I know I promised the next chapter of “Jessica Redux” today, but the story between Ascheya and Lieutenant Jake Carlson is heating up. Jessica will take a short hiatus while I dismiss the plot bunny that’s making me write more about Charon.
This next episode will take a couple of installments to get through so please enjoy “Crazy Compassion – Part 1”.
Why is it that the most distracting things always happen during the Bardo? The entire base was pitch black and covered in the pale glow of the flood lights when we got our call, a group of refugees had been attacked on their way to the base. We were the clean-up crew, but I couldn’t find my squad.
After running all over the base, I thought to check the barracks. There I found Fernando leaning on the wall outside the barracks with Eric and Kelly waiting in the truck. It sounded like a war was waging inside.
“What’s going on?” I asked just as something heavy hit the door, denting and slightly tearing the steel.
“You’re girl is throwing a fit,” Fernando chuckled, “She’s super-mega-pissed at something.”
A bunk struck the wall and busted through the corrugated steel, tearing the metal like flesh and sending the bunk into the next barrack. Fernando looked over at the fallen bed and chuckled.
“Good luck there L-T,” he snorted.
I pushed on the door, changed my mind and then kicked the dented door open, I saw Ascheya smash a locker with her hand and then grab it. Picking it up she threw it across the room while screaming at the top of her lungs. It was a piercing sound, like the wail of a banshee.
“What’s the matter soldier?” I asked, but quickly regretted the soldier part.
Stopping, she huffed to me and pointed a vicious talon in my face, “The fucking Church of Light is what’s the matter!”
The Church of Light was the dominate religion on Earth. I’m no theologian, but my understanding is that they’re based off a long dead religion that was supposed to have been founded by the son of a god or something.
Before I could even ask, she answered my next question, “They fucking blocked my citizenship!”
“They’ve got no authority …” I started to say, but she grabbed a footlocker and through it through the window.
“A damn clone! They convinced the Senate I’m a clone!” she yelled, smashing a bunk with her hands. The metal collapsed as if the bed was made from taffy.
There are three very dark eras in Earth’s history. The first was slavery that ended in the late twenty-second century. The second were the Jewish, African and Hispanic Holocausts. Finally, came the Clone Trials.
During the Clone Trials, the cloned people had managed to get enough support to take their case to the Earth Supreme Court saying they were legitimate humans and should be afforded all rights of normal people. The Church of Light had convinced enough lobbyists and judges though that the clones didn’t have souls, they weren’t conceived by The Lord, so they weren’t human and therefore, animals. They used those people since then as slave labor.
“We’ll just …” I started to say, but Ascheya was beyond raging and wasn’t going to let me say a word.
“Destruction!” she yelled, throwing a rifle into the wall. “I’m supposed to report for destruction!”
I’ve never claimed that I was a smart man. As a matter of fact, I tested a little low. My IQ was listed as “dull normal” and borderline “mildly deficient”. But this time my brain was working overtime. This problem was so easy to solve, even I knew what to do.
“Well?” I blurted, “So you’ll report. It’s an or …”
A humming blue blade stopped by throat, “Oh really,” Ascheya hissed, “And you think you’re man enough to take me there?”
Even though I had nearly pissed myself, I never saw her grab her blades, I grinned maliciously, “After we’re done with this mission, we’ll turn you in. I can’t control if you … die … out in the field.” I winked. Wink, wink.
I’ve never been more afraid in my life. Please know what I’m thinking, please get what I’m thinking, I pleaded inside my mind.
Her eyes were horrifying. Black pits except for the gleaming violet rings of violent fury. Lacking the white that most of us have in our eyes, Asheya’s glare was demonic and coupled with her fangs … terrifying.
Her long, pointed left ear … twitched.
“You’re … serious?” she mumbled, slowly lowering the tonfa-like weapon.
Oh yeah, I was supposed to breathe to stay alive. Pushing out the air in my lungs I winked again, “Serious as a heart attack. People die in field all the time.”
Hooking one dagger on her belt, she turned away, deep in thought. She was deciding if she trusted me. I could see her eyes darting back and forth as she studied each thought in her brain.
The blade snapped up so that it was just millimeters from my right eye, “You know what I can do to this base right?” she asked. Her normally whispery voice was dripping with venom.
“I can’t say I do,” I responded, “I get the feeling I haven’t really seen everything you’re capable of.”
Looking down her arm at me, she lowered the blade again, “Remember what I said?” she asked.
“You ready soldier?” I responded. She had said plenty of things, I had no idea what she was talking about.
Stepping past me, she stopped with her shoulder touching mine, “The fastest way to die on Charon is to fuck with me.”
To be continued …