Beyond the Darkside: 31-11


Pollution
The global warming icon for the ubx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She turned away from the monitor and looked out the window onto the lunar landscape. The earth hovered on the horizon. The blue of its oceans did not match the photos from humanity’s first trips beyond earth’s atmosphere. Pollution and failed attempts to correct global warming left the planet with a dingy grey-brown tint that persisted after decades. The earth was a dying planet, but it was still better than anything else humanity had stepped foot upon.

A chime rung on Margaret’s screen. She turned and tapped the blinking icon. “Yes?”

“Debra Carter from Lunar Paveway is here,” Cathy said.

“Good. Send her in,” Margaret said. She remained seated at the desk with her hands upon the surface.

Beyond the DarkSide: 31-10


Margaret watched the monitor, but after the initial onrush, she could not see any activity. Not for the first time she wondered why she still did not have someone planting cameras inside Aldric’s buildings. Perhaps she liked the little bit of mystery his machinations offered up, but really she knew that Aldric would find them and trace them back to her. He knew plenty as it was. She did not need to give him anything more.

A few more security guards entered the warehouse, but that was it. No one left. Either they were all inside or they left through another door. It did not really matter to her. That is what she had other people for.

Beyond the DarkSide: 31-6 to 9


Secret

Margaret watched the man leave and enjoyed the stink of his fear in the air. Men of power were so easy to cow; they all had something they were afraid of losing, so showing them how easy it was to take away their something special usually put them in line. Not Aldric though. No, that man kept nothing close enough to use against him. Margaret thought she might be his weakness, and she certainly could influence him, but he would sacrifice nothing for her. His only love was for himself, and she suspected that even that love was fleeting.

She sat at the desk and pulled up her terminal. A quick flick series of motions brought up the latest satellite imagery of DarkSide’s research facility. It looked like they were building a new warehouse, but why? What did they need more storage space for? She thought for a moment, plumbing her knowledge of the company and the man that ran it. It was not for storage and it was not a warehouse she decided. Aldric was building something, and it was probably something big. What was it?

A tap on the monitor brought up a video image of her secretary. “Cathy, tell Carl that I want that information on my desk in an hour.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Cathy said. “Is there anything else?”

Margaret pursed her lips and thought for a second before saying, “Yes, have Kraven come here in two.” She closed the window and returned to looking at the satellite feeds. “There is a secret hiding in there, Aldric. What do you think you’re doing?”

A red light blinked in the corner of her screen, so Margaret touched it. A live video feed popped open showing the entrance to one of Aldric’s many supposedly hidden warehouses. A full squad of security guards rushed in through the airlock with their rifles pointed forward. Margaret paused the feed and zoomed in on one of the rifles. “Set to kill, I see,” she whispered. “Someone must have found something you wanted to stay hidden.”

Another tap on the screen and Cathy popped back into view. “Cathy, tell Kraven to get here as fast as he can, and I want the security captain for Lunar Paveways here immediately. Send a shuttle if you have to, but I want him in my office by the time Kraven arrives.” She closed the window again, not feeling the need to say anything further.

Beyond the DarkSide: 31-1 to 5


CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

DarkSide
“Lunar eclipse October 8 2014 California Alfredo Garcia Jr mideclipse” by Alfredo Garcia, Jr, [2] – Flickr [1]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_eclipse_October_8_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr_mideclipse.JPG#/media/File:Lunar_eclipse_October_8_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr_mideclipse.JPG
Margaret flipped through the invoices for five minutes before tossing the bound collection onto her desk. She stared at the short, balding man sitting in front of her. When he did not speak her stare turned to a glare. He tried to sink further back into the uncomfortable, expensive, wooden chair, but it only made him appear that much more pathetic in her eyes.

“Well?” She felt like the statement conveyed her needs well enough, but he still did not speak. She sighed, grabbed the invoices from her desk, and tossed them into his lap. “Why the fuck should I care about these, Carl? They’re bills. Assholes like you pay the bills, or pay someone to pay the bills. I don’t give a shit about the bills. That is your job.” Continue reading “Beyond the DarkSide: 31-1 to 5”

Beyond the Darkside: 30-17 through 20


Fire

A staccato burst of cobalt bolts flew down the aisle with a high pitched whine. They struck a car sized container at the end of the rack, evaporated the steel exterior and struck the contents with the force of speeding tank concentrated into the head of a pin. The jellied fuel inside the container reacted to the sudden intrusion with violence. The normally stable and inert fuel reacted with the bolts and exploded. The container contained the blast for less than a fraction of a second. Fire and steel erupted outward bathing the racks in destruction and killing the security guards in before they even understood the danger they were in.

“Oh yeah!” Hanse shouted as he lifted the rifle up and rested the barrel on his shoulder. “I love this thing.” Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 30-17 through 20”

Beyond the Darkside: 30-7 to 9


Hanse led Evan through a twisting path of shelves and racks until they came to a long line of cages that surrounded a central building that stood well above the rest of the wire and steel structures that dominated the large, cathedral-like space. As they drew closer to the building, Evan noticed sensor and cameras at the corners of the structure and knew that their target was inside.
Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 30-7 to 9”

Beyond the Darkside: 30-5 to 6


Warehouse

The box chirped and squealed as it sorted through the possible codes until it found what it was looking for. With a muted clang, the door latch slid open. The seal between the tunnel and the warehouse above was broken with an audible hiss as the warm air of the tunnel rose into the warehouse. The stale scent of the confined space was even more putrid when compared to the filtered purity of the warehouse.

Evan sniffed and said, “You’re right. This air is almost laboratory grade clean.”

“See, I’m not just a pretty face,” Hanse said as he pushed the heavy steel portal open. The bang of it hitting the warehouse floor echoed throughout the space. Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 30-5 to 6”

Beyond the Darkside: 30-1 to 4


CHAPTER THIRTY

Beyond the Darkside

The tunnel’s dark interior was slick with moisture. Phosphorescent algae ringed the hatch that led into the warehouse. That there was water beneath the structure meant that it was old, so old that no one had bothered to retrofit it with proper seals.

“This can’t be right,” Evan said as he ran his fingers down the wall. “We’re too deep. There shouldn’t be water.”

“Shouldn’t be doesn’t mean there isn’t,” said Hanse.

“But the warehouse can’t still be in use. It is abandoned,” Evan said.

Hanse laughed and pointed up at the hatch. “You’ve been living the good life for too long, my friend. There’s lots of places that should be abandoned, but they’re just repurposed. Darkside and the government like to hide away their dirty little secrets in places like this.” He pulled a small metallic box from his backpack and opened a hidden panel. Inside was a small screen and keyboard. He pressed it against the hatch and it latched onto the surface magnetically. “The good thing is they often forget about the old tunnels.” Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 30-1 to 4”

Beyond the Darkside: 29-14 to 17


Michel Foucault, painted portrait DDC_7450.jpg

The whisper of voices in his mind grew louder as he pondered his hand. Power. Control. Strength. All of these could be his now. Until now, he only thought he had those things, but this second life would make him the true master of men. Their lives were his to toy with and the universe itself would quake at his presence. All he had to do was complete the plan. Forget the petty distractions that plagued him. The whore and the traitor would get their punishment soon enough.

Aldric smiled and leaned against the dented shower wall. Yes, they would get what they deserved. They all would. The foolish politician, the power hungry military, and the greedy investors would all get what they had coming. He was a visionary and if they could not see their way to the future without being in his way then he would crush them all. Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 29-14 to 17”

Beyond the Darkside, 29-12


Evidence
Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aldric let the hot water pour over his body and wash away the murders’ evidence. It took some time to scrub the clotted blood and bone from his hair and then to make sure it went down the drain. All of it collected in a filter just below the surface of the shower. Two minutes after the water turned off, the radiation bombarded the filter and the contents were shunted through a pneumatic tube into the heart of a specially designed void chamber that would smash the filter’s contents into their separate atoms and scattered across the lunar surface. When his DNA controlled the energy that made the moon habitable, Aldric took protecting that DNA very seriously.