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Dark Matter

By Jerred Fournier All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Action

Blurb

Humans are a divided species. Well loved by other races for our ability to negotiate and trade. However, as a species, we fight an internal Civil War. The root of the war is the treatment of the colonies into space vs the people born of the planet. The Immortals enforce the will of the Empire of Earth. Even being in a prestigious position are you nothing more than a cog in the machine? Out in an interracial station, people train to be the best warriors. It was discovered the one art form that was universal was the Art of War. How does a single man warrant a species breaking the pact of Neutrality? In a group of stations, several clans of Mercenaries continue to fight to survive. In the cold-heartedness of space, they had a planet. It was lost due to their own hubris. Now they have to fight with what they have. What can one clan do but dream of returning to that planet? Even if it threatens one of the greatest enemies the universe has ever seen. What happens to unite these people? What evil can threaten all species and all life?

Silicone Immortal Chapter 1

I had hit terminal velocity about thirty seconds ago. For those who never did a atmosphere drop, or did anything that might have you to know that, that is where you hit max acceleration during a fall. At this moment, the readings on my suit are telling my armor is hitting about 1650 degrees Celsius. If you are used to the old Fahrenheit system that is about 3K.

Needless to say, without my armor I would be ash right about now.

If you are still hung up on that, consider what I am falling into. Below me is a rebel base with Anti Air weaponry. If one missile hits me correctly, they will be finding burnt up pieces of me everywhere for a couple of miles. Then there is the high caliber anti person emplacements down there. They could pierce this marvel of engineering I am falling in. That would make me combust from the inside out.

The absolute worse part about the whole thing is, I do not care about any of that. I have to take a piss, and this not one of those, man I could really pee right about now. This is one of those my bladder feels like a rock pisses. Normally mobile suits, as they are called, has a system that allows us to use the restroom while inside. Yet some dumbshit felt that the JPJ; the model of the suit I am wearing, would disable that system during reentry. Something about needing that extra power to keep the suit cooled.

If I had my Ares Mark IV then everything would be fine.

But no!

Some Captain in the Fleet decided that the only way I could get down to the enemy base is through the Magnum Procedure. Which by the way is them shooting you out of a really big cannon. Towards a planet and the only suits capable of handling that is the fleets suits for their Marines. Codenamed the John Paul Jones, or JPJ. If I wasn’t already going to kill people when I got down there, I definitely would kill someone when I landed.

Oh joy, I just hit the minimum range for the targeting computers to start locking on.

Being a small target, they cannot target me until I have hit the atmosphere. This and the heat build up, is why we wait so long to blow the outer shell of the JPJ’s armor. The outer shell has the similar properties to anti missiles countermeasures. It scrambles most radar signatures creating extra targets. Not even my own side can tell which is the real me.

As comforting as all that is to know, I am still upset that I have to take a piss and cannot. The sudden shock of the outer armor being blown off almost makes me piss myself. Bladder muscles don’t fail me now.

With the outer shell removed, it becomes my job to minimize damage. Some have made the mistake of thinking that the suits can provide flight. The abilities of the suits being beyond Top Secret means that we are not in the habit of correcting that.

I will tell you right now we cannot. We instead have a kind of super jump, with rockets that assist us in changing our flight path. It is those mini-rockets that I am using now to dodge the homing missiles that guessed right.

Let me take a second and let you know about the planet that I am rapidly approaching. You know other than the target, who is shooting at me. It has trees, some mountains and the most valuable thing in the whole universe. Dihydrogen Monoxide, more commonly referred to as water.

No matter how powerful of an army you have, they will be crushed if they do not have that precious blue liquid. Except maybe some of those freaks that do not need it. That is why this base is here, mining the water for other forces.

You could almost mistake this place for old Earth. Before the super industrialization of the whole planet. The trees have green, the ground is brown and the grass is also green, although I did see some blue. Which by the way is getting really close to me about right now.

There is no parachute, as that would make me a target for too long, instead I have two things to stop me. The first is called the mid armor. It is part of my armor that is made to protect me from a vacuum and on planet side combat, useless. When it breaks off me it does two things.

First being that it cuts my descent in half and the other is create more targeting problems. The second half me stopping is those handy micro boosters. Full blast in the opposite direction of me falling, even that does not stop me. The rest is knowing how to land with the armor assisting in my joints.

With all those things, it was not a quiet landing. Not that I cared even in the slightest about that, you know what was most important to me at that time. “Reaper, get the waste disposal system back on.”

“Already on it.” You may have heard about this. For those who do not, we cannot just mentally command our suits to work. Instead we have a AI implanted into us who acts kinda like a self aware keyboard.

Over time the AI develops a personality to either compliment you or to be the opposite of you. It depends largely on your personality and your use of it. Grim Reaper is mine, and his name is to correspond to my codename, Deathwish.

I imagine to anyone who saw my landing would wonder why I stood still for so long after landing. Most likely wondering if my suit had failed or something. After what felt like eternity I finally relieved myself. That was probably my second best piss, even had one of those shivers afterwards.

“I must remind you the clock is ticking on this mission, I do not think that even you would want to upset her.”

That’s right I have to go kill some people. The weapons of an Advance Scout are simple. We do carry blades on us, or at least some of us do. Yet our main weapon is usually something that allows us to be mobile and in some causes dual wield. I have a personal preference with High Caliber semi automatic pistols. Reaper can assist with my aiming, but is not usually required to do so.

“The Target is due North.” That ever present voice in my head informs me.

“Is that just the target or the base as well?”

“I have plotted a proper detour through the base.”

That was good, I was still wanting to take out some of my anger on these guys. A augmented Reality guidance turned on, rough translation; that means a path lit up to direct me to my target. This path is generated and controlled by Reaper.

Being that he has developed similar thought patterns to myself. He understands that I need to kill a few people.

The life expectancy of an Advance Scout is the shortest of all Immortals. Sounds ironic I know but there is a reason we are called that. The legion that wears the suits is called the Immortals, and are never reported as KIA, only as MIA. This is to inspire the rest of the Emperor’s forces.

An Immortal member lives for about three years of active combat. that is from the completion of training to their removal from combat. An Advance Scout lives for about 6 months. This is due to being on the front most part of the front lines, even behind the lines.

I told you all that so you understand what it means when I say I have been an Advance Scout for 5 years. This means it is impossible for me to describe the fight to you. It is mostly automatic and reflexive.

What I can tell you, and I only know this from Reaper showing me, is that I went through the front gate of the base.

Some men with some small caliber rifles were able to land a few good shots on me. The armor held like it was suppose to and deflected the shots off of me. I used my dual Fenrir’s, my high caliber pistols, to eliminate all who held their ground and fought.

It benefits the Immortals to let our enemy run from us, if they are not the target. It spreads more rumors of us being unstoppable. Also honestly I really do not have the heart to kill someone who isn’t fighting. If you repeat that to anyone I will be very cross with you.

Of course there was their hard placements, which they use to try and stop people like me. Using the strength enhancers and the suits durability I am able to charge through them. This does enough damage to stop them from functioning.

Only did this trick with anything that could harm me, the base itself was not my target. My target is the part that I do remember and will be describing.

There are very few Immortals that defect the Corp. When they do, they become the highest targets in the whole rebel army. The amount of training alone would make them one of the most dangerous enemies. They also tend to leave with their suits and AI. This puts all their former colleagues at risk, if a weakness to our armor was ever found.

My target was the former member of the Immortals Girder, and his AI Beam. He wears a set of armor called the Hercules. Don’t know the mark. It is designed for members of the Immortals who make things explode. It is one of the slower suits, but it also has the strongest armor.

Going in this fight without my Ares suit, I am not sure I could win, but I had a job to do.

All my wanton destruction did it’s job, because I rounded a corner and ran into an immovable wall, named Girder. I did not have to go find him.

“From your fighting style I am going to guess Deathwish.” The sudden stop had me stunned, thankfully he seemed more interested in talking. “How are you and Reaper?”

“Oh you know, out on a mission. Some asshole left the Corp, took his armor.” I paused for a second, “Reaper says hi.”

“I am sure there is no way I can convince you to leave; the propaganda and brainwashing won’t allow you too.” He said this with a hint of sadness.

Honestly I would let you leave, but you would have to turn over your suit and your AI.” I wasn’t really, I just wanted to buy time. An immortal would never turn over their working AI’s. After a period of time it becomes a part of you and it would be like losing a sense.

“Tempting offer, but this is where we have to disagree. Although I do have to ask, would you be willing to break from the immortals and join the rebellion?” From his tone I know it was an earnest question. Cannot take it though, something akin to honor will not let me.

“I would say no in as many languages as I can. Problem is I only know it in English, and I do not think you would let Reaper open a channel to you for him to finish the list.”

Nothing more was said between us, he simply opened his attack. The destructive force behind his punch was on the same level of a shotgun, and it was only a quick jab. If he got me once, my armor could not hold up to it.

Now before you say something about me taking small arms fire earlier. Bullets have a smaller surface area and is easier for the suit to disperse the energy transfer. This is more spread out and the force is more likely to go through me then just disperse across the armor.

Thankfully I have the answer to his power, my speed. My training is more about not being the target of his attacks. The suit allows me to return with a decent amount of force. Yet there is another problem for me. His armor is able to handle the distribution of force far better than the JPJ or my beloved Ares. With most of the systems in this suit designed for space combat and surviving entry into an atmosphere. It doesn’t have enough to lay a scratch on his. This all means, I cannot hurt him, and he cannot hurt me.

We try though, he throws a kick or punch, I am able to redirect it and counter. He takes my strike like it was nothing, after I bit I decide it best to not counter attack. My suit has a limited amount of energy to power it, and over half was burnt out on reentry. He knows this, and is waiting for it. So I have to stall him and look for a weakness or opening, something that I may never get. I am writing this now, so you can assume I live through this experience. Yet it ends in way you cannot guess and you are just going to have to deal with the fight.

“Deathwish, end this now” He chimes in, not even bothering to keep up his guard. “You have what 25% charge left, and you cannot even fight me.”

“16% charge left,” Still not really sure why I said it, but I have a recording saying it, “ and I have not yet begun to fight.” Not sure why, but sailors in the fleet always laugh at that.

Now I am going to distract you with a brief explanation of how an Advance Squad works, and who is on my team. I swear it will help you understand what is coming.

I am what some call a purist, a specialist in strictly combat. Trained in higher levels of uses of the suit and how I can push them to their limits. As part of my training I also can repair almost any part of them. This is done less so that I can repair them, but more so that I know the limitations of each part of it.

It can be one of the longest times in training. You leave with a mechanical engineering degree. Not a lot of people finish this training. Even less than people who are able to even finish the Immortals training.

There are several other specialties, and do not have much experience in them. What I do I picked up from being around people who do have that specialty. There are those who specialize in removing and stopping bombs. Not to forget those who work more of in a sabotage method of attack. They have more computing power which allows them to hack their way past most software.

I have worked with several people who have those versions of the training, but they are not in my squad. The first person in my squad that I am going to talk about is Smiles, and his AI Cheshire. His specialty is strictly called Acquisitions. He has “authorization” to “borrow” from anyone, even the rest of the Immortals. He had a natural knack for it and his training made him a legend in the craft.

His suit has a extra ram, much like a sabotage unit, but it is geared more towards taking over a system. His AI has even taken over other suits before, but it was incredibly circumstantial. His suit is not as fast as mine, but it is still faster than nearly any other model. I have an Ares MK IV, his is an Athena Mk II. Both have similar builds and if you looked at them, might not be able to tell the difference.

Now onto about the man called Smiles. No one knows his real name, as no one has ever called him it. All his uniforms even have the name Smiles plastered onto it, and he is called it for good reason. There has never been a time that he did not have a grin or a smile on his face. Once you know him, you can even read his mind based on the smile. Although I will admit, that smile has to be more than a physical thing. As our masks conceal our faces and I can still tell which smile he has.

The other teammate I have is a very dangerous woman named Rose, and her AI Thorns. Yes the naming was intentional, and she is not very popular among the Immortals. Infact her specialty is the most disliked among all the Immortals. Some people call it insurance, other call it being a bitch. What it really is assassination.

If her job was just to kill MVPs then no one would care. If only the worlds were that simple. No her specialty is how to kill other Immortals, specifically if they have defected. Remember how I mentioned the only way a suit wearer can beat another is through hand to hand.

That is her specialty. Along with several blades made of the same material that our suits are made of. They are laser etched to a point so sharp only a handful of weapons are sharper, hers keeps an edge better though. Combine that with her knowledge of the structure of all the models. She can kill any other immortal.

Now that I have told you about her, you can guess what is about to happen. Right as my suit hits emergency shutdown from hitting Zero energy, she made her move. All I saw from my side is my opponent tense up, then slump over, his suit not even letting him fall.

“You’re late,” my suit was shutting down. So my AI, who is powered by my body’s biochemistry, relayed that message.

“Enjoyed the show.” She stood in front of me, in her Red Armor, and if she was able to, I am sure she would be smiling.

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