By: Jason Bliss
Chapter 13 – Time to Act
Mazuko sat at his desk awaiting Commander Sterling’s arrival. He shook his head as he thought of all that was about to transpire. He knew this would be a crippling effect to his fleets as well as the main fleet body of Azguard. However it would free up many citizens and allow them to choose to fight for Azguard on their own will, or they could be given a habitable planet and left to deal with the Alien Menace on their own. The choice was theirs.
Mazuko shook his head in disbelief; he could not believe he was about to take action to remove a close friend from the ranks of Azguard. He’d fought along side Trigon on many occasions and thought him an extremely honorable man. An honorable man at least until the most recent chain of events. He had no other choice, he’d been given an order, and he knew what he had to do. No matter what he felt for the man personally, he had tried to kill him, well Gak’tul anyways and Maxus. He smirked as he thought about that day. Maxus thought himself a king, when in fact Trigon had outfitted another race’s ships with organic armor, which only looked like the new Alien armor, and sent them to their death against his enemy. Attacking one of Azguards allies was a crime punishable by death and he would have no trouble bringing justice to a man that was not taking this war seriously.
Trigon had to die, and he had to figure out a way to accomplish it without causing too much political upheaval. He poured himself another glass of brandy and took a swallow. Mazuko looked up to the door and waited knowing Commander Sterling was always on time.
Max looked all around him; the hallway was beaten and full of pockmarks. Almost as if this station had had a war within and the losers never left. He was sure this had to have been the station Mazuko took from Gak’tul in the early days of the war with The Imperial Scourge. His mind began to wander and he wondered how The Imperial Scourge was fairing in the war with the Aliens now. Surly they had not been able to hold onto the outermost planets of their cluster, but as for their home planet, he knew for sure every citizen of The Imperial Scourge would die before that happened.
Max made his way further into the bowls of the giant space station. The name of the station escaped him at the moment, and it had been blown off the side in another battle. To Mazuko paint was useless; it never dried in space and in war it came off too easily. The only identifiable mark on any of the ships in Mazuko’s fleets was the emblem of Azguard. The emblem was a bright moon in the background with a lone Doomstar drifting in front of it. The mere thought of such an emblem was not too bothersome, however when one got closer they could see why it was one of the most feared and respected emblems in the entire known universe.
Max finally made his way to the mess hall, there had to have been hundreds of men in that hall. As he made his way past it he heard stories of things past, some of which he himself had done. The men talked with gusto about the legends and great feats of Azguards greatest Commanders. He heard one story in particular, one in which he had never heard before. The man claimed Gak’tul lived and that he had seen him with his own eyes! The man was shouting above the noise gathering quite a crowd as they listened to his tale.
“I swear by the God’s Gak’tul lives! I am a personal aid to Maxus himself! I have PROOF that Gak’tul is aiding The Human Alliance in their preparations for war! Gak’tul is one of Azguards greatest enemies and yet The Human Alliance a now open ally of Azguard has him at their side! Azguard will fall to the hands of the mighty The Human Alliance!”
As the man continued to shout guards seized him and took him to the ground dragging him out of the mess hall. The strange man was kicking and screaming like a baby as he was being removed always screaming about The Human Alliance’s superiority over Azguard and that Azguard would be destroyed. Max shook his head; he figured the man was being taken into the ally to have his head smashed in by the local guards. After all the station was under martial law.
He took note of the situation and got some information on the man from one of the cooks and a few of the troops there, he was sure Gak’tul was dead but he had to be certain. He finally headed off for his meeting, late.
Mazuko polished off his glass of Brandy and checked his watch. Commander Sterling was 20 minutes late something must have come up. Should he send out a patrol for him? No, he thought to himself. I’m going to give him another ten minutes. He is a very reliable Commander. As he was puzzling away at what could have happened to Commander Sterling the holophone on his desk rang.
Mazuko picked up and said, “Go ahead this is Mazuko.”
“Pardon me Sir,” said the secretary, “there has been a situation in the mess hall.”
“A situation? What kind of situation?” He was now getting quite concerned, could this have been what happened to Commander Sterling? He knew there was a few The Human Alliance supporters on the station, that is why he instituted martial law, but what could have caused this?
“The personal aid of Maxus himself somehow made his away onto the station and started quite the racket in the mess hall. Proclaiming he personally saw Gak’tul alive and that he was aiding The Human Alliance in their defense” Said the secretary.
“How the hell? We put a halt to letting outsiders on this station how the hell did he get on board?” His mind was racing; he had to know what happened. The only thing running through his mind now was it had to be a security leak. What else could it be? The names of a hundred security personnel ran through his head as he tried to pick out the mostly likely candidates for such a problem. He could only narrow it down to two people, but they had died in the battle with the “Alien” fleet in defense of The Human Alliance’s fleets.
“He was smuggled aboard on a merchant ship Sir.”
“I see. Put him in the brig after you silence him. Reprogram him as one of our ground troops. Also seize that merchant vessel and all of its cargo as…” Mazuko chuckled to himself “…war time necessities, what ever they are.”
“Yes Sir.” At that the holophone shutoff and there was a knock at the door.
Mazuko quickly took a seat at his desk and shouted. “Come in Commander Sterling.” The door opened slowly and Commander Sterling stepped in.
“How did you know it was me Sir?” said Max.
“I can explain.” Max quickly thought to himself how the hell was he going to explain being late to his Commander? He couldn’t tell him he was caught up in watching a man get dragged away and beaten by the guards. He couldn’t tell him he stopped at the mess hall to listen to a story! A frigging story for crying out loud! That’s no reason to be late for a meeting with your COMMANDER! But what choice did he have? It was either lie to his Commander OR tell him what happened. Obviously he had to tell Mazuko the reason WHY he was late. Somehow Mazuko seemed to know what he was thinking. Perhaps he had Psi implants? Who knew…there were rumors though.
“I was tied up at the mess hall Sir.”
“I’m assuming you were caught up in watching a man claiming himself to be the personal aid of Maxus tell a story about Gak’tul being alive and aiding the The Human Alliance war effort?”
How the hell did he know all of this? He wasn’t there! No wonder he’s a very sought after Commander, he’s damn good at what he does! Commander Sterling could now see how Mazuko had not disappeared as many Azguardians believed. He ENJOYED his work, and that alone gave men reason enough to follow him into the depths of hell itself.
“That would be correct Sir.”
“Very well,” Mazuko gestured to a chair in front of his desk “take a seat Commander we have much to prepare for you and I.”
“Excuse me Sir?” what the hell was Mazuko talking about? He had all the men he needed to carry out his orders what would he have to do with me? Hmmm the only thing I can think is that it would have to be a mission of some sort. A mission for what though? Are we going to hunt down and kill Gak’tul once and for all?
“You look as if you are confused Commander, to answer what I am sure you are thinking, yes you and I have a mission to accomplish. We are leaving at 0200 hours so I suggest we prepare immediately!”
“Yes Sir. But Sir?”
“Yes Commander? I suppose you want to know what the main goal of this mission is? We are taking out a Traitor. You will get more information as it becomes necessary, at this moment you are on a need to know basis. In the words of an old friend, the walls have eyes and ears.”
At this both men began work on the infiltration plans of an Azguard designed Doomstar. No easy task, for they were some of the most secure vessels every built, they had their hands full and only they could accomplish it.