(From the Space Opera serial “Androids’ do indeed Dream about Heaven, Hell, Dragons and other things”)
Old Gamrot and his robot mule, Jispiss, lifted their heads up to the sky as one of those large interstellar transport ships hovered over their heads. Gamrot thought the damn thing was going to land on top of them, obliterating them where they stood. Thankfully the ship darted off to the west leaving them fully intact. Jispiss looked at his master and in a mulish voice said:
“It seems like their headed for the boneyards. There’s nothing there but dust and dirt, nothing there to prospect, no soil to farm in, no grazing lands, these are dead lands. It makes no sense why an Emerald Colored Colony Ship would make base there.”
The old prospector looked at his mule with a bit of concern and said, “Who gives a damn what their reasons or motives are for wanting to settle in those desolate lands. Our real concern is why a colony ship came to this world in the first place. It’s been over two hundred years since those from the jeweled worlds tried to settle here. I think this world is going to be in for one hell of a ride.”
“What are you looking at, the last I looked; I have two eyeballs, a nose, and two ears like everyone else,” said the travelling stranger sitting at the bar. “Just let me have my drink in peace and I’ll be on my way”
“Since when do Robots drink”, said one of the gun toting patrons, “We don’t abide your kind in these parts, as a matter of fact, we string them up and rip them apart piece by piece. It’s time to pray to any of your gods if you got them, oh I forgot, you don’t have any souls, your just pieces of tin and wire” The gun toting patron put a gun to the travelers head and was readying to escort the stranger to the hanging tree, but the traveler had other plans.
With lightening quick speed the traveler grabbed the gun from the startled patron’s hand and threw him to the ground breaking a few ribs in the process. Other cowpokes in the bar started to grab for their guns, but the stranger in a blaze of speed, gunned each and every one down before they could get their shooters out of their holsters.
“Who, who, are you, wwwhaaat are you, there are no robots that can do anything like that in these parts or the whole freaking world. Show some mercy, I didn’t mean anything I said. I was just fooling around. ” Said the sniveling, whining, Patron, now shitting in his drawers while begging for his life.
First off, I’m a fucking android asshole, not a robot, although with your limited intelligence that would be a hard concept to grasp, secondly, I do in fact have a soul, and pray to any god that will listen, thirdly, yes a whole lot of us, have strengths and powers beyond your imagination and finally, no, I’m not showing a dirt bag like you any mercy, as I’m sure you never showed what you call, robots, anything of the kind. ”
The Traveler put a bullet through his head and headed for the door. As she was about to head out of this dirt infested town and hit the open road, she turned around and said to those shaking and trembling cowboys who still remained alive:
“They call me Lady Nova, the fastest draw and meanest mother fucking gunslinger you’ll ever want to meet. If I ever hear that this town is back in the business of hanging and ripping apart robots, I’ll come back with my gang and kill and maim every last one of you .I’ll start with the children first and work my way up, better yet, I’ll leave them till last and then cook them till their tender enough for our horses to eat.”
She turned around, walked out the door, got on her horse, whispered a few words in his ear, and rode off into the purple hazed sunset.
Three years ago this day, eight hundred and thirty five androids, ninety eight robots, forty two enhanced humans, and sixteen cyborgs, made this semi- desert world, Paladin, their home and base of operations. They arrived on a jeweled world transport ship with a crew of one hundred and seventy three space-pirates, made up of fifteen enhanced humans, four cyborgs, twenty five class 3.4 androids, nine 3.9 class androids and eighty two robots. Their passengers consisted of eight hundred class 4.0 androids, one 4.1 class android, sixteen robots and an enhanced human.
An Alliance, a commitment to mutual goals and a bond of friendship and trust was formed between the Space-Pirates and the Barnovians (named so in honor of Barabbas Covington and Juliana Nova) on their six hundred light year ride through space together. When they reached their journeys end they swore fealty towards each other and collectively called themselves the Cyhuriods of Paladin.
They made base and home on the most isolated and seemingly desolate part of the planet. In fact it was quite mineral and water rich. Deep scan detectors, far more advanced that were used by the existing inhabitants, detected underground caverns rich in various mineral deposits and deep water wells. They constructed underground laborites, factories and mining operations so that they could research and build advanced androids, more efficient and semi sentient robots, discover better and more streamlined cloning methods and build more sophisticated advanced weaponry.
They also erected under the strict supervision of the space-pirates, a huge spaceship building complex devoted to making small ships suitable for piracy and smuggling. Of course these were all hidden and camouflaged from prying eyes. On the surface, The County of Angerdean was a network of ten small townships and a Capitol Center that resembled towns out of the Old West, of one of the Jeweled Planets, the Emerald planet also called earth, some three thousand years ago.
This day also marked the day that Dr. Barabbas Covington released the 4.0 androids of their yoke. He sent a virus into their “God Chip” effectively killing it, leaving them free to finally make their own decisions. This God Chip made them subservient to anyone who held the android filter codes. In this case Barabbas was the one who held them. Dr Covington also shut off the strength and special ability inhibitors that restricted the androids full capabilities.
He gave them a choice as well, to stay and build a community and empire with him and Juliana, or to go out on their own, and make a life of their own choosing. Each and every one chose to stay with Barabbas and Juliana. They would follow and obey Barabbas with or without the use of any chip. He was their liberator, their hero. They knew that He loved them, and that was all they needed to know.
The homecoming festival usually lasted a week. The Cyhuriods danced, sang and did lots of other interesting things. A good time was had by all.
He decided he’d wait five more minutes for Juliana. She was on stealth mode, so he had no idea if she was in the compound or not. She was on a mission for the past three weeks, and the parts he saw of it concerned him. She took to many risks, way, way too many. That’s why she went on stealth mode, to protect him from freaking out. To his great relief, she strode in to the staff room with a twinkle in her eyes a smile on her face.
The first thing she did was to wrap her arms around Barabbas and give him one juicy kiss.
Barabbas whispered in her ear, “Please don’t shut me out like that again, it’s better to know what’s going on than not. I swear I’ll be good from now on; you don’t need to protect me, my deliciously sweet and crazy gun-slinging love of my life.” Barabbas raising his voice so everyone could hear, said, “You look like one evil maniacal gun-toting cowgirl. I hope things went according to plan. The floor is yours, please fill us in.”
Juliana said a few hello’s, took some quick hugs from the Captain and Sorella and proceeded with the debriefing. She rested her arms on the podium and spoke of her mission in the badlands where the planets government was near nonexistent. It was a lawless land where bands of outlaws roamed freely. She said,
“Phase two is completed. We have complete control of the badlands. As you know for the past year we have been sending teams of newly awakened 4.1’s out in the badlands to hone in on their skills, and decision making. It’s a great way to teach them how to live in a dangerous world and prepare some of them for their primary assignment amongst the Jeweled Worlds. We’ve been causing havoc among the Pure or Unsullied Human settlements. The name of Lady Nova and her Novarites causes fear in the hearts and minds of those who live and breathe, as well as those who don’t. We’ve become the Law in some areas and rustling, thieving outlaws in others. We now have control of all their mining operations, radar and surveillance stations as well as their grazing lands. We’re also the darlings and protectors of the Robots, and the lower level 2.9 and 3.1 class androids. They’ve become our eyes and ears in the rudimentary government power bases in this world.” Juliana paused, cleared her throat and said, “Any Questions”
It was Captain Zachariah P. Zestabar who asked the first question. In an excited tone he said;
“When can I start building the space station that will be anchoring our fleet? I also need to make larger war vessels for our defense and without the station that would be impossible.”
Juliana smiled and said, “Now. With control of the surveillance stations stationed in the badlands we can now filter out any signals of activity in our area of space. We can have ten space stations with thousands of ships and all the government surveillance would see is empty space. In time we will be Paladins government. But for now we own the badlands. “
Dr Bellaforte waited to see if Zestabar had any more questions. He didn’t, so she asked Juliana if she brought back any viable organic vessels.
Juliana Said, “Yes we did. We’ve brought back over seventy five robust specimens. We can clone them, accelerate the process, and use those clones as organ resources for our enhanced humans and cyborgs. We also will put some in breeding farms in order to always have a supply at hand. We also can now study their brain and organ activity at closer quarters, selecting a few to become cyborg or enhanced after we psychologically re-orient them to our way of thinking. We can use them to infiltrate all areas of Paladins’ society.”
Dr Rippledire gently interrupted Juliana and said;
“This is indeed good news about the space station. We need certain minerals and materials for our synthetic fabrications. We have all the bio-genetic material that we need but we are lacking some synthetic bio-fuels and some rare metals and minerals that are lacking on this planet. I have enough synthetic organics for a hundred more 4.1’s and reserve materials for our existing androids medicinal and regenerative needs for only the next fifty years. We need the Captain and his crew to start the piracy and smuggling operation as soon as possible…”
The staff meeting lasted through the night while the music and laughing of the homecoming festival was soothing background noise to those who were shaping their destiny.
He was startled out of his reverie by the frantic actions of his Chief of Staff. He burst into his office, headed for the bar, grabbed a bottle of valerian whiskey, and took a long hard gulp.
“Buford, what the hell are you doing, get a grip on yourself, you look like some mad robot who thinks he can fly”, exclaimed the Governor, “put down that bottle and tell me what’s got your pants all twisted up in your balls.”
Buford took a deep breath, burped and said, “We’re surrounded, there’s a whole mess of super robots outside the capitol gates. They’re giving us One hour to surrender, if we don’t they’ll puts us all in pots of boiling water and cook us.”
“Have you all gone mad”, screamed the governor, “Where are the federation armies and ships, have they been alerted, what about our own defenses, they’re formidable compared to what these native idiots possess. What’s this babbling about super robots, our protocols wouldn’t allow such a thing. Call in the troops and burn these robots to ashes.”
Buford looked like he was about to cry, as a matter of fact he was crying when he told the governor, “ They overran five of our space stations where all of the federation solders and ships were stationed at. They have their own fleet of ships and the notorious pirate, ‘The Scourge of the Jeweled Worlds’, Caption Zestabar leads them. He showed the federation soldiers no quarter, they’re all dead. Our own guards, five thousand of them, met the robots outside our gates less than twenty minutes ago. They too are all dead. There are only about two hundred robots out there and they killed five thousand of our solders in less than twenty minutes. I’d call those fucking robots, super, wouldn’t you? I’d prefer to remain alive rather than being cooked, Sir, the Lady Nova, the mad gunslinger of the badlands (it seems all those stories about her were true) awaits your decision. I’d suggest that you surrender to her now, and beg for mercy so that we all might live to see another day.”
It was now the governors turn to cry, he took the bottle out of Buford’s hand and chugged down what was left of it. “Get me my coat, it’s time to lick a little boot and kiss a little ass, it’s just my luck to be stationed on a world that is overrun by Robots”.
Captain Zachariah P. Zestabar was one happy Pirate. Never in his wildest dreams did he see himself as a commander of a Naval Fleet of Starships, Transports, Fighter Drones and Scout Vessels, and to top it all off his main mission was to be a Smuggler and Pirate, two things that he loved to do most. He left his number two in charge of the fleet while he strode and sat in his shiny new seat on his Class Three Starfighter, which held a crew of thirty two, and ordered it to be fired up. Along with three other Starfighters, they exited the spaceport and headed out into the darkness of space to look for and acquire some booty….
Stay tuned for “The Space Pirates of Angerdean’s Haunted Treasure Trove”