tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Fate of Terra Ch. 15

The Fate of Terra Ch. 15


"Target destroyed," the first pilot radioed. "Mission accomplished."

"For the good of humanity," the second pilot declared with fanatical fervor that was echoed in the first zealot as he joined in. "To preserve the sanctity of our race. Death to all aliens and those who support them!"

Suddenly, the controls for both fighters locked and each craft began rising out of the atmosphere. Pandora popped the seals and shut off the oxygen flow. The two pilots panicked, unable to breathe. Although they were currently suffocating, they needn't have worried about dying from a lack of air. Their blood started bubbling into gas as they experienced severe decompression. Still, that wouldn't be what finally killed them.

As their fighters reached the upper atmosphere, the intense speed they were moving at -far greater than what pre-fusion engines were capable of- led to friction against the compressed air molecules, heating the metal all along the outside of their fighters. Without seals, they were slowly cooked inside their cockpits. Just as their hearts finally stopped beating, they hit the Aegis shield and were obliterated.

* * * * *

Michael sputtered and coughed as he crawled out of the tank naked, tubes falling away. Rin stood nearby holding a robe open for him, his girls crowded behind her wearing worried expressions. He ignored them, stumbling across the room to the tank that held Kat. The draining process had just begun. As the liquid dropped below her neck, the breathing tube detached and her head lulled to the side. Her eyes began blinking open as she came awake.

Then she was gasping for air and coughing up liquid. She shuddered before her eyes focused on Michael and then she was moving towards him jerkily. She fell against him and they both dropped to their knees, embracing each other. Rin neared and draped the robe over Michael's shoulders and said, "It will take a short while for your muscle memory to match what you remember."

Michael nodded as Aki stepped forth with a robe for Kat. He had a million questions, but knew there was a protocol in place. While Pandora wouldn't have brought him back unless his body and consciousness matched his old self and he'd passed her first line of tests, he knew if there 'was' a problem found Pandora would simply kill him and try again.

Michael and Kat sat on a nearby couch and began answering a predetermined set of questions while Pandora monitored their brain activity. He was surprised to see that mattresses and linens had been brought in. It looked like his girls had set up camp while they waited for them to revive. The couple of couches that were present even surrounded a holoprojector currently turned to a news broadcast. As he sat and held Kat in his arms, he zoned out as the tests continued. After awhile, the news anchor's distressed voice trickled into his awareness.

"It's been two days since the Advent Brotherhood claimed responsibility for a massive explosion over the Pacific Ocean they say killed Michael Dragomir, leader of the AI nation. Although this hasn't been verified, the artificial intelligence known as Pandora has, by all accounts, gone on a crusade against the anti-alien terrorist organization," she reported.

The anchorwoman was unable to keep her voice from trembling as she said, "Just moments after the extremists started to broadcast their report, it was cut off abruptly and thousands of Fury attack-craft that had been on scheduled patrols suddenly veered off in different directions and began searching patterns covering areas all over the globe."

"Since then, fifty-six locations around the world have been bombed," she informed them in a quaking voice. "Three of them have been confirmed by the Council's intelligence agency to be related to suspected terrorist activities. At this time, they are of the opinion that the bombings are targeted towards the Advent Brotherhood and like-minded radical groups. Though," she paused before admitting, "there is never any evidence left at the sites after the machines are done to make an actual scientific analysis."

"It seems obvious that members of the Advent Brotherhood have gone to ground, but the consensus is that Pandora is still finding them with shocking consistency. Over one hundred locations have been raided by the new model cybernetic assault units that were unveiled by Mr. Dragomir at the military summit last month." Her voice caught and her shoulders shook as she continued, "There have been confirmed sightings that these robot soldiers and hover tanks which were scheduled to be used in the assault on the alien planets are now being employed to hunt for anti-alien terrorist cells."

"Hundreds of people have been reported killed or... 'taken' in the raids. Of these, sixteen high ranking officials -the Secretary of the TDF included- were abducted -some while they were speaking out against the attacks in a public forum. It is unknown at this time if they had any connection with the Advent Brotherhood." She looked away a moment while she collected herself and her viewers could see the weariness that clung to her.

Finally, she looked into the camera and, in a tone of voice that made it clear she realized what she was about to say would give little relief, told them, "It is advised that you stay indoors and under no circumstances try to engage the AI-controlled forces. You should-" she stopped, and when she began again, they could tell that she was speaking off the teleprompter.

In a bitter and resigned voice she declared, "There is nowhere you can hide if they come for you. Their metal shielding is too thick to penetrate with conventional weapons and it is believed that it can regenerate. Those that have tried plasma weapons and heavy artillery all report that anything with a computer core is disarmed before they can be brought to bear."

Her face displayed unchecked fear as she said, "With absolute control over our technology, we are powerless to stop Pandora and the cybernetic raids she has unleashed. If the man who created her really is dead, then there is no one left that can sto-" The feed was cut off abruptly and the screen began displaying another report.

The corner of Michael's mouth curved into a sardonic grin at the news station's attempt to stop the anchorwoman's blunt honesty and maintain a false image of confidence and assurance. Their specialty was promoting fear, but when 'they' were afraid it wasn't desirable to be the nail that stood out -especially with Furies flying around looking for new targets.

Kat sighed and leaned against him as they both checked out and the other girls all relaxed their shoulders in relief. Aurora stepped forward and, returning to the matter of business and trying not to admit to herself that she'd had even a shred of doubt about what the results would be, said, "We haven't made a statement yet. The crew and the aliens are confused, but they're not panicking... yet. The Advent Brotherhood as well as two related cells are in the process of being eliminated."

Rin told him, "They were watching your parents' house. When you first showed up they gambled that you would then head back to the Intrepid and filed mundane-looking flight plans along the most direct route." She paused and then added in a quiet voice, "There was a strike on the house at the same time you were hit."

"They're alright," she hastily assured him as Michael's eyes hardened. "They're here on the Intrepid. It wasn't pretty though. Tanya- she... dismembered the team that came for them with her bare hands. After she had tortu- interrogated the leader to find out what was going on, she led your parents out and into the woods and called for a pickup. Pandora was already reacting by that time and was able to redirect the fighters that had been sent to bomb the place in case the team they sent failed." Michael nodded absently, having already known what Tanya was capable of. He also knew better than to ask 'where' Pandora redirected the fighters.

Pandora could remain silent no longer and burst out with, "I'm sorry, master. They managed to fool their sensors and were able to get in close even though their navigational data said they hadn't altered course. One of the three pilots made minute course corrections until he was almost on top of you and then manually released the missile at the last second. I wasn't able to recognize their attempt for what it was in time." She paused. "If it's any conciliation, the pilot who released the missile perished in the blast because of how close the maneuver required him to get. The other two died... painfully." Kat smiled at that.

Michael waved a hand. "S'alright, Pan. We all got complacent." He clenched a fist. "It won't happen again," he promised in a low voice.

"Do you want to release a statement?" Stacey asked, checking things off on her tablet.

Michael shrugged. "Not publicly," he replied. "We can just say later if we're asked that we didn't think it was necessary to respond to the rants of crazy fanatics. I'll send a message to the Council personally inviting them to the Christmas party so they know and can then confirm to the media that I'm not dead."

Stacey bit her lip and nodded in thought. "It's certainly in your character not to care about normal social niceties like keeping people informed," she admitted. Rin choked out a laugh at that. "People will be a little shaken up about the raids, but they'll just see it as another demonstration of what happens when someone goes against you."

"Where's Sun Mi?" Kat asked.

"We thought it best to wait until she has the nanites before bringing her in on all this," Stacey answered.

Michael nodded. "I want to make sure there isn't a sudden grab for power in my absence so it might be wise to give them to her father as well." Looking up, he asked her, "You already gave them to your parents, right?" Stacey nodded in response.

Pandora piped up with, "Sun Mi actually has the nanites -Mara, too. I just haven't activated them in their systems yet." She somehow managed to sound guilty and smug at the same time. The girls all shared inquisitive looks while Michael just chuckled at her foresight. "Well..." she explained. "I figured it was only a matter of time before master brought them in. This way, if they die, I'll at least have their physiologies recorded and a constant stream of their memories uploaded. When we grow them each a body I'll thus have something to input them with."

The girls grinned at the revelation. No one asked 'how' Pandora had managed it. She could be quite sneaky when she wanted. They collected any belongings of importance the girls had brought down and stepped outside the hatch. The area beyond was sealed off from the rest of the ship and contained one lift that rose directly to their suite -which was why it was such a surprise to find a gloomy-looking Tanya resting against one bulkhead, her arms wrapped around her folded legs. Michael looked at her and realized she seemed... 'ashamed.'

He quickly knelt down and hugged her to him. "Ah, come on, honey... Is this about the raid?" he asked softly in her ear, tears beginning to form in his eyes.

She looked up at him with tears of her own and sniffled. "I lost control... I did what Mara always told me not to and abused my power. I- I... tortured people." She buried her face into his shoulder and cried. "Oh god, you didn't see the looks on your parents' faces. I'm a monster."

Kat stepped close and told her in a firm voice, "You're both right and wrong. You didn't lose control. You did exactly what you were trained to do. You took apart the opposition and then used whatever resources you had to gain an advantage. Once you had the knowledge that more were coming, you acted instantly -brilliantly. From what Pan has showed me, you were calm, capable, and calculative. I couldn't have done it better myself."

She paused, and then said, "By the standards 'normal' people use, this also makes you a monster." She crouched down and brushed the girl's blonde tresses. "But believe me, it's better to be a monster than a victim. 'Normal' people would have frozen; they would have stopped to consider their actions; they would have huddled in a corner at the insanity of the situation and let themselves be killed." She stared into Tanya's eyes. "We knew when we found you in that alleyway that you weren't normal. Michael promised that you would never feel vulnerable again. Now you know what the price of that decision costs."

Tanya sniffed, though tears no longer fell. She remembered how she'd felt in the face of her uncle's wrath and her fists clenched in hatred. Regret began to bleed away from her. She didn't know it, but the pang of loss she felt was a good portion of her childlike innocence dying as she accepted her actions. Still, she clung to her guilt and spat, "You didn't see the bodies."

Michael gently turned her head to face him. "They were 'my' parents. Do you actually believe anything you could have done would be worse than what 'I' would do?" Tanya thought about that and shook her head. She knew Michael wouldn't have bothered interrogating them -he'd of simply made their deaths as painful as possible.

Stacey said, "Pan found out that the weapons they were using were some kind of plasma cutters that would have penetrated your enhanced skin if they made contact. It's not like they weren't actually able to harm you. You saved their lives, munchkin. You did good..."

Finally, Tanya lost her frown and hugged both Michael and Kat. When she leaned back, she shot Michael a wicked grin he swore she learned from Kat and said, "You're going to go have sex with Kat now, aren't you?"

He threw his head back and laughed as the others all smiled at the young girl's statement. Michael brushed her hair and chuckled, "No one's going to ever accuse you of being sheltered, that's for sure. Yes, honey. I am."

Kat snaked her arms around his waist and stage-whispered, "I seem to be a virgin again and I'll need him to fix that little problem -in every way possible." The girls grinned at the show they would soon be getting.

Tanya sighed. "Fine, I'll go play with Sarah." They all laughed and Michael ruffled her hair.

"I'm proud of you, my bloodthirsty little angel," he teased. "And not just for saving my parents..." He sighed. "All the predictions say we'll be at war, or at least on high alert due to new alien races, through your generation and beyond. I'm relieved that you've shown you can survive in this dangerous new era we find ourselves in." He hugged her to him. "I've never treated you like a kid and I won't lie to you. You 'will' kill again. I just hope you can find it in yourself to accept that we no longer live in a civilized world anymore and you won't try to bury yourself in guilt." He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "I can't stand to see you suffering."

She beamed up at him, her worries seeming to melt away at his acceptance. "I'll try."

They all got in a lift and went up to the suite. As the doors opened, Michael got another surprise as Sun Mi was lounging in one of the chairs in the waiting area before the massive sliding doors that led into their rooms. She bolted to her feet and stuttered, "I, uh, asked Pandora to notify me when you could be made available. I didn't expect to be waiting days, but I have some intelligence that..."

Michael gave her an airy wave as he turned to accept a hug and a quick "Love ya," from Tanya as she made her rounds among each of them. After saying goodbye properly to him and the girls, she darted into the regular lift and pressed the button for one deck below, planning on grabbing her swimsuit before stealing Sarah from Kim's room and taking her down to the waterslides.

Michael swept Kat up in his arms and walked through the opening hatchway, the rest of his girls trailing behind. Sun Mi stood there for a few moments, before shaking her head and sprinting after them as the doors began to slide shut. She gaped at the office, never having been there before, but what she saw when she entered the bath area left her speechless. When she was able to finally tear her eyes away from the sight of the enormous heated pool framed by mosaics, she froze as she saw Michael and Kat naked on an air mattress, the girls crowded around watching.

Feeling incredibly awkward -though if she was being honest with herself, the situation brought a twinge of remembered heat between her legs as she recalled her own recent ordeal- she turned to leave, only to find the hatch closed and the lock cycled. As Kat moaned audibly, Sun Mi felt silly being the only person removed from the group and slowly joined the ring of girls watching the action play out. Aki giggled at her when she took a seat and threw her arms around her, resting her head on her shoulder.

For Michael's part, he was enjoying himself as he paid Kat's pussy an appropriate amount of attention. It was a surreal experience for him. The taste, feel, and scent was all just as he remembered it, but in his mind he kept expecting something to be different now that he was in a whole new body. He pulled apart her folds with his thumbs and buried his tongue deep, drawing out her sweet nectar. She spasmed in response and threaded her fingers through his hair, wrapping her legs around his head.

It was difficult for him to breathe, but he didn't mind. He knew that just meant he was doing his job properly -and they didn't 'really' need air to begin with... Michael's hands glided over her smooth skin, cupping her firm ass cheeks, then rounding her waist, and finally reaching up to her magnificent tits. When Kat finally stopped twitching in ecstasy, he raised himself up, grinding his body down atop hers, and lining himself up. His cock pulsed as he rubbed it up and down her slit, drawing another moan from Kat.

She rested her hands on the back of his neck and stared up at him with renewed love, knowing that not even death would separate them. At last, she wrapped her legs around him and accepted more of him as he slowly plunged into her. With every inch that he sank deeper, her pussy seemed to pulsate around his length, sucking him in and squeezing with incredible, heart-stopping force.

As her feelings began to build, drawing ever closer to her greatest orgasm yet, Michael threw her legs over his shoulders and began driving into her harder and faster, dipping his head to meet her lips. Michael snaked a hand down between her legs as he felt her start her release and began flicking her tiny nub, drawing out the explosion until her ears were ringing and she saw spots.

Seeing her in the throes of ecstasy put him over the edge and he snapped his eyes shut as he came so hard it left him breathless. The couple collapsed by each others' side, arms still clinging to the other. He bowed his head and hugged her tight, willing himself to never forget this feeling. The girls around him sighed at the beauty of the two reunited lovers. Sun Mi herself didn't know about their deaths or the somewhat risky revival procedure, but she still felt like something significant had happened.

Michael, eyes still closed and panting slightly, asked, "So what now?" Sun Mi was stunned at what took place next, never having participated in one of their planning or recap-sessions before. The girls began to move in a casual manner -some taking a bath, some fondling each other, some simply cuddling or laying down. All, however, participated in the conversation and provided input.

Rin said, as she and her sister began massaging Aurora, "Our number one priority should be to find out how they gained access to a fusion missile."

"It was a fusion bomb with a remote detonator mounted onto a missile," Pandora clarified. "It was incredibly primitive which is why I didn't recognize it for what it was in time. Since the fighters themselves are powered by fusion reactors, just having a core onboard doesn't actually set off any alarms."

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