Part 10 in Season 3 of my Insurgency series! I bought a warp drive from he shop so this is my entry to the third challenge in the Space Engineer's League. Please comment, rate and enjoy!
About this creation
Corresponding text underneath each picture.
28th July 2096: Present Day
With a powerful blow from Hammerstike’s massive weapon, the wooden door shattered into pieces. As Colonel Ramson, now directly leading the band of misfits known as Beta Squad, stormed into the apartment, guns drawn, the residents cried out in alarm and dived for cover.
One male resident, taking shelter behind a sofa, fired off several shots at the intruders, but they all missed. The Imperial Colonel sent a few in return, but they all embedded themselves in the fabric of the makeshift barricade.
Jaws bellowed and charged forwards, knocking aside a tall lamp as he did so and dived over the back of the sofa. The resident cried out as the human-shark hybrid lunged at him. Biting down on the man’s arm, instantly snapping it, with a shake of his head, Jaws tossed the man into the centre of the room, howling in pain.
Col. Ramson: “Enough!” he demanded as Jaws moved in on the suspect again. His glowing eyes snapped up to look at his superior and he growled menacingly, staying put.
Wolfhide: “Rago!” he shouted, using the monster’s real name. “Leave him!”
Jaws snarled again but after a tense couple of seconds, backed off.
Col. Ramson looked a little shaken at having so little control over something so terrifying, but he tried not to show it. However, as the other squad members rounded up the rest of the apartment’s residents, Wolfhide turned on the Colonel.
Wolfhide: “If you do not know how to control these men, then you are not fit to lead.” He growled, jabbing a finger into Ramson’s armoured chest.
Col. Ramson: “I know how to lead.” He replied firmly. “Might I remind you, bounty hunter, of the nerve implant currently attached to your spine? All I need to do is give the command and your body gets shut down.”
Wolfhide: “Oh yeah? And how’d that work out for Darkblade?” he retorted, glaring at his superior with his single eye. “You have any idea on where he is?”
The Colonel silently fumed.
Wolfhide: “Didn’t think so.” He snarled and turned his back. “Armon Aboria, you’re under arrest.” He began as he walked towards the escaped convict. “Anything you say…..”
I let out a gasp as a hot spark shot out from the two cables I was connecting and landed on my bare arm. I shook off the pain, wishing I hadn’t rolled my sleeves up and then finished attaching the two wires.
I was busy working on the Viper, finishing installing the Warp drive that Judas has so kindly given to me. I still felt guilty about that, but I’d already installed it now, so… oh well!
I finished connecting up the last few wires, soldering them together in what I really hoped was the correct order, and then crawled out of the cramped back compartment of my ship.
I sighed as I clambered down the wing and moved around to the rear end of the Viper.
Using a hydro-wrench I reattached the armoured hull panels that I’d had to remove to swap the engines over. It only took a few minutes and then, wiping the sweat from my forehead, I stood back and admired my handiwork.
I nodded, pleased with myself, just hoping to God that I’d connected everything up properly and that it all worked!
Tracks interrupted my thoughts as he suddenly burst onto the rooftop landing pad, whirring excitedly. I’d left him in the apartment doing research, seeing if he could find any of the addresses for the list of people in the torn photograph of my parents. After my conversation with Mr. West a while back, I’d been searching the internet and all of the databases I had access to, to try and find out where they lived so that I could get in touch. I had already discovered quite a lot about them, they weren’t exactly hiding, however, nowhere made mention of where any of them lived.
I had been tempted to go back and re-visited Uncle Barnaby again, however, I decided against it, as, after my last visit, he was probably under surveillance.
Tracks whirred and bleeped, looking like an excitable puppy.
Tank: “You’ve found one?!” I checked to make sure I was understanding rightly and he nodded enthusiastically.
I instantly dropped what I’d been doing and headed back inside to get the address.
Looked like I was going to be testing out my new engine sooner than expected!
2 Days Later…
Tank: “Aaaaand, here… we… GO!” I said, full of suspense as I piloted the Viper through hyperspace. The swirling mass of light outside the ship suddenly vanished as I pushed forwards on the warp drive lever and we dropped back into the inky dark of real-time space.
I whooped in celebration at our first successful warp-speed flight.
Tank: “THAT’s what I’m talking about!” I cheered and Tracks laughed in agreement.
We had arrived at Earth two whole days sooner than we could normally have made the trip in. The Warp engine really did halve travel time!
I punched in the co-ordinates for the home of Mr. Franklin Morales, the man whom Tracks had found the address for. If I remembered correctly, Mr. West had said that he didn’t like Mr. Morales very much because he was a rather shady character. He’d also said that if I was after suspects, this would be the place to start! So it was quite handy that we’d discovered his address first!
I took us down through the atmosphere and just a couple of hours later we were flying over New York City. I couldn’t help but feel a pang of longing as I spotted the tower block with my family’s old penthouse apartment in it.
Tank: “I’ll find out the truth. I promise.” I muttered aloud as I tore my gaze away from the building and concentrated on flying us safely to our destination.
A little while later and after setting the Viper down on a nearby landing pad, Tracks and I made our way into the skyscraper that housed Mr. Morales’ home.
We rode the elevator to the correct floor and then found the right numbered door.
Tank: “Well, this is it.” I commented and rang the bell.
I heard it buzz inside and less than a minute later, a boy of about 14 opened the door.
Tank: “Um, hi. Is Mr. Morales in?”
Boy: “Dad!” he called out as he turned his back and simply wandered off leaving Tracks and I alone in the doorway.
After a few seconds, an older man, whom I recognised from the torn photograph and wearing the same monocle he had been in the picture, appeared and came, frowning, to the door.
Franklin: “Can I help you?”
Tank: “Hi, Mr. Morales?”
Tank: “Hi. My name is Chain Rockwell, I’m a reporter.” I lied, using the same excuse as I had on Mr. West. “I understand you knew the Foster family, back before their untimely deaths?”
At the mention of my family’s real name, Mr. Morales’ frown deepened but then a spark of recognition flashed through his eyes.
Franklin: “Frank?” he asked with a slight smile.
Tank: “What? No!” I lied badly, hastily trying to convince him.
Franklin: “It is you, isn’t it! Frank Foster!” he insisted, his smirk spreading as I failed to answer coherently.
Tank: “Oh, okay, yes.” I sighed, annoyed with myself for giving away my true identity.
Franklin: “Well, come on in!” he invited, still with that smirk on his face. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t trust him- just like Mr. West had warned.
But never-the-less, we stepped into his home and let him close the door behind us before he guided us through into a living room area.
Franklin: “So… what brings you here ‘Chain’?” he asked, putting heavy emphasis on the fake name I’d given him.
Tank: “I want to know more. About what really happened that night.” I explained as Franklin moved to the other side of the room and scooped up a datapad. “I want to know the truth about my parent’s murders.”
Franklin: “Well…” He began, typing something on his ‘pad. “That’s the question isn’t it. Tell me; how did you find my address?”
Tank: “I found an old photo of my parents – you were in it. Then it was just a case of tracking you down.”
Franklin: “Ah… I see.” He said, setting the datapad aside. “Might I see this photo?”
I reached into my jacket, pulled out the ripped picture and handed it over.
Franklin: “Ah yes, I remember this.” He confirmed, studying it and gently running a thumb over the image. “But, it appears to be missing a section. Is there a reason for this?”
Tank: “I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me. Do you have any ideas of who else should have been in this picture?”
Franklin ‘hmm’ed and thought for a few moments.
Franklin: “Christian. Christian was there that day, I’m sure he was in the photo.”
Finally! Something to go on! This was the first I’d heard about anybody in the missing section.
Tank: “Christian? Who’s Christian?” I queried.
Franklin: “Christian Walker. He was a friend of your parents. One of the ‘regulars’. He was always very quiet, but never left your father’s side. He was your father’s best friend. Nice fellow, but kept himself to himself.”
I nodded, taking all of this brand new information in. Franklin passed the picture back to me and, after glancing over it for a second, I tucked it back into my jacket pocket.
Tank: “Do you think he could have been behind their murders?” I asked but Franklin just laughed at me.
Tank: “What?” I asked, confused.
Franklin: “Well, I thought it was pretty straightforward.”
Tank: “What do you mean?”
Franklin: “Well, you killed them, didn’t you.” He sneered.
Tank: “What? No! Of course I didn’t kill them!” I exclaimed, horrified that he assumed I was actually guilty.
Franklin: “Come now. You were the only other person in the penthouse! It had to be you!”
Tank: “No! I didn’t do it!” I replied, angrily.
Franklin: “Well then who did?” he asked, clearly not believing me.
Tank: “I don’t know! That’s what I’m here to find out!”
Franklin: “What, you think I did it?” he exclaimed, removing his monocle.
Tank: “Maybe!” I retorted, fuelled by his accusations.
Franklin: “And why would I do that? What could possibly drive me to kill the woman I loved?!” he shouted angrily.
I paused, confused by his words.
Tank: “What?” I asked, hoping he’d clarify what he’d said.
Franklin: “Lana!” he snarled at me. “She was the love of my life!”
Franklin: “And she loved me too!”
Franklin: “Yes! It’s true, BOY! Your mother was having an affair with me!” he stated, a sinister smirk playing across his lips.
Tank: “You’re lying!” I shouted, horrified at what I was hearing.
Franklin: “It’s true!” he repeated with a sneer. “We were having an affair and had been for years! I had always loved her right from the moment I saw her and eventually I managed to get her to reciprocate feelings. It took time, but eventually she felt what I felt and fell in love with me in return!”
Tank: “You’re lying.” I whispered, in shock. Silently hoping, praying that it wasn’t true.
Franklin: “She was ready to run away with me. We’d planned it all out! She was going to leave you and her precious husband behind…” He spat, “…and run away with me! We were going to move to California. Everything was ready.” He growled, his tone changing and suddenly he looked as if he was recalling painful memories.
Franklin: “But then she went and got herself killed! So tell me, Frank; why the hell would I have done it?!”
I didn’t have an answer. Instead I just looked around in silence, helplessly trying to think of something to say. But nothing came. Instead, a further, atrocious thought entered my mind.
If what he was saying was true, was the man I’d spent my entire life believing to be my Dad actually my father?! Or was this… sneering, arrogant asshole really my Dad?
As if he’d read my mind, Franklin continued.
Franklin: “Who do you think you were named after, Frank?” he smirked evilly, enjoying every second of my torture.
I shook my head, unable to comprehend what I was hearing. Was it true? Was any of it real? Or had my whole life been a lie?
At that moment, Franklin’s son walked into the room.
Boy: “Hey, Dad, do you know where my Articulon 9 disc is?” he asked, looking around.
Franklin: “No. Sorry SON.” he responded emphasising the final word, while continuing to stare at me and another wave of horror passed over me.
I spun to watch the boy. Black hair, blue eyes, skinny… just like me!
Just like Franklin…
Was this boy my half-brother?!
I ran my hands through my hair, holding onto my head. I… couldn’t. I just couldn’t take it in.
I heard Tracks step between myself and Mr. Morales, growling and whirring threateningly, but I wasn’t really taking anything in. My eyes had glazed over as a million thoughts flashed through my brain.
I could hear both Tracks and Franklin shouting at one another, but didn’t know what they were saying.
I stumbled over to the window and placed my hands on it, breathing heavily, looking down the enormous drop to the city street far below…
Just as several police fighters lowered down and began hovering outside, lights flashing and sirens wailing.
The datapad he’d been using! He’d called the police!
Snapping out of my stupor, I whirled back to face the room.
Tank: “Tracks! Let’s go!” I shouted. “Cops!”
He heard, but wasn’t done with Mr. Morales yet. His metal fist lashed out and struck Franklin across the jaw, sending him sprawling in a shout of pain.
Boy: “Dad!” he cried out and dashed over to help as Tracks and I ran for the door.
In just under three minutes, Tracks and I had legged it out of the building and were running as fast as we could for the landing pad where we’d set the Viper down.
Thankfully, we managed to avoid the cops and just a short time later, we were leaving New York city behind us once again. But this time, I was leaving with a whole load of new, mental baggage.
Qoter: Antillio Region…
Darkblade entered the dimly-lit office of the same mysterious man whom he had visited before and strolled across the room towards the desk.
Man: “How did you get in here?” he asked casually, before adding, “Again.”
Darkblade: “Through the front door.” He replied matter-of-factly.
Man: “But the guards…”
Darkblade: “Need replacing.” He interjected as he came to a halt in front of the desk.
The mysterious man smirked in the shadows, impressed.
Man: “What can I do for you? I’m still investigating the Foster’s finances if that’s what you’re here for. I’ve not found anything yet, but I have managed to get my hands on a datapad that may contain useful information.”
Darkblade frowned under his helmet.
Man: “It belonged to Frank Foster and was recovered from the cave he’d been found hiding in on Iapra after the Shift. It may contain some useful information.
Darkblade: “You went to Iapra?”
Man: “A third party.”
Darkblade: “Good. However, that is not why I am here.”
Man: “What is it then?”
Darkblade stepped forwards and handed over a small swipe-card.
Darkblade: “This is the security key to get you past the defences at my new base of operations. I have acquired a very high-tech set up and will soon have use of the additional equipment I promised you. Use it to continue your work.”
Man: “Very well.”
Darkblade: “You had better deliver.”
Man: “As had you.” He replied, matching Darkblade’s tone.
And with that, Darkblade turned his back and left.
The Morales' residence set.
An alternative picture of Tank looking out of the window.
As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.
Thank you all for your kind words and continued support!
July 24, 2016
A very interesting development! The chapter was incredibly well written and the sets were also quite well done. I am also impressed with the atmosphere of suspense and tension you've been slowly creating over the past few episodes. I hope to read more soon!