Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Atom Guard


Hello again. I wrote this story quite a while ago, and practically forgot about it until today, when I thought to post it. I know the concept is not politically correct and even the science involved isn't exactly up to scratch but I think it came out okay. 

The air was still, empty, bereft of a single sound or movement. Nothing was there, nothing. Or was there? Look closer; enhance your view on the empty space of apparently bare air. Enhance again and again, until you pass the possible magnifications of technology, and experience the incredible.
The patch of air is now a great mass of atoms and molecules of oxygen, alone each one would be an insignificant bauble, but together, they form a great writhing mass of life.
But now, enhance again into that mass, now you can see clearly each individual atom, in fact two specs of life joined and wriggling, suspended before you. The proton and neutron, the two aspects of the oxygen molecule. And, surrounding it, an ever turning infinity symbol of electrons; a path of energy revolving around the atom and completing the seemingly insignificant spec of atom.
         Our path takes us in closer to the electron revolving around the joined proton and neutron. Science has made it out that the electron is merely another aspect of the atom, just another spoke in the wheel. But we know better, don’t we. There is in fact something else in the electron, something incredible, something amazing, something; supernatural. Something called, the Atom Guard.
***
The electron belt warped and twisted, as a seeming unrest started in its innards, something was coming, or more than something. Suddenly, a speck of energy popped out of the electron. Insignificant in its stature; but more than that in itself. Suddenly the speck bulged and warped, until three figures composed entirely of electron fields were left hovering in the space beside the electron belt. The Atom Guards of sector 15743866; Rad Preventers, and overall protectors of the Molecular Structure.
         One of the figures floated farther from the belt then the others. He was a tall individual, with fully matured electron arms, legs and head. His eyes were twin matrixes of swirling light, like all Atom citizens. And, also like all Atom citizens, he had the power to form objects from electron tissue. Cadford was his name, and he was heading this mission, having been promoted to squad leader of the sector watch earlier. 
         He turned and spoke to his companions. Actually, he didn’t really speak to them; the citizens unfortunately did not include that in their fortes. But instead they communicate through their consciousnesses, sending messages silently from one to the other. They could even broadcast it to a large group of citizens if need be.
    Are all squad participants fully charged and prepared for patrol? He thought, sending it to both of his comrades. They replied individually.
         Yes, Cadford, I’m fully operational. How about you? Moda replied, the smaller member of the group.  
         Cadford would have ground his teeth if he’d had any. Moda, please! We are on a covert patrol here, unnecessary conversation is strictly prohibited.
         Moda’s face seemed to smile, but you could never be sure with her. Shaking his head Cadford swiveled to the third occupant of the patrol. And you, Jekk? Are you fully prepared for the mission?
         Jekk nodded curtly. He was undoubtedly, the complete opposite of Moda; Mr. By-the-book, through and through. He never took a molecule castoff break without explicit permission.
         Alright then, thought Cadford. Let’s get this started. According to our companions in sector 15743869, several Atom refugees have alerted them that the Pestilence has taken seven more Atom Colonies, and most of the inhabitance has fallen.
         Jekk and Moda hissed in outrage. The Pestilence is, strictly speaking, the bane of the Atom Guard. They are a cult of fallen citizens who have informed the sectors worldwide that they plan to use their fallen abilities to warp Atom colonies into Radiation blots. For you see, normal Atom citizens possess the ability to construct objects from electron belts and fields. But the abilities of a fallen Atom citizen are much more sinister.
         They possess the ability to create a solution that can interact with Atoms and cause them to go haywire, until they slowly become larger and more potent until they finally transform into Radiation.
 After this alert was realized, the Atom Guard was founded. Its sole purpose is to protect the Atom colonies and sectors from the audacity of the Pestilence. But lately, the effort has been almost disbanded in the ensuing spree of fallen Atoms. But the Guard still works tirelessly against the Pestilence, determined to stop their evil.
Cadford nodded understandingly at the gesticulations of his comrades. I understand your outrage, people. But what’s done is done. The only thing we can do is to protect our own sector from the Pestilence, because from what I’ve heard of the directory of the current Pestilence sightings, their heading this way. And we very well may be in for some action any time now. Now, let’s get on with the patrol.
Cadford turned from his comrades, and raised his arm. It glowed brightly for a second, and then a snaking cord of whirling electrons spun out from his hands, until it created a whirling vortex of swirling electron belts. And then it died away, the molecules spun back into his arm, leaving in his hand a short, curved weapon with a corkscrew nozzle. If set off, it was capable of firing condensed energy at high rates of speed.
Moda and Jekk did the same. Moda fashioned herself a long saber and Jekk soon held a long buzzing rod with outlets at each end crackling with condensed atomic energy. As they followed Cadford away from their Atom, they thought restlessly. I hope some Pestilence guys attack Moda thought rebelliously. Then I’d show them what an Atom Guard could do she growled, stabbing her saber into the air meaningfully.
         Jekk nodded in spite of himself. Aye, they’d find out what we were made of. Cadford was still in front of them, glancing around, scrutinizing every Atom that passed them by something seemed wrong. He didn’t know what, but he had always prided himself on his soldier’s sense, and it was buzzing furiously.
         Deciding to act, he came to a halt, holding up a closed fist. Moda and Jekk had been so immersed in their conversation that they nearly merged with Cadford as they flew up behind him.
         Hold it!  He thought urgently.
         What’s up? Thought Jekk, hovering away from Cadford and shaking a few stray molecules off his arm. Something’s not right, Cadford thought back. Something feels, out of place somehow.
         Come off it! Moda thought bracingly. It’s just that—
         And then it happened. Faster than any of them could react, three oval black pods swerved out from behind two Atoms and began sending condensed black matter whizzing everywhere.
         Evasive manu-!- Jekk’s suggestion was cut off when a speeding pestilence clipped his side and sent him spinning. Judging from his groans, he had minutes left before he fell. For you see, the black pods were of course agents of the Pestilence attempting to overrun the sector.
         Cadford swore violently, by the atomic structure of horse-poo! And sped toward the falling figure of Jekk. But he was soon cut off by a Pestilence pod which had targeted him. Backup! I need backup! This is Cadford, on patrol on the west side of the colony. Pestilence pods everywhere! I repeat!
         But he couldn’t repeat, a swath of pestilence blots were spinning toward him, and he had to dive out of their trajectory to avoid being hit. He looked around frantically for Moda. He saw her finally, surrounded by the two other pods and protecting herself with a large construct shield.
         Cadford sped to her aid, the third pod closely following. Dodging several more shots from the pod following him he raised his weapon and sent three charges into the closest pod. All three found their target, and then the pod exploded in a spectacular lightshow, sending gluon-shrapnel everywhere.
         Using the confusion to his advantage, Cadford quickly constructed a brick wall and sent it flying toward the pod behind him. Not listening for contact, he swerved around the second pod and stopped beside Moda.
         You okay? He thought, while fending off several pestilence blots. Fine she thought. But Jekk doesn’t look so good. She pointed to the attacking pod. Sure enough, hovering beside it, his body a sickly gray yellow tinge, was Jekk. He grinned down at us.
         Hoo boy. He changed faster than I thought I thought. He’ll be a definite problem. Moda nodded. Then constructed a grenade and hurled it at him. He scowled and whacked it away with his staff. You’ll have to try harder than that, Atom Guard he thought; his signature now much more grating.
         The pod beside him suddenly popped open and a Fallen floated out. He had the look of a veteran Pestilence, and his words confirmed this. Surrender, Atom Guards; you have no chance against us. I am Captain Lorz, join us and you will prosper.
         Cadford glared at him. He knew he should hate all Pestilences, but this one seemed especially unlikable. You can shove your request somewhere painful, Pest. You can kill us two, but not all of us.
         Lorz smiled. I was hoping you’d say that, forward! At his command, several more pods sped out from behind other Atoms. Obviously, this had been a very well laid trap.
         Begin turning the Atoms, I shall deal with these two Lorz thought almost contemptuously. The other pods turned to an individual Atom, and then there was a buzzing sound, and then black coiled of matter spun out of them and connected to the Atom. Its surface warped and jumped, then slowly, it began darkening, turning sickly.
         NO!! Moda raged. Creating two sabers, she flew at Lorz, maddened by rage. Lorz raised his arms, and from his pod flew a score a fallen ones. They grabbed her roughly, and however much she wriggled they held her fast. Then one of them sent a coil of black matter into her matter, and it immediately began contaminating her system. She thrashed for a moment, and then went limp.
          With a loud WHOOM Cadford’s bolt of electron matter crashed into the ranks of fallen. The spun away like nine pins, many with smoking, ragged holes in their chests and limbs. He flew quickly to her. Lorz was a ways away, having been also hit by the blast, but he was coming fast, so Cadford would have to work fast. He constructed a knife and quickly slashed through the coil of darkness still attached to her. She slumped into his arms, and he flew slowly but surely away from the scene.
         She needed a regeneration chamber fast. But before Cadford could do any more then lay her on a quickly constructed cot. Lorz hit him like a bolt of lightning. They spun away from Moda, who had not moved.  Cadford had a grip on Lorz’s jaw, but he gripped his shoulders tightly and was kicking him mercilessly in the stomach.
         You die now, Atom Guard! He grunted, breaking away, and constructing an evil looking contraption. No, Cadford thought. You do. And then with a spurt of energy he did not know was in him. He flew forward and broke off the contraption from Lorz’s arms used it to whack him into the Atom’s Electron belt that we had been battling close to.
         He stayed in sight for a second, struggling with the current, and then, with a wail, he dispersed into gray matter and was whipped away by the ever turning current of the belt. Cadford hovered there for a second, shocked at what he’d done. Then he shook himself and shot away from the Atom. Weaving through the close cropped Atoms until he reached Moda, who had started to drift.
         Thinking fast, he carried her quickly over to the closest Atom, and slipped her gently into the Electron current. I’ll be back he thought. Then turned and flew towards the contaminating Pest pods. Moda would be safe in the Electron belt. Though it wasn’t her own she would remain there until picked up in a cryogenic slumber. Wiping this from his mind he concentrated on the job ahead. Constructing a buzz saw and grasping it in his right hand, he set to work.
         Weaving under and behind several pods, he finally reached Lorz’s open pod. Dispersing the buzz saw, he came to rest on the controls. This was definitely a crazy idea, but it might just work. Cadford closed the pod, and grabbed the first thing that came to hand, something that looked like a joystick. Turning it, he started off an unfinished Hologram game. Shaking his head he reached for another stick. That turned out to be a Sustenance Stick. Finally he found the real joystick and took the pod into a quick turn.
         Right in front of Cadford was the line of Pests. Anger boiled up in his mind. They were contaminating his sector, his home. The place he’d loved, the place he’d lived in for so long. The place he’d been unable to protect.
         He jammed down the joystick, and the pod leapt forward. It crashed into the first pod, and it crumpled before the reinforced hull of Cadford’s stolen pod. It dropped away and out of sight, taking its coil of black matter with it. Cadford turned the pod again and sent it crashing again into another pod.
         He repeated this again, all down the line, and again and again, and again and again, until nothing was left. He opened the pod and floated out. Fortunately, they hadn’t gotten far before he’d arrived. And he might even be able to patch it up before the backup arrived. A glow of pride spread through his body. He’d succeeded. He’d protected his sector, he’d defeated the enemy. He had done his duty; the duty, of the Atom Guard.

END

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