8 NOVEMBER, 2225
13:51:36 TAI

“As education professionals,” that fat bastard John Jimson said to Terranova Public Broadcasting’s William Charon, “our hands are tied by teachers’ unions, parents groups, and, of course, the feminist movement. On top of that, we have the government come in and take God out of the classroom...the question shouldn’t be why Girasol happened, but why it doesn’t happen more often.”

Behind the principal of Flynt County High, a line of girls standing in the middle of the gymnasium began taking off their clothes as male teachers, coaches and a tac unit of Gnats all stood there fucking ogling them...Amendment fucking 42 in action, Gotchanow Guy’s response to the slaughter at Girasol nearly two months ago, mandatory locker, backpack and strip searches of female students, with a trip to YDC—if they were exceedingly lucky—for anything which could be even remotely construed as a precursor to another surprise that “anything” included even the merest hint of lesbiannism...last week, in McDonough, a seventh-grade girl who’d lent another girl her inhaler when she’d started having a bad asthma attack on the school bus ended up being sent to the regional boot camp in Concord, the Henry County Board of Education having decided her act of common fucking decency was the same thing as some bastard peddling kike rock in the fucking projects, and thus had invoked their right under Amendment 42 to incarcerate her without even the pretense of a fair trial.

“That’s exactly what’s wrong with the schools today,” Jimson continued farting off, the men behind him groping and pawing the girls, slapping the ass of one of them when she whimpered in pain, “ the feminists have come in there, set the females free, and look what happens...some girl seduced a young man with a bright future ahead of him, forced him to give her a child, sued him for sexual harassment, won, and, in his anger and rage, the poor boy—”

“Goddamnit, shut the fucking thing off!” Carson snapped, the HV projector in the living room fading to black...TPB had been the only feed not covering the murder of Rover Four and its nearly 400 scientists, scholars and students...he’d just gotten off the phone with Jay Todman, who he’d known from the Jolian War...FedNewsNet had sent him here to cover Susan’s custody battle, after word of it had already spread like wildfire across the Net, after her co-workers at the plant, Lexie’s and Rose of Sharon’s unit manager, assistant manager, district manager, division manager, area VP, fellow associates and regulars at the Moot House in Wesley, and mutual friends of Susan’s and Rhonda’s had all petitioned the Baldwin County Kangaroo Court of Inferiors, the Supreme Court in Atlanta Three, the Attorney General, Micheal Bauer, in New Whitehorse, the Union PM, Terrence Marc Coleman, and, even Guy Zellner himself, in favor of her keeping her kids...hell, the social worker sent to try and find a reason to take her children away from her had told the truth instead, and not just in court either.

Which, of course, had completely destroyed any career she’d had, Orson Perdue, Zellner’s attorney, boot boy and Minister of Family and Children Services, had seen to that with a quickness...and, it had only stirred things up even more...the Commonwealth had nothing to fucking do with it, just a case of the people who had put Zellner and the rest of his fucking crew into power getting fed up with business as usual in New Whitehorse.

Carson sighed, his chest rattling even worse than before...the Commonwealth was going to have a hell of a lot to do with it now, that was for damn skippy...Jami was on Atlanta Three’s trail and she wasn’t going to stop until that son of a bitch was spread across the stars in a shower of blue-hot sparks...and the Commonwealth Forces were not going to let this go unpunished, a retalitory strike was on its way from Cor Leonis, three aerospace divisions, nine thousand Commonwealth Forces frigates under Chief Tilghmann’s direct command, coming here to smash every military, economic and government target into little bits...Angelique Gault had personally led the last strike against Terranova ten years ago—from the Unbroken’s astro deck—pounded the Governor’s Mansion right into the fucking planet and chased Guy Zellner down Terranova 29, poor bastard not even having a chance to get dressed before running for his murdering, miserable shit of a life.

Another sigh, Carson reassembling his Commonwealth Forces-ish Browning M2 rail pistol, carefully checking the AG accelerator coil for any signs of heat damage or gravitic stress before hooking it back up to the AG generator's first-stage and infinite mass compression units and placing the entire assembly carefully inside the weapon...he’d been out back, in his own private shooting gallery, working off frustrations by vectoring two and a half millimeter hyperdense monocarbon slugs at the speed of light into holographic enemies...during the 9YW, especially, this weapon had saved his sorry ass more than once; it would doubtlessly be called upon to do that again, a few more times before the fucking virus inside him finished its work of killing him.

He regrets, everything had worked out the way it was supposed to, even if it hadn’t seemed that way at times...he was going to miss Annesha like crazy, she’d been the reason he’d been able to find his way back at all, and he could never repay that...he’d seen his niece grow into her own, and he was proud of her...if only Dunstan, his twin brother, could find someone special...he’d told him, flat out, last time they’d talked, it just wasn’t worth it without that someone special in your life....

Nodding his head, Carson finished putting his weapon back together.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:04:06 TAI

“For too long,“ Guy Thomas Zellner, Governor of the Union, shouted, his voice taking the fire and brimstone quality his Orthodox Baptist preacher father would’ve been proud of, “ we have allowed the feminazis and their fellow travellers to poison our minds with their feminist claptrap and their lesbian dogma...for too long...far too long...we have allowed lesbian animals to corrupt our girls, luring them away from the civilized path we would have them take, telling them it is acceptable for them to fall back into savagery, fall back into depravity, fall back into predation, fall back into misery, damnation and death!”

The Governor of the Union paused for effect, his dark brown eyes glaring straight ahead for a few moments, before he resumed his speech:

“The consequences of our tolerance of their perversity are all around us. Because of them, a young man with all the worlds before him was driven to commit unspeakable acts of wanton violence, our schools have been turned into pits of fornication, drug abuse, violence and depravities beyond number, unsafe for young people who want to learn to learn!”

Another pause, Zellner looking round the floor of the General Assembly, at the members of the lower house of the Common Legislature, the members of the House of Commons, his Cabinet and all the Movie Board reporters currently on planet, all assembled for a special joint session to honor the men of Atlanta Three for a job well done indeed.

“Now,” he said, calm, soft, firm,“they are trying to force our courts to accept their so-called lifestyle, to legalize them being allowed to corrupt the morals, the very souls of innocent children, to turn them into lesbian animals like they dare they denounce what we did today as an act of terrorism, when they have been the terrorists all along,” he stoked up the fire now,“we are guilty only of committing an act of self-preservation, ladies and gentlemen, self-preservation against Mistress Lilith Angelique Babylon and all her dark coven hellbent on destroying everything we hold dear, we are not terrorists, and those were not innocent bystanders, we are the persecuted, they are the harlots out for our blood, and we need to stop cowering in fear and bomb the h—”

The whole fucking Capitol shook, right down to its foundations, the lights expiring in a shower of sparks, the Governor of the Union knocked into his podium, holding on to the motherfucker for dear life, painfully aware of something wet and warm soaking the crotch of his fourteen-thousand dollar TSC grey Armani slacks, the fucking building continuing to shake, the crash of clearcarbon shattering almost, but not quite, overwhelming the sound of explosions outside and entirely too fucking close by.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:05:14 TAI

This was why starcraft did not break out or ingress in atmosphere.

The inside of Jami’s helmet was alive with alarms, Stevie fighting Unbroken as she broke out...eight and a half goddamn klicks over New Whitehorse, more on top of the enemy machine they’d been pursuing than they wanted to be, the sky livid with tachyons from the upper bands streaking down to earth to detonate with all the massive kinetic energy they had before they could decay into photons and van Gripstra particles, those tachyons which had had time to decay upon emission from hyperspace making for one hell of a light show as their component parts came rushing down at c times one to wreak more havoc...the dome of the Capitol had a gaping wound bleeding molten monomolecular carbon and dyspropsium foil down its sides....

“Leftenant,” she snapped at Prue, focussing on what they’d come here to do, “launch Raptors, have them seek out every military, economic and government target on planet and tell them to start blasting; divert all excess power to AG shielding, take all nonessential systems off line! Med deck to local power!”

The Yanker frigate they’d been hunting down was wheeling about to bring his guns to bear on Unbroken, his AG shielding radiating blue, indigo, violet, even black in some spots, emitted tachyons passing right through him, blasting massive holes into his fuselage along the dorsal waist section.

“Take him down!” she snapped, her weapons officer not needing her order to hose that bastard with a hundred 457-millimeter hyperdense monocarbon shells, Stevie’s right hand playing across the piloting holodisplay, twisting and turning in every direction at once in an attempt to dodge the hundred 406- millimeter shells being vectored their way.

The master holodisplay flashed blue-white, the ship shaking, more alarms going off, Prue shouting “AG shielding reduced by 72%, primary electrical system’s 100% disrupted, secondary el system 58% disrupted, reactor AG containment, both reactors, destabilizing, reactors one and two both above critical line, antimatter reaction rate in one now 550 microgrammes per second and rising, reaction rate in two now 620 microgrammes per second and rising—”

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:06:00 TAI

“—reinforcing AG shielding!” Welch said, finishing the litany of motherfucking disaster, as the astro deck continued burning and sparking, Snead desperately trying to dodge all those shells being vectored towards Atlanta Three at c times one, not quite succeeding, the already-stressed AG shielding flashing blue-white in way too many places, more black spots appearing in the field, the ship shaking and blasting himself to pieces all around Malone, crushing the arms of his chair underneath his hands, breathing raggedly, not smiling when a trio of 406-millimeter shells struck home against that Commie dyke bitch’s forward shielding, nothing to fucking smile about, she’d succeeded in launching all her UAVs, their 127mm railguns were wreaking more havoc on the planet below them, Atlanta Three’s own Predators now nothing but junk spilling out of the ragged wound a tachyon emitted from hyperspace when the Commie warbird had broken out right on top of them had made going thr—

The master holodisplay went out in a shower of sparks, a more massive explosion propelling pieces of the inter-section connector through the air like lead pellets from an ancient shotgun, one of the fragments neatly slicing through Snead’s helmet and his smoothly-shaven, perfectly-black skull with no effort at all, embedding itself on the bulkhead just above the noseward escape hatch...Malone himself was slammed back into his chair, the wind knocked completely out of him, the only one alive on a deck lit up only by fire...the only one alive, period, he craned his head to look through where the inter-section connector had been and saw only Judas staring back at him, what remained of Republican Union Starcraft Atlanta Three plummeting rapidly towards Terranova entirely too fast for his comfort. Unbelting from his chair, Malone struggled to reach the noseward escape hatch, pulling down on the lever to the left to cycle it open, stepping through it into the shitcan nestled inside it, sitting down in the piloting chair, inputting the commands into its holodisplay which would blast him free of this wreckage.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:07:11 TAI

“Uh, Boss….” Astrogation Lieutenant 2C Genera Muncie said slowly, as more enemy warbirds streaked up to take the place of the one they’d just blasted out of the sky “…I think they’re pissed at us.” Shells streaked past them from both ground and orbital defenses, Stevie just barely managing to evade them all, a volley of 457s slamming into a Yanker Governor-class battleship, smashing through his AG shielding, shattering his fusleage into trillions of blue sparks raining down onto the planet below them, bouncing off the forward shielding of another battlewagon now hosing the sky down with his forty 406- millimeter railguns, launching his 48 Preadtor UAVs out in front, Prue pumping hyperdense 457s at them in reply, the ship shaking again, more alarms howling, her weaps officer rattling off the damage and status, returning fire, reinforcing the AG shielding, small showers of bluish-white-hot sparks indicating the remains of the battlewagon’s UAVs, the battleship itself taking one hell of a pounding, sheathed in novahot explosions where 457s had smashed into, and, in several cases, through the AG shielding, through his fuselage in multiple flashes, the battlewagon tumbling as he went down, more coming up to take his place.

“Flight crew from astrogation, stand by for atmospheric NGE!” Stevie shouted, the Rittermark generator howling as it kicked Unbroken into hyperspace, Jami screaming , demanding to know what the fuck Stevie was think breaking off the engagement like that.

Only to realize her better half had no such intention, the battered Commonwealth Forces frigate breaking out at point-blank range in the midst of all those enemy warbirds, Prue having her choice of targets to drive 457s into, bringing down enemy machines left and right before Stevie kicked the Rittermark generator in again, breaking out in a different part of the Terranovan sky.

Unbroken staggering as a battleship broke out right on top of her, nailing her good with a volley of 406s.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:08:22 TAI

“Hell yeah!” exulted Commanding General Bradley Richard Selkirk, Chairman of the Union Security Council, as his command warbird, Republican Union Starcraft Governor Archangel Micheal Zephiniah Lang, scored a direct hit on that little bitch, “that’s the fuckin’ way to do it!”

Ungrateful goddamn little fucking whore, she was finally gonna get payback for everything she’d fucking done to him, every motherfuckin’ thing...goddamnit, he’d had his problems—all caused by his bitch of a wife, licentious howling whore of a sister, and those goddamn, fucking twins—he’d done the best he could for that ungrateful little tramp of a daughter, bailing her out every time the Gnats had arrested her, trashing his career, because of his constant worrying about her running around, getting drunk, smoking pot, nosecoking fucking sheen, whoring herself to everything that moved, running with that gang of girls in Freeman Lang, being a fucking dyke and eating the shit of that goddamn Sunni fucking Smith...he could’ve been one hell of a lot more than what he was, if only he hadn’t pissed it all away worrying about that nasty little slut, constantly bailing her out of jail, worrying about the girls at the YDC turning her out and making her even more of a hardcore dyke than she had been....

He’d even kept up with her career, not that that little bitch of his would ever even acknowledge that, or the fact that she wouldn’t even have ended up in the service in the first place if it hadn’t been for what her daddy had tried to do for his little princess, in spite of that miserable bitch of a wife always dragging him down, holding him back and making excuses for why she wasn’t anything more than a worthless piece of a—

“Goddamnit!” he screamed, Archangel Micheal lurching from a fusillade that useless as bull titties fucking bitch of a so-called senior astrogator had steered them right into.

“If you can’t fuckin’ drive,” he snapped, Archangel Micheal’s weaps officer returning fire with thebattleship’s twenty-three working 406s,“ fuckin’ turn the wheel over to someone who can!”

“Sir,” that bitch Stilwell started to whine, “I—”

”Always ready with the goddamn excuses, aren’t you, bitch?!“ Selkirk spat back in reply, his battlewagon staggering from another brace of 457s smashing through the AG shielding...goddamn fucking North Coast rich daddy’s boy piece of fucking shit, almost as fucking incompetent as that stupid fucking little bitch of his when she tried to drive and ended up wrecking the fucking cars she fucking boosted for goddamn joyrides...goddamn mint-condition 1986 Monte Carlo SS, won it with five aces in an all-night poker game, an honest to God gasburner, worth over a half meg cool silver, and that bitch had gotten stoned, stolen it right out from under him and ended up wrapping the goddamn thing around a motherfucking lampost on fucking Long Street, just after using it to run down her bitch of a mother, nine and a half months fucking pregnant with another goddamn bitch she’d made him give her...she’d done eighteen months in YDC for that little joyride, eighteen months of her being fucked and beaten down by girls bigger and harder than she was and learning how to be just like them, ending up going before before a judge for beating down one of the new girls, raping her ass with a goddamn broom handle and forcing her to eat her pussy and say she loved her before she strangled her and cut her titties off for a trophy...and, all the judge had given her—because she was a girl, and they literally got away with murder—was a choice between the service and being some Helga’s sweet little Darling Childe in pri— Motherfuck!

That one tore right through the fucking shielding, blew everything to hell, Selkirk thrown forwardand slammed back into his chair by the force of the impact.

“Pedersen, you fucking bonesmoker,” he screamed at his weapons officer, Captain John Pedersen,“why the fuck didn’t you reinforce the goddamn AG shielding?!”

“I did, sir,” the fucking bitch had the unmitigated fucking gall to fucking lie to her damn daddy,“but—”

Selkirk was out of his chair, jumping that miserable, lying goddamn little bitch and giving her exactly what she had coming to her for lying and for not accepting responsibility for her actions—the back of his goddamn hand—screaming:

”All the hell you know how to do is make fucking excuses for your incompetence, and I won’t stand for it anymore! Goddamn you, bitch, my daddy taught me to fucking take responsibility for my God, when old Master Sergeant Richard C. Selkirk caught your ass doing something, you said, ‘yes, sir, I did it, sir,’ pulled down your britches, bent over and thanked him, sir, for taking out his belt and using it to make your fuckin’ pu—“

Archangel Micheal’s astrogation deck exploded, hurling Selkirk through the weapons holodisplay and onto the worthless bitch of a so-called weaps officer, both of them slamming into the bulkhead beside the inter-section connector now spraying its trillion fucking pieces all over the goddamn deck, alarms by the dozen screaming inside the helmet of the Chairman of the Union Security Council as he continued shaking Pedersen, slamming him into the goddamn bulkhead, calling him a good-for-nothing, useless goddamn fucking bitch over and over.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:08:36 TAI

“Starcraft emerging from hyperspace,” Genera shouted, absolutely the last fucking thing Jami needed to hear,“inside the New Whitehorse and the Atlanta Three aerospace corridors!”

A pause, before Unbroken’s electronic warfare officer added,“ Nine thousand Commonwealth Forces Dauntless-class frigates plus nine thousand Federation of Midnight Sun Polaris-class frigates, all moving towards atmosphere at c times one.”

“Oh, hell yeah!” Jami exulted, as Prue put another volley of 457s right into that battlewagon, loosing another hundred hyperdense 31.5 ton shells into a couple of Yanker frigates trying to come to the aid of their larger cousin, sending them down to burn where they fucking burned best.

“Additonal starcraft emerging from hyperspace inside the New Whitehorse corridor,” Genera reported,“ new arrivals are nine thousand Jolian Alliance Jeanne d’Arc-class warbirds, nine thousand Confederation of Horizon Talon-class frigates, nine thousand Japanese Yamamoto-class frigates, nine thousand Nova Australian Canberra-class frigates, nine thousand Donovanian Kira Donovan-class frigates and nine thousand Russian Kirov-class frigates, all assuming blockade station at the breakout point...incoming communication from Commonwealth Forces Chief of Staff Rebekah Tilghmann, aboard Commonwealth Forces Ship Defiant.”

“Let’s hear it,” Jami replied, as Unbroken blasted three more enemy warbirds out of the sky.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:08:50 TAI

“To Terranova Governor Guy Thomas Zellner from Rebekah Lee Tilghmann,” the holo of Angelique fucking Gault’s goddamn little girlie said as she stood on the floor of the General Assembly,“Chief of the Defence Staff of the Commonwealth Forces. Under your direct orders, Republican Union Starcraft Atlanta Three carried out the wanton, cold-blooded murder of 397 defenseless civilians, our own citizens, in the home soil of our Commonwealth.”

She paused, Zellner, his Cabinet, the members of the Common Legislature and the press corps all struggling to gather their wits.

“This,” the blonde bitch spoke again,“ is unacceptable, as is your attitude in the matter. What you did to us simply cannot be allowed to go unpunished. Therefore, as of this date, the aerospace of the Republican Union of Terranova is now under blockade; all military starcraft entering or leaving Terranovan aerospace will be shot down without challenge. All commercial transports entering or leaving Terranovan aerospace, save those carrying food, clothing, medical supplies or similar such materiel, will be challenged, crippled, boarded and their cargoes dumped into space. All starliners and medical starcraft will be allowed to enter or leave unmolested. The blockade will remain in effect until such time you choose to apologize. That is all, discomming.”

“That’s all?!” commented Attorney General Micheal Bauer. “Goddamn, that’s enough.”

“We aren’t just going to take this lying down, are we?!” Orson, standing beside his man, had the stupidity to fucking ask.

Zellner was already on the link with Selkirk, his holoimage standing directly in front of the Governor of the Union, instantly telling him,“sir, we can take ‘em, just give the word, and—”

“Stand down,” Zellner ordered him.

“Sir?!” his Security Council Chairman asked.

“Fucking stand down!” the Governor of the Union bitterly spat the words out, his voice echoing in the pitch-black of the General Assembly chamber.

“For now,” he added quietly.

8 NOVEMBER, 2225
14:09:05 TAI

“Enemy warbirds standing down,” Genera reported,“ returning to their bases.”

“Recall the Raptors,” Jami, her whole body starting to shake in spite of her, said,“ stand down from battle ready.”

She could just barely control her trembling hands, her fingers fumbling with the buckles of the command conn’s restraining straps, managing to undo them, her knees almost going out from under her as she stood up, eyes on the master holodisplay and the snowfall of glowing blue junk and exploded bodies, on her own shambles of an astrogation deck, on the afterimage of the final casualty report holoprojected in front of her station...nineteen people, one-third of Unbroken’s crew complement, weren’t coming home alive, because of her insane, futile, pathetic fucking need for closure.

“Effect repairs,” she said quietly into her link, as she turned and rapidly walked towards the intersection connector. “Transferring....”

“...command to astrogation,” Unbroken told her , as a burning.... ...white light blinded her, his voice, stinking of alcohol, screaming at her, calling her a bitch, grabbing her, turning her around just so he could knock hell out of her, Jami making the mistake of trying to get back up, Daddy stomping her into the pavement, kicking her, hauling her back up onto her feet, slamming her up against the hood of the car, unzipping her jeans, pulling them and her panties down, laying into her ass with his belt and his boots, his breath coming in ragged gasps as he called her a murdering goddamn bitch, telling her she did it, she did it, she was the one who’d run over her own mama, because she was a chickenheaded goddamn fucking dyke bitch who hated other bitches, even the one that gave birth to her, and how dare she fucking try and put this all off on him.

Blue lights were strobing in the darkness, another man telling Daddy,” we’ll take care of it from here, General Selkirk, go on back home and sleep it off,“ someone grabbing hold of her hair, shoving something hard, metallic up her ass, Jami screaming her head off, pissing herself, every last nerve in her body on fire, a gauntleted hand reaching up into her t-shirt, snatching off her bra, grabbing her tits, another hand slapping her ass, wrenching her arms behind her back and snapping on a pair of neuralparalysis handcuffs, pushing on whatever had been shoved up in her, before pulling it out and throwing her down into the street, the same man who told her Daddy to go home screaming for her to get up, you sick piece of shit, get the fuck up, as he stomped on her, kicking her ass as hard as he could with his boots....

...Jami falling down onto her hands and knees on the now-repressurized relief deck, gakking up all over the floor and herself, her body heaving and trembling, her stomach tearing itself apart, her breath coming in ragged sobs, Unbroken’s command astrogator unable to do anything else except puke, shake.

And cry.


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