Piloting Fury Part 49: Brand New KDG Read
It’s Friday, which means it’s Fury time again. In instalment 49, Gerando Fallon meets the family. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.
“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.
Piloting Fury Part 49: Bro123
“I can’t contact him, and it wouldn’t do any good if I could,” Gerando mopped sweat from his forehead. He’ll track us right on in when the shields go down, and I know he’s got Apocalypse armed to the teeth. I heard him brag once to the Prime Minister that he had a planet killer he could detonate if he ever needed to, and with my old man, that’s not an idle threat.”
Rab watched while Fallon did shit to the ship’s computer, things he didn’t understand. He’d been little more than a glorified grunt onboard the Dubrovnik. Oh he had some technical skills, but most of them involved running loading equipment and reading ship’s manifests to be sure what he loaded and unloaded was what it was supposed to be, but knowing the ass end from the gullet of a ship’s main computer, that was Diana McAllister’s job, not his. “If I was her I’d let us both die.” Rab said. “Hell she just might. And that fancy SNT1, well he might just blow our poxed asses out an airlock and be done with us. Pretty sure ole Manning would jump for joy.” He gave a one-shouldered shrug. “The people on Pandora Base, I wonder, would they turn away people like us? Your bastard of an old man doesn’t seem to think so.”
“Fuck my old man,” the kid panted. If I could just shut off the over-ride controls, we could run the Ares hot and get there far enough ahead of the Apocalypse to at least give them some warning.”
“That won’t go down well.”
“Fuck! Do you think I care? He infected me. My own goddamned father infected me. Oh I’m not surprised, not really, but that being the case, I think any loyalty I might have owed him is shot to shit, wouldn’t you say?”
Rab said, gave himself another injection of pain killer, which wasn’t even touching the goddamned aches in his joints, and his fucking head felt like it was about to explode off his shoulders. “Hell, I’ve got no reason to be the shit stain’s cheer leader. What the hell you gonna do about it?”
“Well, at the moment, he’s controlling the speed and trajectory of the Ares through the Apocalypse. I have no control whatsoever. You see for him to get what he wants from Pandora Base, it’s all about timing, isn’t it? He’ll bargain for McAllister, agreeing to leave the base intact if he gets his property back. Of course he never keeps a promise, so once he has her, it’s just a matter of infiltrating the base and taking what he wants, and killing or indenturing the citizens. And our little plea for help will make it all possible.”
“Well fuck” Rab said.
“I just can’t seem to find the algorithm he used to override the Ares’ control. There was a drop, drop, drop of blood on the console and the kid cursed and sniffed. Holding his head back he reached for a steri-pad and pressed it to his nose. One of the symptoms of the virus was bleeding. “That’s just nasty,” he said. “I fucking got blood all over my nice console.” He went to wipe it off and suddenly the view screen flickered, gave a buzz of static and lit up.
Bro bro bro bro go faster bleed.
“What the fuck?” Every bone in his body ached as Rab dragged himself to the console, which the kid was trying to wipe clean. What the hell did you do?”
“Nothing! Jesus! I didn’t do anything.”
Bro go bro go faster bleed.
The message flashed up on the view screen again, then multiplied and repeated itself until it filled the whole damned moniter.
Bleed bleed bleed faster bro go bleed fast bro go.
“Sonovabitch!” The kid wheezed and the fought off a fit of coughing. “Is this for real?”
“What? What is it, some other sadistic trick your ass wipe of an old man dreamed up for us?”
“No. I don’t think so.” Junior began to something on the computer, and Rab watched as his words appeared on screen.
Bro go faster how?
The response was instantaneous, up on the screen almost before Gerando stopped typing.
Go faster bro bleed bro bleed.
“I know this is going to sound insane, but I think Apocalypse is trying to communicate with us, with me. I’m his brother, remember?”
“Fuck me,” Rab whispered.
“I think … I think,” he sniffed and leaned his head back as another stream of blood appeared under his nose and down his upper lip and he caught in his hand before it could drip.
Bleed bleed bleed! Bro go faster bleed!
“All this bleed shit sounds like a sadistic trick from your father to me,” Rab said.
The words were no sooner out of his mouth than then entire screen filled with a single word bleed just bleed over and over again.
“No. No I don’t think so.” Gerando said with a loud sniff. Then he placed his bloody hand against the console and the words blinked off and on neon bright. Bleed go faster bleed go faster bleed go faster!
“We’re blood,” the kid said. “That’s it. That’s the message Apocalypse and I, we’re blood. Our DNA’s the same. That’s the connection, my blood on the auto doc, don’t you see, no part of an SNT ship is the brain of the SNT. All of the ship is a whole. My blood touched the SNT part of Apocalypse and there’s a link. That means.” He scrambled to the Ares’ CPU and placed his bloodied hand against the unit and suddenly they were both flying back against the wall as the ship shot forward and jumped into hyperspace.
“Jesu fucking Christu,” Rab gasped when they could both manage to get off the floor and stumble to their seats. “Next time your bro decides to pull a stunt like that have him give us a little warning. I hurt bad enough without having every bone in my goddamned body broken.”
“Stop your whining and come look at this.” The kid held a bloodied sani-med to his nose and imput something on the computer. Rab figured he was trying to see how fast they were actually going. “This isn’t even possible. Even if I could have gotten the controls away from the old man, this ship should be burning up at this speed, and yet it’s not. It’s purring like a kitten, everything working well within parameters and above. According to my estimates, we’ll be dropping out of hyperspace in about six hours, a good day ahead of my old man.”
“And what are we going to do when we get there?” Rab asked. “They ain’t exactly gonna roll out the welcome mat for us.
“Doesn’t matter. At least we can warn them. After that, it’s out of our hands, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, we can warn them so they can all bend over and kiss their asses good-bye. What the hell good do you think it’s going to do? A day? A week? The fucking Apocalypse will chew them up and spit them out before they even know what hit them, and you’re old man knows it. Oh, he’d like to take the base intact so he can take whatever tech secrets ole Keen’s been working on all these years, but it don’t matter, in the end he’ll have Diana McAllister back one way or the other, and he’ll get what he wants.”
“I don’t care,” the kid said, around a wet cough. “It does matter. We have to do something.
Go bro 2
The message flashed bright on the screen and then multiplied and spread from top to bottom. Go bro 2 Go bro 2 Go bro 2.
Before Rab could ask what the hell that meant, the kid typed,
Will Fury help?
Bro 2! Bro2! Bro2!!!! Came the response
Will you help? The kid typed.
???? Came the response, to which the kid cursed profusely, ending in a coughing fit. Rab handed him water, which he sipped, then typed again.
Will Apocalypse Help?
Bro123, Bro123, Bro123!!! Came the response.
The kid managed to pump a fist in the air before another coughing fit hit. This time Rab found a cough treatment in the auto-dock and administered it. And the kid relaxed, drenched in sweat and burning up. “Why don’t you go lay down and get some rest. Neither of us gonna do anyone any good if we are too sick to communicate once we get there. I’ll keep an eye out for more messages from Big Bro.”
Fallon cracked a smile. “He’s actually Little Bro. Fury’s Big Bro, being the eldest, and I’m the one in the middle.”
“Well that explains a lot,” Rab said. “I heard that the middle kid was always the trouble maker.”
Junior forced a chuckle. “You never met my sister. If it’s all the same to you though, I’ll just stay right here, just in case.” He curled up in the chair and Rab covered him with a blanket, and decided he didn’t want to be all that far away from Little Brother either, and he curled up in his own chair.