The begining of a long Journey for a man named Karber and a cyborg called Aeon.
|The Last Aeonautical: Chapter one-Quasar Soup
He leans on the dashboard, waiting for any good leads on what could be his biggest chance to retire young, to finally quit his lone star cowboy act and settle down somewhere. He remembers all the bounties he’s caught before- all the times it almost cut this character’s lifeline short. For one hefty paycheck that would finally end this bounty hunter’s long journey.
Karber begins whistling as he stares into the consternation of stars. He looks out to the left to see Earth slowly drifting by. “Finally!”
He flips on the primary and secondary engines and prepares for landing. The horizon is soon filled with clouds and a canvas of blues, whites, light browns and gray pastels. Karber’s destination is none other than the New York’s landing pad where he goes to refuel both food and gasoline.
He makes a smooth landing on the concrete terrain and gets out of the Mantis (a space ship with a sleek insect theme). Karber walks down the unfolding steps with his head down. Getting used to the gravity, he steps down slowly and nearly trips. The scenery is quite pleasant during daylight hours with all the colorful cargo ships flying in and out of view. A few workers approach Karber.
“Fill ‘er up, please!” Karber smiles awkwardly and walks into the convenience area to get some food and pay for the gas.
The two men both reply with a quick “Yes, sir,” and start attaching the hose to the Zero Wing’s gas valve.
Inside the convenience area, Karber grabs a sandwich from the deli, some potato chips, and a two-liter of soda. He swipes his debit card through the express reader and keeps walking. Suddenly this nagging bleep freezes Karber in his tracks.
“Don’t tell me... I ran out again... god damn debit cards!!” He throws the sandwich and hits the cashier at the front register in the face on accident. Apparently, Karber ran out of funds, and neither his food nor his gas will be paid for.
“Is there a problem, sir?” The female clerk asks.
“Just sharing qualms of bad luck,” he says, “sorry about the... sandwich thing... Heh.”
“Are you unable to pay for your goods, sir?” The cashier asked.
Karber then walked up to the cashier and began to whisper something to her. “To tell you the truth...” He looks at her nametag, “Cathleen. I’m a representative for the good deeds... Uh.... Union... And I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone out loud, but if someone pays for my stuff... They’ll receive a cash prize of ten million dollars for their good deeds... Heh, yeah!” Karber cracks a small smile.
“Wow... So you’re saying, if I’d pay for your stuff, I’d win ten million dollars?” The cashier responds.
“Uh-huh!! Nothing to it!” He nods accordingly.
The cashier grabs a microphone from the counter, “Rude, we got another con-artist. Lock down on pump thirty-seven!”
“Not again...” Karber sighs. He stares out the window and watches as the platform, from under where his ship was parked, folded up and over the ship and rolled into the yard of confiscated ships.
“If it’s any consolation... You can keep the chips, soda and...” she stomps on the sandwich that landed on the floor beside her, “your sandwich, too.” She hands it to him
“...” Karber takes the crushed sandwich. “No prize for you!”
So this is when Karber really gets used to the gravity and starts walking towards New York City’s biodome. He could make it through the suburbs in one piece if only lady luck is on his side, by chance there are no city punks making a ruckus of any sort. Twenty percent of the galaxy’s small game can be found in the suburbs. A cowboy’s carnival of crime fighting and easy catches. Just the fact that most of the time, criminals could be found drunk or off guard in their own territory.
“What if I find him?” He thought aloud. “The number one bounty, the crème de la crème of big bounties! And if I could cash in... I could just get a place on Ganymede... Where I could go back to find her...” He began thinking of a lost love, a previous life, and the honest hardworking life he would of had mining for ore on Ganymede.
And then reality always comes to kick him when he’s up-“He, the foe of foes, probably nolonger exists...” Karber sighed as he remembered that what he was searching for, was merely but a legend.
He walks a good seven miles before entering the industrial side of town where the walls of buildings blocked the setting sun, skyscrapers touched the clouds, and mobs of people walked the sidewalks. It was about 8:00 pm and Karber was getting more fatigued after each passing moment. He had already eaten the food he got at the service station, which was his first meal for several days, and was still painfully hungry.
He whispers to himself, “Food, food, food, food, food.... Eat, eat... Ah-hah!” Aimlessly searching for a place to get a bite to eat, he finally reaches East Lafayette St. and finds a small bar called Leanne’s. Karber hurries inside, not noticing the man standing outside the door.
"Right... new guy," the bouncer, after about a minute, walks into the bar also.
It wasn’t the nicest looking bar, though Karber didn’t care. The floors were browned and stained. The walls were covered in old posters from legendary rock bands from over fifty years ago and were highly yellowed by age. The tables have been repaired with lumber scraps. The actual bar counter is the cleanest. You can't really tell for sure because it's covered in various alcohol bottles.
"Excuse me, ma’am?" Says Karber.
"Wait your turn!" The lady grabs a glass.
"... I'm the only person at the bar. Goofy ol' lady," he says to himself.
"I heard that!" She said. "And I ain't old!"
"Haha! I didn't say old!" He smiles nervously.
The bouncer sat down at a table about fifteen feet away from the man.
"What did you say, then?" She stared right at him and smiled with her toothless grin.
"Heh... I said what’s a beautiful lady like you doin' in a place like this?" He's tone went up and he spoke fast and nervously.
“You’re too polite to be from around here,” she turned to him while washing dishes. “Is there some kinda of rock show today?” She looked at his clothes. Karber was wearing clothing items that were quite flashy compared to anyone else in the bar. He wears a red, unmarked shirt under a leather bomber jacket that matched his cargo pants, black boots, tattoos on his hands, and in plain view, a holster and the gun that hangs inside. His black hair is messily spiked, and his five o’clock shadow arrived to stay five days ago.
He shakes his head.
"Seems as if this city is attracting more flies these days..." She spoke louder, "so why are you here, then?”
“Because my ship was confiscated and- er... I mean, I’m looking for a job!” He says, instaneously trying to hide what happened to his ship.
“I’m sorry, sir. But I’m not hiring right now... “ She shook her head.
”Haha, I wouldn’t wanna work in a dump like... Er... I’m a hunter! And, uh, I was wondering if you knew of something called an ‘Aeon’,” Karber grinned.
“... No. Never heard of it,” said the lady bartender.
“Oh, I’m sure you have! You have to know what they are!” Karber exclaimed.
The bouncer looked at Karber.
“No, no-I don’t know!” The bartender says again.
“They’ve been said to be mindless killers! I’m on the hunt for one!” Karber exclaims.
“How... Exciting?” The bartender crosses her arms.
“Hasn’t you’re mother ever told you not to be a cowboy?” Says the bouncer.
“Huh?” Karber turned around.
“Oh... I’m sorry. I’m Leanne’s bouncer, Adam,” He nods.
“Hi... Uh... My mom was a war veteran. Haha!” Karber nodded back. “I’m Karber.”
“Karber as in, Karber Zorathen? Aren’t you the guy who stopped the bombing on Mars two months ago?” The bartender asks.
“Adam! Our guest here is a hero! Let’s be hospitable!!” Leanne pours Karber a drink.
Adam picks Karber up by the seat he sits in and moves him to a table.
“Huh!? Whoa! What the-Aahh!” Karber almost falls off the chair.
Adam goes to the back room.
“Here ya go!” Leanne brings him some tea.
“Thanks... But uh...” Karber scratches his head.
“Now what would you like?” Adam came out with an apron on.
“I can’t... I’m broke!” Karber says.
“Oh, no problem. You can pay us back later!” Adam says.
“I don’t even have a job!”
“We were getting to that... Just eat first!” Adam gave him a menu and walks over to Leanne.
“I’m confused... ” Karber looks at the menu’s contents. “Escargot mud pie? Crimson turtle fille? Pork grind casserole? What the heck??”
“Do you think he’ll help us?” Adam asks Leanne.
“He saved the Martian Embassy, didn’t he? He’ll help us invade the biosphere! Of course, he’s a cowboy so we’ll have to pay him, but we can afford it! Our mole, Cathleen, who was working at the docking station undercover, just sold Karber’s Mantis and made a mint!! We’ll just pay him back with the money that we got after he joins us!” Leanne put a hand on his shoulder. “After he eats, we’ll tell him that he’s gotta help in order to pay for the meal!”
“That’s why you’re the captain, Lee Stan. I mean.... Leanne!” Adam replies.
“Careful. You wouldn’t want to terminate this mission,” Leanne smiled.
Adam nods and walks back over to Karber.
“Death by asparagus... Black hole coffee... Seraphim’s devilish conundrum cake? That doesn’t even make sense...” Karber shakes his head.
“Ready to order?” Adam says.
“You’re the bouncer and the waiter? Gees, what about vallet parking?”
“No, but I am the assistant chef. Would you like the special?”
“Sure? Why not...” Karber replies.
“One quasar it is!” Adam goes to the back.
As karber sits there, still staring at the contents of the bar’s menu, some men rush into the place and start talking to Leanne. One was dressed in a dark blue suit and was holding a laptop under his arm. The other was wearing a green army vest with a white muscle shirt underneath. Both had a worried look on their faces.
“Leanne! It’s time!” The man in the green army vest exclaimed.
“Good gracious! It’s early! Round up all the scallywags! We’re going in!” Leanne’s voice suddenly got deep.
Karber stopped looking at the menu to look up at the bartender.
“Karber! I want to offer you a job!” Leanne starts ripping off her clothes.
“Aahh!! No! Not that!!! I’m not an escort!!” He shields his eyes.
“Settle down! Now look! It’s a body suit!” Leanne starts pulling off the skin on her face.
“What the hell is going on??” Karber jumped up from his seat.
“Nice to meet you, Karber. I’m sorry to remain incognito for such a long time, but after you left Mars, we didn’t know you’re whereabouts! We had to find a way to find you secretively while having full access to the public without jeopardizing our identities. Besides, I thought the idea was fun," He takes off his wig. "I am undercover officer Lee Stan. I was ordered to wait here for you to send you a message from your previous employer,” with the lipstick and body suit still on, Karber was unable to recognize Lee even now. However, his voice reassured him.
Adam walked out from the back room.
“Wow... What a show... Bravo sir, bravo,” Karber rubs his face in disbelief and under his breath says "Dinner and a show... Oi..."
“There’s one spot left on the roster for this mission, Karber. And from past missions, we know that you’re a valuable asset. And since your debit card account was frozen for overspending on that flashy ship you have er ahem had, you now need this job. I’m here to save you, Karber! Want a kiss?” The three men laughed.
“Okay... I’ll help you on this mission. But if anyone of you find information on that Aeon character, it’s mine!” He says as he pounded the table. "Oh... By the way, Mr. Leanne or whatever, how'd you know about my Mantis?" Karber's eyelids sank.
"What's a Mantis?" Lee played dumb and walked towards the door. "Commence operation 'putrid pantry'."
Before Karber thinks of the question of why the mission was called this, they ,Lee Stan, Adam, Karber, and the two other men, walk outside and get into an unmarked van that had been sitting outside with it's motor running. Inside the van was a small sitting area in the back and it had a driver in the front.
“The tactic is today, to find and kill a man named Georgio Orstiligi. He’s the leader of the small, but growing group called the Dark Infinite. We need to stomp out the spreading political fire they’ve caused in the outside of the biodome. Karber, I’m appointing you as the head squadron of this mission. Understand that the commands that you make are vital to the lives of the men that I’m about to introduce to you,” he points to the man who was once in a green vest. He’s had changed clothes and is now wearing a black stealth suit.
“This is agent Graunter. He specializes in explosives, hand-by-hand combat, and stealth. He’ll be there to disarm any bombs the Orion has in store for us,” he then points to the man wearing the blue suit. “This is Agent Sine, he majors in tech support and communications. He’ll stay here in the van.”
“Okay... What about you, Adam, and I?” Karber asks.
“You and Adam are the moles. Find the group’s headquarters and tell them the password ‘Quasar soup’. Adam will finish the briefing on the way. He knows the plans,” he says.
“How Ironic...” Karber says to himself.
“As for me,” Lee Stan puts on the Leanne mask. “I got dishes to finish.” He jumps out of the van and goes back into the bar.
“This is turning out to be an eventful day. Adam..? Who is this Georgio fellow?” Karber asks as the van began to move.
“Georgio Orstiligi is the leader of the Dark Infinite in this region of the galaxy. He’s the only opposing force against the Three Sphere Alliance, or TSA, at this time. Numeral bombings have occurred in the Rockefeller biodome and the Dark Infinite are thought to be at fault,” Adam explains.
“Dark Infinite? Sounds... Evil...” Karber says.
“Indeed. They’re made up of ex-workers of the once infamous company named One Forever Industries. It was an American Government company that turned corrupt after decades of monopolizing every industry in the galaxy. The Government that which made it, finally seen it’s impurities and called it unconstitutional,” Adam hunched over in his seat in the back on the van. His height made him feel cramped in the back of the black unmarked van.
“Which started the war against Aeons,” karber added.
“Yes. Aeons were the modified humans made by One Forever Industries to do jobs of normal humans at astonishing speed and productivity. The war ended the production of these Aeons. The Galaxy was split in two parties. The Anti-Aeon and the rest whom favored the capabilities of either becoming an Aeon themselves, hiring Aeons, or whom had been born an Aeon,” Says Adam. “All the Aeons were murdered... Except... The Rumor is that a few still remain.”
“Yeah... Well that was twenty-five years ago. What does it have to do with today?” Karber asks.
“More rumors...” Adam said as he cocked his gun.
The van had arrived at its destination. Karber, Adam, and Graunter get out. Graunter snuck around to the back of the building. Karber and Adam both walk up to the front door and knock.
“You know, I never got that Quasar soup...” Karber whispered. “My stomach feel’s likes it’s pasted to my back!”
“My apologies,” Adam laughed.
A little slit in the door opened. The eyes of a man peered out into the dark night to see Karber and Adam both standing there. He opens the door. The man inside heard Karber say “Quasar soup”.
“You’re soup is cold?” The man asks. “... Hahahahaha!!”
“Uh...” Karber stares at him.
“Yes! We need some muddy escargot pies. Maybe some Crimson Turtles, and Pork Grind Casserole,” Adam nudges Karber.
“Huh!? Oh!! Yes, yes!” Karber catches on. “I’d like to have Death by asparagus... Uh... Black hole coffee!! And.... Oh... What was it..?”
“C’mon... man...” Adam grins and speaks through his teeth.
“Seraphim’s... devilish conundrum cake!” Says Karber.
Adam sighs in relief. Lee Stan was right; he’s a good asset Adam thought.
“I’m sorry, we’re out of stock. But you can come in and see what we do have.” The man’s eyes were clenched by a smile.
“That would be splendid,” Adam replies.
The door opens and Adam and Karber walk inside. The door shuts behind them.
“Okay, enough code. Who sent you guys, and why?” The man was dressed in old, torn up clothes that were dirty and smelly.
“The Red bird has died. Prepare for project manifest destiny. Prepare your wind talkers and the Terrasol matrix for plan Artichoke castigation,” Karber stood straight.
“Well... I don’t know what that means... Ah, you seem legit! Go see the boss!!”
Karber stands confused yet again.
“Thank you, have a nice day,” Adam tells the man.
The man pulls down a level on the wall. A square hole opens up in the floor some ten feet ahead. A mine cart rolls upward from a pulley system and stops before them.
“Get in,” says the man.
Karber looks at Adam, and then the pitch black hole that the mine cart leads through.
They both get in.
“I’m glad ‘Leanne’ doesn’t really sell Pork Grind Casserole... What a way to share information. I’m amused,” Karber told Adam as the Mine cart goes through a dark, murky cave.
“Sshh... Heytay retay isteninglay...” Adam says to Karber.
“...What!? They are... Oh...” Karber remained silent until the ten-minute ride, into what could be Hades, was over.
“Get ready. Be poised. Don’t let your guard down,” Adam tells him in the pitch-black darkness.
Through the dark tunnel was a crack line of light. A door opened. Inside was a man waiting for whoever is to come through the dark corridor. The mine cart, which Adam and Karber was riding in, stops in front of some steps that led up to the door. They both get out and confront the man.
“That was nice. A little stroll through the mineshaft... Really you guys should redecorate,” Karber told him.
“You’ve come to see Georgio? Follow me,” the man walks to a sealed gate like door and opens it with a digital combination code.
And that’s when Karber and Adam see something so hideously sinful. People in white suits operating on men and women. They were doing something to their bodies, changing the flesh. Adding, replacing, growing biochemically engineered body parts. Adding metal bone structures. The amazing part is that the patients seemed to be awake.
As they walk through yet another long corridor, Karber and Adam get to see the most well kept secret of their time. Just beyond windows that lead to other rooms of these operations, transparently show the crimes against the creation of the human race. Against the millions of years of evolution that Homo sapiens sp. endured- all being changed in decades of scientific exploration. The creation of biochemical cyborgs that wield incredible powers and once helped an evil corporation monopolize the galaxy.
Karber held back his urge to upchuck what little food he ate from the convenience store early on that day while Adam seemed to be unaffected.
Finally, the end of the hallway was another door. It was just a normal door. Behind it was a room that which was quite large. But all that was in it, was a man sitting quietly at a desk with a blank piece of legal paper and a pencil. Nothing else. The man at the desk sat up and smiled.
“Welcome. Thou hast the red bird no longer sing?” He asked.
“Yes, sir,” Adam replies
Karber stands there in amazement of the large room that was all white.
“Funny... Because if he died... Why do I still here his song?” Suddenly he looked angry. “No more cryptic speech, my friend. I know that Mars was attacked... But the Martian side of the Three Sphere Alliance wasn’t taken out, yet!!” He stood up. “I know who you are... And it’s too bad... You were the only successful one... Really, I wish to get to know you better... but I have to state your destruction code... I’m sorry, Aeonautical.”
“Aeonautical!?” Karber looks at Adam. “You??”
Adam looks at Karber, and then raises his arm to the man. “Not now, not ever!" Before Karber could ask what they meant, Adam opened his palm and closed it into a fist. The fist flipped inward to his wrist and created a hole in his arm. From that came a metallic device that began to pulsate a low beating sound.
“No… It’s true!!” The man exclaims in terror. The man’s body began to vibrate into artificial convulsions. His internal organs began to break apart and burst. His eyes pop like cherries.
Karber stood in horror. It came to him; Adam wasn’t human. Karber’s heart began to race, and his hearing became muffled.
“Guys, the bomb is set! You have forty-five seconds! Get out now!” A voice is heard in Adam and Karber’s minds. By internal bugs, Sine was able to sneak microscopic bugs on Adam and Karber for communication purposes. Karber had no idea.
“Okay! Georgio is dead! I’m all clear!” Adam shouted.
“Where did-what!? Aahh!!” Karber was still in shock.
“C’mon!” Adam grabs him and runs through the door.
Outside the door were a dozen cyborgs.
“They’ve called them, Xeonauticals...” Adam says. “Stand behind me.”
“S-sure!” Karber’s voice cracked.
Again, Adam releases a burst of vibrating energy that destroys all the windows and disorientates the cyborgs long enough for the two of them to rush through. Adam punches the sealed door and busts it open, killing the man standing on the other side when it lands on him. One Explosion from the bombs shakes the ground level, which they are on.
“Get in the cart!” Instructs Adam.
Karber jumps in and Adam gives in a good push. Before Karber knows it, he’s flying out the building through the front door and Adam’s running behind him. The van is there waiting and sirens are wailing all over town. Karber and Adam jump in with Graunter and Sine in the back and make their get away.
“I can’t believe it!! You’re an Aeon!! You’re what I’ve been looking for! Now you’re sitting right in front of me!!!” He pulls out a gun and points it at Adam. There was a long pause between the four of them. “What do you have to say for yourself!?”
Adam raises his hand and opens the palm. “High five, partner.”
Karber drops the gun and pleads for his life as he remembered what he had done so simply to the man inside. Sine, Adam, and Graunter laugh. They end up explaining to Karber, having a long, long talk about the TSA hiring the last remaining Aeon to fight the next wave of evil: The Xeon troops.
“You’re saying… That the multi-billion dollar bounty on you is gone?” Karber asks Aeon.
“No…” He says. “No one has the guts to try to take me down.”
Table of Contents for:
The Last Aeon
Character Bios, character interviews, and ofcourse, chapter 6