Monday, April 30, 2007

Empire Beyond Mars 1

This is a new story serial I'm starting. I'm going to add to it as I write it, so it should build and build, I hope.

Let me know how you like it. It's sort of Space Opera meets Burroughs.


"It wasn't really broken, just unsnapped. I snapped it back. It should be fine now."

"Thanks ever so much Rusty," Janet Brewer cooed as Rusty Ferguson shimmied his way out from under the BMW convertible of the captain of the cheerleaders.

Rusty would be the first to describe himself as a "lump." He was large and soft, red and freckled. Janet was just the opposite, small and firm, dark and smooth.

"You're better than a brother Rus," she reached up and hugged his neck while pecking him on the cheek. "Hunter gets out of football in only an hour and I had to make sure I got him a new shirt. That boy needs two mothers."

Rusty nodded while he wiped his hands on a rag.

"Can I give you a ride anywhere?"

"No thanks," he said reluctantly. "I have to get to work and DDI is the opposite direction from the mall."

"I'll see you in band tomorrow morning then," she said as she slid into the driver seat. They both played clarinet and sat next to each other.

He waved until he couldn't see her and then went and unlocked his bike from the rack. He had had to build his bike from spare parts left from his four older brothers, but it was still pretty good.

Rusty worked after school at Diversified Dynatechnics International. DDI had been established and was owned by Doctor Ares Greene, MD who started the company a dozen years earlier to further the studies of his own favorite professor. The building itself was a one-story facility in a semi residential neighborhood of Chicago with a small parking lot big enough for only about a dozen cars.

When Rusty arrived he saw Dr. Greene on the roof. They waved to each other and Dr. Greene called him by name.

Dr. Greene's being on the roof was not as strange a sight as it might have been. The DDI building was a green building. The bricks were especially made to be environmentally friendly, the south-facing wall was angled so that the solar panels on it could collect the maximum amount of energy and the ceiling was planted with grasses and shrubs that fed the goats that lived there. There were also several windmills and some other features that Rusty suspected, but was unsure of, like the building may have been tapping into and using geo-thermal energy.

Inside the lobby Rusty stood aside as several of the full time workers departed. Three women and two men who all worked in the administrative side of the company went through the scanner and wished him a good day.

Two guards operated the scanner. They were very large and very stoic. Although Rusty knew their names were Bob Montgomery and Kent Cox he also knew that speaking to them about anything except security was worse than a waste of time.

"Are you taking you bag with you?" Bob asked, as one of them always did.

"No, I can check it," Rusty handed his school bag to Kent, who put it through a scanner before locking it in an airport style locker behind the guard desk.

"Step through the scanner please," Bob said.

Rusty went through the scanner. This was not an ordinary metal detector, but the most sophisticated piece of security equipment invented by the staff at DDI itself. The scanner did scan for metals, but also for anything with a density high enough to be an effective weapon. It also scanned for health signs, similar to a lie-detector. His DNA; retinal scan; ears; finger and toe prints were on record. They were all scanned in the time it took Rusty to walk the two meter length of the machine. Once Bob and Kent were satisfied that the subject was an employee they would issue an ID. The ID had a photo from that day and was actually a computerized transceiver that let the guard force know where the subject was and what he was doing at all times.

Rusty clipped on his ID, hazarded a, "have a nice day" and walked briskly to his lab.

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