And Zoe

Bill_Bones Oct 22nd, 2013 75 Never
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  1. And Zoe
  3. by Ishtanchuk Fazmarai
  5. 105 Y.C. - Zoe.
  7. It all started because of Sparks and Contact, two call signs which bemused him. Contact had borrowed Twinkle's handbook and so he went to ask it back, when it turned that neither she nor Sparks had any sense of privacy. Twinkle was shocked to meet Contact nude, standing on all four, and Sparks standing on his knees behind her. They didn't noticed his presence for a few seconds, and then Sparks ordered him to get effing lost and Contact pierced him with a hateful look.
  9. A few days later, the memories of Contact's breasts swinging back and forth as Sparks rocked his hips still hadn't left Twinkle's mind, and one night he had the strangest dream about Contact and himself taking Sparks' place, and he woke up to find a moist stain on the sheets. The new quickly spread and all the fellows started joking on how Twinkle was planning to stop being a bunny and become a fellow, and how Zoe should better get to him before he made the sheets pregnant... those were the usual jokes when bunnies entered their teens and their bodies matured to a point where it couldn't be hidden, but Twinkle wasn't bemused to be the target.
  11. Until then, he had progressed in the ranks of the Baby Janes as usual, since he was sold to the mercenary militia. Twinkle had been captured along with his family by a pirate gang who scammed the refugees attempting to flee his home planet, struck by a glacial era whose control was beyond the reach of the diminished race dwelling in it. Soon after taking off, the refugees were informed of their fate and led to a hidden pirate den, to be sold as slaves to the powers maneuvering in the lawless space whose security wasn't granted by nobody else but capsuleer overlords.
  13. After his enlistment, Twinkle had spent two years as a hamster, performing routine non-combat jobs, before he was trained in the use of firearms and other military matters to became a bunny, a fighting member. Later, bunnies would become fellows after their sexual maturity, and earned a chance to join the deadly assault teams. If they lived through it, they would retire at 21, or would become officers. Everything was planned, written and ruled by the books. The Baby Janes were known in the nullsec underground both for the brutal effectiveness of their child soldiers and their discipline and trustworthiness.
  15. So in a way, Twinkle knew for years that sooner or later he should meet up with Zoe. She was the current Big Jane, and she was in charge to "make men" of the male bunnies as they matured. As privilege of her post, Zoe was allowed to use her real name instead of her calIsign. Twinkle knew that she used to be “Butterfly” due to a birthmark, and envied her luck as Twinkle himself was named after a faulty lamp at his cell; the fellows often were careless with the naming of new hamsters.
  17. After having his first wet dream, Twinkle spent several weeks increasingly anxious, waiting for news, as no bunny should be introduced to the Big Week before Big Jane herself determined that it was the time; that was another privilege. Then, one day he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to meet Zoe. She was taller than him, partly because he was short, and also because she was almost 3 years older. Her red hair was tied in a pony tail and her grayish eyes were the only fault in a very beautiful face. Also, as Big Jane, she was very well developed at her 16 years.
  19. "Hi, Zoe" muttered Twinkle, with shaky knees.
  20. “I've heard that you're making the laundry hamsters busy. So don't make any plans for next week, because you'll be mine, bunny”, said her, smiling. Then she licked two fingers and put them on Twinkle's lips.
  21. "I.... errr... I..." Twinkle struggled to figure what he was supposed to say, but to no avail as Zoe already had moved away. Any doubt that Twinkle could have about the appointment was clarified when he received a written order to go at the HQ building, where the Big Jane had her own private apartment.
  23. Nothing could had readied Twinkle for the Big Week. Zoe was loving but strict, and Twinkle became very frustrated when the first day was spent in what seemed like endless chatter about different matters which he didn't cared for. As the night closed, he noticed how the themes were becoming increasingly sexual, but after dinner he was sent to sleep in a separate bedroom, and the door was locked from outside. Twinkle was frustrated and very angry, but he bit his tongue and did his best to sleep. Then the next day they had breakfast, and after it everything happened extremely fast. As Zoe commented how she liked to spend the first day figuring about the boy, Twinkle was fascinated to see her undress almost incidentally. Shock after shock, there came the silken shine of her white skin, the hanging masses of her breasts, and the little scattering of red fire below her navel. Then she took his hand and led him to her bed, a ridiculously large artifact with canopy.
  25. Of the next days, the massive bed became a pervasive memory of Twinkle as Zoe shared her mastership with him. Twinkle quickly figured why nobody talked about the Big Week; even as all the fellows shared the same initiation, the whole experience was intensely private and overwhelming. The only person who could share it, understand it, was Zoe herself... but then, how many such memories did she had?
  27. It wasn't until the sixth day when Twinkle noticed that something was going wrong, as the themes of their conversations dug deeper and deeper into the past, and something else supplemented and even replaced the lust and sex they were sharing. Unable to understand what was going on, Twinkle kept feeling wronger and wronger until the time when he had to return to his unit and they split with a kiss, as then he felt some absurd pain and sorrow.
  29. During the next weeks, Twinkle took the chance, as a new fellow, to get a “free ride” with every female fellow, establishing a different kind of bond with the unit, but even then he would often find himself looking for chances to meet Zoe, and she was always ready to meet him and even would get out of her way to do so.
  31. Twinkle couldn't understand what was going on because his years at the unit hadn't readied him to think about such matters. They were not in the books, there was no rules. Why would a fellow wish to spend a lot of time with another fellow, and feel bad about being separate from her? Twinkle's confusion grew until, once again, Contact triggered a turning point.
  33. "You're in love to her, punk. You're fucking retarded"
  34. "Love...? No. It's just that... I..."
  35. "Well, don't count on me keeping this. I wonder how nobody has noticed yet"
  37. Twinkle shrugged. What if it was love? Maybe there would be something wrong with loving a fellow... And then he was ordered to go meet the big man himself, the executive commander of his unit.
  39. “Listen Twinkle, don't think we don't know that you and Zoe have something inappropriate going", started him. "We don't mind if any of you two like to shag each other and don't share with the rest, but certain feelings are a no-no. You can't love her. Love makes you think of the future, and the future is that she's 3 years older than you, and in case that she lives that much, she's going to leave the unit sooner than you. Once you're 21 too, she either will be a busy officer or will be doing something else, elsewhere. In both cases, you don't have any future together. Do you understand?”
  40. “Yes sir”, answered Twinkle.
  41.  “Well then, this is an order now. Stop becoming close to Zoe if you can't keep your head cold. And be warned; this is the first and last chance you'll have to make such a judgment. Make a single mistake because of the girl and you'll be transferred from this unit“.  
  43. Twinkle made no mistake. After a long conversation with Zoe, both agreed to keep their relationship stealthy. From the outside, it worked and some of the fellows even joked about Twinkle and Zoe “breaking”, but from the inside, Twinkle felt like lies and deceit just made his feelings stronger, and from what he could see, also were Zoe's. As time passed and the routine of combat and training continued, both grew aware that the future was a place where none of them would want to go.
  46. 106 Y.C. - Pants
  48. “To the right”, repeated Zoe.
  49. “To the right, where?”, asked back Twinkle.
  50. “That corridor, the one with the gory cross”, specified Zoe.
  51. “Which gory cross? Have you seen this place?”, almost giggled Twinkle.
  53. Of course she had seen the place, as she had been linking herself to the teams' cameras and a camera drone and a few devices more, guiding them in the heavily modified inside of the Blood Raiders industrial ship. Aside of the gory decorations in the sinister looking corridors, the interior of the ship's hold was a maze of small cells, and each one had to be surveyed. The command ship could do most of that work through remote sensing, but the cells showing life signs had to be checked one by one. And so Twinkle's platoon was scouting the hold, until they found what they were looking for.
  55. The cell wasn't specially large, and barely smelled worst than the rest of the ship; but anyway the stench of decaying excrements suffocated that of rotten blood, and the platoon coughed as their chemical filters adapted to the new environment.
  57. “Jackpot!” announced Twinkle on the radio. Inside the cell, a few children started crying and sobbing, and one of the older ones said:
  59. ”Water, please. Give us water, sir, for the younger ones”.
  60. “We don't have water here, kids, but we will take you where there is. Now leave the room one by one and make a line out here.”
  62. They were 41, and only two had died, none older than 2 years. That was an average number for a Thukker caravan like the one razed four days ago, just a few hours before the Baby Janes started chasing the Blood Raiders. At one point, there was speculation about averting the assault on the Thukker caravan, but the chances of getting caught in a cross fire were considered too high. The attack on the sect's ship was unforeseen and brutal, and albeit they opposed a fanatical resistance, the Raiders were no match for a mercenary gang like the Baby Janes. Albeit Twinkle hadn't been in the assault wave, the fact that it lasted less than ten minutes was evidence enough of how it had fared to the blood adoring freaks...
  64. Twinkle and his platoon led the children along the corridors, and the kids quickly noticed how it was composed by children like them... they looked appreciatively at bunnies like Tea Cup, who was carrying a support assault rifle almost as large as herself. She was just eleven, but she had thoroughly earned the right to be a Heavy. When the platoon and the children reached what was left of the original hold, the kids already were feeling curious. Were they soldiers? Could children be soldiers? Their weapons were real?
  66. But then they saw the water tank and rushed to it, drinking from glasses, cups and mugs and even trying to drink from the faucet. Chaos lasted for a minute before Twinkle ordered the platoon to stop it, and then they led the children to another section of the hold. There, aligned against a bulkhead, there were the survivors.
  68. The Blood Raiders were chained and had their hands and feet tied to the floor; Twinkle noticed how almost all were male and figured that the older fellows in the assault teams were having some fun with the females. Anyway, Twinkle had another job.
  70. “Do you see them?”, asked Twinkle to the children. “Those freaks are the ones who harmed your parents. Did you see how they did it?”
  72. Some of the children started sobbing, and others muttered affirmative answers. Twinkle knew that such would be the case. They almost lost the Blood Raiders after the attack, and had spent four days chasing the transport ship. In the meanwhile, the Blood Raiders had sacrificed all the adults. Twinkle continued speaking:
  74. ”Well then kids, you know how this people are evil. They're monsters and killed your parents and everyone else. And they were going to kill you too, once they reached their lair. They love blood. And children blood is the best to them. They're monsters who don't deserve to live. And so I want to know something: if you could hurt those monsters, would you do it?”.
  76. Some of the children answered affirmatively, but most of them were puzzled. Twinkle insisted:
  78. “You can hurt them back. Nobody is going to say anything to you. We are children, like you. We belong to an army, we are the Baby Janes. We fight because we want, and we don't want those monsters hurting other children. They deserve to die. And I will tell you, you CAN do it. Here, let me show you this”, said Twinkle, and he took a recoil-damped 10 millimeters pistol. “This is a real gun. Now, who wants it to shoot those monsters?”
  80. That was it. From his experience, Twinkle expected some questions, as the whole idea of shooting people... adults... but also, monsters... permeated the shocked group of children. Then, the questions were quickly interrupted when a kid stepped ahead. He wasn't older than eight and was wearing a pair of pants with a  flamboyant livery.
  82. “Can I shoot them, sir?” asked the boy.
  83. “Yes, you can. Nobody is going to stop you”.
  84. “They did it. I told them to not... to not slash my mother. She always was afraid of blades. And they...” the kid interrupted and bit his teeth as tears fell down his face. Twinkle wasn't there to show mercy, and just said:
  86. “Take it. Aim and pull the trigger. This pistol is special for people not used to them. It's just going to be noisy...”.
  88. The kid took the pistol, and seemed disappointed to sense its light weight. Then he walked toward the Blood Raiders and some of them started praying. The kid moved the weapon up and down the line as the prisoners tried to avoid the muzzle, clashing against each other and pointlessly attempting to free from their chains. Then the kid fired three times and one of the figures yelled in pain and collapsed, and the kid shouted:
  90. “I told you to don't slash her! I told you! I told you!”, and then fired repeatedly on the figure on the ground, until it silenced and ceased moving. Then another of the older boys asked for a gun...
  92. It was a good operation overall. The Baby Janes recruited four new bunnies, aged seven to nine, and kept a few potential ones to be employed as hamsters. Also the Thukker were generous paying for the rescue of 29 living children. Nobody asked about the other children, their corpses, nor the adults from the caravan. As for the few surviving blood raiders, their fate was sealed once the industrial ship was scuttled.  
  94. Back at the base, Zoe was the first to know that Twinkle had picked a new bunny for his platoon, and his name was Pants.
  97. 107 Y.C. - Twinkle
  99. The air guys didn't see it. That was not exactly their fault, because the trap had been built with the intent of remaining hidden until it was late, and anyway nobody expected it. It was a new tactic and so it had its glory  time while the Baby Janes still were cleansing the target zone. At the pace of automated war, the strike was done before anyone could understand what was going on.
  101. Eight missiles were launched from underground silos, accelerating at 100 G, then 200, then 300, arching above the tree tops, and then they reached the location of the command ship from eight directions. The missiles pulled a brutal maneuver at 4,000 G and fell on the ship following corkscrew trajectories. The automated point defense picked them and fired eight times. Six of the targets vaporized mid air, and one of the beams missed the target. Another one accidentally struck a bird, obliterating it and scattering too much to hit the incoming projectile.
  103. The two remaining missiles hit, just four seconds after being launched. One was a decoy, but the second was a plasma warhead.
  105. At the target zone, the team heard a high pitched radio noise, and they saw the blistering shine of the exploding warhead as a boiling hell of air turned to plasma and was slammed on the ground by a massive EM pulse, consuming everything in several hundred meters around. Then the shock wave crushed trees and plants and animals and rocks, and the team heard a thundering noise as a mushroom shaped cloud erupted on the horizon. After the explosion, the command ship and Zoe were no more.
  107. Too shocked to feel anything, Twinkle gathered his platoon and followed the established procedure; the assault teams would avoid evacuation at the planned point and would walk 45 kilometers to an alternate point while the air guys launched a interdiction 50 kilometers around, shooting at everything that moved.
  109. It was a merciless march through forested terrain, and exhaustion quickly started taking a toll on the younger bunnies. Twinkle said nothing when he saw Tea Cup taking Pants' rifle and ammunition as the boy struggled with his legs. Four kilometers later, he himself took Tea Cup's and Pants' equipment as the two bunnies assisted each other, Tea Cup pestering Pants to keep him moving.  
  111. Three excruciating kilometers passed, and then Pants fell to the ground and Twinkle barely could manage to keep him awake. Tea Cup sat by him and started crying silently. Twinkle knew that Pants still was too young and no amount of training could make up for the sheer stamina of a developed young body. And then, both Twinkle and Pants knew what was next.
  113. “I am sorry, but I can't walk further”
  114. “Never mind, Pants. You've been a good one”, answered Twinkle.
  115. “Only a good one?”
  116. “The best one, dude”
  117. “You know what...?”
  118. “What?”
  119. “You can kiss my ass! You still will have to walk to the EZ with my gun!”
  121. Twinkle laughed and so did Pants, until coughing interrupted him. Twinkle could see tears in his eyes. Then Tea Cup stood up and moved away.
  123. "Good bye, Pants", she said.
  124. “Don't call me pussy, eh”, answered Pants.
  125. “Good bye, Pants”, said Twinkle.
  126. “Good bye, Twinkle”.
  128. Then Pants took his recoil-damped 10 millimeters gun, swiftly introduced its muzzle in his mouth and pulled the trigger. It was 107.08.11, on the fourth month of his ninth year of life. Then Twinkle grabbed the gun from Pants' dead hand and fired three times more on him, until his cranium cracked open and his brains fell to the ground in pieces. The rule was to not allow any chance of revival.
  130. The team lost two bunnies more on the way to evacuation, and Twinkle had to take Tea Cup in his arms to board the evacuation ship after she collapsed in sight of it.
  132. After all the teams were evacuated, they asked and obtained a orbital strike from the support fleet. They had lost three bunnies and all hands aboard the command ship, and so they dropped 17 bombs on the area, each one a 2 megatons fusion warhead. The local militia did nothing as several population centers and their inhabitants vanished from existence... maybe they didn't expect it or maybe didn't cared, and aboard the ships everyone cheered as the telescopes showed the billowing clouds of total destruction.
  134. Nobody fucked the Baby Janes and was in the mood to brag later. But for the first time in his career, Twinkle couldn't think of anything else than how he had lost Pants and Zoe forever.
  137. 110 Y.C. – The living dead.
  139. Twinkle applied the patch to the back of his neck and relaxed, waiting for the initial dose of roomba. The patches were of the best quality and so they had a small fast releasing dose and a larger amount of slow formulation that was infused for hours. Twinkle didn't knew how it worked, but it helped to make the ghosts shut up... all his memory, actually, until only a undefined sense of bliss could come and strike him, either awake or sleeping. Roomba was useful but as all drugs, the brain would adapt to it and issues would start. Further, he wasn't supposed to be using it before an attack. But Twinkle had been experiencing difficulties to concentrate, and roomba just helped him to stay focused on the present.
  141. Anyway, Twinkle wasn't stupid. As the assault shuttle entered the atmosphere, he covered the roomba patch with a motion sickness patch. He had suffered a vestibular infection the year before and he had become prone to motion sickness, and also developed an habit to tilt his head in a birdlike gesture.
  143. The shuttle pierced through the atmosphere, plummeting from the skies at a speed that would disintegrate it if the shields failed. As the shuttle reached to 50 kilometers away from the target, the cover fleet launched an alpha strike on the automated defenses, wiping them all in a single discharge. Then the shuttle fired a small plasma missile at the landing zone, timed so the blast had dissipated as the shuttle landed.
  145. Twinkle led his unit, stepping on the charred rubble scattered around the landing zone and moved into the target structure, whose windows and doors had been blasted by the missile. Twinkle's orders were to wipe a underground section of the building and led his team downstairs. Then the first opposition appeared and weapons were fired as the other teams cleaned their sections.
  147. The underground was some kind of laboratory complex, and Twinkle set his teeth. “Civilians”, he thought. Three lone guards in civilian armor tried to fight back but where easily taken down, and Renata, formerly known as Contact, announced:
  149. "All estimated kills completed, proceed with terminations".
  151. Twinkle unlocked his safety and aimed at the figures running away along the first corridor; bullets flew and ricochet the bodies, and then the team split and started clearing the halls. The usual mayhem of cries of fear and pain ensued as the workers were killed with automatic fire. Twinkle kept watching and suddenly a figure exited a room, blindly racing to the corridor. Twinkle sent a burst his way and the figure collapsed after being hit by 5 high velocity projectiles. He or she was wearing a white coat, maybe was a scientist.
  153. "60% terminations completed. Underground team, how are you progressing?", inquired Renata.
  154. "All right here, are you keeping the body count?"
  155. "Intel suspects that there is a escape exit. Look for it"
  156. "Oh, great"
  158. That meant checking all the rooms again and verify the body count. And thus face the grotesque corpses, laid all around, still oozing blood, some partially dismembered, offending dead flesh. Why wouldn't dead civilians just vaporize like the poor bastards at the landing zone?
  160. After looking for ten minutes, Twinkle wondered whether there was no escape exit and Intelligence was just having too much idle time. Then he noticed something unusual: At one of the walls, there was a bullet hit, just the bullet hadn't neither bounced nor dug a crater. It had made a perfect round hole through the wall. Twinkle smiled grimly. The lamest of all defenses...
  162. He fired a burst and the fake wall bent and collapsed. Behind it, there was a low tunnel and Twinkle entered it, crouching and turning on his IR goggles. After running straight for some meters, the tunnel turned left and ended in a flight of stairs. There was the escape exit. Twinkle walked towards the stairway, ready to point the location to the outside team, when he saw her.
  164. The stairs where a standard metal structure, and behind them there was an empty space. The woman had hid behind, but Twinkle could see her easily, as she was not wearing any IR cloaking. She was huddled up,  trying to hide behind her knees, and then Twinkle shifted to visible light as he raised his weapon. Then the woman looked up to him and he felt a cold grasp on his heart.
  166. "Zoe", he muttered.
  168. Orange hair. The same ugly grayish eyes. Same nose. Same mouth. Roomba couldn't wipe Zoe from his memory. He tried to recall what they had been told... about the walking dead, people who looked like other people, dead who should be dead but had a twin somewhere. "If they should be dead, do it again and don't mind". That was the procedure... but roomba was weakening his memory. Nothing seemed as real as Zoe, living again, in front of him.
  170. "Who... are... you?"
  171. "Don't kill me, please.. don't kill me. Ple... please, don't"
  172. "Who are you?"
  173. "Please, don't.. I... don't please, don't kill me..."
  174. "Who are you?"
  175. "Please go away... for the love of God, leave me..."
  176. "WHO ARE YOU? Zoe?"
  178. Then she moved and Twinkle knew that he had to shoot, but he didn't and so he was hit before his finger pulled the trigger. Her weapon was just a civilian handgun and Twinkle's armor easily absorbed the impact as he fired back. The woman was hit by a continuous stream of bullets, which tore through the metal stairway and her body and slammed on the wall, dragging her blood and her life with them. Twinkle cursed and inspected her needlessly; her body already was a disheveled bulk and blood started flowing on the sloped ground. There was a backpack by her and Twinkle grabbed it, then announced that the escape exit was clear.
  180. Back to the transport ship, Twinkle checked the casualty count. 33 armed kills and 168 civilian terminations, 6 above the original estimate. No casualties were reported by the teams. It had been a mere slaughter on behalf of an anonymous employer, easy money for the Baby Janes.
  183. 110 YC(2) - And Zoe
  185. Nobody asked about the backpack. They had noticed the hit on Twinkle's armor, and rumors about how he was using roomba regularly had spread. But so far he still was performing well. They left him alone.
  187. Twinkle hesitated for two days before he opened the backpack. The content was totally ordinary, what someone would bring to a work day. The first thing he could find of certain use, was a ID card: Anaya Tinkat, a serial number, and Zoe's face on it, just older, maybe 24 or 25.
  189. Then he found a datapad. It was a very dated model and had no password, and so Twinkle could browse its content easily. Most of it was crap he couldn't care of, until he found a small gallery of pictures of the woman who was like Zoe. Doing stuff Zoe never had done, probably. At a restaurant. With a group of people, smiling. By two bikes leaning on a fence. Everything equally banal, and Twinkle seethed. He felt a growing anger; walking dead had no right to exist. That Anaya bitch was better dead...
  191. Then he found another folder, and browsed its content. The shift shocked him at first, as the pictures showed people in outdated attire and children, and then he saw a picture of a couple on a beach and two children before them. Two red haired girls, one some 6 years older than the other. The younger one was seating on the sand and the white skin of her right calf was stained by a butterfly shaped birthmark.
  193. Twinkle's hands started shaking and he opened the caption attached to the picture.
  195. "July of 94, Mom and Dad go to the beach with Anaya and Zoe"
  197. The walls made of roomba collapsed and Twinkle crumbled under their weight. Comprehension struck him and there was nothing left to stop it. Possessed and blinded by horror and tears, Twinkle moaned like a wounded beast, and before anyone could react, he walked to his locker, grabbed Pants' pistol, applied it to his chest and pulled the trigger as many times as he could before the world turned black.
  200. 115 YC - Almost Twinkle.
  202. Alone in the empty bar before the opening hour, Twinkle checked everything twice; he took his responsibilities very seriously. He looked at himself at the mirror, tilting his head with the twitch he couldn't get rid of, neither minded of it. He recalled how yesterday he had seen again the redheaded tomboy capsuleer, the one which looked like Zoe. Or maybe she didn't looked like Zoe, as the world had been a funny tangle since they saved his life while he was stuffed with roomba. The mixed drugs had wrecked his mind and now his memory messed with him as he suffered episodes of déjà vu and jamais vu, and his ability to recall the past at will was sketchy, as if the past was a scary animal who refused to be called back.
  204. But even on those occasions, when the past deserted him, Twinkle felt that he still had Zoe locked forever in a datapad, and he would smile.
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