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The Insurgency: S3 #25 The Price You Pay (FB)
Here is part 25 in Season 3 of my Insurgency series! A freebuild for the Marauders. Please comment, rate and enjoy!
About this creation
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18th June 2094

It was late one 'night', when I was awoken by the front door of our cave slamming open, accompanied by two shouting voices.

I leapt to my feet, prepared to defend myself, before I realised that it was just Jarred and Ghartic.

Ghartic: "...But you were the one who dropped the shipment!"
Jarred: "I had to! You did a Bullscrim job of keeping watch! If you'd done your job right, then we'd have a crate load of goods to sell on! Now we've got bugger all!" He accused jabbing a finger into the alien's chest.

The pair had been out on another of their raids. Clearly something hadn't gone to plan.

Ghartic grabbed Jarred’s hand and slapped it away. Jarred struck out and punched Ghartic in the chest. Ghartic reacted by sending several blows straight back to Jarred but my cave buddy was clearly stronger and grabbed the olive - skinned alien and with a roar, threw him out the open door into the sand.

Ghartic: "You'll regret this, Jarred!" He warned as he stood up.
Jarred: "Oh yeah? Try me!" He boasted and Ghartic ran from sight.

For a few seconds more, both Jarred and I stood staring out the empty doorway, then a crisp, modulated voice asked,
Tracks: "Who was that?"

Tracks, now fully operational, was stood in the corner of the cave.
Jarred: "An asshole." He growled in reply as he turned around. "Now shut off again."
Tracks: "But, sir, I'm a combat droid! I was awoken by the commotion and wanted to help!" He replied, palms open.
Jarred: "Well you were too late. And don't call me sir." Jarred added as he dropped his gear at the foot of his bed.
Tracks: "Fine. What do you want me to call you?"
Jarred: "Whatever. I don't care." He growled as he slipped beneath his covers.
Tracks: "Very well. Meatsack it is." My droid replied sarcastically and I couldn't help but laugh.

Jarred: "What?!" He demanded, getting up again and storming over in a rage.
Tank: "He was joking, relax." I replied, trying to calm him.
Jarred: "He'd bloody better have been!" He threatened, giving Tracks a shove that made him stumble back a step. "Or I'll disassemble his lanky ass."
Tracks: "There'll be no need for that." He confirmed.
Jarred: "Good." He growled again. "Keep your pet under control, pal." He aimed at me, before returning to his bed.

Tracks looked at me and made a sound that I'm sure was him snickering. I smirked and patted him on the shoulder.
Tank: "Get some rest, buddy."

Ever since our fateful trip to the frozen side of the planet, when we'd been captured by a crazy scientist and Jarred had been injected with... something, he hadn't been the same. I mean, I understood that he'd been experimented on and that he'd had to carry me halfway across the desert, but he'd been grumpy ever since. Distant too. He didn't seem to want to have anything to do with me any more. Gone were the days of sparring together in the sun.

And not only that, he seemed to have gotten stronger too. I don't know whether it was the serum Dr. Lobotomy injected him with or whether he'd been taking drugs or steroids or if he'd just been working out more or... I don't know. But it had certainly been noticeable.

As Tracks sat down in the corner and turned himself off, I closed the still - open door then returned to my own bed. But try as I might, I couldn't sleep. All I could hear was Ghartic's threat echoing around my brain. 'You'll regret this.'

26th April 2097: Present Day

I sat at my living room table, my laptop directly in front of me and paperwork and hand - scribbled notes surrounding that. Since I'd gotten out of hospital, I'd been hard at work. I had no idea when Darkblade would strike again and no way of tracking him. So that put me on the back foot. However, I wasn't just going to sit around idly, waiting for him to show up and beat me again.

No, instead, I'd been going to the gym, building myself up again. I realised that I'd not been anywhere near as physical as I had been last year and had lost a lot of strength because of it. So I'd returned to working out, my new - found wealth providing for my membership without even making a dent - something I couldn't have afforded this time last year.

My birthday, the 22nd of April had been and gone. Jace had dropped in with a present from Eris and the gang during the day and Cat and I had gone to a fancy restaurant in the evening, but other than that, my 22nd birthday was a quiet affair. While I'd been home, I'd also been attempting to rebuild Tracks, but was still having no luck. And the other thing I'd been doing is looking into the names of the other people in the ripped photograph of my parents. Adrian West had provided me with the names of the people I'd yet to visit, but recently I'd been a bit busy with everything else that had been going on. I knew who killed my parents, but I still had no idea who hired them. Darkblade had told me that they were just another job. But he'd said nothing about who the job had been for. I couldn't track him, so that left me with attempting to find out who hired him, and the best place to start, was where I'd left off with my parent's old friends.

However, I was fast running out of options there too. I was down to the last person; Rosmarie Addison. But, to my pleasant surprise, Addison was actually still pretty active in the socialite world and was therefore relatively easy to track down.

I finally struck gold and found her current address. Scribbling it down, I was excited that I finally had a lead after so much time. Then I remembered that I'd already planned with Cat that tonight we'd pay her father a long - awaited visit.

I let out a frustrated groan, looking at the ripped image of my parents, but knew that Addison could wait. She'd still be there tomorrow, or whenever I finally got around to visiting. Alberto Rinse, The Boss, the man staring up at me from the centre of the photograph, Cat's father, was more important right now.

Later that evening, Cat and I were prepped and ready to finally confront her father. We took a public shuttle to Antillio and then walked from there to her father's house. Cat had spent the past few weeks studying every inch of the blueprints she'd found of the house and grounds and had come up with a plan.

In the darkness, we snuck towards the huge wire fence that surrounded the grounds. Crouching beside a large tree, we surveyed the area.
Cat: "Two cameras." She commented nodding in two separate directions. "The schematics were right."
Tank: "Okay. I'll make the incision." I replied, pulling out a pair of laser cutters Cat had purchased last week I preparation for tonight. I sliced through the mesh then crawled through, Cat following close behind. Remaining in the shadow of the tree, we waited until the cameras were facing away from us before dashing across the grounds.

We paused, crouched down, pressed against a low wall that surrounded the house itself, which sat on a raised platform.
Tank: "Ready?" I asked quietly and she nodded. We exchanged a quick 'good luck' kiss and then Cat crept away along the wall in one direction, towards the front of the house and I in the other, towards the rear.

As I moved around the side of the property and then rounded the corner and proceeded along the back wall, I kept low to the ground. So far, so good, but I had my pistols drawn, just in case I bumped into any security.

This proved to be a wise decision, as, when I reached the rear steps leading up into the house, I noticed two guards patrolling back and forth in front of the door.

I crouched down in a flower bed, watching their movements for a minute.

One guard finally began to wander away and I took my moment, carefully timing my move and jumping up, running up the steps towards remaining guard. Just as he noticed me, I sent a laser into his shoulder and he collapsed, unconscious.

I glanced around to make sure nobody had noticed me and then tried the door handle. It was locked, but after less than a minute of lock-picking, I was in.

I stepped inside and realised I was in the dining room where I'd had dinner with Cat and her dad on the only other occasion that I'd been here. There was nobody around so I quickly dashed across the room to the open doorway into the entrance hall.

Meanwhile, Cat had snuck around to the front entrance. Crouching beside a nearby bush, she was carefully watching the movements of two guards, pacing in front of the main entrance, just as Tank had done on the opposite side of the house.

As one guard turned to pace away, Cat darted across the grass, her black catsuit helping her blend into the dark of the night - exactly what it had been deigned to do. She stood, weapons at the ready, with her back to one of the tall pillars that ran around the all four sides of the house.

As Tank had done, Cat, with far more experience, timed her move perfectly. She leapt up onto the porch and before the guard could react, whacked him in the face with her pistol and then slid her sword through his chest. He gargled blood as he collapsed.

Cat stepped over the body and picked the lock. With a click, it undid and she pushed open the front door...

Alarms rang throughout the house. 'So much for secrecy.' I thought as I worked my way from room to room, searching for Alberto Rinse, The Boss. Nothing yet, but as I emerged from the kitchen, two guards rushed up the corridor towards me.
Guard: "Hey!"

They started shooting and I ducked aside through an open doorway. There, I stood in waiting. A few seconds passed and then they crept through, searching for me in the dark room. As one flicked on the light, I jumped them, disarming the first and using him as a shield as the second shot at me. As he realised he'd shot his colleague, I kicked out and caught him in the stomach, causing him to stagger back and hit his head on the wall. He slumped down, unconscious and I let the first man, unconscious or dead, I wasn't sure, drop to the floor too.

Hastily, I made my way back into the corridor. The plan Cat and I had come up with meant that the pair of us would stay split up and we searched the house for her dad. We had no idea where he'd be and we wanted to give him as little time as possible to get away. I just hoped that I found him first. It's not that I don't trust Cat, but when it comes to her father, I'm not so sure it's good to have the two of them alone together...

Cat knew exactly where she was going. She knew precisely where her father would be, but she hadn't told Tank, because she wanted to be alone when she confronted her dear old dad. She had to do this by herself. Tank had warned her not to kill him. Not to take away the only family she had left... But she wasn't sure if she'd be able to keep that promise when she saw him...

Cat climbed through the house, taking down several guards along the way, until eventually, she reached an inconspicuous door. With a cry, she kicked it open and, weapons ready, strode cautiously in.

The Boss’s office was softly lit in a blue hue, as always, and as Cat made her way around the pillars and filing cabinets, she found herself having flashbacks to all the times previously that she had been here. Speaking to The Boss. Receiving her next assignment. Her next task.

Her next kill.

And now here she was. Here to confront the very man who’d sent her on all those missions. Who’d taken her life away from her.

And sure enough, as she’d expected, there he was. The Boss was sat at his desk, as usual, surrounded by his bank of computers. The only difference to normal was that this time, he seemed flustered. As if he’d been in the middle of something.

Cat: “Going somewhere?” she asked from across the room.
The Boss: “Cat, dear. What a pleasant surprise.” He responded with the falsest smile imaginable, as he stood and continued going about his business. He was clearly packing, trying to escape. But he hadn’t been fast enough.

Cat: “No… No, it’s not pleasant.”
The Boss: “If you say so.” Alberto replied, pulling out a metal briefcase and placing it, open, on his desk chair.
Cat: “Goddammit, just STOP!” she demanded. And he did. The Boss straightened himself up and paused in his packing.
The Boss: “Okay. You have me. What is it you want?” he questioned. “What next?”

Cat didn’t respond right away. In all honesty, she wasn’t sure. She didn’t really know what she was doing. What it was that she wanted to know or find out – if there was anything at all. She just knew that what this man, her own father, had done to her, her whole life, was wrong.

Cat: “Why?” she finally asked. “For the past… as long as I can remember, you’ve had me under your thumb. You’ve controlled me. You had me trained as an assassin, just so that I could do your dirty work for you. I’m your own daughter, for Christ’s sake!” she gushed.

Cat: “Stipe… my trainer… you knew what he was doing to me! You knew he beat me and you did nothing! You encouraged it!”
The Boss: “Failure brings disciplinary action. That is the same in every walk of life.”
Cat: “But not like that! Not to a child!”
The Boss: “Oh, but you’re not a child any more, are you Cat?” he replied.
Cat: “No. But you have controlled my life from the moment Mom died to the moment I couldn’t kill Frank Foster!” she replied, being careful not to call Frank Tank, as The Boss was still unaware that the two were the same person.

Cat: “From what I eat, to when I sleep, to the clothes I wear and when I have to run an ‘errand’ for you.”
The Boss: “Cat, sweety. That’s because it’s what’s best for you. It has worked fine up until now, hasn’t it! Think of everything we have accomplished together! The amount of work we have gotten done!”

Cat: “No!” she shook her head, clearing it of any belief for her father. “No, it’s work that you made me do! I wanted to be a ballerina, Dad! Not an assassin! I wanted to dance! Not kill people! You have made my life… a living hell…” she continued.

The Boss: “Come now, surely it’s not all that bad. The skills that you have gained – valuable life lessons learned. Cat, your mother would have…”

The Boss: “Okay!” he replied, hands out in a calming gesture, as he walked out from behind his desk to stand in front of Cat. She had both her sword and pistol in her hands, so he was clearly confident that she wasn’t going to use them on him.

The Boss: “Okay.” He repeated, more calmly. “So what now? What is it you want from me? Why are you here?”
Cat: “I don’t know…” she replied honestly, trying hard not to get emotional. “I just want you to know why it is that I have to do this…”

The Boss frowned.
The Boss: “Do what?”
Cat: “For so long, I have wanted to kill you. You made my life a misery and I’ve thought about killing you, so many times… But Tank told me not to. He said that if I kill you, I’ll be orphaning myself and that to kill you would tear a whole in my soul that I’d never be able to heal. Death for you… would bring nothing to me. I need time to heal and to do that, I need to know that I’m free. I need to know that you’re not going to come after me or Tank and that you’ll leave us in peace. For good.”

The Boss: “Sweetheart, you wouldn’t kill your own father. You can’t even threaten him.” He replied with a warm, fatherly smile. “And you know why?”

Suddenly he moved. Faster than Cat thought he could and grabbed ahold of her.
The Boss: “Because you are nothing. THAT is why! Look at you. Pathetic. You always have been!” he snarled. “I had Stripe train you to make you tougher and look where it got you! Nowhere!” he spat, as Cat struggled to get away from him.

The Boss: “You and your boyfriend, with his silly hat, are going to pay for this. He took you from me, and now you’re both going to regret it!”

Finally Cat managed to break free and as she fell back, her Dad ripped one of the sleeves off her catsuit.

Cat hit the floor and began crawling away, scared of her father’s wrath.

The Boss: “You’re an embarrassment to this family, Cat!” he shouted after her, as he strode back around his desk and resumed throwing important documents and files into his briefcase. Cat, realising her father wasn’t following her, leapt to her feet and hid behind one of the filing cabinets, panting with both fear and adrenaline.

Cat heard a door slam open, but all hope that it could have been Tank vanished when she heard her father say,
The Boss: “About time! Where the hell have you been?”

Cat glanced around the side of the cabinet and noticed several security guards now surrounding her father as he finished packing. No – she couldn’t let him leave. Not now. Not after coming so close.

If he got away now, she would never be free. And now neither would Tank. He would be after them. BOTH of them. She couldn’t let that happen.

She mentally apologised to Tank for breaking her promise and then, with a war cry, leapt out from cover and started firing in her father’s direction.

The guards flinched and took cover. The Boss ducked down as low as he could while continuing to gather his important files. Several computers went up in showers of sparks as Cat continued her assault, but her barrage was cut short when the security guards began to fire back.

I was still working my way from room to room, searching for any sign of The Boss, but so far had been unlucky.

I’d knocked out two more security guards, but that had been all. They’d been the only indication that The Boss was in fact here somewhere.

Then I heard the muffled sound of gunshots. My heart jumped, hoping Cat was alright and I looked around to see if I could work out where they were coming from. It sounded like they were coming from upstairs somewhere. In a split second, I had taken off at a sprint.

Cat had to duck back behind the filing cabinet again as bullets whistled her way. There were several metallic ‘clang’s as holes punctured the filing cabinets surrounding her and several duller ‘thuds’ as bullets struck the wall behind. In a brief pause, she popped out again and sent several shots straight back at them.

They all missed, striking either the desk or the wall and then the guards opened fire again and cat had to hide once more. It was a tug of war. Back and forth between the two parties, with each taking it turns to try and kill the other.

And all the while, it was giving The Boss the time he needed to complete his packing. Or at least, collect everything he dared without risking being shot.

The Boss: “Well, Cat, this, for now, is goodbye.” He called over the gunshots.
Cat: “Noo!” she screamed in rage. He couldn’t get away! She had to kill him! Now! And end it for good!

The Boss: “You will be seeing me again, my dear. And when you do, you’d better be prepared! Because next time, you won’t be catching me off guard.”
Cat: “You animal!” she cried, firing another few bursts in her father’s direction and finally succeeding in killing one of the guards.

The Boss: “Adieu, dear.” The crime lord called casually, a sinister smile on his face, as he picked up his case, turned and left the room, accompanied by one of the security guards.

Cat: “You COWARD!” she screamed at the top of her lungs as she fired repeatedly after the retreating figure of her dad.

Another computer exploded in a shower of sparks and then, with that, her father and his guards were gone.

As I sprinted through the house, trying to follow the sound of gunfire, I found myself heading higher and higher. I reached another staircase and began to climb, but as I did so, three more security guards rushed down towards me.

Tank: “Oh for God’s sake…” I muttered, preparing for another fight.

Guard: "Hey!" He shouted, spotting me and all three rushed at me. I didn't have time to draw my pistols, so, as one guard swung for me, I ducked under his arm, using his higher ground advantage against him, then gave him a hard shove against the banister and, with a scream he toppled over the side.

The other two came at once. Blows were exchanged and I had to work hard not to get knocked down. A boot struck my chest and I stumbled down a step or two, fighting to keep my balance and not go tumbling down the rest.

The guard kicked again, but this time I grabbed his foot and twisted. His leg turned beneath him and he fell, hitting his head on a step in the process.

The other swung repeatedly at me, but I managed to dodge most of the blows and then land one of my own in his crotch. The man doubled over in pain and I grabbed him by the head, pulling. He flew down the steps, crumpling into a heap at the bottom.

Cat, furious that her father had gotten away, was working away at his computers. She didn't know what she was looking for. Anything really.

Anything to make this trip have been worthwhile. But The Boss had been thorough. He'd wiped everything. There was nothing left on the system. Not even the ghost files - traces of what had once been there.

Cat roared in anger and filled the remaining computers with lead.

There was only one other thing she could think of that The Boss may not have had time to pick up. She searched around for a minute and then, at the back of a bottom desk drawer, she found a metal tin, and inside, was a datapad...

Pausing for a brief moment to catch my breath, I registered that the gunfire had stopped. I knew time was of the essence, so scrambled up the remaining stairs as fast as I could. When I reached the top, I found another guard, already dead on the floor. Cat had definitely been this way.

However before I got any further, I heard a dull roar coming from outside. I dashed over to the nearest window and arrived in time to see a jet-black helicopter flying away from the house, low enough to have clearly just taken off.

Tank: "Scrim..." I growled, banging my fist on the glass. It had been The Boss. It must have been. I only hoped Cat was alright...

Turning, my concerns were laid to rest as Cat, clearly emotional but appearing unharmed other than a ripped suit, emerged from a doorway at the other end of the landing.

Tank: "What happened?" I asked as she made her way towards me and we embraced.
Cat: "He got away." She replied emotionally.
Tank: "It's alright." I replied in an attempt to comfort her. "We'll get him next time."

Cat shook her head.
Cat: "He'll be impossible to find now. He'll go to ground. Find somewhere to hide. But we have to be on guard. He said he'd be after us."
I nodded with a sad sigh.
Tank: "Okay. Well, we'll just have to be prepared."
Cat nodded in agreement.

Cat: "There's something else. I... I have something for you."
Tank: "Really?" I asked, confused.
Cat: "Well, technically it is already yours -used to be anyway, before it was stolen."

I didn't have any idea what she could be talking about, but then she produced a familiar looking, battered datapad.
Tank: "My datapad!" I exclaimed as she handed it to me.

This was the datapad that I'd had with me during my time with Jarred on Iapra! I'd hidden it in our cave when the GI found us and killed Jarred, but when I had gone back to retrieve it after Mr. Grey freed me from prison, it was gone!

Tank: "Where did you find this?" I queried.
Cat: "On Iapra. Last year, before I knew who you really were or anything like that. When my Dad first started looking into your family's finances, he bribed a cop to find out where you'd been captured..."

26th June 2096

With a final heave, Cat wrenched the cave door open, forcing the build-up of sand aside. It was dark inside, the only light coming from the open doorway.

Stepping down into the cool cave, Cat began her search. Having been tasked by her father to search the hideout for anything that could be of use to him, she rummaged through the few personal belongings that remained.

The place looked like it had already been searched, possibly more than once. There were clothes and odds and ends laying all over the place. But never the less, Cat examined the cave top to bottom, but found nothing. There was nothing of value, let alone anything of use.

With a sigh, she placed her hands on her hips, her back to the door and had one last, good look around.

Then, before she could react, a hand had deftly slipped beneath her arm and stolen her pistol.
Cat: "Hey!" She exclaimed, spinning to confront the thief and coming face to face with three thugs, all armed and pointing their guns at her. She grimaced.
Thug #1: "You're coming with us." The alien growled, grinning at his catch.

Some time later, the thugs had transported Cat across the desert to what was clearly their base of operations. Cat had first assumed that they were simple thieves, but now, as she was led into a large cavern full of live music, raucous laughter and dancing girls, she knew this was something much bigger.

She was brought to the centre of the room, where, upon a throne, sat a relatively young man wearing a garish purple suit, smoking a cigar. Surrounded by scantily-clad girls, he was clearly in charge here.

Thug #2: "Yo, boss. We found this one snooping around Jarred's cave."
Remy Ac'ross: "Oh really? You, girl, what interest do you have in Jarred’s old haunt?"
Cat: "Who?"
Ac'ross: "Don't play dumb with me. Why were you in Jarred's cave. Final chance." He threatened.
Cat: "I have no idea who that is. I was looking for items belonging to another guy, Frank Foster."
Ac'ross: "Ah, so that was his name! Jarred's cave buddy. I never heard anyone mention a name - to be honest I didn't care. Jarred was the one who double crossed me. His pal was just an accomplice."

Cat wasn't sure what Remy was talking about, but she wasn't going to question it. She was intrigued by the other man mentioned though. Maybe he cold she'd some light on Foster's past. Maybe he even knew where he was.

Cat: "What happened to this Jarred? Where is he?"
Ac'ross: "Double cross me, you'd better be prepared to face the consequences. He was killed."
Cat: "By you?"
Ac'ross: "In a way... He smirked, puffing out smoke from his cigar. "Now, why were you so interested in this other guy? This Foster?"

Cat: "I work for a crime lord on Qoter, known as The Boss. He hired me to search Foster's base for anything of value."
Ac'ross: "Ah, I've heard of your employer." He smiled. "Maybe we could come to some arrangement?"
Cat: "About what?"

Ac'ross motioned to one of his thugs and they scurried away on a silently-tasked mission.
Ac'ross: "What if I had something? Something that was found in their cave? What could you give me?"
Cat: "If it proves useful, I'm sure The Boss would be more than willing to compensate you."

The thug returned and handed something to Remy. A datapad.
Ac'ross: "This was found in a locked compartment in that cave. My men managed to break it open, but this, this, we have not been able to break." He explained. "Maybe your employer will have better luck."

Ac'ross stepped forward and handed the datapad to Cat. "I look forward to seeing what he offers me in return." He grinned, clenching his cigar between his teeth.

Present Day

I turned the datapad over and over in my hands as Cat finished explaining how she had gotten ahold of it.

Tank: "So that's why it wasn't there when I went back for it. Ac'ross had already been there." I muttered to myself, finally understanding.
Cat: "Tank, what's on there? Why is it so important?"
Tank: "This is all the research and information on my parent’s murders that I managed to gather while I was on Iapra. But we can look at it later. Now, let's just get out of here."

The Governor’s Office

It was late. Governor Boan had gone home long ago, but that didn't mean that his office was empty. Manerre had stayed behind and was still finishing off paperwork ready for the next day's sessions.

There was to be another meeting on the new tax, brought in to help pay for housing for the refugees from Flouron and the Governor was due to make a statement.

The lights flickered and Manerre, tidying some files, tutted, glancing at the ceiling.

The lights flickered again and this time want out completely for a second or two before returning. Manerre, his back to the door, did not notice the newcomer until he spoke.
Darkblade: "Manerre Boan."

Manerre did well to not start at the voice. Instead, he calmly turned around to face the black-clad mercenary.
Manerre: "Darkblade." He replied, matching the former's tone.

There were a few seconds of silence, as the two simply stared at one another. For all his physical frailties, Manerre had a mind and resolve of steel. Finally, Darkblade spoke.

Darkblade: "You contacted me - You wanted to talk. What's this all about?"

Manerre, looking the other man up and down, proceeded to turn his back on him and limp around the desk.

Manerre: "I know that you are working for my brother and I would like to know why." He put simply. He reached the Governor's chair and, with slight groan of pain, sat down in it.
Darkblade: "That's really none of your concern."
Manerre: "Oh, but I'm afraid it is. You see, my brother, as a Governor of the Galactic Imperium, is bound to do right. If it got out that he was working with criminals and low lives such as yourself, then that could prove disastrous for the both of you."

Darkblade: "You called me here to threaten me?" He threatened in return.
Manerre: "No." He responded, stretching out his bad leg. "No, I called you here to make you a deal."

That had Darkblade hooked.
Darkblade: "Go on..."
Manerre: "If it got out that my brother I working with you, it would destroy both his career and you would also lose access to whatever it is that he has promised or given you - private governmental equipment or information, I am assuming. So I ask again; why are you working with the Governor?" He explained, leaning forwards.

Darkblade: "It is... mutually beneficial. He replied.
Manerre: "Is it?"
Under his helmet, Darkblade frowned.

Manerre: "My brother is a weak minded fool. He's all smiles and public front, but put him under any real pressure and he'll crack."
Darkblade: "Do you hate you brother?"

Manerre, who until this point had been calm and collected - very much I command of the room, suddenly snapped.

Manerre: "OF COURSE I HATE HIM!" He bellowed, slamming both fists on his brother's desk. "HE KEPT ME LOCKED UP! MY WHOLE LIFE!" He screamed with rage. "From the moment I was born deformed, killing dear mumsy in the process, he has hated me. My entire life, Judas kept me locked away in our childhood home, shut out from the public eye. I was an embarrassment to his public image. He could never be seen to be related to a freak like me! So I was kept, hidden away in the dark, where I 'belonged'. I spent my whole life alone - shunned by and an embarrassment to my loved and adored brother." He explained, his anger subsiding as the story emerged. "So yes," He hissed. "I HATE my brother."

There were a few seconds of silence as Manerre's remaining anger faded away, leaving behind the cool, calm exterior that he normally showed. Darkblade stood, watching the outburst in silence, before finally speaking again.
Darkblade: "What do you want?"

Manerre, calm and to the point once more responded with his deepest wish,
Manerre: "I want you to kill my brother."

The room was silent as Manerre's request sank in. Before Darkblade could respond, the Governor's Aide continued,
Manerre: "Clause 546 in the Governerial Agreement, as signed and agreed upon by every Governor ever to serve under the Galactic Imperium - 'If The Governor should, in the line of duty or whilst in office, be forcibly killed,'" Manerre recited from memory. "'Then the position of Governor of the Galactic Imperium is automatically offered to the deceased's closest living relative.'" He finished with a smile and Darkblade finally understood what the Aide was after. "If my brother is murdered, I become Governor of Qoter."

Darkblade: "And what do I get out of this?" He questioned.
Manerre: "Once I am Governor, you can have anything and everything that you like. A full pardon? Money? Weapons? All of the above? Whatever it is that your heart desires. I'd say that that is much more lucrative than whatever pathetic deal you currently have with my simpleton brother."

Darkblade: How do I know I can trust you?"
Manerre: "As you know I am deformed and you know my hatred for my brother; know that I am a man of my word."

Darkblade nodded.
Darkblade: "Why don't you do it yourself?"
Manerre: "Really? I took you to be more intelligent. He replied condescendingly. "The Governor's deformed brother arrives and suddenly Governor Boan turns up dead? Besides, in my crippled state, I very much doubt I would be able to successfully kill anybody. Even if I did, they would suspect me and not offer me the position."

Again, Darkblade nodded slowly in understanding.
Manerre: "So, Mr. Darkblade," Manerre Boan asked, wincing, as he stood up with the aid of his cane. "Do we have a deal?" He asked, moving closer to the masked man and extending an open hand.

For a second or two, the pair stood silently, unmoving, Manerre with an outstretched palm.
Darkblade: "I need your brother alive." He started, but then continued, "For now. The resources he has provided me with are proving invaluable. I need our deal to stand. BUT, when the time is right, I will kill him." He agreed and clasped Manerre's hand. "For now, wear your brother down. Work away at his politics, his personal life. You're his 'trusted' advisor; advise him - poorly. Get him to believe you and work away. The public will do the rest."

Manerre nodded in agreement.
Manerre: "Excellent. Then we have a deal."

The INV Anvil

As the doors glided open, Lieutenant Lya Drayson strode purposefully onto the INV Anvil's bridge. Marching past the rows of technicians and pilots, she headed straight to where Admiral C'paya stood, hands clasped behind his back, watching the stars outside.

Lt. Drayson: "Admiral, you wished to see me?" She greeted with a sharp salute, following protocol and order to the letter.
Ad. C’paya: "Lieutenant." He nodded. "At ease." Lieutenant Drayson lowered her hand and joined the Admiral by the window.
Ad. C’paya: "I have news." He began and the Lieutenant watched him eagerly, a neutral expression on her stern face. "I have put you forwards for a promotion." Her superior announced.

Drayson's expression remained unchanged, as if this was a message she had been expecting.
Drayson: "I'm honoured, Admiral." She replied, her face not matching her words.

Despite this, the Admiral didn't question it. He knew she was smart and that she had probably already guessed that he would give her a promotion.
Ad. C’paya: "I ignored your guidance, your council and advice and the ROBKAT Engineering Shipyards are far worse off because of it. I disregarded your words as theory and nothing more; I should have known that your strategic analysis would be correct - it has been on every occasion to date. For this, I can only apologise and offer what I have. You prove yourself time and time again to be an invaluable member of this crew." The Admiral explained and then gave a sharp salute. "Congratulations, Captain."

19th June 2094

The lone figure made his way through the underground corridors and past security, until he emerged into a large chamber, which he remembered from the previous time he had been there. Filled with laughter, girls and drunken merriment, Ghartic felt at home. He spotted the man he'd come to see and made his way towards the central dais.

Sitting atop a throne, just as he had been a little over three months ago, when he had last been here, was Remy Ac'ross.
Ghartic: "Ac'ross."
The purple - suited man looked down to the olive - skinned alien.
Ac'ross: "You're not dead..." he commented and Ghartic got worried.

Ac'ross: "If I'm not mistaken, I sent you to the worms..."
Ghartic: "You did." He began.
Ac'ross: "You, Jarred Zeal and some other companions stole my weapons. I sent you out to die in the desert, and yet here you stand before me..." he recounted, standing up out of his throne.

Ghartic: "The worms... They ate most of the group, but three of us survived."
Ac'ross: "Jarred?"
Ghartic nodded in confirmation and Ac'ross snarled.

Ghartic: "Jarred crossed you - the rest of us didn't know what he'd done. Please, let me live and I'll tell you where Jarred and his buddy are hiding." He begged.
Ac'ross: "Mmm... you're willing to betray them?"
Ghartic nodded vigorously.
Ghartic: "They're nothing to me. Never have been. Jarred was useful, but he's too full of himself. I'm not willing to die for him."

Remy Ac'ross thought for a few moments, taking a swig from his wine glass and having a puff on his cigar.

Finally, he nodded.
Ac'ross: "Take five men and go kill that son of a bitch." He instructed.
Ghartic grinned, thankful to have been let off the hook.

Ghartic: "Yes boss..."


An alternative shot of Tank entering the house.

An unused photo of Cat's fight with her father.

The small set for the fence.

The stairs set, a lot of which was never actually seen in the final shots!

An unused image of Remy talking to Cat.

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.



 I made it 
  April 26, 2017
Quoting Doug Hughes Ah I love scrolling through your pictures to see all the great settings and images you take. Great job especially on the low light ones, and the printed images in the images!
Thanks Doug! --Blast--
 I made it 
  April 26, 2017
Quoting Jack Brickton With a lot of stories they get worse as time goes on. With your series however that idea is thrown out the window with each episode being better than the last! Seriously. This has to be one of my favorites of this season! The builds are beautiful and the story continuity with the past episodes is very well done! And After waiting 66 episodes we FINALLY get to see tracks talk. even if it's only a few lines a dialogue.
Thanks Jack! Im glad you enjoyed it so much! Wow! Has it really been 66 episodes?! But yeah, it was good to finally write some actual lines for Tracks! --Blast--
 I made it 
  April 26, 2017
Quoting Werewolff . Fantastic episode, as always. I think Traykar put it best, everyone does want to kill everyone else! But the story is excellent and the builds are great (and accurate to the continuity) and it's great to learn a little more about Cat's past. Stripe must be a right piece of work :)
Thanks 'Wolff! --Blast--
 I like it 
  April 26, 2017
Ah I love scrolling through your pictures to see all the great settings and images you take. Great job especially on the low light ones, and the printed images in the images!
 I like it 
  April 26, 2017
With a lot of stories they get worse as time goes on. With your series however that idea is thrown out the window with each episode being better than the last! Seriously. This has to be one of my favorites of this season! The builds are beautiful and the story continuity with the past episodes is very well done! And After waiting 66 episodes we FINALLY get to see tracks talk. even if it's only a few lines a dialogue.
 I like it 
  April 26, 2017
Fantastic episode, as always. I think Traykar put it best, everyone does want to kill everyone else! But the story is excellent and the builds are great (and accurate to the continuity) and it's great to learn a little more about Cat's past. Stripe must be a right piece of work :)
 I made it 
  April 26, 2017
Quoting Traykar the swift Good episode! It seems that everyone is out to kill everyone. It's odd to see Tracks talk, but I see that you used the old leg design for him. Nice job overall!
Thanks! I'm glad somebody notices the effort I put into continuity! Haha! --Blast--
 I like it 
  April 26, 2017
Good episode! It seems that everyone is out to kill everyone. It's odd to see Tracks talk, but I see that you used the old leg design for him. Nice job overall!
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