PAGES 5 WORDS 786
CHAPTER FIVE ANTON TEIS
Teis is a new major character
The word mule(s) refers to all prisoners within the Snow Kingdom
The chimes of the gemplasma screen sounded, telling Teis he had an incoming message. Annoyed by the intrusion he wrinkled his brow as he turned to face it. “Now what do they want?” he muttered. Sitting back into his grav chair, his furrowed brow, now a full-blown scowl Teis read, with a well-honed, jaundiced eye, the white letters forming on the dark screens surface:
Fourteen escaped mules…thirty-one standard hours…Atacama Hydroponics Complex
Fourteen mules poslocked and terminated . . . fifty-three standard hours.
Hunter-Killers . . . four deployed . . . four destroyed.
Grid Coordinates . . . Sector D Quad 1-1A
Verifiers . . . three deployed. Confirm fourteen mules terminated. Fifty-five standard hours
Release confirmed . . . Stalker Pod Drax seventy-two standard hours.
Estimated objective acquired . . . Ninety-six standard hours.
- O L. Ruiz
Anger crept into Teis’s mind. Four Hunter-Killers along with their crews, destroyed. “How could unarmed mules destroy four HKs? No wonder Lord Ruiz’s message was cryptic. That corpulent dung heap is keeping the facts vague for a reason.” He shook his head. “Bloodloss time again,” he said, his voice dripping with contempt.
Teis’s annoyance grew and he didn’t like it.
Moving to the edge of his grav-chair, he brought his right fist down hard on the console. “This makes eight escape attempts this year from the Kingdom’s complex system and the third this period from our South American complexes, but the very first from here.” With a look of disgust, Teis leaned back into his chair, his annoyance and anger gradually replaced by a persistent, questioning nature. Why did my complex experience its first successful, but brief, escape attempt? He sucked on his lower lip. “Hmmn, no wonder the bloated Lords made sure I had this information; anything to make Ruiz look bad.”
Teis’s annoyance began to fade. He could care less if the Lords fought amongst themselves, it was one of the few pleasures he could enjoy.
He stared at the screen and shook his head. “I wonder whose skin they’ll flay and hang on the wall this time, especially with the loss of four HKs?” He rubbed his chin, his mind trying to fathom the obvious. Why did they choose to escape from this complex at this juncture in time? How could fourteen addicted mules destroy the HKs?
Teis’s annoyance returned.
He couldn’t think of a logical reason, unless the mules had somehow obtained weapons. But how and from where did they acquire them? He gave the dark screen a brief, disgusted look and with a deep groan, stretched slowly only to turn, as he had countless times before, to look forlornly through the rooms large viewport and out across the endless stretches of the high Atacama Desert.
With a practiced hand he pushed the grav chair’s blue button and watched a small, pure vial of distilled snow rise from the left side of the consol. This he sipped slowly, his thoughts still on the escaped mule despite his efforts to dismiss them. “What fools these Alliance asses, thinking they could survive their escape from my complex? No one can, damned inbred puss-eaters!” His tantrum over, Teis continued to slowly sip the white liquid, but found to his dismay, that the liquid was not having its desired effect. Seeing Ruiz’s name at the end of the message
For nearly five years, since the day the Lords had blocked his ascendancy from War Lord to a Lord of the High Council on fabricated charges of cowardice, he had hated them with an unbridled passion. As a belated peace offering, the Lords appointed him to the position of Chief Analyzer of the Kingdom’s new hydroponics complex in the Atacama Desert. Since his appointment, he had run a flawless operation . . . increased hydroponic production and without any escape attempts during his long, tedious years of overseeing the complex. But now, with the latest escape, in a complex under Ruiz’s protection, the Lords may need his influence over his former tribal territory. And if this was, indeed, an Alliance attempt, which he was beginning to believe with growing conviction, how could the Council not request his services? No individual alive within the Kingdom knew the Alliance as he did. If they turned to him, it would be grudgingly, with resentment, and with as little acknowledgement as possible, but if the circumstances surrounding this escape deepened, turn to him they would.
Raymond Tobaygo has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work
© 2016, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
The author has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.