A Story of the Odyssey Effect

 by Phillip G. Cargile

Chapter One

Beautiful. Home. The hub of humanity.  All descriptive of the planet with the orange sun the glowed in the sky of Earth.  Words that he had never said before until he had returned from the war in space one hundred thousand light years away and a lifetime ago.  ‘A lifetime ago,’   Twenty-nine-year-old Special Detective Dexter Ruyac turned his attention from the morning sun to the holo-display of the destination of the public transportation vehicle.  The trains artificial intelligence announced the destination of the upcoming stop and he prepared himself to exit the train.  

Dexter’s body relented against the deceleration, that pit of his stomach feeling had become hypersensitive to any motion, a condition that had develop with those years living onboard the battle craft ‘Thor’s Hammer.’  Another demon he carried home with him, he thought and stepped out of the open separated doors to the bustling streets.  

This was what he had fought for, people this race of humanity to life in the utopian dream of a world free of all the legacy of the previously governments of this world of 2125.  It worked, the new world rulers forged something unique from the remains of shattered governments; and kingdoms; to create a utopian world of peace. Even still the people needed to be lorded over with the law. 

New Chicago was his home now, before the war in space it was Canada.  The war did not claim it, it was still there, but so was his ex-wife, a life he left behind with relocation for duty station after his graduation from the police academy.  A life he had to leave, a life time ago.

Those thoughts were pushed back into the foreground of his mind with the voice of a female in his ear mic.  “Dex, we got eyes on you. I have caught a couple of energy spikes could be they have a drone tracking you. Not sure but most likely.”

          “Ok, just keep a tight watch. Unless I give a shout out for help keep communication silence, I’m sure they might be trying to catch any transmissions in this area.”

“Will do, have a nice walk.”


The Galactic Smugglers Ring, (GSR), an organized crime entity born of deserters from the colony war, stranded off world colonist refuges and an assortment of other humans who’d ventured out into space and found that frontier more hostile than their vision of colonization. That unrealistic expectation coupled with being stranded light years from Earth they needed to survive.  To do so they banded together for the common welfare of each group.  Orion, Vega 9, Mars, Blue Nebula four of the largest of a dozen organizations of hundreds of thousands of members that had formed the Galactic Smugglers Ring.  

It didn’t begin as a criminal organization; an innovative way for men to survive in space. Trade among colonist sponsored by Earth and others individual ventures; with desperation free commerce morphed into unscrupulous behavior. Theft became the venue to satisfy the need, between colonies then Earth freighter craft and outpost.  Safety in numbers and honor amoung thieves all blended into groups that formed the Galactic Smugglers Ring. The World Court not willing to give directive to the military force to hunt down those citizens were tolerant. A tolerance that did not extend to Earth or any other planets of Earth’s solar system. 

A soft beeping proceeded a soft red flashing in the optical scan in fashioned as contacts on his eyeballs motivated him to discretely turned his attention skyward.  He couldn’t see it was covered in some sort of a high revolutionary energy field.  A drone watching him, making sure he wasn’t followed also scanning the case to verify its content.  

        His destination ahead of him an old hollowed out remains of a structure does not complete rebuild from the Reconstruction, was his destination.  An odd center of a city that had all but been rejuvenated from the orbital ravages of the Alliance orbital bombardments. The rebuild of the world’s buildings and city from the orbital bombardment from the war. The effort of world restoration was on going some buildings and cities still had not been restored. 

  Neither had many people on the Earth; old ways of thinking old from old loyalties to long gone governments; old pains like old wounds don’t completely go away. The department psychologist quickly interjected when he mentions the past. Too many graves of corpse that would reincarnate themselves at any given time, he captured those thoughts for the moment at hand. 

         Dexter circled in search of the correct entry point. All doors had been removed to allow easy access for construction crews and machinery, they purposely didn’t give exact instructions.  He popped his head in one opening after the next until a voice amplified by technology spoke. 

“Come on in.” Dexter entered carefully his contacts automatically going to scan mode; one man lingered he a clock of darkness, then another about a machine.  Slowly he made his way into the dimly lighted area guided by the heat signatures of a group of bodies. He maneuvered about several pallets of construction material staged for the next phase of remodeling the building.  A soft aura of light drew him closer to the center of the room were a collection of men totally three stood waiting.  “Well, here he is,” A tall well-groomed man in his mid-thirties emerged from the group into the light. His bouncing steps referring to the gravity of the world he was born. Humans had been born on multiple worlds with diverse atmospheres and gravity. The genetic treatment of their parents in preparation for space travel was passed on to their offspring. Men spawned on those lower gravity worlds like this man felt as if could fly on Earth, some even were able to jump with ability beyond the normal human, others born on other planets felt as if the whole planet was laying on their chest.

“It would have been a ten-minute drive from New New York to here. Rather than jumping from one commuter to the next.”  Dexter said finally stopping in front of the center man.  

“Who can you trust these days?”  He asked the question and turned back to the group behind him. They responded with only grizzled glares at Dexter.  “A few years ago, several lieutenants in Blue Nebula ring tried to break off and create a new ring. The Ring master own brother he led a cue of a sort. It failed, the Ring master flushed his brother and fuck bitch into space—trust is in short supply these days.” He said leaning into Dexter.  

“This damn thing is heavy,” Dexter said.

“Then you will be glad to put it down.”  He nodded and stepped to one side and pointed to a small table.  

Dexter lay the case on the table.

“Tell me how did you manage to get your hands on a communication coil from an Earth Force craft? 
“If I told you that then you would just get your own or whatever else you might need.  Earth is Mars smuggler rings territory; we don’t mind swapping but—the territory is ours.  Question for you?  What does an Orion Ring lord want with this tech?”  Dexter pointed at the case.  “This is old tech used decades ago to try and communicate with aliens.”

He leaned in towards Dexter his face a mask of serious contours.  His mother lives on Earth.  Times being as they are he can’t get here as much as he would like. So, he wants to make sure he can get a call through to her from time to time.”

Dexter nodded, “I thought it was something like that.” Burger then reached for the case, before his fingers could clench on the handle Dexter pulled just out of reach.  “Credit transference,” Dexter said.  

He turned to a smaller table behind him were the two henchmen retreated, one of which took position before devise on the tabletop.  Dexter set the case on the table; opened it then took a step back.  The second of the henchmen stepped forward a with a small device scanned the contents of the case.  A glance to the read out from the scan brought a nod of satisfaction to Burger.  

“Ok, now we can deal.”  Burger stepped pointed at the face of the devise.  “Palm up let the authenticator scan you.”

Dexter held his palm over the device and a soft beam of light washed over his palm.  Then a soft feminine tone of a computer-generated voice spoke.  “David Howell, born Mars Colony Two, March 10, 2097 migration status within system, and outer colonies validated.” the description of this created identity continued with more detail with his criminal history of affiliation with two smugglers rings. 

Upon completion Dexter took his hand back then stood waiting.

“Looks like you have a sale Mr. Howell.” 

Transfer credit to this account.  Well, I guess that completes out business.”  Burgers’ words stalled with the soft beeping that came from behind him.  “What the hell is that?”

The grin from Burger disappeared with the words of one of the henchmen. “Credit transference is being tracked.”

It was in all their eyes his cover was blown and they were going to kill him, no questions asked.  In that second of dismay Dexter bolted away towards the shadows of about the room.  Streaks of energy bolts receded about him as he bolted for cover of some hulking construction machine.  

“Can’t count to five minutes.”  Dexter looked up to the darkness considering the technician that indicated the trace too soon.  The air units were orbiting a thousand feet above and their scans had picked up the energy spicks and they were on their way down.  ‘Three minutes.’  He curled his lip in consideration of how long it took to kill-seconds.  Just then another bolt burned through the air and exploded into the metal of the machine.  Dexter lurched bolted in a run to another shelter of cover of darkness but found it occupied.  Dexter didn’t give him time to train his weapon.  His response was much natural in response to what he wanted to do and the method of how he would stick and uncompacting blow them one final singular grabbling move the snapped his neck.  That move lead Dexter into retrieve his weapon.  The hunter now, role made natural with the training he received from the military and refined from the police academy.  

He slowly moved his way about the machinery listing the footsteps and the voice calling for a coordinated effort.  He had found himself between the two groups now.  He took aim to one group them quickly turned to take aim at the other.  Only one of his uncalculated shots hit its mark but the spark he ignited caused a crossfire between the two groups.  

The heat of the energy blast was absorbed by his jacket and Dexter consider just how close they had come to impacting with his body as he dodged the crossfire.  It was only seconds until the two opposing groups realized they were killing each other.  Dexter merged from the shadows with his count of the remaining hostiles downed by over half.  

“This is the police!”  The voice boomed in the room reigniting the determination to suppress the original treaty.  Re-orientating themselves they moved firing. Rapid fire of energy blast smashed into machine, walls in a pattern that was forcing Dexter into a corner of the room. 

“This is Dexter Ruyac badge 100077224.” 

“We read you Detective,” The voice responded in Dexter’s earpiece.  

“I’m about to get chopped to pieces.” 

“Access teams have landed on ground and will be in your location in three minutes.”  

“I’ll be dead in sixty seconds.”  Dexter said.  “Target hostiles.”

“You’re in too close a proximity of targets detective.”

“On my order send it down, now!”

“Affirmative Detective. On my mark.  All ground units fall back to secure positions.”   In that few seconds of a pause.  Dexter’s mind scowled there moments his life when he was in condition of the same.  The war fall back positions and aerial support staffed the camp, he survived—drop ship crashing onto enemy terrain hostile and alien, but he survived.  Even the divorce did not kill him.  His mouth circled with that final thought.  He the voice of the flight officer spoke in his ear.  “Firing all magazines.”   Dexter braced himself but to no avail, violent shock waves of energy ripped through the building.  

“Son of a bitch!”  Dexter screamed with the rumbled of building and blinding lights of energy all about him.  Then silence.  

“Detective Ruyac, report your status.”  The officer called in Dexter ear.  

“I’m still alive.” The reality he vocalized to himself, with amazement.  Dexter came up to his feet and scanned the carnage.  About him but did not find the remains or devise he was searching for.  That body was still alive and in motion, he informed himself of that with the silhouette that was now running towards opposite end of the building.  Dexter retrieved a weapon and followed, he was not able to take a calculated fire and he disappeared into the man-lift, positioning himself inside Dexter was jetted up and in sixty seconds was assaulted by the brilliance of the sun.  His shielding of his eyes as also preventing him from sault that came in the from the case he once carried being used as a weapon.  Dexter was struck in the face and knocked backwards into the man lift. The automated system almost activated, and he would have been whisked back to the floor of the building but Dexter promptly places foot prevented the door from sealing and he pushed his way out onto the roof.   

At the end of the roof a small containment opened to a singular craft, Dexter bolted into full run but the sound of the engine screaming to life redirected his determination.  “Over-watch, I’ve got a hostile on the roof on his way off sight.”  Dexter called the command but did not wait for aerial support. He lifted the energy rifle to take aim at the singular engine of the craft the rose over head.  Three bolts of energy melted into the engine housing area causing a chain reaction from the engine of sparks and flames belched from the engine mow.  The craft dipped and shuttered then as if it were attempting to gain altitude for an escaped it nose ended into the roof plowing threw into the structure.  Dexter was about to congregate his effort when to air crackled with energy and the building shuttled with a quake followed the gut-wrenching sensation of gravity taking over to undo the structure.  

The explosion of the craft had ruptured the energy cell and ignited the plasma within.  This time he had no genuflecting upon his life, instead he braced for the wash of superheated energy that would disintegrate him in seconds.  

The grey gun metal craft soared over the roof and hovered above him.  As the hatch was still opening Dexter abandoned the weapon and bolt to throw himself head long into the bay door.  A rush of super-heated air rushed over him as the ships structure took the brunt of the implosion that undid the building to rubble.  

Chapter Two

“Dex, you ok?”  Dexter raised his head from his concentration of the information on the holo-screen before him.  He turned his head to the female face the junior detective of his team Gail Hawthorn.  

“Trying to rifle through this report.” Dexter’s glance shifted to the transparent office in the center of the bullpen.  Within that enclosure one man, his supervisor Peachtree sat at his desk.  Gail followed his gaze to Peachtree’s office then back to the screen.  

“You brought the building down?”

“Technically Over-watch brought it down.”  Dexter said glancing up from the keying of information.  

“Weren’t you the officer in charge?”  

“Are you my forensic junior officer or Direct report?”  Dexter fired that her.   

“The worse he will do is suspend you.”  She spoke.  Those brown eyes locking on him.  

“I don’t need that.  This case is online to leading me to an Orion smugglers front man on Earth. What I need to know if anything was pulled off that credit transference.”

Gail was about to speak when her voice was drowned out by mail voice that came over Dexter desk phone.

“Dex, my office?”

He made no pause for following the request that in fact was an order but delivered in a professional curiosity.  

With the door closing behind him Dexter followed the standard protocol of entering his supervisor’s office and sat at the desk before his supervisor. 

As usual Peachtree did not immediately address his presence, there was always a matter he was sure he was tending to in with the twenty-four officers under his command, a which had reaching of requirements for response to government officials.  Those eyes fired at Dexter.

“That building was schedule for reconstruction next week.  The Major the Block senator and I hear even Judge Harris was supposed to be on attendance.  It was called a mall, some sort of shopping area; the Water Tower Place.  Planet bomb from an orbital colonial ship crashed right down in the center of it but, didn’t explode—it was a dud.”

Dexter searched the room for something else to concentrate on other than those perishing brown eyes of his supervisor. 


Peachtree put his finger on his lip and hissed a hushing command.  “How many times have you been on suspicion in the last year?”


“Three times.” Peachtree quickly corrected his math.  “That really doesn’t work, so what do I do?  I consider firing you but that would be like trying to revoke the lifetime appointment of a Judge.  I could put you on permanent surveillance or deck duty till you retire. But my boss thinks you are an outstanding detective and I’m not managing you properly.  That’s because ill regardless of all the shit you do you close cases.  And you’re great at your job.”  Peachtree grunted, you really are Dex, “But you just are always—doing shit like this!  You were supposed to make a connection the with the account transference.  Nothing more, now the primary suspect is dead!  The evidence is blown to hell along with a building. Not to mention a piece of technology that this department had to perruquier from the Galactic Exploration Association!”  There was a pause, one Dexter knew was not his opportunity to speak but for Peachtree to consider more calmly his option or the course of correction he would take.  

“Twenty-four-hour suspensions. Then I want whatever is salvable from this—I want arrest, convictions. I preps on the execution circuit paying their debt to society.”

“Yes, sir—you have—”  

“Your dismissed detective.”  Peachtree turn his attention back to several holo-screens of information.  

Chapter Three

Dexter stood in the living room window of his apartment peering out to the fading light of the day over New Chicago.  ‘New’ the word that was placed in front of every city and country with the age of Reconstruction.  New was an added adverb to cities rebuilt after the wars that devastated Earth.  ‘One hundred years,’ that was the timeline of the completion of that vision for the world in whole.  “How long did I set it back,” Dexter said that and toasted the night then turned away from the window back to the small living space of the efficiency apartment.  “Twenty-four hours,” he said to the empty room.  ‘Realizing,’ was the first thought but that ended up with him standing at the window.  “Thirty seconds of it gone,” A soft beeping proceeded the computers announcement.  “In coming call from Detective Gail Hawthorn,”  

“Answer,” Dexter said and waited.  

The image of his forensic detective appeared in the living room. “Hey, Dex are you busy?”

“Not as busy as I like to be.”  Dexter said.

“Well, I got a chance to review the tech report on the transmission Burger sent for the confirmation of the sell.”  


“Wasn’t off planet, it was right here in New Florida.”  

Before Dexter could offer his dismay and more question, and image of a graphic landscape appeared.  “It’s one of those city redevelopments that did go beyond a two-thousand-person development.”

Dexter came closer to the image.  “Not off planet?  Why the hell would an Orion smuggler operator have a credit transference on planet?”

“Guess you’ll have to find out when you’re back in the office.”  Gail said then her image disappeared.  

The twenty-four hours was put to the effort of the completion of his report of the incidence of the previous day and the addition of the information of the transmission signal and his request for a follow up.  He’d transferred it during the ten-minute flight in his air car to work.  But the time he had landed in the parking garage and made his way to his desk he received the response.  Peachtree had opened the file but sent no response to any thoughts of his own.  Coming of suspension, he be given direct orders from his supervisor to his new assignment.  It was his case still and to continue in the pursuit of the assailants would only be logical.  

Dexter glanced to the transparent of Peachtree’s office. He paused in a moment in consideration of whatever duty of the day he was reviewing where was he in the priory of his report.  

“Good morning Dex,” Dexter glanced up to Gail.

“Morning,” Dexter responded them went back to his discrete observation of Peachtree.

“Before you get too comfortable, we have to review our new team Psychologist.”  

“Huh,” Dexter gave Gail her full attention.  “What happened to what’s his name, Anderson?”

“He resigned three days ago.  After he submitted a report his last psychological evaluation of you.  He said you were reckless, had tendency of self-destructive behavior.  No respect for authority. Since our boss already knows that I guess that’s why he didn’t forward it up the chain.”

“I think it was personal.  These Psy cops I really don’t know what their purpose is on investigation teams.”

“To keep led detectives from overstepping and give insight into preps?”  Gail said.

“I thought that was the forensic detectives job.” Dexter winked at Gail then turned back to his supervisor’s office, on time with Peachtree meeting his attention.  Peachtree waved his hand for Dexter to come to his office.  

“Ok, Dex I read your report.”  Peachtree said still looking at the holo-screen.  “You think that Orin has come to Earth for some sort of transaction between rings?”

“Earth is Neutral territory for all the smuggler rings.  Specially since most of their high value product they try to appropriate comes from Earth. They won’t shot it out here, just do business.” 

“This smells like Global Security’s jurisdiction.” 

Gail chimed in.  “Everything is still speculation, boss.  You know Global Doesn’t like case about the GSR unless there is some hard evidence to go with it.”  

Dexter nodded a response.  “This is the best lead we had on this whatever they have been tooling with in the last two months.  This community in New Florida.”  

Gail touched a key on her wrist control and brought in image of a small collection of buildings on the desk before them.  “This is just enough of the city scans for a GSR operator one of the rings coordinates whatever they are coming to Earth about.”

   This guy Burger was just one of what I think is one of a few rings that are involved coordinated buy of some next level tech, or maybe a ship. It’s something big.  That communication core was a big down payment.”

“What makes you think that the deal went sour after they didn’t get it, maybe they jumped off planet.”  Peachtree said. Peachtree leaned back in consideration of the information as well as the determination of the man that sat before him.  

“What if they didn’t.  What if they had a plan B transaction and are gearing up for that buy?”  

Peachtree relented.  “Ok, go get me some answers Dex,” Peachtree said.

Dexter watched the names and face cycle before him on the window screen on the air car. Personal files of the person’s personal and professional activity.  Almost every one of the populations were involved in the communication array that was erected for the transference of communication from off world.  It made since that this would be a location for ring activity, closely regulation and monitoring had become refocused with the marsh of Reconstruction.  That off world criminal organization that had plagued the reformation of the utopian world had been downgraded as a threat to society—to a tolerance of reality.  

Dexter pulled his mind from the line of thought to the consideration of the collection of buildings on the horizon.  The heads-up display shuttered then disappeared as if whatever systems malfunction affected that display spread.  Violent disruptions to all the vehicle systems assaulted the functional performance of the vehicle.  The car’s AI assessing the multitude of systems eras responded with only one emergency alert action.  “Beginning emergency landing cycle.”  The car angled downward, the ground rushing towards filling the car’s windshield. The car’s AI performed one final drastic maneuver to insure the survival of its passenger. The car aimed its front in upward to impact the rear of the car with a bone jarring impact.  

Pain as well as the constant the emergency alarm of the computers last nonverbal alert shuttered Dexter’s unconsciousness.  The restraining web of energy had held him secure from traumatic impact of any part of the car.  Still that restrain did not prevent from being knocked unconsciousness from the sudden impact with the ground.  The web had now dissipated, and he lay slumped on the controls. Slowly Dexter pulled himself to an upright position to make an assessment of his body functions.  Slowly moving each limb and finding his breathing sallow but not labored he considered the damage superficial.  

Dexter spoke an order into the air. “Computer, activate emergency beacon.”  

There was no verbal response only the crackling coming from the surrounding speakers.  Dexter waved his hand over the front of the cars console and still there was no activity of any systems.  

“Great,” Dexter grunted and fumbled for the manual level that would unlock the door.  One strong lurch and the door’s hydraulic released to an upright position allowing Dexter to exit the vehicle.  He took only a moment to survey the damage and give thanks to the technology of the car without which a 3000-foot descent would have otherwise left him as part of the wreckage.  What was the reason for the catastrophic systems failure?  The question was followed by an observation.  ‘It wasn’t the car,’ He announced the wreckage then looked skyward for some orbiting enemy but there was none. Then the distance presented his destination.  Taking a deep breath, he mustered his resolve for the several mile walk before him.  

He had reached the boarder of the community when he had notice that there was an eerie silence that was only broken with the barking of dog or a sea gull overhead.  Nothing to the effect of the normal sounds of a community with a few thousand people.  Whatever it was had effected this community as well, he supposed then ventured to the boarder of the community.  There sounds echoed to him, not of a community under dismay of failure of the intra-structure but of violence.  Dexter hand had gone into his jacket and with one natural motion removed his service weapon and with his thumb flip the setting to active stun level one.  The weapon whined to activity at his side, and he moved discreetly closer into the alley that led to the streets of the community.  

          His caution steps halted with a roar of group of several people rushing past him the alley entrance.  Resuming his careful steps, he found himself at facing the streets before him.  A catoptric scene of carnage and calamity of pockets of individuals in group conflict.  “What the hell,” Dexter let those words slip from his lip and was about to charge out into the calamity a demand a cease of the violence, but it was the intensity of the combat that held him to consider a more careful response.  Back out the alley he snaked along the buildings weapon held ready, it was long until he had found what he thought a controllable situation that would gain him answers. A one on one conflict between two men, Dexter hesitate for a moment in consideration of the virosty of the combat.  Make shift weapons of a pipe swing by one man and the other using what appeared to a some axe.  The energy of each man’s assault on the other echoed in the sticks of the metal against metal that generated sparks at each contact. 

          “Drop your weapons, police!”  Dexter said coming close enough his weapon held at the ready.  His words fell upon deaf ears as the two continued their private war.  “I said police! Put your weapons down—now!”  Dexter hollered again.  This time they indeed end the combat between them and turned their attention to him.  Their faces were scared and bloody with cuts across the cheek and face and he considered the style was almost as if some tribal war paint. 

          With a simulations roar of some savage warrior they both charged, one bolt each should have rendered each unconscious, rather the stunning energy knocked them staggering back, in that second Dexter reset the for a high stun and fired again.  The effect was dramatic and one collapsed to one knee.  The other ceasing the opportunity attacked with the ax slitting his skull.  Dexter fired again this time the bolt of energy knock the final man down to his back.   Dexter moved closer carefully until he was standing over him, he still flounder on the ground attempting to stand, one hand grabbing for the axe.  “What the hell is wrong with you?”  Dexter aimed the weapon at his face, his thumb hesitating to push the weapons capacity to its most deadly setting.  No discernable response was given to Dexter’s question only groans and snarls of anger and frustration.  A swift kick to his side still bought more animalistic behavior.  It was only the howls and hollers that echoed about him that prompted Dexter to abandoned his interrogation.  Falling back to the cornered of the buildings Dexter watch as the crowd roared past stopping long enough to mortally wound the man on the ground. 

          A rush of memory flooded Dexter mind and he parallel that memory with this moment. He been behind enemy lines before, the enemy—colonist. They were not trained soldiers but the versoity of their desire to war made them effective killers, as then it was his skill he’d rely upon for his survival. 

          Dexter went from one door to the next attempting to force entry until he was successful with forcing the lock of what was some small store. It wasn’t long until he had found the carnage that reflected the madness that was sweeping through the rest of the town.  On the floor was a man and woman in the death clutch, blood pool the bodies from the wound to the throat they had inflicted upon one another.   Scanning the room he found more horror with the sight of another body of who was un-doubtly this couples son.  They had killed him first then killed each other. “Shit!”  Dexter said.  Carnage of crime, scenes and even those of the war had not jaded him to the point that a new horror would turn his stomach. Control was the key, of the mind and in extension the body would follow suit.  He’d learn that the most traumatic way after vomiting in his helmet upon viewing the frozen bodies on the battle field.  He forced that sensation down and brought forth the intuitive skills of a police officer. 

          Moving on into the building he found only more questions about whatever it was that had suddenly befallen this town. ‘Suddenly,’ that was a description of the only fact.  What had happened suddenly?  Dexter took note to the windows and front door, makeshift barricades, then back to the bodies on the floor.    

Something move in the corner of his eye, and by the time he had turned fully it spoke. “There was that scream, then they just went crazy.”   The child shrunk back when Dexter lurched about weapon trained at her.

                He held his concentration on the position and the half visible female until he resolved there was no attack coming from her. 

Then he lowered his weapon and offer his hand.

                “I won’t hurt you,” He said and brought himself down to one knee to present even a lesser threat. 

                “I know you don’t look crazy.”  She said and came closer, her pink dress was typical for a child of 10 but had been ripped at the shoulder and a stain of blood on the front. 

                “Are you hurt?” 

                “No,” this is Remmy’s blood.  She nodded her head to the young adult male at the front of the room.  “He was trying to keep them out them my dad..”  He resolve clasped along with her voice and she stumbled forward to secure herself with her arms about Dexter’s neck.  He was parlayed for a moment, the question he had in gaining knowledge had to wait for a moment of secured he’d have to priories. 

                “You’re ok,” he said.  And put one arm about her.  “What is your name?”


                “Carmen, can you tell me about the scream?”

                “I heard it, it was like a witch, and everyone heard it.  Then they went crazy.” 

                Dexter paused in consideration of the logic he could make from the child’s description.  “Did you see her?”  

“No I just heard her, it gave me a headache but everybody else got angry. “

“Ok were are gonna be okay.  I’m a policeman.  My friends will be coming for me soon. We just have to stay hidden until they get here.”  The question that she did not speak that he had asked himself.  ‘How long?’  The emergency beacon did activated with the first onset of the cars systems malfunctions.  Any local office would have been scrabbled immediately, ‘maybe ten minutes,’ Dexter moved carefully to the window and peaked out.  The streets were still a battle field or marauding gangs at war with one another and within their own ranks.  “Listen Carmen, we can’t stay here, we got to get to a more stable place.  There is a building right next to us.  We have to get there and get on the roof.  So my friends will see us.”  

She could not speak, only a gasp that defined her fear and nod of compliance along with her hand grappling Dexter’s.  

With his weapon arm leading Dexter moved towards the back to a rear entrance. Pushing the door open Dexter went carefully out Carmen pushing herself behind him almost riding on his leg.  A cross the short alley to the door they had almost reached their journey when growl alerted him to a man that lurched forward armed with a steel pipe.  Dexter aimed his weapon but too late to fire and out swing knocked the weapon from his hand.  Dexter met the next swing with a lunging tackle they both went to the ground Dexter on top. Dexter controlling the hand still holding the bar.  With the other hand Dexter reached to his ankle holster and brought up a short blade that he stabbed into the man’s neck.   That scream of his death brought the attention of gangs.  Dexter scooped up Carmen and his weapon the kicked throw the door.   

Dexter reached the steps to look back to a pour of people clamoring for priority to enter the door.  ‘These weren’t citizens any more,’ His plague to service and protect he now discounted for survival and protection.  Flipping the weapon to its first lethal setting he, fire the bolt slicing throw two of them to but not hindering the others from attempting to enter.  Dexter bolted up the steps until he reached the top, he turned and fired several bolts of energy into the crowd then sealed the door with a welding of the energy of the weapon.  

“Shit,” Dexter his lugging Carmen under his arm to edge of the building, they all were converging on the building, Dexter circled the building until he came to edge overlooking the roof of another building.  The door exploded open with the force of the crowd.  With one quick action Dexter slung the girl in a spinning step.  She floated through the air then impacted atop the next roof.  Dexter charged towards the crowd firing to clear a path then turned the charge back launching himself off the roof to land next to Carmen.  

No time for consoling Camren or congratulation of his escape.  The opposing roof top had filled to capacity, in there frizzy to reach Dexter’s position then bounded over the side.  Dexter took Carmen back as their attempts mounted to several reaching the edge falling back.  Dexter aimed firing at each successful reach to the edge blasting them back until his service weapon alerted him the battery was exhausted.  

An air burst of maneuvering jet brought an aerial vehicle to a sudden halt.  Then a spray of energy washed over the opposite roof top.  Another craft orbited the targeting those into the streets sill another vehicle lowered and a file of police troopers filed out.

Chapter Four

Dexter heaved a breath then opened his eyes, fully awake he rolled over and placed both feet on the floor.  

“How do you feel?”  The image of Gail stood before him in a seated position.  

“I have a slight headache but you tell me.  Am I ok?”

“You have some damage blood vessel in your brain but the auto-doc repaired that.”

“What about the kid—Carmen?”

“She’s fine.”

Dexter came to a stand then came to stand before the glowing transparency.  “Why am I in here?”

“We were scanning you for any viral or biological infection.  But nothing.”

“So what was it?”  Dexter turned back to the image of Gail.  

“Don’t know Dex,”  

“I want out here.”

“Figure that.’  That came from the other side of the transparency, Gail pressed several buttons on the key pad and the force field dissipated.  “Forensics are still on the scene, but still haven’t found anything yet.”

“Let’s go,” Dexter said.  

The reconstruction of the carnage with the holographic projectors created an eerie reenactment of what had befallen the community three days ago.   Even though the area was cleared for all possible biohazard still Dexter and Gail were order to doe biological suits along with the teams of technical and forensics officers processing the scene.  

“Damn,” Gail gasp brought Dexter about her.  He face mask cloud with her head breathing then cleared by the suits raising her oxygen level.  “What could have caused this?”

“Carmen said they all heard a witch scream. “Dexter said.  

“What is that supposed to mean?”  Gail said.

“I don’t know,” Dexter came to stand before an image of two men, one atop the other in the death clutch.  

“Mass murder rampage.”  Gail said.  “The whole town just began to attack itself.”

“This was different.”  Dexter said coming up and scanned the other teams and images.  “They were in group attacks at the same time they were attacking others in the group, I’ve never seen anything like it.”   

“Detective Ryac,” A voice came over Dexter ear piece. 

“Go ahead.”

“We have found the location you requested.”

Another drizzly murder death scene was Dexter anticipation upon entering the living quarters, but he found the situation slightly different from the norm of the rest of the community.  

“Looks like your prep had barricaded himself in his room.”    Dexter came into the room as the officer on scene began to review his findings.  

Dexter went to the wall and broken down door taking note to the blast holes.  

Dexter scanned the holographic images of the bodies piled about the door leading into the room, were several were piled in a heap.  With his hand Dexter removed the holographic bodies until one remained.  

“That you perp, Detective?”  

“Yeah,” Dexter leaned down next to the image and a display of information from is identity to the cause of death appeared above the body. Gail stood before the information and began filing through the forsic report created days ago.  He sign brought Dexter attention up to her.  


“He doesn’t have the same trauma to his internal organs as the others,”

“Like what?”  

“All the examinations from the others showed extreme organ failure from high levels of adrenal glad activity.  That is why even the ones that we were able to take into custody died.  They became even more enraged until their hearts exploded.  He doesn’t seem to show any signs of that effect.”  

“Dexter stood up and came to the collection of devices.”  

“This is operator gear.”  Dexter said.

“Affirmative sir.”  The technician said coming to stand next to Dexter.  

“You were right about that Dex,” Gail said.  “You think Orin is reasonable for this?”

“The method wouldn’t surprise me at all, but they wouldn’t do anything like this on Earth.  The World Court would declare all pout war with the full use of Earth Force.  The Court doesn’t mind the GSR wiping out a few colonists but nothing like this would be tolerated on home world.”

The pause in the room was registered by Dexter with more than silence but glares from the technicians as well as Gail.  

“This gear give you any intel?”  Dexter said pressing several buttons on the touch activated key board.

“No, just like all the rest of the electronic equipment it was burned out.”

“My cars electronic were zapped, any idea what it was?”

“Not yet, from what we have been able to ascertain there was some kind of a pulse like an EM burst, but it was more on a sound wave.”

“The witch’s scream.”


“The little girl, Carmen she said she heard a witch scream, then everyone went crazy.”

“If indeed it was some sort of high residence sound burst it would have been above the ability for a human to hear.”  

“Where you able to get anything from this?”  Dexter said pointing at the collection of devises.”

“Not yet.”  

Reviewing evidence was the most laborious part of part of this job. Homicide was assigned to the citizens and accordance with the Depart of Health and welfare.  The latter department would keep The World Court involved if indeed this was some biological or environmental incident.  Dexter was left with his original case of the tracking of the perpetrated of the Galactic Smugglers Ring.  

Everyone from around him rushed into his quarters to kill—him.  That thought Dexter’s memory back to that grizzly scene but one element he did not consider now was in the center of his mind’s eye.  They had turned their fury on the work station.  He just got in the way.  

Dexter separated the complicated control of the Operators statin image and enlarged it big enough to see the smashed instrumentation more clearly.  

A long range transmission device that was designed to ride signals from Earth to Mars the other plants and any other location the GRS needed.  Even though the smugglers ring try to stay clear of stable operations on Earth they maintain communications and supply runs which needed a need to communicate with off world.  Operators were the focal point of coordination of Earth and inter-solar systems activity.  And for Dexter’s purpose a direct link to the Ring Master that had been responsible for several on planet criminal activity.  Who he was Dexter still had not been able to discover but for the last several months this Ring master of the Orin Smugglers was gearing up for something.  In the last three months Earth contacts of several trades and on Mars.  This mush activity met—

“Dex you ready to meet him?”  

Dexter turned about to Gail.

“Met who?”  

“Our new Pchy.”  

“Yes, I am.”  Dexter came to his feet with an enthusiastism that surprised Gail.  

He suited officer came to his feet in a stand of attention as Dexter entered the conference area.  

“Thad Epindorft, Dexter Ruyac.” Gail gave introductions.  

“Have a seat—Epdor…”

“Epdendoff,” He said.

Dexter gestured for him to seat, he and Gail  sat about the room. 
 “To protect and service..”

    “I’m not looking for the academy chat bullshit.”  Dexter broke in.

    “You choice a field office, nothing but interaction with hardcore  criminals that want to screw up the utopia dream of the World Court, and this new government is have Democracy and half toletrtrainism.  You break a law against the society and they will hand your ass in a very public manor.  In my five years I’ve personally watched fifteen preps on my case load that have had their neck stretched.” Dexter waited for a moment to observe the response.  Thad was unflinching.  His cobalt blue eyes locked onto the man he consider his superior and absorbed everything he had side including the imagery.  “Can you take that home every night and hug your kids and sleep good next to you wife?”

“Yes, sir.” 

“Then let’s get to work.” 

Dexter remained his examining glare at Thad as the images of the computer generated re-enactment of men and woman in marauding rampage killing one another. 

“My God.”  Thad gasped.   Thad allowed his professional demeanor to collapse for only a moment then he was all scientists again.  “This behavior.”  He came closer to one of the images and with a touch of his hand he paused the image.  “It’s a similar to behavior of cormagnion behavior.”

“What is that?”

“Primitive tribal behavior during the–age proto humans behavior a of a group think.  Killing of a prey or another treat their tribe from other proto humans.”

“You’re talking way over my head Doctor Epdoff.”  Dexter said.

          “He is talking about cavemen.”  Gail chimed in.  “That behavior it was only because of treat level.

          “What could cause this?”

          “No biological or chemical reaction was found in there system.”

          Thad turned back to the image.  “What their cognitive functions.  This behavior is based in the — of the brain.” 

          Gail came to the image now, using her hand he isolated the head them removed the exterior cosmetic of the head down to the brain. 

          “Forensic did report that there was unusual stimulation of the germinal glands.”

          Thad came closer to the information.  “They were insane.” 

          “What could do this?”

          “I don’t know.”

          Dexter gestured his head between them.  “Find something.” 

Chapter Five

“Find something, “Repeated his new supervisors order.  Then turned to Gail form some sort of insight into what evidence his new supervisor was expecting.  ‘Evidence takes a lot of different forms.’  His instructor in his phyolical profiles training class stamen answered that question.  That reference was towards people and evaluation of a criminal mind, even an insane mind, but these minds were not insane.  Not with, biological, chemical or genetic malfunctions that would plagued mankind.  Many of those ailments currently had a foothold in the society of man.  More so in the colony worlds were genetic conditioning would purge and defects.  But on Earth such was only a field of case study.  In his accumulation of knowledge from a PHD in Phycology to education in Genetic defects he had dove deep into the study of those kind of mental malfunctions.   None of which fit this situation.  Thad glared from one of the faces and information to the others.  “Something changed them.”  

“What did you say?”  Gail walked throw on the images to stand next to Thad.

“Something changed them.”  

“Tell me something I don’t know.”  Gail said.

Thad did not divert his attention from the images, rather he touch the information and a line of patterns Gail recognizes as brain patterns, a majority of which rather than the moderate spikes of a balanced thought pattern were drastically peaked.  

“Instantly, this didn’t happen overnight rather the course of seconds perhaps…as if..”  Thad trailed off followed by his attention re-concentrating on the holographic-keyboard.  Gail observed absorbing the information that came to life attempting to gain her own understanding with whatever epiphany had struck Thad. 

Gail read the heading aloud. “Synaptic reconditioning.”  

“It was a process that began in the early 2100’s with criminals a way to reform them to society,” The computer brought up historical data as Thad gave a review of his knowledge of the subject.   Then it was a process used in early space travel to help with the adjustment to confirmed space for long term space travel.”

Gail went from one panel of holo-information to the next given each more scrutiny.  

“These early trails cause a lot of brain damage.”  She winced not with the primitive practice of the procedure.   “But this can’t be attributed to what happened here.  This was some kind of treatment that was done over time.  These people went insane instantly.  There has been like this reported, of instant change in normal behavior making people turn into killers.”

The computer while it was not being directly address absorbed the information into its search engine and responded.   “Galactic calendar date 21.2250.  Thirty settler of Century 17 were found in mass murder suspected space syndrome. Galactic calendar 21.2253, ten crew of the Bosman freighter thud class 120-C class on route to Tango star mining out post reported communication; crew mounting in mutiny, ship was self-destruct by Captain resulting in the loss of all hands and five trillion credits of Dycorominum ore.” 

“There is our reasonable cause.”  Gail said.

Dexter reviewed the information Gail and Thad had complied in a report then back to each of the.  “This colonist died of space syndrome.”  

“That was the official report but I reviewed the logs of the medical examiner, he stated that it was an odd form of space syndrome, to the point it was more of a guess.”  Gail said. 

Dexter was on his feet now.

“You heard the logs from the captain of the Bosman.”  Thad followed Dexter’s pace.  “A sudden outbreak of insanity that swept through his crew, his last entry was integiable, and then he blew up his ship.  The rambling the populous here on Earth.”

“Science Guild has already ruled out bio hazard on biological or chemical levels.”  Dexter fired back wanting something more than the appearance of a connection.

Thad answered quickly. “Synaptic reconditioning is not a biological or chemical reaction. It’s a condition that is created with therapeutic process.  Somehow whoever it was that was responsible, changed their brain patterns from this to this.”  Thad brought up a display of to drastically different alpha wave patterns. 

“The question is how?”  Thad said.

“No, the who, then the why.” Gail interjected.  “Then we will make them tell us why.”

The how the people were on the colony and on that freighter was Dexter concentration, he then revised that thought with that those that had recently been to Earth.   He had trailed off into his own thoughts as Gail and Thad continued among one another in discounting each other’s speculation of facts.  

Dexter stood to one end of the room filled with images of personal files faces, to stand before a system map.  He Bosman a freighter craft carrying atmosphere conditioning equipment.  Dexter followed the lies of her flight pattern back from the moment when the ship was destroyed.   “Show flight of Bosman.”  The computer created in image of the ship and it moved in the holo-image its final reported location. As the image moved it also pop up of any communications or celestial object the ship passed. 

“The Bosman was within ten light years of that colony outpost.”  Dexter said.

Gail quickly injected. “We went over that. The ship flight pattern didn’t deviate, and there was no craft exchange with personal, the Bosman was in hyper drive.”   

“Still close enough for a communication.”  Dexter said. 

“We went over the communications log from the com-officer there were no outgoing transmission in that sector.”  Thad said.

“What about the colony?” Dexter said.

“No—” held his answer with a closer examination of the information.  “There was a signal pulse while the Bosman was in a nine light year distance.  Not a communication but a pulse.”

“The witches scream.”  Dexter said. 

Gail gave a securitizing glare.  “What are you saying Dex?”

“Whatever it was that hit the town, may it was sent from the colony to this ship.”  Dexter said.  “What else was in the area?”  

“The Orca was the responding ship to that area,” Gail said.  “They responded to the distress call but by the time they got there the Bosman was destroyed.” 

Dexter took his hand and expanded another line.  “According with this the colony out post was affected by whatever it was after that pulse to the Bosman.”  

“Who did it get to Earth?”  Thad said

“Operators work with hiding transmission in Earth traffic.”  Dexter said.

Gail discounted the logic, “A pulse like that? It would be too high a resolution to not be detected in Earth bound traffic.” 

“When did the Bosman come to Earth?”

“Never,” Gail said quickly.  “Built Galactic Year 2110, commissioned that same year primarily cargo transport for sector seven, never came closer that fifty thousand light years.”  

“What about the Captain?”  Dexter asked.

“Born Galactic year 2091 on Centary Prime colony five, migrated to Vega mining colony at the age of 18 for interstellar flight training, hiring in Fugo mining company at age 23, co-pilot, second officer and finally got his first command, the Bosman.”  

“What about the coms officer on the colony base?”  

“Flox O’Connal—“Gail advance further in the information to find the answers Dexter was about to ask.  “Orin,” Gail said.  “He has Orin GSR Operator deported two years ago; he was part of the Mars chapter.”

Thad said.  “Wasn’t the operative you were investigating pursing a power nod, he was from Mar Chapter.”  

“Whatever it is they are transporting it via some sort of carrier wave.”  

“Like some sort of virus.”  Gail said.  “Not only effects systems but people as well.  What would be the point of something like that?  They can’t contain it; if your right they send it try and download or transfer it but the effect kills the receiver.”

Dexter shook his head dismissing her thoughts to concentrate on his own.  

Chapter Six

At twelve hundred feet the city of New Chicago took on a different perspective for Dexter.  A living world filled with people, unlike those lifeless planets he had engaged in war one hundred thousand light years from this place.  Even though men half forced their will upon those worlds those worlds relentlessly tried to take that will back. 

‘This Earth was naturally man’s even with the technology and ravage of war men had inflicted upon its surface.  

“Dex,” Gail’s voice filled the car.  “Target is going on line.”


The speaker exploded with undiscernible electronic signals then narrowed to a constant line of electronic pulsation.  This was the language the operators used, interfacing this complicated communication language with outgoing Earth traffic they would send information off world to any of the twelve rings.  They were easy enough to discover, but like good colonist and out of world survivors they the Rings operatives were residual, if one uplink went down another would take its place.  

“Feeding in through translation computer.”  Gail said.  “We won’t be able to get much, Operators use some pretty convoluted coms language.”

“All I need to know is what Ring.”  Dexter said.  His hand grabbed into the cars manual throttles.  Only a few seconds he’d have.  He said to himself separating his attentions between the displays of signals the cars navigation computer and the thin clouds below.  

“I’ve got some positive Orin traffic.”  Gail said. 

“Go to manual.”  Dexter gave the command to the computer and both hands gripped onto the manual controls.  “Put into my nav-computer.”

In that same second the information came to life on the front of the cars windscreen.  “I’ve got it,” Dexter pushed the throttles forward despite the warning of the computer and the sick feeling in his stomach he angled the vehicle down in a drastic maneuver towards the city.  The universal flashing light and blast of on-coming emergency vehicles was a traditional aspect of any air-vehicle.  It was the computer interface with among all vehicles that negotiated a path giving right away to Dexter’s car.  

Before the computer would have taken over and prevent impact with the ground Dexter angled the craft to level off then whooshing between the buildings and among other air vehicles held in station by their nav-computers.  Dexter brought the car up to roof top level and abruptly landed on a roof parking lot.  As the car opened the door Dexter bounded out and made long strides across the roof parking.  

“You got a cop zeroing you,” Clinton Mills responded to those words with the protocol, he waved a hand and the computer key board came to life. Typing in a series of number the holo-key board turn emergency red and the female voice spoke.  “You have activity your systems self-destruction, do you wish to continue.” 

“Yes,” Clinton said gathering up a back pack of various items and clinging it over his shoulder.  The key board fluttered as did the other screens as the system died with a clicks and groans then finally was silent.  Clinton grimmoused with the death of so much work he had invested in establishing the machine but was satisfied with the information that had been complied would be un-assessable.  

He opened the door and was about to stride into a jog down the hall way but the gun deck grey barrel of a weapon held him in his stride.  

“Hi ya doing?”  Dexter pushed the gun an inch from his face, Dexter advanced and Clinton reentered back into the apartment.  

“To late—Detective.”  Clinton said nodding to the collection of communication devises that centered the room.

Dexter said, “Looks like I’m right on time.” 

“You got nothing, its fired.”  

“Good,” Dexter lowered the weapon.  “I’m not after you techno knowledge, after what you know.”  Dexter looked about the room.  “Operators don’t have much of a life do you. When was the last time you were out of here?”

“You got nothing.”

“I got you.”  Dexter turned about sharply and was nose to nose with him in that same second.  “Your GSR that is a death sentence, and that is enough evidence.”  Dexter turned away to the clicking row of machines.  “But that not the deal I’m offering you, and I am offering you a deal.  You got plausible deniability.  You burned you operator station and none of your codes or contacts got compromised.  You go back and tell them that and they won’t kill you for being an informer or compromising the operation.”

Clinton stood waiting but realizes the moment belong to him for an action or words that would move past this moment. 

“What do you want?”

“Orin is moving credits to Earth for what?”  Dexter said.

Clinton said nothing but the shift of his eye contacts with Dexter was good enough for the proper motivation.  “I don’t have tie for this.”  Dexter came to his feet and from the his belt attachment he removed a standard pair of handcuffs.  “Turn around hands behind you.”

“What a minute.”  Clinton back away his hand held up in submission.  “It’s not tech they are buying its services.”  

“What services?”  Dexter shook the handcuffs at Clinton as if threat of the outcome on the answer not being satisfactory.  

Clinton hesitated for a moment separating his attention between the ruined equipment and the handcuffs.  “All I know is they have generated from credits them to a Centruiy Ring how was looking some a scientist.”  

“A scientist, who?” 

“I don’t know who, all I know is he worked on Earth Defense force during the war.  They were going to use the credits for payment to him.”

The Science Guild the organization formed from the remaining scientific intuitions and research companies of the world banded together to aided in the reforming of the worlds biosphere and cure the problems of genetics impurities of humanity after the Great War.  But they had also followed another path less honorable but just as needed during the colony war.  Weapons. The colonist were hardy, resourceful fighters the generations in space and tempered their spits as well as their bodies and machines to rout them out of ground stations and weapons to match they cunning skills at gorilla war far need to be created.  

The thought was even gripping as the projects these men created as mater of war.  Dexter listen to the computer outline each project from each of the men in service of the Science Guilds war development department.  He’d seen the results of several of these weapons, fired from craft laying a lot in space to rocky impenetrable services.  Weapons that used the thins gaseous atmosphere as a weapon to those primitive worlds; turning that gas into flames the scorched the surface of the world even deep into those caverns.  Was this what the Orin ring was looking for?  Her asked the question to the image of the man in his mid-seventies.  Routing out another Ring, maybe to attack a automated outpost?  He looked deep into those cobalt blue eyes of the man.  And why would you give it to them, credits? His retirement from the war effort and Science Guild was more than acquit, but not to the point of making him rich.  

Dexter stepped back to see all the twelve men’s face.  They all were compelled to use their skills in the service of world for survival and or patriotism.  Something had changed.  It was a question more than an accusation.  

Chapter Seven

A purple sky was cloud with radioactive plums and exhaust from plasma engines from enemy as well as their own craft mingled with the atmosphere calamity.  Earth forced had landed and advanced the colony forces were in full resistance.  A battle field of carious of men and machines, the machines the colony machines were an elaborate design of things that would risible a life for that would have evolved on a lifeless cold atmosphere if God had so fit to create such a creature.  Some were automated hunting kill machines others the majority of which were operated by one or two men.  

Sergeant Dexter Ruyac gave the order to his men and the filed our the remains of the ruined drop ship that had complete its purpose and landed them to the battle field from the mother ship ‘Thor’s Hammer’.  

Flashes of light element weapons washed over the battle field from staffing air units, other more refined beams sparked about light angry insects stinging the compressed atmosphere suits.  Over the craggy terrain towards their objective—the front line.  Dexter took view the mayhem and glanced back to his team no hesitation for his order to position to confront the enemy.  The machines the dark mingle uninform color of the colonist uniform advancing with a suicide desire for conflict.  Dexter would match that level of combat. 

Dexter lurched and the reality of a past faded from his mind and he found himself slumped in the air car.  He shrugged off the daze of sleep and came up straight.  

“What were you dreaming about?”

Those words brought him about to Thad in the passenger’s seat.  

“Dreams are personal.”  Dexter said.

“Do you have nightmares often?”

“Everybody dreams, most of them they don’t remember,” Dexter said.  His attention go to the instruments in verification of the location of the car.

“Dreams not nightmares.”  Thad said.    “I understand that you were in the war.”  Thad pressed Dexter still finding a redirected focus on the instruments that open himself to some scurenization from his team phycologist.  “Have you undergone pycoterhorpy for post traumatic syndrome?”

Dexter turned slowly to Thad, “You saying I’m crazy?”

Thad responded quickly. “That’s not what I said, situation of combat and even the stress of the duties of a policeman can cause stress upon your emotional health. If your arm was broken you go to an auto-doc.”

“So you’re saying my head is broken?”

“I think you understand perfectly what I am saying. And as you team Pcy I am duty bound to insure the emotional health of every member of my team.”

“And you have do you duty very well, thank you for your advisement.”  

Dismissed from his enquire Thad turned his attention back to the details of the information on the holographic sheets of information.  

“You must understand this is merely information about a man, useful on once I begin the interview with him.  I can create profile of him but his motivation and goals will me more discernable after conversation.”  Thad took only a second to disengaged then back to the sheets.  

Dexter was about to press for more of a definitive answer but relented with the diligence Thad was putting in his absorbing of the information.  

“When we get there I want you to be able to give me some real answers.”  Dexter grunted those words but Thad did not respond more than a slight glance to his supervisors direction.  His concentrated laser focused on the information.  

“Detective Ruyac.”  The man locked onto the identification comparing the image of Dexter to the reality that stood before him.  “The Chicago PD,” Finally Doctor Thomas Barwick handed the badge back to Dexter and opened the door wide enough for him and Thad to enter the home. 

“Decades ago, I’m sure before you were born policemen were limited to the boarders of their states,” Barwich gestured for Dexter and Thad to take seats on a small sofa.  “Now police go from world to world in this solar system.”  Barwich clasped into the thick pads of an arm chair before the two men.  “Now how can I help you detective?”

“You were part of the wave motion project, is that correct Doctor Barwich?”  Dexter said and observed the effect the question had on him.  

“Yes,” A long drag of air seemed rein flat his emotional condition as a well as his posture. “I derived the concept the echolocation dolphins used to stun their pry.   The colonist used a shield harmonics unlike anything we have engineered.  A radiated pulse basically a sound wave projection.  Light element weapons would emeraly be scattered.  Fortunately for use the power needed to generate a field was mush to grave to adapt to ships—at least for the moment.”  There was a grime smile that creased his face.  “Those men an woman were the prospect of invocation this world needed, what a lose to us.”  

“The wave motion particle beam, after the war it was removed from the standard arsenal of Earth force war ships?”

“From what I understand?  If was quit a troublesome weapon, the field generated from it paly havoc with all other systems, with the colonist defeated, there was no longer a use for it—why are you asking question on this?”

Dexter press on, “Are you privey to the details that would allow you to construct that weapon?”  

Barwick lurched with sudden rush of anger, “You are not Global Security Detective?”  

“Do I need Global to get an answer from you Doctor?”  Dexter fired back.  “Would you be willing to allow a review of all of your communication logs for the past year?”

“What are you implying Detective?”

“I’m asking you directly Doctor, have you the knowledge to recreate this weapon and as any organization approached you to do so?” 

“Get out of my house!”

“So what did you get from that?”  Dexter said taking one more look to the community of Ohio before it disappeared with a rush of speed from the car assolration.  

“An angry senior citizen.”  Thad said. 

“I was looking for a little more than that.”

Thad paused for a moment, “His additional response was something of a shock to hear the project, I say it has been quite some time since he’d thought of it rightfully so with his consideration of all the damage and lives it had taken.  When you suggested he was involved with some creation he was insulted not convicted.”

Chapter Eight

“You can’t yell at me for not knowing that this was a violation for protocol.”  Dexter said,

“I don’t need a reason to yell at you Dex,  Did you complete the interview with the entire scientist?”  Peachtree did not address Dexter statement.  

“All but one, he is still an employee of Meclett, I can just make a visit to his office and speak to him.”  

“This time I’ll let you go more of the talking.”  Dexter said turning his attention to Thad trailing behind him.   Dexter turned his attention back to the technition that lead the way through the office finally to a laboratory door.  The techntion waved his hand before the door but rather than it sliding into the walk the controls beeped and the panel flashed in defiance.  Upon a second attempted an informational holographic image appeared before him.  

“Something wrong?”  Dexter said stepping closer.

“It appears a serving on overload.”  The technituion said his tone more surprised than fear.  “But the emergency alert system has been disabled, and the door has been on over right not to open.”  

“Step aside.”  Dexter order as he withdrew his service weapon.  “He fire a concentrated beam that sliced through the door controls disengaging the magnetic seal, the door slide into the wall.  A flush of crimson emergency lights washed over the room.  Dexter entered with Thad behind him scanning the room with their service weapons targeting any possible threat.  Upon the final command of clear from Dexter the technition went directly to the systems control.

“Dex,” Thad called Dexter attention to a man laying on the floor. “Doctor Morgon,” 

“Dexter did not have to check his vitals, the clean slick about his throat was more than enough of a tail told sign he was dead.”

“Jesus,” Thad shutted as he came closer to see his hands were missing, “Why—?”

“Orin trade mark; they are done with him.”  Dexter said his attention now went to the technician.  “What is happening?” 

“There is a containment unit that is in overload.”  

“Can you stop it?”

“I don’t think so,”

“Can you reactivate the emergency systems to alert everyone else in this building.”

Within several seconds and several key pushes a clackson sounded and a computerized voice spoke an alert to exit the building.

“Get to your evacuation point.”  Dexter order the technition, he then turned his attention to the collection of stations and equiptment about the room.

“Shouldn’t we get the hell out of here as well?”  Thad said. 

“They didn’t just come here to kill him.”  Dexter shouted out over the computers repeated announcement for all employees to evacuate.  Thad followed suit with the search of one active system to the next until finally Dexter called out over the rising pitch and the emergency alerts.   He went from one of the control systems to the next, Thad considering the intimate danger then followed suit. 

“Dex,’ Systems at crdical mass, we only have a few seconds!”  Thad abandoned his effort of search and came to Dexter’s side.  

“You go I’m right behind you.”  

With no words to his action, Thad step away then fired a bolt of energy into the ajsoned system and the control went drark.

“What the hell,”  Dexter  

“We have to go!”  Thad hollered then advance to the door, it opened into the wall and he stepped into the hallway.  Dexter only paused for one second then made long strides out the door in a side by side jog with Thad.  

“We’re not going to make it.”  Thad gasped.  

“Window.”  Dexter now was in a full run Thad keeping pace alongside him.  Dexter aimed his weapon and fired one bolt shattering the transparency, with no provocation he lunged out Thad behind him.  The bblue haze of the containment field blinded them both it was only the sensation of a floating fall they could verify that they were dissenting.  That field of energy designed to protect any such crdical dangers also served as a free fall system of escape.  The end of the guided fall was an abrupt collsion with the ground, both Dexter and Thad rolled away to a stop on the lawn of the building.  

“There is goes.”  Thad said.

In the blue blur of the field the building networked with white webbing of energy that exploded the structures within the beam to crumbled in a smoldering heap.  

Dexter face shawl and before the blistering reproach was given Thad held up an informational diskette with a holo image display.  “You were at the wrong station.  Didn’t have time to argue that point.” 

“Give it.”  Dexter grabbed the diskette from Thad’s hand. 

“What is this?”  Dexter could not contain his anxiety for Gail to complete her analysis.

“It’s some sort of particle beam admitter.”  She said, still working the holo key board scrowlign throw the information at the same time confirming with the computer.  

“You mean like an energy weapon?” 

“No, for long distance communications,” She said.  “During the war there was a real push for development of communications process that would send messages faster.  The fastest way was use of light.”

“How is that a weapon?”  Thad said. 

“Maybe it supposed to carry a weapon.”  Dexter said. 

“A pulse,” Gail finally broke her attention from the information.  All absorbed the prospect Dexter spoke.  

“So the GSR are putting this thing together to send a pulse that makes people kill one another.”  Gail said and waited for something to come from her supervisor.

“Why would Global care if the GSR found a new way to kill each other?”  Dexter said.

“The responsibility of Global Security is for the security of all human and Earth bound habitations.”  Thad spoke up quickly.  “ill-regardless of any social status.  That would include the GSR.”

Dexter did not speak rather turned back to the information that hug in mid-air.

“It would solve a lot of their problems if the GSR finally took aim at each other.”  The response from Dexter was not one that Gail had expected.  Instead of a non-politically correct jab at the system Dexter remained in concentration.  

“Mars and Orin against?”  Dexter stop his attention turning to his team members.  

“They are the two largest rings,” Gail said.  “Control is always the desire of the largest of any of the organized crimes leaders, the more control the more power.”

“Control by assimilation not my termination.”  Dexter said.  “If Mars or Orin would level a substaial blow on any of the rings it would light a fire storm that would engulf them all. It’s happened before, 2115.”  

“Centra ring and Vega 9,” Thad spoke.  “It was a turf war that brought Mars and Orin both were on opposite side of the fence.”

Dexter mused with an approval of his knowledge.  “Earth for was sent to secure the area. Considering that I would think if Global already knows that there is an issue in the making they already be preparing for it.”  

“It would take a judicial order to send a battle ship to any our line area.”  Gail said.  “I would think the Judges would want more than a unified effort of two Rings to by the plans for a practical beam admitter.”  

Dexter said nothing else, his thoughts remained as his concentration focused on the information before him.  

Chapter Nine

“Home,” Dexter gave the cars computer the order; it complied and lifted off with an arc towards the skyway.  Before that designation was achieved the computer gave an alert advisory. 

“Proximity alert.”  

“What the hell—” A wooshing sound of displaced are brought Dexter’s attention to a black gun metal craft that maneuvered directly in front of them.  

A voice came over the cars phone speaker. “Detective Ruyac, this is Global Security you release your cars navigational systems—please comply.”

Dexter made no consideration of any resistance.  Global Security was the comparative to a United States law enforcement decade ago with the acurmum of; the FBI, but this government agency held the responsibility security of the globe rather than one country. “I am relinquishing nav control.”  Once Dexter fingered the touch activated controls the car console. His car now in control of the shuttle lurched forward with the acceleration that matched the shuttles speed.

New Washington at one time the central location of the government of the Americas now the hub of the one world government the; ‘World Court.’  Many of the buildings had remained the same it was the administrative design that had changed. The thirteen leaders of the World Court called Judges over one hundred Senators then the trickle down to Mayors and Governors. 

The two craft escorted the air car maneuvering through the builds into they made lading in the garage of the mega plaza of Global Security.  Dexter’s was escorted unlike his own percent.  But on a much grander scale; security of the entire world and eyes on the solar system required more manpower and technology. 

The suited Agent lead Dexter to a comfortably furnished office to a closed door.  he knocked then a voice came from the other side. “Come in Detective.”  A tall olive-skinned man came to his feet rounded the desk and took hold of Dexter’s hand.  

“Commissioner Beal,” Dexter took hold of his hand. 

“Congratulations on the Global Security award of valor.  I’m sorry I could not make the ceremony, but you understand how maintaining the security of this world can pull you in a diversity of directions.”

“Yes sir.”  

“Have a seat Detective,” Beal pointed Dexter to a chair and re repositioned himself behind his desk.  “You are reviewing retired Science Guild scientist, to what point in your current case is this relevant?”  

“Why is my case an interest to Global Security, sir.”  

Beal expression reformed into a more of a narrow concentration on Dexter, “I don’t need to remind you of Global interest on any matter of security of planetary threat.”

“If there something in my case that makes leads you to believe there is a planet threat, sir.”  

“I can see my you Captain has described you in his reports as he does. But I’m not your Captain Detective, I have enimate domain.  I can have you arrested I can take precedence over you case, and several other unpleasant and career damaging processes none of which I would enjoy doing.”   

Beal allowed a pause of silence for Dexter to consider his position.

“I suspect that there are some operatives from the Orin GSR as well as Mars that are contacting retired Science Guild scientist specifically those that created weapons during the colony wars.”

“You have any proof?”

“No sir, nothing susbstaical.”  

Beal’s expression narrowed on the man before him. A look Dexter had seem before; he was about to be introduced to something.

“You served during the colonial wars.”  It was not question but a leading commit in to what was coming. Dexter responded with a nodded.  “The Battle of Twelve moons you were a part of yes. You recall Colonial base 80742 the fifth moon of Vesta. Colonial base station builds with in a hollowed out volcanic asteroid made of mostly iron.  “The colonist held back Earth force battle craft with a simple battery of energy cannons. The Colonial Alliance held that position with such determination nothing Earth Force throw at it could break their resolve; let alone a moon made up of iron.”  They pulled the battle group back and one cruiser went in.”  

“Five hours later we landed troops to mop up.”

“A very apt term.” Beal mushed.   “The colonist had a frontiers nature, similar to those frontiersmen on Earth that settle most of the plans area of the Unites States. They were natural soldiers to say the least; something training didn’t give us a long with their passion for independence. They didn’t mind killing, didn’t mind dyeing either. We had to create new technologies if we wanted to beat them on their own ground so to speak.”

“This thing.”  Dexter said.  “It’s from the war?”

“It’s called R.A.G.E, radiate, artificially, generated, emotions,” 

“The GSR have it, and they are using for a turf war.”  Dexter did not realize it when those words formed in his mind but their came with the tone of a pleauge.  A plaque for whatever reality that was about to come would not parrell the nightmare that lurked in the resesces of his fear.

“Let me show you something Detective.”  Beal worked the touch activated keyboard; then half the room before him became a holoimage of a laboratory.  

“Doctor Que.”  Beal came to Dexter’s side of the deck. A short oriental man bowed as the traditional greeting of his culture.  “Explain to Detective Ruyac in detail the R.A.G.E pulse.”  

“Yes, the human brain for all intentional purpose is a biological computer, chemically and electronic impulse give commands and are programs for the normal functioning of the body and cognitive thoughts.  This pulse reprograms the mind changing the electronic signatures and making chemical commands that alters the frontal lob of the brain.”

“More people language doctor.”  Beal said. 

“It changes normal men into that.”  Chue brought all their attentions to the containment.  All five of the men we stirring now, coming to they’re feet in staggering stands. As they suability mounted they erupted into violent actions one upon the other in a group brail using bare hands with attacks driven with a fury of a madness of sheer rage.

“The small town, they had been exposed to the pulse; a test we suspect.” Beal interrupting Que.

Que continued. “The reprogram is complete and illrevesrealble.” Dexter stepped closer to the holo-image.  “You said they were already exposed?”

“Yes,” Chue answered for Nelson.  “Like the effect of a virus in invades the brain and begins to reprogram the mind, the cognitive skills of reason are demised and the most primitive of thoughts of aggression and a savage desire to kill.”  

“So said they were exposed.”

“Yes, what you have are members of the Orin GSR.”  Nelson said.  

Dexter took a closer look at the containment, “So you’re just going to let them tear themselves apart?”

A nod from the head and the monitoring technicians activated a ansitica that was release into he containment.  Within seconds they crumbled to the floor but still learched in what every nightmare that was in their minds.
“Eventually they will die even in aasdated state.”  Chu said. 

“This is a violation of the society protection act—”  

Beal halted Dexter legal adviser by completing the law he was quoting.  “You stated your duty, you covered Detective.” Nelson came closer to the containment.  “These men are not citizens, rather enemies of the state.”

“Still there is a humane issue,”

“Sometimes it is needed to be inhumane in order to save a greater part of humanity, I’m sure you understand that Detective.”   

Dexter not responded this was a trap, he was sure that Nelson had his inter file of his personal life, police officer and more to the point he was alluding to his military service record.  

‘We were killing our own brothers and sisters’ in the history of man this was the sentiment of a general term but in the colony war such very well was a fact more than a sentiment of man against man.  The lottery that sent a third of Earth population to the Vesta mining world separated families and riddle of conflict was the worse sacrifice.  Kill you brother to save your world.  

“You didn’t answer my question.  Commissioner.  Is this GSR using this on their own.”

“No Detective.  We suspect they are targeting Earth.  Or Mars, perhaps one of the outer systems larger colonies.”    

Dexter ponder the prospect for a moment.  “That makes no since why would the GSR risk the full burnt of Earth Force, they known the World Court would be justified in hunting every one of them down.”  

“No did doesn’t make since.  However these is a Orin ring master no intel about him is verifiable.  His name has pop up almost since the GSR has been in exsistance.  Rumors are he was he began the ring back during the end of the Alliance War, some sort of silent puppet maste; now.  He is assrting himself in more pronounced manner.”

“Never heard of any such ring master; for what Ring.”

Beal shrugged his shoulders.  “You wouldn’t know Detective, this is all above your paygrade.”  

“Then what do you need with a lowly CPD cop?”

“You got a profile already, established with the ring; a tech seller by name of David Howell.  You know the ring.   What is going to happen is going to happen soon.  We need intel now.”  

Chapter Ten

He felt the vibration of the machine as it passed by him, buried in the sand he and his men would avoid the bio-scans of the alliance war machine used the smell the landscape searching for the Earth Force soldiers.  Other platoons had been caught out in the open and burned down by the relentious energy weapons fires other hide behind rock structures but the mechanical monster could sniff them out and render the firy death.  He’d found that flaw in the machines search and kill attack screen all by acidenct when had been caught out in the open during an attack the purcusion of the spray on energy had buried him and the machine stomped over him in search of new targets. 

“Stand fast,” His order to the heavy breathing that came over his ear piece quelled the anxiety of one of the men under his command.  “It’s almost gone,’  He moved his head just so much to allow some of the black sand from the alien world to slide away to find the back in the thing moved steely forward in its search pattern.  

He was about to give the order for his team of seven to push out of the sand and advance to an attack position.  The rear in of this thing was its vulnerable spot. It was only the battle order that came over his ear piece from another unit that stayed that order. With verbal command to this suits computer a dead up display came to life in a holographic landscape, showing the positon of the all Alliance force and personal as well as his own soldiers.  A unit of nine me were charging in a full frontal attack against the Alliance war machine.  Too later to go singular communication with that unit sargent.  Dexter only definitive strategy was to add to that attack with a tactic.  

“Let’s pull out!”  Dexter called that command.  “With no hesitation his six soldiers pushed out of the sand like creatures that lived on the beach of his home planet Earth.  The unit rage their private war with the compasty of their hand held weapons, energy blast and the heavy hand held mini cannon pelted the armor of the Alliance machine, but to no avail.  That artificial brain that operated the machine had found the enemy and began fully engaged.  It was only a matter of moments until the attacking unit would be completely wiped out with the relenetlous attack of the machine. With at time Dexter lead his squad with a rear assault. Even though the machine had consecrated on the enemies of its frontal assault it was still capable of mounting a defense with primary defense.  

“Fan out!”  Dexter’s command separated his unit in a wider attack pattern.  That singular terrate found it more difficult to manage the more evasive targets.  His plan he’d lead the maneuver the would either claim victory or be deemed as a mistake.  Dexter hosted the heavy laser bazooka on his shoulder a crawled forward.  Close enough he had bounded over a rock face and took aim.  In that same second it had found him but before it could launch its attack he depressed the trigger release to bolt of energy.  A blue pulse on energy scream through the vacuum to impact with the rear of the machine.  The effect was emmidate, the pulse of energy burned into the hull to the power generator.  The mingle of energy turned its generated power into something lital, like a virtual infection of a living organism it shorted out the machines electronic systems.  It shuttered and clasped under its own weight.  

The turbulence that rippled through the shuttle lurched Dexter from his sleep and the nightmare that held him in his past.  “Shit,” Dexter hissed, dispelling the anxiety the nightmare trailed with him back to reality. “Mars,” Dexter leaned forward to look out to the red landscape that rolled underneath the shuttle. This was the last leg of his training for combat before he was shipped off to the war one hundred thousand light years away to fight the colony Alliance.  Dexter sat up straight and wiped the thin layer of perspiration from his brow, then his mind went back to the battle situation.  It was one of dozen from his three years in space during the war, Dexter allowed his face to crease with the thought of the battle and how he had forgotten it. Then the solom desire of himn wishing he could forget them all.  

The shuttle made a drastic maneuver and the light captured the reflective surface of Dome 3, the largest of the two industrial zones, spanning twenty kilometers in diameter and surrounded by four smaller support dooms.  Until doom one the industrial mega doom that housed a populous of executive employees Dome 3 was a working doom those machines and a majority of goods for consumers were made on Mars and lunar factories. The World Court had put to task these industrial sites off planet to relieve Earth of the pollution traumatic damage from the war. The personal were moved whether they wanted to or not to serve a term of service with the promise of their practical of land on the new world.  

Dexter watched as the doom came stalely closer, he knew its aim was for one of the triangular transparent plates that comprised of the doom super structure.  This modified plate constructed different of the others a pliable membrane reinforced as the whole of the door with an energy field.  This triangle would allow the passing of a ship into the doom interior without the need of hatched and decompression and recompression.

He never considered the fact they would have to return to Mars as he had left his training for the war, but as a policeman attached to the special unit for investigating organized criminal activity.  Mars II and three were the hub of the GSR in the Earth solar system.  As an officer of the law he’d to this place several times in the performance of his duty.  

 The shuttle only shuttered slightly as it passed through the membrane barrior and into the doom.  A city on the surface of the red planet mingled about a conglomeration factories and production plants. The shuttle filed into the traffic that was designated for interstellar traffic that snaked about the city to the shuttle bases.  

Chapter Eleven

The only ghettos in the system of Earth were not on Earth.  When the colonization of Mars was created communities of basic living units were clustered in the dooms to accommodate those selected from the relocation program.  Many of those early colonists of decades ago had since returned to Earth upon completion of their tour of duty to other outer world station or back to Earth.  But the communities remained.  Now occupied by miners and decedents of those first colonist those communities had degenerated with the economic shift of Mars.

No one used that term but it fit.  Fit for those that operated in Galactic Smugglers ring.  They bought favor with the committee and set a presence with operatives.  

Dexter didn’t have to sell his reason for going there rather it was his order for his team to find more information on the mass homicide.  ‘How is it related?’  That question was the one he’d successful manipulated Peachtree to asking on the 45 minute flight to Mars.  ‘I’m not sure.’  And honest answer that would allow him to follow only what he would have otherwise defined as a gut feeling. 

Dexter tried to brace himself against the sudden desolations when the red planet came into view and the shuttle drastically dipped down into the thin atmosphere.  The ship leveled out and skimmed along the Marian surface.  Dexter was able to see the glissading construction on the horizon of Mars dome two.  In another few moments the shuttle had entered into the dome structure and Dexter tried to brace himself against the sudden desolations when the red planet came into view and the shuttle drastically dipped down into the thin atmosphere.  The ship leveled out and skimmed along the Marian surface.  Dexter was able to see the glissading construction on the horizon of Mars dome two.  In another few moments the shuttle had entered into the dome structure and docked.

             The transport tubes were the network of enclosed highways that snaked throughout the city.  Dexter looked out to the towering buildings that stretch upwards in the artificial environment of the doom.  A containment of over one million people living and working in a community created for corporate design, now a satellite government of the World Court.  Even still the residue of the past had strong holds held in past by the frozen distance between the two worlds. 

             At each stop more of those inner city dwellers of the cooperate workforce departed and gradually the occupants of the train were of a whole different class, decades ago this cross section of society would have been called a cast system. Workers and upper class a reality still in human society but on this world it was an original design.  ‘Those who worked and those who toiled in mental task,’ that latter statement was one he had given in description to his father a life time ago.  The world was going to war against and enemy that treated the security of everything.  “How could he stay at home?”  Dexter glare at the red surface outside the doom refocused on the reflection of his face in the transparency.  “How could he?”   The face of his ex-wife superimposed upon his own asked a question from that err. 

Those thoughts were blunted out of Dexter’s mind with the call over the trains intercom systems of the next designated stop. 

Upon exiting the train Dexter’s lungs were assaulted by harsh atmosphere, the air had been spoiled with the particulates of the mines. Dexter scanned the cluster of living quarters, tightly constructed pods gave the appearance of the honey combs of the Earth bees.  At one time they were new and a model of determination for the effort to say Earth.  

Dexter’s attention went to graffiti etched on the surface of some of the pods, to the dilapidated condition of the others.  His attention concentrated on the graffiti more than the ruin of this one time modern community.  The colors and language of some lines of graffiti were gang signs, they organized sub-communities were more than misguided youth or social radicals, they were part of the economics of this community.  

Dexter study the following the gang language on each of the surfaces of the pods as he did he followed the guidance of the gang language.  Dexter had found himself deep in the community of the pods.  By now they were watching him, in consideration of where he was going.  No longer needed the graffiti rather it was sound that filled the air that he followed.  Hollers from gathering of large amount of the inhabitants in the center of the dwelling.  

This center construction was not of the original design but one that had been created by the creative miners a few decades after they had become the dominate inhabitants. As Dexter entered the arena he was met with a freakishly large man, no dought the descendant of offspring of some high gravity outer colony.  

“Detective Ruyac.”  

Dexter nodded a response waiting for whatever greeting he would be offered.  

“This way please.” Dexter followed the man through the crowd separating his attention between where he was going and the goings on from the center of the arena.  Two opposing groups battled for control over an orbiting metal ball.  Each team combated with brutal effort to reach the ball that was catapulted from a base holding module to hold an orbit ten feet from the floor of the arena. 

‘Gravity ball,’ a game began on the Moon colony spread to Mars then quickly to the other colonies.  Like the one time famous pass time of the Americas, gravity Ball had become the game of the outer world this was a sport suited for the colonist.  (Effect of the biological gentic styemome given to off world cononoist in the beginning of space exploratrion, how it got inot the gnes and effected gnerationsof of humans in space. Making them adaptive to the world they were born.) The environments of the diverse worlds they lived upon had brought forth changes of their muscle structure, making some off colonist more nimble and still others more compact and stronger making humans from Earth greatly disadvantaged in the league of colonist payers the formed over the decades.  

“Detective Ruyac,”

Dexter finally reached his destiny among the area seating to one area that was set apart by a circular partitions containing several spectators and accommodating waitress. 

“Who do you have your credits on?”

“Centra Prime all the way.”  The oriental male that sat in the thick contours of the chair did not divert his attentions from the game to Dexter. “It will be a huge upset for Mars to get be on their own planet but life is full of upsets you have   sun like.  “Speaking of which you have learn so much about the GSR, you might consider joining. Open in role meant for Earth citizens, special need for those on the police force.”

“No thanks I’ll stick to burning down illegal organizations.”

Kim heaved a shallow laugh. “Honorable but lacking in profitability.” And gestured for Dexter to sit in a thick padded chair like his own.   Kim waived a hand and an oriental female dressed in a flowing short skirt brought a tray with two glasses.  

“Not thank you. I’m on duty.”

Kim waved her away after taking a glass,…“All work and no play…”  Kim toasted his comment.  

“Who has Earth interest?”  Dexter asked.

“Earth interest.”  Kim lowered the glass his attention still on the determination of the two teams to score.  “Look around you ever person on this plant has interest in Earth, it is the hub of humanity, and truth be known if Earth did die all outer world colonies would die as well.  So its about survival, not of the fittest, but of the needed.”  

Dexter grunted.  He reached into his jacket and from an inner pocket removed a flat container and opened it to revel the contents for Kim.  

“My, my. Is that Vega one gold.”  

“On kilo is worth 3 thousand credits.”  Dexter said.

“Information is a very valuable committee, but in your case it is motivation to do what is right in the eyes of the law.”  Kim reach for the gold.

Dexter held it just out of his reach.  Kim mused return his hand to his side and his attention back to the arena.    

“That won’t tell you who?”  Kim said.

“Then what?” 

“Can’t get you a what on that either.”  

“You’re wasting my time.”  Dexter was about to come to his feet but Kim hesitates next words pulled him back into the deep contours’ of the seat.  

“I can get you a where,” Kim held out his hand.

Dexter placed the case in his hand, but held on to it.  “I already know where.”  

“Not this time Detective, You’re looking in the wrong place, this is coming from right under you own soil.”  

Chapter Twelve 

After a shower and meal Dexter confirmed he still had enough time to perform another duty before the appointment that had brought him to Mars.  It was a combination of the industrial processing and the oxygen breathing machines that gave the air and metallic taste.  After you have been on Mars for a while you no longer tasted it that is what he was told.  It had no effect on the air, but like smog on Earth in the twenty century it was part of the environment here.  

He had come to know this environment as he knew those streets of Chicago.  This world and the environment require more of an officer that had a knee since of his surrounding and how to blend in.  Mars was the old planet that maintained living areas that would be described as ghettos.  

Dexter looked out the transport tubes watching the industrial buildings and plants wiz by, he was moving towards the outer areas and the living areas were the majority of the population habituated. There were less the designer block houses of the executive doom Mars One but fitted more that drab description of living quarters.  No genetically enerignered grass or custom color schemes. A drab gun deck metal much the color of the of the battle ship Thor’s Hammer he’d been attached to during the war.  The only designation was the number itched next to the door.  

The transport tube slowed and the neighborhoods became more discernable.  It was the children he took note to more than anything else.  Play in the metal paved streets, like children would do anywhere in the galaxy he thought.  At least that had not changed in the spirit of man, that among other things he had witness since the time of war and his service as a law man.  Even the genetic tinkering that would help me survive in the wilderness of space did not change the spirit of what men were.  Watching the collection of children play in the street bounding in the air with the aid of gravity boots engaging in the most popular sport current known to man—gravity ball.  

The train finally announced the last stop, Dexter stepped out from the train to the platform.  He scanned the area then set off into the metal community.  

The future Dexter walked down the metal streets the more sides of the living quarters were marked with multi colored markings, gang signs, Orin, Dwarf Star, Centra all the Galactic Smugger rings had a small company on Mars, a presence that allowed them system control and a resource that would transfer credit as well as good to and from Earth.  It was the Mars Ring was demised by their host position as an association of orphan groups of all rings combined.  Still they held a level of loyalties the Ring Masters that sent them here.  Dexter followed the information writing in the language of the symbols of the gang graphite until it was the sound of music lead him the rest way to the location he had in mind.  A metal construction much like the living quarters but with open walls and seating arrangements about the structure to give it more of an inviting appearance.  This hub of the neighborhood was less a place were habitants of the community came and more of a meeting place for neutral ground from Ring members to swap request and make arrangements with opposite members.  Dexter strolled into the room uncontested and sat on the bar.  

Dexter’s attention rested up two freakishly large men sat at a table…Centra, Dexter determined, That heavy gravity on Centra Prime had produced offspring with a dense muscles structure they were twice as strong as the average men but this gravity tended to hold them down and made them sluggish.  Dexter contused his scan of the room and a slim female came close to him her dark olive skin and piercing blue eyes did not match and natural genetic would that could have been produced with a combination of genes rather the eyes were an effect of the habitants of the Dwarf Start ring.  That planet she had been born orbited a sun with half the light of Earth at its highest point in the sky.  Those eyes almost were able to see in the dark discerning of images thermal signatures of bodies. This was the human race the late twenty century had had created for the necessity of the survival of the human race.  These were the offspring of those early miners and outer system colonist. Dexter scanned the room taking note to those that carefully observed him.  His consideration of the common effect of the genetic manipulation that was part of the condition for their fore-fathers that had been sent to that section of the galaxy to planets that were of a high gravity of Earth.  Decades ago this would e consider profiling, as that terminology would be correct it was a useful tool when dealing with GSR members,

“Looking for something?”  A Hispanic accent came from a hulking male in his mid-twenties.  He came to the edge of the opposite side of the bar.  

Dexter solder directly to him.  “What do you have that won’t make my stomach turn,”  

“Earth snobbery,” He took a step back, “The purification of water is second to none in this solar system.  Any wine or alcohol can stand up, but you’re on duty anyway.  “I guess all that ground pounding in the outer rim took away some of your brain cells.”  

“About as much as have to live on Mars from being born on Centre Prime is fucking with you living in a Mars doom.”   Dexter turned back to his scan of the room.  “Pretty busy in here.”

“A lot of hard working men and woman what to time some time to relax.”  He said.  

Dexter scanned the room, “Doesn’t look much like work to me, looks like a lot of—business.”  He turned back to him.  “The question is what kind of business.”

“You’re PD—just PD if you’re were Global Security I might be worried but—you’re not.”  He grinned.  

“Well, I just know that Global as a taste of the water that is being processed between the GSR and its something they are not interested drinking.  As a matter of fact, I think a lot Centra GSR are going to be drinking some of the Industrial Prison mine water, those are outer rim members that are involved the ones they catch on Earth or Mars, well its the gallows on Mars 2 central square.”  Dexter shrugged.  “How about a glass of that Martain water.”  

The paused his eyes flicked to the room then back to Dexter.  “I keep the good stuff in the back.”  He lead Dexter to an storage are in the rear of the establishment and the door sealed behind them.  

“You already know that Centra GSR likes to take out the family of people that inform. I got family on Prime.  But with going on now I don’t think they’d be safe.”

“Safe from what?”  Dexter pressed maneuvering in front of him to see his face.

“This new GSR leader of the Orin ring, he came out of now were.  Burned down the old ring master and all his lieutenants like that. Then went on to manipulate the other Rings to follow him or they’d get the same.”

“GSR ring masters have been trying to unite the rings for decades, never happened.’

“That’s not what this Master is about—it’s beyond that.  This is the one had been working behind the scenes all along, they say is was one of the orginal founders of the smugglers planet.”

Dexter release a deep laugh, “I don’t do fiction.  There is no smugglers planet.  And every alliance the GSR has attempted has wound up killing more of its own and creating a bigger rift between the rings.”  

“This is different, like I’m telling you.”  His forged in leveled expression.  “It’s not ring against ring, he’s pulling the rings together to hit Earth.”  

Chapter Thirteen 

The shuttle entered the main doom again brining Dexter’s attention to the complexity of the industrial multiplex constructions that thunder with activity every day producing goods.  For Earth. The later conclusion had prompted his analyzing those words said by—.”  The rings were being consolidated to, ‘hit Earth,’ A military stick, no possible.  The GSR in fact did have several collection of out date battle craft they used to rage war on one another or to maintain security on the boarder of their territory.  To use them in a strike against Earth would be an excises in futility.  The advanced solar security automated patrol drones as well as the state of the art cruiser had a permenate position since the Alliance Colony war.  

The train came to a spot and Dexter return to his room dressed in the standard business attire and took a few moments to place himself mentally back into the role of equipment salesmen. 

Dexter had reached the conference room of the hotel and set up the presentation for the presentation of the equipment all according to role of the pitch he was to make to this man.  Somewhere in the business psouna he would make a request for something that was not part of the standard order.  That equipment would lead him to the ring leader and whatever intent that he was planning would be stopped.  A simple plan, Dexter grunted a shallow laugh considering ever intent of planned operation was simple.  But complicated in the performance of the plan. 

With the passing of thirty minutes from the appointment time of the meeting Dexter had came to his feet for enough times to know he felt something was wrong.  No message of other pressing matter, too unlike business men of Mars.  They were too focused on quota and opportunity to advance there careers, most in apretancship positions that would end once they had showed their metal on this industrial planet.  Then it was back to Earth and claim a real career and an acre of prime land.  That latter perk from the World Court was once he was given upon returning to Earth.  Once things were different he’d cash in that veterans benefit somewhere on Earth.  

That thought demised with the sound of the door opening and closing, in the entering the room came a hardered man dressed in a business suit, collar undone tie not lose and jacket wrinkled in the collar as if someone had grabbed hold of his suit and held it firm.  

Dexter held on to the greeting with the role of the salesman and now the policeman was fully aware that his cover had been blown and this person was about to quantify his afflication with the GSR.

“I’m a dead man.”  He said slowly coming closer.  “And so are you.”

At one end of the room a wavering image fluated in muti-colors in formed a larger than normal holographic image of a man, rather than the clearing of the image to identify the person the image remained vague and unfocused.  That aspect was intencial to shield the identy of the person but the size of the individual Dexter suspected was actual.  

“Death is the punishment for failure.”  A voice deeper and more defent in optics than a normal human boomed in the room.  

“How are you?”  Dexter close moved towards the image.  

“A complicated question, ask who I was Seargent.”

“You’re the misry Ring Master; General Marsh.”

“Very good.”   

“This is about revenge for a war you lost.”

There was a grumbling sound like that of a low growl of an angry dog.  Then words hissed like a snake. “Justice.”  

The room began to vibrate then the sound with in that trubulance Dexter recognized as that of engines.  Before the wall sizes transparcny a craft manovered from above to hold position before the transparency.  

“Get down!”  Dexter holler as he throws himself to the floor.  A bolt of energy from the crafts forward cannons exploded into the transparency puncher tit just enough to begin explosive decompression.  

The emergency Clackson screamed the alert for every to evacuate the area.  But Dexter knew that would not be possible.  His astronaut training from the war demanded him to respond with securing his position against the explosive decompression that would happen in moments.  The air screamed out from the room carrying along with everything not bolted to the floor as the table.  Dexter found himself leveled held in midair. Suddenly he felt the gripping hand of clutch of arms about his waste.  He clambered wildly trashing and digging his fingers into Dexter’s leg as he fought to hold on and climbed up his body to the security of the table. 

“Get your—” Dexter took a more grip on the table and lurched in body simultatiously with his legs.  His gripped weaken he called in fear of the evnibality.  

“No!”  That word came with the release of his hold on Dexter as he tumbled to his doom so follow a rain of chairs to impact with the transparency shatter it into shards that carried away the remainder of the atmosphere of the room.  His astronaut training full in survival mood Dexter pushed the remainder of his air from his lungs, felt the weightlessness the carolers of his face and hands exploding even though he did not hear the computer and the emergency Clackson he knew he’d only have to survive for a few moments.  That salvation came with the emergency door slide down closing off the harsh Marian atmosphere, then a blast of air and sudden pressurization of the space.  

Dexter took in air to finish the statement now to the seal emergency door.  “—Ass out of here.”  

Dexter sat in the infrimery; the med-tech waved a devise over his head then across his face.  He then turned to the holo-med screen to the imfomation that transferred from the scan.  

“Just a few broke capleares from decompression.  One hour in the autodoc while take care of that.”  

Dexter shook his head, “Thanks but I’m ok.”

“Well I have to process release documentation before I can let you leave. It’ll just be a few minutes.”

Dexter nodded.  Releasing the med-tech to the next room.

Dexter heaved in a breath and leaned back on the med-bed, before an since of relaxation could come the hologrpic image of Comminsoner Beal appeared before him

“Good work Detective.”

Dexter sat up straight.

“Exactly what was the work Commissioner?”

“Protection of the sovernty of our world and government of course.”

“How many other old enemies are floating around out their Commissioner?”

Beal grunted a response and paced in a small circle, a smile crept across his face then disappeared with a grimison hard concentration on Dexter.  “Your report will show the conclusion of your case with all operatives turned over to Global Security, I will also note that you work working directly with myself and under orders of this department.  I sure that will prevent any suspensions from you Captain.  Also, I a recommending a commendation for your efforts; you might be awarded the Global security Star cluster. Well-deserved Detective.”  Someone else out side of the holo projection spoke to him; and he responded.  “Well, our business is completed, if you consider a career in Global Security, contact my office.  I would be delighted to extend to you a request for a governmental election.  Take care detective.”

Dexter waited for the image of Beal to disappear before he held up his middle finger. 

The End 

707 PM Oct 18, 2019