Authors: Ry Olson
Copy Right Ry Olson
With the advent of super light travel mankind started making its first advances into deep space exploration. For twenty odd years the sphere of explored space slowly grew. Although many planets were discovered, it was found only a minute percentage had the requirements for life as we know it, yet life was fleeting. Just a handful had even basic single cell life and only a single planet was inhabited by simple life forms resembling anemone and jellyfish. Thus mankind was beginning to consider that we just might be unique. That line of thought was cut short with the introduction of the alien who became known as the Koth
But the introduction wasn’t a peaceful one, it was a genocidal attack with no warning on a small group of ships bound for a far planet to set up a research station. The ships were only able to get out a garbled message of warning before their demise. Over the next year the attacks became more frequent and when the pattern of attacks was analyzed the un-thinkable was happening. The Koth were expanding their sphere of influence and destroying any humans they encountered, be it space ships or research stations. There was no reasoning with them. In fact there wasn’t any response to communications efforts, just the continuous attacks.
For all its bravado, humans really didn’t have much idea how to wage battle in space and early attempts at combat were uniformly a disaster. All lessons were learned at a terrible price in blood. But they were learned, and soon humans started to win a few sporadic fights, still one thing became frighteningly clear; Koth technology was superior as were their numbers. The humans were being pushed steadily back toward Earth. Then came the chilling realization that when the Koth eventually reached Earth mankind would cease to exist.
With this realization three things happened. All fighting stopped between nations as everyone recognized they faced the same extinction. The major powers still supplied virtually all of the combat forces, each maintaining its own sovereignty, working together against a common threat, while the other nations supplied the raw material and sorely needed manpower to keep those forces operational.
After the humans won a few battles, deceased Koth were publically displayed. The drab olive green squid like beings with an oversized, musky yellow spongy head with no apparent features shocked humanity. Those who had decried the Koth as holy retribution then understood the Koth were just another mortal being, bent on their destruction. They had jeered at the major power’s inability to halt the Koth advance, but now solemnly offered any assistance they could provide.
Two formal programs were instituted immediately. First frantic searches started in deep space for planets even marginally suitable for human habitation in the opposite direction of the Koth advance, to buy mankind time if they failed to stop the Koth before they reached Earth. And second, all technological research holding any chance for use against the Koth was accelerated. The cyborg, as we now know it, was one of those areas of research.
Over the next twenty years the cyborg, or tinmen as they call themselves, were perfected and performed a multitude of difficult or dangerous functions. But the most dramatic and best known of the cyborg were the ones who volunteered to engage the Koth directly, the warborg.
This is the story of one such warborg. But not just any warborg, it’s the story of Martin Morgan, easily the best known and perhaps most talented and ferocious warborg in history.
This biography is dedicated to
Major Brian Stith, United Federation Cyborg Command
at the request of
Commander Martin Morgan, United Federation Cyborg Command
. . .
To Brian, a fine man and talented pilot, whose
singular act of selfless heroism
made this all possible. For without it I am sure
none of us would be here today. Thank you Brian,
we will never forget.
Captain Martin Morgan unconsciously gritted his teeth as he released the twisting force on the t-handled joy sticks in each hand, hesitating to let the four thruster pods and the pair of positioning rings they were mounted on spin back to their neutral position, he twisted both handles forward, then drove the unmoving, force sensing sticks forward. His head was slammed back into the restraints as the light space fighter pitched into a vicious forward roll. With deftness born of long experience, he twisted the left hand joystick back while rocking it to the outside, at the same time jerking the other stick hard back jamming it to the outside. The restraints that held him in a loose fetal position in the center of the fighter drove his breath out as the constantly firing thrusters in spun different directions, partially arresting the forward roll and throwing the ship into a wild sideways cartwheel. But the roller coaster from hell mixed with an express elevator run amok ride went unnoticed by him. He concentrated on the ships, both friend and foe, whirling and weaving their frantic dance of death all around him. His only response was an instantaneous flicker of a smile as the missile he was avoiding skittered by just meters from his ship.
“Goddamn it, four more just showed up.”
Martin marginally noted the voice was the new Lieutenant, he didn’t realize all the ships saw the same thing so it was old news before he could start the comment.
Two light and two strike fighters, could be worse. The strike fighters are fast but not as much a threat and will stay clear in this type of down and dirty, close in fighting
. In the seconds it took for the thought, Martin reacquired a lock on the Koth fighter that launched the missile and fired his ion cannons. The Koth light fighters looked like three segmented centipedes. This one folded back on itself and flipped away trying to avoid his fire. Martin’s right side turret lost the target instantly, but the left one got in a short burst before he had to make another abrupt rotation and acceleration to avoid colliding with another human ship.
“Oh, fuck me, just lost number three and I’m outta balance.”
Martin mentally sighed. The voice was Jeeter’s, a really nice kid who turned into a pretty fair combat pilot. Losing one of the four thruster pods was never good, but when you’re already outnumbered ten to six, with two strike fighters roving the perimeter . . . A three legged dog can be vicious, but in a bad fight the outcome is preordained.
Oh, you have to be friggin’ kidding me.
Martin felt the icy fingers of despair as four more Koth light fighters appeared on his sensors. Martin hissed a silent damn as the remains of half a human ship tumbled out of the careening combat zone wondering if it was Jeeter, but got a moment of satisfaction when the ship’s computer acquired a good lock on a previously marked target and launched a missile, taking the end segment entirely off the Koth fighter.
Two more ships shattered, one human, one Koth. There was nothing left of the Koth ship, but the human fighter had only lost from the positioning ring out. The cockpit area was intact so Martin knew the pilot was probably all right. It was the new kid. “Just play dead, Lieutenant.” Martin yelled into his comm system. But it was too late, the kid feebly maneuvered the wreckage of his ship with his remaining pair of thrusters and fired on the approaching strike fighters with the surviving turret. The crippled human ship disintegrated in the return fire.
Through it all Martin never stopped slinging his ship in every direction trying to get in a clean shot and keep from getting hit.
“Hang tough guys, we’re not jumping out.” Martin heard the squadron leader’s oddly calm voice over the comm channel. “Help’s on its way.”
“Well, it’s been nice flying with you assholes.” It was Leena, in person she was a diminutive, pesky little sister, but in the cockpit she was one of the boys.
Martin inwardly acknowledged and agreed with her assessment of the hopelessness of their situation. The Koth were not going to break this one off, the odds were way too much in their favor, an opportunity not to be wasted.
Martin fought in silent desperation as he slammed his ship through a skewed end over and both his turrets fired, demolishing the center segment of a Koth fighter that had misjudged his maneuver. He felt a shock jar his fighter and the sickening wrench of a positioning ring locking up momentarily.
Well, it’s been fun
, was the quick thought as he accepted his situation. The status panel lit up with warnings and automatic system overrides, but Martin didn’t need them to tell him just how screwed he really was.
“TINMEM!!!” Leena’s voice howled over the comm system.
“That’s Mister Tinman to you lady.” A low gravelly voice laced with lazy humor rolled over the comm system.
“Leave it to the Bio’s to start a party and not invite us.” Another calm voice muttered.
“Geez. Can’t leave them alone for a minute.” A third, female voice sighed.
“C’mon guys, we’re getting our butts kicked, get your asses in here.” Martin recognized the last voice as his squad leader.
“There’s not a collective ass among us.” The gravelly voice commented. Then the eerie quiet. Word had it that the cyborg had some sort of internal, super fast communication. So they appeared to fight is absolute silence.
Martin watched one of the cyborg ships split off and charge the two strike fighters positioning themselves to battle the racing cyborg. It was bizarre, the cyborg careened between the Koth ships, whirling and tumbling too fast for the eye to follow, raining destruction on its targets. It passed through without losing any speed leaving behind two wrecks.
“Squad two break it off and haul ass outta here.” Martin’s squad leader bellowed over the comm system. Hell had come to breakfast.
Martin jerked his ship through a few tight evasive maneuvers as he fled the battle site. The Koth had lost all interest in him as they prepared to meet the cyborgs, and he didn’t want to draw any attention to his already damaged ship by firing on anything.
The cyborg had made it all very clear, they didn’t want any manned ships in the combat zone; too distracting. And the normal pilots didn’t like being in a fight where some of the ships were moving too fast to follow. He cleared the combat zone drifting away backwards looking for other surviving squad members. The only other ship to get clear was Leena’s. “Morgan to Squad Leader.”
“Squad leader here. My ship’s dead, but I’m drifting clear. I’m ok, just watch yourselves.”
“Yes Sir, Leena and I are out, over.”
“Six in, two out. All in what, ninety seconds. What a day.” The Squad Leader’s voice was a tired sigh.
“More like one and a half,” Leena commented looking over Martin’s ship, “you in one piece in there?”
“I’m fine. Don’t look too good, huh,” Martin mumbled, trying to unwind.
“I’m surprised you right positioning ring still works at all, looks like missile damage,” Leena mused then sighed. “Why the hell don’t the Koth cut and run when they see the tinmen coming in? It’s always a slaughter.”
“I don’t know Leena. Why don’t they ever try to recover any of their damaged ships? Sometimes I feel sorry for their pilots, just leaving them out there to die.”
“Hey a Koth ship is bailing. He’s damaged but still dangerous. Feel up to finishing that job before we head back?” Leena asked.
“Sure, why not. I’m down, but far from out. He’s all yours, I’ll back you up.”
“Roger.” Leena rolled her ship and tumbled away after the Koth with Martin in pursuit. A moment later she fired two missiles, hitting the Koth ship dead center. The enemy ship disintegrated with the two end segments flipping away. “Debris.” Leena warned as she deftly flipped her ship in another direction
Martin jammed the joysticks over to avoid a large chunk of wreckage. The ship started to roll then pitched in an unintended direction as the thruster positioning ring froze half way through the maneuver. Martin jerked the left stick, rolling his ship bottom first. The thought;
Now this really sucks,
was only half completed when his world disintegrated into brightness splintering to nothing.