Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GreatHites 59 Take 2


This week have stories by:
Scott Roche
Guy David
Mick Bordet
Norval Joe
WinnerDanny Machal <-------- This weeks winner
Jeff Hite

Magic Quadrant part 8 It is Verboten
By: Scott Roche

Wilkerson would have been somewhat surprised to learn that neither the transporter nor the on board weapons fire had triggered the red alert. A ship had come out of warp just a few degrees off of their port side. It didn’t look like any ship Lisor had ever seen in his life. A mass of spikes and protrusions, it looked for all the world like a puffer fish had mated with an asteroid.

There was no way to tell which way it was ‘looking’. That made a certain amount of sense for a vessel that would spend all of its time in deep space. After all there was no up, down, left, or right. The configuration of most Federation vessels took into account atmospheric flying and probably no small amount of tradition.

The star field around it rippled for hundreds of kilometers. A flash of brilliant color streaked from one of the protrusions and touched the space where their current adversary hung. Pico seconds later there was something that looked for all the world like a Federation vessel, but with four warp nacelles rather than the typical two.

The science officer had been hearing for the last few years about the experiments with adding additional nacelles, but so far the results he heard about were far from conclusive. This ship had no markings indicating that it was of Federation origin, there was no doubt in his mind though that it was. Now that it had been forced to uncloak everything his sensors told him indicated that it was a sister, or at least a cousin, to the Kongo. That would explain why everything it had done to date had been familiar.

Behind him Captain Thornton was barking orders and everyone responded like the machine they had become under his command. It left him free to scrutinize the new comer as well. When he was called upon he wanted to have something useful to contribute

The streams of data flowed and he assimilated it rapidly. The metals and power source that the spheroid used were a complete puzzle. The dark flickering was a shield of some sort. Whether it would deflect their weapons fire at all or for how long wasn’t something he could tell. The beam that brought the other ship out of its cloaked mode was also completely alien.

There was a sudden surge in his viewfinder and the new arrival unleashed a torrent of energy towards now visible ship. “Captain they possess some sort of plasma weapon.”

The effect on the target was dramatic. The shields scintillated and seemed to bleed off energy. Readings on the shield’s effectiveness scrolled up into view. Making a few calculations based on what the Kongo’s own protection offered he felt it pertinent to make a suggestion. “Recommend you avoid being hit by that sir. One of those would take our shields down by eighty-five percent.”

Thornton nodded. “I don’t plan on it. Mr. Singh, evasive maneuvers. Mr. Travis, prepare to fire all phasers on the new vessel and bring the photon torpedos to bear. Banks, hail both vessels and let me know when they respond.”

The deck of the Kongo seemed to stay constantly level in spite of the gyrations Singh was putting her through. The tension on the bridge was thick. Suddenly a voice came on over communications panel on the captain’s chair. “Wilkerson to the bridge. We have intruders on Deck Ten.”

Thornton stabbed at a button to reply to the unexpected message, but there was no response. Wilkerson must have disabled his communicator after transmission. That was verboten by standard protocol and usually not even possible. He growled and hailed the security chief. “I want a team on Deck Ten in thirty seconds.” He didn’t wait for an answer.

“Captain, we have a hail from the starship.” Banks said.

“Put it through.” Thornoton listened with anticipation. Since being fired upon, the ship now calling them had begun a textbook evasive routine. The planetoid had yet to repeat its assault.

“Captain Thornton, this is Captain Deale of Section 31. We would appreciate your assistance with the current threat.” Deale’s voice was distinctly feminine, though husky and deep.

Thornton nodded. “We’re prepared to assist. We’ll talk later about what you were playing at up until a few seconds ago afterwards.” The way Section 31 worked there was no guarantee of that.

The unnamed Section 31 vessel opened fire first. Eight light beans cut through vacuum and seemed to be literally deflected from their path. Whatever it was using for a shield was different than Federation technology which served to dissipate more than deflect.

Lisor saw another energy fluctuation. “Hard port.” The Kongo listed to the left as Singh enabled them to avoid the full brunt of the attack. “Shields at seventy percent captain.”

“Feed targeting information to Travis. I want to target the weapons system.” The captain grasped the arms of his chair.

The data flowed from his station to Travis’. It would be interesting to see if the weapon was localized like their phaser arrays. It didn’t seem to be the case. Whether or not their torpedoes would penetrate was also a question.

A brilliant flash filled the forward view screen, overcoming the automatic polarization and whiting it out briefly. When the view came back nothing occupied the space where it had been.

Thornton stood. “That was too easy. Lisor, what do you have?”

Lisor looked into his view finder. There was no evidence of destruction, just the void. “Nothing captain. It’s like nothing was ever there.”

The communicator at Thornton’s chair chirped again. He punched the button. “Go ahead.”

Wilkerson’s voice came through loud and clear. “Captain. We have a problem.” The Section 31 agent looked at his feet. There lay the body of a human where an alien had been before.

Iridescent Angel
By: Guy David

“Has it really been eight years?” asked Abigail. Ezaria just stared at the big wall and didn't answer. The big wall was forever moving, shifting, like some cloud trapped inside glass. It was a constant in their life, the forbidden border of their world. No one crosses the wall. That's the way it has been since the singularity, almost 2000 years ago, yet his own daughter did it. She defiantly crossed the wall, never to be seen again.

When the singularity came, so the stories of the ancients go, everyone changed, became what was called “transhuman”. The people of ancient times knew the truth. They knew it was wrong. It was an abomination. It was against the will of the gods, but they where few. They couldn't change the mind of the others, so the gods erected the walls. The story was passed on throughout the ages. No one knew what was beyond the walls, but they knew the walls where forbidden by the gods so they stayed away, that is until little Ebony decided to question. Questioning the will of the gods was wrong, forbidden, but that didn't stop her. She was determined. When she was 12, little Ebony went with her parents on a picnic near the southern wall. Suddenly she got up and started running towards the wall. Before the startled Abigail and Ezaria could respond she was at the wall, then she was past it. There was nothing her parents could do. It was forbidden.

In the years that followed they tried to live with their loss but they grew distant. While Abigail said they should go after her, Ezaria insisted it was forbidden. The post singularity demons where beyond the wall. They didn't follow the rulings of the gods with their infinite wisdom. All they followed was destruction and their evil ways. So the scriptures told them. Then, the time came. It would have been Ebony's 20th birthday. Abigail and Ezaria where arguing again, then Abigail said blasphemous words. She said that the gods might be wrong. That the gods might not exist in the first place. That gods that would let them suffer that way are not worth their belief, then she said the unthinkable. She told Ezaria she was going to go look for her child. She was going beyond the walls. Ezaria tried to talk her out of it but it was of no use. She was as determined as little Ebony have been eight years ago.

Now, as they stood opposite the wall, Ezaria knew they would have to go through. He hoped his courage would stand for what he had to do. He knew it would be inevitable. There is only one way you can deal with evil. “Let's go” he said, gathering his courage. They reached the wall and Abigail tried to touch it with her hands. they went through it. She breathed deep and walked through the wall. Ezaria followed. On the other side, things where different. The world Abigail and Ezaria lived in was natural. It had large planes of vegetation, trees and waterfalls. Their world was always perfect. The weather was comfortable and the food was plenty. At first glance, the other side looked the same, then Abigail started noticing small things. The colors where too strong and the light was too perfect. There was an unnatural feeling to the air, a feeling that was almost magical and somehow artificial. “It's beautiful” said Abigail in spite of herself. It was then that she noticed the angel, a naked woman with wings, flying towards her, her body glowing. “I've been expecting you” she said, her hand outstretched towards her and Abigail immediately recognized her Ebony. It was then she heard the gun shut and the angle fell out of the sky, a red spot forming where her heart was. “What have you done” was all Abigail could manage before Ezaria shot her too.

She awoke in a white room, full of light. She was laying on a white bed and Ebony was sitting in a white chair opposite her with her wings glowing behind her. Ebony smiled. She was still naked and there was no sign for her wound. “Things heal faster here” she answered the unasked question. “But... how?” was all Abigail could manage. “Lay still” said Ebony, “your rejuv is not over yet. Your insides are still being healed.” said Ebony, “This facility has the most advanced rejuv technology. They patch you up in no time.” “Rejuv?” asked Abigail, baffled. “Rejuvenation” answered Ebony. Abigail closed her eyes, sleep overcoming her. She drifted in and out of sleep many times that day.

The following day she was feeling better and could ask more questions. Ebony happily answered everything. It was not as the scriptures have told them. The singularity did come, but it made everyone smarter and kinder. People started living comfortably and pursuing their dreams. They could be as they liked and do as they pleased. Not everyone liked it. Some people where too religiously fanatic and wanted nothing to do with it. They said it was against the will of the gods. That is why a reservation was created for them. That was where Abigail and Ezaria lived and conceived Ebony. It was surrounded by walls because the people inside the walls wanted to keep to themselves. There where ways for the post singularity people to keep watch over the reservation, looking after the needs of those who chose to be inside it. In time, the people inside the reservation forgot where they came from. They became hateful of the post singularity people, thinking of them as demonic heretics. Rules where passed against passing the walls. When Ebony passed the walls, she learned of the outside world and that is where she chose to live. She kept watch over her parents, and when she saw they where coming for her she waited for them. She didn't know how religiously fanatic her father was. She didn't know he was going to try and destroy her and her mother. Now he was back to the reservation believing he had killed an unthinkable evil and Abigail was welcomed to stay with her if she wanted. Abigail agreed. She already knew that was what she wanted to do.

Kelvin's Last Message
By: Mick Bordet

The internet was buzzing with information about the sightings; rumours, wild speculation and conspiracy theories prevailed, but there was enough useful data amongst it all to get us started. Descriptions of the flying craft varied between the reports, but there were enough common factors to suggest there were no more than two of them, either diamond or cigar-shaped, shimmering even in the absence of the sun, and leaving a smoking black trail in their wake.

Kelvin and I had been fascinated by tales of UFOs since our early childhood, tracking down every new book on the subject and trawling the papers for the latest sighting reports. We had a database of thousands of incidents catalogued and cross-referenced and knew almost instantly whether a report was accurate, misreported or simply bogus attention-seeking. Decades of experience informed our gut feelings that this latest spate of appearances was the real thing.

I first noticed one of the more unusual characteristics of these sightings after the fourth incident. The early ones were all overseas: two in Egypt, one in Greece, a couple in Scandinavia, but I was able to work out approximate trajectories from witness reports, and in every case the path led back to the UK. Later appearances have all been in the UK, as far as we can tell, zig-zagging across the country in a Northerly direction.

It is relatively rare for UFOs to be seen landing, but an unusually high proportion of these reports included references to landings, though none have descriptions of contact being made with the occupants of the craft. However, this did set Kelvin on the course of identifying common features of the known landing sites, resulting in an unexpected conclusion.

"They're almost all located close to either neolithic settlements or monuments; those that aren't are near more recent, but still very old, sites. It's like they're doing a tour of history," Kelvin told me a week ago.

"Are you saying von Däniken was right, then?" I asked.

"Not necessarily, but it's certainly more than just a coincidence, you've got to admit."

"I guess so. It certainly seems less likely to be an experimental military craft given the locations. The question is, can we use that information to our advantage?" I asked.

We could, as it turned out. Using the routes we already had plotted out, in conjunction with a list of historic and prehistoric sites, we produced a shortlist of almost twenty likely locations. On further investigation, two of these in the South of England had recent reports of unusual activity in the area, despite there being no reference to UFOs, hence we had not spotted them previously. Of more interest to us, though, were three sites within fifty miles of home that had yet to be visited; Dunottar Castle on the coast, an archeological dig in a proposed supermarket car park in Forfar and the Standing stones at Aberlemno.

It was a long shot, but we decided to visit the three sites to see if we would be lucky enough to be present at one of the appearances. I went to Dunottar, it being the most likely site, given the number of other castles that had been visited, whilst Kelvin would move between the other two locations because of their relative proximity to each other.

No sooner had I arrived at the castle, than my phone gave a beep. I read the message from Kelvin, "It is verboten here now" was all it said. That didn't make much sense. He wasn't one for mixing German in with English, so I guessed it was a coded message, designed to mean something to me whilst bypassing the governmental phone-monitoring systems.

"It must be important", I thought as I dialled his number to seek clarification. There was no response. "Forbidden, why would it be forbidden where he is?" I mumbled to myself, trying to work out the logic behind the message.

Did he mean that there was something that would make it impossible for the UFO to be present at his location, in which case it was important that I stayed where I was, or was he forbidden to enter the area, perhaps due to military or police presence? It could have been either and, with no means of contacting him, I had no choice but to sit and wait. He would fully document the incident if it did take occur and I would never forgive myself if I missed an opportunity to see one of these ships, so I sat in my car overlooking the spectacular views of the castle perched on the rocks above the rugged coastline and waited. I took the time to set up the video camera and the digital camera with telephoto lens, ready to start filming as soon as I saw anything, though nothing appeared.

The report on the radio at noon brought the news I didn't want to hear. There had been another sighting, this time at the Tesco supermarket in Forfar in front of hundreds of witnesses. I started the engine, threw the car into reverse, turned out of the car park and sped back towards Forfar, now more worried that I was still unable to reach Kelvin on the phone.

I arrived at the scene half an hour later to find the town crawling with military vehicles, police, dozens of anonymous-looking black cars and a crowd of journalists skirting the enforced boundary like a wave seeking out cracks in a cliff. I asked several policemen about Kelvin, describing him and that fact that he would almost certainly be filming the landing. Eventually, I was directed to the temporary incident room that had been set up inside the supermarket itself.

"Several people have mentioned seeing a man with a video camera, but nobody has seen him since... the incident," said the police officer dealing with enquiries, "he seems to have disappeared."

I spent the next couple of hours searching the town for Kelvin, calling both his home and mobile phones and sending numerous text messages, all to no avail. He wasn't at his flat either, so I returned home and checked my email. There was a message from him. In fact it was from his video blogging page, informing me that he had posted a new video online. The message had been sent shortly after I had received the last text message from Kelvin. I clicked the hyperlink within the email.

The webpage opened and the video clip started running. It showed a brief glimpse of the outside of the Tesco building before moving upwards to focus on a cigar-shaped object descending from the sky, leaving a thin trail of dense black smoke behind it. The image on the camera changed regularly from clear to blurred and back again as the iridescent surface of the craft seemed to interfere with the autofocus system. Kelvin started providing a commentary, his voice wavering between excitement and fear.

"This is Kelvin Macarthur. Monday the 15th," he held his watch up to the camera, "11:05 am at Forfar. Site two of three forecast landing locations. Oh, flip, they're landing."

The camera dipped towards the ground for a moment, then returned to the descending craft as it approached the tarmac. I could see the edge of Kelvin's phone at the bottom-left corner of the screen.

"Paul, you need to get over here," he said as the phone started moving onscreen in response to his button presses, "Okay, okay. Concentrate, now. It is Tesco. UFO here now. Send. Come on bud, you don't want to miss this one."

The craft landed and a figure stepped out. As with the surface of the ship, the camera could not focus on the pilot as he (or she or it) approached, walking directly towards Kelvin.

"This may be my last transmission," he said, his voice now strong and full of purpose, "I'm sending it out now, but if I can I'll record more later. If I survive."

With that, the recording stopped. I pulled out my mobile and opened the message list to read his last text to me.

"It is verboten here now," I read again, " It is Tesco. UFO here now. Great. Predictive text at its finest."

Kelvin would have laughed at that. Wherever he was.

Skin Deep Beauty
By: Norval Joe

"Look at this" Morroh'ah said to the other girl. "It's a new laundry soap." She held out the brown clay bottle for her friend to see.
"It looks like and ordinary bottle of soap to me, Morr. What's so special about it?" She replied.
"Don't be a pinhead, Dintira-sha" she said, using her friends formal name, "Smell it. It's the smell that make it different," She dug her greasy finger nail into the soft wax stopper and pulled the plug free of the bottles' neck.
She held the wax plug in one hand and the open bottle out to her friend in the other. "Smell it," she said. "A peddler brought it to the door this afternoon and gave it to me. He said that I should try the soap, and if I was satisfied with its results, I could make a recommendation to the mistress. He would be back in a few days and would like to sell her some. He claimed that we would not be disappointed."
Dintira smelled the open bottle. "That is nice, but put it away before we get in trouble," she said, discreetly glancing around them.
Morroh'ah re stoppered the bottle. "It smells just like flowers, doesn't it? But I can't place which,,,," her voice trailed off as she stared at her palm. Dintira noticed the shocked look on her friends face and stepped closer to follow her stare. "What's wrong with your hand?" she asked. She began to share her friends concern.
Where Morroh'ah had held the wax plug in her palm was a circle of perfectly clean skin. The ubiquitous and requisite grease drew away from where the soap had touched her hand.
When a child was born to Morroh'ah's class a dark acrid grease is smeared over the entire body. This grease is so tenacious that only time will remove it. Therefore, each new moon, a new layer of the grease is ritually applied. A woman's, or girl's, hair, which is never cut, is unwound from the traditional bun. Her mother, sisters, or other female relatives comb the long hair and apply a new layer of the dark grey-brown salve. The hair is then returned to its tightly wrapped bun, and the woman will cover the rest of her body in layers of the grease until she is evenly coated.
At the same time, the men's hair is cut short at the brow, ears and back of the neck. It is then smeared with grease and plastered flat to the head. The rest of the body is smeared with the grease as well.
Morroh'ah-shee was of the Duneen class; a class of laborers, servants and outcasts. To advance above that class, even one level, to the ranks of the shop keepers, was not only forbidden, but impossible. Impossible because of the Duneen-sho'ah, the grease of birth, that was never to be removed. It never could be removed, until now.
The mistress approached and Morroh'ah quickly rubbed the clean spot on her palm trying to blend the grease of her other palm into it, to hide it. Instead, the palms of both hands appeared unnaturally pale.
When the mistress reached them the two girls bowed and placed hands, palm down, on their knees. She felt the course linen of her breaches under her hands and was grateful to be able to conceal her crime so simply.
"Here is a bag of clothing that you may use as scouring rags. No doubt, once your filthy hands have touched them, they will be good for nothing else." She dropped the bag of clothes at the feet of the servants with contempt. It was true that once the clothes were touched by the hands of Duneen, they would be permanently stained by the sho'ah on their hands. The mistress, turned and left the servants without further comment or, for that matter, thought. Her long, red, hair flowing behind her like a cape, stray wisps of the hair floating, weightless around her head.
"That woman is as dull as a clay pot." Morroh'ah said when she knew that the Mistress was beyond the sound of her voice.
"Morroh'ah-shee. Don't speak like that. I," Dintira stammered, visibly flustered. "I didn't hear that. No, no, no. I didn't"
"Ah, Dinti. Come on. That cow is no better than either of us. She is no smarter and my mother is far prettier. The only thing that makes her any better is the silver-flower cream they rubbed on her at her birth, instead of this dog dirt." She made a distasteful sneer and ran her finger along the back of the other arm, indicating the grease.
Dintira was markedly pale under the grey brown grease and took several rapid breaths before she could reply. "That's it. If you can't keep your tongue controlled and remember your proper place, you can just do this work yourself. I'm going home."
She left Morroh'ah, the sack of clothes, and the bottle of foreign detergent. Dintira-sha never saw any of them again.

"Mother, there is an angel at the door, and I don't know what she wants. She won't talk." The boy said and waited silently for his mothers response.
"An angel, is it, dear?" She said and looked up from her needlework. She smiled at her son. "Karthuur, how do you know it's an angel?"
"Well," he put his finger in his mouth and furrowed his brow. "Well, she's glowing. Normal people don't glow, do they?" He asked, testing his logic. "And her hair. It's like fire, bright yellow flames."
"You are so clever to notice such details" She beamed at her son. "Let's go see this angel."
At the door was the most remarkably beautiful woman she had ever seen. He skin was so milky white and without blemish that she understood her sons assumption that this was a heavenly messenger. Her golden yellow hair glowed in the afternoon light. This color of hair was unknown to the people of Karretheen. He hair was so full and long that it created a luminous halo around her body above her hips. He lips were full and deep red. Her eyes were oddly familiar, yet somehow out of place.
Her dress was golden satin trimmed with lace that must have been expensive several years before when it was in style. Though it hung loosely on her, as if she had recently lost weight, it appeared otherwise unused and in perfect condition.
The shock of seeing this strikingly beautiful woman standing at her doorstep eventually wore off. The mistress of the house unconsciously curtsied, and said, "My dear, come in. How may I help you?"
The stranger stepped across the threshold and stopped, "I beg your pardon. I'm so confused" She buried her face in her hands as she broke into tears, "I don't know who I am."
"Dear, dear," The house mistress cooed, "come sit here, please." She said, showing the younger woman to a couch. When she sat, the mistress called to her servant, who rushed into the room.
"Bree'ah-thaa, fetch me a cup of water."
"Yes Mistress,' the Duneen servant said. She bowed and backed from the room, keeping her eyes on the ground. Eyes that matched those of the beautiful stranger.

Title: Reconstruction
By: Danny Machal

“Eh, where you at mate?” Logan snapped his fingers. “Didn't you hear me?”

“Hear you when?” I said.

“Just now? Here you are, off on some distant planet. Here I am,
spillin' me bloody guts out about me mum. All the while your off
rodgerin' in some dream world with lord only knows what.”

“Sorry mate. Just kinda spaced out ya' know?” I wasn't that sorry.
Whenever Logan was drunk, the first, second, third, and last subject
he ever talked about was his ruddy mother. He would go on about how
she secretly wished for the Reconstruction to fail, or how she wasn't
treatin' his dad fair, an gettin' round to the other toms on the
block. She was a right fair git don't get me wrong, but a bloke can
only be told the same tale so many times. Besides, if Logan knew what
I knew through me dad, about the Reconstruction, he'd join his ruddy
ole mum and burn flags.

“Eh, you're hopeless mate ya' know that?” Logan said brushing the
golden shoulder length hair from his eyes.

I spaced out again. It's getting time to head to our respective
lofts over on third street anyway. We both live in the same men's
dorm. I'm not sure he's going quietly or if he can even walk. He
isn't that much bigger than me, but we are both fairly short stout
blokes. I'm fortunate to be a little more firm in the sinew than he
is though, so I can muscle him about if it comes to it.

It came to it only once before it did. Some tom gets spouting off
about how the lass Logan was seeing is getting round. Naturally this
strikes a chord with my hot tempered friend and he sees fit to break a
beer bottle on the bar. Grabs the bloke by his arm and starts slicing
at his chest, all barbarian like. I nearly broke his arm myself
getting him out of there. Of course I took a slice to the arm while
trying to save him from arrest. Bloody F5 Agents are crawling the
streets these days just looking for a good reason to send a young
bloke to a labor camp. He looked alright tonight though. As long as
we don't run into any rebel Chavs looking to challenge her royal
Majesty's new glorious way of living, we should be just fine. Those
Chavs got it right if you ask me.

“But ya' aren't askin' me, are ya' mate?” I said to Logan.

“Ashkin' you wha'? Logan slurred.

“That's all I needed, let's go mate. Your mum'll be expectin' a call
that we got to the dorm safe.”

“Aye, Darren, so ish' be. Le'sh get on with it.” Logan stood up and
started for the door. He's walking straight tonight. This is a good
sign. We should make it back without incident. He stopped at the
door before opening it, wiggled his arms behind himself and into his
blue jumpsuit. He zipped up the front, covering the yellow work shirt
and puffing out his chest to expose the embroidered image of her
Majesty on his left breast. Bound for a warm room and a soft bed, we
set off into the icy night air.

Three blocks is all we had to make it. Three bloody blocks, but no.
Logan catches a glint of something gold in the only eye he has managed
to keep open. Turns out the gold glint is the toggle on the vest of
some Chav. A Chav spray painting a big ol' red X on the Queens vide
in the middle of some off shoot alleyway. There she sits, smiling in
all her glory, and some Freedom Fighting Chav comes along to tag her
like a game of political bingo. This strikes a chord with my hot
tempered friend. He decides it's time to teach this Chav a lesson.

“I'ma crush his vide in with my royal lovin' boot Darren I am. You's
watch this.”

The idea of fighting seemed to sober him up right quick. I'll stay
out of it because I know just as well as that Chav does, it is illegal
to deface an image of her Majesty, caught by the wrong people and you
will pay the price. She has worked so hard in the Reconstruction.
Bared so much of the burden, she is our personal Jesus she is.

Logan seemed right sober on the physical like, but in the head - he
is drunk enough to send me to the F5 Court himself for showin'
sympathy to a Chav, or even acknowledging that he might not be as well
pissin' in her royal soup as to raise that spray can. Like it
mattered, we were all headed somewhere if the F5 caught wind of the
disturbance. Either way, I had to say something.

“Go easy on em', eh? He's just a young tom not knowin' what he really
thinks. Bloody parents are probably activists.” This struck a chord
with my hot tempered friend on account of his mum.

“Bullocks Darren,” he glared at me and that was that.

Logan started off down the alley. The gas lamps behind him created a
ten meter shadow monster moving toward this Chav, but the Chav stands
there smiling, vide to vide with Logan. Like he isn't scared. Two
paces out and Logan has stopped. He is eyeing the Chav deciding the
best way to make him understand how important it is to never shat on
her Majesty's image. Four more Chavs emerge from the shadows and
charge at Logan pouncing in the air. Their boot heels point at his
chest. He is quick to the reflex and grabs a Chav in mid air like.
The lad's body is deflected straight into the bricks, he hits his vide
and lights out. One Chav down, four to go, or maybe three. The
original grinning bloke still stands in the back. Hasn't moved an
inch he hasn't. Just what is he playing at?

The other three set to work on Logan getting him on the ground.
Boots are busting him in the ribs, about the vide, and pulling at his
queer inviting hair.

Looks like he might have the upper hand now. You see, Logan isn't
feeling any pain, just throwing punches. Every time he lands one and
hears a Chav yelp he is renewed in spirit. Looks like he's holding
his own, I'll keep watch for the F5. Fights are good for wearing
blokes out right quick like.

I look out the alley entrance in both directions, and see nothing but
steaming drains. I hear the growl of Logan but with a high pitched
flavor. I look back and the original Chav has got himself a broken
steel pipe he has. He's getting to work on Logan's vide and I see my
mates blood start to stain the street - he goes limp. I start running
toward them.

The main Chav takes the jaggy end of his steel and puts it to Logan's
throat. Prepared to shiv him in the neck and send him to Charon.

“Eh, easy mate,” I said, stopping and holding out my hands.

“You don't want to be doing that.”

“Oh aye, I think I do. You two toms can lick the royal Queen's bum
all ya' want. Tis a bad day in the Isles when a young bloke can't
stand up for what he thinks is good an decent. Not without getting
the Queen's blind hounds trying to stomp him and his mates,” he said.

“Look mate, I know where ya' comin' from, but I tell ya' this just
isn't the way. He's drunk and just got a temper is all. Now let's
just part ways, you drag your mate and I'll drag mine, before we all
end up in the F5's mitts,” I pleaded.

This Chav is ready to make this his defining moment in the
resistance. He was going to make my mate a martyr, and himself a
legend, I could see it in his eyes. There was nothing I could do.

He raised his arms and the jaggy steel cast a claw like shadow on
Logan's swollen vide. Light flooded the alley from both ends.

“Bleeding Christ it's F5,” the Chav shouted. He dropped the steel
and the four ran toward the alley exit closest; hoping for an opening
to give the Agents the slip.

An Agent stepped into the light wearing a black jumpsuit. His chest
puffed out and the Queen's embroidered vide on his breast displayed
his allegiance. He gripped the chrome metal baton firmly in his hand,
which according to him, was just an extension of her Majesty's own
arm. The Chavs sprinted at him and split off in pairs, as to rush
past on either side.

“Evening lads,” he shouted.

In a right quick automatic reflex, he turned that baton all
horizontal like. The ends extended and anchored into the brick walls
of the alley. The Chavs all ran into it, hitting in the vide or the
throat, knocking them to the street.

“Four rebel Chavs walk into her Majesty's bar,” he laughs.

As they lay gasping or clutching their vide with blood inking through
their fingers, he goes to work on them with the retracted baton. An
Agent takes my arm from behind.

“Lets go, worker,” he says to me. I move toward Logan and his grip tightens.

“...but my mate, what about my mate?...Logan,” says I.

I struggle and turn back to look at the Agent. I see the reflection
of my own vide. The eyes stare back at me. In that split second I
remember everything. Everything that led to this moment. How they
came to power, how it all happened: the Queen, her Agents, the
Reconstruction, the dorms, the Rebel Chavs, the work camps, and my

Lights out.

By: Jeffrey Hite

The sign on the fence read, Do not enter, it is Verboten. It was not like these kinds of things had even been allowed, but the sign just irritated him. Since the end of the war, German English signs, like this one, had been popping up all over the place. It reminded him of the joke that often hung over computer terminals during the previous war. The only real difference being that was not English or German but a bad parody of both. He could take a joke but as a long standing professor of the English language, this was just not funny to him.
The war Had taken everyone by surprise, the Germans now reunited by the work of many but with help from the Americans, had returned the favor by taking over the country. The Conflict had been mercifully short, with so very few people dying that, most of us just accepted it as if it were a normal presidential change. In a way that is what it had been. The only differences that Henry could seen were, the capital was now in Berlin, the the beer laws had changed and that helped everyone, and of course signs like these. He read the sign again, Do not enter, it is verboten, and shook his head. He reached up and grabbed it with both hands.
The two guards watched the man outside the fence as the thousands of volts coursed though his body. they had learned that unlike the previous government, when the Germans said it was verboten they meant it.