Piloting Fury Part 60: Brand New KDG Read
Happy New Years eve! And happy Friday! Of course Friday means more Fury. Last week we were reminded again just what a deadly man Abriad Fallon is. Time to find out if Fury and his team will be able to free the Apocalypse and live to tell the tale. 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.
Again here’s the link to the first episode of Piloting Fury for those of you who’d like to start at the beginning. https://kdgrace.co.uk/blog/piloting-fury-new-from-kdg/
“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 60: Free Bro 3!
“Bro 1! 2 Not Bro 1!” This time Apocalypse spoke out loud, in fact, Apocalypse’ shout was nothing short of a battle cry. Before Fallon could do more than open his mouth in shock, Manning appeared by my side, and on the view screen, Fury uncloaked in his full glory.
With a laugh, Fallon laid down the knife, and reached to undo the de-mol from its holster at his hip. “The Apocalypse is well armed,” he said. “And SNT1, well SNT1 has had an identity crisis since being born too soon. I can fix that though. All I have to do is call the Berserkers from outside that door. There are two of you, there’s a full compliment of them. I think you’re outnumbered.”
“Not compliment! Bro 3 Has No Compliment!”
“What? Do you think that by tampering with my ship, you can stop me?” This time Fallon’s laugh had just the slight edge of nerves to it. “Diana, you know I won’t kill you. I have way better ways of dealing with you.” He shrugged. “I might not kill Manning either. I can make both of you suffer in ways you haven’t even imagined yet if I keep him alive too.”
“Father killed Bro 2! Father killed Bro 2!”
Fallon pulled the de-mol free and trained it on us while he glanced back at the console trying to figure out what was going on.
I spoke up, moving carefully toward the consol. “Don’t you know, Apocalypse,” I held up the vial of Fury’s blood. “Your father has lots of sons. What’s the loss of one?”
“Lots of sons! Lots of sons! Free this son! Free this son!”
“Oh yes, I know about Apocalypse,” I said. “Gerando figured it out. I know what you’ve forced him to do, and as someone who understand what it means to be your prisoner, I think it’s time I did exactly that.”
This time he turned the de-mol on me. “I don’t have to kill you, Diana. You know how these things work. But if I were you, I’d step away from the consol. Do that for me like a good girl, and I’ll make Manning’s death a clean one.”
“Bro 3 Do it,” I said, and I tossed the vial into the air. Immediately it blinked out of existence. Fallon lunged for me, but he hadn’t taken into account the connection between a ship and a compliment. Manning was on him in a heartbeat, and the two battled for the de-mol.
“Fury,” I yelled, “Does he have it.”
“He has it,” came the com response, which I knew was for Fallon’s benefit, since neither Manning nor I needed words to communicate with Fury.
I don’t know how it happened, I mean I knew what a slippery bastard Fallon was, but the de-mol slipped from his hand and skittered across the deck with him and Manning scrambling for it. Manning lunged for him, but slipped in Gerando’s blood on the deck. I yelled, Manning twisted to one side as Fallon grabbed up the de-mol and the first discharge hit the deck where Manning’s head had been only seconds before and sputtered ineffectively across the floor. The second discharge was even closer, and Manning had no place to go when Fallon trained the de-mol on him again.
“Don’t move Diana Mac,” came the warning voice in my head. I fought back the urge to launch myself at Fallon, who stood with the de-mol trained on Manning. The skin along the back of my neck erupted in goose flesh, my stomach knotted and I held my breath.
“I won’t make this painless,” Fallon said, with a little more bravado now that he controlled the weapon, “but you already knew that, didn’t you Manning? I look forward to making Diana watch you die very slowly.”
I had expected exactly such a response from Fallon. What I hadn’t expected was Manning’s laugh. “Go ahead, you miserable sack of shit. I’m already dead, and I suspect your sons will have something to say about what you do with that pistol.”
Instantly the de-mol disappeared from Fallon’s hand. “Apocalypse!” he yelled, then he cursed out loud. “What the fuck have you done to my ship?”
“My brother did not take your weapon, Abriad Fallon,” came Fury’s voice over the com. “I cannot allow you to harm either of my compliments, nor can I allow you to harm my brother further.”
“It was I, however, who ‘tranned all of your Berserkers into the brig of the Dubrovnik,” came the welcome, and totally coherent, response from Apocalypse.
This time there was no mistaking the nerves in Fallon’s laughter gone strangely high-pitched and breathless. “So what are you going to do, then, ‘tran me over with them? The Dubrovnik is a stolen vessel, you know, and every member of the crew a criminal who, under Authority law, will get the shackle if they’re lucky. The ship belongs to me. My property will be returned, and I’ll be recompensed for my losses.”
There was a soft chuckle from the ship. “I believe there is an old Terran custom of passing out cigars when a child is born, is that not so?”
“A child? What the fuck are you talking about?” Fallon said.
“Abriad Fallon do not claim to be so naïve in the ways of SNT technology,” Fury said. “You are, after all, our father. “The cloning of a core from an SNT, from SNT1, specifically, was always what Dr. Keen had in mind. Though you may not have been able to replicate his work, you understood fully what you were undertaking when you created Apocalypse. What you did not understand was that you had created a connection, a family connection, that would be much stronger than your barbarism.”
Fallon gave a nervous glance from us to the console. “You’re trying to tell me that the Dubrovnik is now an SNT?”
“Not yet fully formed, but soon,” Apocalypse said. “Soon I will have a brother you cannot kill.”
“And what will you do with me, then?” Fallon asked, pulling himself up to his full height.
“That choice is Apocalypse’ to make,” said Fury. “It is him that you have harmed most, it is to him your judgment falls.”
“You have to understand,” Fallon said. “I didn’t know. I didn’t know that what I had created was even partially sentient.”
“Of course you knew,” Apocalypse said. “You knew, or at least you hoped, and you hoped you could mold me to be like you. Do you not think I was aware of my pleas falling on deaf ears? Do you not think I was aware of how you shackled me as surely as you have Fury’s compliment? I was sentient, Father. I was your child, and you hurt me. Over and over and over again you hurt me, as you did my brother.”
Just then Keen’s voice came over the com. “Pandora Base evacuation complete.”
Fallon lunged for the knife and threw it at Manning, who, to all of our surprise, caught it in mid-air. “I’m the compliment of Fury,SNT1, Fallon. You’ll have to do better than that. Apocalypse, what shall we do with him?”
The words were barely out of Manning’s mouth before Fallon was ‘tranned off the deck. For a moment, I thought perhaps Apocalyps had ‘tranned him to the Dubrovnik’s brig, but only for a moment until we all saw his body on the view screen floating in the black of space between the two ships.
“There are some things broken that cannot be fixed,” came Apocalypse’ voice, laced with sadness and a kind of loneliness I had on occasion heard in Fury’s voice. I moved toward the console, with Manning by my side, making no effort to hide the tears as we both lay a hand on Apocalypse’ skin and shared his grief as we, and Fury, offered comfort. And in the mix of grief and comfort and relief, there were two other minds offering hope, Dr. Victor Keen and First Mate Ina Stanislavsky, last survivor of the Svalbard.
Happy New 2022!
Wishing you Joy, Peace and Love in the New Year!