would want to live here?” asked Allisha.
“Just about everyone. Delta has the second best entertainment arena.” replied Cameron.
“Just for entertainment?” Allisha wanted to make sure.
Peter spoke into the mic, “Delta control tower, this is I.G.G. transport 009 requesting permission to land.”
“Clearence code please,” replied the control tower.
“001-311-62...” Peter proceeded until interrupted.
“Wait a sec, Peter, is that you?” it was Marcus.
“Marcus?” Peter asked in astonishment, “I mean yes, it is Peter.”
“I knew that there is only one Russian in the whole Galactic Guard, and that’s you. Okay, just go ahead and dock.”
“Roger.” He pulled into the air lock and waited for the huge robotic arm to stretch out, and gently grasp the transport. A short ramp from the docking platform extended to meet the ship then the all clear sounded.
“Alright Peter, you’re clear.”
“Okay, see you in a second.” they grabbed their gear and headed out the side of the ship.
“What would make Marcus come back here?” asked Blare.
“He did grow up here.” stated Cameron.
Marcus walked out of the control room, “Hey Marcus, good to see you again.”
“Yeah, we didn’t know if you stayed on Karthrill or not.”
“Well, you can never stay away from your real home.”
“Even with all those bad memories?” Allisha whispered in Cameron’s ear.
“I don’t think Marcus can really let those memories go,” then he raised the volume of his voice so all could hear, “Marcus, when do you get off work? We need someone to show us around this place.”
“I volunteered to do that when the I.G.G.s got here. Once I knew it was going to be Commander Keli’s group I took the job.”
“Glad you did,” stated Peter.
“We probably need to look in the main computer data base to see from which sector the civilians are disappearing.” said Cameron.
“No need to do that, everyone knows that the civilians are being taken from the entertainment district,” remarked Marcus.
“These people are incredibly stupid,” stated Allisha.
“And this must be a new add on to your group, Cameron?”
“Yeah, the G.G. needed her to find something but we were sent here instead.”
“Oh, I see.”
“We have no time to waste, let’s get to work,” Cameron commanded.
They walked onto a shuttle and took off toward the district of entertainment. The district was encased in towering spire with huge glass windows the height of each level. The cylinder rose above a the rest of the colony.
“So that’s it?” questioned Allisha.
“Sure is, all matter of life forms from far and near come to watch,” replied Marcus.
“Watch what?” Allisha
“Mostly films and concerts but sometimes they have sport competitions,” Marcus told her
“Where have all these civilians been taken when they vanish?” Cameron asked.
“Only a few security guards have made it back, but they say they saw a few under the Spire.”
“So they’ve been taken to the same place the Crightents were?” Blare questioned, “Under the colony, right?”
“So these people have been kidnapped?”
“That’s what I’m thinking, but the guards won’t admit it. Maybe because it would scare the people away therefore it would be bad for business, or maybe they don’t have enough proof yet. That’s where you guys come in.”
“So why and what are kidnapping the civilians?”
“I think it’s the rebels. I’ve seen some folk that are dressed like the jug heads we fought before we left Delta the first time. I think they are kidnapping the people to sell them on the black market.”
“The rebels must be running low on funds so they are trying to get money anyway they can. That’s my opinion.”
“Anyway sounds easy, drop through a hole in the Spire, confirm that they’ve been
kidnapped, and as a bonus get the civilians back to the surface,” Peter said.
“Yeah, but you have to get clearance from security which is at the top of the spire,” Marcus stated, as they sighed.
The shuttle came to a halt at the base of the Spire, “Well, lets get started.”
The group walked out into the Spire and began their trek to the top.
“Why don’t we just take the elevator?” asked Peter.
“Can you believe it, the elevator was used so much that they started charging you to use it.”
“Is it a lot of money?”
“With all the stuff we have, yeah.”
The steady incline wrapped around the towering cylinder all the way to the top. Blare questioned, “Where is everybody?” the halls were about empty except for the few security guards patrolling
“There is probably a film in session,” Marcus answered.
As they climbed higher, the group noticed all the venders selling everything from food to automobiles, “Man, this place must be a goldmine with all these shops.”
“With all these people always in here, it didn’t take them long to think of another way to make money.” chuckled Marcus.
Sometime later they reached the security headquarters, “It’s about time we got here,” said Blare, now that the sun had gone down.
They entered the headquarters and scanned their gear. The security guard stated, “Good thing your with the I.G.G., other wise I’d have to arrest you for possession of weapons.” the group didn’t reply. Feeling the uneasiness of the moment, the guard continued, “Move on and see head security guard Martel.”
They grabbed their gear and walked into the lounge where they met Martel. Cameron reached his hand out to Martel, “Martel, I’m Commander Keli.”
Martel shook his hand, “Yes I’ve been expecting you.” He sounded tired as he pushed some papers off his desk into a drawer.
“Hard day, sir?” asked Peter.
“You have no idea, with all the press bothering me about the missing civilians. How soon can you get started?” he said looking up.
“As soon as we can,” replied Cameron.
“Good, will you be needing anymore help with your mission?”
“We’ll take what we can get.”
“Okay,” Martel pressed a button on his desk, “Hamett, Hiskar, get ready. Tomorrow you will be joining a group of I.G.G.s on the vanishing civilian mission, roger?”
A rough voice beeped in, “Roger.”
“And Hiskar, what about you?” No answer. “Hiskar?” he let off the button, “Darn you!” Martel pressed the button again, “Anyone know where Hiskar is?”
A different voice sounded, “Ah, I think he’s off duty, sir.”
“Well when you find him, tell him to report to me.”
“Forgive me, but Hiskar is always out when I need him,” Martel pleaded.
“I understand,” Cameron replied.
Later, in the restroom.
Cameron got soap for his wet hands. He straightened up and looked in the mirror. He was caught off guard to see a rebel standing behind him. Cameron hesitated and the insurgent grabbed his neck and thrust his face into the glass mirror. The rebel moved his
grasp lower on to Cameron’s collar and spun him around forcing his head against the
stone wall. Blood flowed from his nose.
The insurgent spoke, “You should leave this colony!”
“Make me!” Cameron struggled.
“Fine, I make you,” the rebel slammed his head on the hard sink, “You will leave!”
“No!” Cameron muscled out as his face was pressed against the sink.
“You slow learner.”
Cameron summoned all his rage against his strong foe. He was no longer going to take it, “No! You pin heads are!” Cameron jerked away from the renegade’s grip and spun round to face the rebel. He quickly grabbed his enemy’s face and slammed it on the water spout. The rebel was motionless for a few seconds as Cameron grabbed hold of the insurgent’s neck and turned on the water. The rebel’s eyes grew in size as he neared the sink full of water. Cameron held the rebel’s head under the water until he stopped struggling.
Cameron washed his hands and left the body there, as he went to Martel, “Dear heaven, man, what happened to your face?” asked Martel standing up.
“Rebels, they are here,” Cameron put extra emphasis on the word ’are’.
“Marcus was right then.”
“Yeah, you should probably listen to him more often.”
“Right, go get Hiskar and Hamett ready. Go to the bunks and find the doors marked Hiskar and Hamett.”
Cameron sighed and followed the directions Martel gave him. He came to Hamett’s room first, “Hamett,” Cameron thought what to say, “ah, wake up.”
“Eh? Oh right, yes sir,” he rolled out of his bed and pulled on boots.
Cameron moved down the hall to Hiskar’s room. The lights were on but the room was empty. He moved in a step farther and noticed a Sig-Saurer 239 laying on the table, not a usual side arm for normal security guard nor Galactic Guard. There was something else going on here.
He heard a soft foot step behind him and stopped. He turned to see if it was Hiskar, but it was an other nonconformist. Cameron dove backward and slid across the table, grabbing the pistol. Bam! Bam!
Blood trialed the rebel as he slid down the wall. Cameron got up and saw an RP-K jutting out from underneath the rebel’s cloak. This insurgent was going to make sure he was dead.
Hamett came to see what was going on, “Sir, are you okay?”
“Yes, but he isn’t.” Cameron replied pointing to the dead rebel.
“Best get him out of sight.” Hamett said, pulling the body into Hiskar’s room.
Cameron tightened his grip on the pistol and liked the feeling of it. He picked up the holster and fastened it around his waist, then holstered his weapon. He found some magazine clips that fell off the table when he slid across, “When we meet Hiskar I’ll give this to him.”
“Darn Hiskar, I don’t know where he is, sir. We better get going.”
“Okay, I thought more people would have come to see what the noise was about?”
“It’s really sound proof.”
“Apparently, let’s go.” They walked back toward the lounge where they confronted
another rebel, “Third times a charm!” he yelled, whipping out his pistol.
He fired and struck his arm. The rebel, holding his bloody arm, dashed away. Hamett asked, “Where are they coming from?”
Cameron made it back to his group then left in haste without getting his gear. Allisha buckled her dual pistols around her hips and followed Cameron out.
The rebel ran out of the security headquarters, over the dead guards bodies he and his other two comrades killed. Still grasping his arm he rested up against the wall and thought how he’d get back to his base, under the colony. He noticed the elevator doors open and the elevator operator preoccupied with something else. The rebel darted toward the open elevator but suddenly slid to a halt on the glossy floor, as the operator noticed the him.
Cocking his head the operator asked, “Ah, if you need to use the elevator, it’s…”
The rebel shoved his dagger, his only weapon, into the operator’s neck. The rebel heard foot steps coming, so he dragged the dead operator into the elevator and punched the close door button. Just as the doors closed, he saw the man that shot him, running toward him.
Cameron slammed his fist against the closed elevator doors. He just missed it. He sighed, “We need to get down there before him.”
“How?” Allisha questioned.
Cameron looked to a KTM dirt bike shop just across from the security headquarters, “Oh, you’ll see.”
Allisha noticed what Cameron was looking at, “No, you’re-you’re crazy.”
“Most likely, yes.” He found a 450 4-stroke and gave it a good kick. It suddenly turned over, “Get on!”
“Do I have a choice?” she sighed and mounted the bike.
Marcus came out of the HQ, “Hey, what are you doing!?”
“Tell the others to meet us at the bottom!” shouted Allisha as the dirt bike squealed against the glossy floor.
Cameron pulled the throttle to hard and the bike fishtailed out of control, “That was close,” Cameron stated, regaining control of the bike.
“Yeah, the floor’s pretty slippery.”
The third elevator entrance they passed, they saw the elevator drop right as they passed, “We’re almost on him!” Cameron exclaimed. As they rounded the final turn, Cameron gassed it too much. The bike fell out from underneath them, “Aw, not good.”
They hit the smooth floor and slid.
At the base of the Spire where the spiral walkway ceased, there was a giant drop off that was used as an exhaust fan. Guarding the drop off was a railing with skinny metal supports. The two gained speed as they slid, Allisha spread her legs and stopped herself on the supports. Cameron slid past her over the edge. She gasped as she pulled herself up.
She peered over the edge and saw Cameron hanging onto a tiny ledge with his finger tips, “Ah, help?” Allisha reached down quickly and hefted him up, just as the rebel ran from the elevator, “Come on, let’s get him!”
They sped after him, down a few fights of stairs and into an abandon maintenance
shaft. The insurgent opened a door and stopped, as did Cameron and Allisha. He grinned
as he stepped in and shut the door.
“Darn it! We almost had him!” Cameron lamented, “There must be another way.”
“Why don’t we follow him?” Allisha asked naïvely.
“That is where the rebel base is. Don’t you know, there could be a whole battalion of rebels in there, maybe more.”
“I didn’t know.”
Cameron knelt down and removed a rusty vent cover to see what was happening inside. A rebel walked forth with a whip, “Salleedin, why, why do you return?!”
“Forgive me master, I have failed,” a brief hesitation followed, “again.”
“You are always the one that returns, you are a coward!”
“Please master, I did not escape with out harm.” Salleedin showed his master his arm.
The master spat upon his wounded arm, “Filth, I give you a simple task, find and kill the Galactic Guard scum that come and you fail. It would have been better if you would have fallen in combat like your comrades.” the master turned away then back to Salleedin, “You shall be punished.” he circled Salleedin and stopped at his back.
“I expect no less, master.”
“And you will get none.” The master recoiled his arm then lashed forward, letting the whip strike Salleedin hard on his back.
As the master continued to deal out Salleedin’s punishment, Cameron looked away. After Cameron could hear the whip no more, he heard the master call, “Hiskar, come forth.”
A man dressed in security gear stepped out from the shadows, “I am here, master.”
“Go now and do what Salleedin could not.”
“And if you do not succeed,” the master stopped him, “do not return.”
“I’ll make sure you don’t return,” Cameron stated, replacing the vent covering.
“What?” asked Allisha.
“You’ll see.” The door opened and Hiskar came forth. Cameron grabbed him by the neck and covered his mouth as he pulled him back in to a side passage. Hiskar struggled, “No, you will not get away you double agent.” Cameron whispered in Hiskar’s ear.
“This is Hiskar?” asked Allisha.
“Oh yes, but the question is, should I kill him now or turn you in?”
“I’d say turn him in.”
Hiskar thrashed around to hear Allisha’s words, “No,” he managed to get out, “they’d never forgive me. Please, kill me.”
Cameron tightened his grasp, “Well then, I think we should turn him in. Allisha, would you do the honors?” She raised her fist and stuck Hiskar on his neck. He was out, “Nice. He wont be out for long, we better find our group, let’s go.”