His body a husk of its former self. A cutting chill had shivered down his body. His exterior felt nothing, but inside there was pain, incredible pain. He could feel things wrong inside of him, wrong in ways that were frightening, panic-inducing, because he knew that they could not be fixed. They were broken. They were in shambles. He could feel muscles spam as his innards leaked and ruptured. Hector raised his fingers, they were glossy, velvet like wet paint, bright red paint like substance. This couldn't be happening. Didn't he know who he was? Everything that depended on him? Were the creatures really that sadistically evil? Hector tried to move but he found himself paralyzed,from his chest down. His head tapped the hard metal and soaked in the rising water. Evil, what an archaic concept, by the weak, this, thing, was just stupid.
Clark stood over the lean dying man. He watched the eyes go glassy and stared a moment longer at the man's face. He stared at he location of the face but he looked far beyond the face, the catwalk, the water, the concrete. His mind trying to piece together what it had seen, experienced, had heard and believed was so vividly real. Had his own men and then the agent not falsely claimed he murdered them, he would have bought he was cracking, falling victim to his own actions. And it wasn't until those words arrived that something reminded him of what Coppola had said.
"Doc, you there?" He called back into his radio.
"C-captain? Yeah, w-what's wrong?" He thought for a while as he was about to key back but decided he didn't know want to know. He didn't want to hear something else.
"Just checking the communications. I'm about to move to the rail-gun."
Clark moved through the door passing over the dead Hector. He found himself at a border of a massive room. Somewhere farther down, around the next corner he could hear the light splashing of water. The air was chilled, naturally, not artificially, the room must have a opening somewhere. Clark rounded the corner into a gigantic chamber, a brisk air met his face. Water lapped near the edge where a walk way disappeared into dark waters. A massive bay expanded most of the room. Twin sets of rails an the entire length of the tunnel, just above the waterline with twenty feet between the two sets of rails.
The epitome of the room was centered, back, between the sets of rails and ports for submarines. A giant spherical shape of conglomerate machinery, with a thick pole that protruded outwards a short distance before meeting a nape in the form of a satellite dish like structure. The long staff like pole ran out further, separating from the base and body, the long distance in which would carry the deadly payload beyond the borders of the sky. It sat, dark, and alone, ready for a user to give in a command to rush out, erect and fire on its heavenly targets.
At the base of the spherical body a lone console column stood out. Clark moved towards it. A single steady green line waited for him there, next to a slot. Clark knelt down and removed the CD, he took off the protective case, and checked the slide on the little disk for damage. The smooth plastic composite was unaffected by all the trauma and damage that had occurred in the past few hours. Inserting the disc in the steadily glowing light blinked at him once and continued to be steady. There was an internal hum that picked up in intensity, a hungry child consuming the information, but it continued to a low hum. The light blinked, winking at him, waiting for him to take the hint.
"So they actually sent you after all."
In a single smooth snapping turn Clark had done a 180 and gained a sight picture. A husky bearded man stood with a calm cool demeanor with an equally accurate sight picture along a pistol directly at Clark. The man's features were cut, and worn from experience and actual work, he held the pistol as an extension of himself, one solid being. He was a spitting image of Clark staring back at himself.
"Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you." Zane stood without waver, solid, stone just as Clark remained kneeling, statue like.
"You can't stop what is already in motion, but you can be a part of the change." The shot was well outside of twenty five meters. To prevent being struck by a dead-man shot Clark would need to sever the spine with a single shot, a shot he wasn't confident he could make. "You and I are brothers." Clark tightened his finger. He felt a massive rumble come.
"Bullshit." The rumble grew stronger under him.
"I didn't believe it either. You and I were purposely separated at birth. Our father opting us for experimentation to see if the government could sculpt the perfect operating soldier. Clones, clones of our father's DNA, bred in vats. Is it really so hard to believe? Haven't you always felt led to this life?" Clark didn't respond. He recalled his mother too fondly, the only question was why Zane and he looked so similar. And then, the platform began to move. Clark stumbled. The rail-gun was moving along its tracks. "You can't stop it now. But you can be a piece of the change. Your government has lied to you, used you, used all of us. The cold war is a ruse! The two governments puppets for a single dominate body. You find your own path, and you'll find the truth.
The rail gun shifted and the speed was steady, no longer clunking, and Zane was beyond effective engagement. Clark lowered his pistol as did Zane who grew smaller and smaller as the gun moved along its course.
Clark looked back beyond the rail-gun, light was visible at the end of the tunnel. He switched his radio over to the General.
"Hound 6, this is Dog 6."
"Dog 6, this is Hound 6..." The transmit button was held on the other end. "I'm so glad you contacted me, I was just thinking of you." Reflexively Clark looked at his radio, his eyes spitting poison of disbelief.
"Hound 6, I've installed the disc and the rail-gun is still moving to become operational."
"Dog 6, your mission has changed, you are now to move in a intercept German liaisons to Japan."
"Hound 6, Hound 6, you are coming in incoherent." Clark knelt down pressing his radio into his ear. He steadied himself, annoyance boiling up through his brows and pressing his scalp.
"Dog 6, you know the devastating affects of the nuclear blasts on Japan? They say the face of several villagers were melted to their skulls. Just black gaping maws left of their mouths as they stumbled, unsure and scared of what happened."
"Hound 6, you're not making any sense."
"As I've mentioned, we've all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry. The unawareness remains strong but compliance will rapidly start fading." Clark pounded his fist into the server. Still the gun continued its trek for annihilation. He switched his radio back to Gregory's line.
"Doc its me."
"C-Captain, what is it?"
"Listen, I've put the disc in, but the gun's moving. I don't know how to stop it."
"The-the disc takes time. Where are you?"
"On the platform, the gun's almost out of the tunnel. I can't coordinate a strike, my higher isn't make sense. It's like I'm listening to another conversation altogether." There was silence for a long while. "Doc, did you hear me?"
"Ugh, yeah, yeah. Um, C-Captain, who is your commander."
"I can't transmit that."
"Ugh, well I'm going to assume it's General Giacchino." The pain came through in the doctor's voice. "T-the s-server, on the rail-gun. It had a nickname, GG. Ugh, the name comes from General Giacchino, each server is named, ugh, after a real person to create confusion."
"What does that have to do with stopping this thing? I'm almost out of the fuckin' tunnel!"
"Well, that's the thing, you haven't been talking to the General, you've been talking to the server the whole time. Ugh, you're getting odd transmissions because, ugh the server is getting corrupted."
"So it worked?"
"Well it's, ugh, working, I don't know how long it'll take to be um, you know disarmed. I'm on my way down there. Ugh, I don't know what to do."
Clark looked at the massive opening at the end of the tunnel. He could feel the stinging wind blasting across his face and the flurry of snow that whisked back and forth, taunting the rail-gun to come out. The barrel swayed through, breaking exit first out into the open. The massive machine lurched forward, defiant to Clark's wishes and needs. The snow picked up, angry puffs falling as Clark was dragged out with the rest of the massive weapon out into the open.
The movement came to an abrupt stop. A catwalk was extended from the shore on the right to provide access from the weapon's platform to the main land.The snow was undisturbed as the massive rail-gun swung into position like an executioner preparing to drop his ax. Clark looked to the heavens and awaited the fateful moment.
Silence. The boom never came of the projectile, the projectile remained encased in the tomb deep within the rain-gun itself. Clark waited longer, the pounding within his body growing, heavier, his ears strumming. The gun remained silent, more snow fell. Clark exhaled, a thick heavy plume of breath obscured his view, and the gun still stood silent, a monument of destruction. The breath blew and cleared with laziness. Silence.
"It, ugh, worked." Clark turned, Gregory had crossed the catwalk and looked up at the silent gun. The thumping of distant rotors pulled their attention away. The long sleek body of a Russian Hind slipped away into the clouds off in the distance. Knowing eyes, watched down on them in disappointment.
A clicking went off, Clark looked at his radio. The doc was with him, and supposedly the General was gone, a figment of a corrupted computer.
"Who do you think that is?"
"I, ugh, would assume it's your real commander, um, the real General." Clark clicked the radio and listened.
"Any U.S. forces, last call, this is Hound 6, respond."
"Hound 6, this his Dog 6."
"Dog 6, situation?"
"Mass casualties, multiple enemies engaged and disengaged,..." He let off the key to the radio.
"Ugh, what is it captain?"
"I just want honesty."
Across the radio came "Dog 6, I need a full SALT report." Clark looked at Gregory's scarred face and, for once, Gregory swallowed hard and looked hard and definitely back.
"Hound 6, I need answers." There was a long pause. No voice came. Clark yanked the headset off and tossed it.
"Not across the net." The voice was loud without the headset, working like a handheld radio again.
"No! Answers, I need them. I need to know what I just saw, about the man claiming to be my clone brother, about the things happening here." Again there was a pause. He could feel Gregory's eyes drilling into him and the radio, but he was alone in frustration, trapped in the closing claustrophobia of his mind.
"Dog 6, is this secure on your end?" Clark looked up at Gregory.
"Yes, I'm alone." With the headset off, Gregory could hear the communication fine.
"The defector Zane is not a clone, nor are you." There was a break. "You are both; however, brothers."
"Jesus, it's-it's true." Gregory mumbled to himself.
- Writer, soldier, thinker, and science fiction lover. I just can't seem to find a way to divide my adventurous self of constant outdoor activity and exercise from my nerdy self playing games and going to conventions. So why not just be both?
I am a young professional living out of Tallahassee, Florida for the past five years. I have been on a deployment with the United States Army and continue to work outside of my other occupations to better myself mentally and physically. My passion for writing is driven by my passion for everything I find entertaining in life, and of course by my friends and family.