Unicorn's Shadows - Part 8
In a intricate plan to remain in power, a man known as Janus, the Chief of InternOps; purposely leaked information about the would be arrival of the Unicorn Company, the elite force of Omni-Tek Corporation which he sees as a threat to his position. With the news becoming public, OT Administration comes under the political pressure of ICC, the clans and other corporations to explain their reasons to call for such a drastic decision. Within a few days a press release from Omni-Tek denies the allegations and secretly calls off the Unicorn Company until things settle down.
Omni-Prime calls for an internal investigation to determine how the information which was classified and only available to executives ended up becoming a public embarrassment to the corporation. Meanwhile all evidence of Janus involvement is 'removed' and a recorded 'confession' from an employee whom he had used in his plot before his untimely 'suicide' is presented to the CEO and other executives at a meeting called to discuss the investigation. Janus puts the blame on the clan leader who had received the transmission from the bureaucrat with the information on Unicorn Company and is unanimously given authority to eliminate him in any way possible.
Thinking ahead of time, using Dr. Wineyard and experimental technology; the mind and memories of a man who was loyal to the clans all his life has been changed into an omni employee, with a deep hatred for those who he once called family, friends and allies. He becomes a puppet, the man is Cory "Windguard" Wagner, the father of the clan leader who had received the message, and the last piece of the Janus' puzzle.
The son is extorted into disbanding his clan and publicly retracting the information about the Unicorn Company in exchange for the return of his father.
In the darkness of Omni Forest, two agents; father and son, face each other in combat manipulated into it by Janus.
The older man fires shots with precision, trying to kill his target, unbeknownst to him that he is his son.
Running between trees the younger agent tries to keep his cover, while trying to decide what to do.
An unexpected moment of silence occurs, then he hears his father shout "You have no chance rebel scum! Your crimes against the company end here! Make it easy on yourself, I'll make your death quick and painless!".
Feeling trapped, unable to fire on his own father but also unwilling to leave him behind he remembers something that had happened to him the previous year. He had been captured by the Dust Brigade and rescued by a small army of clans a week later; to assure they had rescued him and not a clone or impostor they had scanned his brainwaves to match the profile his clan had on record.
He hears him shout again, "What is your answer? die quick with whatever dignity you have left, or be hunted down like an animal? You have two minutes to decide clanner!"
To make a scan of his father's brainwaves he would have to be close, very close to him. There was only one chance. He quickly sets his NCU to do an automatic scan at proximity to match with his father's records. Looking at his X-3 rifle, a second idea comes to mind; with a few swift modifications he creates the second part of his plan, hoping it succeeds, otherwise he would be dead, permanently.
"I'm coming out with my hands up!" he shouts back to his father. He then steps out from behind a tree, holds his rifle up in the air, surrendering.
Aiming his weapon at his son, he replies "Throw your weapon toward me!"
Slowly walking forward to his father he calmly answers "You said I would die with dignity, what agent would fall without a rifle at his side?"
"Alright, don't try to use it, or I'll start shooting off your limbs, one by one. Don't get too close scum."
"I think I have the right to see the face of the man who will end my life, unless you are afraid to look into the eyes of your target."
"I'm InternOps kid, we have no fear of the likes of you. Come and see me, it will be the last face you will see."
Taking slow steps toward the man he has known his whole life, the younger agent makes his approach.
Keeping his weapon aimed toward his target, he tells him to stop about ten feet away from where he stood.
"This will be quick."
"Wait, at least let me put my weapon down. I rather die without holding it up like a damn prisoner, we both know I ain't going anywhere from here."
"Suit yourself, but if you turn the rifle towards me, I'm going to blow your arms off, then the rest of your body, piece by piece."
Nodding his head, the son slowly puts his rifle on the ground in front of him, then keeps his hands up.
"I have one question before we...well, before I go should I say. Who the hell are you?"
"I'm Lieutenant Mendoza, Omni-Internops Division Zero, Special Unit. We are the ones that deal with terrorists like you. Now enough conversation, time to go."
"Yeah, should be." Two short beeps emanate from the younger man's NCU.
"What was that?" asks the agent.
"Oh, that? well... you got the right body, but the wrong brainwaves buddy."
Frowning at the answer, he looks a bit confused but determined to finish the job.
"Another thing before I go. What's that buzz I hear?"
A small buzz begins to surround both of them. Looking down at the X-3 on the ground, the older agent realizes what is going on and turns to run away.
"Not so fast you bastard, you forgot my little gift!" the younger man screams while he executes a rooting nanoformula on his opponent, stopping him cold, unable to run away or attack.
"What the...let me go you madman! you've overloaded the energy cycle on the rifle, it's going to explode and kill us both!" he screams.
In a cold voice he replies "Yeah, got about a minute to spare before it vaporizes everything within fifty meters. But then, only one of us has a yalmaha nearby, and I'm not in the mood to take passengers tonight."
The buzz becomes louder, a small red light blinks on the side of the rifle, warning them of the overload.
"I'm insured, this is not over, not by a long shot!" the omni screams.
"Oh yes, it is very much over. I'll take this if you don't mind." he says as he takes the perma-death weapon from the hands of his would-be killer.
"Go ahead, do it, kill me. There are a thousand more that will take my place and hunt you down clanner, sooner or later you'll face the same end."
Pointing the weapon at his immobilized enemy, he remembers the teachings of General Voislav; "Never kill unless there is no other choice Wind, we fight for freedom; there will be times when killing is necessary, but you must be able to recognize the times when they are not".
"No, I'm not like you. My father and my teachers taught me better than this. Enjoy the trip to reclaim Lieutenant." He transmits a short command from his NCU and a Stiletto appears from within the forest in a matter of seconds.
Jumping in the vehicle he engages the autopilot setting his home as destination. The Stiletto hovers above the forest and takes flight toward clan territory and a few seconds later a large explosion is heard a few miles behind it.
In the cockpit, the young agent sighs and whispers to himself "Bye pops, I won't forget you" with tearful eyes.
Released November 3, 29477 (2003)
Last updated on 12.07.2011 by Khuri
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