Sunday, June 14, 2009

Billy and the Crew weren't in Colonel Karnes' custody for more than two hours when an official showed up from GP with a warrant taking Billy away. Obviously someone high up didn't want COG interrogating Billy and they had the political clout to pull if off.

A few days later Billy was found guilty of trespassing and sentenced to a year in a low security lock up on Cestus Six in the third Ring. A week later Billy and a dozen other prisoners were on a bus being escorted through the desert to the pen. Billingsgate and Bent were on the bus but there was no sign of Fast Eddie. Billy hadn't acknowledged them as maybe that info would come in handy later. As they left the space port Billy settled in for some sleep. Thirty minutes into the ride he could feel the bus coming to stop.

"What's going on? Detective Pool asked as the escort cruiser slowed down. In front of the cruiser was a bulldozer and a vehicle with a group of people standing in front of it to its right.

"I'll call it in," the driver, Detective Hanz, said as he reached for the com pad. Pool grabbed his hand. "Not so fast," he said with a smile. "Take a look. Maybe we don't want any company right now."

The cruiser pulled in behind the bulldozer and the bus followed suit. The garbage truck they had passed a few minutes earlier rolled up behind the bus. Detective Hanz and Pool got out of the cruiser and walked towards the disabled vehicle.

"What's the trouble?" Hanz asked. He saw a large man in front of the vehicle with two bikini clad females smiling and shaking their heads. Two other bikini girls were looking towards what was a stretch limo.

"The car just up and quit, dude." the man said. "Here we are stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a show to do in town. If you help us out we'll make it worth your while." he continued with a toothy grin.

Hans looked at Pool and at the girls and smiled. "Yeah. We can do that."
Hanz turned and motioned for the guards in the bus to come out. The three rifle wielding guards came out of the bus towards the car. When Hanz turned back "Smiley" had a gun to Pool's head and all four bikini girls were now facing them with assault rifles leveled.

"Drop your weapons!" Smiley yelled.

The bus driver recovered from his shock and reached for his vid pad.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Sooze said as she stuck a BAP through the open driver side window. The driver raised his hands.

"Hey mon, why don't you do what the man said, eh?"
Hanz turned around and saw Fast Eddie, an old style Bot, and a little Goth chick. He couldn't tell if she were a sim or not, but she seemed a bit tweeky. Hanz reached into his coat and slowly slid out his weapon. No use getting killed while hauling the trash, he thought. Behind him one of the guards was looking at the little Goth chic, he blinked, and the next second she started blasting away!

Billy had been following the action and when the gunfire started he sprinted for the driver and slipped his handcuffs around his neck. In a matter of seconds he had pulled the driver from the seat and he stuck his handcuffs outside the window. As Bent immobilized the driver Sooze shot off the cuffs and handed Billy a BAP.

Then it was all quiet.

Fast Eddie stuck his head in the bus and asked with a smile, "You ready to go?"

Billy, Bent, and Billingsgate got off the bus and headed towards the limo. Hanz and two of the guards were face down in the road while the other and Pool had their hands on the cruiser.
Billy saw another guy laying on the ground and figured he must be one of the muscle that Eddie had hired.

Except it hadn't been Eddie doing the hiring.From out of the limo slid a tentacled creature that glided along the ground. It came to halt in front of Billy and flashed what could have been a grin.

"Weeeeeee....eeeeevennnnn nowwww, Pink."

Billy smiled. "Yes we are, Gola. Yes we are."

"Neeeeeextttt time I keeeeelllll you, Pink."

"I wouldn't expect less from you. Thanks again," Billy replied.

Billy, Eddie, Sooze, Bent, and Billingsgate got into the limo. "Smiley" leaned into the window and said "Gola already paid. Anything else Billy?"

Eddie handed Billy a small envelope. Billy passed it on and handed it to "Smiley". "This will tell you where Klint needs to be. I'd appreciate it if he gets there. And there's a little something extra for you."
"You bet, " the man replied as he pocketed the envelope. "Take care."

As the limo headed back towards the spaceport Gola walked over to Detective Pool. Pool handed him an envelope and said, "No witnesses." Pool walked back to the garbage truck and got in. "Let's get out of here."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Working the Grave

“You new, kid?” the “vet” asked without looking up as he finished buckling down his holster.
“Yes I am. Just completed training last week.” he replied.
Morrison slipped his BAP into its holster and looked down at the short cop. “Must’ve got hired before they had height requirements,” he thought. “Wonder why he’s still on grave?”
Sergeant Healey pulled on his jacket and looked the kid in the eye.
“Well forget all the crap they told in you school ‘cuz grave ain’t like that. You’ll see it all and hear it all. Believe half of what you see and less of what you hear and you’ll do fine.”
Morrison smiled, “So I’ve heard.” He began to slip on his jacket as the two walked out of the locker room. “But I’m ready for it, don’t you worry…”
Healey spun around and pushed Morrison up against the wall with a “thud”! Grabbing the rookie’s throat he squeezed. Morrison could feel it getting dark.
“That’s the kind of attitude that gets cops killed. I don’t give a shit about you but I’d like to stay alive. Got it?”
Morrison pushed Healy’s arm away and nodded in agreement. “Geez man, you on drugs or what?” he asked.
“No, but you’ll be wishing you were.” Healy looked at the kid and smiled. “Now let’s go.”
“Welcome to the graveyard shift or the “grave” as we call it. For us it’s midnight to 0800 hours. The handbook says-
“The ‘graveyard shift took its name from the spookiness of working the ghostly hours after midnight, perhaps in a nearly deserted factory with only a skeletal crew on duty."
I can’t tell you much about factory work but I’ll agree the grave can be pretty damn spooky. At this time of night you’ll be meeting the worse of humanity and assorted aliens that happen to be “out and about”.
What kind? I’m talking Lycaons, Zhuh-zhuhs, Vampires, Hydrissians, Graths, hell even a Spug now and then. And that’s not even mentioning the “metal-heads” that as soon tear your arm off as shake your hand.
Heard the old saying “crime doesn’t pay”? Well they’re wrong, it does. And pretty damn well from what I hear. That’s why there’s so many gangs out here. That’s why they all come here to New Hope City. The pay’s good…except for ours. And we’re all that stands between them and the nice LWC.
Now check the duty roster and head out to your vehicles. It’s the witching hour baby, and we’re already behind.”

Taking Out The Trash

"Billy," Fast Eddie said. "You need to take a look at this."

Billy put down the glass and walked over to the monitor. A large garbage truck was slowly coming down the road towards the dump. Maybe nothing, maybe something.

"What do you think?" Eddie asked.

"Where's Klint and Sooze?" Billy replied.

Eddie scanned the yard with the monitor.
"Klint's near the gate. Can't find Sooze."

Billy grabbed his BAP. "Billingsgate, you stay put. Bent..."
The muscular woman nodded. "Just finished cleaning my gun."

The three went outside.Maybe nothing, maybe something.

The truck turned the corner and entered the yard. As the truck got closer the driver did a quick scan. He counted four. That left two unaccounted for. He stopped the truck and rapped three times on the back of the cab.

"Go time gentlemen," one of the men in the rear of the truck said. The door in the back popped open and the four burst out as the air was filled with small arms fire.

Klint had been rummaging through the piles of junk that lay about the yard. He enjoyed doing that or rather, would have enjoyed it, if he could feel. Klint was a refurbished security bot that Professor Billingsgate had reclaimed from the junk heap when all the thread bots were decommissioned on Cestus V. So when the Professor fell in with Billy it was logical that Klint would tag along. That's how Klint found himself in the junk yard when the SWAT team exited from the back of the truck. Klint fired and the lead operative went down. The next three targeted Klint and began to return fire.

Meanwhile in the front of the truck Billy, Fast Eddie, and Bent had opened fire on the SWAT driver who ducked for cover.

Sooze heard the gunfire and sprinted to behind a bulldozer and peered out. Billy, Bent, and Fast Eddie were now in a firefight with three uniformed enemies while Klint was standing straight up sparks flashing all about.

Sooze saw one of the gunmen circling around behind the truck towards her and she quickly ducked into a drainage pipe. Holding her breath she hoped that the gunman hadn't seen her.

Bent fired off three rounds then swore as her gun jammed. The three heavily armed gunmen fired in short bursts moving in military fashion.
Fast Eddie went down then Billy was hit. The last thing he remembered was seeing a darkly dressed masked man stop in from of him and felt the rifle butt against his head.
By now Bent had ducked behind a length of pipe and was feverishly trying to clear the jam.
"Click, click".
Looking up she saw two gunmen with guns raised facing her. She dropped her weapon and interlocking her fingers behind her head she stood up.
Within minutes the gunmen had rounded up Bent, Fast Eddie, Billy Pink and Professor Billingsgate and forced them into the truck. One gunman had taken Klint's power pack. He could be picked up later if need be.

"What about the other girl?" someone asked.

"I'm not about to go down that drain pipe but you can go if you like." replied the Lt. "Besdies, we got who we came for.

Riding The Highway

Cornie's fingers flew across the keyboard. He was in the zone and he knew it. This is what he lived for. Not the money. Not the fame, although it did spring for some nice perks. It was going where he wasn't allowed to go, that was his thrill.
One on one baby he thought as doors opened and slammed shut as he sped along the highway.
"Take your best shot and set your traps little man," he muttered to himself. "I'm your Huckleberry."
"What?" the large bodyguard asked.
"Nothing dude, nothing. Just watch my back," he replied. You stupid ape, he thought being wise enough not to say that part out loud. Suddenly a flash caught his eye.


The Midnight Special had screamed down the highway but Cornie nimbly dodged it. That was close he thought. It was the last thought he would have.
Except for the slight trickle of blood coming from the little chimp's ear Cornie could have just been sleeping. The larger Zhuh-Zhuh lifted Cornie's lifeless hand, released it, and watched it fall back onto the keyboard.

Silver had seen it before. "Smart ass little monkey," he said to himself. Rifling through the dead monkey's stash he pocketed the small wad of credits and slipped it into his own pocket. He unplugged Cornie from the laptop and placed the computer into his backpack. Maybe he could get a few credits for it later on.

Turning his com unit on he spoke quickly.

"The barn door's still closed.... That's correct.... George is no longer curious. Affirmative."

It took Silver 3 minutes to ready the room and hit the street. By the time he reached the com-rail the room and Cornie's remains had been engulfed in flames.

Colonel Karnes

Karnes couldn't sleep so he decided to catch up on watching some vid-caps.

"That'll put me to sleep," he thought as he reached for his cigarettes. After an hour or so he was ready for bed. As he snuffed out his fourth cigarette something caught his eye.

"What's this?" he asked aloud.

Colonel Karnes dialed in the clarity until he could make out the details. His eyes narrowed and he said...
"Z-Lab 41?"

Karnes flicked on the vid-com.
The bleary eyed Lt. stared back from the screen.
"I'm opening this feed to you now. I want all the vid-caps 24 out before and after this on my console ASAP!" he snapped.
"Yes sir!"
"Now lieutenant!" Karnes flipped off his vid-com. The COG Colonel rubbed his chin then reached for his cigarettes. He pulled the vid-cap back up on his screen and checked the date.
Twenty four hours before Timlin had led his mission into the lab.
Who were these people, he thought, as he took a drag from his smoke.
The red light flashed on. The info was available.
Hansen had cherry-picked the vid-caps and enhanced the most relevant ones. Intel would pour over the rest but right now he needed answers and he got what he needed.
"Billy," he said to himself.