“There were no survivors,” Shelli Krebs’ barely-restrained angry, grieving voice said to a a packed-out house.
“Those Yanker sons of bitches,” she said, the veteran Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation reporter’s voice taut,“killed them all.”
To which a regular exulted,“Hell, yeah, turn it up!”
“’Bout motherfuckin’ time!” his friend choursed from their perch in the stretch end’s middle booth.
“Should bomb the hell outta all dem bitches, like Toby X say do!” a tarbaby sitting at the high counter shouted out, to which Loudmouth Jim Hunter added a “y’damn skippy we should!”
“That’s always been the problem with Guy Zellner and his whole fuckin’ crew,” Marc Bevill sagely observed over his tenth large to-go cup of Moot House coffee’“always worried bout what everyone else was thinkin’, when they shoulda been sayin’ ‘fuck y’all’ and do what they gotta do.”
“Damn straight,” ran the equally-sage wisdom of David Bell, seated with his fellow wits at the stretch end’s middle table.“Look where that bullshit’s gotten us, jackin’s in the middle of the fucking street, gangs runnin’ wild, kids going out and killin’ other kids, fuckin’ dykes telling everyone it’s all right for licketysplit to be fuckin’ raisin’ our goddamn children, and the courts goin’ right along with ‘em...sheeit, they let the goddamn Commies get up in our business, tellin’ us what to do, after we done went and kicked their asses at Tau Ceti ten years ago!”
“How the fuck is that for ya?!” Loudmouth Jim asked, shaking his page-boy cut head.
“They took the prayer outta the schools,” old Calvin Hobbes farted off from his seat at the low counter,“ gave the women everything they wanted, let them kill their babies and leave their husbands and eat each others’ pussies just like that, and now, the fuckin’ Commies are tryin’ to force our courts to enforce their so-called fucking lifestyle, to let their kind fucking raise kids and brainwash them into bein’ dykes just like them, and they have the nerve to wonder why we attacked them.”
“We all goin’ to Hell,” was Charles Dunlap’s sole observation, taking another bite of his bacon scrambled cheese, at the same time he shook his head.
Carson Selkirk, cutting into one of his four pork chops, could only nod his head in agreement, his eyes fixed on the dark sky outside and the bloated red scab of a planet hanging in it...every eight years, Judas, Delta Trianguli’s second planet, came close enough to Terranova to be seen in its night sky, both of them....
“Certainlly is the weather for it,” he remarked.
“Yeah,” Charles’ wife Wilma said, Miss Sarah bending over to recharge Carson’s large to-go cup of coffee, mixed with hot chocolate, chocolate milk, vanilla flavoring and Corona Real cola, Wilma sighing, remarking bitterly,“gonna be another fuckin’ war, mo’ people kilt, and fo’ what?!”
“So Toby X can write more jingoistic drivel,” Carson observed equally bitterly, as Toby’s latest rap,“Courtesy of the Red, White, Blue and Green(Terranova Gonna Give It To Ya) ,” replayed itself on the jukebox for only the nth fucking time since the news of Rover Four getting blown out of the fucking sky had first come over the Net...this was it then, Carson felt it in his bones, the war that really was going to end all wars and everything else too was just around the corner...everyone had thought the 9YW had been the Armageddon foretold in the ancient tales....over three quarters of a trillion dead on the fucking deck, trillions more missing and probably better off dead, the economies of half a dozen nations, including the Rude Union’s, trashed out, and, it had all been just a warm-up...now with the League’s collective military forces rebuilt to five times what they’d been before the war and the bloodbath at Tau Ceti a decade behind them, every hardened politico, convicted media talking head and the dumb SOBs tuning in to their every word were all swearing up and down that they coulda whupped those damn Commies, if only....
He sighed, feeling the crap rattling in his chest as he looked up at Judas...his older brother’s daughter, his niece, had been right there at the start of 9YW, defending Bearclaw Station, buying time for most of the Midnight Sun Resources Cooperative personnel stationed there to get the fuck away from those out to get them...not all of them, though, that had torn at her, especially after Unbroken had stumbled onto fucking Mont Noir eight years later...his son of a bitch brother had run over her mum, nine and a half months pregnant with Jami’s unborn sister, got the Martinez County Kangaroo Court of Inferiors to pin the blame on Jami—amazing the damn things one could do with four stars on his shoulder—and, supposedly, she’d been sent to the YDC in Flyntsboro...in reality, they’d packed her off to that frozen hellhole, fucking Witch’s Tit, from which she’d never fucking escaped, not completely....
“That cold’s gettin’ worse,” Wilma remarked...neither of them were stupid, he’d been having lunch with them, on and off, at the old Moot House in Owensboro for the better part of three decades...they knew, they just hadn’t confronted him with the lie he was telling everyone, that it was just a cold, even though he’d had this “cold” since September...same damn thing which had taken its time killing his Mum ten years ago, all those years slaving away at that fucking sweatshop in Ford’s Valley for fucking nothing a week....
Another sigh, the bass drivings of Toby X’s latest crime against humanity pounding in his skull, the holo of him gyrating in front of the Union Colors floating over the jukebox.
“Say we gonna put a boot up in dat ass,” rapped Toby X, to the accompiment of gastric noises,“
‘Cause dat the Terranovan waaayhay. Terranova gonna give to ya Terranova gonna give it to ya Terranova gonna give it to ya yay yay! yay yay! Evil gonna fly there gonna be some hail, when ol’ Guy Z.
start rangin’ yo’ bell Terranova gonna give it to ya Terranova gonna give it to ya say T-Nova gonna give it give it to ya....”
“Yeah,” Carson whispered,“ it’s getting worse.”8 NOVEMBER, 2225
“Gentlemen,” Dick Grissom said to a roomful of N.L.A. cops, the series’ theme, “Who Are You?”
playing in the background,“you are to expirience the most fascinating field of police work: The world of forensic medicine.”
All the iceboys fainted dead away on cue when Grissom pulled back the sheet and showed them the deader underneath it, that scene dissolving to those of him doing his job and finally to one of him on the deck of his AG sailer with the stripper bitch—who was wearing very little—putting her titties all up in his face.
Nodding his head, Malone relaxed on the sofa in Atlanta Three’s relief deck, sipping on a self-chilling bottle of Red Dog Genuine Draft, watching a shitcanned ep of Dick Grissom, M.E., absently studying the ship’s status report displayed on his holopad...Walden’s flight engineers had managed to install a replacement AG shield generator, and most of the rest of the hurt that Commie dyke bitch had put on his bird had been fixed...there wouldn’t be a fucking scratch on him when he broke out in the New Whitehorse corridor, cruising into atmosphere on his AG drive, surrounded by every camera bird the Movie Board could muster up for the occasion; he told Walden to make damn sure the internal cameras were up and running when they broke out, the whole command staff were going to be standing at attention, their blue suits neatly pressed, all the medals in place...been a while since he’d stood in the South Garden of the Governor’s Mansion and had a medal pinned on him, and this merited at least a Distinguished Flying Cross, if not another Medal of Honor.
They were going to be national heroes, the first in too long, and too long overdue...everything had gone straight to hell ever since his Union had gotten their asses kicked at Tau Ceti ten years ago, goddamn bitches were running roughshod over the government, had total control of the fucking media, infiltrated the military, weakening it even further than it had been during 9YW—that had been the whole problem right there from jump, goddamn dyke feminazis forcing affirmative action down the thorats of the Union Security Council, couldn’t have been no other outcome than defeat—fucking bitches being allowed to eat each other’s shit, fuck each other with dildos and raise kids without a fucking man in sight.
Yeah, things had been going wrong for too goddamn long, too goddamn long, until now...taking out Rover Four had sent a message those Commie dyke bitches had better fucking take seriously, if they knew what was good for them, it wasn’t like it was ten years ago, his peeps were gearing up to do it all over again, and, this time, they had everything they needed to fight the war right this time.
They’d all just better fucking get the message.8 NOVEMBER, 2225
She watched the streamers of ghostly bluish-violet in the master holodisplay, the fingers of her wife’s left hand surely, deftly playing across the buttons on the astrogation holodisplay, constantly feeding calculation after calculation into the Rittermark generator to keep Unbroken in hyperspace...the best she’d ever seen....
The best, period...Jami smiled slightly, as she kept watching her pilot the Commonwealth Forces frigate through this spacetime composed entirely of tachyons...it would be twenty years next September, and she still didn’t know what she’d done to deserve having Stevie in her life, she certainly hadn’t made it easy for her, especially when they’d been in Academy together, and she’d been so messed up she’d actually tried everything she could to hurt her and push her away.... She sighed, the smile fading....
...up against the railing, the guard pulling her panties down, pulling on her matted, tangled hair, keeping her from moving, shoving his nightstick up in her, slapping her ass and telling her to fucking....
“...stop your goddamn fucking crying, you spoiled, goddamn little brat!” Daddy screamed, clawing her face as he just kept on shoving himself into her.
“You fucking brought this on yourself, bitch!” he shouted, slapping the twelve-year old girl across the face. “I fuckin’ told you what was gonna happen if I ever saw you talkin’ to that goddamn little slut Sunni fucking Smith, I fuckin’ told you, and you go and fuckin’ talk to her anyway...your goddamn manager called Rahman out at the fuckin’ base, told him every fuckin’ thing you two sick little fucks were doing in the bathroom of the goddamn Poot House, and he fuckin’ called me in his office and told me all about it!”
“I said, shut up!” he shrieked, slapping and ramming her again.“Shut up! You ain’t the fuckin’ victim here, bitch, do you know what you’ve done to me?! Rahman told me I might not get my fourth motherfucking star, that I might even be in line to fuckin’ get hit by a motherfuckin’ truck, all thanks to your stinking little motherfuckin’ ass going down on that other goddamn, fuckin’ little whore and lettin’ her do God only knows what kinda sick shit to you.”
“Goddamn you, I said shut up!” he kept screaming at her, grabbing a handful of her hair, smashing a pillow into her face, tearing into her even worse. “Shut up, you goddamn, lazy, stupid, good-for-nothin’ sick goddamn fuckin’ little piece of shit, or by God....”
...he was really going to give her something to cry about.
She sniffled, swallowed, forcing herself to concentrate on the master holodisplay...they follow that Yanker warbird back to Terranova, fucking blow it out of the sky, then she could let it go.
Another swallow...the astro deck was red-lit, quiet, even given that it was in vacuum...her commlink was silent, none of the flight crew saying anything, and given what had happened, who could blame even veterans of the fucking 9YW for still being shocked at innocent civilians—people under their protection— getting murdered in their own backyard...they had just come off of a long patrol cycle, incidents beyond number over the past six months, on final approach along the New Toronto corridor for rest, relaxation and a much-needed overhaul, when Rover Four’s distress call had come in....
No rest or relaxation now, not until after they’d made those sons of bitches answer for what they’d done...probably not even after that....
...Bearclaw Station’s broken body tumbling end for end into Sirius C, shedding blue sparks of itself into the red sun, enemy machines moving in to capture those who hadn’t made it out in time....
...probably not even after that, she thought to herself, as Unbroken continued onward to Terranova.8 NOVEMBER, 2225
“While the bleeding-heart liberals,” California Broadcasting Service’s Juan Rivera’s holo said,“and the rabid bull-dykes controlling the Vargas Movie Board will no doubt attempt to denounce this as an act of terrorism, there are still those of us who see it for what it truly is, a blow for liberty, democracy, common decency, and a strike against the politically-correct claptrap the feminazis have been forcing down our throats for the last decade or more.”
“Correct,” his co-anchor, Sawyer Forrester, added. “They knew they could not defeat us militarily, so they decided on subversion, knowing that was the very thing which provoked the last war...I mean, just how stupid is Angelique Gault...is Mistress Babylon really willing to sacrifice hundreds of billions more innocent lives to make the same mistake twice...even she has to admit the feminist-lesbian social expiriment has failed, it failed two centuries ago, it failed ten years ago, it is failing now, simple as that.”
“Simple,” Rivera said, the footage of Atlanta Three smashing Rover Four into trillions of blue sparks replaying in the background behind them,“as that.” Pointing the mouse at the HV projector in her living room, Susan switched the damn thing to another feed...Terranova Media Syndicate, Rachel English telling the worlds: “—national heros by a unanimous vote of both houses of the Common Legislature, Governor Zellner immediately signing the resolution into law, announcing that he will personally award the Atlanta Three’s commander and flight crew with the Union Medal of Honor upon their arrival in New Whitehorse this afternoon. In Rittermark, Hong Kong Prime Minister Roger Tarrant, Chairman of the Executive Council of the League of Interstellar Republics, has just announced a passage of a joint statement by the League supporting the attack on Rover Four:”
Behind her, the holoimage of Roger Tarrant said:
“If Mistress Babylon’s people choose to follow her, then they must suffer the consequences...in willingly remaining under her thrall, they have ceased being innocent bystanders, and have become unlawful enemy combatants engaged in an unholy war to bring down civilisation itself and replace it with depravity and feminine perversion! They do not merely seek our eradication, but our feminisation as well, they can never be like us, so they intend to lower us to their sta—”
Now, the goddamn phone bleeped for her attention...Horace again, he couldn’t fucking wait until they were both at work to start in on her, he had to do it now, show her he still had power over her....
“Bitch,” Horace’s voice said,“ I kno’ you there, and I kno’ you can hear me. You gonna lose ‘em kids, ain’t a dam’ thang you—”
“Phone, fucking shut up!” Susan snapped.
“Block his NPI!” she added.
“The Net Protocol ID for this person has been blocked,” the phone told her, same as all the other fucking times. “All further calls from this person will automatically result in immediate disconnection.”
“Sure they will,” Susan commented bitterly, sighing, shaking her head, her eyes throbbing from the pain.
She felt fingers gently massaging her scalp muscles...she looked into Rhonda’s dark brown eyes, and that smile...she and the kids, only fucking things that had pulled her through the dark times, everything was just starting to come together, and, now....
“Baby,” her lover said, with a faith Susan envied,“we will get through this.”
“We will,” she repeated firmly,“ get through this.”