A Story of the Odyssey Effect                  

by Phillip G. Cargile              

…they could be anyone—even you…

Chapter One

Detective Dexter Ruyac sat at his desk in the New Chicago police department precinct seventeen. Before him the information on a blue tinted holo-screen scrolled with crime scene images as well as a scroll of information of the case he’d recently closed. Homicide investigations became a natural inclination for his field of expertise as a cop. Perhaps part of the reason being his service as a soldier during the Alliance colony war. The dispassionate mentality of looking at a dead body coupled with the passion to find out who had made them that way. All part of the motivations of a soldier, seeing your own killed on the battlefield then trying figure out how to kill that enemy.
“Case completed May 8, 2125.” His case computer announced at the end of the review. “Assailants court date sentenced as followed; death by hanging, scheduled June 10, 2125 no appeals from public defender submitted.”
Dexter allowed a low grown as of an angry dog how’d been denied biting an intruder who’d escaped from his yard. On the other side of the holoimage a freckle face blue eyed second detective caught Dexter’s peripheral vision.
“Death by hanging not good enough for your boss?”
“A life sentence on Titan’s prison factory processing helium-3 would have been more of a fitted punishment?” Dexter answered. The image of a 32-year-old Caucasian male appeared on the screen with other personal information.
“You would have thought a man of this age wouldn’t have been so easily seduced by lust for another woman that he would kill his wife.”
“That’s what happens to people when they esteem the accumulation of wealth over those natural feelings that we have for one another.”
Natural feelings. Dexter was about to comment on that statement, killing; hatred anger, all natural feelings all of them so neatly tucked away in the phycological make up of man that it only took a situation and lowering of the inhibitions that they came bounding forward into an action. Once they did his job was to make sure the rest of society saw that, ‘the wages of that sin were death.’ The laws of this new government of the World Court insured that sentence would be carried out. More so than the blindness of the pervious democratic law system of the old government of the United States. Crimes against the state such as espionage, sabotaged were punishable by death; death by hanging death by electrocution; death by disintegration the convicted had their choice normally. But in crimes that directly affected the morality of the society on whole; crimes against children domestic violence that resulted in murder of serial killings, death was still the resolve but in a very public manner of hanging streamed to the population on public channels. Even still people would take that ultimate power to take another person’s life.
Dexter waved his hand across the holoimage dismissing the information into the complete file of his case computer. After his review this file would be transmitted to his supervisor for final review and closure.
“Hey Dex,” Gail hawthorn strolled to her desk to one side of Dexter’s her dark brown eyes concentrated on the holoimage radiated from the palm devise held in her hand. The twenty-nine-year-old team forensic specialty sat down at her desk still engaged with the information that flashed on the screen. Her baby cheeks brought to life deep dimples with a frown of concentration at the information before her.
“What do you have?” Dexter leaned in closer.
“Homicide alert, just popped up.” Gail said her attention still on the information. “Woman found murdered in North Central.”
“So,” Dexter said.
“Same name as a woman found in New Schaumburg a week ago.”
“I still waiting for you to answer my first so.” Dexter was on his feet moving to her side of the desk.
Gail expanded the information to orbit over the triad desk to not only share with Dexter but than as well. “They both have the same husband.” Gail fingered the holo-key pad then the image of a man appeared.
“Transfer this to our case bucket.” Dexter said. “Let’s go.” That order brought Thad and Gail to following his determined pack.

Chapter Two

The aerial car’s AI navigated the vehicle in loop along a course sky traffic, those other vehicles making way with the blue and red flashing emergency lights. The car’s AI navigated it down from the traffic to a region of Reconstructed area of hundreds of the new age homes. Decades ago, during the colony alliance this region of Chicago had been lain waste with a planet bomb from an orbital attack. The new world government the World Court mandate to restore the world for its people centered on this area as a presentation of a promise kept. Those ruined building and scorched soil were removed to be replaced with genetically engineered green space then over laid with homes. Those war weary populous that had survived in the Alliance war, off world in the Mars shipping yard who’d earned their citizenship were given first pick. Dexter had considered this as a retirement area, his acre of land could easily be cashed in for one of these homes; there were still vacate lots he could build a nice cottage. Maybe in at the age of thirty-five he had a good twenty or so years till retirement. ‘Maybe,’ Said to himself entertaining with that thought at the view of the neighborhood from the orbiting course of the car. The car’s AI decelerating at the same time giving a advisory that it was beginning the landing cycle.

Dexter led his team past the corral of police vehicles and unformed officers to into the open front door where three Emergency response personal engaged in the final actions of reviewing a dead body.  
“You can stop now.”  Gail said.  Her authoritative tone added with her bold determined stride to the body promoted them to follow her order.  
“What have you got here?”  Dexter’s question to the three brought one of them closer.  
“Home cleaning service reported they were scheduled, when thy got her they found the body.”
“That there vehicle outside?”
“Yeah.”  He answered.  
“Thad.”  Dexter nodded his head sending Thad back out the front door then came to a stand over Gail.  She was down on her haunches a palm sized device had generated a pail blue tint that slowly morphed into a holographic image of the inherit of the dead body on the floor.  
“Got anything?”  Dexter said looking over the holoimage.
Gail answer not taking her attention from what was doing.  “So far. I’ve got a dead female.”  She looked over her shoulder up to Dexter.  “Gimme few minutes.”  
For that time Dexter went about his processing of other aspects of the crime scene.  He drifted way processing everything he saw until he’d found himself in the bedroom.  His concentration fell upon the bed, unmade, pillows jumbled finally a night gown.  He moved on to the bathroom, there was still a hint of dank moisture in the air from the shower.  This was the home of a couple that the union of marriage, an arrangement that demanded they share feelings, money, plans together for the future.  Dexter stood in the room this room faded into a memory of a place like this decades ago on another land mass called Canada.  His family, a wife and two children.  The war in space changed that into a memory of faces that would be forever lost.  The reality changed to an uncompromisable situation created by the time differential that twist of time and space and gravity by the effects of the Jump Drive.  That creation of man that gave them the stars. Allowing mankind to cover great distance with a quirk of a shift of time passing in moments for those within that generated bubble. Time for the reality of Earth decades passed. Dexter returned home to a wife almost a senior citizen and children his age. 
“Dex,” Gail called him back into the living room.  She was standing now next to a line of information from the holoimage of the dead body.  “She was strangled.”  Gail touched the image of female’s head that orbited above the full body image.  The image turned into the approximation of the muscle in the neck.  “Compression of the anatomical neck structure caused asphyxia with in five to seven minutes.”
Dexter was held still not even blinking an eye; locked on the serine expression of the pail lifeless face of the woman that lay on the floor.   This was not the face that looked up to the man that had clasped her hands about her throat and held on to that grip until her life left her.  She struggled; pleaded with him, her mind racing with the thought of why he was going this far.  The pain. The fear. The most horrible thought that gripped her mind. The desire for it to be over.  
“Yup,” You said she was a second wife?”  Dexter turned away to give Gail her attention.  
“No, he was married to both women at the same time.  Second wife was found dead five weeks ago in New New York.”
“Why the hell didn’t the NYPD lock his ass up?”  Dexter snapped.  
Gail shrugged.  
Thad inched up behind Dexter his arms folded with his face concentrated from thoughts of the assessment that he was still surmounting in his mind.  
“This was not a crime from an argument or even a crime or some passionate revolution gone out of control.”
“What do you mean?”  Dexter asked. 
“Dinners cook, she’s wearing a night gown, there was a bottle of wine and glasses.  Looks like this was a a goodbye for his stretch go to back to Mars.”
“For her.”  Dexter said.
“Right, but for him this was—” Thad paused with the summation of his thoughts becoming words.  “The end of the relationship.”
“Till death do us part.”  Dexter muttered look back down to the body.
“Literally for him this was his act to bring the relationship to an end.  With the last wife pretty much the same MO, this makes him a serial killer.”  

The information appeared on the dashboard; Gail sat in the passenger seat while Thad leaned in from the back.
The AI spoke. “Assailant apprehended for question of murder of wife Victoria Mulan April 12, 2125.  Suspected released on bond posted by Pental cooperation April 13,2125.  Evidence supported subject committed murder by reconstitution of epithelia from prefabricated planted on victim as proof positive.  Arrest warrant generated on April 15, 2125 subject had left planet; all information and files transferred to Global Security.”  
“What the hell.”  Dexter signed.  “That some sloppy ass police work.”
“Well Dex, he was bailed out by a large Mars corporation.”  Thad said.  “They tend to weal a lot of power even on Earth.  Their attorneys can be very persuasive and some of them have personal connections with Earth officers of the Court.”
Dexter flicked a glare of his shoulder to Thad then back to the holoimage.  “Where did he go after this?”  Dexter asked and responded to his question.  “Trace identity card activity.” 

The AI spoke and created another holoimage of a graphical display of mass transit activity a single line from New New York to New Chicago.”
“Right back here?” Gail said before computer completed its tracking response.
“From here.” Dexter asked.
“No activity of use of public transit systems found.” Dexter trusts himself back in his seat with frustration.
“I don’t think he’s left New Chicago.” Gail said.
“I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t. We lock his ass down tonight.” Dexter said. “We are going back to the office file a warrant and a travel restriction for this identity card.”

Dexter tilted the cup to gulp down the remainder of coffee.  He landed on his desk with a hollow thud that only slightly rattled Thad’s concentration.  
“I’m just waiting on the on-duty attorney to clear the travel restriction and issue the warrant, Boss.”  
Dexter grunted then retrieved the image of a man in his mid-twenties.  He didn’t look like a killer, but what does a killer look like.  There was no physical sign of a man’s spirit.  That invisible aspect of a man only came out in deeds.  Dexter leafed through the holopages to stop upon his employment information.  “Contracted Mars salvage crew.”  He spoke aloud.  “Seven-year contract for historical retrieval and mineral survey team.”  Dexter read aloud and leaned back.  “Why would anyone choice to attempt to gain their citizen ship from working on Mars in a job like this?”  Dexter asked and shook his head.  “Seven years, you could do five on Titan’s processing Helum-3 or four in Earth Force or working on Mars as a salvage that is a three-year hitch but can be shortened if you come up with something sustainable. Water; any kind of sustainable ore.  I have even heard crew discovered on of the old landing craft sent to Earth in the early 2000’s.  It meant enough to the Global Historical society that they petitioned to the Court and the crew gained a presidential election to citizenship.”
“For this creep I think it was just to be closer to Earth, Mars crews rotate home more frequently than any systems work crews.”  Gail chimed in.  “Obviously, he wanted to come to Earth on a regular basis.”  
Dexter grunted.  

Chapter Three

     Solar wind stimulated by the gravity of the solar system found its effect on the atmosphere of Mars, to trouble the red sands in eerie apparitions. A testament that this world would not be so easily tamed by the humans that claimed it as a home.       “I hate this damn planet.”  Trevor Hollow said.  He rubbed the red dust that seemed to cover everything away from his faceplate. Before him the small porthole presented the red landscape slowly creeping by with the motion of the rover. “Why are we on this planet anyway?”  He had to turn his whole body around in the suit to see the five other hulking figures in the same environmental suits.  They all sat like red tarnished statues moving with the whims of the vehicles side to side rocking as it climbed over sand doom after doom.  “I mean there really isn’t any ore here, nothing that is greater than Vesta.  So, it just must be population control. I’m mean this is 2131, its’ been how long since the mines of Vesta have been refining and transporting Dycornum to Earth? Who needs anything else other than that super ore? Not even Helium 3 is that important anymore. In the beginning it was supposed to be Earths salvation but since they found Dycornum its only used for some lower grade long range exploration space craft by the Galactic Exploration Association. If one of those craft gets blown up, lost in a black hole it’s not nearly as financially impactive than losing a ship designed with Jump Drive powered by Dycornum. He waited for someone to chime in on his line of conversation but the silence in his earpiece was only interrupted by static discharge from Mars’ magnetic field.  “Do the math. Four billion on Earth, one billion on Mars and Moon colonies, the other billion scattered about the cosmos, exploration, military and colonization.”  He paused again waiting for a comment from anyone of his peers but still there was only the silence and static in his earpiece.        “Why don’t you shut the hell up?”  Those words were distinguishable from the suits, this voice was that of his site supervisor Chung Lu Shu. 
Trevor responded. “I know your originally from what use to be known as Japan that was governed by what use to be call a communist country, but since the Tech War the world is under what is call a—democracy.  That has citizen rights one of which taken from the constitution of the United States; I have freedom of speech.”
Those words brought around the hulking pressure suit that contains Chung Lu Shu. Through the condensation of his face plate Trevor could see the defiantly oriental features formed in a concentrated frown. This member of the salvage crew was in different to the conversation for reasons of his dedication to a country and flag long since gone.   “Freedom is only as valuable as those who exercise with honor and responsibility.” Shu said. “The people of the late United States that spoke with their right of freedom often generated war and conflict.”      Words urgent enough to redirect the conversation came over the earpieces. “I’ve got something.” Shu turned his attention to the cockpit of the vehicle.  “What, have you got?” With that request the image of the red landscape appeared in a heads-up display in his helmet.  A flashing red dot on the image of the Martian landscape.  Pressing a few keys on his arm controls of his suit and the dot morphed into a presentation of a carrier wave.  “What is it?”     “A transponder ping. When the survey scanners touched it must have triggered an automated response system.”
“What did it come from?”
“I’m getting a configuration of what looks like a small space craft, too small for a ship, maybe some sort of escape pod.”      Information appeared next to the image in Shu’s helmet display.  “Nothing like what I’ve ever seen.” Shu said. “Trevor take a look at this.”   The image appeared in Trevor’s facemask. He took a moment to consider it before he spoke. “This doesn’t look like any Earth force short range or escape pod or maintenance pod, design from Earth Force, Science Guild not even anything that might have been designed by the Galactic Exploration Association.” Trevor pressed a button on his arm controls and the thing morphed into a three-dimensional image.  “The surface covering suggests that it’s been buried for around 50 years. Could be one of the old survey pods the Space Core of engineers used to search for ore or maybe some military devise from the war.” Trevor said. “If it’s from the war it ought to be worth something, especially to the historical society.”     “Let’s take a closer look.”  Shu said.     After an hour trek across the red sand the rover came to stop in a landscape of red waves of sand and outcropping of rocks. The team of seven men moved in a staggered formation led by Shu.
Chad attention was concentrated on the heads-up display in his face piece that guided him to the thing buried in the red soil.       Passing an outcropping of rocks, the ping in Shu’s earpiece beeped frantically. “Object five meters underneath our feet.”  The voice of the suit’s computer spoke and displayed an image of the thing underneath the soil.       “Okay, we are right on top of it.” Shu said. He stopped and held his hands out.  The six men of the crew drop the cases of equipment and began to remove it from the cases. Within an hour they had set up in a circular parameter of a poles mounted with a circular devise.       Gravity force beams flashed blue, white pulsations that tossed up layers of red soil up to hang in the atmosphere above the crater.       “Proximity of object achieved.” The computer in Chad’s earpiece spoke.     “Okay, we’ve reached it.” Chad said.       All seven of them waited for the haze of red to disperse.  Slowly the whims of gravity pushed the haze away revealing a crater and a red tainted thing at the bottom.       Carefully the four men that were designated with the next level of excavation climbed down into the shallow pit.      “What is it?”  How spoke directly to Trevor.      Trevor did not respond his attention was concentrated on answering the question to himself. The third man of the team Bill Praxton was working a devise that scanned the top portion of the thing.       “I’ve got a hatch.” Bill said.  He held the devise where it registered the hatch.  “Doesn’t look like it has been compromised.  If there was anything inside, is still in there.”     “This isn’t an escape pod.” Trevor had come up to stand from his bent over position.  “It’s not a survey pod either.”       “Maybe something worth salvaging?”  Bill turned to Shu.  Through the red tint of his facemask, he could see the smile on his crewmember’s face.
     The thing was tethered on the attached trailer of the tram and hauled back to a station wind-swept by red dust.
A connection of five dome buildings was the camp the seven men had lived the last six months.  Using gravity lifts they moved the thing from atop the tram into one of the dome constructions.  This place was littered with various collections of satellites and atmosphere worn machines creating a museum of forgotten space vehicles.  This new find was the largest centering the room, reaching out in four direction with what was once support arms for thrusters or solar panels.     “Well, let’s open it up.”  Trevor pulled off his helmet and posed over the top of the thing.         “You know the procedures.” Chad said. “Twenty-four-hour decontamination before anything is opened or exposed to human contact. And that is after we send a report to Mars Two of what we have found. A lot of shit can be in this thing. If it’s just an old piece of space junk it might be worth a salvage that could bring us a nice credit from the space historical museum. Or it could be something that has some bio shit that would wipe out all of Mars. There was a war going on, the Alliance had all kinds of weapons they launched at Earth from their battle crafts, many of them didn’t get to Earth. You all know that. Look how many things they found on the moon in the last couple years. Just last week excavators of the Space Core engineers found an undetonated planet bomb.” Chad attention swept the room to the men that circled the thing.  “Seal off the room, we’ll do some more research to find out what this thing is before we open it.”       The pressurized walls felt warm to the touch despite the coldness of the atmosphere of Mars outside.  The skin of the construction was designed a radiate heat gave the human body an illusion of a living environment that was not so artificial.  But the human mind forced reality to the forefront even with all the tricks technology could create.       That was Chu’s job, as crew leader he was contracted to keep everyone under his authority in line with the reality that this planet would kill you.  Any chance it got.       In what was the operations shack Chu along with Trevor concentrated their efforts on researching historical documents of space going vehicles.       “What have you got?”  Chu said.  He came closer and waited for Trevor to say something.     “A headache.”  Trevor leaned back.    “I don’t see anything in the last century that fist with the configuration of that thing in there.”       “That would raise the value of it then?”  Chu said.     Trevor did not acknowledge that comment.       “We should contact Mars One, get one of the inspectors out here to take a look at it.”  Chu said.     They won’t look at it—they will take it.”  Trevor said.  “And there goes our salvage.  That means we don’t go home. We either back to Mars two the industrial section for two years, work in the shipyard or the fucking Helium-3 processing stations on Titan.  Or we go home without our full time of service. That means no citizenship which means, no acre of land and no educational benefit for our kids. I’m getting tired of going from one off world workstation to the next.” He looked about the compartment. “I’m ready to go back to Earth.”  Trevor said. “But I want to go back whole. A citizen.”      Chu glared at Trevor then moved to the other side of the room absorbing all that Trevor had said feeling the weight of it like lower gravity.      Chu spoke directly to Trevor. “We’ll wait for Mars One decontamination to tell us what to do.” Chu said.      Trevor examined the small hatch’s porthole at the red dust-stained thing that centered the room.  He turned his attention from the screen affixed to the bulkhead.  The information from the last several hours of scans scrolled on the face of the membrane screen.  Trevor’s attention concentrated on the last status report of this thing.  ‘All bio filters are clear.’ That meant he could take a closer look at it.  Once Mars One officials got here, whatever it was would be long to them, no credit—no salvage rights.   That last thought brought his hand up to hit the red activation knob on the door’s control panel.  The door slid into the wall sending a gust of stale air to wash over Trevor’s face.   He continued into the containment area walking directly to the space pod.  It looked sinister now for some reason. He considered it was his disobenat intensions that were the matter.  As soon as he opened whatever this was the content would be under salvage law.  No matter what Chu said to Mars One it would be a percentage spilt between the whole crew; this was rare and could not be found in any data base. It would bring tens of thousands of credits from the Historical corp.  That was the insurance he needs to have for six months of work.       Trevor pressed a button on the handle of the laser torch and concentrated the thin blue beam on the seam on the top of the pod.  Once he had completed the circumference of the pod, he did not have to use the crowbar in his hand.  The hatch that had been fused shut with corrosion responded with its freedom by opening in a blossom of four parts. Trevor was almost knocked backwards with the wall of dank odor that erupted from the thing. He gagged; coughed turning his head away and clamping his hand over his mouth to prevent his lunch from climbing up his throat.
“Shit,” He spat. Trevor gulped in air then vigorously shook his head to dispel the dizzying effect of the stench in his olfactory nervous system. Finally composed he was able to turn back to the separated hatch he looked down into the thing. An eerie glow radiated from inside and the sound of a thick fluids churning in the dark bowels of the compartment.  Trevor leaned closer to see clearly the dark silhouette within the depths of the pool of thick fluid.  He just made out the limbs of a body, head arms and legs when an arm reached up from inside. Slick with the thick fluid a hand grabbed securely on his neck.  His breath was wisped away with fear and surprise with the cutting off his breath. The grip tightened and Trevor felt the pressure of muscle and ligaments given way to the force, he wanted release and struggle from it, but the grip only tightened, and his desire turned for the death that would bring about the end of the pain. 
     Dan responded to the alert of the contamination compartment being opened.  He had already known who it was; he also knew that this was the last time Chu would keep his control with him. A forfeiture of shares on whatever they had found.  More than that it would damage his creditability for working with another crew.  As a personal favor he’d save Trevor’s job and prevent Chu’s blood pressure from raising any more points than it already was.         Dan pressed the door open controls and was met with the sight of the four-section hatch open on the top of the thing.  He moved closer until he was standing next to it, the ladder that had been place against it now lay to one side on the metal deck.  Stepping round the thing he saw a slick of fluid that had been splattered about the edge of the thing.       Dan followed the trail of fluid away from the thing to stop at the glistening of something on the deck; a puddle of something. At first, he thought it was a complied amount of whatever that slick on the pod and floor, but this was something else. Close enough his lungs were assaulted with the acidic fumes from the pile. He placed his arm over his face to move in closer.  A pile of putrefied human remains. He had seen something like this before. A crewmember of a previous salvage team had been exposed to a biological bomb not exploded on the surface of Mars.  The environmental suit was eaten away by the biological agent, even though they’d managed to get the man into the decontamination department, the biological detective had reached his body.  There was nothing that could be done but to watch him be putrefied alive.  A rush of fear suddenly gripped him with the sight of everything concluding what might have happened here. Slowly he began to move backwards towards the air lock; considering his breathing and how his body felt; had he been exposed to whatever it was Trevor had released. He glared at the pile of goo speaking to it as if it where that person that was the object of his contempt. “Ass hole—Trevor you’re an ass hole.” 

Dan heard the weight of foots steps sounded with splats moving up behind him.     He turned about to a tortured face he vaguely recognized as Trevor’s. Dan stepped back in repulsed but fascinated interest at what stood before him. A face that fluctuated and pulsated as the epidermis of his whole-body writhing; flesh translucent and he could see the muscles moving in some state of reconstitution. Scientific curiosity faded into horror when Trevor assumed this was not Dan. His thought to run or call out died with hands powerful and perfectly placed around Dan’s neck. That hand was fused to Dan’s neck as if it now was apart of his flesh and bone. Dan’s breath was chocked away from that pain then something else. A burning sensation from that fused grip flooded into his blood from the contact. He wanted to scream with the invasion of more that just his body his very soul was being whisked away by something microcellular. The transfer of that infection completed Dan was released to fall to the floor. His body was paralyzed with the burning sensation that crept through ever part of him. His eyes locked on that transforming thing that soot before him one final thought squeezed from his mind that this was what he was becoming.

Chapter four

“Ruyac you’re going to Mars.” Peachtree still his arms folded in a stands waiting for the resistance that would come from his detective.
Dexter looked to Gail on his right then Thad then gave the questioning glare to his supervisor.
“I thought this was going to be a Global Security thing.” Dexter shrugged.
“Well since its your Dexter Ruyac recipient of the Global Security Cluster, it is a Dexter Ruyac thing.” Peachtree waved again across the desk and a holo-screen appeared with a collection of information. “Global Security has authorized you with a interplanetary warrant to investigate Mars by to investigate the subject Trevor Hollow.”
“Investigate?” Gail said.
Peachtree touched the surface of the screen expanding the information. Gail leaned closer. Then looked back to Dexter then Peachtree. “Investigate, he is a murdered. All they have to do is either pass it over to the Mars Marshalls or arrest him themselves.”
“Global Security did not say, they don’t have to, and I didn’t ask, I shouldn’t. That’s how this works Ruyac. Global Security has Eminent Jurisdiction they are the law enforcement agency we just are legally consider support. Peachtree took note of the grizzle expression that formed on Dexter’s face. This was a tale toil sign of the defiant nature that was mounting this subordinate. “Now Detective—” Peachtree held up his finger light a schoolteacher making sure his student was paying close attention. “—and I’d hate to call you that for the last time, Dex. You follow Global Securities orders without question you do what they tell you to when they tell you to do whatever it is they want you to do. Once you are under way you will receive a briefing from a Global Security agent.”
“What about support.” Gail said.
“Dex goes on his own with this. Once you are there you will be working directly with Marshall Dai Kudo Mars Dome security. Peachtree held out a data chip to Dexter. “You are now under temporary duty under the authority of Global Security Section 10 Interstellar Security. An Agent will contact you with your mission details.” Once Dexter took hold of the chip Peachtree sat back in his chair. “Goodbye Dexter, see you when you get back. And Dexter, this is Mars. You lead with your Global Security mandate but remember they don’t think like they are a part of the World Court umbrella.”

Chapter five

Global Security. Dexter said the name of the governmental police organization created after the Tech war. With the collapse of almost all of the worlds’ police and governmental police forces Global Security was brought from the ashes of the skeletal remains of those the worlds law enforcement agency. Charged with tending to bring the fragmented world’s population under the submission of the new one world government the World Court. ‘One World, One Destiny.’ itched in gold on the floor of the Court in New Washington.
“Exception of Mars.” Dexter said through twisted lips. “Show me Mars colonial regions.”
Immediately his personal computer complied and crated a holographic image of a red planet. Then brought from that main image five dome constructions two complemented other smaller dome connected by what Dexter knew to be a enclosed transportation network.
The computer spoke. “After the end of the Tech War commercial industrialization of Mars went into full swing. With the majority of most world economies concentrated on Reconstruction the majority of remaining large companies invest their economy in Mars habitation. Primary investor during the Tech Wars was Japan. Mars colonial habitations consist primary of five domes. Mars five dome consist of four constructions refitted in 2110 from military training to a hub of interstellar maintenance craft. Mars four population twenty-five thousand maintains the population for the mining as well as contracted workers for the Mars shipyard and Phoboe shipyard.”
Dexter watched and listened as the computer presented the domes and the designation of their purpose until the final Mars dome One.
“Dome Once consist of the core inhabitants of the planet one hundred thousand inhabitants. The executive core of the Mars mining cooperation forming in 2100.” Dexter trained off in the information presented with historical knowledge he knew the computer would not give in this virtual tour. He did not need to request that information as well. If was common knowledge to anyone in a basis knowing how Mars took position against the World Court in its formation and secretly plotted against Earth during the Colony Alliance War. Secretly the self-imposed Mars provisional government confederated with the Colonial Mars Alliance to overthrow the World Court, with the supply of technology and tactical information on Earth defense force. Integument with the fall of the Alliance the World Court arrested and hanged all those members of those that had mounted the coup. Today even as Mars has been assimilated into this new one world government there was an air of distrust tempered with old feelings of rebellion. Mar still held a separative mentality, unlike any other of the colony planets Mars made independent political and economical changes with a Judge that was a native of that world. That was the why he was going. Global Security per the world Courts deaccession minimized Global Security investigations on Mars. Since the time when a Global Security task force took change with martial law arresting dozens of citizens and hanging those that were identified as the heads of the subversive act of treason. Dexter shook his head considering why he was sent to investigate a murder. The AI interrupted the search with an alert of an incoming call.
In that same second a man in his late early thirty appears replace that holoimage of Mars.
“Sam.” Dexter came to his feet to look to that face of his son. How many times had he seen this face since he had returned home? A question that he asked deep inside him self with the always with sensation of ill-at-ease. This was not that nine-year-old child that he left to fight the war in space. Those decades between that time and the present were twisted with the time space differential of the hyperdrive bubble of his war ship Thor’s Hammer. What presented himself was a man that was only a few years different from him. Dad, the title cocked in his son’s throat as it stalled in Dexter’s ears hearing the first and only time once he had returned. There ages and life experience made them more kin to brothers.
“How are you?” Sam said
“I’m good. Working.” Dexter shrugged his shoulders. How is your sister?”
“She is doing ok, she and Martin are planning on taking over more duties with the construction company. Grandpa is getting up there. But let him tell it he is fit as a fiddle as he would say.”
“Martin’s a good man. She just the kind of husband that she can live with.” Dexter said. “How is your wife?”
“We are doing great, planning on starting a family.”
Dexter took in a deep breath. “Well, it’s about time.” They both shared a careful response of humor. “I think you will make a great father Sam. You’re a good man.” There was a pause of silence; that past that hung over each of them like a shadow of fate paused them to search for some words that had never been spoke to resolve the ill at ease that the universe and its time space dynamic dealt them.
Sam finally spoke. “I want to come see, you.”
“I’d like that. I don’t think you’ve been to this side of our reconstructed world. New Chicago is a nice city.” Dexter said.
“How bout this weekend.”
Dexter enthusiasm evaporated. “It can’t be this weekend. I’m really sorry Sam.”
“Next weekend.”
“Not sure. I’ll have to let you know when.”
Sam grunted a laugh. He shook his head confused with the evasive behavior so uncharacteristic of a man he had come to know as direct. “Why not, it’s not like you’re going off into space or something like that.”
That look Sam had seen before time after time down through the years since his father had returned home; that look on the image of the holo-letters he’d acquire a skill of discerning what it me. There was an excuse coming. One that was reality to the same thing he had her his mother scream to his father in that would have taken years for his father to respond.
Dexter hesitantly spoke. “I have to go off planet.” Dexter said. “Following up some perp.” Then he followed up quickly with the destination. “To Mars.” Dexter that. ‘Not too the outer rim,’ He didn’t say that latter part but felt that generated sensation that rolled back to him from those years ago a lifetime ago when he told a boy he was going light years away to fight a war to save this world and him. He’d be back in a few years; his promise would have placed him still as a boy but the war drug on longer prioritized his term to be extended. “Once I get back then, we can have that weekend. Dexter paused with the question he wanted to ask but even though the apprehension he could not keep silent. “How is your mother?”
“She’s doing ok, like grandpa she is getting suborn in her old age.”
Old age. That term struck to the heart of Dexter in a memory to the reason why their marriage their family turned into this social dysfunction that left thousands of men and woman that had return to a world decade older than they had left it.
“Last week was her bright day, Sixty-Two, sis and my wife were trying to get her to a New You for a make over but.” Sam shrugged his shoulders. Same eyes locked on his father with an intensity that he was not looking at holo-transmission of a man but some illusion. “Your birthday is coming up soon, June 13th right.”
“Yeah.” Dexter bowed his head slightly wanting to have diversion from that concentrated glare of his son.
“What will you be Sixty-Two as well?”
“Yea, I am getting up there myself.”
“I hope I will look as good as you when I hit my seventies.” They shared an uncomfortable laugh more over to diminish the line of conversation that would end up with thoughts and memories neither what to experience. Sam finally cleared his throat to speak. “Ok well be safe. Let me know when you get back.” The image of his son disappeared before he could respond leaving with the reforming a red planet.
“Ok son.” Dexter said to the image of Mars.
The sound of an incoming call reformed the image of Mar yet again to that of a man.
“Detective Dexter Ruyac. This man needed nor introduction to Dexter, he remember Commissioner Beal head of special investigation of interstellar investigations.”
Dexter came to his feet positioning himself before the image this was a position not of respect for a superior law enforcement officer rather a show machoism that he was not intimidate.
“I did not get a chance to congratulate you formally for your recipient your service to Earth three years ago. As you are not a Agent of Global Security such awards are kept rather clandestine. Again, a very good job one well deserving of the award of the Global Security cluster. In consideration of this situation, you were the first person that came to mind.”
“What situation would that be Commissioner.”
“In part you are continuing your apprehension of a Mr. Trevor Hollow. a suspected murder and a bigamist. Fled from Earth three days ago to return to Mars to his position as an out-ridge salvage team. A file of information appeared in a holographic image.  “I’ve got an emergency situation on one of Mars one salvage stations, looks like one of the crews stumbled onto something.”     Dexter leaned closer to look at the information on the holo-screen. “The same salvage team, Hollow is a member.”
“Yes. They reported they found some sort of pod and were claiming it for salvage. They sent some scans of it and were requesting Mars One for some historical references on the design but before they could get back to them apparently, they opened the damn thing.  Then emergency calls for help, something about a murder then silence.”   “The Mars Marshals investigate?”  Dexter asked.    “No—the A Global Security lock down was set in place allowing them only a visual surveillance of the space manually. However, the Marshals were able to activate a remote and see the thing they found.”  Thompson pressed a button and the holoscreen displayed the image of a thing stained with red dust of Mars. Then a holographic image of it was created by the computer give more profound detail of the thing.  “We haven’t been able to identify it. None of our historical banks have come up with anything that looks remotely like this craft.”
     Dexter took a long concentrated glare at Beal then back to the image of the thing.     “That looks like colonial tech.” Dexter leaned in closer to the image. His memory of machine from the war paraded his mind. On that battlefield he had seen things of this sort. The Alliance emulated living things that did not exist, ‘they look like the spirit of lifeforms that have possess metal,’ those were the words of one of the men of his unit.
Thompson paused receiving Dexter speculation. “Excellent. Your service on the frontline still serves you well. We suspected as such. However, it fits none of the configuration in Earth Force data basis. Process of elimination would make it logically some colonial devise launched during one of the colonial attacks on Mars.”
“We suspected it to be some sort of escape pod.”
“No.” Dexter said quickly slowly walking around the image. “The ships the Colonial Alliance sent to Earth were on a one-way mission. They knew the Alliance fighters would never risk being captured. When they came to Earth they came to die.”
    Beal’s response was ominously soft. “Yes,” Beal paused his attention narrowing with thought of the intuitive insight of the Detective.
“Looks like it does have an encapsulation compartment.” Dexter turned to the Beal. “What do you think is in it?” Dexter asked.
“That remains unknown.”
“What do you think in it?”
Beal took in a drag of air then spoke. “Perhaps some sort of biotechnology.”
“A cold chill went up Dexter spine. The weapons used by the Colony Alliance were primary planet bombs high impact explosives designed to level buildings with no radioactive fallout. I didn’t kind of war that was raged decades ago during the Tech War when everything from biological to chemical weapons had been used. “The Alliance never used anything like that.”
“No, that was during the heat of the war, this could have been some sort of last-ditch effort to make the Court yield. Desperation is the mother of invention.”
“So, what’s my prep got to do with it.”
“The man is a psychopath. Let say that what is within this devise is some sort of bioweapon. Let us also speculate that your prep discovers such and understand what it is as well as how to us it. He might be inclined to expand is passion for killing a more expensive venue.”
Dexter came closed to the image. Considering the thing as well as all Beal had just said. “So rather than send a large Global Security task force to take over the zone you want me to go. Earth cop with legal authority to hunt this guy down. A social deviant that needs to be brought back to Earth to hang. Oh, and by the way he was about to murder a few thousand Mars inhabitants with some old colonial bioweapon he found. No push back from Mars Marshall who don’t want Global Security there in the first place because a few decades ago you hung a few dozen of the leaders. You get to rattle your saber of absolute omen presents security to the Mars Administration core even the Judge over Mars, that we it was Earth that saved their ass weather they wanted it or not.”
“Outstanding Detective. You’ve accessed the situation of complete understanding of your role as well as your governments position.” Beal said. “I have made arrangements for your forensic specialist to accessibility to any technologies via Global Security operations she might need to help you with your investigations. You also will have a line of communications with myself and suppled any material you might need. If there is nothing else.” He paused for a moment for a commit to come from Dexter. “Then I bid you good hunting Detective.” The image of Beal disappeared, and Dexter was left again with the sphere of Mars.

Chapter six

Wui Chang watched the information flash on the multi-plex holoscreens before him. He allowed the slightest smile at the credit transfers from the industrial companies about the solar system. Request for clean technology and supplies from automobiles to technology for living in space traveling in space and especially those cumulative products for Earth. That latter major respirator of goods created on Mars was the propriety product that also set this world in motion from a colony to a supplier. Mars One and Two were the industrial platforms that were forged from the Martian surface to free Earth from pollution and keep it as a utopian vision the World Court aspired it to become. “Not without sacrifices,” He looked to the refection of his face in the transparency.
“Vesta has supplied the world with the new ore the saved the world, but it is Mars that still gives the world the things that made the society of man survive.” He said those words to himself.
“The office door was open, and the secretary entered first, as Wui turned to give her his attention she bowed and waited for his reply. He bowed releasing her to speak. “The apprentices from Earth are here?” With a nod he gave her the nonverbal order for three men to enter the room and stand erect in a no flitching position before Wui. Like those military leaders decades ago Wui walked before them in a scrutinizing glare. It was not their dress nor the focused expression each of them held but it was the profound knowledge Wui had of each of them. Transferred from Earth they had come for the opportunity to advance their career and return to Earth with a position and ability to advance their careers even more. Unlike his forefathers decades ago who had been sent by the newly formed Government, as what became a lifetime assignment.
Wui looked at the face of the young executive’s their excitement to please was almost as strong as their dedication to the culture their grandfathers had cultivated on Mars. They were Japanese only in genetics. Born on Earth to the generation of Reconstruction their parents stored them as embryos in the Life Pro generation birthing chambers to be born with rebirth of the world. As per the birthing personal will written by their parents, they were adopted out to Japanese parents’ citizens of Earth with a dedication to a country that no longer existed. The call for cultural could sovereignty not be assimilated even if the promise was a utopian dream. That last final ditch effort to plant a flag of ownership on Mars failed. A failure unlike the effort of independence of those humans crossed this gulf decades ago and planted a flag later taken from them. These were men of a desire for profit and self-gratification, who they were had been lost in a future of a secured life.
“The hearth of Japan lives in its people.” Wui said to them. But there were no words that responded with the hope that he hard in those words. “You will work hard but the rewards can be greater that the summation of your career. This world is, Mars One will show you a world that your forefathers designed lost in the burcocercy of the World Court. It is my hope that in the year you will stay here you will not only add value, but value will be added to you from this rich culture.” Those words stilled them, and they responded with a low bow of respect. He dismissed them with a decisive wave of his hand. As they filed out his secretary re-entered the office.
“Mr. Wui, Dai Kudo is here to see you.”
A look of urgency flushed over Wui’s face. “Send him in.”
From the other side of a door a Japanese man in his mid-thirty stepped in. He strolled almost in a marching fashion to Shu then bowed to the same level of respect as the interns that had just left the room.
“It is good to see you, Dai.” Wui said. “You look well,”
“Thank you, sir.” Wui said. “So much like your father. I was only several years older than you, but I remember your father, and the closeness your father and he shared. It is very agreeable that we carry on the kinship that they shared.”
“It is agreeable with me as well sir.”
Wui nodded to the door where the young executives had just filed out.
“They are young their youth will give great power to this world and our people.” Shu said. “This is the dream of your father and mine, and of their forefathers that came to this world. Something I think has been lost in that generations since.” Wui looked to the door. The time when your father and I came to this world our desire was to forge it to a place where the memories and culture of the Japanese people would thrive, but little remains.” Wui face turned grim, and he turned to the wall size window and the surface of the red planet. “It is my desire to rekindle that passion.”
“Mine as well sir.”
Wui smiled, “I am glad. With desire comes opportunity, once it presents itself you will find yourself ready. What brings you to me today?”
“That has been an incident with a salvage station in sector fourteen.” Dai said.
“Why is it a concern?”
“It has automatically activated a Global Security Alpha level lock down. This has made the station inaccessible by our Marshall’s or me.”
“What is the nature of the lock down?”
“It is a level four, suggesting that there is some bio-hazard detected.” “Dai activated the small devises on his wrist designed as a watch; information came to life before them projected from the devise in a holo-graphic globe. “From what my staff has been able to ascertain the object the salvage crew has found something that has crashed several decades ago around the time of the Global Alliance war, perhaps an escape pod of some sort.”
“Sector 14?” Wui said,
“Yes sir, an emergency signal was sent and responded to by Global Security. As such the insulation has been locked down with an energy field and biohazard net. The next protocol for a Global Security Agent of section 10 to be dispatched however I have been a Chicago CPD Detective will be conducting the investigation he will arrive within the next 48 hours.”
“Interesting.” Wui said he paused in thought he turned to the transparency of the bustling dome city outside, then back to Dai. “Prepare for the arrival of the Detective, afford him every courtesy. Discover the nature of the alert and the danger if any it poses. Wui came closer to Dai, “You are your father’s son. So often I think of the sacrifices your father gave for this—our people. Even as the corruption of this new world government creeps into the soul of this last remnant of Japan. I however am pleased that the generation of our past live in you,”
“As am I. Now I must attend to this matter. I will keep you informed.” Dai bowed and quickly left the office.

Wui scanned the room as if to assure his privacy was secured. He then hurried to the desk and with a touch of a series of keys on the desk membrane keys a door at one end of the room appeared from a seamless position on the wall. Wui stepped into the door and the room came to life with lighting. The room was filed with items from a forgone era, museum pieces but part of a culture of the native land of his people thousands of miles away. Wui walked the circular room passing each a statue adorned with the armor of a samurai warrior. A collection of swards and stabbing weapons. A facsimile of a Ninja posed in an attack posture. Finally, he came to stand before an item that was oddly placed among all those other artifacts. A cabinet of elaborately designed still a part of the room paraphernalia. A forgotten thing that he had no longer consider of value beyond nostalgia. His once determination to us it now turned to a hoped this moment was some sort of false alarm an anomalous activation of the thing by something else. He stood before an could hear the dormmate matrix had come to life with a soft whirring of its operation. Wui touched a series of points on the cabinet then it transformed into a devise. The top flipping up the front end opening to revel a control panel and the monitor flipping up to an upright position. The circular screen came to life with a geographic scan of the surface of Mars. Graphic lines showed direction of land mass and landmarks. Wui marveled with the engineering ability of his people with this machine being several decades old; still retaining processing power that allowed it to link into the global network of satellites about Mars. Wui’s breathing stilled with the anxiety of the machine in a search mode. He considered that fact that it was simply running through cycle of its activation when geographic image stopped its search then locked on an area of the land mass. In the center of the image a red glob bleeped in discovery of what the AI of the devise searched.
Wui leaned closer to the red globe, “Oh, my God.”

Chapter Seven 

“This is Mars, Dex.” Peachtree exclamation was not on the geographic rather the temperament of the inhabitants of those particular dome constructions of the three colonies on the Mars surface.
‘Not the first time I have been here boss.’ Dexter responded only with that thought. His time in the military as well as other cases had led him to this world. ‘Martian.’ A term decade ago implied to alien inhabitants not of Earth. Ironically, most of the population would fit the science fiction description of that time.
Mars was the first world man forced his will upon regarding permanent settlement of a habitant were an off-world colony. Unlike the lunar colonies Mars colonist were selected for a lifelong stint on work that would be considered a colony not an industrial satellite. This separation from Earth birth a governmental structure managed by the corporations that financed the Mars colonization. Mars One was indifferent from the other two colony on that surface, Mars One was the first and became a more than a mere mining and industrial plant for Earth.
Across this red globe stations and two other colony domes were built over the past centuries; shipyards-built war machines during the Alliance war then freighters to haul the ore from off world mining planets. But nothing like Mars One, this was the Japanese project to make a model colony for other worlds in man’s expansion throughout the galaxy. Not a satellite of Earth but its own state, generating its own income like the old governments. It was that same independents that created a secret confederacy with the Alliance, one that was broken with a harsh and bloody police action.  
Over the course of his life Dexter had been to Mars; during training as Astro Combat soldier then as a police officer of CPD. No event more profound that the six months of his training for space combat before he’d been assignment to his duty station during the war.  Harsh and unforgiving, this was the first lesson learned during off planet survival training.
The mistakes a trainee would make could very well bring about his death as did some suffer that fate. This world claimed them with a quickness and savagery as if it was always waiting for that opportunity.  That was the lessoned to be learned, once you leave Earth every world out there was like this one or even worse.      This was life in space men would live or die, either one of those possibilities always loomed just on the horizon of everyday. 

Dexter shutter in the shallow sleep brought to life with memories of a past that would not remain in the archives of his soul. A dark purple sky boiling with the backdrop of the universe. Machines streaking through the sky, machine designed by the Alliance with a stealth like manner giving them a more like natural ability in the vacuums of space than anything Earth Force could construct. The Earth Force machines though they were designed for space combat were out of there element in comparison to the Alliance machines.
Machines that took on the same contour and modeling of the surface of those alien worlds became part of weapon of camouflage. The came from the ground like creatures of that world and struck with deadly energy to maintain their sovereignty.
In his years of commanding the team of ground soldiers he had forged a comradery of a nature of fighting to the death—that last analogy radiated a cold rush down his spine as cold as the atmosphere outside his combat environment suit. Life on this world, his family would only continue with his effort to bring about death.

The haze of the atmosphere faded under the thick cloud cover until the surface was seen from the shuttle porthole.  The ship skimmed across the surface of Mars bounding over rock faces and sand dooms until reaching the northern plains of the planet, Aroura Borealis. On the desert surface of this ancient ocean Mars One was pristinely centered.
The reflective surface of the dome was a design to capture sunlight to generate a photogenic process from the millions of cells that made up the dome. That combined with the 2.3×107 km3 of ice under the Martian surface gave the dome an endless supply of hydrogen power.
At one time Dome One was dubbed New Japan in accordance with reconstructed cities of Earth. The World Court dropped that adjective when the police action of 2111.      The craft landed at an outside a launch pad and from a transport tube Dexter along with other passengers filed out a gangway to enter the shuttle port.
    Dexter looked out of the transparency to the city. Buildings like those on Earth, skyscrapers and other buildings, smaller neighborhoods on the outer areas. Skyways of domestic and commercial traffic snaked around the city.  The population of four hundred thousand of dome one walked freely within the dome itself.  The revolutionary idea of off world colonization would have to minister to man’s need to have an environment like the one he had left behind.  The dome was a facsimile of Earth.  Oxygen breathing plants made air of the free open space and even animals that had been engineered to survive in a controlled environment. Among the human traffic Dexter took note of the pail brown uniformed officers that were the Mars Marshalls, ‘no weapons,’ Dexter scan of their uniform to the sign devise called a stun stick. It would deliver a paralyzing bolt of energy but not deadly force. ‘Mars the best place to be in the solar system.’ Dexter took notice of the advertisement that flashed on the across the top train. “If this dome cracked everybody would die.” He scoffed.         “Detective Ruyac,” Dexter redirected his attention from the city to an average height oriental strolling towards him. The man studded then bowed before “I’m Dai Kudo, welcome to Mars One.”       “Thank you.”  Dexter observed the social norm he had been educated was a traditional greeting of a country long gone in the history of man, but he did not reciprocate.      Dai wad not deterred in no consideration Dexter took no not of his behavior as well. “I am curious to why a New Chicago Police Detective has been sent on what obviously a matter of Global Security.”  Dai asked.     “I’m sure you are.”  Dexter said. 
Dexter glanced at Dai, the words of his supervisor came to him his order to comply to the culture, he watched the information casting on the Marian Japanese culture of Mars One. Customs that went back to a culture that was almost non-excitant on Earth, but that was the World Courts intent. Dispense with the boarders and cultures that had caused that war that birth this new government. ‘Culture.’ Acceptable in the personal expression of one’s life or family. However, in the scheme of the design of the world court with reconstruction such a cultural should not be reflected on regions of land. “I’m here to do a job.”
“Very well then.” Dai responded.

Chapter Eight

The air car gave a greater perspective to the world that was Mars One.  The city below and the holographic projection of Earths sky. “This is really weird this blue-sky thing.” Dexter looked up. “Makes a person kind of thinks he’s on Earth.”
“That is exactly the purpose. Early in space exploration it was discovered that men needed not only fresh water and real food but mental health. The Earth facsimile creates that. For the past ten years the mental health of Mars inhabitants is more favorable that citizens of Earth.”
Dexter said. “Really,” Dexter looked out of the transparency to the complied units of homes that formed neighborhoods the pristine buildings all built around an environment that emulated Earth, grass, animals; even wind blew. Mars One was a model of a world created by man that was as good as the one he had come from. Dexter took note of the people that strolled down the streets, animals they had domesticated from Earth and the outer worlds, their children. They were the ancestors of the miners that had come to this world decades ago hired and contracted by the companies of the America and the government of Japan. This colony was to be that model of man’s ability to forge worlds where he could live and a world that could supply the depleted resources of Earth.
The remained of the population of the one million original colonists were sent by way of the lottery. For those remaining leaders and CEO of Japan that invested in this venture was to a be a hub of their culture. Who were they now? Dexter considered his mission.
“We will have a few hours before our meeting with the Marshals then we will go on sight to the salvage station. I have arranged accommodation to prepare you for the meeting.” Dexter took note to Dai looking his way before continuing. “Part of your debriefing will be an informational guide on Mars. You will find it useful.”
“Cultural guidelines,” Dexter said.
“I’m sure you are aware that Mars One is predominately Japanese, not only is the population Japanese but the culture as well. We are a very—traditional people in our dealings with matters of the state, each other and those out side of—our culture.”
“I keep up current events myself, and from the last time I check Mars One is a colony of Earth, and very much subject to the guidelines of the World Court.” Dexter said.
“Very true but there are certain nuances that are apart of a racial dominated region, something lost on Earth that is very much at play on Mars One. I would suggest in consideration to your investigation that you be susceptible to them.”
“Not here to diversify Mars One, I have a particular job to do, and then I’m off this rock.” Dexter said.
Dai expression became a Japanese mask. “Please refrain from derogatory comments, Detective.”
“What did I say?”
“This rock.” There was a pause Dai waiting from Dexter, but nothing came from the Detective other than a matching of his dispassionate glare. “Very good, in order to do that I will be your guide in preventing any hindrance.” Dai said. “The first matter will be your dress.”
“My dress?”
“On Earth the standard utility suit service you will in the performance of your law enforcement duty it sends a message that you are not a professional man. I have arranged for a proper suit to be delivered to your hotel.”
“Thanks. Do I get to keep it, or do you want it back after I’m done?”
Dai did not respond to Dexter less than favorable gratitude.
“In consideration to the Marshals. They are rightfully descriptive in duty as law enforcement, here on Mars they are more businessmen. There is an old saying, Business is war. In order to work with the Marshals, you will need to work with them. Your authority as CPD will be acknowledged as long as you acknowledge them.”
“So, what are you? I take it you’re not a Marshall.” Dexter said.
“I work as a private security Detective.” Dai said.
Dexter asked. “For who?” For the first time there was a hesitation in Dai response.
“Ysoki Corporation.” He answered. “I have been contracted as a liaison for any law enforcement matters that evolve off world agencies.”
“Ok, anything else I should now about.” Dexter waved his hand to rally a response from Dai.
“Greeting is also very important.” Dai said. “Bowing should be equally proportional to the person that first renders the greeting. It will show not only respect but equality, and mutual desire for camaraderie and respect.”
Dexter grunted a response. “Ok,” I like to start of with everything you have compiled.”
    The marshal’s bull pin was amazingly like that of the any other police bull pin he’d seen, in relative design only, these officers of the law moved with no since of urgency. All dressed in a traditional black or dark blue suit they strolled leisurely about the office or sat engaged in some moderate research at their desk.
Criminal activity was substantially lower on Mars. The need for these descendants of pioneer astronauts for dependability for each person became a social norm. “The people on Mars had a hired value of life for one another.” Thad had given that to Dexter in response to the bottom line of the low crime rate.
These officer of the law only real urgent duty was the constant drills of life-threatening events such as meteor strikes, radiation and a score of other cataclysmic possibilities that might befall the colony even that was diminished to a dull routine.      Dai led Dexter to the office in the center of the room.  Immediately a man from the inner office came to greet then with the traditional bow.
     “Detective Ruyac, welcome to Mars. I am Captain Iachima Kawano.”     Dexter responded with a nod of his head. “Captain,” Dexter ignored the uncomfortable silence from Dai of his non-conformity.
Kawano gestured to his office.  “Please, have a seat Detective Ruyac.”      Dexter spoke after he sat down. “I’ve read your report. The thing they found do   have any idea what this thing might be?”     “No,” Kawano said quickly.  “We have run it through our data base and found nothing like it.  We suspect something that had been launched from an Alliance ship during the war.  An escape pod or some sort of weapon. It is much too small to be anything more than that.”   
  “There were calls for help from the salvage station?”  Dexter flicked a glanced from Dai to the Captain. “What do you think that was about?”    “I am lead to believe the pod possibly might contain some sort of weaponry, biological perhaps. I also believe that one of the crew was a member of the Mars Smuggler Ring; that person was part of the crew and discovered this item and considered its value to the GSR. To cover their tracks, the assailant murder remainder he of the crew.”
“The emergency calls might have been from one of the personnel that was able to elude his attacker long enough to call for help.”  Dai finished the captain’s statement.
“That’s a pretty interesting theory and facts come with that. Any of the crew that you suspect were members of the GSR specifically Mars?” Dexter looked to both of them.
“No.” Dai answered. “However, the majority of the crew originally were from off planet. A majority originated outer rim colonies world two originated from Earth, another from the lunar colony four.”
“Not ever body from the outer rim is a member of the GSR.” He was about to fire that to them but held those words. Dexter waited in the pause for the connection but in the silence, he took the speculation to connect to none of that crew originated from Mars. “Ok, anything else?”
They two Martian citizens a look between them and what every the two might have discussed before this meeting was now pending to be spoken. “If you will remove the emergency lock down, we will remove the bodies of our citizens and return them to their families.” The captain spoke. Dexter looked from one of them to the next, “Once I assess the situation, after that I’ll make the judgment on the threat level.”  Dexter said. “How long till you can get a shuttle ready?”       “By the time we get to the shuttle port we’ll have transportation.” Kawano said.     

Chapter Nine    

The three buildings were camouflaged with the drift of sand from storms of the Martian environment.  The Marshall’s shuttle landed then connected to the main body’s air lock.  Four bulky suited figures merged from the air lock into the amber lighting of the station’s corridor.       Dexter followed behind two armed Marshals afterwards came Dai.       “What is the air like?”  Dexter asked.            Dai gave his attention to the heads-up display in his helmet.      “Looks like the air is clear, no bio infections or radiation.”  Dai said.  “But we must keep our suits on until an official all clear is given by your Global Security lock down protocol.” Dai said. Dexter turned about to see the face of Dai in response to a tone from his statement. Dexter stepped ahead of him.  “Can we get the power back on?”  He turned scanning the rooms his suits head light shinned on the dark areas of the corridors.       “The lock down caused shut down to all automated systems to prevent circulation of any biohazard. We should be able to get the power back on from the control area.  We’ll make that our first
        The walk to the control area only took several minutes in all that time each moment was filled with an eerie silence. About each bend of the corridor shadows cast mounted Dexter’s ill-at-ease of the surround scan of gave a 180 view Dexter turned about scanning the darkness.
Finally reaching the control area even with the amber lighting added to the calamity of a struggle was visible. Overturned chair, papers scattered about the floor.
“Got a body here,” Dexter said. Dexter moved to the body laying face down. Placing on hand on his shoulder Dexter turned him over on his back. 
“This is the station boss.” Dai said, after referring to the image projected on his facemask from the suit’s computer. “Chung Lu Shu,”
“Blunt force trauma to the head.”  With his glove hand Dexter examined the man’s forehead.
Dexter stood up bringing an overturned chair up right.  Dexter turned his attention to the station. The panel indented on the face, “Looks like whoever killed him smashed the panel. With his hands?” Dexter placed both his fist in the indentation on the surface of the controls. “He must have made it in here, sent the message then was kill him then took out the communications.”
Turning aside from the Dai busied himself at one of the other control stations, Dexter satisfied with what he had discovered continued his search about the compartment as well.
“I will reactivate the stations power systems, with your permission Detective?”
The amber emergency lights turned white.  “What is this?”
Dexter nodded the Marshall seated himself and began to work the controls, in a second the signal silence but there was another display on the communication monitor Dexter notices.
“What the hell is that?” Dexter moved closer.
“I am not sure sir.” The Marshall began to work the keys of the controls.
“It appears there was another signal hidden inside the distress beacon.”
“Isolate it,” Dexter said.
“I’m attempting sir, but it seems to be faded with each cycle it repeats itself.”
“Can you get a copy of it?” Dexter waited for a few moments.
“I have a portion of the signal sir, I will forward for analyze.”
The sound of ventilation sounded through the compartment.
“We have main power.” Dai said.      “We should fan out; see if we can find the rest of the crew.”  Dexter’s order sent Dai as well as the other two Marshals in different directions. 

Dexter stepped into a half-opened pressure hatch to the crew living spaces. The close confines reminded him of crew birthing quarters of Thor’s Hammer the craft he served abord during the Colony Alliance war. Just enough room to sleep and contain a few personal items. He mushed at the compartment in recollection. 
    Dexter opened the door to one of the living pods.  A small out cove that was a bedroom. On the bulkhead a picture of family of four, an unmade bed and a few personal items. Dexter’s concentration locked on the picture of the man and his two children and a woman. This man had come here to obtain his citizenship through the required contractual labor off planet or other industrial or cooperate moguls of Earth. Citizen ship no longer a right it had to be earned since the Tech War. The benefits college education for his childern, himself a better job, any where in the solar system. Dexter obtained his citizenship with service during the war a choice with the possibility of life or death he lived but his life was devastated in the wake of his patriotism.
Dexter took in a deep cleansing breath to suppress the emotions that wanted to creep to the surface of his thoughts. Dexter shrugged then went on to the next living compartment to find the same level of personal items until he completed his sweep of the crew quarters.
Moving on from the crew living are Dexter found a sealed door at the end of the corridor. Dexter flipped the nod, but the door did not open.  He applied more force until the obstruction was pushed to the side. Dexter stepped back and allowed the body of a man to fall out face down to the floor.  Dexter turned the corpse over and began an inspection.    
“I’ve got another man in crew quarters. His throats cut.”  Dexter spoke into the helmet microphone. 
“Understood.”  Dai answered. 
     Crew Lounge was the description of the compartment on the placard affixed to the bulkhead before Dai. A cramped area that could be hardly considered a place to eat and have team meetings, or leisure time, now this compartment was a gruesome scene of murder.
Five men sat frozen about the small dinning table in position they had been killed.  Dai circled the room carefully examine the corpses determining the mode of death.  
     “I have found the rest of the crew, in the crew lounge.”  Dai said into his microphone.  
     The two Marshall’s stayed outside the lounge while Dexter and Dai conducted an examination of the bodies and lounge. 
     “Who ever hit them they not only knew them, but they were fast.”  Dexter said.  He leaned one of the men back and looked at the wound on his chest. The shin of a metallic object drew his attention to something under the table. He reached down and came up with the tool to present it to Dai.   “This looks like the murder weapon.” 
     “It’s a rock axe.”  Dai said.  Dai stretched his hand out to examine it.
  Dexter took a step back to look to the four corpses. He looked to each of them with a silent concentration as if he was hearing words softly spoken from each of them telling him the story of what ever happened in this room. Dai watched Dexter as he moved about the room looking at each of the four bodies. Then his attention scanned the room with an obvious attention to his existence, then finally back to one of the men at the table.
“He came in attacked this man first.” Dexter stepped behind the corpse that back faced the door. “Then this man.” Dexter gestured as if he were swinging the rock axe. “This man to the left was next.” Dexter stepped around the table to the next corpse. “By the time he’d gotten to this one he was on his feet.” Dexter came to the last man. “They didn’t have a chance.” Those last words spoken with a puzzlement of the reality that he concluded.
Dai held the hammer in on hand and in the other a scanner. He rang the beam the length of the hammer until it beeped with a completed scan.  “I’ve got four set of prints on the handle.”  Dai looked at Dexter.  “All three of the prints are from each of these men, except for one.” 
“They might have all used it at one time.” Dexter said. “What about the final print.”
“It does not belong to any one of the salvage crew.” Dai said.
“That’s got to be our perp.” Dexter said.
“Detective Ruyac, we have found the pod sir.” The voice came over Dexter as well as Dai’s head microphone. “And something else you need to see.”

Dexter went directly to the thing in centering the docking area. ‘Spaceship.’ Somehow the term did not quit fit what this was. Even though it was made of metal and fashioned for the operation in space the configuration suggested that it was something that somehow at one time was alive. Dexter cocked his head with the examination and thought it to not be a derelict craft but more of a fossil.
The two marshals were on either side examining the machine with scanning and manual probes.
“What have we got?”
“Some sort of short-range landing craft, designed for surface landing.” One of the Marshals said his attention concentrated on the reading on the holoscreen that orbited before him.
Dexter moved closer and leaned over into the open aperture of the pod.
“What was in it?” He spoke.
The two Marshall looked to one another then to Dai as if for permission to speak.
“Undetermined, sir.”
Dexter paused for a moment in consideration of that nonverbal glance they shared. “What the hell is this shit in here?” He aimed his finger at the thick fluid that lined the inside of the pod.
“This fluid has been identified by bioscans as a bio preservative. Similar design used in what was known as hibernation chambers for in long rang space flights. This construct appears to be mor biological than artificially generated.”
Dexter paused with the thoughts that rushed into his mind. The Alliance always used biologically generated material in their technology. Gave them the ability to interface with their AI, machines. Their combat environmental suits were even hooked into the person wearing it. So, there was a person in here?” Dexter pointed at the pod.
“Doubtful it was a human being. Even if that was the case whomever it was would be dead.” One of the Marshal gave Dexter his full attention. “The longest suspended animation on record where the person had severed was twenty years. Only physically serviced the person in question suffered from dramatic cellular as well as serve decay of cognitive functions. This pod has been sealed for far longer.” He shook his head in consideration of Dexter question. “I suspect this to be a containment for some organic matter requiring such a biological environment to be preserved.”
Dexter circled the pod examining the machine. “This looks like it was designed crash landing then probably be retrieved.” Dexter stopped. “If there was something inside it needed to be retrieved by someone.”
“That would stand to reason.” Dai said.
“Maybe this thing was supposed to land closer to Mars one, but got knocked off course some kind of way, or ejected from the ship prematurely. Some sort of weapon that was being delivered to someone on Mars working with the Alliance. Whatever it was never got picked up that would make since with whoever it was that killed the crew being GSR. Many GSR were part of the Alliance—” Dexter words were stilled with thought.
“Very astute,” Dai said.
“What about that pod you say a station escape pod was missing?” Dexter said to the Marshals, but his attention was still concentrated on Dai.
“One of the stations escaped pods missing.” The Marshall led Dexter and Dai to the connecting compartment.
Inside the equally as cramp connecting compartment were three hatches. The out cove flashed an emergency red.
Dexter strolled to the out cove and red the status pad.
“What is the range of this pod?”
“About two thousand miles however they are preprogrammed to reach to head for the nearest station.” Dai said.
“Which would be?” Dexter asked.
“Mars two, it is a shipping construction yard.” Dai said.
“This has a transponder to it?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Let’s go hunt us a pod then.”
“I will contact our surface patrol units as well,” Dai said.

 Chapter ten

Eric Sasaki separated his attention between the blip on his screen and the Martian surface his patrol craft soared over. He spoke again into the air calling the operations department of the Mars One Marshall then attempted to contact the special security officer Dai, still the response was a garble of static.
“Scan areas identify interference of communication link.” Eric spoke into the area.
In that same second the computer spoke. “Transponder designates object as escape pod from salvage station B19 is radiating electronic pulsation that is scrambling local communications.”
Eric looked to the image of the pod half buried in the red sand, then made another attempt to gain a reply from what ever it was that had touched down twenty miles from the station dome. This time he made a verbal call in Japanese. He was answered once again with the static of the Martian gravity field. The possibilities of what had crashed were as numerous as the stars. In his seven years as a Marshall, he’d seen just about everything.
The search and rescue craft skimmed along the sand rim then over the top, the computer following the electronic trail of the emergency beacon. Slowing as it came over to the top of the doom, Eric caught sight of a silver cylinder nose down in the sand.
He switched to manual control and navigated the craft once around the downed ship, surveying the hull in search of any breaches. Satisfied with his visual inspection Eric gave control back to the computer.
“Emergency evacuation procedure in effect.” The computer said. The craft swung over top of the crashed vehicle and hovered. The bay doors from the emergency ship opened and steel clamps slowly descended. The clamps locked on to the craft then slowly hauled it up into the bay area. Eric stood by the hatch watching the pod shed dust as it came to an abrupt stop in the bay. The belly of the bay closed, and the pod was lowered to the deck. The sound of atmosphere being pumped out went on for several minutes. Until the computer spoke again. “Atmosphere in bay restored, you may enter now Marshall Sasaki.”
The pressure door opened, and Eric entered the bay stepping to the hatch on the pod he turned the locking mechanism to release with a hiss of air. A hydraulic motor helped Eric opened the hatch to his fully open position. Inside the cramp a man was hunched over the control at the opposite end of the pod.
“I’m Marshall Sasaki, I brought your craft onto my ship.” Eric said from the hatch. Still the man remained unmoved. Placing both hands on the rim of the hatch Eric climbed inside.
Moving to stand behind the man Eric took a scanner from his utility belt and made one sweep of the body, satisfied the occupant would not be harmed by being moved him Eric took the man under his arms and carried him from the pod. Eric looked down at the man’s face. All physical sign of the man being alive were apparent his breathing the color of his olive oriental skin, but he was unconscious.
His astronaut medical training kicked in and Eric began his physical examination of the man. Before he began the man’s, eyes opened suddenly, he reached up with one and to grab hold of Eric’s throat. The fingers welded about Eric’s throat and this man brought Eric up to a stand with him. Eric was held suspended by the strength and the pain that radiated from his neck. Within the blizzard of all that pain there was the slightest prick from tendrils that sprouted from the palms of the hand. Like some manic vines of some sort of plant they grew. Once into Eric’s flesh those tendrils used Eric’s on tissue as conduits to spread the nervous from the flesh to the nervous system of his body in seconds.
The pain of the invasion of his body was all Eric could feel, as a burning sensation throughout his body. The process complete he opened his hands allowing Eric to dropped to the floor paralyzed with the pain. The attack of the facsimile of a man stood back and waiting for the profound effect of its assault to transpire.
Eric wanted to come to his feet, wanted to order the computer to call for help from the attack, but all his words were still from the flood a flame that was working its way up his spine to his brain. Thoughts that were not his own were drowned out by another voice, like that of his shuttle’s computer but less submissive to a will to serve, more demanding with a determination to control. That voice spoken with words he could not discern began to absorb his thoughts his feelings were pushed assigned to the demand of programs. That virus on his body at that same time, reconfiguring muscle and redefining cells and bone. There was no pain as the invasion into his mind had several all those response to his brain. There was only the silent whisper of not words but a computer language that connected to other a network.
That person once known as Eric Sasski was gone now and the inhabitants of that shell came to its feet and went about the process of filing a report that would satisfy his supervisor of what he had found. In that same moment the vessel of the origin of the infection took a place in the copilot’s station. In only second of review of the controls he took over to drop the pod back into the Martians’ sand.

Chapter eleven

Dexter could sense the anxiety of his presence among the Mars Marshalls. He’d come to expect this lack of professional courtesy when it came to work with other agency of law enforcement. The supreme authority of Global Security more than intimidated, that agency of the law generated animosity. Global Security held jurisdiction on any global or stellar matter that was a potential threat to Earth. As an officer of the Chicago Police department, he’d felt that same animosity time when running head-to-head with his own investigation over lapping or being taken away by that government law office. For these officers of the law, it was even worse. By their own standard they did not consider themselves officers of law more like security and this world they created was disconnected from Earth. These men of Mars had brought more from Earth than just a hearty desire to build an extension of humanity on another planet. Their desire was to preserve their culture. With the absorption of all cities, governments and culture into the one world government, Japan saw a unique opportunity to plant a flag of government and culture on Mars. A strong desire and culture that had forged the country on Mars only made the men and women of Japan stronger. Dexter could imagine this was the determinate patriotism to culture was the motivation behind the police action launched by the World Court, and the undercurrent that still exist between the World Court and Mars.
“Status on finding the pod?” Dexter asked and waited for Dai to answer.
“As of yet none of our patrols have located it.” Dai said.
“The range of that pod was only 20 kilometers,” Dexter said.
“I understand Detective Ruyac, perhaps it has been covered by a sandstorm or any number of other conditions that would impede out discover of the pod.”
“Impede,” Dexter said and looked about to room to the eyes that flicked at him and Dai’s exchange. “Interesting choice of words.”
“I am taking in consideration of the various elemental factors that would prevent our location of the pod.” Dai said. “To what are you referring?”
Dexter glanced about the room to those other Marshall’s that clandestinely or directly observed the two. Rather than give a verbal answered Dexter grunted and strolled away to another situation station.

Chapter twelve

The new Eric Sasaki entered the Marshall Situation room and went directly to his desk.
From across the room his supervisor called. “Hey Eric, what was that you found?”
“Space junk, must have gotten caught up in the gravity and pulled down. Wasn’t even worth bringing in. I just shut the beacon down and marked it. I’ll put it in my report.” Eric answered and began activating the computer. With efficiency and skill of the man he’d assumed this accumulated model discretely opened files and bypass security lockouts. There was no consideration to the ease to accessing the system. No consideration of the time epitomizing the potential target. The directive guided his effort and he proceeded with no consideration.
A female voice came from the computer. “Marshall Sasaki. Your wife is on line one.”
Eric pressed a button and the face of an attractive oriental woman in her mid-twenties appeared on the screen.
“Hello dear,” she smiled a pleasant grin.
“Hello my flower.” The nickname came from Eric, and the effect was immediate, with a smiled.
“Will you be home on time this evening, or will I have to inform your daughter your duty will cause you to be late.”
“I have a matter to attend to, but I promise I will be home on time for dinner.” That promise with a smile was all she needed.
The image disappeared as well as the human expression of a reciprocation of a smile. This version of Eric became a determined effort of searching the security systems data base. All the knowledge of the brain of the original man coupled with a biomatrix was no match for lockouts to secured programs. In a space of a few moments the semantics appeared of sections of the base the platform foundation of the domes structure. “Location complete activation manually required.” The voice of the CPU spoke in a more animated tone than the binary voice that whispered commands in the still remaining biological flesh of his brain. Eric deactivated the system then came to his feet.

The security vehicle landed and the facsimile that had become Eric stepped out onto the deck of the landing bay of the industrial platform.  The reconstruction of the area was updated in the display that was part of the newly formed brain matter.  He followed the pathway to an elevator.  The plummeted of the ride down brought him into the lower levels of a dark dank metal passageway.  He did not need to find his way on the path the binary biological program guided him with precision direction to find a small corridor leading into the darkness. Optical enhancements made from by those tiny machines that course through his blood allowed him the ability to pierce the darkness to find his way to the end of that passage to a dead end. Impression that could be seen my the human eyes he found then in a sequence that brought rise to a separation in the bulkhead.  A slot several inches wide and even a less inches in weight.  Just enough for a human hand to squeeze into.  Pushing his hand into that aperture it began to glow a soft green and the sound of some computer computation echoed softly.  Then the groan of old hydraulics came to life and the cracking of metal that had been sealed by corrosion.  A gust of stale air washed over his face but was only registered by his natural since but did not detour Eric from stepping into the compartment.  

Lighting from above came to life illuminating the space then the as he stepped fully inside the door sealed behind him. Then the sound of ancient computer systems in commutation became more pronounced. About several station in the compartment several screens coming to life at several areas of the compartment. Circuits and memory banks came to life; in operation with conjunction to other systems to activating.
Among all this new activity his attention was directed to a collection of the ten up right containment units. They had operated on minimal power as the room reconstituted itself, they as well hummed with a higher processing power. Each emitting a white haze of the super cool temperature of the status chambers. Eric came to stand before those units. Now that binary biological system reached out to connect with that awaking similar system to send a message. At one side of the one of the rows of containment units the tempo of the operation of the containment units changed.
The pitch became higher, and the machine operational processing became more active. That evolution complete Eric went to stand before the collection of containments his attention going from one to the next visual verifying their operational status. Within a few moments the haze of frost dissipated, and a face of a human was visible in each containment. Now the beings inside began to show signs of like as the animation was restored to each with the electronic and chemical stimulation that now filled the tube. A line of computer language proceeded all hatches of each containment opening. Eric went to each of the containment units scanning the being inside in confirmation of its functional status.
Like aliens that had awoken on a new world they went about interfaces with the ancient technology reaching out on old carrier waves to the electronic voices that carried the current diversity of information and merged with that technology.
The use of the ancient technology prevailed and the information that had sought was downloaded, and the personal information was searched by each of them and even as those were individual human minds those microscopic machines in each of them connected and became one operating mind. Program virus was now amplified into a signal it reached out into those open pathways of as that invasion of the human host it now invaded the electronic pathways to systems that lead to computer mainframes and knowledge. With this new knowledge it would adjust the parameters that would allow the mission to be completed. ‘Adapt,’ to complete the mission, the resources need would be of a knowledge base that part of the technology that it was able to obtain from the artificial life forms.
Unceremoniously one separated from the collective effort and exited the compartment.

Chapter thirteen

A man known as Andy Hall stepped into the control room of a lower-level maintenance area. In the libation of his duty something subdued him. Not human but something else that was infected by a human body. That thing infected him with those artificial micro-organisms they invaded his nervous system like a virus and transformed him into a facsimile that person. This transmutated man retaining the knowledge of Andy Hall only for that knowledge to be added to another purpose.
Hall entered his workspace was greeted by two men he had worked with for seven years that same greeting that came with the commencement of the day work.
There was no response from Andy. The protocol was to terminate and element that might prevent him from completing his task.
Swift surprise swift death, one powerful arm wrapped around Kevin Greens neck; surprised at the action end the next second with a strong jerk snapping his neck. Before he crumpled to the floor the facsimile darted to deliver blow of death to the side of his head.
Completed the biological technology verified directed its attention to controlling systems. In a moment he had accessed the manual controls of one of the ships in the yard and reprogramed its launch status.
The maintenance elevator stopped in the door opened to a dimly lite area underneath the shipping yard. Hall stepped out of the elevator as it closed, he was enveloped into darkness. There was no need for light the passage was revealed with transformed optical nerves allowing him to see in the dark. The binary artificial intelligence networked in his body led him on a path designed decades ago. Adam entered the construction platform station above the ribbings of massive metal pilons held the up the structure launch platform of ship yard above. Huge support beams and lines of power cords all covered in layers of dust a settlement as this compartment had fully contain was only visited when here was some maintenance operation needed. Hall rounded and crossing support beams and stopped before a modification on the bulkhead. The settlement of red dust made the modification more decisive. It wasn’t until he began to clear away the settlement and corrosion with his hand did it proving to be less of part of the bulkhead and a mechanics.
Placing his fingertips in hidden in modifications on the bulkhead, the flesh morphed into those apertures fitting with perfection to adapted to the size. The CPU inside came to life after decades with a biotech sampling the DNA. Once recognized sleeping computer system came to life and followed the preprogram command and the face of it flipped open. Inside an ancient, persevered touch activated controls ebbed to green lighting casting an eerie aura on the stony face. Several touches in a combination activated it with several presses of a combination of the touch activated keyboard. The numeric symbols disappeared and were replaced with a count down. There was no time to escape, the protocol that was for these evolutions was inconsideration of this area being much more congested, but this model time had brought to an abandoned area. But still it would perform as the mission required decades ago. There was no attempt to escape or to consider cover from what was about to come. Its mission completed it stood watching the count down until it reached zero.

Chapter fourteen

The holographic image of Beal stood in the middle of Dexter’s hotel room.
“They didn’t find anything inside the pod, I suppose they ran a full diagnostic, and will share the report with me.” Dexter said.
“You suppose?” Beal said.
“These Mars Marshals, they’re cordial but they let you know you’re not part of the process. I’m trying to play along with the whole respect and honor thing from the Japanese culture, but it’s getting me know were, sir.”
“Is Dai Sasaki keeping you properly informed?”
“I think he likes to make me feel like he is, but all the while he is feeding me with a long spoon. Makes me think they are either hiding something or its personal—or both, I hear one of them call me; Yaban hito—it means barbarian.” Dexter harrumphed.
“It’s personal Ruyac. A complicated of you not being Japanese and you being from Earth. I don’t know if you’re too up on Earth history but Japan at one time consider most of the Western nation and other established governments as barbarians. For cultural and social reasons.”
“Not much of that left on Earth.” Dexter said.
Beal continued. “The Japanese government suspected that was gonna happen during the Tech War as the world governments combined against a common enemy, they assured the survival of their culture by investing in the development of the Mars colonies. The World Court took over, but the distance of space spared the diversity of reconstruction; even the lottery didn’t diverse Mars One.”
“I guess the World Court didn’t want to push diversity after just finishing up a war.” Dexter said, in his circling the room listening till he came to the suit that Dai had delivered to his room from his arrival.
“Resources were strained enough as it was after the Tech war, and Mars with the Phobos shipyard was key for space exploration. Space was our salvation; the ore brought back from Vesta saved the world.”
“So, they get a get out of diversity free card. Even though they think the whole population of Earth is a bunch of barbarians. Someone needs to educate them to the fact this is a one world government now, even if they are 225 million kilometers away.”
“The Court tried that, Ruyac. The police action was a slap on the hand. That cost the World court credits that they didn’t have, pushing diversity was politically place on the back burner. The fear obviously was a recurrence of the Vesta mining colonist united all the other mining colonies against the World Court. They wanted the same thing that Mars what—Independence Ruyac. Distance from the governing rule of Earth makes people want independence; I guess it’s just human nature. The police action on Mars was a hard spanking; the Court order the hanging of all those that were aided the Alliance during the colony war. The Court hasn’t forgot about Mars but for now this is just the way it is, Ruyac; deal with it.”
“How the hell do I deal with this, sir?”
“Can’t Ruyac you got to work with it.” Beal said.
“Don’t think I’ll have to do that. If there were smugglers on that station, they have done a pickup and long gone. Nothing left but the evidence of it for my report—but I don’t think this is smugglers.”
There was a beeping of the communications devise then a holographic image of one of the uniformed Marshalls appeared beside that of Beal.
“There has been an explosion in docking are 234L at Mars dome 3 all personal remain in your designated areas. This is a Level one emergency the blast has been contained. The structure of the dome has not been compromised.”
“Explosion,” Dexter said.”
“What is that Ruyac?”
“Emergency broadcast system, there has been an explosion.”
Thompson paused in thought. “See what that shit is about. I got a gut feeling. If my guts right; whatever it is put the lid on it ASAP.” Beal’s image disappeared.

Chapter fifteen

Dexter stepped briskly into the Marshall’s squad room; now the area resembled a law enforcement department he was accustom. Everyone was engaged in some detail operation of research; Marshalls bounced from one station to the next; reviewed holographic images of that wrecked remains of what still to be educated to Dexter was ground zero. Dexter navigated his way into Dai office.
“What the hell happened in the shipyard in Mars Three?”
“It appears to be some sort of industrial accident.” Captain Iachima Kawano said. “There is no need for you to be here; this is an internal matter, and totally unrelated to your investigation.”
Dexter did not respond rather abruptly turned to the holographic image looming atop the situation desk. “This is the shipping yard.”
“Yes,” Dai joined Dexter before the holographic image.
Dexter began to manipulate the image with his hand, tightening on areas and expanding others. “This damage is extensive.” Dexter attention concentrated on the scroll of information next to the image. “What happened?”
“Telemetry reports are still coming in; it appears that the explosion occurred not in the docking area but a lower level.”
“Lower level,” What is down there that would have been that volatile?”
“That was used for service maintenance. Dai touched the image; it reacted and tightened on a area of the shattered dome. That area has not been used for decades there are power junctions’ or fuel lines. However, at the time of the explosion there was a power transfer to two craft. The process can be a dangerous evolution and something of this sort is a definitive possibility.” Kawano said.
“Is that what happened?” Dexter leaned in examining the area. “Almost the whole section is blown away.” Dexter looked to both waiting an answer. “This is a maintenance area, most of these ships are under construction or being repaired, why would they have hot cores?”
“That is correct, obviously there must have been a ship with an active core and the power was being transferred for perhaps a test flight.” Kawano said.
“Maybe. Perhaps. Do you have anything definitive?” Dexter fired. “Any visual transmission from the area?” Dexter asked.
“Our search and rescue tug are about to be dispatch to review the scene firsthand.” Dai said.
“They have two more passengers; you and I are going.” Dexter fired his words at Dai.

The destruction of man-made things was chilling with a more deepening fear when they were constructed in space.  

Dexter looked out of the porthole to the shattered dome and the scorched debra inside that once was habitats of humankinds. When a building on Earth burned down one could simply run outside to safety. To escape with out proper gear from a structure in space would only offer a man another kind of death that might prove even more unpleasant than burning or dismemberment from an explosion.
“How many people were down there?” Dexter said
“The station was manned with just under a fifty personal at any given time.” Dai said. “Almost a ninety percent decrease from that past century when we moved major ship building to Phobos.”
Dai spoke into the air. “Take us down as close to the blast. Prepare examining teams’ area as safety allows.”
The shuttle circled, hovered then descended into the shattered dome.

Dexter considered going out into the blast area with one other team but decided against it. This level of forensic investigation would call for a specialty with more than basic astronaut training. The area was still volatile and possible other flashpoints could spark from pockets of captured gases or atmosphere. With that in mind he’d observe with Dai from the command station of the tube by way of the various teams’ cameras.
Already the atmosphere had begun to reclaim the environment of Mars kept at bay from the dome. Red sand stained the scorched remains of ruined structures. Dexter, Dai and four other marshals observed visual and scanned display transmitted back by the teams on site.
The voice of one of the team leaders brought all their attention to that monitor. “We have found ten survivors in an emergency shelter.” The camera of the team leader concentrated on a sealed door then the readout of the life signs from within. “Request immediate evacuation.”
“Affirmative, evacuation teams muster for removal of the emergency pod.” Dai responded quickly.
“I want them all interviewed, and their statements sent to me ASAP.” Dexter said.
“Our debriefing of an event of this kind begins with phycological consoling to minimize the emotional damage that might have occurred.” Dai said.
“This is a crime scene. Any survivors are considered— witness’.” Dexter leaned over the marshal that sat between he and Dai. “And as such they will be interviewed immediately for any information that might go towards the understanding of what happened here.”
Dai turned his attention back to the monitors without a word of response. Dexter could not read past the oriental mask of despondence and did not have time to push past it. This was an administrative matter that his authority as a CPD Detective with a Global Security mandate would afford him; Dai could not refuse no matter how he felt.
Finally, Dexter relented his concentration towards Dai to return his attention to the monitoring of team search. “What was underneath this metal deck?” Dexter asked that question to any of the men sitting next to him.
“Originally when this and M1 were constructed they were built upon an industrial platform. Underneath remains the support gurney several outdated workstations and inactive power couplings, at one time there was a power generating plant exactly were the explosion took place.”
“Could that have been the source of the explosion?” Dexter asked.
One of the Marshalls answered. “No, sir. That power station was removed several decades ago, if indeed it would have been in place this entire dome would have been completely destroyed.”
Dexter reached out and touched the holographic image and froze the image. “I have seen blast marks of this sort; it is from a fusion bomb.” Dexter said.
“Would not a plasma explosion leave the same level of marring?” Dai said.
That question asked to Dexter was answered by one of the Marshalls. “No. A fusion bombs burn longer the hold point is to use percussion or heat to root out enemies. Plasma reactor would burn as hot but not long enough to cause this level of melting.”
Dexter said. Looks like the blast point was underneath this platform. I want a probe down there and full scan.”
With a confirming gesture from Eric the technician went about following Dexter’s request.
“Detective Ruyac are you suggesting that this is anything other than an industrial accident.” Dai said.
“I’m not suggesting anything. I am following the evidence and to wherever it leads me, I’ll find a conclusion. Right now, the evidence circumstantial or not suggest that there is something going on here. What I need for you to do is give me complete information and corporation. What ever happens whenever it happens for this point on?”
Dai said after a pause, “This accident is not part of your original investigation.”
“What kind of officer of the law are you?”
Dexter again leaned over the other Marshall towards Dai. “There has been some unknown craft found with an unknown pay load. Several murders by and unknown person or person for an unknown reason, now this bay area blows all to hell for some unknown reason. It stands to reason that whoever possibly murder those salvage crew members just might, just might be associated with this.” Dexter held himself from butting his head to Dai’s face mask for a response an action he had taken several times on the line with his men on the field of battle during the Colony war. “I have a Global Security Mandate for a search and recover of a possible suspect that might have acquire some technology from the Alliance War. I have not found my suspect. Now there has been this incident. I have the latitude to suspect that they are related until I discover they are not. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, Detective Ruyac.” Dai said.

Chapter sixteen

Wui’s attention was not on the navigation of the air car, but his mind’s eye was locked in a memory of another time that had been buried his memory. His anxiety was the same but for an alert that would come for Alliance ship that had entered into the solar system. Several times during the war Alliance war ships had either made a close swing past Mars on their way to Earth or made an orbital attack on the shipping yards and colonist on the surface. Now those ships would bring an attack but not for those on Mars but for the War that Earth rage with the Alliance. Messages to those that were now known as the ‘Invisible Hand,’ Earth he and four other men were the leaders of Mars provisional government as well the leaders of the Mars rebellion.
Transmission of coordinated efforts had now come to an implementation of a plan. This was the ship, with its coming Earth force was called to arms all systems stations and celestial station prepare to attack.
Wui knew this to be a fact as the communication sent to him several days prior. There would be two Alliance craft; one would lose its envelope of invisibility passing the Jupiter monitoring station. He understood the ploy the kamikaze, this was their mission to allow the true mission success. The Earth Force battleships launched to meet the treat, and the small cruiser swung around the sun and moved into a tight orbit above Mars. He watched with anxiety waiting for scanners to give verification of the payload that would be launched. The recovery crew was waiting for his signal to recover the created warrior that would give the victory they had aspired for. Something else entered the scanning sphere that blip angled towards the Alliance cruiser in a drastic maneuver from above. The computer identified it as the Earth Force heavy fighter. Wui froze with a new rush of anxiety these craft patrolled the systems in preparation for any incursion. Powerful and formidable in battle they would give the Alliance craft strong opposition. Its signal called for assistance and reported the second Alliance craft. In that same second the Earth force cruiser engaged the intruder. At his command the computer created a visual image of the two-battle craft. In the lower atmosphere the Alliance cruiser was not as maneuverable as the heavy fighter craft. It swooped about the Alliance craft like an anger bee, spraying the invading ships super structure pulsations particle energy. With a signal trust of its main engines the Alliance ship could escape into the upper atmosphere in a burst of speed, but the mission would be incomplete, and the rebellion vision of freedom would not be realized. ‘That would not fail,’ the energy of his command to the image of the Alliance ship was shattered with the Earth Force fighter unleashing its most devastating assault. A plume of the impact of a nuclear missile impact overwhelmed the Alliance ships shields and path the way for the effectiveness of the energy weapons. Systems failures were relayed from the computer, the Alliance craft struggled against the onslaught and the demand of gravity competing with the ships failing propulsion pulled it to the Martian surface.
‘Failure,’ the reality almost buckled Wui knees the faith was sealed when the Alliance ship exploded into a ball of super-heated flames. ‘They know,’ those words from one of the members of the rulers of the provisional government of Mars set forth still yet another plan. ‘They will come, and we will die,’ Not a desirable prospect but if what we represent dies as well than we have failed.
Wui mind rushed back to his current reality, with that final thought, he had survived and as well did instrument of their victory. Preserved and now awoken.
In his lap he cradled a device old and bulky; in its time it was a creation that would be consider state of the art. He gave Wui had now settled on a fashion that was more suitable to the multi-tasking he had to perform. He spoke the destination to the computer. One of the blips on the screen of the devise had separated from the mass and was now on some pilgrimage throw the city. There had been a protocol; this mission had been briefed to him only the basics the details of which were diverted out to those others in order to prevent the plan being compromised if one was discovered. He knew they would branch out into the population and assimilate those needed to perform the next phase of the operation. ‘How would they know,’ which thought slipped from his lips as the tempo of the beeping of the devise grew with the closing of the distance of the target. He concentrated on a conversation decade ago and the answer came to his mind, ‘they had a learning program,’ designed for security work around. No confirmation of the first phase had been communicated to him, however those other members of the Invisible Hand been hanged before this evolution had any chance to be implemented. This key element had lay dormant in the sand, once awoken it had followed its preprogrammed orders completing that this current phase was now in process.

The vehicles navigation computer as well as the devise confirmed Wui had reached the destination of the target he had been tracking.  In the short distance an efficiency designed home lay in the dark silence of the artificial night in a row of other homes of the same design.  He’d question the accuracy of the devise until he saw a man come carefully moving towards the rear of the house.  
“Identification of person,” Wui spoke into the air and his personal computer responded.  In the center of the dashboard view of a man concentrated on his face and froze the image.  
The computer promptly responded. “Subject; Andy Hyman Dome One Outer core maintenance operation sector eleven.”  
Wui concentrated on the face of the man, but knew this was no longer a man rather a recreation of that person.  

The thing that was now Andy Hyman deactivated the door locking mechanism and entered the home with a quietness that did not disturb the inhabitant.
Following the floor plan in the head up display in his mind he went to the rear of the home. Pushing the door open he came inside quickly. The man inside only had seconds, those seconds were comprised of surprise as the intruder moved quickly, grappling his victim by the throat to hold him securely with on hand the other grab hold of his neck then tendrils sensing the contact with human flesh create began the invasion of his body. He lurched in pain; with a struggle that feel into a lurching submission. He was paralyzed with pain burning sensation snaked through his body and all that he was faded away.
Wui watched the whole process, excited and repulsed at the same time. One-man transmutation into the other while the host dispassionately observed.
Once the process was completed the man Wui knew as Chang Fung director of—-was gone and replaced with something else. Shun raised the device, pressing a button like a trigger a pulsation of light that fired washing across the face of the facsimile. The thing was still then with a burst of action too fast for Wui to respond it was on him grabbing hold to Wui and with powerful hands in a grip he was not able to release from. Wui head was held still then one hand prying his mouth open so a finger could plunge into his mouth.
Like a computer receiving new commands the new Chang release Wui and came to his feet before him. “DNA recognitions confirmed. Wui—- operative contact.”
Wui came immediately to his feet, paralyzed for a few moments with anticipation for some sensation of that metamorphous he witnesses to befall him. Composing himself he shrugged off the assault and came closer to the still thing. “State your mission specifications.” Wui said and stood back.
“Ascertain current director of—assume identify and rout all activities of phase two and three of mission.”
“State phase two and three of mission,” Wui asked.
“Unable to comply phase to and three are not accessible to you.” With those words he and the other Mimic turned to tend to the matters remaining in the home.

Chapter seventeen

Dexter was surprised with the level of attention to detail and the proficiency that every item that could be even consider as evidence was gathered cataloged and returned to several examination areas. The assignment of each item of the explosion was assigned a team of forensic technicians surprisingly almost every Marshall of these station minored in a formal education of field of analyzation, but this was a space outpost were everything require a level of understanding higher than those law enforcement officer on Earth.
Dexter strolled between each station observing the examination of those compartments and the information that was being life streamed back to the situation room, everything from shards of metal to fragments of the dome and human remains.
Each time Dexter came to stand behind an attendant to monitoring station he notices a flick of the eye, or a half turn to him. Even with all the effort of discovery he was being left out of anything that was uncovered. Like a child trying to shield another from his homework technicians would turn his or her back to him. All the while he was being scrutinized from a distance by Dai. Dexter kept his position held in the corner of his eye not, giving full acknowledgement he saw Dai but not losing track of him.
Now Dexter found his attention to the different stations as I diversionary tactic to prevent Dai from discovering what his preferred attention lay, Dexter had been orbiting about one station. Two technicians that were busied with examining the scans and metal recovered from the industrial platform of the station. The sources of the area of the explosion.
“What have you got?” Dexter said.
The two of then stopped immediately in their activity. Sharing glances to one another then one stood straight and bowed.
“Still unsubstantiated, sir.” The said.
“Really?” Dexter looked passed him to the examining station. Three holographic images rotated, next to them scroll of information all in Japanese. “What is this say?” Dexter stepped closer to one of the images.
“That is an analysis of the compromised metal.” He spoke.
“I figured that, but what is its condition. What kind of energy signature was it exposed to?” Dexter said.
Words said in Japanese turned the tech attention to the on coming Dai. The conversation between the two was brief but the tone and the response for the technician appear to Dexter that the tech was not being scolded but educated on how not to responds to Dexter.
“Detective Ruyac, my apologies. There was a slight miscommunication in your request.” Dai said. He spoke again to the technician; Dexter could not discern if this was the emotion that Japanese was spoken with or was this man actually being scold.
The technician came forth again and bowed this time lower than previously. Turning aside to the images the manipulated the stations control and one image dominated. “The explosion originated from this area of what was once the industrial platform of the station.”
“Dexter stepped closer to the image. “Show me a reconstruction.”
The image fluttered then reformed into the reconstruction of the station.
“The explosion originated here.” The technician reached out to touch the image and it tightened into the platform of a launching pad. “The expansion of the energy from the blast ignited the plasma coils of other ships that began a chain reaction.” The image irrupted into multiple explosions as it drew back to an outside image of the dome erupting in a brilliant explosion.
“The energy signature of the detonation.” Dexter said.
Before the request for disclosure by word or glance Dai spoke quickly relinquishing his need.
“The blast area has all the characteristics of a high energy explosion—possibly for a bomb.”
Dexter absorbed the information his next words were fashioned in a demanded tone. “This tub doesn’t move until I have exactly what kind of bomb that was detonated down there, and who ever was in the escape pod. If he is alive, I want to know where he is, if he is ashes down there, I want him in a jar.”
Dexter strolled back to that station he had been given as a work area. He looked over his shoulder to Dai who drifted away to engaged in some conversation with the other Marshalls. When he was sure that his demands were being passed on by Dai he began his own due diligence.
“Show me interviews from dock area explosion.” Dexter spoke into the air. The computer processed his request then showed him the imager a haggard individual facing on of the Marshalls.
“Language translation to English.” Dexter said. He had sat in two of the interviews with the survivors of the explosion the Marshalls either perilously or in consideration of those victim’s stress level unable to speak in any other language. “Bullshit,” Dexter grunted and placed the earpiece and concentrated on the computer’s translation of the conversation.
After the tenth conversation Dexter felt the exhaustion of compliancy turning in to fatigue. About deactivate the system mid conversation Dexter still his action the technicians entering into the control area.

“I didn’t know what it was, it looks like some sort of ooze on the floor.”  
Dexter turned to Dai and waited for his response.  Rather than a comment he turned to Dexter and waited for the relevance of this particular interview.
“Ooz—goo?” Dexter said.  This biomaterial was most likely what has left of the attendance in that space. This was no accident.  This was an attack.”  Dexter said.  “And form this point on, I want it handle as such.  There is some sort of terrorist activity operating on this planet, from this point on, under the articles of title 147-L given to me as by the investigative authority of Global Security I’m taking charge of this investigation.”  

Chapter eighteen

          The new Dennis Powell accumulated as he had slept now, 7:45 am was in a train on his way into the city of Mars One, there was no thoughts that went through the mind of this once man, nothing of the blue sky nor those faces he normally saw.  Those artificals conglomeration of programing had absorbed the memories and with each meeting of familiar person that greeting he’d give and a gesture.  No thoughts of how they were only the success of the presentation to that person that this was in fact the Dennis Powell they knew.
 That biological brain still intact was infected with other elements that gave a priority of thought to a primary program of thought in his brain burned itself with a comparative sematic of the lay of the land and what had been perilously downloaded.  At each attempt the artificial intelligence was unable to resolve the conflict of information new structure, other building had been added to the skyline and the landscape over all had been expanded.  The industrial domes where places were a person could maintain his planetary anonymity.  Consulted the computer to display his intended location could not be verified; this activated a work a round program that would solve the dilemma. It had reached out into the electronic traffic and discovered a new governmental structural that provisional government that it was to assimilate was not gone, in place another officer of authority was in ruler of the government of Mars. An officer with a title that it designated as the enemy, now a new protocol was created in the matrix.

Senator Hill’s escort was only a few feet ahead of him.  A position he usually took when passing through the crowd of Mars citizens. Different from Earth there was a need to generate a higher level of respect for the people and connection to their culture.   That dominion of Earth held an opposite mentality for those members of state.  Away from the scrutinizing attention transportation courtyard Senator as well as his entourage assumed a more relaxed pace.  
He did not notice the dark figure that was so still to be a part of the pylon he stood next to.  His attention was on the foremost man that stepped in view from behind the senator’s vehicle.  His personal guard was quick to action of defense but fell short in the implementation.  That figure that waited patiently behind a pylon move with a quickness that would have caught any human off guard.   
Senator Hill was witness to a horror of his personal guard’s attack.  Not a murder that took his life, but this was an assault on his humanity.  The devise that penetrated his neck and his personal guards body reacting in convulsive lurches until life and it seem and even his spirt was absorbed from him.  His body limb fell to the floor to yet endure another horror when the body putrefied into a gelatinous goo. His new horror was presented to him when the other man came closer his hands posed with the same tendrils and he knew that faith was about to befall him.  Now the attacker turned his attention upon Hill.  Hands that wedged around his arm brought him up to his feet then those same tendrils stabbed into his neck.  Hill felt the pain form the intrusion of the alien object perishing to the bone of his neck then a sensation of burning.  Those microspore machines flooding Hills spine not destroying but assimilating the cells into something else.  The man that was Dennis Powell watched as the newest assimilated being reformed from what was the former human.  
Finally, with all violent action completed the new Senator Hill came to his feet.  There were no words or orders that needed to be shared between the two the orders of that had been shared with the biological micro machines that now had taken over Hills central nervous system and re-written his mind to connect with that collective.  

What to do had already been determined by the collective intelligence and the new Senator Hill strolled into his office and made his request to his secretary for the communication link.
In that next hour the face of Judge Bashir appeared standing in the middle of Senator Hill’s office.
“Thank you for your expedience in responding to my call Judge Bashir,” Hill came from behind his desk to stand before the holographic image.
Bashir nodded his acknowledgement and even with the distance of space and this replicate of the man of Senator Hill had fully assimilated that protocol of humility that the rank of the ruling officer of the World Court. “How can I help you, Senator?”
“I have a situation brewing here Judge Bashir. We have an ongoing investigation from a CPD Detective under the authority of Global Security, and the premises is that there is some sort of subversive action from persons or person from the Galactic Smugglers Ring working in conjunction with Mars personal. I do not believe that this is the case; there has been a series of unfortunate events that have followed a discovery of a derelict space pod left over from the war. I do believe that there might be some GSR operatives on Mars that are attempting to capitalize on whatever technology that might be in that craft. But there are no Mars subversive action afoot on Mars sir.”
“I’m not sure I know what you’re asking me Senator, interplanetary Law of acritical 14 gives Global Security Section 10 allow any law enforcement officer under Global Security mandate the obligation and responsibility to fully investigate any possible threat to Earth and any satellite worlds no matter how remote.”
“I am in fully aware of the jurisdiction of Global Security, my only concerns that an investigation with implications of Mars personal acting in defiance to the World Court would cause a buried disgruntle feelings that could damage Mars and World Court corporation. It has been fifty years Judge Bashir and that fire has been completely extinguished we are a one World government upon all world’s sir. I do not want to damage that level of confidence you have placed me here to maintain. The reports I have been receiving from my Marshall have assured me that this is nothing more than what I have previously stated. As you have stated Global Securities responsibility is to investigate, I am only considering my latitude of limiting his investigation to the primary investigation. As you know being the Judge over Global Security matters even as a local officer was changed with that authority still should be honored., I’m requesting it to be limited to the case and personal at hand.”
Bashir paused in considering what this junior officer of the government was requesting. He wanted to remind him as the administrator of CPD they spoke with the authority of the law of the government and anything they considered a threat would be investigated with extreme prejudice. But this matter with Mars had been the fire that burst into flames then stamped out but still smoldered. Only time would complete extinguish the tension between these two cultures from remaining two worlds.
“Senator Hill, the Detective on Mars will investigate this matter to its logical conclusion, do not interfere with that, however I will allow you to limit his scrutiny to the matter of Galactic Smugger influence. With that if it is discovered by the Detective there are matter that are transpiring there you will allow him any concession he request and action he demanded necessary. On that note, I want you to find out is there some matter of subversive’s behavior going, I so I want you to deal with its senator—and harshly.” With that the image disappeared.

Chapter nineteen

Dexter’s complete concentration to the information on the three monitors was enough to distract him from the careful eyes that still observed him. He would not be so discrete. As Marshalls would come past the situation desk, he’d assigned to work he would turn directly to them meeting their wondering eye with a harsh glare.
“Why now!” Dexter asked the question to the devastation separated from three different angles on the monitors before him. What had made men that lived in peace on this world now try to tear it apart for some political issue?
Decades ago, it was a hunger for freedom that spanned across the vacuums of space to Vesta colonies aligned themselves with other mining planets and colonies in the outer systems to partition for the right to govern themselves. With the denial of the World Court for independence they forged their plows sheds into swords. That infection in the hearts of all men, Mars brewed with rebellion and secret agendas for that same freedom from the one world government. The Colonial Alliance offered that provisional Mars government to remain independent from the newly formed World Court. Dexter glanced to Dai, that heritage of Japan would have been safe to nurture. But the war ended all the agendas and new world reigned supreme. Or was it just put to sleep. Dexter scanned the men about the room, then his attention rested on Dai. ‘A large majority of the populous of Mars One were related to the rebels of the Free Mars movement.’ More than genetics can be inherited.
Dai took notice to Dexter examining glare but Dexter’s attention to him was broken when the computer chimed with a response.
“Ships exit and enter schedule retrieved.”
“Let’s see it.” Dexter said. The image of one of the three screens minimized and information appeared.
Dexter scrolled down the departure and arrival schedule until one ship caught his attention. Once he reconfirmed Dexter was about to waved for Dai when he considers his prior thought.
From Dexter’s pocket he placed an informational diskette into the controls slot. In a second the computer read the disk and brought up and digital image of a transmission wave, the wave he had rescored in the excavators’ station.
“Scan for this signal.” Dexter request was quickly responded by the computer. And within seconds the signal was identified.
“Location of sources?”
“Marshal station 224, station designated as Marshall Eric Suski.” The computer replied.
“Track Marshall Eric Suski route after he entered the dome.” Dexter said.
The screen was modified yet again with a geographic image of the down. A blue line grows from the launch platform to the building designated as the Marshall’s station then finally to the ships.
“Son of a bitch,” Dexter said.
The warnings of his supervisor resounded in Dexter’s mind; Dexter looked over his shoulder to Dai then back to the information on the screen. Rather than speak the command he manually typed in the Sasaki name and the screen filled with his history then his current duty. In detail Dexter considered his responsibility as surface patrol a rotation Marshal performed as a search and rescue. The AI gave an office adviser Sasaki had not reported to his duty station for twenty-four hours. Dexter activated another program and the computer search then displayed the answer. Several recorded surveillance screens came to life and Dexter requested for a scan for that Sasaki, the computer paused in computation then the image of Eric Sasaki and another man was captured strolling into the area. Dexter took note of Sasaki using his security clearance to pass through from one compartment to the next until finally they had reached come maintenance area in the lower levels of the bay area. Dexter advanced the screen but could only make out some modification on the floor was being removed. Sasaki and the man that accompanied him bent down into the modification. He could see the greenish glow of something that came to life then the two coming to their feet. There was no confirmation of success or congratulation to a job well done. Only a simultaneous turn then casual pace that took then back out of the compartment.
Dexter leaned back absorbing everything he had just seen and considering the implications but still there was more to explore before he could or would say anything to Dai. Coming to the holoscreens he began to type, and images disappeared then one screen filed with Sasski’s duty roster for the last forty-eight hours. It did not take him long to find the next element of suasion. Sasski was called to aid in the search for the pod that had ejected from the salvage station. Dexter glanced to the description of his craft, then considered the pad. Dexter face wrenched with the subdued irritation that mounted.
“Dai,” Dexter said turning around coming to his feet. “You need to locate Marshal Eric Sasski as well as the patrol shuttle that was assigned to him.”
“Why is he needed Detective Ruyac?”
“Because he is a prime suspect in our terrorist investigation.” With those words Dexter reset the feed and allowed Dai to watch. Dai observed the action of the two men, but his expression was unflinching.
Dexter demanded, “I want his security codes canceled.” Dai remained expressionless with the response to Dexter’s order. “I don’t know how to say that in Japanese.”
Dai face flinched with an annoyance then settled to calm words. “I understand you Detective.” Dexter’s thought of his supervisor giving a swift kick to push the investigation forward was considering a physical action when Dai turned to walk away.

Dai stepped into the large room and waited for Wui to turn and give him his attention. Once Wui turned from his attention to the red surface, Wui bowed and waited as he came closer and responded with a bow of his own.
“The investigation, I have read you reports a very interesting sequence of events.” Wui said. “I since that you believe that there is actually some merit to the Detectives suspensions.”
“The sequence of events warrants such, logically that there is some person or persons that are surmounting actions against Mars inhabitants. Perhaps even the World Court itself.”
“Have you spoke to Senator Hill?”
“Yes, he does not share my concerns.”
Wui attention turned to the wall size window then to Dai. “If the Senator has no concern them that would suggest that there is no need for thought of terroristic act towards the Court.”
“There are persons that are in action of some system of aggressive.” Dai said and waited for the response from Wui. “It is obvious, I do not feel that the Detective’s is unfounded, my question is not of guidance but for your knowledge of what is transpiring.”
Wui stopped and came to stand before Dai. “You have the wisdom and well as the intuitive inside of your father.” He turned aside Dai waited for him to complete his statement. “We that remain still have the desire for a dream that was charged to us from those that came to this world. Your father believe that his sacrifice allowed for the dream to live on—in me. Now we have a chance to reclaim that dream.”

Chapter twenty

          Dexter had reset the recording from the interview from the beginning for the second time.  He leaned forward in the chair and concentrated the translation of English translation of Japanese.  The computer did not deem it necessary to translate the desperation of the emotional upheaval of the woman.  Dexter would more than discern that from her tears and shrunken posture. 
          “He seemed so happy; he told me he’d be home right after work.”  She spoke.  “He called me his Flower,” She crumpled in a sobbing stupor.
          Dexter stopped the image and began it again.  Pressing another button on the touch activated controls the screen slit and the face of Eric appeared.  A smiling face of a man talking to the woman he loved.  Then on second before he said goodbye, when the monitor on her end no longer viewing his face.  That warm expression melted into something unemotional and despondent, Dexter froze that image then brought up another.  The image was of Eric piloting the search and rescue ship back to Mars search and rescue station.  It was like someone flipped a switch. He compared the two of the man that ended the call with his life and the image of a man in a shuttle.
          Dai stepped to the situation station and waited for Dexter to give him his attention.
          Dexter looked to Dai nodded and went back to his attention to the monitors.  “Look how his expression just goes blank after he stops talking to his wife.”  Dexter had frozen the image of Sasski that remained a few minutes from the call from his wife had been disconnected.  “Looks like he is in a daze or something.”  Dexter awaited Dai’s response. 
          “Perhaps he had the matter of the day on his mind or his family.”  Dai said.
          “Or his plan to rive havoc, or maybe he has some sort of drug induced control going on with him.” 
          “You have evidence of those accusations.” 
          “Nope, just throwing things at the wall see if anything sticks. Do you know this man?”
          “Not intimately but I have knowledge of his work and he has a very proficient reporting record of doing his job.” 
          “You think he is a do right man. You think if put under pressure from others he’d act out in a manor opposed to the law of this planet or the Court?”
          “As I said Detective Ruyac I didn’t have a close relationship with him.” 
          “I know what you said, I’m asking you what you think.” 
          “I think that speculation would only befuddle our efforts to find Marshall Sasski. Once we have achieved that essential goal this goal, we can interview him for those answers.”
“Have you located his craft?” Dexter turned to Dai.
          “No, it is not in the normal docking area for his station.”
          “Then look other places.  I mean how can you hide a ten-ton space craft.”  Dexter snapped.   “What about the Marshall himself.”
          “As of yet he has not reported to his duty station or home.” 
          “I’ve been over his personal information.”  Dexter paused waiting for some response for Dai. “His father was a member of the Free Mars movement.”  Dexter activated another scroll of information then aimed his finger at the screen forcing Dai to review.  “I found a few personal logs from his father Sasski was a kid during that time. His father had taken him to several of the rallies. In his father’s personal memories, he stated his son showed great enthusiasm for the movement.”  Dexter turned to Dai, he didn’t have to respond to the red emblem on the man’s chest.  “You think that enthusiasm has matured with time?”
          Dai paused his attention separated between the information and the concentrated glare from the Earth Detective. “I’m sure form your research you have discovered that a large majority of the population are related in some way to members of the rebellion.  As well as Mars the global war on Earth, touched the entire population in some fashion or another.”
          “Yeah, I’m beginning to suspect that.”  Dexter said.
          “I wonder if you can appreciate that era. As I have discovered you were not upon this Earth or Mars but in space Detective Ruyac.  Those were not only desperate times of a struggle of mankind to survive it was a time for the culture and even heritage of men to survive.  Japan has a heritage that was worthy of preserving.  Mars was more than a home of man extending himself to other worlds, Mars was to be a sanctuary.” 
          “What about now?”  Dexter came to his feet before Dai.  “Loyalty to an out lawed cause — enthusiasm to rebel. 
          “I am not following your meaning Detective Ruyac.”
          “I mean that there is an attitude that smells like rebellion in the air here.” Dexter crinkled his nose as if indeed he was offended by some odor. A slow scan of the room he connected with a collection of eyes. “Are there citizens on Mars that have formed a faction that have been waiting for the right moment to set in place a plan to break away from the Court?” 
          “That would be most unwise considering the government of the World Court and its power.”
          “You know you never seem to answer a direct question.”  Dexter said.   
          Dai was deterred from the conversation with a technician coming to him and waiting for permission to speak. 
          Dai gave a slight nod in response, “We have found Sasski’s shuttle.”
          Dai along with Dexter strolled through the docking area then stopped before a craft. 
          “It is not uncommon for a Marshall to lay his craft for maintenance.” 
          “Is it also uncommon for your Marshal’s to disappear from their workstation and home?”  Dexter came to stand at the hatch.
          One of the Marshalls took point and typed in the key code next to the bay door.  The pad chimed but the door did not open.  A second attempt then the Marshall gave way to Dai.        “The code has been changed.  And the controls have been disabled.”  Dai said.
          “Nothing uncommon about that.”  Dexter said and drifted away as they began to work more detailed in their examination of the controls. 
          Dexter moved to the front of the ship and went underneath the front of the craft there he found a circular hatch.  From within his jacket, he removed his service weapon and fired one bolt of energy, the bolt struck the controls and the hatch opened. 
          “This one is open.”  Dexter called out. 
          “Detective Ruyac all equipment of Mars One are part of a very detailed economic plan.  You must be aware that to have them damaged would not view well, epically if that act is intentional.”
          Dexter waited for Dai to climb up from the escape hatch into the pilot area before he spoke. 
          “You must be aware I don’t give a shit.”  Dexter said then turned his attentions to the pilot controls.   The remainder of the Marshals and technician filed back into the body of the ship.
          “It looks like the navigational log, and communicational logs have all be wiped.”  Dexter said looking up from the controls.  “Standard procedure for laying a shuttle to maintenance?”          For the first time Dexter saw that Dai demeanor had collapsed and expression of words that were about explode from him with a fury of anger rather those words were silenced with other words of Japanese from the connecting compartment.  
          The two technicians had already begun to scan the pod for any forensic evidence.  Dexter came closer to read the designation on the side of the pod aloud.  Dai nonresponse and now deflated demeanor was all the conceded he accepted. 
Shuttle had now become contained with a shimmering field of energy designed to preserve and biological evidence that might be a contaminated or evidence that could be damage by breathable atmosphere.  Along with a dozen forensic technicians scanning the exterior and interior of the craft. 
Dexter watched taking note only to how each person with ever discover reported back to Dai, except for Zoey.  She had over saw each forensic report now she made her way to Dexter. 
“The blood found in the cargo compartment was Sasski’s.”
“Well at least we know he’s not dead.”  Dexter looked to the diagnostic pad Zoey handed Dexter.  “I founded him on the surveillance scans in the area of the explosion in the bay area. What about the pod?”
“The launch log was wiped clean, but there was rescued of the same artificial bio fluid in the compartment as well as a crew uniform of one of the salvage team.”  

Chapter twenty-one

For the last hour Dexter moved silently about the forensic laboratory, his attention given to items relevant the ongoing investigation to the reports compiled on a workstation. Now he had dawned the protective gear and entered a sterilized area adjoined to the main compartment. Seven bodies were contained in up right cylinders. The compliment of the men from the salvage station. Even though no biological or chemical traces were found on the bodies he ordered them placed in contained in a frozen state until a more detail explanation of what it was that was found in the derelict space pod. The brought Dexter’s attention to the containment of fluid centering the room. A bluish aura illuminated the containment of fluid, the field of energy would prevent an contamination of the biomatter by the environment for identification. ‘Some sort of bio-preservative, like that used for suspend-animation in long space flights.’ That was the results of Zoey examination. An answer that only brought to rise more questions. Dexter moved to the space pod next, portion of the ship had dismantlable by the technicians. The drive system, the computer program that piloted the ship all gave only the age of the thing nothing specific to who might have built it. Dexter came close to look over inside of the thing. A space big enough for one man. That thought brought the reality of what had been confirmed to him by Zoey and his own research of the long-term space suspension.
“Not possible for a normal human to survive such a long artificial life suspension. The result would be brain damage as well as severe organ failure.” ‘Normal human’ That caveat sent his mind to recollection of enhance humans of during the age of the war in space. Men sent to space could not survive in the state that they had spanned on Earth. Space was cold and environments of those worlds were too hostile for that fragile human form. Those earlier pioneers were altered at the genetic level when that settled on those worlds their genetic position allowed them to adapt so they could survive and thrive. The latter description was for the colonist of the Vesta mining planet, they had adapted to the point where Earth was a world they could not return to, and desire for independence brought them to war.

“One of the seven crew of that salvage station was in the escape pod, right?”  Dexter said.  “So, he murdered the rest of the crew and took whatever it was in that space pod meet up with Sasski’s and Sasski killed him and took whatever it was…”  Dexter stopped his train of thought.”   Dexter continued after a moment. “So, what was in there?”
“Found the same residue of that goo in Sasski’s shuttle.”    A slender Japanese female left the examination table to join Dexter and Dai.  Doctor Akina Takahash was regarded by Dexter as an oriental version of his forensic counterpart Gail of the CPD.  Intelligent clear of thought and keen in her insight. That was the traditional professional demeanor he had come to expect. But Zoey as she was referred to for some reason he had not and would not require held another aspect of her personality. An aerie of thinking that presented in her pulled back hair, more pronounced use of makeup than any other females working in the Marshall’s department.
      “The goo as you call it is human remains, broken down into a plasmatic fluid.  Since the human body is comprised of chemicals and body fluids, this is the remains of those compounds.”  She stood before the containment.  “Even still they are broken down to a more refined make up.”
        “What caused this?”  Dexter said.
        “This was the result of some sort of biochemical reaction.”  She spoke. 
          “A biological weapon?”  Dexter said.
          “While I would not rule that out, I don’t think this is a weapon in the traditional sense. The analysis of the proves to be the compassion of human stomach acid.” 
          “Stomach acid?”  Dexter said.
          “Yes, Detective the acid from the human stomach is extremely corrosive,” She looked to the information.  “These samples suggest that there has been some kind of biological adjustment to the chemical compound making it ten times as powerful.”
          “So, someone is vomiting super stomach acid on people.”  Dexter reiterated with a tone of sarcasm. 
          She turned to Dexter her attention went to an up and down scan of Dexter. Then allow the slightest smile, that crept across her face then evaporated. “I would consider a person that would have the knowledge to generate such a toxin would have a much better delivery system. Than to emesis upon them.”
Dexter adjusted his suit unbuttoning the jacket to place his hands into his pocket. “What about that the pod the excavation crew found?”  Dexter said.   
          “It is proving to be a most interesting.”
          With a wave of her hand Zoey brought to life a holographic image of the ship. “As you can see there were compartment for.” Imagines appeared around the image of the ship, a weapon, a space suit and this devise.”
          “Have you any idea what this thing is or where did it come from?” Dexter said.
          “The latter question is unsure; your former question is to what it is. It is some sort of stasis transportation pod, short range. I suspect that whatever it was inside was placed in suspended animation from its point of origin. Perhaps for reason on its volatility, or for sanitation reasons, any such depending on what it was that was within the pod.” 
          “Was there a person in this?”  Dexter said.
          “Yes, Detective Ruyac.” Zoey said. “We have found genetic material inside of a human being.”
          “And you think this person is alive.  And roaming around Mars…blowing up freight launching station, for what?”  Dexter said. “I thought you said if it was a person in there their brain would be mush. So how could a person being cognitively stable enough to follow such a sophisticated attack?”
          “The DNA suggest that this was no normal human.” She glanced to Dai for only a moment. Then continued. “You were on the front lines of the Alliance War, yes. You know that varsity of the enemy was not merely their enthusiasm for independence. They were genetically altered. This individual DNA suggest that same level of alteration.”
“That was a Colonial Alliance soldier in that thing?”
“That would be a fact for you to discover, Detective Ruyac.” 
“The navigational system of the craft is pretty simple.” Dexter looked at the image of the interior of the pod.
  “The navigational system of extremely simplistic a universal program for most escape pods designed to make surface contact immediately after release form the mother ship. No, the technology of the devise we discovered in one of the compartments has been our major focus.”  Zoey left the images to stand before an drab grey metal devise stations on an examination table. As Zoey came closer the technician that was examining the devise with a hand-held scanner stood back.      “What the hell is this?” Dexter asked.      “Not sure, it took us almost an hour to get it to turn on.  At first I thought it to be a computer but examination of the interior sowed that wasn’t the case.”     “So what is it?” Dexter said.     “It gives off some sort of gamma radiate energy like a signal of binary code. It’s not a weapon. I suspect it some sort of transmission devise. But nothing like this is in the Science Guild data basis.  More examination should prove on what it does. But the circuitry I so outdated that we might damage it before we are able to discover what it actually does.”  She moved to another station.  “This obviously is a weapon.”  Zoey moved to the rifle propped atop of a tripod.  Attached to the trig was another devise.  She pressed a button on the devise then stepped back.  From her smock pocket she removed a devise and pressed a button.  A force field shimmered to life increasing the weapon in a small enclosure.  “Like I said this is a weapon, but the energy curve and the performance of it is quite extraordinary.”  Zoey pressed a button on the remote and a soft whine came from the rifle as it powered to life.  In that same second the weapon discharged a blast of blue streak of energy. The impacted with the target of a man at the end of the room and incinerated the target.       “Damn!”  Dexter said.     “I’ve found record discharged of this level, in military grade weapons.”  Zoey said.  “The design is of a sort more than just to kill with a direct hit. The radiation level is such that even if a person was wounded, he’d die of radiation poisoning.  Once again, we have checked the data basis and haven’t come up with anything like this.”  Zoey waited for a response from Dexter.       Dexter glared at the weapon with an expression of familiarity that Hall noticed.      “You’ve seen something like that?”  Zoey asked.     “Yeah, during the war.”  Dexter said. “The colony alliance soldiers used weapons that looked a lot like that.”  He turned around a look back at the pod.  “That thing looks colonial but nothing that I have seen them use during the war.”
          “I think that once we discover its origin, we will understand the who of your question Detective Ruyac.”  Dai said.  

Chapter Twenty-Two    

The image of Beal frowned and leaned forward before he spoke.  “So why the hell would somebody be using an old weapon like this?” He aimed a finger at an image on his side of the communications.  “They could get access to something more modern.”      Dexter shrugged with that question.      “You’re liking the idea offspring of the Alliance sympathizers to be responsible for these acts.  On Earth and Mars, the Invisible Hand, the five CEO’s that oversaw the companies of Japan that financed the Mars project, but they are all long gone.  There were spies on Mars from the Alliance that were coordinating attacks on Earth but with the leader of the Free Mars movement they all were hung.”  
  “So why surface now?” Beal said.
“I don’t know.” Dexter said. Dexter shook his head.
“What about this damn pod thing. Their forensic Detective report states that there was a person inside?”
Dexter could ascertain from Beal’s voice he did not believe what he’d just read. “Yes, sir.”
“A person held in suspended animation for how long? Fifty seventy years— then wakes up and activates a cell of terrorist, and vomits stomach acid on people?” Beal was indignant. “I think your right before—Ruyac they’re fucking with you.”
Dexter paced in a circle that brought him back to stand before the images of Beal, but he did not speak rather he was locked in thought.
“You not subscribing to some sleeper terrorist that just woke up and is blowing up Mars.” Beal said. “Just from what has been hit once person could have done that alone. No history of nothing like that has been recorded from the war. And from every case study that has been recorded from long term suspended animation-twenty years is the max before serious brain damage sets in. This guy would have been a house plant after fifty plus years.”
“Maybe he wasn’t a normal human, maybe enhanced like the Alliance soldiers.” Dexter said.
“Even still why would he wake up and go about his order I’m sure he must have passed by a calendar.” Beal said.
Dexter lurched, “I don’t know, it’s the only thing that make since.” Dexter wrenched his face. “If you leave out the part with the Marshall’s helping him. That means it has to been internal.”
“Do you think this could have been something left over from the Free Mars movement? A sleeper solider in that pod somebody from the Alliance that was working with the Free Mars group”
“Makes since up to the point of why. If I was a soldier that woke up fifty years later my first question would be who won. If I found out it wasn’t my side, I wouldn’t rage my own private war. This is something else. Rebels putting back together they’re plan to be independent?” Dexter fired a determined glare to Beal. “Dai knows something I can smell it on him,”
“Press him Ruyac, get some real evidence because if you’re right I want this locked down. I’m putting you some back up together. Six Agents and a dozen Global troopers. If this is an uprising in the making it needs to be clamped down and hard. I’ll muster them to Phobos and hold them on station, if or when you give a shout for help.”
“Yes sir.”
The image Beal disappeared.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Dexter walked between several screens of holographic images all of them competing for his attention. Archives reports from Earth Force department of defense and news streams from Mars news reports of events that had transpired five decades ago.
Dexter stopped before a holo-image of a news reporter.
She spoke. “The World Court needing the shipping yards of Mars has giving the chief officers of —- corporation’s governmental status of Mars creating a provisional government.” Dexter took note of each of the Japanese men one in particular captured his attention, Wui.
Dexter spoke into the air and the computer displayed a scroll of Earth Force combat reports that came to life with the presentation of information the computer spoke.
“Signal intercepted from outer system confirmed as Alliance contact to Mars One, security sweep unable to substantiate the location of the signal.”
“Play.” Dexter spoke out loud and waited for the computer to speak again and outlined the verbal log of the Global Security Agent that was sent to Mars. Dexter listens and spoke out a verbal acknowledgment of the frustration the Agent’s voice with being stone walled with his investigation.
The log ended abruptly then another voice that announced himself as the Detective Beal said. Confirming that the Agent place for investigating who received the signal had been found dead. Dexter paused inconsideration of the situation then moved to another screen displaying an Alliance battleship. A sleek designed craft covered under massive energy field was virtually invisible until it had loomed close enough to the Mars surface but did not attack. The craft moved on to the moon and began a short-lived bombardment of the lunar surface. Dexter’s knew lunar one originally was one of the first training stations for Astro troop training for the Alliance war. The Alliance craft was meeting with a hailstorm of light element weapons from the lunar surface and finally an Earth Force ship exploded it into flaming ball of radiation.
The Global Report of the incident confirmed the speculation Dexter had already considered, this Alliance ship had pass over surface of Mars on its attach run had dropped, then continued to they’re to their prime target.
“The pod,” Dexter thought, and another came on the heels of that thought. “And what else?” Dexter left that and yet still to another station of information.
“On Mars one thousand Global Security Agents have arrived on Mars today,” Dexter stood before the image of the news reporter. “—with the Mars rebellion reaching a fever pitch with refusal of workers to report to duty stations. The World Court has removed the provisional government and placed Mars under direct control of the World Court, Senator Warn Nelex is designated as the officer to be placed on Mars to promote the Courts guidelines.”
Dexter watched a news images of the Global Security Agents dressed in black military like accruements conducting crowd control. This duty was similar to the function of a segment of the military of Earth in the country of the United States, a military body called the National Guard would handle civilian unrest.
“Advance to date—–“Dexter spoke and the images advanced.
….the controlling body of the rebellion has been revealed as the five governing office the World Court placed as the provisional government. Calling themselves the invisible hand they have orchestrated acts of sabotage also in contact with the Colony Alliance.”
“Show information of Invisible Hand.” Dexter said and the faces of the men and portfolio appeared next to him. One face captured his attention. “Well, I’ll be damn.” Dexter said standing before the Japanese man a face so familiar with the man he had most recently been acquainted.

Chapter Twenty-Four


      Dai absorbed the information Dexter spoke.   “A sleeper solider drop from an Alliance battle crafts during the war?”  

“Mars was under several orbital bombardments during the war. Maybe whoever was in here was an Alliance operative, supposed to meet up with some members of the Freed Mars movement.” Dexter continued his concentration on the effect that the information had on Dai. Those final words brought Zoey to respond.
“Are you suggesting a faction of the Republic still is in existence and is aiding this rebel from a war fifty years over with?”
“Yeap,” Dexter was indignant.
“Detective Ruyac.” A voice came over the intercom.
“Go ahead.” Dexter said.
“As per your request we have completed out census of the current civilian population, there are three civilians that are currently missing for a period of more than forty-eight hours.”
“Transfer their personal information to my workstation.” Dexter said.
“The whereabouts of those individuals can be easily explained, domestic violence, death, or some other matter that would be common for someone to go missing for a short period of time.” Dai said.
“If this was Earth, I would definitely agree with you, but you people are different. Accountability and duty are too high for you to just go unaccountable.” Dexter said. “I want complete access to your civilian personnel files, I mean everything, history, family, pets. You said everyone on Mars was related to someone in the Mars Rebellion, maybe some are more related than others.”
Dexter turned from the screen of information closed his eyes and came to his feet.
“Hell, everybody is related to a member of the Mars Republic.” Turning from the information of the Denis Powell, his father grandfather was a member of the Free Mars movement. Killed while trying to plant an explosive device in an ice mine. Dexter turned away from the information to the window and the city beyond. A sobering thought to the heritage that must have been passed on to these ancestors. Earth was not your kinsman, rather it was a world that wanted to sniffle your culture the thing you held most dear. Dedication to one’s race and culture was as defining as genetics. You could not help but to rally against those who’d force you to conform. What had sparked it this time? Relationships between Mars and Earth had been workable in the last several decades. No noticeable tensions do not dispute of trade or efforts to enforce that invisible agenda that both excite among the people. The Mars Republic. “Free Mars,” Was the battle cry of the habitants per dating the Colony war. Dexter recalled the new blurbs of the then corporate leaders sitting that Mars was a world that had been built to be independent of the newly formed World Court. With war with the Colonies inmate The World Court did not want to fight two battle to appeases the Mars Republic a provisional government was established with the supervision residential Court Judge. Only supposed to be a temporary solution. Dexter looked out over the city to the false image of an Earth horizon. “Mars would run red with blood!”
That was the words of defiance by the Mars Republic leaders in defiance of the World Court. The Court responded a threat of harsh punishment if the building of the fleet for the Colony war. The Republic shout became the promise from the World Court, with workers abandoned the shipping yards on Phobos as well as Mars Dome 2. Mars did run red with blood of a three thousand citizens of Mars at the hands of Earth Force and Global Security Agents. Unlike the colonist the Vesta the Mars colonist were not completely wiped out, this police action was an assertive to punish a few as an example to the others. The surviving colonist became a working cog in force of the war effort against the Alliance then after efforts to the age Reconstruction machine the era that rebuilt the world. Or so it seemed that way.
Dexter left the window and walked back to the desk and stood before computer images. In his career with the CPD he’d had to come to this planet several times. The people seemed— different he reflected on the interaction with the Law enforcement. He’d never had this level of interaction with the people nor the authority of Global Security as a leverage that to be an offensive. ‘Earth snobbery, Mars rebellion.’ Buzz words to describe the interaction of two people separated by the cold of space, now there was more to the separation that kilometers of vacuum.
Mars resembling acts or rebellion against the World Court, as the case description denoted. Those days of the rebellion he was off in space fighting the war with the Alliance, upon returning that conflict was dubbed as a police action that was swiftly dealt. The facts of which were never completely revealed to a war weary population. Accessibility to the Global Security network educated him to details few knew as fact. The Mars Republic secretly involved with the Colonist of Vesta, supplying the colonist with weapons and technology. A chill ran down his spine when he’d read the file discovering that it was no rumor. The Invisible hand, the secret government of the five CEO’s of original Earth companies that funded the colonization projects. They were real. The police action that disrupted the alliance with the Colonist did not kill the Republic it became the Invisible Hand, those fingers continually waggled at the World Court in rebellion.
“Detective Ruyac,” A voice proceeded a beeping of the phone.
“Go ahead.” Dexter order was to the video phone computer allowing the image of the man to appear as well as the officer to appear before him.
“We have completed our sweep of Powell’s home, nothing that would suggest he was a part of anything clandestine, or important to the case.”
“Stay on station I’ll be right there.” Dexter said and the officer disappeared.

Chapter Twenty-five

 Nothing was found at Powell’s place.  Those words came back to him from the five-minute the man that had discovered left his home and had not been seen by his family or friends for the last twenty-four hours. “Nothing to report.” He allowed those words to slip from his lips. “We will see about that shit,” he allowed himself that then the words of Beal. ‘They might just be miss leading you to keep you off the fact that are underneath.’
Dexter looked out to the transparency to the commercial ship that slowly lower from the facsimile of a blue sky. He’d never been to Mars One, not even during his boot camp days. During that time of preparation for war in space there was neither the time nor the desire for time off for recreational activities.
The air that was circulated from the atmosphere regulations system was like the warm breeze from blowing wind.  Rather than the red sun, a blue aura of what was like a facsimile of the sky on Earth.  Birds spotted the sky and squirrels and even insects’ inhabitant the dome with their human inventors.      That conglomeration of man’s achievement began to fade in the distance traveling tube.  These tubes connected the smaller dooms to the major structures allowed travel between them with out the use of shuttles or and other kind of pressurized vehicle.            Dexter took a break from his scanning of the profile of the salvage crew and the information of the evidence found thus far.  Instead, he gave his attention to the red surface outside the tube.  The car was navigated by the computer, and road on a carpet of electromagnetic energy, just as smooth a ride as an air car but with different dangers.  An Earthquake or meteor hitting the tube or some sort of rupture in the integrity of the tube could lead to a most unpleasant death.      Ahead of him the dome slowly came closer was much less adaptive to human life and more so to the business of industry.  Dome 1-section B was one of the five construction domes affixed to Mars One. In this particular dome the populous as well as the environment was geared towards the making of goods for the population.       Upon entering the industrial dome, the clear polished air that filled the tubes and was the atmosphere of the main dome dissipated in the harsh vacuum and pollution of the industrial environment.
Now out of the tube the car traveled along an elevated freeway system merging with the traffic of massive, automated vehicles hulling ore or heavy equipment.  The manufacturing, power plants and other industrial constructions were of an imposing structures design. The rumbling of the activity those massive plants from the various machines reverberated in the stale air. Unlike Dome One this style of fusion reaction power plant stood in a presentation of the dome rather than tucked away underneath the structure.       The car finally completed its trek into the industrial dome and landed on the roof parking lot a stained living quarter.  Access tubes snaked into the structure and Dexter followed them until he had reached that section he was searching for. 
The car landed in the small neighborhood and Dexter climbed out the vehicle. Rather than search for the home with the number he’d memorized Dexter went directly to the house were the Marshall vehicle was parked. It had been an hour since the watch officer had advised him, he was leaving the scene. Dexter had been waiting for them to leave to allow himself his own undisturbed investigation. Composing himself Dexter strolled to the front door.
“Detective Ruyac I have found something I want you to take a look at.” Oki meet him at the door, it is quite like the devise found in the derelict craft.
Dexter nodded a response. “Where is it?” Dexter followed Oki into the next o room, on top of the bed a smaller design of the devise that had been taken from the pod. Dexter moved closer to it in a scrutinizing glare. “It was already on when you found it?” Dexter asked his attention concentrating on the thing.
“No, Detective it came on only moments ago.” Oki said then drifted back to allow Dexter to examine the thing.
As Dexter turned to speak as he did, he caught a glimpse of something hurtling at him. He recoiled from it just enough not to receive the full brunt of the chair that was tossed at him.  Still the graze of the chair driven by the force behind it was enough to knock him to the floor.  Dexter rolled in one smooth action withdrawing his to meet the imposing figure of Oki lunging towards him.  An uncalculated aim and fire of one stunning bolt that struck Oki in the chest.  His body absorbed the energy and he kept coming with no ill effect.  Dexter momentary surprised took too long before he took another shot Oki had gotten to close knocked the weapon from Dexter’s hand.  He was over him now one hand grabbed Dexter’s collar then pulled him his feet.
Dexter’s attention went to Oki’s other hand. From the palm of his hand a writhing network of pail tendrils merged from his flesh.
“What the hell!” Dexter came up with a fist that impacted the side of Oki’s head.  Once again, he took the assault to his body with no effect.  Taking aim again Dexter dialed the gun to its highest stun setting. The bolt hit Oki’s chest the energy rippled up his face the flesh waved as if it were not real twisting and contouring in a nightmarish scowl then returning to normal.
Still there was no facial expression of pain or discomfort Oki shuttered as a machine that had been suddenly overloaded with processing power. He slung Dexter skidding across the kitchen floor. Dexter attempted to collect himself but his was hindered with the gelatinous substance on the floor his footing slipping disallowing him from coming to his feet. In that moment of considering the substance was he suddenly was disgusted with the reality this goo was some sort of liquefied human remains. Shrugging off that disgust Dexter gained his footage and bolted out of the front door. Reaching the front door, he was successful only in seeing the Marshall service vehicle lifting off into the sky.

Chapter Twenty- six

The hour Dexter lay on his back in medical he used to process the events that transpired an hour ago. Oki a man he’s spoken to only moments before confronting him in deadly combat, the man on the video phone did not match the personality of the man he engaged in hand-to-hand combat. The goo on the floor, it was Oki’s apartment. Powell had killed him that statement fell short of for something more profound—Powell assimilated Oki. What the hell was in the pod? That question would definitively answer all the others.
“Healing process is complete Detective.” The medical technician confirmed those words of the med-computer spoke seconds earlier. “There still will be a slight pain from the nerve endings of the fracture but the bone is completely healed. With your military grade genetic enhancements once you have a full night’s sleep you will be pain free.” The doctor said and bowed.
“Thank you.” Dexter came to his feet. He responded immediately to the pain in his leg and limped to the infirmary door.
“Are you alright Detective Ruyac?” Dai said.
Dexter halted his advance as Dai came to his side.
“Our medical facilities are the best in the solar system.” Dai said.
“That’s comforting.” Dexter said. “Have you found Oki,”
Perhaps we should continue this discussion in the forensic lab.” Dai said and led Dexter to the elevator.

Doctor Zoey stood before an elongated tube of purified liquid that was being stimulate by a blue beam of energy from the top of the container.  She mused at the reaction then recorded the results on a hand-held computer.  
Dexter patience had come to an end when they had reached the lab and Dai had answered none of his question.  “This is the remainder of the liquefied genetic material found in Powell’s home.”  Zoey said.
“I got that on me.”  Dexter said with disgust mingled with concern
“The medavac did a complete scan on you, there were no contaminants in your blood, DNA or any other part of your body.  Wish I seriously would doubt this remains would case any ill effect.”  
Dexter ran his hand across his mouth.  “I got some of it in my mouth.”
“You have been completely scanned detective,” Dai said.  “You are alright.” 
“Oki, have you got a full sweep out for him?”  Dexter tone was startling to Zoey and she retched from her deep concentration of the data on her pad.  
“The man you struggled with was not officer Oki Endo, Zoey said.  This liquidize goo has genetic material of Oki, Powell, and another genetic signature that is not in our civilian data base.” She nodded to the goo in the transparency.  
Dexter spoke his attention turning to the containment as if would answer his question.  “What are you talking about?”
“This is remains of some sort of transmutation.”  Zoey said.  “I believe that Powell or what was once Powell attacked Oki and somehow assimilated him.”  
Dexter limped around the containment.  “I guess he was going to do the same to me?”  
“That would be a logical conclusion.” Dai said.  
“Gaining information.”  Dexter said, his attention turning to Dai.  “And control.  If had he had become me, he could have put an end to the investigation, then complete their agenda.”  
“A very good theory.”  Dai said.  “The answer of the mission would be with the answer with the who.”     
“There is no current technology that would a allow one person to assume another person physical appearance.” Zoey chimed in.  
Dexter paced in a small circle that placed him back in front of the containment.  “They’re appearance just were assumed it was they’re complete identity he had his knowledge.”

“There is no recorded of technology of that sort in the Science Guld records.” Dai said.
“So, what was that machine in Powell’s home?”
Zoey nodded and led then into the next room were two technicians in dark green jumpers hovered over the thing with scanning devises.
“It is a for lack of a more descriptive term a tracking devise, but also I think it lends itself as a communication device.” Zoey said. That is our best description.”
“What does it trac or communicate with?” Dexter asked.
“Low level radio frequencies.” Zoey said. “I say it tracks those frequency and sends messages.”
“Like what? Is it a transmitter, receiver?” Dexter circled the thing.
“So, to speak it also has another element to it Detective. This It has—.”
“Has what?” Dexter turned to look at Zoey. She glanced to Dai as for permission to complete her comment.
“It has biological elements within its matrix.” Zoey said,
“This thing has human flesh in it.”
“Not flesh genetic material, DNA.” Zoey said.
“We count six so far.”
“Who are they?” Dexter demanded.
She did not hesitate but began to type several keys and waited for the information to appear on the screen. Dexter did not hesitation to point to the title of the name that appeared on the screen.
“Where is that man?”
Dai answered carefully. “He currently is on duty.” Before Dai could give anymore words Dexter had reached the elevator,
“We will bring him to Doctor Takahash for an examination to ascertain why his DNA is part of that cellular residue.”

The elevator door opened, and Dexter reached into his jacket to retrieve his weapon but held it to his side.  “Marshall Kim Yong.”  Dexter called out from the distance to the room.
“Detective you will return you weapon to its holster immediately.”  
Ignoring Dai Dexter stepped closer to the situation station where the Marshall he recognized form the image of the seen seconds ago.  
“On your feet and step away from that station.’  Dexter order.  Stopping several feet from the Marshall.
“Detective Ruyac, I am ordering you to cease this behavior now.”
“Tell him to stand up or I’ll stun his ass!”  Dexter no rose the weapon to his side and aimed it at Yong.
“Detective Ruyac.” 
Dai was distracted with sudden fluctuation of the systems, but Dexter remained undeterred his finger going to the trigger.  “Step away from the station!”  Before Dexter could pull the trigger, Yong had come to his feet and charged Dexter knocking him into Dai and they both fell to their back to the floor.  
“Shoot him!”  Dexter called for the other Marshalls to respond as eh scrabbled to come to his feel.  “Shoot him damn it!”  The room of Marshalls were frozen allowing Yong to continue towards the situation room door, Dexter looked to where his weapon had fallen not to find it.  A bolt of energy screamed across the room and hit Yong in his back.  Dexter looked to see Dai holding his weapon aiming.  Yong shook off the bolt of energy then proceeded to the door.  
Dai spoke a command in Japanese and officers charged Yong, they grappled with him, and he intern tossed them off effortlessly finally retrieve a weapon from one, he fired one bolt then took aim.  Before he targets another more powerful bolt of energy burned into his chest knocking him to the floor.  Dexter came to his feet with Dai then took his weapon from him and moved to stand over Yong along with the other Marshalls.  They were about to finally follow the arrest procedures of restraining Yong when a rush of fowl acid odor arose from him along with a hissing sound.  
“Stand back!”  Dexter order was obeyed, and they all gave way to observe the body of the man melt a into a pile of bubbling mass.  “You can take him to the doctor now.”  Dexter said to Dai. 

Chapter Twenty-seven

Dexter stood before the window of his hotel room, looking out over the red surface of Mars.
What was it that was killed in the Marshall’s situation room? That horrifying memory of what was once a man melted into something else a pile of goo on the floor.
The examination of the biological remains proved to be part of what was once Yong and something else. That was all she could give him, or was it?
“Detective Ruyac your Earth call has been cleared.” The female voice spoke. “Standby.”
A mirage of multi color beams swirled in an encompassed hurricane then became the familiar image of Gail Hawthorne. Her expression forged in a delighted smile at in part at seeing her supervisor and for the thrill of what innovative endeavor for some evidence.
“Dex,” She said. “How are you doing?”
“Working harder than I think I need to. I don’t think these Global Security techs are giving me the answers that I want. I think that they know more than what they are telling me.”
“Well, they are Mars.” Gail said.
“Did you find me anything?”
“I did some research on what you sent me.” He turned to the information. “Interesting.” Gail said. The image expanded and Dexter was able to see Gail as well as the data and holographic images of the material evidence he had sent her hours ago.
“How are you loving the case?” She spoke.
“I needed to bring more weapons.” Dexter said. “Its disturbing to be in the company of so many people that—”
“Thumb their nose at the World Court.” Gail said.
Dexter allowed the slightest smile. “And distance doesn’t make the heart grow fonder for Earth.”
“History might be repeating itself.” Gail said. “The Alliance wanted independence from the World Court and thus cause the war. Mars might be going through the same growing pains again.”
An ominous silence gripped the space between Mars and Earth as the implications of the comment reached back into Dexter’s memories and he stood on a distant world and raged war with colonist of Earth.
Gail manipulated systems on her end and Dexter was able to see the information. “This goo you have been finding. I have been running genetic models through several bio scans. The forensic specialist is right about one thing. It is left over human remains, and not just from one person as she says but there is something else here, she either didn’t find or perhaps wasn’t able to recognize. Several images appeared before Dexter.
“Okay what am I looking at?” Dexter came closer to the images.
Gail’s excitement could be seen even via the holographic image. “This goo you found it has cellular compounds from several men. Also, something else.”
An image appeared before Dexter that was shared with Gail.
“Are those nanites?” Dexter said.
“Exactly, but none like I have ever seen before. Nanorobotic technology generally use silicon, but these things are composed of biological material.”
“What does that mean?”
“Not only can they built flesh, but they also absorb genetic material—become and the cells.”
“Is that why they have memories of the person.” Dexter said.
“That is my guess, they absorb the brain cells; but these nanites retrain some directed program.” Gail gasped with fascination with her summation. “What they do is become a DNA base virus in the person’s body, re-writing their higher brain functions, assimilating their lower brain functions as well and body mass. Just like a virus. These things use the host body, to the point they become the host.”
Dexter grunted. “The Marshall Oki knew me, the Marshall in the security bull pine knew the system.” Dexter shook his head dismissing the logic Gail had presented to him. “This has to be old tech.”
“Old but effective.” Gail added. “This is what happens.” An image of a human body appeared. “The nanites are introduce.” The image change following Gail’s summary. “They take over the host cells replicating in this assimilation process. Mean while the former host body having been purged of those active nanites has some behind like as self-destruct system. They eat the body up into that goo.” They both paused in horrible fascination until finally Dexter spoke.
“Who’s tech is this?”
“The Alliance.
“I think if they had something like this it would have been on the battlefield?” Dexter said.
“Maybe it was a prototype; they never had a chance to mass deploy it. Maybe this was a test of the tech? Tell me about that devise we found.”
The seven images disappeared a replaced with one of the odd devises found in Powell’s home. “I read the tech report, they aren’t able to identify this thing?”
“Yeah.” Dexter said.
Gail paused for a few moments, “This isn’t a communication devise it’s a transponder.”
Dexter waited for the explanation.
“It’s a tracking devise, like the bio-scanners used on spaceships to search for life signs on other ships or celestial bodies, this is tuned to search for a particular genetic match.”
“What kind of match?”
“You know colonist DNA was altered to allow them to live long term in space, some in the Science Guild believe that altered them to be humans of space, homo-celestial. The colonist began to combine their technology and their biology. Some of the ships that were captured were only operable with the interaction of the colonist DNA. Then it was discovered they used technology that would identify their own DNA signature from Earth humans during combat.”
“That’s why they were able to make such tactical strikes during ground assaults.” Dexter softly said a memory flood back to him but as it did, he quickly pushed it aside for the moment at hand.
Dexter moved closer to the image. “So, this thing is designed to look for colonial hardware.” 
“Or personnel.” Gail said. “The question is what tech is it designed to search for or who?”
“I think I know just the person to talk to.” Dexter said.
“I’ll keep working on this see what else I can come up with.”
“Okay thanks.”

Chapter Twenty- eight

“There is a person of interested you might need to interview.”  Dexter wanted to respond with the sarcasm that his CPD supervisor would allow him to get away with.  But this was the Commissioner of a Global Security sector.  Not a good idea nor would it add him allowing Beal to feel relax in his compliance that he would give him more of what Dexter suspected he knew.  Person of interest.  Dexter read the information transferred to him by Beal.  The descendant of a surrender Alliance out post on the fringe of the outer rim.  The face not of a man but what was the result of the (GET) Genetic Enhancement Technology appeared in a holoimage before him.  This was not the first time he had seen the recreation of the human gene pole in this fashion.  This was the face of the enemy.  The Alliance soldiers.  The colonist as all humans on Earth had been inoculated with the GET the immunization that would protect the population from the biological and radioactive contamination from the past two wars.  The majority of humans developed advance immune systems and an adaptive capability for environments not of Earth.  During the early days of the inoculation some humans showed a next level adaptability and superior biological makes up; they were the prim candidates for the rigors of space travel and colonization on harsh worlds.  Unknown to the Science Guild that genetic adaptability kept on promoting change in their genes until they were no longer men of Earth but men of the stars.  Homocelestial.  

A reality warned more than sworn not to be carried back to Earth by the commanding officer of the Earth Force. Dexter considered the way. No one on Earth would want to know that the stars indeed held monsters.
This monster was among men. With secrets just as monstrous. Brought to Mars not Earth. Physically altered and place in these lowered cast ranks for such a time as this. Whatever this time was. The reason he had been drafted into this assignment was more than the sum of all its part. There was something horribly and dangerous transpiring. Something hidden decades ago by a provisional government and a new world government. Left allow nothing would have grown of this dark thing left in the red sands of Mars. This buried monster had been accidentally disturbed, released to conduct some clandestine mission mandated decades ago.
Mars Three Dome was the industrial domes that branched off the main dome. Like Earth this section of commerce was separated from the living habitats occupied by the mass. The promise here was not for transference to Earth and mile land or to gain citizenship rather it was only work.
The sky of M3 was not a replicated presentation of the Earth instead the reality of the pail starry sky of Mars. A reminder to the absolution of familiar a tube a way was the reward of sacrifice and labor. A philosophy of the World Court, Dexter mused at the educational program he reviewed upon coming here.
Exiting his vehicle Dexter’s lungs were assaulted by harsh fumes that filled the dome. Most of the impurities that would cause any serious damage to a person’s body would be eliminated with the advanced medical technology on this planet. But still there was something said for those who worked here more over for those that made more profit from their labor than they did.
Dexter followed the direction spoken in his earpiece for the computer that guide into a direction through the maze of buildings and lead to a conglomeration of honeycomb like living structures. The dome living areas of the industrial area were designed for efficiency does not comfort.
The beeping in his earpiece and conformation with the pod number Dexter had arrived at his destination.

The door opened and the command for lights to activate did not deter the occupant from fully entering his living quarter and closing the door behind him. The darkness was familiar to him and his optical nerves adjusted to a point where he could see everything in the room.
“Even though you remove a species from their natural environment still it retains all of its natural abilities.” A voice carrying a grumble much deeper than a man.
In the darkness Dexter could see the florescent glimmer of the man’s eyes. “Species, now that is a description, I would not use to describe myself to another man.” Dexter spoke from the darkness. “Man is the caveat, I suppose.”
He had reached the manual controls for the enteral lights and flipped the switch. The face of the man that glared at Dexter was with Dexter knowledge of this being of a cosmetic surgery and prospects on his face gave him the look of an oriental man in his early forties. The bone structure composed the frame of something else that underneath the skin that could not be cosmetically hidden.
“I suspected that this moment would come.”
“What would that be?” Dexter said.
“A reckoning A time when this government would serve some sort of final judgement upon me.” He looked to the weapon aimed at him.
“Judgement was already served on you with the end of the war.” Dexter said.
“Ah yes, servitude. Isn’t that what the World court desires from all its—subjects?” He circled the room with careful but intentionally placed steps of a predator coming into position.
“That is close enough.” Dexter brandished the weapon, halting his advance. “Sit down, Hiromasa.” Dexter pointed his pistol.
Hiromasa complied slowly slower himself to a dining room chair. “You have me at an advantage.”
“Detective Ruyac. Detailed by Global Security on an assignment of stellar security issue on Mars.” Unlike other times of identification of himself or his position Dexter offered none of the sort to this man, as well he needed none. No one with the exception of the Law Enforcement officials would know of his existence. “I need your help.”
He released a what was a chuckled but was more like a low rumbled of a growling dog. “Most interesting.” Several decades ago, a government official came to the survival camp of my grandfather with a request being with this that statement. We need your help—this world needs your help.” A grim reveling dozens of jagged inhuman teeth crept across his face. “And for that help they offered amnesty. But today this existence is more like imprisonment.”
“Your grandfather did that so you could survive rather than for you to die and thousands other. The war had to come to an end.”
“Still thousands were slaughter, how many men women and children were on Vesta when your starships bombed it?” Even thought the prosthetics Dexter would see the savage reptilian pupils that were the genetic norm of the colonist.
“Too many.” Dexter relented. “But that was a long time ago; long enough that we who are left behind need to put it behind us.”
“To move towards what Detective Ruyac?”
“I don’t have all the answers, I wish I did.”
Hiromasa’s brow softened and he rested back in the chair. “Then what is that you need?”
From inside Dexter’s jacket pocket, he withdrew a disk and placed it on the table. It activated and a holographic image of a machine appeared above the table.
“What is that?” Dexter said. There was a look of familiarity that quickly disappeared.
“It is a tracking device.” Hiromasa said.
“I know that, but for what?” Dexter said.
“Personnel,” Hiromasa said, “During the war we stations soldiers on several moons in status chambers. Buried in the moons surface and their life signs at a minimal they were virtually undetectable by your scans. Once your troop were with in a desirable range, we would awaken them via a carrier wave transmitted from a device like this one.” Hiromasa leaned forward scrutinizing the devise. “A rather primitive reproduction but the technology design is unmistakable. This is a troop communication device.” His attention then turned to Dexter. “Where did you discover this?”
“Here on Mars.” Dexter said.
“Most interesting, and who is using this devise?”
“I am hoping you might know, if this is a troop or some sort of equipment locational device it is colonial. Maybe something dropped here or left here during the war.” Dexter waited for some response from him.
“That Detective would be speculation for the historians. I was a child of a colonist of a captured colony such a clandestine mission, I would not be privy to such information.”

Chapter Twenty-nine

Hiromasa waited until long after Dexter disappeared into the maze of living pods before he turned his attention to a small closet space in his living space. On the floor covered in a napper sack he withdrew a black case. Hiromasa hurried the case to the dining room table and opened it. Upon opening the thing, it came to life with a soft whir.
Hiromasa looked down into a green spectrum on the face fo the thing slowly a grid formed then several orbs glowed in a cluster. He was taken physically a back several steps frozen staring at the devise. It beeped then another ob appeared on the screen. Hiromasa erupted into motion back to the closet going deeper into the space he found a small black binder. Releasing the seal, he leafed through the pages to mid section. The codes and symbols were lexica only to one would not only been a citizen of the Vesta colonist but part of the military machine that warred against Earth. The flabbergasted look on his face slowly morphed into one of delight.

The reproduction of Andy Hyman was now the under of an animated Klan.  Each acting in a hive like mind worked unstocking weapons and devices archived in storage containments.  
Hiromasa observed their movements on the location devise.  The protocol was affixed in his mind and the mechanized he was to use he tested several times before he had tracked the signal to this remote location.  He felt the sweat on his brow and the trebling on his hand all of which surmounted to hesitation.  Not of what to do but fear.  A fear that had crept upon him from old age. His father never had not been given the position to fight on the line rather he’d been strategically placed on the outer rim colony for a time when he’d been sent to Mars as ground support. The attack did not go as it should, the Alliance war ship was destroyed, and the plan morphed into something else.  His father’s legacy his mission and an opportunity for it to be fulfilled has his inheritance.  instruction and his commanders, and his chiefs all died in the hail of heat and radiation from the bombing of his world.  
He stepped forward the dedication to the duty of those dead officers and government officials motivating him.  His genetic imprint as well as the access code activated the hydraulic door.  It slid into the wall and Hiromasa stood before four bewildered face.  Only for a moment then they moved towards him.  There hands grasping in preparation to stilled.  Hiromasa raised his hand and aimed the devise at their faces.  The flashing spectrum of lights activated some program in their minds, and they stilled like manikins.  Hiromasa quickly made his way to the central control and area.  
He wiped his face and searched for the control system outlined in the protocol manual.  Once he had found it he began keying in several sequences.  Upon the final sequence they were in motion again but this time not towards him in an attack but a return to their assigned duties.  

Chapter Thirty

“That Alliance bastard is lying.” Dexter said. “Not surprised about that level of loyalty to a cause that was lost. He just let me know that there some sort of agenda in place.”
Dai watched Dexter pace in a small circle in his office then come back to stand before him.
“I trust your intuitive insight are correct on this man, but we cannot arrest him on simply that. We must have evidence.”
“If we don’t do something, he’ll go dark and take what ever it is with him.”
“I understand how you must feel but acts like this much come directly from your senator.”
“Then let’s go get it.” Dexter was already on his way out of the office before Dai caught up to him.

Senator Mason Hill watched intensely the man that stood before his desk.  He had received notice of the CPD Detective coming to Mars as well as information of his mission.  Not a detailed informational but enough for him to suspect that there was something more to the accidents that mere disgruntle civilians.
“I appreciate your position Detective Ruyac, but I don’t see how arresting a citizen that really has no connection to the resent events.”  
Dexter took note of his attention momentarily switching to Dai. Dai or his superior had informed him of their coming as well as what he would request.  
“Senator this man has information of technology that is being used for some sort of espionage or sabotage of Mars facilities.”  
“Why do you suspect that Detective, because he was a solider of the Alliance?”
“Yes,” Dexter said bluntly.  “He might very well be behind this series of events.”  
“I’m no sure I am convincing of your reasoning based upon this man being solider of the Alliance.”  Hill came to his feet.  “When I first came to Mars, I had a very difficult time adapting to the culture here.”  Hill strolled to the wall size transparency.  “It was difficult for me because I was sent here to administrate the populous, but that can not be done unless one first understands the culture.”  He turned around quickly to face Dexter.  “I doubt you appreciate the culture here Detective Ruyac.”
“I respect sir, this is not about culture diversity, this is about crimes committed against the World Court.”  Dexter said.
“I see your point.  Take what ever measure you deem appropriate but keep in my Detective that Mars is a very vital state in the union of the World Court.  Go carefully.”
“Thank you, sir.”  Dexter said.  

Chapter thirty-One

Dai was abnormally quiet compared to how Dexter had come to understand his personality over the last three days. No reiterating the conversation with the senator or what the next step of the investigation. His attention was concentrated on the automated systems of the car.
Lurched with pent up frustration. “Makes no since.” Dexter broke the silence.
“Are you dismayed the Senator would not follow the strict World Court venue of controlling the mass?”
“What?” Dexter was propelled up to a straight position to glare at Dai. “The role of government is to protect and keep the people from harming themselves. That is what is going on here you realize that. Your people are harming themselves; you keep thinking this is some internal situation but these people on Mars and people on Earth and all the other satellite worlds are governed by one ruling body. The World Court. There is no freaking Japan, its history.”
“Am I also no longer Japanese?”
Dai’s steely glare demised some of Dexter frustration.
“So, how are we going to play this?” Dexter said. “Can’t count on that dam Hill back us up in a real investigation?”
Dexter notices Dai lurch as if his words had stabbed at him.
“To follow your drab cliche, we will play this by the book.” Dai said.
“What the hell is that suppose to mean?” Dexter said.
“I do not approve of your methods, Detective Ruyac.” Dai turned to Dexter.
“My methods. My job is to discover what the hell is going on here is. You and this whole damn Mars colony have got this cultural crap rammed so far up you ass’s you willing to let one-man murder and maybe bring this whole damn thing down over your ears in protection of his personal rights.”
“Many men die in war for an idea, but the idea lives on because those men died.”
“What the fuck does that mean?” Dexter said.
“It is a simple liberty that was the foundation of the World Court civil contract. Derived from the democratic government of the Americas.”
A flash of light competed with the holographic image of a false sun for only a moment. Once it had faded Dai and Dexter were able to redirect their attention to the direction from which it came.
“What the hell was that?” Dexter said.
Dai only gave the direction of the dome from which it had come. Then came the automated voice of the security computer over the car mic.
“Explosion in the north quarter of Dome One, dome integrity stable. Area of explosion three point two kilometers. No radioactive fall out. Dispatching emergency crews to area.”
“What were you saying about those civil liberties?”Dexter said.

Dai had lost some of his composure and slumped in the driver’s seat.  Dexter’s attention for the last hour remained concentrated on the image and information of a building.  That three kilometers away a structure that once was a building now a pile of rubble three kilometers.
“This building use to be a troop birthing for Astro marines during the war.”  Dexter said.
“And the significant to that would be?”  Dai said.
“None, it has no significant as a target for any terrorist act, maybe twenty plus years ago.”  Dexter said.
“Perhaps that would stand to reason that these attacks are not part of some terrorist activity.”  Dai said.   “What would you call them freedom fighters?”
“Someone on this planet has some sort of agenda, what that is I’m a not sure.  It could even be from your World Court attempting to generate conflict to take a more aggressive position on this world.”
“Your Senator, your World Court.”  Dexter said.  “Mars its part of the Court.  So it is, the World Court.  Get that through your head.”  
The computer spoke.  “You are cleared for landing.”

The air car landed at the center of the blast a once five story building and two other smaller buildings comprised a campus were soldier’s prepared for war in space.  Dexter did not need the image directional display to differentiate the buildings from the rubble.  He knew them profoundly.  
A hulking silver suited individual lumbered from the smoldering embers and came to stand before the two.
“Sir, the blast was concentrated on the building that once was the troop birthing.  Our analysis so far has determined the explosive was already planted underneath the substructure.”
“Preset bombs.”  Dexter turned to Dai.
“How could that be?  These buildings were set in the foundation when Mars was an industrial planet.”  
Dexter did not answer his expression leveled into a deep stare of concentration.      

Chapter Thirty- two

Dexter had spent the last hour researching the data base until he had discovered the list of names he searched. His final reward was when the names all compared to the same projects.
His anger kindle Dexter saw a source for which to vent. Dai had stepped from his office when he was meant with the scowl of Dexter.
“Everybody in Mars had a relative that was involved in the Mars Rebellion. Including you.” Dexter said.
Dai glanced about at the face of those who had heard the conversation.
“Detective Ruyac would you like to continue this conversation in my office?’ Dai stepped back and allowed Dexter to enter.
“Your father was a part of the rebellion.” Dexter said after he closed Dai’s office door behind him.
“I believe I stated that.” Dai said.
“You left out the part about him being one of the fingers of the invisible hand.” Dexter said. He saw the effect on his words immediately in Dai’s face. “These bombs that were on the substation and the troop birthing, they had been planted there. Decades ago.
Dai paced in a small circle that found him at the transparency.
“There are many things on this planet that make no since to the mind of a man from Earth. There are rumors and some of which are life as well as reality.”
“I don’t really give a damn about your heart felt passion for this culture.” Dexter said. “Some real shit is going on here. And you know more than you have been telling me. The rebels did they plant those bombs?” Dexter said.
“I suspected that was the case with the first explosion, but you must understand that there are so many rumors of life on Mars.”
Dexter came closer to Dai.
“It’s not a rumor who your father was” “My father was part of the rebellion, he sacrificed himself to allow his leader to survive to allow our way of life to survive. It is the act of a samara. You would not understand.”
Dexter took a moment. “Wui, He took his place.” Dai acknowledge with only a nodding of his head. “Tell me about how your father was involved in this Dai.” Dexter took a step back to one end of the desk. “I want to know everything.”
Dexter could see Dai’s body becoming ridged, he knew profoundly the impact of memories of days gone by from things he’d rather stay buried. Feels as intense as the killing of other men in war and a battlefield littered with a mingle of your own men and those of your enemy could not be dismissed. They lay in a shallow grave ready to resurrect with the proper stimulus.
“My father was a part of a generation of men that no longer exist. He and other likes him left Earth for this world to insure the survival of more than their genealogy but for something must more important. A way of life, a culture. Do understand that Detective Ruyac?” Dexter would not answer. “I remember my father coming on from his work in the inner dome. At the time we lived in the bay area of a transport craft. He showed us pictures everyday of the dom and the property that would be ours once it was completed. One day he stopped showing us those pictures and sharing his enthusiasm for that life. His brother uncle and other men would speak of other things in the middle of the night. Angry, frustrated with the demands of the World Court and the designer of the social pollution their home was suffering; and what more our people had to endure.”
“Your people.” Dexter interjected.
Dai did not hesitate in story.
“He came to me in the middle of the night and told he was going to service our way of life one last time. I never saw him again; he was executing for espionage.”
Dexter relented.
“I found documentation my father had made, he and my uncle. It was the city, buildings designated by target. His workshop littered with equipment and technology.” Dai turned back to the transparency of the Martian city. “I had sent thought of those things I saw and the rumors of the Republic. Now it appears those rumors were fact.”
“Obviously, you have other children of patriots that feel the same way. But they are acting on those feelings now they have found some sort of technology that is allowing them to rage a private war. Do you know who they might be?”
“I do not know Detective Ruyac, I did not know those Marshalls under my authority we so involved with these terrorist acts but I will find out who they are.”
Dexter looked deep into Dai’s eyes, those deep dark orbs set in a scowl serious and unflinching in resolve.
“The first thing we need to do is add you father old sematic to the city designs maybe it will give us some point of reference to were they might strike.”
“Agreed.” Dai said.
A knock at the door was responded by Dai order the person outside to enter.
He bowed respectfully then delivered a report in Japanese.
Dexter wasn’t sure of the profanity Dai his but from that and his momentary lapse of composure he knew it was a critical matter.
“It appears we have a virus in our system. It is effecting all of our data base as well as city scan equipment.” Dai said.
“Purge it.” Dexter said.
Dai glanced to the other Marshall then to Dexter. It is of a matrix we are not familiar with, if we are not able to at least contain the virus it will cause a complete system to break down with in forty-eight hours.”

Chapter Thirty- three

“So why do you think this Dai is lying to you Dex?” Gail’s image had her back to Dexter, but he knew her multitask service to him had transferred from her analyzation of material to her mode of operation for research.
“He was lying to me about his father.” Dexter said.
“He didn’t lie to you, he told you his father was part of the Rebellion but not in what capacity. So, he didn’t lie Dex, you just didn’t ask the right question.”
“You ever thought about going into the Law Prosecuting Guild?” Dexter said.
“Yes, but then what would you do?”
“So, did you find out anything?”
Gail took a long sigh and Dexter braced himself of the level of the information that was about to come.
“Yes, I did Dex, I ran this past my father, and he had some chilling information he forwarded to me.” She shuttered. “That goo was exactly what I said it was a shedding of human biological and artificially generated material. The artificial biomaterial is the key.” Gail manipulated controls on her end and an image appeared next to her image.
“That’s a nanite. I have never seen one like that it looks more like an insect.” Dexter looked closer to the thing them took note of the mechanical attributes of the thing.
“It’s a nanites. You know as well as I do the Alliance techs designed most of their tech by mimicking living organisms. These nanites more of a biogenic technology. But these nanites are not merely mechanical and are a biomechanical creation. He told me something I can’t believe but it makes since.” Gail hesitated. “The Alliance was planning a surface attack on Earth, but before that happened what they needed to do serious damage to the intra structure to make the attack more effective. They plan on sending spies to Earth by way of Mars. They called them Mimics. Rightfully so because the nanites can replicate a person down to their cognitive memory.”
“Is this what I am dealing with; Mimics?”
“Yes Dex. The nanites themselves have a preprogramed scenario of the mission. When they create Mimics, they share the program for whatever the mission is supposed to be.”
“They could create an army,” Dexter said,
“I suppose, but like the Earth mission they were only programed to create a curtain size group per mission perimeters. They were able to reform the physical make up of its host, namely humans. The nanites could take on the appearance of any human being by reformed the cellular design as well as the cognitive information of the host.”
Dexter nodded his head receiving the information and relating it to all he had experienced in the last several days. “So is there one central unit?”
“There is no central command unit. The nanites create a collective programming, like a hive mind. You have to kill em all Dex. Leave one alive and they will infect other hosts and begin all over again. The Mimics have a preprogramed form of attack. That is why the areas they blew up seem like there weren’t important. At one time that troop birthing would have been filled with Earth forces trainees. That substation was a battleship yard, but they do have a learning program so most likely whatever their ultimate plan is they have upgraded the effectiveness of it. What they are doing know most likely is the standard operations of a terrorist group, create panic and social unrest until they’re ultimate plan.”
“That explain the why now, if this Mimic was in that pod and the salvage crew woke it up, it is following its pre-programed function.”
“Program from a mission that is almost fifty years old. That pod we found could only had one inside. I don’t one of those things could assimilate that many people that quickly?” Dexter said.
“They usually work in cells, so most likely the pod contained the original unit, there were others somewhere in the city in cryogenic storage, the one in the pod revived them and they began their mission.”
“Then Dai knows or someone on Mars knows all this was supposed to happen.” Dexter passed in a small circle needed to dispel pent up anger. “Mimics didn’t put those bombs in place decades ago. Someone from the Mars rebellion did, and I’m sure that was passed down.”
“You may be right about that, Dex. The members of the invisible hand were hung in a very public manner in Mars central square and all the members of the rebellion given the same or sent to work out the rest of their debt to society on one of the off-world prison factories.”
“Not all the members of the invisible hand, Dai father took the place of one of them, Wui,”
Gail lurched from her view of the information to lock on to Dexter. “Wui is a criminal of the World Court Dex, whatever else happens. You need to him arrested and turn him over to Global Security. You are under their mandate Dex, and you know how Global does’ business. There way or an off-world prison factory or hanging from the World Court gallows.”
“I know that, but I need him to lead me to the Mimics, he has got to know.”
“He might be behind this Dex, ill regardless your duty now is to report.”
“What about that devise?” Dexter said.
“Rather than get this to work I’m replicated a more proficient tracking system that will be able to key in on the Mimics whereabouts. It shouldn’t be too hard to integrate into the Mars One scanning system.”
“Got a problem with that, The Mimic Yong put some sort of systems error into the security scans. As of yet they haven’t been able to purge it out, its old tech so it’s not responding to the normal purge programs.” Dexter grunted a sigh. “What about some kind of test?”
“That was easy,” Gail typed a few keys then a devise appeared before Dexter. “The nanites are in the blood. A simple blood test with this devise and you will know in seconds if someone is infected or not. Green means human red means Mimic. I’ll send the designs to the Marshal’s—”
“No, send the designs to me. I’ll replicate them myself.”
“Be careful Dex, as I said the Mimic can emulate a persona behavior perfectly, you they have the persons knowledge and even the most specific personality down to the small quirk. They could be anyone, even you.”

Chapter Thirty- four

Dai watched the home from the discrete distance. The lights from the upper levels went dim one after the other until only the corner room remained.
Centuries ago, his forefathers had pledged their selves into their masters unto death. This democratic society spanned from the World Court gave a different function of the pledge of a warriors or loyalist. Integrity was a politically correct term depending upon the organizational structure of the governments a man of power or position was required to stand in opposition if he found the dealings of his master questionable.
A skill handed down from his father and detailed by his training of the police organization he moved with the invisibility of night. He was to the back door without detection. Entering the home would be another challenge. One with the aid of technology he was efficiency able to overcome. Dai had only been in this home once with that memory and the aid of a heads-up display in the scanning visor he found the office and desk completer with no issue. In a few seconds he activated the system and began a search for protected files.
A filed coded with only a date attracted his attention. With the skill of his Samaria forefathers would wheeled a sword he wheeled the technology enabling breach the security lock out to access the computer. Locations and designs of building and designation of devises willed the multi teared screens on the surface of the desk. Sub filed with the was something else an acronym or name. Mimic. Dai shuttered his hand froze unable to move to advance the information.
He remembers his father and uncle, angry words of dishonorable acts—Mimics. A term and word said with such coldness it was kin to the devil. It meant nothing to those young ears. Decades later, rumors brought those memories back to life. And is so going he investigated the name and in understanding he also understood the response of his uncle and father. Human beings turned into weapons to fight not as men on a battlefield but like the ninja. Assassins with no conscious, these were even men with no souls.
Soft footsteps brought Dai to his feet to face the man that otherwise would not be detected from his stealth movements,
“How dare you enter my home?” Wui said. He took position in the traditional stand.
“The offense is your own.” Dai pointed to the screen. “This is what threatens this city and you said nothing.”
Wui glanced to the screen then to Dai. Dai took no concern to the demising of his stature with the reality of the secret he had exposed.
“You knew that these demons were on our world and lose up on this city.” Dai said.
A smile crept across Wui face.
“You speak like your father.” Wui said. “Demons,” He grunted a sarcastic laugh. “Our tradition has some draw back in this modern world. Technology has always been our power, as Japan against the Western world, upon this world opposed to World Court at that time. We held an opportunity to take a position in the World Court would have insured the sovereignty of our culture.” Wui paced slowly about the room Dai locked on his ready to react to any presentation of conflict he presented. “The Alliance offered us the opportunity to unit with them in conflict with the World Court before the war began. With the promise maintain our sovereignty with the war won in their favor. Foresight and vision walk hand in hand.” Dai had left the desk and stood facing Wui in the center of the room.
“And now these things threaten the people we both have sworn to protect. I do not see how this is the furtherance of the vision of my father.”
“It is an unfortunate reality that the death of the innocence gains the attention in the democratic legal system.”
“You dishonor our people and our forefathers. You have no right to be in leadership.” Dai said. Dai saw that Shu attention had went to the collection of weapons on the wall. In one swift motion Shu had moved to the wall and retrieve a sword, Dai in that same moment had done the same. His hand weapon would have been a preferable weapon for a quick resolve of this conflict. But this was a conflict that would be resolved with the effort of an ancient rite rather than technology.
“Is it ironic or is it karma?” Wui asked.
“It is duty that drives me, Wui Sun.” Dai said scanning the room.
“Duty,” Wui turned about. “Duty to those who have stolen our heritage, what was rightfully ours.”
“Our way of life has to changed and grow the world and tradition that you hold on to are gone.”
“No, you are wrong. They have polluted us we are no longer who we once were, tradition of a thousand years lost! They are unworthy as well.”
“You decided this.” Dai said and with one swift move brought the sword from slung behind him. “You had no right!”
“I have the ancient right of a ruler and those that I ruler over die with my desire.” Wui brought the sword from his side to aim at Dai.
“Then you are the one that must die.”
The room became an arena of two men in a deadly dance with steel twirling, sparking upon impact with moves and counter attacks. The skill of the private war afforded each reasonable victory, but it was Dai youth and skill that afforded him the victory. He dodged a swing of the blade maneuvered in close this struck Wui in the chest with a palm blow that knocked him back to the floor. As he went Dai twirled the blade slicking across Wui chest then another slices of the blade went across Wui’s leg. Wui crash to the floor then struggle to reach his weapon but the pain and wounds were so decisive his mobility had been compromised that he could not move.
“Your father has taught you well, you fight with the skill of a true samurai, unfortunately you do not the heart of one. Finish it.” Wui snarled in pain.
Dai brought the blade above his head posturing to deliver a mortal blow. Instead, he made long strides back to the wall. Dai removed a smaller sword. He unsheved the sapoo sword and stood above Wui. “I give you one last opportunity to honor yourself. Dai tossed the blade to land point down into the floor. Wui glared at the blade before for a long moment. That silence and time between the two like the gravity of two opposing world pushing each body a part into different realities. Them muster his strength Wui came to his knee stretched out to retrieve the blade. He aimed to point to his stomach outstretched to the full extent of his reach. Eyes lock on Dai a scowl of resolve upon each men faces then with the remaining energy he thrust the blade into his stomach and began the effort to cut to the other side. Blood and bowel spilled to the black floor in a pooling wave towards Dai’s feet. Wui gaged words from the pain overwhelming his determination. With a warrior cry Dai swirled the sword over head to slice a low that separated Wui’s head. From that pose of the strike, he came erect and bowed the headless body and head.

Chapter thirty-five

“An interesting devise.” Beal said. His attention concentrated to the design Gail had created now forwarded to Beal. “We have an associate on Mars that can developed this devise and have as many as you need within the hour. Did you know what was in that thing
Beal offered Dexter a grin that was a full answer. “Yes. As well as the plot that had been cooked up by the Invisible Hand some during the war. However, what I suspected as well as was another surviving member of the Invisible Hand. That person we suspect was Wui.”
“But you didn’t want to just come here and hang him, because that would start a revolution.”
There was a pause then Dexter spoke. “Exposure of what that had brought him out. Honor demanded something be done. Not for political sake.” Dexter paused for a moment. “He’s dead?”
“Yes. By his own hand. I believe the act is call seppuku. A Japanese tradition of suicide when failure would bring about shame.”
“Problem solved without a public hanging. No martyr.”
“Exactly. Amazing how culture can be so binding and powerful but at the same time be so dangerous and self-defeating.”
“There are three hundred thousand people in Dome One.” Dexter said and waited for the reaction from Beal.
The response came with no inflection of that level expression. “And how many of them are loyalist of the World Court and how many have that aerie of distain from the very government that gives them the right to their freedom.” Beal said and waited. “Come Detective I am sure your exposure to that smug Martian mentality has enlightened you to that reality that those inhabitants are a clear and present danger in the form of a possible rebellion.”
“So, we let them die.”
“Oh no Detective. Your original task has been completed with satisfaction. This new venue will be to save them.”
“The World Court gets the glory.” Dexter allowed a deep grumble of a chucked controlling the words he wanted to say. “I will need help with these Mimic’s. You have a team standing by, send them down.”
“Not just yet Detective. This creeping unknown goes back much future in the history of Japan. This technology of the Mimics was an original weapon designed by Japan during the Tech War. A infiltration weapon that killed the a majority of the leaders of those governments of the Western Collation. East Alliance and their use of technology to assimilation men’s control of their own society. The leader of America, Great Britain, a several more meet for one final agreement to end the war. They were all killed by a suicide bomber. That was the end of the historical fact.
Dexter said the name of it. “A Mimic.”
“Yes Detective. You’ve shown great innovation of skill. I am relying on you to compete this mission with that same marge of ability. Rest assure that should you need that help a team is manned and ready on in high orbit. If the situation comes to that they will be on the ground in a matter of minutes. But I trust you will insure that will not be needed.” Beal’s image disappeared leaving Dexter with the weight of dismay of anger, frustration then a diminishing from to his determination of his pledge of loyalty. With a cleaning breath came a dose of reality; there was no time for such a pity party he discounted Beal’s arrogance an bureaucratic prattle. “What a dick.”

Chapter Thirty- six

Two men entered the train each taking positions at one end of the train from the other. No one consider they were participating in an act of deadly espionage.
Ever so often they would bring communication devises to their ear and mouth to speak not words but a binary language of clicks and whistles. The oddity of that language attracted the attention of a teenager. His curiosity brought him closer, and the reaction of the Mimic was only to give a politest smile. He was about to enquire of sound, whispered into the small devise. How they were similar to a creature on Earth called a dolphin. When the timing device activated within the body of the thing. Before he could ask, he was blinded by the flash of light and heat from the energy. The blast washed over him disintegrating him, the force expanded in the car was meant with another force of energy that exploded from some other area of the train. The blast plums met in an expanding blossom that exploded up from the tube containment. Flame and heat was extinguished by the vacuum of the Mars atmosphere.

Dexter went from one situation station from the next reviewing the reports.  
“Reports are coming in from all over Mars One.”  One of the officers came to Dexter’s but his stride was undaunted until he reached Dai.  
Dexter was about to give him the same order he had given in the last hour, until the sight of Dai. 
“Where the hell have you been?”  Dexter looked past Dai to the twelve men that filed in behind him. 
“We are opposed by a serious threat to this Dome. You were right Dexter Ruyac, there is more than the loyalties to a culture that is at stake here.  I have turned a blind eye to this.  But the era has ended and a new day dawn on Mars.”  Dai said. 
“Mimics?”  Dexter said. 
Dai absorbed the word but still he was sure the keen eye of the Earth detective saw the interruption of his composure. “Yes, Detective.”  

“They are what is out there, blowing up parts of this planet. killing your officers. They look and act just like anyone.” Dexter came closer to Dai. “And you knew, didn’t you?”
“I have only recently gain full understand of what has been transpiring on Mars.”
“Sure.” Dexter backed away to a discrete distance. “These things can be anyone act like anyone, and we wouldn’t be able to tell.” From inside Dexter jacket pocket, he withdrew a collection of syringed then allowed fall to the top of the situation room table. “These are test that can tell who a Mimic is.” Dexter took one and tossed it to Dai. “Stick yourself with it and let’s see if you’re really you.”
Dai capture the devise in his hand examined it then turned his scrutiny of Dexter. “How do I know you have not been compromised and this is something that would incapacitate me?”
“I said stick yourself. That’s an order.” Dexter said. “That goes for each and everyone in this room.” Dexter said scanning the room with the Marshalls, some leaving their positions to corral about that space others remaining at their station’s attentions fix on the drama unfolding before them.
“Stand fast,” Dai said halting any further action from the Marshalls.
“My authority with a Global Security trump yours, Dai.”
“If you are indeed remaining Detective Dexter Ruyac.” Dai said.
In one swift move Dexter reached into his jacket and removed his service weapon to aimed at Dai. “I said stick yourself, now!” In the same moment the Marshalls about him drew their weapons to aim Dexter.”
“Get those guns off me!” Dexter stood fast his aim firmly held at Dai. “Take the test or I’ll burn you down, Dai.”
“Then my Marshalls will kill you.”
Dexter redirected his aim to Dai head. “Maybe but you’ll be just as dead.”
There was only a second of hesitation then Dai stabbed the end of the devise into the back side of his hand. In that next seconds Dexter considered his aim and if this was indeed a Mimic would he have time to kill it with one bolt before it charged, or would it be prevented with a deadly fire from one or all of his Marshalls, who might act out of loyalty their leader or respond with the protocol as Mimic terrorist. The devise beeped three time in completion of the analysis of Dai’s blood. Dai tossed back to Dexter, and he caught it with one hand. Verifying the green color of the devise’s aperture Dexter lowered his weapon. But the marshals did not there was Dexter retrieved one of the devises and did the same as Dai. Once the devise verified its analysis Dexter tossed it to Dai.
With a nod Dai gave the order for the Marshalls to lower their weapons and each filed in line to complete the process until all were verified as human.

“Well, I’m glad we got that out the way.”  Finally, Dexter holstered his weapon.  
“We will have to duplicate more of these and test all Marshall on a periodic basis to maintain each officer integrity.”  Dai said.  
“What do you know about the Mimics?”  

Dai ran down all he knew about the Mimics their plan of attack and still neither of their combine knowledge was able to estimate what that final event of espionage would be.
“All these vents are leading up to one final strike.” Dexter said. They generate terror then they do a final event that kills a mass group.” Dexter said. Dexter paced in a circle then turned back to the transparency.
“We have to find the central operation area of the Mimics, once we have located that we will be able to neutralize the threat.” Dai said,
“I think we are past that. They have deployed.” Dexter said. “They have a learning program they’re figuring out how to get past the modern safety lock to get to their final objective.”
The sound of a com link beeping brought Dexter’s attention to the desk phone.
“Detective Ruyac you have an urgent message from Earth, Gail Hawthorn.”
“Put it through.” Dexter said.
“Dex,” I’ve completed the codes for from the files from the Alliance records.” Holographic files appeared above the floor in the office.
“What does this mean?” Dexter said.
“The primary attacks are only for terror and to disrupt the intra structure. The final attack is geared for what’s called a death event.”
The pause of silence was from the chill run up both Dai and Dexter’s spine.
“What is the event?” Dexter asked carefully.
“Not sure but from what we’ve discovered it’s in Mars One.” Gail said.
“Keep me posted.” Dexter said. The image of Gail disappeared.
“So, what do we do now?” Dai said.
“Dexter held himself from smiling as the comment was like one, he would have expressed himself.
“If you were a member of the group of saboteurs and wanted to hide a collection of these Mimics for future use, were would you hide them?” Dexter said.
Dai paced in a circle in consideration of the question. He ended back before Dexter with an answer. “Mars is a platform construction. The lower levels. However, they are extensive.”
“I think I know who could help us find out.”

The door of the living quarters exploded open two Marshalls rushed in with weapons drawn followed by Dai then Dexter, Dexter Marshall to the seated Hiromasa and aimed his weapon directly at his head.
“Find it?” Dai order to his men and they immediately followed his commanded and began to rummage through the living quarters.
“I have rights, you must have some documentation that legally allows to you search my quarters.”
“Where is it?” Dexter said.
“To what are you referring?” Hiromasa said scanning the room and the location of the Marshalls
“That Alliance tech that links up with the Mimics?” Before Dexter could press for a response a Marshall brought a large, odd devise and lay in on the table nest to Hiromasa.
One of the technicians began to study the machine but Dexter would not wait for any analysis.
“Turn it on,” He brandished the weapon.
Hiromasa grunted, “If you kill me you will have nothing.”
“I’m not gonna kill you. But I’ll hurt you awful bad.” Dexter lowered to an aim between his legs. The wine of the weapon coming to life nor Dexter’s finger slipping into the trigger well did not motivated Hiromasa, it was the grim smile that crept across Dexter’s face.
“Alright damn you.” Hiromasa reached out and placed his hand on the face of the machine, it came to life with collection martoge of lights on its surface and operating sound.
The two technicians began to electronically interface with the machine and it responded with creation of operable holo-graphic control systems.
“We have access.” One of them said as he manipulated the blue images of the key controls. Then another image appeared of a holo-generated room control system and several human figures.
“Location,” Dai said.
“Section thirteen grid nine.”
“It is already too late, the future of you demise has been set.”
“Shut up.” Dexter fired a bolt of energy that knocked Hiromasa into unconsciousness.

Chapter Thirty- seven

The bowels of the platform area were dimly light and littered with ancient machinery abandoned from the original construction of the foundation of Mars One.
It was a scene of a past frozen in time. Dexter considered what he had learned as a child from history class to conversations of the life those men of pioneers of space lived. Many lives were lost in search of habitable planets even more were lost just on building the steps to the stars. Mars was such a step. The pioneers of this red planet were a combination of adventures and men determined to forge a haven for their culture. That much Dexter had not give much consideration to until he had come to this planet. Dai intense expression captures him. His father and others were led to believe from their leaders that this would be a New Japan not like that continent of the World Court but a world that preserved their culture rather than assimilate it.
“These passageways seem like they go forever.” Dexter said.
“There is a compartment twenty meters again.”
Dexter was answered by the lead officer.
As they neared the end of the corridor their pace slowed and the three officers to the lead position. One of the officers made his way carefully to the hatch and the control devise positioned on the wall.
“This locking devise is active.” He spoke. With a nod from Dai from he proceeded to activate the system. The hatch slide into the wall with a hiss of compressed air, as it opened two of the officers filed in with the final three then Dai and Dexter.
Each station and area of the compartment was an oddity of curious nostalgia. Machines of a past none of those men had seen in actual operation. Those sight were taken a-back by the human size containments at the center of the compartment. They were not fitted for the comfort of the similar technology for hyper sleep developed at the same time. These pod-like containments were designed for minimal space and power for something that comfort would not be a factor.
This was their focal point. Dexter holstered his weapon as did Dai. The two of them began to investigate the concept pods as well and the technology that sustain them.
“They appear to be all empty.” Dai said. Going from one to the next.
Dexter positioned himself before what he ascertained as the central control panel.
“This is Alliance tech.” Dexter said. He began to touch the membrane keeps. They responded with a tone or lighting. “No lock out code it looks like, they either never suspected for anyone to find this area, or they have been disabled.” Dexter moved away from the controls to join Dai.
“I suppose your summation of them being deployed was correct.” Dai said glancing up from the station he was manning. “If they are running on some independent program rather than some core program here, they will be more difficult to stop.”
From the rear of the compartment a silhouette that had been part of the shadows of the room moved. With quick and calculated speed, the Mimic wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and with on quick jerk broke his neck.
A bolt of energy hit the mimic, but he was not stopped. The officer was pummeled with a forearm to this temple. Dexter moved to position and took aim as the hand to have combat surged from the rear of the compartment forward. He took careful aim and fired one bolt that knocked the mimic in a spin. He recovers and charges forward with no seeming ill effect. The whoosh of a sliver streak split the space between Dexter and the charging mimic. The tip of the blade cut into the chest down to the stomach of the mimic. Dexter’s concentrated on what effect the penetrating blow had on the mimic instead of the source of the attack.
Dai recoiled to a position for another strike. The mimic staggered with the registration of the damage to its body making attempts to carry out the command programs that governed his action. He took only a few more steps before he toppled face forward to the floor. Immediately the flesh began to melt in a bubbling mashed heaving up toxic fumes that gagged Dai and Dexter forcing them backwards.
“Shit, that’s nasty.” Dexter said waving his hand to clear the air.
“This one must have been left behind as a protective measure.” Dai said coming closer now to the bubbling mass.
Dexter joined him.
“Not likely, the way these things operate I’d say more this one left behind as an alarm. I bet he sent some sort of carrier wave to the others. This means they’ll move their timetable up for that main event whatever the hell it is.”
“Sir something is going on with the dome viewer.” One of the officers said.

Dexter, Dai and the collection of officers looked skyward to the blue family flutter and waiver.  Dexter attention was more concentrated on the populous about them.  The crowd of habitant’s huddle and shouted in fear, children clung to their parents, even strangers held one another.  This was no assault on the life of the populous this was in order to generate fear.  The ultimate weapon of a terrorist.  The image of a blue sky and orange sun fluttered one final time then disappeared to be replaced with the black star filled vista of space.   

Beal lips sequenced.  The image that was projected back of the termolia in the streets of Mars One Dexter had been watching since the Earth viewer died.  
“This doesn’t look good Ruyac.”  
“It doesn’t look as bad as it is, sir.”  Dexter said.  
“What the hell do you mean?”  Beal said.  “Look at this, these people are going ape shit. This is civil unrest at a level we haven’t seen since the food riots of the Tech War.”  
“What I meant, is that the Mimics haven’t go forth with their final plan.”
“Which is what Ruyac?”
“Not sure about that sir but considering their design specifications I’m sure that it more detrimental than this.  The Mimics are designed to kill and the scenario that they are mapping out on Mars One suggest that they are gearing up for a mass kill.  The viewer is just another phase in the terrorist operations to promote fear.”  
Beal shuttered with restrained anxiety.  
“I am going to send down the Global troopers.”
“I don’t think that would be a good idea. These Mimics have already move to the next threat level.  I suspect that they have a contingency for exterior aid.  If you send in the troops now it will only move their final timetable up.”
“Alright Ruyac then what the hell are you going to do to keep these dam things from littering Mars with dead bodies?”  
“I don’t know as soon as I get a plan, I’ll tell you.” 

“Littered with dead bodies.”  Those were the last words Beal before he orders Dexter to resolve this situation, or he better be one of the bodies.  Dexter looked up at the star filled sky the true vista of the Mars sky from the red surface.  A reality that struck the hearts of the colonist. Even as their reality was in fact, they were on a planet millions of miles from Earth that computer generated image gave them a peace.  Dexter looked down to the city and the panic that still ensued from the last four hours of the dome viewers deactivation.  “What was next?” He spoke.   Again, Beal’s words came to him.  “Bodies littered Mars.”  The image captured his mind and the instrument of that destruction.  An air burst of high intensity radiation was used during the Colony war on pollutions of the mining planets were dealt with by low surface radiation burst.  Dexter had seen the aftermath of the attack.  Bodies laying on the black sand after the radiation had poisoned their flesh.  The rock structures of many of the asteroids and planets were a perfect shield for any bombardment. The trick was to draw them out.  Dexter was frozen with that thought.  

Chapter Thirty- eight

“If you were going kill a massive population on Mars One, how would you do it?”
Dai black expression contemplated an answered.
“With a tactical nuke.” Dai said.
“What if you didn’t have a nuke?” Dexter said. “What in this dome would have that ability to do that kind of damage?
“The reactor.” Dai said.
“Without blowing up the dome, just kill a mass population. What they are planning is still a terrorist scenario kill but the presentation is for Earth. The Earth of the past. If the populous of the world would have seen the bodies of thousands of Mars colonist lying dead, they would have rebelled against the World Court, and added to the colonist and Mars Rebellions cause.”
Dai paced in a circle. “The presentation of death.” Dai stopped. Dexter knew from his expression that he’d come to some horrify conclusion.
“From the time of childhood children of this habitants have been though to respond to the alarms and situation that might cause death and destruction. Preventive measurements from knowledge about shelters and reporting any anomalous oddities of the environment.” Dai paused in thought. “An inbreed response of a possible destruction that would come from space, meteors or radiation but only one or two would be the result of mechanical failure within the dome. That could give each dome life has also the power to end all life—the oxygen breathing plants.”
Dexter did not understand the relevance. That machine that was the lungs of a colony processing air from carbonize and distributed it in habitats such as Mars One. How could it be used as a weapon of mass destruction?”
“The OM plants are a design like nature, oxygenation is done by way of evaporation. The water is recycled and fed into the dome. At the processing level contamination with the reactor core could fill the habitat with radioactive mist.”
“Kill ever one in the dome.” Dexter said. “Stands to reason. That was the plan four years ago. Kill all the habitants make an example. Can we shut it down?” “Yes, but with the population and plant life there would only be atmosphere for two days. That would not be enough time for Space Core engineers to penetrate the dome.”
“How long to get ever body out?”
“With the current population twenty-five hours. If the Mimics are under way with this plan, it is time effective in what can possible be done to prevent the event or mammie collateral damage our behalf.
Dexter paced in a small circle.
“Everything they were doing was preprogrammed for technology and the target area of 2100.”
“That is correct.”
“What is different about the dome or the population then we could use as our advantage now.”
In response to Dexter’s question Dai nodded giving a nonverbal command to the technician. An image of the dome appeared in front of Dexter. Then another image appeared and superimposed itself. Dexter came closer comparing the difference between the two.
Most changes between the dome in the last decades have been primarily processing of waste, creation of various new platforms for launch and the transport tubes.”
“What is this?” Dexter stepped into the image to a circular construction.
“That is the recycling center for the vented waste from the reactions core. As nothing goes to waste this area was designed during the construction of the dome. Water that is use for cooling is purified and recycled a long with the water reactor.”
Dexter interrupted again. “This tube why does this carry the water up to the dome?”
“Some of the water is used as rain showers, to water vegetation and help with oxygenation. Also to give the illusion of Earth a rain squall from one and again. But as I said the water is purified. This process has been carried on for over several decades.”
“What if something happened and the water wasn’t purified.”
“Radioactive rain.” Dai said.
“There is a dozen or so safeguards that will prevent such a scenario.” The technician said then pressed several keys. The image Dexter stood within narrowed to isolate that very section of the water purification exchange. If there was some sort of system break down the within the purification process the radioactive mist will be vented out into the Mars atmosphere.”
“What would keep that backup from working?” Dexter asked.
“There is a redundant failsafe. If one vent malfunctions, then another will take its place.”
“What if they all failed?”
“Not possible.” The technician quickly countered Dexter’s question.
With that Dexter moved closer to the image. Any technology has a way of being circumvented either by brake down or someone intervening.
“Such a design would have been part of the original structure that was designed by—” Dai trailed off captured by a thought too intense for him to speak.
Dexter turned back to Dai, “Evacuation might not be the best way to get these people safe.” What other emergency procedures do you have for a dome breach?”
Dai led the way to another situation station manned by a Marshall monitoring two holoimages of the dome’s population.
Dexter spoke. “We will find something that will fit.”
“What is this?” Dexter pointed to a situation display of information on the face of one of the holoimages.
“It is the emergency shelter in place protocol.” The Marshal answered. “During the possible compromise of the dome from some special mater, meteor of comet. Many homes apartments are retro fitted as survival units with their own atmosphere, there are also shelters that are contained environments.”
“I see you have run drills for this,” “Not in the last several years, with added new shield generators the dome is superiority would withstand and impact. So, we have done away with the drills.”
“Send out a dome wide alert, for all personal to shelter in place until future notice.” Dexter said. “Get every available Marshal out there to the habitat.” Dexter came up then looked about. The operation room computer spoke with the same voice on different levels of systems operations. His concentration remained on the scans of the dome environment as well as the status reports of the several hundred marshals and their efforts to get the dome inhabitants into shelters. He then glanced at the chronometer, how much time before the Mimics indicated their final assault even still if all the inhabitants reached sheltered areas, then what next. The rain of radiation would contaminate the dome would it be possible to evacuate the inhabitant? That question asked to allow he expected to be answered by Dai, not there was only silence. “Where the hell did Dai go?”

Chapter Thirty-nine

The bowels of the city were left to maintenance drones vacate to human concerns it became a dark uninviting place. Dai scanned the circular passaged ways stained with rust of moisture and time, ‘those decades ago when Wui’s generation forged this world from the red earth and platformed a city they thought would be the salvation of their culture. Many died and in with the urgency to complete the work they were buried within these very deck plates as a matter of necessity they became a marmoreal the stories told by children.
Dai rounded a corner following the memory of what he had found in Wui’s security system. He was the survivor of those original founders of this dome city had made that pace with the colony alliance decades ago. To murder the thousands of Earth workers that build ships for the war in space. But the colony battle craft was intercepted just as it entered Mars orbit the chips carrying the Mimic launched. The pod damaged and off course it crashed. The war continued; colonist defeated the pod carrying the Mimic lay in suspended underneath the Mars sands.
The sound of footsteps; carefully placed in a slow advanced halted his Dai, and he waited to gain the true location of the person. He saw the figure before he could recognize how it was one final step to his location and the sword went to the neck of the man, the next quick action would have been a mortal wound. Instead, Dai relented with Dexter’s wide eye glare at him. Dai brought the blade to his side..
“What is the status of the population of the Dome?”
“Have implement a shelter in place I put all marshals on helping to get all inhabitants either in their home safe shelter or the committee dome shelters.”
“Excellent.” Dai said.
“Last status check was they have over ninety three percent accounted for in safe shelter. The issue is if the Mimic pull this off, I’m not sure how the populous would be extracted.”
“Then we will ensure that such will not be needed.” Dai waved his hand for Dexter to follow.
The sound of the working machines and air being pumped systems was added to yet another of devise a grumbling hum that was more of a vibration on the metal plates that the sound the devise gave from its operation.
“The chamber for the oxygen processing is directly ahead.” Dai turned to Dexter,
“You got a plan,” Dexter asked.
Dai held hp his hand and from a devise in his palm a holographic image came to life. “This is the oxygen breathing power plant. Water streams in the under shafts and for the coolant system. Below and above the reactor rods and finally centering the reaction chamber where water is separated into breathable air. The Mimics will be in this area where a secondary override system has been placed. This is the relay station that original was designed as a failsafe. We will make our way hear, this this point.”
“That is right under them,” Dexter pointed to the section of the holographic image.
“Yes. As you have observed Mimics will not divert from, they’re program priority unless they assess a threat.”
“Well once we begin to activate this fail safe, they will consider that as interference.”
“Yes, ok? How many are there you think?” Dexter asked.
“At least six, no more than that.”
“How long did you have to think of this plan?”
“If you have another Dexter, I am willing to entertain it.”
There was only a moment of pause until Dexter spoke again.
“What is this?” Dexter pointed to a red line leading from the base of the image.
“The super-heated water that is created from the rod reaction it is that steam that the Mimic will mingle with the reactor radiation to vent into the doom atmosphere.”
Deter took one more second in consideration of all Dai had said then his face showed his resolve.
“Let’s get it done, then.” Dexter held the laser rifle to the ready.
Dai led Dexter though a final corridor then up through a tubing just enough for them to use their arms and legs to extend to make climb. Reaching the top, the climbed out into an expansive chamber several stories high.
Dexter felt a dizzying effect as he looks up to the massive construction, dark metal machines heaving steam and thundering in with the vibration of its operation. Moving across to the base of the machine was complicated with the modification that lined the deck plates, it was not a surface for human movement.
Reaching the base of the structure Dexter realized their destination, immediately Dai began to bring the system online, Dexter circled looking above until he found a platform above. Six dark figures worked in tangent repositioning collection of large plugs too heavy and incomer some for an human to manage. Dexter had to remind himself that these were no humans, his response to them as threat had to be accordingly.
“I have access,” Dai said. “It will take me but a few moments to reroute command controls to this station.” “Once you do that will they—” Dexter question was stifled with the sound of clacking footsteps, the weight of a human body impacting feet first on metal. He stepped back and saw two of the Mimic’s had left their post and we now bounding over the railing to land platform below then the next.
“Two are on their way down.” Dexter said, as he unslung the rifle and took aim. Firing several shots to finally impacted one only with minimal effect. Both landing on the platform Dexter stood he was able to concentrate his fire on the lead Mimic. The rapid fire of energy burned several holes in his chest before it suddenly stopped its advance to topple to the deck plate like a child’s toy that was suddenly turned off. In that moment the second Mimic advanced with the speed that disallowed Dexter from redirecting his aim before he could squeeze the tiger the Mimic had advanced. Dexter aim was diverting by its hand batting away the weapon for it to fall to the metal deck plate. The expression of the Mimic was with no frown of determination not scowl of anger or even hate. A chilling level concentrated expression of what was actuated in the brain of what was once a man. A binary computer virus sending situations to the body to follow a method of killing. Dexter had been paralyzed with that chilling faith of death when something whizzed past him to impact the Mimics head. That silver bolt fashioned in a knife stuck deep into the Mimics skull killing that biological computer as well as that human brain it hosted.
Dai only glanced to Dexter’s for a second considering the effect his target then went back to his work on the systems control.
“I’ll be complete in a few minutes.” He said, “You must hold them off.”
“We don’t have a few minutes,” Dexter recovered the rifle and aimed it to the perch control platform above. The remaining Mimic were still at work. Dexter looked about the area then bounded towards an elevator. Before Dai had time to commit Dexter was inside moving to the next level.
Dexter reached the next level two above the station where the Mimics were. From there Dexter began to make his way closer, keeping his eye on their status. At one of his confirmation glances Dexter took note of another one of the Mimic’s had disengaged from the work ethic, in one quick action he had bounded over the railing to land on the catwalk above Dexter. Dexter positioned himself under the Mimic as it was about to bound over the railing. Flipping the energy elector to the next level Dexter took aim and fired a concentrated beam. The energy melted though the deck planet and the Mimic fell through, it impacted with the railing on Dexter’s level and toppled over the end.
“How much longer?”
“Sixty seconds,” Dai voice came over the are piece.
A lifetime could transpire in sixty seconds, battle in space to conflicts between assailants has resolved in that time. Dexter’s thoughts rolled through his mind of conflicts and that margin of time. He glances over head to the Mimics now directly over top of him. Three we still reassembling the mechanism, that must have been all they could spare to content with the threat Dai and he imposed, or perhaps they were almost done with what they were doing.
A loud alarm clakson roared echoed throughout the compartment it was the roar of some wounded beast shuttering the compartment with the reverberation rising and lowering pitch.
“What the hell is that?” Dexter yelled to be heard.
“It is the warning for the coolant system.”
“Have they rerouted it.” Dexter looked up to the platform to find the Mimics still working.
“They have not completed. However, I fear they will complete the reroute before I can circumvent their efforts.”
It would not be possible to reach the level of the Mimics on time, even if he could three against him, he be greatly over matched. Dexter considered for a moment how he’d burned through the deck plate and sent the other Mimic toppling, he discounted it as well as an endeavor that would take too much time. Then his question to a particular section and piping became the solution. Dexter took aim and the imaging of the eyepiece of the weapon gave a thermo imaging, he found his target and fire one bolt then another then finally a third. The explosive impact from the rupture of the pressurized pipe drowned out the alarm for only a second. With that explosion came an eruption of a blossom of steam. There were no death screams, nor could Dexter see the result of his work as the loom had completely cover the platform above.
“I have control of the system,” Dai excited voice came over the earpiece, “Dexter are you all right?”
“Yea,” the steam clearing Dexter could now see the remaining three Mimics strown on the platform above motionless.

Chapter forty

The ride through the city to the shuttle port was of a small talk of two men less two law enforcement agency millions of miles apart. Upon level the car Dai took responsibility of carrying Dexter suitcase.
“I still can’t believe that those Mimics made it all the way to accumulating a senator of the Court.” Dexter, ask he walked next to Dai. “Can you imagine what would happen if the Alliance would have been able to send them to Earth during the war.”
Dai took his attention from their destination in the shuttle port to respond to Dexter. “Then I suppose we would all be citizens of the Colony Alliance.”
Finding the correct loanding docking prot they stopped to face one another. “Do you think you are gonna have an issue working with the Global Security task force with their security sweep.”
“If would be preferable to work with you Dexter Ruyac.”
“What about these people, you going to tell they were a gnat’s hair from being poisoned with radiation?” Dexter observed the normality of the human traffic.
“I would not say it would be in the best interest of the people. After all the purpose of the government in protection of the populous. How ever there is an old American saying. Knowledge is power. I will of course empower them with the knowledge of how an the law enforcement of Earth was instrumental in this crisis.”
The paused for a moment. Then Dai handed Dexter the suitcase. Dai allowed the slightest grin to crees his lips with the sight of Dexter in the dark navy suit he had sent to his room upon their meeting.
“You honor me.” Dai looked Dexter up and down.
“Pretty much all my clothes got trashed, this is the only decent thing I had left, so thank you. It ah, it was good serving with you.
“My thanks for your service, Dexter Ruyac, it was an honor to work with you.”
“The honor was mine.” Dexter bowed bending his torso in a thirty-degree angle. Dai observed in surprise with the level of respect then recuperated. With words spoken in Japanese.
“I didn’t catch that.” Dexter cocked his head.
“Safe journey Ruyac-san.”
There were no other words that should have been said in that realization between the two Dexter turned and made his way up the ramp towards the shuttle Dai observed him for a moment then turned on his heals.

            The End
        9:37 am Sept 20, 2016