Ben and Streek: Clone Saga Ch. 10

byAxelotl©

Streek cocked the Sniper Rifle again as one of the black Pirate ships moved around in front of him. Streek quickly aimed at it and fired. The bullet exploded on the ships energy shield. The ship launched a couple of missiles right at Streek. They hit the building and exploded, the whole room erupted in a huge fireball, killing Streek.

Down below on the battlefield, Streek looked up and saw the big explosion as the Pirate Ship shot missiles into the building. He was pinned down with a few other clones, The Star Ship hovered over them, firing its' powerful lasers.

Above them all, loomed the Cthulhu. It was a large, black ship, in the shape of a fat disk that was open at the front. It had large thrusters at the back and large gun turrets on the top and bottom, as well as laser cannons and missile launchers.

So far it had not fired any shots and just hovered still, above them all. Below it, the smaller Pirate Ship continued to fire its' laser cannons at the clones on the ground. Suddenly, white lasers hit the ships energy shields. More laser blasts hit the shields until the Van Halen zoomed past.

Zac was using hit and run tactics, taking advantage of the ships' speed. The Cthulhu powered up its' engines and started to give chase, firing its' wide red lasers. The other ships turned and were firing on the Van Halen as well. "What the hell is he doing?" said Mia, next to Streek. "If he gets the ship blown up, I'll kill him!"

Suddenly the Avatari appeared behind the Pirate Ships and let loose with a barrage of missile and laser fire. It turned invisible again as the ships turned to face it. They shot at where the Avatari was, but hit nothing but air. Dr Arnott was using his own hit and run tactics.

The Van Halen came around again, shooting at the ships before zooming past. The Cthulhu zoomed behind it, firing its' heavy laser cannons, but missing the fast ship a lot more than it was hitting it. "They're taking the heat off us." said Streek.

"Yeah, we gotta head to the rooftop there. It can be our extraction point. Provided we still have a ship to extract us." said Mia. She reloaded a magazine into her assault rifle and ran out from cover, firing on the Pirates. "COME ON!" she yelled in a loud voice, "EVERYONE FALL BACK TO THE ROOF!"

Streek followed behind her, firing his own rifle. The clones moved as a group, darting from cover to cover and covering each other with gunfire. There was one Streek, two Mias, two Bernies and Ben-Three. Bernie was staying close to Ben-Three, guarding him. She was determined to not lose any more of her crew members.

They came across Makita, she was badly scorched and dented, and her right arm hung limply and sparked, it looked badly damaged. She was still standing there firing her assault rifle in her left hand. "We're falling back to the rooftop Makita!" called out Mia.

"Affirmative." Makita called back.

The group made their way to the Northern building. A hover-craft zoomed up and started firing its' lasers on them. The clones fired back. Laser bolts ripped through Mia. Bernie dove and knocked Ben-Three out of the way, and laser bolts shot through her as well.

Suddenly, an explosion hit the top of the hover-craft, the craft was hit with another explosive round from above, and the whole thing blew up . Fiery debris rained down around Streek, he looked at Mia and Bernie on the ground. They were dead. There was still another Bernie and Mia there, firing their weapons, and Ben-Three seemed to be all right.

Another Mia called down from the building, "Hurry up and get your asses up here!" They ran up and entered the building, one by one. Streek hung back, shooting at Pirates that continued to advance. He sprayed automatic fire among them, making them take cover again.

Explosions started raining down among them, as Mia fired off more explosive rounds. Laser fire lanced about above them as the Avatari and Van Halen continued to attack the Pirate ships.

Soon Streek sprinted inside the building as well. He had lost sight of the other clones, but just continued upward to the roof. As he got up on to the roof he saw the Van Halen hovering by the side of the building with its large rear doors open. The others were jumping into the ship; Bernie, Ben-Three, Makita and two Mias.

"Come on Streek, Move it!" called out Mia. Powerful red laser blasts started hitting the Van Halens' shields as the Cthulhu approached. The Van Halen took off, and the Cthulhu chased after it. Streek was left up there alone on the rooftop.

Mias' voice came over the speakers of the TAB in his chest pocket on his jump-suit. "Hang tight Streek. We'll be back around to pick you up soon."

Suddenly a large, hulking figure rose up from the side of the building and up over Streek. He dove out of the way as the large machine came crashing down on top of him. It was the Ronin Mech, standing fifteen feet tall and covered in curved, grey plated armour. "Skylar?!" called out Streek, looking up at it.

"No, not Skylar." came the voice of his female clone, McKenzie. "You fuckin' Cunt! You destroyed the damn Pod. Now I'll never become a man again. Now I'm gunna finish off the first order my Mistress gave me. You're a dead man!"

The mechs' arms spread wide and long vibro-blades extended from them. Streek flipped backwards as the blades slashed at him with great speed. He kept moving about as the large mech came at him, swinging its' blades about.

McKenzie aimed the Mechs arm at him and then fired off a plasma blast. The blue ball of energy exploded on the ground near him, throwing him several meters. Streek rolled over on the ground and fired his assault rifle at the mech.

The mech ran up quickly and kicked Streek. He was knocked back, smashing into the low wall around the edge of the rooftop. Bricks flew everywhere, and the dazed Streek barely managed to hold on to the edge, stopping himself from falling down off the building.

The big Mech walked over to where Streek was hanging off the edge. "This is the part where you die." said McKenzie, raising the blade high. Suddenly, yellow quad laser blasts hit the Ronins' energy shields. It was the Hornet firing on her. Ben-Two had joined the fight.

McKenzie raised the Mechs' arm and fired plasma blasts at the Fighter. Its' strong shields absorbed the attacks. The Hornet continued to pelt the mech with laser fire until it flew past. "Fuckin' pest!" said McKenzie angrily.

She looked down and Streek wasn't there anymore. Streek stabbed at front of the Mech with his vibro-blade knife, he had climbed up onto it and was clinging on. The mech retracted its' blades and tried to grab Streek, but he was swinging his body around on the large mech, avoiding its' hands.

"Get off me, you Prick!" She pressed some buttons and a powerful electric shock surged on the outside of the mech. Streek screamed out in pain, but held on. He felt the raw power building up within him, just like before. His fists glowed with blue light. "You don't learn, do ya?!" he said as he punched the back of the Mech with tremendous force.

The punch smashed through the strong grey plate and left a hole in its' armour. Streek grabbed a grenade from his belt and dropped it inside the hole, and then jumped off the mech.

McKenzie screamed as the grenade exploded inside the mech. It stumbled forward as black smoke poured out from it, and it fell over the edge of the building, slamming down on the ground below with a loud crash.

The Hornet flew past again, firing on the Pirate Ships, and drawing their fire. Streek saluted it. Then Streek saw a squadron of Federation Darts fly past. He thought they were with the Pirate Alliance at first, but they opened fire on the Pirate Ships. More ships started to appear in the sky, they certainly looked like Federation ships, and they were firing on the Pirates.

The Van Halen appeared again and swooped in close to the building. Streek was already running over to it as the back doors opened again. He could see Bernie just inside the doors. "Come on Streek!" she called.

A Federation Dart had been hit and was coming down with a trail of black smoke behind it, it was coming right at him. Streek leapt off the edge and into the ship just as the Fighter slammed into the rooftop and exploded.

Streek was thrown hard into the ship, bowling Bernie over. Bernie recovered, and quickly moved over to Streek, she wrapped her arms around him tightly. "Oh, thank god!" she said.

Mia spoke into her TAB, "We got him Zac. Get us the hell out of here!"

"Him?!" said Zac.

More laser blasts hit the Van Halens' shields as the doors closed and the ship zoomed off again. Bernie continued hugging Streek and they kissed passionately. "You fuckin' scared me!" she said.

"We haven't made it out of here yet. In fact things still don't look too good for us." said Mia. "It looks like the Bluecoats have come and joined the party. I don't know if that's a blessing, or our death note. I guess we'll find out soon."

Streek looked over at the badly damaged android. "Are you okay Mak?"

"I will be okay, but if I'm no longer needed I will suspend my functions until I am able to be repaired."

"Yeah, you do that." said Mia. "Thank you for your service Makita."

"How was your day Mak?" asked Streek.

"I am getting tired of killing for you humans. I wish to leave and become a cabaret star."

Streek smiled, "That's a joke right?"

"Yes."

Streek laughed, "Ha, you're getting better Mak. Just give us a smile after you crack a joke so that we know you're kidding." The android gave him a simulated smile and then sat down on the floor and powered down.

Streek, Bernie and Mia made their way to the cockpit. On the view screen in the cockpit, Streek could see blue/grey sky and red laser blasts flying past them. Zac was sitting in the pilots' seat with another Mia next to him.

"I'm heading out to space." said Zac. "Our shields are getting pretty damn low and the Cthulhu is still on our tail. We can't outrun it this time, I've diverted too much power to the shields. The Avatari and Hornet are coming, but they can't keep up with us. I don't think we're gunna be able to get away in time."

"I'm picking up heaps of Federation ships out there." said Mia. "...Even a couple of cruisers. The Pirate ships are engaging them. We're heading into another battle zone. We might be able to slip out in the chaos, if we don't get blown up."

"No, the Cthulhu is locked onto us, it's not gunna let us slip away." said Zac. The view screen was awash with flames and then they could see a star field as they left Veronas' atmosphere and flew into space.

A hail from the Cthulhu came up on the screen. "Should I answer that?" said Zac. "I don't really feel like putting up with Pirate bull-shit right now."

"I'll get it." said Streek. He pressed a button and a window with Skylars' face came up on the screen. "Skylar, how did I guess you wanted to flap your mouth at us some more."

"Oh, I'm getting sick of talking to you as well Lisa. Just a simple offer; power down and surrender to us, and I may show you some measure of mercy. Otherwise you will be blown to dust."

"Pirate mercy? No thanks! ...We killed your shark, destroyed your Holo-Arena, Cloning Pod, Ronin Mech and pet clone. Can't you take a hint? Get your precious Cthulhu away from us before we break that too."

"Ha! And how are you going to do that clone? There's no getting away now. This is the end of the line for you. Nobody has ever made me kill them twice before. Goodbye Lisa." Her face disappeared from the screen as the communication ended.

"Where's Bernie?" said Streek, looking around.

Bernies' voice came from the front console, "This is Bernie, I'm gunna see if Ben and I can squeeze some more juice from the power core."

"Bernie, this is no time to mess around with the hardware."

"I beg to differ Zac. Trust me!"

They could see the ships flying about, firing their lasers on one another. The two large Federation Cruisers sat there, blasting away. "Take us toward that Federation Cruiser." said Streek.

"What? Toward it, are you nuts? Would you prefer being shot down by the Feds, rather than Pirates?" said Zac.

"The Cthulhu is on our tail. It's a larger ship, and bigger threat, it should draw most of the fire."

"Yeah, I see what you're saying', we don't have many other options. I'm taking us toward the Cruiser. Everyone cross your fingers, or pray, or whatever you want to do."

The Van Halen approached the Federation Cruiser "Watchman" at full speed. Zac did his best to move the ship about evasively as laser fire lanced out around them. Alerts were sounding in the cockpit as the shields reached critical levels.

The Cruiser grew larger in the display screen. The Cthulhu followed along behind the ship and was getting pelted with rapid laser fire, Darts came at it, firing their blue lasers.

The Van Halen zoomed past the Cruiser and was hit with another laser blast. Alerts and flashing lights let them know that the shields were down. Everyone in the cockpit felt their heart beating rapidly, just one missile or laser blast could kill them.

The Cthulhu took a lot of hits but still zoomed past the Federation Cruiser and continued its' pursuit of the Van Halen. "The scanner shows more ships approaching us." said Mia.

"More Feds?" asked Zac.

"No, ...it's the Angelina! Dad!"

"Ha, Seriously?! Our salvation may have arrived. I'm steering us toward them."

The Angelina hailed them and Mia answered it straight away, General Bolton appeared on the screen. "Daddy!"

"Are you kids all right?"

"Yeah, barely! Our shields are down, we need urgent help."

"Yeah, I see. Hang in there, we'll be on your position shortly."

"Be careful dad." said Zac. "This ship is powerful."

"So is Angelina." said General Bolton, before his face disappeared from the screen.

Zac continued to fly the Van Halen evasively and the Cthulhu continued to fire on them. A few laser blasts struck the hull, shaking the ship and scaring everyone inside.

Suddenly the energy shield around them sparkled as it came back online. "Shield are back, at eight percent." said Zac "Bernie did it!"

Then four missiles exploded on the Cthulhus' shields, one after another. The Angelina blasted away with its' laser cannons as it approached them.

The Cthulhu launched a couple of missiles at the Van Halen. The Van Halens' laser cannons targeted a missile and hit it, making it explode before it reached the ship. The other one exploded on the shields, bringing them down again.

The large, black Pirate ship turned and targeted the long grey ship that was the Angelina. They both pelted each others shields with missiles and laser fire as the Van Halen sped away. A few other Resistance ships joined the Angelina, firing on the Cthulhu.

The Cthulhus powerful shields were being worn down and it had no choice but to turn and retreat back toward the planet. The Angelina stayed where it was, but the other ships went after it, continuing to fire on it.

Everyone cheered in the Van Halens cockpit. Mia hugged her other self, "Yeah! I told that bitch you don't fuck with the Boltons!"

The Angelina hailed them again. "Is everyone all right there?" asked General Bolton.

"Yeah, we're fine. Thanks for the save Dad." said Mia.

"Any time sweet-heart. What's the status of the mission?"

"The Cloning Pod has been destroyed."

"That's been confirmed?"

"Yeah, I'm sure."

"Good work. I guess there's no reason for us to hang around then. We'll let the Pirate Alliance and Federation fight this one out. Van Halen, I want you to be the first to leave this system. Prepare to make the jump."

"I want to make sure Grandpa makes it out all right first." said Mia.

"I'll do that. Fall back, that's an order."

"Uh, ...General." said Streek.

"Who are you?" said General Bolton.

"It's me, McKenzie. The Pirates Deep Brain Scanned me, the location of the Resistance base has been compromised."

"Yes, I was afraid of that. The evacuation of our base has already begun. We will meet up at the secondary rendezvous point."

"Okay, we'll see you there. Be careful Dad." said Mia.

The Cthulhu raced back toward the planet Verona. Three Resistance ships were chasing it, firing at it and wearing down the shields, but the Cthulhu was faster and the distance between them grew.

Then more laser fire pelted the big, black Pirate ship as the Avatari and the Hornet came at it head on. The Cthulhus' shields finally faltered. Ben-Two and Dr Arnott continued firing away at it, until it erupted in a huge explosion out there in space. The two ships zoomed through the scattering debris.

The Van Halen jumped out of the Verona system.

**********

Streek, Ben-Three and the two Mias sat in the common room of the Van Halen. Zac entered the room. "Well, we're away. The damage to the ship is fairly minor, we were damn lucky." He looked around at the others. "So... I got two sisters now, Streek's a guy and who the hell are you?" he said looking at Ben-Three.

Ben-Three stood up and offered his hand, "Ben Anders the third. Pleased to meet you. Nice ship you got here, and nice flying back there."

Zac shook his hand. "Thanks, I'm Zac Bolton. Are you Bernies' brother or something?"

"Something. We're both Ben Anders clones. She's my Captain."

Bernie entered the room again with a bottle of Whiskey in her hand. "My ears are burning."

"You were a man?" said Zac.

"Yeah, I was."

"My sire's a man too." said Streek. "That's why I'm a man again now."

"My man!" said Bernie, putting her hand on his shoulder.

"Oh, ...I see." said Zac sadly. "Hey! That's my Single Malt!"

"Thanks." said Bernie, twisting the cap off the bottle. She took a long swig and then tipped some onto the floor.

"Hey!..." Cried out Zac.

"For my fallen comrades."

She passed the bottle to Zac. "I've been saving this for a special occasion. I guess we oughta be celebrating the fact we're alive. Let's have a party!" He tipped the bottle up and took a swig and then passed it to Streek.

"A lot of good clones died today." He said as he raised the bottle. "Here's to them." He put the bottle to his lips and drank, then passed it to Mia. "Uh ...Mia?!" he said.

"Yes?" both Mias said simultaneously, and then looked at each other.

"Are you both clones?"

"I am."

"Yeah, me too. Looks like the real Mia died in the battle."

"What?! ...my sister's dead?" said Zac.

"Afraid so." said one of the Mias. "On the battlefield, it's how she wanted to go."

"Killed in action. Just like Mum." said the other. "But don't worry Zac, I'm still around to keep you in line ...in stereo."

"Yeah, ...great! One of you was plenty." said Zac.

"I'm one of the new batch of clones too." said Bernie.

"Yeah, so am I." said Streek.

Mia took a swig of Whiskey, "Ha! you two are a couple of drama queens. With your dying confessions of love, and bringing him back to life, just to die together in battle. Do you think you're living in a Tragic Romance Holo-Film or something?"

"I would have thought of it more as an Action Holo." said Streek.

"I'd prefer Pornographic." said Bernie, smiling at him. "Let's get a room Streek."

Streek smiled back, "You read my mind Bern." Bernie took his hand and he stood up, "Excuse us," he said to the others. "...Now that we survived all that, we're gunna go and live."

"Don't rock the ship too hard, it might make us drop out of Hyper-warp." said Mia.

"We can't make any promises." said Bernie, leading Streek out of the room.

They made their way down the corridor, kissing and grabbing at each other. They entered the crew quarters at the end with their lips locked together. Bernie pulled down the zipper on Streeks jump-suit and rubbed her hands along his skinny chest.

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