The Armageddon Equation Chapter 3
Victory is in my grasp. I can feel it.
Leena, the General of the Poore army, smiled to her self as she looked at her reflection in a full length mirror. She had a young face since the stress of war seemed to have no effect on her youth. Though a young leader of an army, her rank was respected and recognized, especially by the General's uniform she wore, complimented by a regal looking, high-collar cloak.
She savored the thought of victory, but almost regretted it. Serge had been a close friend, possibly a future husband and mate, but her father's defeat by his hand had sparked a raging anger and a thirst for revenge that allowed her to take command. Serge would maybe even missed. Maybe.
She fingered an amulet, which she wore around her neck, absentmindedly. It had been a present from her father before his death. The amulet seemed to have a special purpose in this world. Miguel had told Leena that much after he brought the amulet back from Chronopolis, the place where time stood still.
She pushed those thoughts from her mind. It was the time to think of victory over the Resistance and Project Chronopolis, her father's vision, which would follow. It was only a matter of time until the Resistance's base was found and victory was ensured.
"Excuse me, General?"
Leena turned from her reflection to see her right hand man, Norris, in a salute.
He was also the head of Research and Development, one of the army's most important departments, due to his expertise in technology. His uniform was not dissimilar from her own but lacked only the rank and the cape that Leena held.
She returned the salute. "Yes, Norris, what can I do for you."
"Sir, the squad you sent after Serge is finally making their final approach. They seem to be coming in slow due to some damage they seemed to have received."
He cleared his throat and continued. "Shall I send their report up to you when they land?"
Leena considered this for a moment, "No, Norris, not this time. I think I will hear their statements for myself this time. I don't know, but I can feel victory in my blood. I think that theirs is good news tonight."
The two officers walked down the vast corridors of Arni Base in no hurry. Time was not of the essence today of all days. So, they took their time and made their walk a stroll.
At one point, Arni was a simple village. A minor place in the El Nido Archipelago. With the combined efforts of the remaining Dragoons, future Porre soldiers, and the Poore Army, however, Arni had become a thriving military base around a dying and desolate world. All the technology in the world would be useless, though, if Serge's base could not be found.
The two officers continued their walk, returning salutes on the way, until they reached and entered the hangar. It was a vast building, which held only a portion of their working aircraft. Loud noises consisting of equipment of all sorts, running engines, and numerous voices, to name a few, filled the hangar. Any normal conversation would be unthinkable in a place like this, but , like the soldiers that they were, Leena and Norris walked through the hangar until they came across the battered planes that have finally landed.
The pilots of the two aircraft that encountered Serge, one dwarvishly short and stubby and the other slim and tall, greeted Leena and Norris with salutes, which were returned. Leena led the pilots and Norris into a soundproof office close by and bade them to sit down. Leena addressed the squad leader first.
"So, First Lieutenant Shaker," Leena began, "what happened out there tonight?"
The pilot removed his flight helmet, showing a spiky mass of blond hair. Peppor Shaker was an expert pilot and one of the Poore Army's finest. His subordinate and brother, Solt, too removed his helmet, showing off his shoulder length brown hair.
"Sir, we had just finished our routine inspection of the Northern Shore by the old manor in our separated formation and were returning to base when I spotted Serge with a two more of his men. We must have been over half way to base at the time. I believe they were on some sort of reconnaissance mission."
Peppor let that sink in for the moment when he continued. "That was when I called for my men to converge on them with me and engaged him. They started running in a retreat and tried to fire several shots sporadically, keeping me on my toes. After several minutes, I managed to separate the Serge from his men and cut all means of escape for Serge. For a few more minutes, I chased him down trying to shoot him down. He continued this pattern until he finally fell, giving me my shot for the kill, which I took.
"So," Leena interrupted, her heart racing and blood boiling, "you have a kill? You did finish him off? Well? Speak up, Lieutenant. What's keeping you?"
"Sir, I did take the shot, and, I did see Serge fall. I shook it to him. However, I I saw another Serge. After I shot Serge, I heard something from the external microphones. I can't explain it, but I saw him, and I went after him. He just ran and avoided my shots just like the other Serge.
He didn't fire or anything while I tried to kill him. He just kept running, but then froze and lifted his hand. That was just about when a missile struck me. I believe it was a Firehawk, considering the red trailer. My fighter was injured to the point where I could just return to base. I had to turn back."
Leena hit the table with her fist, unflinching. She bared her teeth. "So he got away? You actually let him get away from you?"
"Sir," Second Lieutenant Solt said, his turn to speak, "that was when I shook over for my brother. After about five minutes, I saw Serge on a motorcycle in high retreat with whoever fired the missile. Slowly, but surely I gained on him.
I began to fire my guns in the hope of downing them, but they kept dodging. That was when Serge lifted his fist up in the air. I can't explain how, but he attacked me with some sort of weapon, the likes of which I have never seen."
"Just a moment," Norris interrupted, intrigued, "what did this 'weapon' do exactly?"
Solt faced Norris, "Sir, it was like some sort of electric discharge. It was sort of magical. It was like a giant cattle prod shot, I would say. Whatever it was, it disabled my onboard computers for a moment, until the backups could be engaged. I finally caught up to them again, but another aircraft appeared and drove me off, leaving the two to escape unharmed. Sir, if they were heading back to base, I wouldn't know where it is. I'm sorry, Sir. There was nothing else I could do but return to base."
With the report finished, there was a mass of silence in the room as everyone tried to absorb all that was said. Surely, there was some sort of secret weapon, which the enemy had been working on, that was finally revealed. Why reveal it now? Who was that 'other' Serge. Those were the questions on the minds of those in the soundproof room.
There was a knock on the door just as Dr. Luccia entered. She was a scientist of the highest level in the base, and had currently been examining the two planes since they had landed. Whenever she spoke, everyone listened. Not just because she was an important person, but it was hard enough to understand what she was saying without that accent of hers.
"Good evening, General. I have come wiz zi rezultz of my examination of zi fighterz. According to my data, zi first plane waz injured from a firehawk mizzile. Zat much iz clear. Az for zi other plane, I can not tell at zis time. It iz az if a bolt of lightening short circuited zi plane'z on board computerz temporarily."
Leena rubbed her chin, understanding over half of what she said with that accent of hers. It had been just as Solt as said. Some sort of electric attack had crippled the plane. But, what sort of weapon was it?
"Zo I mean, so what you are saying is that the enemy used an energy based weapon of some sort."
"Zat is what my data showz."
"Do we have the technology to develop anything that sophisticated, doctor?" Norris asked.
"Zat iz your department, sir, I have no vay to anzer zat."
"Well, could a weapon of that caliber pose a threat to us?" Leena asked.
"I believe zo, General,"
"Then it is settled. I want all available troops put into a search party, and I that base found immediately. If at least, I want one of Serge's allies found and interrogated. We MUST know what they are up to and what this new weapon is. Do I make my self clear?"
"Yes, Sir!" The room chimed.
Leena smiled. Victory was cooking.
General Leena left the room and the hangar, heading back to her quarters. It took only a minute for Norris to catch up with her. He was proud to have her as a superior. Leena knew how to do what needed to be done. She was a natural born leader, but until her father's death, she never knew it.
Leena stopped at her quarters and faced Norris in a way that told him she had one more request.
"Norris, I'm sure you remember those Devas and that sided with Serge?"
"Yes, Sir. I remember them quite well."
"When we find the base, I want them found and brought here, along with this new Serge, to me personally."
"Of course, General, and then?"
Her words were cold and unfeeling. "Eliminate them."
"You sure you can stand, mate?" Kid asked.
"Yes, I'm sure," Serge staid as he got back on his feet with Kid's help. He still felt weak after that strange incident only minutes before. He had felt himself, really his other self, dying.
"I must admit," Radius spoke, "you gave us quite a scare."
"That's for bloody sure." Kid said, her eyes shining with joy. She had already lost one Serge. Losing another would be too much.
Steena, in her ceremonial clothes, turned to Kid. "Fortunately I was able to break that strange connection between the Serge of our world and this Serge we see now."
"Yes," Serge said, "fortunately."
Karsh walked over to Serge and looked him over as if he was sizing Serge up. "So, our Serge really is dead, huh?"
Serge met Karsh's gaze. It stayed that way for a moment as if unspoken words were being exchanged. "Yes, I'm afraid so."
"Well then, I guess I only need to ask you one question. Are you willing to lead us? Are you going to help us find the Chrono Cross?"
Serge knew that all eyes were on him.
He had already agreed to help them before the incident, but to lead them. That was something he really never thought of. This wasn't his fight, but at the same time, it was. He felt nauseated. Everything seemed to be happening so fast. His future wife was out to kill him. His other self was dead, and now he was faced with this decision that could change the course of this dimension itself.
Lead them? Don't lead them? That was the question.
He then looked at each face in the room. It was then that the gravity of the situation hit him like a FreeFall Element. These people needed a leader. Even the Devas did not feel capable to lead all the people in the Resistance. They needed him and they trusted him event though he wasn't their Serge.
A light smile came to Serge's face and he gave them his answer. "Of course. To victory."
This set off a set of encouraging remarks. It was a minor victory in itself. Kid slapped Serge on the back almost with enough force to put him on the floor. Karsh, Zoah, Radius and Marcy shook his hand. Glenn and Orlha gave him a slight nod of the head, which he returned.
"Oi, like there was ever any doubt, mate."
"Maybe a little, Kid," Serge responded.
Kid let out her arrogant laugh showing Serge there was no doubt as far as she was concerned. After a few minutes, Radius calmed everyone down. It was time that reality have time to catch up with them.
"I'm sure we are all excited about this turn of events, but I believe it is time for us to turn in for the night. It has been a long day, and I'm sure that our new leader would like to rest."
Everyone agreed at that and began to disperse to their rooms among the base. After a moment, the only ones left were Serge and Kid.
"Kid what are you still doing here," Serge asked.
Kid put her hands on her hips and leered at him, "Oi, I did't know you knew your way around here considering it's your first night."
Serge smiled, "I guess I forgot that for a second. So would you show me to my room?"
"Be glad to, mate."
She took his hand and began to lead him through the Divine Dragon Falls Base. She showed him which hallway led to the armory, hangar, and so forth. She seemed totally relieved to have him here, and there was something different about this Kid. Something he couldn't place his finger on.
"And this is the cafeteria. You might want to be wary of the meat loaf. Serge! Are you listening?"
Serge blinked his eyes and smiled nervously. "Sorry, Kid, just wandering off I guess."
She continued on until she finally got to his quarters. Out of the rock, a small cave covered with a piece of cloth for privacy was carved just large enough to fit a bed and other necessities. It was actually a little larger than his old room back in his Arni.
"I know it's not what you may be use to, but it's home for us. If you find you can't sleep, I'm down the hall if you feel like talking."
Before he had a chance to respond she was off to her quarters. There was something different about her in this dimension. It was just a feeling, but it was strong. Serge sat down on his bed, which was actually quite comfortable.
"Hello?" a voice called.
"Hello?" Serge responded.
"May I come in?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
Steena, dressed in the same sort of ceremonial garb she had worn before, stepped into his makeshift room. She gave him a smile, probably glad to see her work paid off.
"How are you feeling?"
"Kind of strange after all that's happened. But, I suppose that's to be expected."
"Yes," she responded, "I suppose it is. And I suppose that I owe you an explanation for your being here after all that's happened."
Serge nodded his head, "I think that would be a good idea."
He continued his long trek back home. Each step was filled with renewed energy and life; the very life that had threatened to leave him moments before. For the record, he was lucky to be alive. But, he did not consider it luck or fate. No, he controlled his own destiny. He would show that whore Steena as much when he returned.
The sound of the falls was audible now.
He breathed deeply again. Each breath was filled with cool, crisp air that he enjoyed so. He would be breathing the same air for a long time. He was sure of that.
He owed a debt of gratitude to whatever had granted him life. To cheat death was every man's dream, but he had also cheated a so-called destiny.
The sound of the falls grew louder.
He thought of the visions he had had before. They were so uncanny, but real. It was actually scary to think of another Serge in this world. Was it Serge's fault that he almost died? Would Kid have found him if Serge did not show up? Those were questions that he intended to have answered when he got the chance. The chance would come.
The sound of the falls was a roar.
The worldly Serge looked up at the falls and smiled. He was home.
I apologize if I messed any character's accent up.
I did my best and have no regrets.
To whoever types chapter four:
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