Tempo Trigger Chapter 28
Lion's Story: The World Is Not Enough
Tarquin slowly opened his eyes as the brilliant light dissipated. He was standing in the middle of a field full of melted rubble, but he had suffered no damage himself. Thomas sat up a short distance away from him. Tarquin saw the kids lower their arms, finally looking slightly tired. He turned around, and saw that the entire base had been laid to waste. "Do you have any idea how much this cost?!" He shouted at the 'synths, unable to quite comprehend the full magnitude of the event yet.
"YOU said your shields could handle it." Lion responded, not turning around. "It's not our fault."
"Sir, forget about the cost!" Thomas said excitedly. "These three combined are even stronger than Taurus was!"
"True... Very true." Tarquin said, calming down. "Considering their great grandfather was the one who beat Taurus, I suppose we should have expected it." He made his way through the wreckage to where the kids were standing. "Well, I think it's safe to say there isn't anything we can teach you that you don't already know." Then he paused. "How is it that all of us are still alive anyway?"
"I made it so that it wouldn't hurt living things." Lion explained. "We had the safety on, if you will."
Tarquin had to smile at that. "Looks like you're prepared for everything. Once we can round up some sort of transportation, we can take you home."
"Oh, you don't need to worry about that." Lion dismissed the concern, and rose up into the air. The other two followed. "We can find our way from here." With that, their bodies assumed horizontal positions, and they flew off toward the horizon.
"Incredible..." Thomas whispered. "It's as if they think they're invincible."
"They might be, if we don't do something." Tarquin said. "I'm sure everybody noticed already, but all the top brass is going to have to talk about this."
Twenty four hours later, Tarquin sat at a large, round table at the top of the Soultech building. Across from him him was the president of Soultech, and top military officials filled out the rest of the meeting. "Well, I assume you all know why we're here." Tarquin began. "The energy blast observed one month ago, and the one performed by the three prototypes yesterday, are almost identical. Fortunately, both blasts rocketed out into space, and did no damage that we could detect, aside from the destruction of the 'synth labs base."
"One question." A general spoke up. "If that beam is really as big as you say it is, and I don't doubt it, I saw it fill the whole sky, how is it that only the base was destroyed?"
"Well, if you'll look here..." Tarquin lit up the holographic projector once again, and this time zoomed into the surface where the beam had come from. "You can see the beam has quite a steep miniscus at the point of origin. That, combined with the curvature of the planet, is what saved everything else."
"But if it hadn't been aimed straight up...?"
"Then we'd be screwed."
"So what do we do about this?"
"Well, the solution to this problem is quite simple." The Soultech president leaned forward. "We've got to kill them." Many of the military officers raised their eyebrows, but not all of them.
"Now, now, there's no need for something as extreme as that." Tarquin smiled. "We only need to kill one of them. It takes all three to power that energy blast."
"But, how can we kill them?" One of the officers asked. "And even if we do, won't their parents basically come and destroy us?"
"Most likely they will." Tarquin nodded. "That is why we need to get one of them killed in an actual combat situation. Any assassination or suspicious accident will most likely result in Leopardano fragging our asses."
"So let's get rid of him too." The Soultech president suggested. He was met by glares from almost everyone. "Ah well, I didn't think so."
"For the time being, their parents can control them." Tarquin leaned back. "They are just kids, after all, so we have a while to plan. However, once they start rebelling against their parents, as all young people do, we'll need to have something ready."
"So which one are we going to kill?" Another general spoke up.
"Does it matter?" Tarquin shrugged. As individual 'synths, Soultech can handle their power. That three person beam is the only thing we have to fear."
"You better be right about this Tarquin." The Soultech president glowered. "I don't want any nasty surprises. If they could generate that beam individually, the world would be at their mercy..."
"As I've stated, they're only children." Tarquin glowered right back. "They're not capable of "nasty" surprises.
After everyone had gone, the president sat back in his chair and poured himself a shot of whiskey. It had cost him over three million credits, being that it was from before Armageddon. 2300, to be precise. As he was pouring out the contents of the bottle, he caught a glimpse of a robed figure in the reflection off its surface. "Gaah!" He shouted, and promptly dropped the bottle onto his desk. The contents began to spill out. Nevertheless, he reached for the bottle very slowly. "Don't break, don't break, don't break..." He willed the bottle to stay in once piece. As his index finger lightly touched the surface, the bottle shattered, and whiskey rained off the sides of the desk. He put his head down on the desk in defeat, then realized that that hadn't been the best idea ever, as broken glass cut his forehead, and the alcohol seeped in. "Aw, craaaaap!!!" He jerked his head up and tried to staunch the blood flow with his hand.
"Are you quite through?" The voice that cut through the following silence reminded the president why he had dropped the bottle in the first place. He whirled around in his desk chair, and came face to mask with the mystery man. He was dressed in a combat suit, and had a utility belt with an incredible array of devices arranged compactly on it, as well as similar belts on both legs. However, his combat ready appearance was diminished by the hooded red cloak he wore. Underneath the hood, the president could make out one fairly normal eye, and one glowing green electrical array where the other eye would have been. He couldn't tell whether it was some sort of goggle, or an implant. The rest of his face was obscured by an incredibly black mask. Long hair somehow made its way out from under the hood, though it appeared to be badly singed.
"Who the hell are you?!" The president demanded.
"I'm someone who can make your problems go away. I hear you need help with some 'synths."
The president's eyes opened wide. "Well... yeah. How do you know that? That has to be the most heavily secured meeting I've ever held!"
"I'm from the past, and the future, and every time you can imagine. I know everything about you, and about Ocello's descendents. Now, do you want those 'synths out of your hair or not?"
"That depends... on what it's going to cost me."
"Only that you'll lend me Soultech forces for backup, in case our primary forces fail."
The president gave him a very skewed glance, before extending his hand. "Well, since you've already cost me three million for that whiskey, why not? You've got yourself a deal, Mr....?"
"Gazuga. Just Gazuga." He walked over to the president's huge bay window, and opened it. This was especially intimidating, as the window was not made to be able to open. He just extended, his hand, and the huge pane of glass shattered into millions of pieces, raining down to the street miles below. He stepped up to the sill, then turned back for a second. "By the way, it'll take about eighteen years or so, so don't get impatient." With that, he jumped out the window. The president rushed over and looked out, but he was nowhere to be seen. He winced as he took his hand off his forehead, and blood dripped out, falling away into the distance. He slowly walked back to his desk, and sank down in the chair.
"Eighteen years huh? Damn, that gives those kids an awful lot of time to rampage, if they feel like it. This better be worth it..."
"How low can you get? I love it!" - Setzer Gabbiani
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