Friday, January 24, 2014

Homsar Delgana and the Dogs of Sirius-04

Throughout Sirius Prime, sudden outbreaks of violence erupted when seemingly-random individuals suddenly mutated into hideous, monstrous hulking brutes and go berserk. Their rampages mindlessly attack property and people without discernible rhyme or reason. The local gendarme proved ill-suited to deal with the monsters; it took the concentrated fire of a dozen to a score of them, with their blasters on maximum, to take one down and that's when they got it to stand still look enough for such concentrated firepower to work. However, their long association with the Patrol served them well; they stayed in good order, as best they could, despite being overmatched and called to the Patrol base for assistance.

On that Patrol base, Homsar Delgana took up his powered armor and matching axe--dropped to him by his boat--and got right up in the face of his enemy. As Homsar has made himself famous within the Patrol, he immediately moved into melee combat. Despite the mutants' ferocity, might, and toughness their rage crippled their reason and thus undermined their perception and skill in battle. This weakness Homsar exploited without mercy or malice, perceiving their blows before their limbs struck out at him and making a mockery of their attempts to smash him. The frustration increased their rage, further reducing their reason and accelerating the cycle. The score or so of prisoners-turned-monsters that smashed their way out of the brig on base and damaged many of the buildings and materiel thereafter soon slumped to the dirt, slain by Homsar and his mastery of the Patrol's fighting arts.

Homsar was not idle in mind as he dealt with the breakout. He penetrated their weak minds with his own as easily as he penetrated their tough flesh with his axe, cutting through the induced rage-madness sparked by a sudden and insurmountable pain to find the signature of the Algolian mastermind known as "The Master" in the genetic alterations made to the prisoners. Quickly collecting their memories as their lives crashed with their corpses, Homsar took a good look--from the perspective of his fallen foes--at how this came to be.

At some point in the past, each of these men spent time suspended in a sensory-deprivation tank. The fluids within not only sustained their bodies, but also served to facilitate the application of genetic treatments that The Master and his staff devised for them. Homsar saw that a few of them took note of a monitor that seemed to track both a silhouette seemingly of a physically-normal male of their kind and the monstrous forms that they would assume on command. He also saw, without a doubt, what The Master looked like: a beautiful, nigh-perfect male example of that race, but with a lens-like crystal in its forehead.

Homsar quickly edited the memories into a coherent report and beamed it telepathically to the Admiral. "Here's what we're looking for." Homsar said, telepathically, "I'm going to assist the locals. Have your men start scouring medical reports for these signs, and hope that we've not seen all of them activated just yet."

"Understood, Homsar." the Admiral said, "I'll detail this to my staff and have it as top priority."

Homsar then took command of the relief column heading to relieve the locals. Securing all of the cities on the planet took Homsar a few days, for that was due to the competence and cooperation of the locals with the Patrol. Semi-portable blasters attached to trucks allowed small crews of men to move quickly from point to point, letting them fry and fly so that they could burn down the monsters before they got smashed by them. Homsar coordinated it all, while doing his own share of the work, with the aide of the local officials. This plan limited collateral damage and eliminated civilian injuries once enacted. Once the last of the monsters went down, Homsar quickly got the officials to agree to recovery of the corpses and remanding them over to the Patrol; being an Agent-At-Large has its uses, and one of them is as an unbeatable symbol of trust and value.

The autopsies of the corpses revealed the evidence of genetic tampering that Homsar previously acquired. The Admiral and his staff tracked where all of the monsters went for the last decade or so, and it revealed that all of them--at one point or another--were either pirates or prisoners thereof and subsequently returned to the Republic and everyday life. Since there was no reason to look for this specific tampering, none of them got detected, and thus this entire event showed premeditation on a scale and scope that only a few enemies of the Republic could even conceive of executing- let alone doing it. After a total of a week, Homsar and the Admiral met in the latter's office to go over the results.

"The additional reports coming in from all over this sector of space show clear signs of this being part of a larger plan." the Admiral said, "Homsar, I called home and put in a request on your behalf. I want you to take up the more independent and hands-on part of our counter-action plan."

Homsar smiled. That rarely meant anything other than what the Admiral's lieutenant came into the office to report.

"Admiral, the Kinneson has arrived. Captain Simms sends his regards, and wishes to say that the Darkspear Regminent's commander awaits his good friend's arrival."

"I accept your request." Homsar said, "Send my copy of the plan to the Kinneson, under seal. We can conclude this meeting once I'm aboard."

The lieutentant turned to Homsar. "Your boat?"

"Already being brought aboard, son." Homsar said, "That ship, those marines, and their C.O.s and I go way back. The Admiral can tell you all about it."

With that, Homsar took his leave. The Admiral waved his staff officer over.

"Pay attention," the old man said, "for that could be you soon enough. Chances are good that he'll request that I detach you to him once we've got this end of the operation under control. If that happens, then I'll grant that request right away. You need the experience, and he'll teach you well."

Elsewhere, far away, The Master sat in repose in his well-concealed lair in the hinterlands of known space. With a flash of the crystal embedded in his forehead, a klaxon went off. Immediately, a minion scurried to his side.

"Master!" the wretch said, "What is the alarm?"

"The initial gambit did not succeed as I had hoped. We must move to Phase 2 immediately. Link me with all commands."

The minion hurried to do its master's bidding, and a mass of faces appeared as holograms before him.

"All commands are to escalate immediately to Phase 2. G-Hour is NOW! Time for the wolves to feast."

The many faces, wearing many uniforms (if at all), gave the same obsequeous salute and said in unison: "Victory or Death!" before winking out.

The Master then turned to another screen, where he saw another uniformed minion: "Captain, move the flagship to Phase 2's position, and maintain combat readiness."

The captain saluted wordlessly and the screen winked out. Over the intercom came an announcement to the crew to move the ship, and The Master smiled.

"You can slay the Dragon, Patrolmen, but none can beat the Master."

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