Lost Empire: Part Five

By Brad Marsh

Kane's SIN Eater sprang out and slapped into his palm but he held his fire. His finger poised to stroke the blaster's trigger and unleash a wave of death and violence. But Lex's voice rang out for order. The reaction of the two dozen or so armed figures that had surrounded the group was to instantly stand down but they continued to keep the group covered with a mix of battered and old hand blasters and riffles. Kane even spotted a couple muzzle- loading muskets that must have been ancient before the War to end all Wars.

"Stand down, they come in peace, there hear about the Leader and his Generals. They dusted eight rulers in less than half that amount of time." The boy warned, in authoritative tone that was use to being obeyed. " There will be no violence while they are here. Anyone that disobeys my commands will have me to answer to." The boy shouted so all could here him. "I brought these people here to talk with Ferret. If our people and the rest of this city are ever going to be free of the Leader and his Ruler thugs we need these people. They have not threatened us therefore they are under my protection. Is that understood?"

A chorus of affirmatives rang out across the chamber that Kane and his friends had entered with Lex. The crowded parted and guns where lowered as Lex waded through the group with Kane, Grant, Domi, and Brigid in tow. Kane spotted the thrown situated on a raised concrete platform in front of what appeared to be a loading bay that had been used at one time for receiving deliveries into the building. Kane barely contained a chuckle as he got a better look at the so-called throne and realized it was the farthest thing from a throne as one could get. It was high backed black leather office chair, the leather ripped and stained from years of neglect. Surrounded by tattered pillows and several rotting pieces of living room furniture Ferrets throne area made the cafeteria back at Cerberus look like the oval office in the White House back before the war. The man that sat atop the makeshift throne was dressed in pair of patched and dirty blue jeans, a homespun gray shirt, a stained Boston Red Sox baseball cap, and a pair ragged, and tattered sneakers. His strands of his greasy black hair fell from beneath his cap, and a pair of cracked Five-dollar sunglasses hid his eyes. When he spoke his voice was barely a whisper but it carried as much authority as any Mag.

"Who are these people Lex?" the man demanded

"They are the one's I told you I heard the Rulers and the Leader talking about a few hours ago." Lex replied as he pointed to Kane with his right hand. "This is Kane. I watched him personally dust eight Rulers all on his own. His friends provided covering fire while he dealt with the Rulers. I understand now why the Leader and his Generals are so afraid of this one man and his companions. I've never seen anything like these four in my life."

"Then you are vouching for these four?" Ferret asked. 

"Yes." Lex replied and stepped back behind the quartet he had escorted to the chamber.

"That is a very good recommendation seeing as you are getting it from my top lieutenant. Lex there may look young and wet behind the ears, but he has the life experience of someone twice his age. He is a very experienced soldier, he has almost as many kills as myself."

"Your Ferret?" Kane asked. "Lex told us that we have a common enemy, though he would not answer more than a few of my questions. He kept telling me I had to talk to you or as he called you ' the boss man.' So if were going to be able to help each other I need some questions answered first."

"Lex is very loyal to his comrades. His loyalty is the reason he brought you here."

Kane took two steps across the oil stained concrete floor and up onto the rise that Ferrets throne sat on, before anyone in the room except Grant could make a move. Servo's whined as Kane's SIN Eater slipped into his hand the barrel instantly pointed as Ferrets head. "Don't fucking lie to me asshole. I had a long talk with Lex and one of those questions I mentioned him answering for me, he told me the reason he wanted our help. It is about loyalty but it's not about your or this rabble, its about blood. Its about revenge for the deaths of his father and brother. You lie to me again or pull anymore of that high and mighty bullshit with me again, I'll chill you and get the truth from one of your fucking minions." Kane snarled "Now tell me about the Generals. Starting with who they are and then tell me everything you know about them." Kane stepped back from Ferret just out of reach of the greasy self styled leader, but close enough that if Ferret tried to make a brake for it or try anything he could be dealt with swiftly and safely.

"Lex please enlighten Mr. Kane, about the Generals." Ferret announced. His anger and resentment towards Kane clear in his voice.

"From what we've been able to piece together over the last few months, the General were thefirst of the Rulers to be built before Skydark. There are six Generals, who where the commanders of the Rulers, each with a distinct duty and function with in the chain of command. As its told, each General was once a leader of some kind who was given the chance to be immortal. One was said to be a president, another is said to have been the Commander of the Armed Forces at the time of the war, another was said to be a Governor. One was a Senator, one was a rich Comp tycoon who fought the government in court over his companies size and power over the comp industry. The last two were said to be a CIA Agent and a famous businessman who owned an empire that had Amusement parks and made movies, and cartoons. It been said he was frozen in a cryo unit after his death and he sat frozen for fifty years before he was thawed out and used as a template for a General. Personally I can't see the government using a guy who made cartoons for a living, including one's with a mouse, a duck, and two different dogs, one of which talked."

"What else do you know about the Generals?"

"We rarely see them leave the Old FBI building, and when they do they don't venture far and there never gone for more than a few hours. They look and act just like the Rulers except they seem to move slower and their skin is lighter color, almost transparent if the light hits it just right. There are four left, at our last count."

"What happened to the other two?"

"I personally smoked one myself with a homemade firebomb made out of used motor oil and low grade gas. The other one just collapsed in the middle of the street a few weeks ago and just exploded for no reason. Took his four body guards with him."

"Have the other Generals figured out what caused it?"

"Not that we've been able to find out. But the same thing has not happen to any of the other generals. We've see them roaming the streets several times since the explosion. They all seem fine and in perfect working order."

" Why such a wide diversity in the backgrounds of the generals? I mean there are former soldiers, comp tycoons, government officials and a cartoon maker. What’s the purpose?" asked Grant "It seems too wide a range for the Generals to be able to work together effectively."

“Each General has a certain function to perform. Take the General Gate, the Comp tycoon. He designed all of the software used in the Ruler Project. Everything from the software that runs the Rulers to the software in the comps that repair and maintain the Rulers. In a sense he is the head mechanic.” Lex replied “ General Walter the cartoon maker, designed the protective membrane that serves as the Rulers skin. Its bullet proof and resistant to punctures from knives and other edged weapons. But as you discovered it is not resistant to heat or fire.”

“General Caldwell and General Reese were politicians. General Norman was the commander of the armed forces at the time of the war and General Martin was president of the Ruler project. They were responsible for the creating the template for the different parts of the Rulers personality and the knowledge they possessed was integrated into the software that was used in the Rulers programming. Things like fighting, shooting, negotiating, diplomacy, and other basic combat training, was installed into the rulers minds like the software that was installed into a computer. The knowledge was accessible to the Ruler almost instantaneously. “

“Instant soldiers with minimal fuss and their ready for combat in a matter of hours instead of months. Ingenious design, to bad we have to destroy it all. Fifty rulers on our side and we could end the Rein of the Barons in a matter of months instead of years or decades.” Kane stated.

“That brings problem of how destroy.” Domi replied from Kane’s left.

“Napalm worked better than I hoped.” Kane replied “But I only have three canisters, no where near enough to commit an all out assault on Government Plaza.” 

“I know where you can get something just as good as Napalm and it will have the same effect. But it’ll cost you.”

“I want to see what I’m getting first before I strike any deals.” Kane replied “I don’t want any rusted, leaking two hundred year old garbage that may or may not work. Our lives are going to be riding on whether this shit works or not.”

Ferret nodded. “Lex please so Mr. Kane our special stock pile.” Lex nodded once and motioned for Kane and his companions to follow him. As he passed a tall clean shaven teenager in green canvas pants and a gray wool sweater, the young boy fell in step next to Lex, as he pulled a faded by remarkably clean blue Boston Police hat from his pocket and pulled on as they walked. When the teeager glanced over his shoulder Kane got a better look at the hat and the face under it. The hat sported a light blue rectangle with a drawing on police Headquarters Kane assumed with the worlds Boston Police written in canary Yellow above the drawing and the phrase A.D. 1630 also in yellow, written below. A pair of deep set eyes gazed blankly back at him from a thin angular face sporting a two inch white puckered scar that ran from just under his left nostril to the edge of his chin. He barely gave Kane a passing glance, before turning forward once again, once he verified that Kane and his friends were following them. 

Lex and his shadow took them through a concrete archway and into a smaller chamber that looked like some kind of storage area. They crossed to a closed set of gray steel doors a par of tarnished brass handles. Lex pulled a key ring with at least a dozen keys or varying sizes on it from his pocket and extracted the one he need from the pack. He opened the opened the door there rusty hinges protesting loudly. Lex entered the room without hesitation and flicked a switch on the wall just inside the door, and the room beyond was suddenly flooded with light from several fluorescent lights strung along the ceiling. Kane began to smile when he saw what lined the shelves of room’s walls. Hundreds of empty glass bottles of all shapes and sizes, but it was the boxes that sat stacked in the center of the room that had made Kane smile. There were a couple hundred at least and their contents were all clearly labeled on the side of each box. After-shave lotion’s and hair gel, hundreds of bottles of after-shave and cologne. Hand lotion and shampoo, and with the bottles they had instant napalm cocktails. All they had to do was mix things together in the bottles and insert rags of wicks of some kind. He turned to Lex and smiled. “Let’s go see Ferret. We have some things to discuss before we put this stuff to good use. “

Lex nodded. “You’re the boss.”

Grant and Domi were smiling as well. “Where get all this?” she asked from behind Lex.

“We raid this stuff from some warehouses over near the piers. Not far from the Aquarium and that ancient clipper shipped called Old Iron Side. Places were full of food, cloths, and other shit that we’ve long since used. But we could never figure out what this stuff was for, until Ferret took over. He knew all along what it was used for before Skydark and what we could use it for now. But like I said were no warriors, were scavengers. We can fight but Combat Trained opponents would wipe us out. So this stuff has sat here for more than ten years waiting for the day it may be needed.”

Federal Plaza: Two Hours Later.

The man in the spotless black business and polished black wing tip shoes strode into the control room followed by a man with close-cropped hair dressed in an olive green army dress uniform. A man dressed in a navy blue business suit similar to the one the man he had summoned was wearing. The man was seated in front of a bank on monitors and comps, a large eight sided chamber stood dark and silent behind him.

“Agent Morris, this better be good.” The man in the black suit rasped

“It’s about the scouting party you sent out to find Kane and his friends.”

“What about them?” The man known as the leader demanded.

“They where attack not far from the common by an unknown force. The last report we got was from the leader of the party. He reported heavy loses, and that he and one other where all that remained functioning from his command. That was fifteen minuets ago and all attempts to reestablish contact have failed. Agent Kern is still trying, but after so long without contact I felt it would be prudent to inform you of the situation.”

The leader nodded. “You where right to call me Agent Morris. How far from the common was the party?”

“Three blocks, sir.” 

“Do we have a stand by party we could send after them?” The man in the Army suit demanded.

“The party that was attacked near the common was our stand by party, General Norman. Our main party was destroyed during the altercation with Kane not far from here. It was a chance meeting.” The leader replied

“How many units lost does that make?” Norman demanded

“Sixteen sir.” Agent Morris replied “What now sir? Do I assemble another team to try and take them by surprise.”

“We send out two parties of eight, one will come in behind them and once Kane engages that party the second party with flank them and sweep in to take custody of them. After which Kane and anyone with him will be brought here. General?”

“I don’t understand why you want Kane alive.” Norman replied

“Because we need to know how much he and his comrades know about what we are really doing here. But more importantly we must obtain the location of their base of operation from them. Without it there will always be a viable threat looming over our entire endeavor.”


Copley Square: Thirty Minuets Earlier.

Kane moved along the darkening streets towards Copley Square, passing the bear once more. For the hundredth time since leaving the Common he glanced over his shoulder, even though he couldn’t see them Kane could feel their pursuers slowly closing in on there back side. Kane knew that farther behind them back on the edge of the common a battle was raging between Ferrets followers and a group of eight Ruler drones. Kane and his companions could still hear the low chatter of auto fire that singled that the battle was still ragging, and that was what had Kane worried. He wasn’t use to relying on anyone but his friends, it was this anxiety that clouded his senses and prevented his point man instincts from alerting him to the fact they were being followed. Domi slid up next to him from her position at Grants side covering their retreat, and whispered urgently to him.

“Two Rulers on our trail. Fifty yards back. Auto fire has stopped too.”

“Your sure their Rulers?”

“Yeah. Saw them both a few minuets ago slipping from pile to pile.”

Ok, I’ll take them and take them quick. Brigid, Grant, and you head over to Trinity Church and cover my retreat just in case.”

“Can’t take them alone.” Domi argued.

“I took out eight of them back on Somerset Street ad few hours ago. Two of them will be no problem now that we know their weakness.”

Domi nodded tightly and led Brigid, and Grant towards Copley Square. Grant placed his index finger next to his nose and snapped it off in salute. Kane returned the salute for their old Mag days, it was a salute which he and Grant had reserved for missions with a one percent chance of success. He watched his friends slip out of sight behind a pile of rubble. He turned his attention back to approaching threat, as soon as the two Rulers came limping into view Kane knew that beating them was going to be easier than he had thought. They were walking relics of battle, bullet ridden and barley standing as their ungainly gate carried them down the street. Kane tensed as the duo moved by him their Smith and Wesson hand blasters drawn. Kane felt a pang of guilt because he had no doubt Ferret’s followers where dead if the two Rulers had gotten past them. He had not want innocent people to die but he had known there was a chance of it when he had accepted Ferret and Lex’s help in holding off the first wave of Rulers. But he was about to have his chance to avenge those deaths. A rum bottle in his hand, Kane stepped out into the street with a smile on his face. He let out a long shrill whistle, causing the two Rulers to turn and face him. But his home made Napalm cocktail was already in the air before the echo of his whistle died away. It slammed into the Ruler closest to Kane, its contents splattering across the front of both Rulers in a flash of flames. Kane was sprinting towards Copley Square and his friends before the two Rulers had dropped to the ground. The Final battle was about to begin, with Federal Plaza as ground Zero.