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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 23 (c.2) – Quisling


Tweet of the Day: SF Obscure: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century


Derringer Missile Control Center, Javelin Launch Facility, Laputta Island, Chav Tropical Zone, Chav, Landam System, Crescent Nebula, January 15, 2197

Utah disabled the magnetic lock. I pushed the doors open as quietly as possible.

“Hey Mike, have you tried the Punga fruit yet?” asked one of the techs from behind his console.

“No Dave, I haven’t,”answered a bored voice from the opposite side of the room.

I crept in behind Dave. Utah moved to the other side toward Mike. Pasha guarded the door. A large chronometer marked the time: 16:45:56 local or seven minutes to our target window.

“You should, it tastes better than our rations,” said Dave.

“A bowl of live termites tastes better than our rations, Dave.”

Dave never got a chance to respond. A tap from my electro-blade on the back of head took him out. Mike rose from his chair the moment he saw me but stopped the moment Utah pressed the barrel of his assault rifle to his temple.

“You, on the floor, now,” said Pasha. Mike the Tech obeyed. Pasha slapped a pair of handcuffs on him and took his chair. “All silos loaded and ready for launch.”

“Firewalls bypassed, I have control of all systems,” said Utah. Symbols appeared on the main holo-projector. An icon showing a Cerberus cruiser in orbit across the planet moved toward a cone that extended from the ground. “Target entering optimal engagement zone in two minutes.”

I checked my board, “All systems green here.”

The cruiser crept closer to target area.

Come on, come on, just a little closer.

“Target locked,” said Utah.

“Initiate launch sequence,” I said.

The bunker trembled. Thin trails of dust fell from the ceiling. Twenty Javelin mark fours roared from the silos into the sky. Each packed sixteen disruptor torpedoes. We tracked their course on holo. Past the planet’s lower atmosphere, twenty arrow symbols broke into three-hundred and twenty. The cruiser’s point defense system destroyed over a hundred but the other bore through. The remainder converged on the target. Seconds later it blinked out of existence.

“Target destroyed. Alliance forces engaging Cerberus forces. Cerberus forces disengaging. SSV Kursk in pursuit,” said Utah in his usual monotone. “Incoming transmission, Commander Thompson-Ramos. Source unknown.”

“Patch it through.”

“This is Stryker to Derringer, what the hell are you doing?”

An image came to mind of. An aquiline face topped with a pitiful blonde comb over sneering as Cerberus troops dragged Admiral Anderson away. Stryker was his Nom de Guerre. His real name was Alton Olsen, former police man, traitor to humanity, and Cerberus lapdog. Somehow he survived the invasion.

He won’t survive me.

I pressed the call button, “I’m coming for you, Alton.”


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