BetaForce – EchoCell 05
16:48 June 19th, 2049
Hudson Arco Complex, Sector 23
“GET AWAY FROM MY LITTLE SISTER!”
Toby leapt forward and grabbed Travis around the waist and right shoulder. He lifted the shocked UniCop as if he was made of nothing more than paper. With a scream of rage Toby threw Travis out of the back of the van and over the heads of Sarah and Tommy. Travis sailed through the air for nearly 12 meters before smashing into a concrete pillar and landing on the roof of a nearby skycar. The roof of the car buckled shattering the windscreen and triggering its alarm.
Tommy had to duck as Toby bounded out of the van almost like an animal, landing on all fours. He watched the boy race after the UniCop dumbfounded. When they had sparred before, Toby had not moved as fast as that, nor had he seemed that strong. Sarah climbed into the back of the van, pulling out a first aid kit.
“Three,” she called out to Tommy, “go after the kid and stop him from doing anything stupid. I’ll take care of the family.” He nodded and turned to follow Toby.
With a grunt, Travis pulled the combat knife from his shoulder and recognised it as the one he had lost earlier that day. At least now he knew where it had gone. He looked up and saw the crazed young mutant charging towards him, pure rage visible in his eyes. Travis quickly sprang to his feet and into a combat crouch, knife held out before him. As Toby got in close he lashed out to strike Travis’s head. The UniCop ducked under the blow, barely, and grabbed Toby’s arm. Using the mutants own momentum he tossed him over his shoulder sending him sprawling to the floor. Travis span round and slashed at the boy with the knife as he got up. The knife sliced across Toby’s chest leaving a ragged cut in his sweatshirt. A spurt of blood, cast off from the knife, splashed across the ground and the boy clutched his chest.
A spray of gun fire narrowly missed Kai as he dived across the gap between two skycars to join Talbot. The remaining UniCop in the rear escort was proving to be a tough opponent. “We need to end to this,” Talbot spoke as he peeked over the top of the skycar using a snapped off wing mirror, “cover me.” Slapping a fresh magazine into his rifle, he passed the weapon to Kai. “This should do the trick,” he muttered as he pulled a grenade from a strap. A sharp pain suddenly struck his head and he inhaled sharply between his teeth.
“What’s wrong?” Kai asked worriedly.
“Nothing,” he answered rubbing his temple, “just a headache.”
It was no ordinary pain but an empathic flash. Talbot usually kept his telepathic and empathic abilities in a dormant state. Most people constantly broadcast their surface thoughts and unless he focused his control, when his abilities were active it was akin to having a thousand rock concerts taking place simultaneously in his head. However, occasionally a powerful empathic flash would break through his mental defences. That was what was happening now. He could sense a powerful, almost feral rage. Like an enraged animal. Talbot looked round the side of the skycar just in time to see a UniCop slash at Toby with a combat knife.
As Travis prepared to slash the boy again, Toby growled dropped into a one handed hand stand. His left leg lashing out and striking the combat knife sending it spinning and clattering to the ground. Travis drew his sidearm only to have kicked out of his hands by Toby’s right foot as the boy flipped upright. Toby now had his back to Travis but if the UniCop thought that gave him an advantage he was mistaken. The boy thrust his right elbow into Travis’s armoured chest and then span round to deliver a vicious follow up punch with his left fist to the same location. The armoured plate buckled and cracked under the force of the blow. Travis coughed and blood splattered Toby’s face.
“Shit,” Talbot thought as he watched the fight across the garage, “he’s gonna kill him.” He signalled Kai, and leapt out from behind the skycar. Kai opened up with the assault rifle, spraying the cab of the escort. The UniCop inside ducked down as the bullets riddled the windscreen. Talbot charged towards the vehicle, readying the grenade. At the last second he pulled the pin and tossed it through the side window throwing himself to the floor in preparation for the blast. The grenade bounced of the helmet of the UniCop before landing between his feet. He had just enough time to utter a resigned curse before it detonated.
In the back of the prisoner transport Sarah had begun to treat the gunshot wound. The mother was clutching the daughter, as if afraid to let go. “Who … What…” stammered the father.
“Hold still Mr Smith, I need to bandage this before you loose to much blood.” Sarah said as she searched for the exit wound. “And before you ask, you’re safe with us. We’re here to get you to safety.”
“Your son? Yes.”
The mother looked up hopefully. “Toby? but they told us he was dead.”
“Don’t worry, he’s very much alive and my team mate is taking care of him.” Sarah said as she found the exit wound and began to bandage. “I hope,” she added silently under her breath.”
Travis staggered back, winded by the blow to his chest with his hands held out in surrender. The boy grabbed hold of his head and screamed in a guttural voice, “This is for shooting me,” into his face as he head butted him. The UniCop’s nose crumpled in a spray of blood and he collapsed to his knees. “This is for trying to stab me in the alley.” He smashed his fists into Travis’s face sending him to the floor. “This is for hurting my family.” A savage kick to the groin caused Travis to groan meekly, pleading for mercy. Toby sat on his chest, repeatedly punching him in the face. “And this is for my sister.” He clenched both his fists together above his head and prepared to smash them down on Travis’s face. The semi concious UniCop lay beneath him unable to resist.
Tommy charged into Toby, body tackling him off the UniCop. The two boys slid across the floor in a tangle of flailing limbs. Toby landed face down next to the discarded combat knife. As he rose to a crouch, his back to Tommy, he grasped the knife. Before Tommy could call out, Toby span round and leapt through the air. He landed on Tommy, forcing the older boy to the floor as he sat on his chest, the combat knife to Tommy’s throat. Tommy looked at Toby’s face, he almost couldn’t recognise the boy. Toby was snarling through gritted teeth that almost had fangs and Tommy was sure that his eyes used to be blue, not orange. His entire body seemed to have altered as well, he felt heavier and definitely looked more muscular. After a few seconds, Toby’s eyes seemed to refocus and see for the first time what he was doing. He glanced at the knife he was holding and his eyes widened in shock. Dropping the knife, he scrambled off Tommy’s chest and fell back against a concrete pillar. Toby looked at his hands which were covered with blood and down at his blood soaked sweatshirt. Tommy looked at him carefully and was relieved to see that he seemed to be back to the blue-eyed, freckle faced kid he had met in the briefing room.
“Jeez, I’m sorry, I … I … God what was I doing?” Toby struggled to apologise as Tommy got up and walked over. Tommy held out his hand to Toby.
“Well, er, you kinda lost it.” Tommy answered as he helped him up. Toby glanced warily over towards the UniCop and gulped.
“Did I … is he … you know, dead?” He asked quietly.
Tommy walked over and checked the body. “No, the bastard is still very much alive.” Toby came up behind him and looked down at the UniCop. Tommy stood up and put a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Look, go and see to your folks. I’ll take care of this guy.” Toby sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve before turning and running over to the prisoner transport.
As Tommy watched him climb into the back of the transport only to be engulfed by his parents, he heard a noise behind him.
“Thank you.” Travis barely managed to whisper. Tommy knelt down and looked at the man’s face. It was a mass of bruises, one eye swollen shut, his noise broken and his skin covered in blood.
“Don’t thank me,” he began to whisper to Travis, “I didn’t do it for you. I could quite happily have let him do it. He would have smashed down and with his strength he would’ve crushed your skull, splattering your brains all over this floor. Given what I just saw, he might’ve even enjoyed it too. But here’s what makes him different from you and me. Later, when he calmed down. He would have regretted it, he would’ve felt guilty about. It’d probably destroy him.” Travis opened his mouth to speak but Tommy clamped his hand over his mouth cutting him off. “You call people like me terrorists, monsters even. You don’t see us fucking each other over because of a few differences in DNA. How many people have you sent off to their deaths? How many of them were kids, and how many of them even knew why they were being executed?” He paused and looked around. The others were by the prisoner transport helping Toby’s family into the Tank. None of them were paying him any attention. “If I was someone else, I’d just leave you here for the medtechs. But unfortunately for you,” with his free hand he rolled up his right sleeve revealing a tattoo consisting of the number “217” with the word “Gamma” underneath. When Travis saw it, his eyes widened in fear and he tied to call out. His cries muffled by Tommy’s Hand “I’m just following the training you people gave me.” He shifted his grip to cover Travis’s nose and held on tight as Travis tried in vain to twist out from under his grip. The struggling became weaker as Travis suffocated and eventually they stopped altogether. He got up, took one last look at the body and joined the others.
Posted on Friday, June 27, 2008, in BetaForce, Fiction and tagged cyberpunk, darkfuture, Fiction, future, heroic, magic, mutants, sci-fi, superhero, supers, totalitarian. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.