Read Chains of Destruction Online
Authors: Selina Rosen
Tags: #Science Fiction
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
Chains of Destruction:
Copyright ©2002 Selina Rosen. First Edition: June 2002 Meisha Merlin books
A Baen Ebook
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471
Cover art by Charles Keegan
ISBN 10: 1-8920-6569-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-8920-6569-8
First ebook, March 2008
Electronic version by WebWrights
Jago stared at his two subordinates with utter contempt. They were beaten, battered and dripping filth all over his throne room. If he had been angry when he summoned them, he was furious upon seeing them. Especially Kirk. She stood there with an infuriating air of arrogance on her face, as if she had done nothing wrong and dared him to say otherwise.
"You incompetent idiots!" Jago screamed, his blubber shaking in rage. "You utter fools! How could you let this happen?"
. . .
We thought she was dead. We thought the rebellion had been utterly obliterated. We couldn't have foreseen this. How could we have prepared for something no one could have seen coming?" Governor General Right tried to explain their actions, or lack thereof. He had spent a lifetime cultivating the fine art of appeasing those above him in rank, and considered himself quite good at it. Good enough in fact to talk his way out of even this most recent disaster. He had one problem, however, and Jago was looking right at her.
"What about you, Kirk? Enlighten me. This was
responsible for what has happened there. What do you have to say for yourself? Anything? Anything at all!"
Jessica had been staring at a spot on the floor with the eye she had left after her encounter with RJ. She was focusing intently on a place where the dried blood had flaked off her hand and formed a small pile at her feet. Slowly she looked up at Jago with more contempt than even he could muster. She smiled, not at all a pleasant sight, and much to Right's dismay she began to speak.
"You giant, ugly, malignant toad! You asked us to accomplish the impossible, and we tried. We all tried. We bent and broke laws; we did everything in our power. We went above and beyond. Do you truly believe I would have let my guard down for even a minute if I hadn't been sure she was dead? If I had known RJ was alive I couldn't have slept; I couldn't have eaten. RJ, self righteous and indignant, confounded us for years; an angry RJ will totally annihilate us.
"Look at me! Do I
like I didn't try? You can't beat RJ! It can't be done!" Jessica's eye grew large and wild looking. "She's like cockroaches. You think that you've killed her, but she just comes back mutated and does bigger and badder things. Hell, she robbed the bank at Satis and blew up Capital
she was supposed to be dead."
Jago started to speak, but Jessica fixed him with a cold stare that seemed to literally suck all the air out of him. "No! You shut up. Just shut the hell up! I know what you plan to do to us. You'll do what you always do to cover up your own incompetence; you'll have us executed. Well, kill me if you want. Kill me because I have failed. I only cared about one thing, and I can't do it! She's always going to win." Jessica started to laugh hysterically, and the guards moved closer to her. She stopped laughing abruptly and fixed Jago with a stare.
"On second thought, I'm not ready to die." Suddenly she leapt through the air landing with her feet planted on Jago's lap. Without stopping she knelt down, grabbed his head in a headlock and gave it a cruel twist. She jumped back to the floor as a gurgling sound left Jago's lips. The guards watched in horror as he fell from his chair face first onto the floor. His fat hadn't quite stopped rippling when Jessica put a hand to her mouth in mock horror. "Oops!"
While the two rattled guards were trying to figure out what had just happened and how, Jessica leapt at one delivering a killing kick to the bridge of his nose. Grabbing his weapon she turned and fired on the second guard as she ducked away from the laser bolt he had just fired at her. Then she ran over and grabbed his weapon as well. As she stood to her full height she turned to look at Right.
"Are you coming?" she asked.
Right looked from her to the fallen body of Sector Leader Jago. "My god, Jessy
. . .
What the hell have you done?"
"I killed him. They were going to kill us anyway, Right. They can only kill me once, and I'm damned if I'm going to make it easy for them. The only question you should be asking yourself now is do you stand a better chance
me, or with
She offered him one of the lasers, and he took it nodding. "I'm with you."
The two guards that had been stationed outside the chamber door chose that moment to rush in and die, but they had already sounded the general alarm.
As Kirk and Right ran through the halls of the palace Right realized that this was what Jessica Kirk had been created for. She was a GSH, a genetically superior humanoid, created for battle. Putting her behind a desk had been a waste. She sensed would-be ambushes before they appeared and killed trained soldiers before they could fire a single shot. Perhaps if Jessica had been physically leading her troops instead of just giving orders she might have beaten RJ.
Maybe, but Right somehow doubted it. RJ and Jessica were made from the same genetic stuff, but RJ was superior even to Jessica. And RJ's troops were motivated by something the Reliance couldn't hope to understand much less duplicate.
It was rather late in the game to think about any of that now – way too late. In a split second Jessica had turned them into the enemies of not just the rebellion but of the very Reliance they had spent their lives serving.
The Reliance was the single strongest power in the universe. He'd been taught this since birth. He didn't even know why they were running. Where the hell they were going? Was there any place in the universe remote enough that one of their enemies couldn't root them out? What sort of life could they possibly have? What sort of an existence could they hope to eke out when every hand was turned against them? He'd probably be better off dead, yet he didn't lower his weapon, and he never stopped fighting. There was something in him stronger than logic; something that wanted to live.
The helicopter port was adequately manned and guarded for a normal attack, but this was no normal attack. This was an attack by a crazed mad woman with the strength and armor of a small tank. In seconds the way to the copter had been cleared, and Right found himself being dragged along behind her. She practically slung him in the copter before getting in herself and punching the ignition. They took off under a hail of laser fire, and Jessica started laughing. In seconds they were out of range of even the laser cannons, and she just kept laughing. For one horrible moment Right was sure she was never going to stop.
"We've lost everything, Jessica, everything! We have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. We are fugitives with no real options. What's so damn funny about that?"
"I just realized something. Something so awful I don't even want to think it, but I can't help myself." She quit laughing. "It came to me when I was looking at fat, pompous, worthless Jago – just before I killed him – and I knew what people mean when they say
My blood ran cold,
because it did. Suddenly I knew something so true and so horrible that I was consumed by it for a moment." She started laughing again. In fact she laughed harder than she had before.
"What! What do you know, Jessica?" Right demanded losing his patience.
"We were on the wrong side," Jessica said turning to look at him with no sign of laughter in her voice or in her features. "You, me, Jack. All on the wrong side. Worse still, I know this only now when I have made an enemy of the only person in the universe who is likely to be able to kill me, and I went after her not because she killed the man I loved. I never really loved Jack. I went after her with such a vengeance because she broke something I wasn't done playing with yet, and because she was
than I was. We're free, Right. Don't you get it? For the first time in our lives we have no one but ourselves to answer to."
"We probably won't live a week," Right mumbled.
"So? We'll live one week free. A whole week with no one to answer to and no orders to follow, and it will be the most wonderful week of our lives. This is it. This is what RJ and her goons were fighting for." Much to his dismay she started laughing again. "We were on the wrong side, Right. We were on the wrong side all the time."
Right cringed at the manic sound of her laughter as it echoed around the tiny cockpit. He took a deep breath and released it slowly, fighting panic. There was no doubt that she was now completely mad, so Right took no comfort in the knowledge that she was probably right.
When Governor General Right and Senator Jessica Kirk assassinated Sector Leader Jago they left Zone 2-A completely without leadership. The Reliance quickly filled the empty positions with officers who were even more incompetent. Officers who didn't know or understand the Zone, and personnel who had no idea how the rebels worked.
Taking immediate advantage of this total lack of competent leadership, RJ led her troops in one successful attack after another. Like dominos Reliance installations inside Zone 2-A fell before them. Within months the Reliance pulled out of zone 2-A altogether.
The Reliance never called it a defeat. Officially they simply decided that Zone 2-A had become an unprofitable venture, a liability. That it would cost more to make the zone functional for the Reliance than it was worth.
They offered the New Alliance a treaty that neither side ever signed. There was never a summit; the two sides never met. Instead there was a silent agreement. The Reliance would stay out of Zone 2-A as long as the New Alliance didn't attack Reliance installations outside the Zone. It was an agreement neither group trusted the other side to keep, so there was at best a guarded truce with both sides just waiting for the other to step even one foot over the border.
To make sure the work units outside the zone understood that the Reliance had actually won, the Reliance imposed harsh economic sanctions against the Zone. When it was obvious that the Zone didn't need them to survive, the Reliance built a huge studio housing a fake Zone 2-A and broadcast daily reports about how badly the free state was faring. According to the Reliance, people in Zone 2-A were starving, and disease was rampant.
The Reliance turned a liability into an asset. The unrest that had started to erupt throughout the work units around the world came to an abrupt halt when they believed they would pay for their freedom with starvation and disease. They put down their weapons and went back to work when they saw the horrible "realities" of freedom.
Of course the Reliance reports were far from the truth. Life had never been any better in the land the New Alliance called New Freedom. There was plenty of food, plenty of clean water, and the people were free to do as they wanted.