Masked as a traitor, Colbert learns the truth and realizes he was the one being deceived
|An excerpt of a pending project of mine
The Colbert Ops
Several centuries deep into the future, mankind had finally spent every last bit of Earth’s resources and had greatly overpopulated. To ensure their survival, humans were able to set aside their racial differences and together formed the mighty Alliance. The newly appointed Emperor, Viktor Soth, united the countries, pooled their resources and knowledge and in the span of a few short months, space technology made an uncanny breakthrough. They were finally able to build ion drives and spaceships that could venture out into deep space; hoping to discover new habitable planets.
With new constructed spaceports positioned by Mars and Jupiter ships could recharge their drives and venture further out of the solar system. On the outer fringe of our system, a vessel located a wormhole that led them to another galaxy which was light-years away. This galaxy not only had plenty of habitable planets to call home but also dozens of intelligent alien species to befriend.
Unbeknownst to the humans but a few decades earlier, the aliens had a common enemy, a power driven race with unique abilities, referred to as Psyckins. Much like humans, these pale-skinned beings were led by rare emotions which also powered their unique racial abilities. Their blood would even change colour to suit the current emotion/mood they were in; yellowish when scared or frightened, dark red with angered and filled with hatred etc. Their mystical abilities resembled to what human’s refer to as, psychic powers; telepathy, telekinesis and clairvoyance were just a few of their great gifts.
The battle to eradicate the Psyckins was long and grim, leaving the survivor numbers minimal, learning that it is hard to defeat an enemy that knows your every move even before you are aware. Some of the alien races were even eradicated during the war, leaving no one to carry on their existence...
So when the human's arrived, they've just battled for years and sought for peace, so despite they’re gut feelings, they decided to greet these travelers with open arms. Emperor Soth over the next year began negotiating treaties and seeking new homes, worlds for them to live on. They discovered four plausible planets that were immediately inhabitable and vacant. They broke off into their respecting geological regions, still wanting to keep some culture amongst them and each claimed a planet sector, the North Americans, claimed their and named it, Can-America, fusing Canada with America. Next, the Asians took theirs and named it Jasia, meshing Japan and Asia into one word. The British with Scots and the French, didn’t argue over names, just dubbed their as Vector Alpha, the Russians with Europe followed the welcoming idea and went with Vector Terra.
Before they reached a treaty and form the Senate, Soth was brutally murdered by some unknown assailant, led to be one of the new allied aliens and his daughter, Talien took his place. Powered by hatred for these aliens, she tossed away her father's negotiations and began to hunt down all things nonhuman and turn them into slaves.
But some of the human's didn't think this was right, rebelled against the Alliance, being marked as traitors and are in the middle of forming a Renegade army to overrule the Empress and bring peace and justice which her father wanted to this new galaxy and live in harmony.
But Talien is fully alert of the Renegade army increasing with their numbers and influence with the people, and is in the midst of collaborating the most diabolical scheme known to both man and alien kind...
In her grand throne room, the Empress sat alone, dressed in her dark purple, golden trimmed robes. With a hood that concealed most of her face, shadowing the upper half, leaving just her pale chin and red luscious lips visible and prominent. Her hands, long green nails, pale fingers firmly grasped the arms of the chair in which she sat. “Guard, I request a moment of your time.” Her voice was calm and soothing, made you feel at ease whenever she spoke.
The guard, hidden in the shadows just behind her left side stepped out, a normal looking individual, dressed mostly in black clothes, easier to blend in his surroundings, standing roughly six feet tall, firm muscular build, short dark brown hair, his glaring eyes kept a constant watch for possible infiltrators, always on the ready to strike down; all to protect the one person he swore to, the Empress.
After ensuring the place was secure, he stepped before her and graciously bowed by her feet. The loyal guard said, “Yes my Empress.”
She motioned for him to stand, “Rise my friend, there is no need to bow for me. For years your faithful services have kept me safe, and I thank you for that. But I have a new mission for someone with your unique set of skills to perform.”
Her dedicated protector stood tall, “Anything you need my lady.”
“Aw, hear me out before you give an answer. The mission I designed has some risk I assure you.” She took a breath and continued to explain. “This Renegade group has increased in numbers I did not see nor thought it would. It has now become a threat to the Alliance.”
The man let loose a vigorous chuckle before replying. “I hardly doubt that my lady, but if you say so.”
“I need you to,” She took a moment before adding, “Become one of them.”
The man appeared more causal now as he shook his head while stating. “How do you propose I do that, the second they check my data; there’s no doubt they’ll see right through the deceit.”
“Colbert I’m beside myself puzzled, I assured myself that out of all the people I could have selected for this covert operation, you could figure out a way to befriend these people and infiltrate their command base.”
He nodded; after all, he was highly qualified, much more than to be some bodyguard. “I’m not a spy. We have spies, and each one of them either betray us or are caught. The Renegades are too cautious to just trust anyone into their ranks.”
“Well then, you’ll just have to show them why you’re different now won’t you?”
Colbert began to rub his chin; it was something he did when he started to think of a crafty, witty plan on the fly. “Well, if I were a traitor to the Alliance, I mean publically bastardized…”
“Excellent thinking, see, I knew you were the man for the job. I will make it so; you will be hunted down by the Alliance. When you see an old friend, remember, they’re out to kill you now. So see, deceit will not be needed, for you will be the real deal.”
Colbert chuckled to the idea of traitor, after all the things he has done for the Alliance, but this was just another mission to ensure the supremacy of the Alliance. He couldn’t pass on this, it wasn’t in him. “So, how do we want to go about this? Just go rogue and blast my way out of here?”
“I’ll come up with a proper reason after you leave. Are you in on my plan or not?”
The man rubbed his chin, thinking over the mission he had been hand selected for. “Well, no offense, but I have been rather bored with my guard duty...” An impious grin came from her pouting red lips. “I will do my best.”
“Excellent, I know you will succeed.” Her finger hovered over a small green button hidden in the arm of her chair. “Before I sound the alarm, I want to wish you the best of luck, even though we know, you don’t need it.”
He unleashed a self assuring smile and bowed once more, “Until we meet again.” She sounded the alarm; troopers quickly breached her chambers where Colbert drew his blaster and took aim at the Empress. “You’re a psychotic bitch! And I’m not going to let you manipulate these folks anymore!” He fired off some obviously poorly aimed shots, all missing her as the troops got into flanking positions to take the man out. He fired off some pock shots to force them to take cover as he jumped up near Soth, using her as a shield to prevent them from shooting, risking her life he knew, they wouldn’t dare try.
Holding the barrel to her neck, Colbert hollered out an order. “Drop your blasters; we both know you won’t risk the Empresses life.”
Then one grizzled older man stepped out in front of the troopers, Colbert recognized him right away, he was the Commander of the guards, and his old pal Rucker. “Colbert calm down, what are you doing? This is treason you know.”
“Sorry Tom, I can’t live like this anymore, my conscious has overpowered me.”
Seeming quite baffled, he stuttered to exclaim. “What are you mumbling about, this isn’t you. Now lower your weapon and I’m sure they won’t court marshal you for this.”
“It’s too late for me; I’ve already set plans out in motion. So like I told you before, drop your weapons or she dies.”
“Just do what he says damn-it.” The Empress using an uncompromising, frightful tone beckoned. “Don’t you see; he has no way off of this ship? So he’s trapped, just let him think he’s free so this barrel comes off of me, now.”
Rucker, not wanting to back down, signaled his troops to do what the Empress requests, he on the other hand, quickly took aim, pointing the blaster for Colbert’s forehead. Colbert didn’t see hesitation in his friend’s motives, he knew he was going to take a chance, since after all; he was a highly skilled marksman much like himself. “Don’t do it.” And against his better judgment, he took aim and squeezed back on the trigger he had no desire in firing. The blast hit the left shoulder of Rucker, knocking him back on the ground; his weapon flew out of his hands and skidded along the ground. In the mass confusion, Colbert shoved Soth off of her throne and jumped over, sat down and hit her emergency escape button. He slid into a small tunnel at the foot of her throne, sliding down the lengthy tunnel and eventually landing in the Empresses personal escape pod. Once onboard he activated the controls and jettisoned the pod from the main ship and into deep space.
Unlike most escape pods that are built, hers was a full blown ship, capable of hyperspace and outfitted with a state-of-the-art cloaking device, making targeting the ship, extremely difficult.
The guards made haste to give aid to their Empress, helping her to her feet. She, in a heated rage, shoved them all off. “Get him and bring him to me, alive.”
They all took a gracious bow, “As you wish my lady.” While their eyes were off of her, she revealed her deceiving grin and masked it quickly when they rose.
She motioned towards the injured Commander. “And get him to the med lab, quickly now!”
Another guard marched to her side and bowed, when he rose he stated the news he had. “My lady, he escaped in your pod...”
“I know that you drone, get a lock on with the tractor beam and pull him back in.”
A worried trooper hesitated to respond, but did with a concern pitch. “Um, that we can’t do, your ship was outfitting with the best cloaking technology for such a purpose, so those who took the ship over could not target you and proclaim your capture.” He finished by stating. “I feel he’s been planning this for some time, I am just pleased you didn’t sustain any severe injury.”
She unfastened a mischievous chuckle, “Oh the irony.”
Meanwhile in the royal escape ship, Colbert was in a hurried state, plotting a course for an offbeat planet, not controlled by the Alliance. “Hmm, what would be a good sector to hide in?” He stared diligently at the map provided on the screen. “We’re near Terra, hmm, a few days travel to Jasia I assume and hope there is a small Renegade outpost there.” He set the course for the trip, nestled himself in for a long and hopefully, an uneventful journey...
Knowing he was already flagged almost instantly be boarded when he docked with the Empresses ship, Colbert chose to land in the desert outskirts and be long clear before Alliance personal finally caught up with him. He didn’t land too far from the biggest well-populated town on the planet. Sneaking his way through the small isolated alleyway Colbert hoped it would ward off Alliance troops as he stalked the shadows. He managed to stumble into the local market, where he noticed he had little credits to his name. Colbert knew he couldn’t draw much attention to himself and needed to mask his identity so he managed to purchase a hood to go over his head and blended back into the alleys.
Before just stepping back out, Colbert took caution, peering out of the shadows of the alleyway, spotting a larger amount of troopers patrolling than there would normally be. “Must be on the hunt for me already out here, word sure spread fast.” He made the assumption while taking a slow cautious scan of the immediate area, searching for a good place to hide. Through the open market, he hadn’t come across a place with little to no Alliance presence as he stumbled across a commotion unfolding.
A woman of the what human’s referred to as, the Kelvon species, a close to human alien species that resembled Elves, beautiful young looking race, with a lengthy life span, their beauty was unmatched in this galaxy, they are also fragile, but normally peaceful and spiritual. She was protecting what first appeared to be her young daughter; some Alliance troopers had circled the two, trapping them in the middle.
“Please” the woman begged, as they cackled with pleasure “She’s just a youngling.”
The commander of the bunch stepped towards her, slapping her in-subordinate cheek “she needs to learn her place, like her whore of a mother.” The troop next to him, grabbed the arm of the small child, while cowering men stood in the background, Colbert approached one of the locals.
In a low whisper, Colbert inquired “What’s this all about friend?”
He turned, sounding rather ill about the situation “The Damn Alliance men, thinking they can do whatever they please. And nothing we can do to stop it stranger, it’s considered treason to lay a finger on any Alliance personnel.”
“So, they just do what they please is what you’re saying?” Colbert knew that sometimes desperate measures needed doing. Sometimes you had to show dominance so the enemy would cower in fear and not stand up against you. But this was not the way to do so.
“It just irritates me what they think can pull, just because they’re part of the Alliance.”
“Just report them to their officers.”
The man let loose a chuckle to the notion “yeah right pal, the Alliance doesn’t care. The last person to stand up against them was hung publically to warn us all to remain quiet and obliged to them.”
The commander took the hand of the mother and pried her from her daughter. “Time you both paid your taxes.” He then looked around, saw the crowd their little conversation attracted. “What are you all looking at, go back to your business or else...”
Colbert hollered back without realizing so, “Or else what?” he didn’t mean to, it just came out; the thought of what these troopers were doing, abusing woman and children, sure, they were aliens, but this wasn’t right. He now had everyone’s attention as he saw the heads turn towards him. This was not what he needed now; he needed the focus away, especially when the Alliance would shoot first.
The one trooper barked out. “Watch your tongue fool, you know who we are?”
The old man begged in a whisper. “Please stranger, you aren’t doing yourself or me any good.”
He nodded and bowed towards the commander. “I am deeply sorry, I beg you to spare us and thank you for protecting us all.” You could hear the sarcasm come from his tone, he had no respect for scum who abuse their power. He then drifted back into the crowd, before the troopers raised more suspicion; saw a local watering hole and stumbled inside.
The place was quite crowded, considering it was still sometime during the day. Aliens of all sorts were up to no good from what he witnessed. There were all sorts of shady dealings off to the corners and some gambling at random tables. Colbert, wanting to keep a low key with his presence, sat at one of the many open stools at the bar.
Keeping his head low, so hopefully no one could recognize his face; he counted the credits in his pocket, not enough for a drink. Then something across the bar caught his attention, it was a wanted poster with his face covering most of it. He remarked on it, “Hmm, a hefty reward.”
Overhearing the comment, the bartender chuckled. “That’s a fresh one on the board. A high reward means it’s risky. Also the rumours say, he is a loose cannon and quite dangerous.”
Keeping his face concealed, Colbert inquired more “What exactly did he do?” After all, the tiny ship he was in was slow, meaning it took almost a week to reach this planet. So word could have spread, but this was fast, he figured just the Alliance troops would be on to him at this point.
The bartender looked baffled that someone hadn’t heard already. It was big news after all. “You seriously didn’t hear? Let me be the first to tell you then. He tried to assassinate the Empress.”
Playing dumb, still feeling the crowd, Colbert remarked. “Not someone you’d want around here I presume.”
Bartender gave a sly grin. “On the contrary stranger, I mean, between you and me, I’d buy him a drink and be eager to hear what he did to warrant such a high reward.”
One little alien to his left spoke out next, rather loudly and indiscreetly “If I saw him now, I’d give him a pat him on the back and help him fend off any hunter looking to cash in. The Alliance are a bunch of whiney, power hungry pukes and every last one of them deserves to rot in hell.”
Overhearing the commotion more approached the bar with their remarks and comments to state, the one just to Colbert’s right shouted, obvious was tipsy from the amount of booze he had consumed “He’s got guts, that’s for sure. To unleash a one man army in the Empresses throne room, nearly assassinating her. Big balls, I’d buy him a round or two.”
Colbert grinned with relief under the hood, the plan was coming together better than he expected, while another person commented “I don’t know, what kind of man betrays all he has ever known, sounds rather sketchy and something fishy about the whole thing.” That speech alone, turned the crowd from cheers to silence, as they all started to ponder and whisper now about, plots and deceit, Colbert’s grin turned to a glare, he saw this now backfiring and all he had given up, will be for nothing.
“Well, it don’t matter anyways; we’ll never know because it’s not like he’ll get this far anyhow. They’ll catch to him and kill him. So really, he was stupid and brash. What he hoped to accomplish, not much; his name will be forgotten in time.”
The bartender spoke up, loud and proud. “I don’t care; I’d still buy the rounds for him all night. I say he finally realized he’s been on the wrong side of things and snapped out of that witch’s control.” The majority of the crowd raised their mugs high in the air and cheered, then all pounding their drinks back, honouring the brave man who defiled all he knew.
Just then, three Alliance troopers marched in, the crowd quickly dissipated and went back to their respected corners, the one guard in the middle had a rather cocky grin on his face as he stated with pure self-confidence. “What’s all the commotion about you worthless wimps? Huh?” He strutted around the tables, bumping into the alien’s that were much smaller and weaker than him. “You have nothing to be happy for, we’re taking over this miserable area and soon you will be wanted for crimes against the Alliance; then arrested and hung for treason.” The three troopers then began to chuckle as the left one shoved a small alien who was keeping to himself over, not one peep came from the rest in the tavern.
Seeing opportunity knocking and after all, Colbert does possess some morals. One belief of his was that beating up things smaller than you is petty and low. Colbert stood up, turned and gave the men an intimidating glare through his hood.
Confused by someone standing up to them, the main guard playfully laughed and stated. “You mustn’t be from around here friend, you looking to do something or,” He walked closer to Colbert, trying to stare him down. “Are you planning on harming a guard of the Alliance?”
“I was just going to say; maybe you’d feel more like a man if you picked on someone your own size and not some small guy who could barely defend himself.” Colbert stepped into the guard’s personal space, inches away from one another. “Are you man enough to step into this?”
The perplexed trooper didn’t know what to say, he looked back at his partners, both shrugging their shoulders and held their blasters tight, in case things got hairy. He took another look back at the man in his face and grinned “I’m going to do you a favour.” He then patted Colbert on the head, rubbing his hood until it fell off, revealing his face and identity. The guard recognized him immediately, “Colbert!?” both alarming and startling the other two who were in the back, the crowd broke out into whispers and stunned expressions themselves.
“Apparently so” Using the element of shock, Colbert uppercut the jaw of the man in front of him, dazing him just enough to snatch the weapon from his grasp. With that blaster he quickly shot down the two baffled guards in the rear. He then used the gun like a ball bat, took a swing at the Alliance man’s knee, knocking him to the ground and taking aim with the barrel directly at his face. “Now, I’d apologize to the men you bothered over there.”
Stuttering with fear, he turned back, facing the grinning tiny alien, who stood there waiting to hear those two satisfying words he’s been dying to hear for a long time now “I’m... I’m...” He pressed the barrel into the man’s cheek, forcing the last word out “Sorry, ok, I’m sorry. You’re so dead Colbert; you cannot run where we won’t find you.”
“You know something?” He paused, looked around the crowd. “You’re absolutely right aren’t you?” He did not waste another minute; he took aim and fired several blasts, killing the man. He turned to the bartender “Sorry to have done this in your tavern...”
“Sorry? Please, I’m happy to oblige, allow me to clean this mess up for you.” He then set a shot glass and a bottle of ale on the counter. “Please, help yourself.”
The one intriguing alien hobbled over to Colbert’s left side and inquired “Does this mean you’re going to join the Renegades and help them overthrow the Alliance?” He sounded much like a small child when he spoke.
The man shrugged his shoulders and retorted with “I don’t know.” Playing up the young brash man who had no clue on much, he kept the facade going. “They probably will be suspicious of me, which I don’t blame them.”
“Suspicious, you kidding, you just killed three of their troopers and tried to kill the Empress, they’d kill to get someone like you working with them.” Just then another hulking alien race, scaly pinkish skin, massive individual, resembled that of a humanoid dinosaur, stood over the other.
With a deep commanding tone he spoke “He’s right, they should and would. A man with your knowledge will be a cosmic advantage for them.” He leaned towards the lonely human and whispered “If you want in, I’m the one around here to talk to. I’ll bring your name up to my command crew and if you’re interested, be here tomorrow this time round.”
He shook the alien’s monstrous hand. He didn’t want to come across as too eager; his cover would be blown for sure. “Sounds good, give me some time to evaluate the offer, I’m just not sure if I want to bring this, what I started, to innocent people around me.”
“I understand one hundred percent, but I strongly feel you’d be better off with us than alone, and like I said, you’d be a great asset for us. The name’s Rexius Tricerian, but people just call me Rex.” He grinned through that massive snout of his, revealing his sharp carnivorous teeth.
“Well, you already know, but I’m Colbert.”
Inquiring for more, he asked “Just Colbert huh, no first name?”
“I haven’t spoken it in some time and no one refers to me as it, so just Colbert.”