Burtt-Chapter 11, atomic revenge:
Twenty two cycles+18, Lo35319
There was a device. She’d heard them talk about it, her husband and his commander. It was buried deep under central tower. Below the cop headquarters. Only the Commander of the cops and the Army, their boss, the Director of Security and the MeinKlops had access. It was a doomsday device. Held in check so that no conqueror could claim CommCorp as their own.
Well, that was before. Now, with Larss boss dead back in his office, and his passkey in her possession, she now had access. Still, she shouldn’t be in this area, and anyone who saw her would report it; so, she had to stay hidden until she could safely approach the damn door to the HiSec Stairwell.
It was mideat and the place was crawling with worker drones. Ellsbeth Fen was so close, so close to ending this nightmare. If she had to be exiled with those foul peons, she’d rather be dead. Â Her children would thank her if they only would see reality. No, they deserved better and dead is better than life out there. If we go down; the whole frigging dome would come with them.
I won’t live like a prole for any reason. Not to save myself or my children. Dead is better than hell.
3 days before, at the Loks hide:
She’d played at being nutters all week. It wasn’t all that much a stretch at first. She was pretty much on overload after Georgge told them about the Corps’ plans for the Fens et al. In a couple of days though she had settled back into her brooding, self-pitying normal self, though she kept that to herself. On the outside, for everyone to see, she was still nutters. Battier than a belfry, Hamm call it. The kids kept their distance, including the Fen children.
It was this distance everyone kept from her that lulled them into complacency about her and they stopped watching her all the time. The very first chance she had, she took it and it cost Jaredd his life.
She’d fashioned another club, this one of stouter stuff, metal stock. With no one paying her any never mind, she made her way to the door Jaredd would enter with their midafternoon snack. She hid quietly in the shadows and waited for him to enter the room. Â She sprang on him with a berserker’s wail smashing the club down on his head from behind. He didn’t even know he was under attack. Â The kids’ screams were too late. So fierce was Ellsbeth’s hate, all her strength went into the blow. Jaredd’s head split open like a melon and brains flew everywhere. He was dead before his body slumped to the ground.
Too late, Hamm sprung for Ellsbeth, but she was gone before he could get to the door and she locked it behind her. Ellsbeth had made good her escape, and no one would know until Doc Georgge showed later in the week, unless Ssyn decided to come for a visit. They had no comms here purposely. Â They didn’t want to be traced obviously, but in fact, no signal could penetrate the hide.
The kids were trapped with just the water and fruit Jaredd had just delivered. The over ripe smell of the confined space was starting to bother the kids too.
Three cycles, Hi45319, in the HiSec Stairwell:
She’d made it. Finally, the fools all went to bed. Well, she’d had to time the security patrol, but after two passes, she had that down, now, and was off and running the second the guard was out of sight on his rounds.
The stairs seemed to go on forever though. It was getting darker and more chill. She was in the light throw she had one when Uncle Samm fled with them to the Loks hide. It was thin and completely inadequate to the job at hand, but she didn’t need a lot of time.
Just through those doors and BOOM, lights out everyone. Oh, Norton, the Glory. The rapture. The peace. I’m coming to you father, mother. I’m coming.
There it was. It wasn’t very big, really. She was surprised but there it was. It looked just like Gregorr described it to Larss that night so long ago. Â Who would ever have thought that we would come to this, back then? No matter. It’s done.
BEWARE! USE OF DEVICE IS INTENDED ONLY UPON CAPITULATION OF THE CITY STATE TO ENEMIES.
NO PART OF US WILL BE THEIRS!
The notification was of its own pending end.
She remembered the sequence.
- Insert key
- Turn left one notch to power the terminal
- Acknowledge sequence start
- Accept control of the sequence with one more notch turn to the left.
- Set the count
- Turn the Key to “Arm” position.
- Push red “START” button.
Ellsbeth had nowhere to evacuate to. Citizens were meant to leave in AirTrans if any survived. No matter. That wasn’t her fate.
The Conflagration that ensued at the touch of her hand to the Start button, engulfed the dome, the Wall, and 100 kliks of area in a circle around the dome. The end was quick. The other city states heard of the tragedy, then fought for control of the airwaves.
Burtt and Katt watched the fireball grow and creep towards them. They turned to each other at the last.