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Alternity Space Opera Original Fiction by Tormentor


I participated in an Alternity Space Opera PBEM called WitchSpace run by Thorn.

Although it was Space Opera, it has tentative ties to Gamma World, in that Thorn had his Terra as Gamma Terra. The planet was still mostly wasteland, and the inhabitants of these wastelands were very tough. There were high-tech civilized cities on the planet in specialized domes and such.

I ran an NPC from the game who was a survivor of these wastelands, but became a major intergalactic villan.

Thanks to Brutorz Bill for contributing the TCNN bulletin.




Nehemiah Thrash: Mutant Mindwalker Part 1

    ============================================================================
    TCNN NEWS BULLETIN..............................
    
    ***Rogue Mindwalker Escapes Charon Prison-World***

    TCNN  has just learned that the rogue mindwalker; Nehemiah Thrash, has
    escaped from the Confederacy Prison-World of Charon. Thrash possesses strong
    psionic abilities and is considered extremely dangerous.  Common aliases:
    Max Agony and Niel Witchglow.

    Dr. Mephisto, a Confederacy specialist in Mindwalker psychology, has this
    bit of advice: "Citizens should report to a Confederacy Administrator if
    they experience any unusual blackouts, lost time, or suspicious people in
    their neighborhoods."

    Dr. Mephisto continues," Nehemiah Thrash was raised in the brutal wastelands
    of Terra, and exhibits a harshness and violence that is extreme even amongst
    other Terran Wastelanders."
    ============================================================================
        

Nehemiah watched people moving through the hallways of the fast-rail station like they were so many sheep. 'They hurry on to catch their connecting trains, lost in their meaningless, pitiful lives', he thought. 'No one who is a slave is truly alive.'

Nehemiah knew the truth. These people, like most in the galaxy, did not. They labored on, oblivious to the fact that they were nothing more than cattle as far as the Confederation government was concerned.

God it was good to be free! He was finally so far away from Charon that no one would suspect him in this system, much less this particular planet. Those damn Confederation Witch-Hunters had lost his trail several systems back.

He watched a monitor at the station, blurting out the TCNN news of his escape. 'Fools', he thought, 'I'll destroy them all!'

Nehemiah shook his head, glad that he now looked nothing like any of the pictures of him they were showing on the news.

He continued on towards the seedier side of town to meet up with some trusted contacts who could help him acquire the equipment and personnel to begin anew his quest against the present Confederation authority.

His stay in prison had given him time to consider some major philosophical issues. His previous direction of wanton destruction and anarchy no longer excited him as much as it used to. He needed a greater purpose for his destruction.

People were pawns. If the current rulers of the government didn't dominate and exploit the masses, then someone else would.

Nehemiah planned to be that 'someone' one day. 'Entropy!', the noblest cause of all. Burn down the government a little at a time, and then rule the ashes.



Nehemiah Thrash: Mutant Mindwalker Part 2

After inspecting the building and probing the minds of its occupants for more than 15 minutes, Nehemiah entered another of the "old haunts" no one knew he had haunted over the years.

"Lucas, Good to see you again!", said Nehemiah as entered the bookstore.

"Lazarus, I can't believe it's you", exclaimed the elderly, black shopkeeper. "Been more than 2 years... and you look younger...couldn't look any skinnier though, you was all wiry muscle and bone the last time you was here."

"Have you been staying out of trouble, Lucas?"

"You know it man. Keepin' my nose clean as a whistle."

"Can we get those first-aid books I left?"

"Sure can Lazarus, lets go fetch 'em."

The old man disappeared into the back of the store, followed closely by Nehemiah, who met him at a section of removable wall that was situated underneath a staircase.

"Here you go Laz, just like you left it!", exclaimed the shopkeeper as he laid a large military duffell bag at Nehemiah's feet. Lucas then replaced the section of wall and headed for the front of the store to once again take up his stool behind the cash register.

Nehemiah smiled as he stepped into the bathroom, removing the lock on the bag and opening his favorite cache. He loved this particular gear more than anything because it was the best. Only the best was good enough for him now.

He stripped off his simple black robes, leaving only his loincloth. He even removed the black wig momentarily from his shaved, bald head. Contemplating his reflection in the mirror he cursed the Confederation dogs that had tried to break him in prison.

His skin was dark and leathery, his mixed Indo-caucasian ancestral flesh-tone baked even darker long ago in the wastelands of Terra. A simple loincloth was his preffered attire ever since his earliest conscious memories of life...his monastic upbringing.

The old master Hideyoshi had claimed the monks were a true Shao-Lin order. Whatever they were, they were deadly and hard, but benevolent. They had taken him in as an orphaned infant and raised him until he could no longer be contained.

Nehemiah had learned their skills, their discipline, had fostered his mental talents in their care, and was forged into a human who could survive in the radioactive wastes that the government did not attempt to control. One thing he would not learn from the order, however, was their misbegotten theology and philosophy!

Inspecting the corded muscles that covered his 6'7" frame, Nehemiah cursed the Confederation again, angered that he was denied access to the luxurious, modern workout facilites at the prison. He had preserved his strength with old-fashioned sit-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, running, and the like. Well, the old ways were usually the best ways, he corrected himself. Reliance on too much technology could make one soft.

Of course, the other extreme was to ignore useful technology at your own peril and stupidity, he thought, as he reached into the bag.

He first pulled on the displacer softsuit, an engineering marvel he truly admired. Instead of trying to build suits of armor that resembled tanks more than personal suits, some genius had concentrated on a form of protection that was truly magnificent.

Pulling on his soft boots, he then strapped on his lightweight battle harness. 'Ah, little rocks to throw at crows', he thought, as he attached numerous grenades to his harness. Pulse, plasma, and incendiary were wonderful ornaments he happily added to his harness, but he cradled the last two grenades like a mother would her children.

Torc! The wise men of the day called them mass grenades, but he knew the wise men of the day were just now reaching and exceeding the personal technology the Ancients of Terra once possessed before nearly destroying themselves. True these modern-day engineers far exceeded the Ancients in the ways of travel and space, but the Terrans had been devising better ways to kill each other for longer than many cultures had been around. He had used relics the Ancients had called Torc grenades, and these mass grenades were just as awesome.

He next donned finely-crafted formal robes, fit for any wealthy businessman or diplomat. These were no ordinary robes, but were in fact a stealth-cloak disguised as finery, like high-ranking planetary officials and spies sometimes wore. This suit had, in fact, belonged to an elite Terran special operative until he attempted to apprehend Thrash about 4 years ago.

After adding the assortment of spare charge cells to his harness, and pocketing a sizeable amount of unmarked cash, he then concealed his two gravmaces where he could make them appear in each hand at a moment's notice.

He then destroyed his old robes, wig, sandals, and the empty bag in the store's incenerator.

After Nehemiah walked to the front of the store, Lucas proclaimed, "Now you look like a rich fat cat, Lazarus!"

"I feel like a million dollars even if I don't have it. Are you still set from my previous contributions to your retirement fund?"

"Absolutely, Laz, I owe you, not the other way around."

"Nonsense, Lucas, I will transfer some more your way in a month or so.

Is Oscar still the man I want to see?"

"Yes he is, Laz, Oscar is still your man."

"See you around, Lucas," Nehemiah said as he left the store.

"Thanks, Lazarus, see you whenever I see you." After Nehemiah had left the store, Lucas muttered to himself. "If I'm still alive when you come around again. I swear that man doesn't age while I get older and older."

Nehemiah blended into the crowds as he went to see Oscar.



Nehemiah Thrash: Mutant Mindwalker Part 3

Nehemiah smiled at Oscar. Nehemiah rarely smiled.

"You have something 'marked' and traceable to someone I could care less about, don't you?", asked Nehemiah.

"Yes, Mr. Lazarus. 'The Red Caliphate' raided a Confederation forward supply base last month. Among the things they got away with that might interest you were some satchel charges and some plasma jelly. We acquired some of it from The Caliphate's 'secret' warehouse unbeknownst to them. Steal from the thieves, I say.", said Oscar.

Smiling now, Oscar continued, "Like you say, the damn suits have all that stuff serial numbered. They know what they were missing, but hell, those amateurs in the Caliphate probably don't even know someone cut into their take. When it is used, you can bet your sweet blazes the military will have some demolitions forensics teams in and they will know where it came from. They know The Caliphate took it too, cause the arrogant bastards actually called the planetary governor to tell him they were the ones who took it."

"Thumbed their noses at him, eh?", replied Thrash. "Those Caliphate boys are that local system terrorist group fighting that little "bush war" of sorts out on the fourth planet aren't they?"

"Yup, Mr. Lazarus, the government pushed them out there in a 'reserve', they called it. Gave 'em what they thought was a bunch of worthless, uninhabited land on that planet. Seems some scout boys in the geo-survey when they first discovered that rock were morons, cause those people found minerals out there some years after they set up the 'reserve'. Then the government wants to come in and push those people around and out and take the planet back to suck it dry 'in the name of the government' and 'for the best interest of the masses'. Those people have a right to mine that stuff, I say. They won't leave until the Confederation kills every last one of them, though. They have been bloodying the soldier boys' noses out there...just won't give up."

"That's what the government gets for sending the System Militia to do the job", said Nehemiah. "These local garrison troops are worthless compared to those guerrillas in the deserts. I think they will beat any Militia force the Confederation fields against them...unless of course the Confederation Navy gets involved in a larger support role than just dumping those troops into the meat grinder. The few rusty System Defense Boats in-system now aren't going to do it."

"If the Confederation wanted to get serious", continued Thrash, "they would just send in hordes of those 'convict-marine butcher-boys' and be done with it. The bureaucracy is so unaware of its extremities that they just throw away the lives of the militia. That doesn't sit well with mothers, wives, kids, and fathers back here. I've been listening to the streets a little since I have been in-system, and the people here hate the government more than they do The Caliphate."

"The 'marked' equipment will be perfect, Oscar, I'll take it!"

Nehemiah set about fixing a price and scheduling a delivery. Then he left to round up someone to be the ultimate patsy.

Havoc, mayhem! Ahhh, life was about to get good again.



Nehemiah Thrash: Mutant Mindwalker Part 4

Little Jimmy ran up the front steps, his backpack swinging back and forth on his shoulders, working against him as he tried to balance the huge boquet of carnations and wildflowers he carried in his hands. Almost losing his balance from the pendulum-like action of the book bag, he finally reached the top of the steps and ran across the courtyard as fast as his 10-year-old legs would carry him.

The clock had just struck noon and and a few people were milling around outside the Capitol building, the lunch exodus was seconds from beginning.

Running the gauntlet of exiting adults, he rushed inside the doors, across the short foyer, and darted right through the security scanner and into the lobby proper, shouting "Mommy, mommy, I got you some pretty flowers."

Fred Mason had worked his post as door security at the legislative offices for 15 years now. The days had turned into years, and now he just coasted through the days, waiting for retirement. There was never any excitement here anymore. It had been 3 years since anyone had even tried to sneak in here with so much as a blade. It had been more than 5 years now since some crackpot had tried to get in with a handgun.

Fred watched the first few members of the lunch crowd, aides and press agents mostly, stepping out the exit. He heard the elevator doors opening and turned to see them disgorge the Senate..adjourned for lunch. Reporters still in the lobby who had been lurking like vultures began mobbing a few committee chairmen with cameras and microphones, trying to get various bits of information before the officials disappeared into their luxury vehicles for lunch.

Fred almost pissed his pants as things began happening so fast that he felt he was in slow motion. The security scanner went off like a banshee. He heard Harold, the other front door guard, yelling from behind him..."Hey kid, get back here."

Fred turned to see the little trouble maker skipping across the lobby with a bunch of flowers, yelling 'Mommy'. Harmless enough looking kid, his mom would probably cry if the flowers were a surprise, but the security scanner didn't go nuts for no reason...maybe the kid had a leg or an arm rebuilt with cybernetics or something. He was sure gonna find out, and shake the little hooligan good..put a nice scare in him.

Fred took two steps towards the lobby, and then Fred was no more.

.....

Little Jimmy raced across the huge lobby and into the horde of people. He almost stopped because there were so many strange adults, and it was hard to weave his way in through them. But no, the nice man had said if he would just wear this book bag, and deliver these flowers to the nice blond lady named Sally at the elevators, then the lady would be very happy and the man would give him 100 credits. That was a lot of candy, or a nice hover-board to ride!!

Just as he struggled with his apprehensiveness about trying to worm his way into the crowd of adults, he heard one of the guards yelling at him and saw the officer starting to walk towards him. That was it, the nice man had said to yell 'Mommy, mommy' so the guards wouldn't stop him from delivering his surprise. If they caught him now, he wouldn't get his reward. Well, the elevators were not far now.

Jimmy turned and ran a few strides deeper into the mass of people. Jimmy never found out that there was no woman named Sally waiting at the elevators, or that the "nice man" had programmed his brain like a cheap computer.

The satchel charges in the book bag and the plasma jelly-filled flower vase detonated simultaneously. Jimmy was vaporized almost instantly. The lobby became an inferno of plasma, shrapnel and body parts.

.....

Nehemiah relaxed in the luxury yacht 'Nospheratu'. His good friend Allister Wiggins had been kind enough to answer Thrash's summons and take him away from this dreadful, frontier planetary system and on to reunite with some of his more influential associates and followers. They were on their way to meet some very dear friends now.

Thrash would not hear about the success of his parting gift until a week after they had made planetfall at their destination.

.....

The blast had killed all but two of the planet's senators. Those two had been delayed upstairs and were not in the lobby at the time. Over 400 senators, aides, bodyguards, interns, and press agents had been killed or wounded in the destruction. It would take months to fix the building.

Military investigators had indeed tied the traces of evidence back to the weapons stolen by The Red Caliphate. Civil unrest plagued the planet as citizens clashed with police and militia. 'Guess they'll be a little more serious about security at their governemnt buildings from now on', he thought.

Allister had been able to acquire some more good news through some of his operatives. The Confederation was shifting some Navy assets and some of the Marine convict butcher-boys to help bring the chaos to order, and take a serious fight to The Caliphate. How nice of the almighty governement to spread their forces a little thinner and weaken the systems from which those military assets were relocated.

Havoc, mayhem! Ahhh, life was about to get good again.



The above fiction is copyright 2000 by Neil Whitlow with the exception of the TCNN news bulletin, which is copyright 2000 by William Wood.




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