Author Topic: Officers Lounge  (Read 721 times)

Mason

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Officers Lounge
« on: February 09, 2016, 12:16:54 PM »
The reinforced-steel walled officer's lounge was quiet, except for the occasional REGIME fanfare or patriotic reminder. Holograms of political propaganda intermixed with randomly generated cloudscapes appeared on silk tapestries hung around the circular room. It was dark except for columns of white halogen light stretching from floor to ceiling. Servers in the grey uniform of the FLEET carried cocktails on silver platters to quietly chatting Officers, Politicos and Members of the Glorious Generals Regime. The waiters said nothing at tables, only listened to orders and complied.

A man entered through the semi-circular blast door at the top of a small ramp. The cloudscape on the wall shifted to a deep purple and then dispersed. A red security sensor momentarily flashed from his head to his feet and then disappeared. A patriotic message appeared on the black tapestry beside him:

THE GLORIOUS GENERAL REMINDS YOU TO COMPLY WITH YOUR DUTY! TRAITORS TO THE REGIME WILL BE SHOT! Enjoy your stay on Station Zero...!

The man turned to face the message hovering in holographic light before him. The font was heavy block letters, a dusty sand-papered grey outlined in gold. He gave a sharp salute as a picture of the GLORIOUS GENERAL appeared. It was the official state image of the General, taken nearly thirty years ago. Specks of grey and white were only beginning to appear on his slightly fuzzy chin. He had a heavy brow, dark eyes and thick wrinkles on his forehead. Atop his head was a severe looking commanders hat, black and grey with a gold badge insignia on the front.

"Tyler!" the man heard his name called from somewhere in the bar. He peered into the darkness and saw a familiar face in the crowd. He gave a small wave and stepped down the ramp.

"Gentlemen," said Tyler, removing his cap and smoothing back his slick blonde hair. "Admiral Velko!" Tyler offered his hand to a fat bureaucrat seated closest to him. Velko was crushing a cigar between his teeth. "It is such a pleasure to see you again! I remember fondly the Battle of New Delhi. Do you remember the cries for mercy we so deftly refused! Ha! We did the GENERAL a Great Service that day."

Velko raised a pudgy hand holding a drink and smiled. Thick ash fell on his uniform as clouds of smoke drifted upward. A waiter appeared with a chair for Tyler. He took it without a word and had a seat next to a beautiful Martian woman. Her long dark hair fell carelessly down her shoulders, framing a perfectly angelic face. Her attention was focused on the man seated next to her, an old Marine Commander, with a slight build and a prosthetic arm. His metal fingers were covered with taught skin-toned polymer. He had a thick scar across his eye and head, probably from a laser blast in some long ago battle. The woman was whispering something into the Commanders ear.

He laughed and said, "Tyler Conte, welcome! You know Velko of course. Let me introduce you to Generals York and Stone-fresh from the North American Campaign." The Generals gave Tyler a cursory nod, mostly ignoring him.

"Thank you John," said Tyler glancing around the table. "It's good to see you as well. How is your son?" The waiter appeared and placed a drink in front of Tyler without a word.

"Very good! James is at Albemarle. Seems he wants to follow his old man into the CORE. "

"Splendid! For the GENERAL!" said Tyler, raising his drink. No one else seemed to notice. The Martian woman giggled and gave John a kiss on the cheek. "...And that man at the end of the table-"

"-Minister Adam Washington," said Tyler. "I've been following your political policies on Mars for some time. Fascinating work Minister, truly worthy of the GLORIOUS GENERALS praise!" The man was seated opposite Tyler. A work tablet in front of him glowed green, casting heavy upward shadows on the young ministers face. Tyler looked closer and realized that the man had a lot of prosthetic enhancements. His eyes were solid black except for two red pinprick sized pupils in the center. As he talked, the minister continued to tap rapid commands on his tablet without looking.

"I appreciate your enthusiasm for my work Mr. Tyler. Who are you?" he said in a soft monotone voice.

"Oh, an old friend from the Martian Wars, some years back-Mr.. Washington. He's with Intelligence," said John quickly. The Martian woman's hands had disappeared beneath the table.

"Actually the Interior Service Now," said Tyler reaching into his black leather jacket. He pulled out a badge with the gold embossed triangle of the GENERALS office on it. "Agent Conte, liaison to the Generals Office. How do you like Station Zero, Minister Washington?" The minister stopped tapping his tablet, and stared at Tyler.

"I find it relaxing Mr.. Conte. Did you know Station Zero is the only Defense Platform in Orbit around Earth? Not even the old Republic could achieve such air superiority. I am sure the GLORIOUS GENERALS will be VICTORIOUS in North America. Are you on business or is your visit merely pleasure this evening?"

Tyler tucked his badge back in his coat, and pointed to the simulated cloudscapes on the walls. " The clouds are a nice touch. You wouldn't even realize the station is traveling at 17,000 miles per hour. One is never really off-duty with the Interior Service Minister Washington. When did you arrive at the station? Yesterday was a no-flight cycle, so surely the day before...?"

The Minister glanced around the table. The conversations had ceased and an awkward silence fell upon the table. The Martian woman glanced around the table, avoiding Tylers glare.

"I arrived last week Mr.. Tyler," said Minister Washington. "I hope you realize I regard this line of questioning as impolite?"

Tyler nodded. "Of course, forgive me Minister. Let me only-" The Martian woman jumped up suddenly, a standard Marine Issue pistol in her hands, firing shots wildly. Tyler barely had time to pull his gun and draw a bead on her. A perfect circle of white light appeared on her forehead and Tyler pulled the trigger.

Her head snapped back, her arms lifeless. Johns gun clattered to the table. Spilled drinks mixed with quickly forming pools of blood and cocktail napkins with the REGIMES logo embroidered on them. The other people in the bar began shouting

Tyler was still seated, breathing heavily. He glanced over at Velko, head back, his bulbous neck torn open. His cigar was on the table, burning a hole into the synthetic surface. General Stone was slumped over General York, blood streaming from a hole in his cheek and temple.
Minister Washington resumed tapping commands on his work tablet. His augmented black eyes were lifeless. Tyler wondered how much of the Minister was machine; how little of the man was left?

"I've alerted station security Mr.. Tyler. I've also issued an official statement regarding the incident for review by the Politburo," said Washington.

"My god, Tyler!" said John. Ashen faced, he alternated looking at the dead assassin beside him and Tyler. "How did she...My gun...?"

"My office received word of a potential threat to the Officer Core, something untraceable. I didn't catch it in time. I'm sorry John, it's time to start thinking about how your going to explain this to the GLORIOUS GENERAL." Tyler plucked dead Velkos still burning cigar from the table and took a drag. Smoke surrounded his head and Tyler leaned back in his chair smiling. Minister Washington smiled back.


OOC
This may or may not take place in my Faction Front setting. I'm not entirely happy with the story, but it was for a contest and the deadline has arrived. Thanks for reading!