Monday, October 21, 2013

Fontana D'or and Emily Giagua - Chapter Four

Fontana D’or, director of the Socialist Alliance stared out the massive window in her office looking at the dry barren mountains to the south of the city. Few people appreciated the beauty of a desert landscape. She loved it. The jagged peaks had not been worn by water and she appreciated the subtle shades of brown and red. The life that did grow in the desert was tough and resilient. A bit like her, a farm girl from Rio Querino, now head of the Socialist Alliance. She had scraped her way to the top. There was always lip service to equality between men and women, but when it came right down to it some fields would always be dominated by men. She had come through the ranks of military intelligence and while they were happy to use her assets in field work promotions and commands were hard to come by. Javis had appreciated her work and promoted her accordingly. Since his death she had taken the reigns of command and had the support of the military, even if some of her Generals begrudged it.

The com panel on the desk lit up. “Yes?” Fontana asked.

A tinny voice came though the speaker. “Agent Lydia ____ is here to see you as requested.”

“Send her straight in.” Fontana brushed at invisible dust on her impeccable uniform and sat down behind her desk. Her short cropped black hair and olive skin contrasted the gray of the uniform and she cut a striking figure.

Agent Lydia _____walked into the room, she had shoulder length blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes. She was wearing tight denim pants and a plain white shirt. She looked to be only about seventeen but was actually a decade older. She had been recruited directly by Fontana for intelligence work.

“Reporting as requested Ma’am.” Lydia stood at attention and kept her face impassive. She had met Fontana before several times, they both came from the same small town in the pepper farming region. Lydia’s aptitude tests had drawn attention of high ups and when Fontana saw where she was from she had personally come to recruit her. It was all heady stuff to be wanted and known by the highest ranking officials in the government and Lydia was happy to serve.

“Congratulations on finishing boot camp and your agent training. I’m promoting you to Special Agent, and you will report directly to me. You will not take orders from anyone else regardless of their rank.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Lydia was blown away. She knew she was good, but not that much better than any of the other agents that she had just gone through training with.

“I have a very unique assignment for you. You will be deep undercover as a high school student. I’ll be placing you on Pangea.” A look of confusion past over Lydia’s face and Fontana smiled at her. “Few of my predecessors as heads of this alliance have really understood that the war we wage against capitalism will not and cannot be won on the battlefield. Zarahemnah Zaragoza waged a war so intensely that he even managed to capture the Republic’s capital Galantos, but what did it get him? Rebellion. Not only rebellion, but it cost him his life when they assassinated him. No the way to spread socialist equality across the galaxy is not by force, but by ideas.” Fontana slid a tablet across the table, Lydia picked it up and began to flip through the open files. “Six young girls on the planet Pangea. All come from wealthy families. All attend the same private high school. All have natural leadership abilities, and all have a stubborn or rebellious streak. You start school there next week. Befriend them and teach them about socialism. Your task is to convert them to our cause. We will undermine the Republic from within and eventually as the rising generation takes power they will simply unite with us under one great galactic wide socialist banner.”

Lydia smiled. “Equality for all, Director.”

“Equality for all.”


Emily Giagua was bored. She stared out at the ocean from the front room of her parent’s posh house. Her dad, Middoni, was one of the richest men in the galaxy and after Pangea had become part of the Republic he had bought the large island Jedan and moved his family to it. Emily had an entire tropical island, but she was bored. The storm blowing through limited any outdoor activities and communications had been spotty. A message had come through from her friend Lydia though and Emily was hoping the storm wasn’t ruining the flight that was bringing her.

There was a bit of a break in the water coming down from the skies and Emily smiled seeing the hovercopter coming in for a landing on the private field. There was some perks to being rich, ordering your dad’s pilot to run over to the mainland to pick up your friend was certainly one of them.

Lydia came running towards the house as the rain picked back up again. Emily thought that she was pretty, tall and blonde and always getting attention. Not that Emily didn’t get a great deal of attention too; she just didn’t have the same model look. Emily’s hair was brown and curly, and her light greenish blue eyes took in a great deal. She dressed stylishly but not outrageously like so many of her other rich friends.

Lydia was different though. Emily could only describe her as political. She was finding herself agreeing more and more with Lydia’s ideas of the world. Emily went to the door as she watched her friend dash through the rain. She placed her hand on the door and the scanner flashed while the door slid open. Lydia ran in and smiled at Emily.

“Hey Em, little wet here today.”

“You think? You remember where the bathroom is right, go get dried up.”

“I don’t want to stay long, but I wanted you to come with me.”

Emily looked quizzically at her friend. “Where to?”

“I have had just about enough of the propaganda we’ve been hearing lately about the Republic. I’m going to run away and join the Socialist Alliance.” Lydia smiled at Emily’s shocked look.

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely! The SA could use two smart girls like us. What do you think? Run away with me?”

Emily continued to stare at her friend who was still dripping water from her hair. She had had her rebellious moments, but nothing like this. Her parents were going to freak out when they found her gone.

Like Lydia could read her thoughts she smiled knowingly at her. “We’ll tell your parents you’re going to stay at my house for a week or so, we’ll be long gone before your Dad wigs out.”

The idea was growing inside Emily, she would be eighteen soon. There wouldn’t be anything her parents could do about her wanting to work somewhere else. The impulsiveness of it all was appealing to Emily as well. Life was just too structured sometimes. “Okay, we’ll do it.”

“Great, get your things. I told the pilot to wait for us.”

Emily grinned mischievously and dashed upstairs to pack a bag.


Emily practiced her bored I’m too good for this look that so many of the girls at school had perfected. She figured it was a good way to blend in while waiting at the space station. Just let everyone believe that you’re a spoiled rich kid and that your parents are around somewhere and no one will bother you. So far it was working well. Lydia was off looking for a ship that would be going to one of the Socialist worlds. It wasn’t easy anymore, once every ship leaving this station was heading for a Socialist world, now that Pangea had joined the Republic all the ships were heading to Republic destinations. Something would surely be going in the right direction. Lydia was sure that she could arrange transport. Emily’s job was to watch arriving ships and make sure that no one was looking for them yet. Her parents had bought the story that she was going to spend some time with Lydia. But there was no telling with her dad just how soon he would check up on her.

Emily spotted Lydia making her way through the crowd. Their eyes met and Lydia flashed a smile and waved Emily to join her. “I found us a ship heading to Verde. It is making a stop at Atlantis II before that, but I managed to convince the Captain to take us all the way to Verde. The ship is called the Farseer.”

“Sounds great. How soon are we leaving?”

“In just a couple of hours. Downside is that we have to berth with the female crew members of the ship.”

Emily shrugged. She had never traveled anywhere but in a private ship, “Should be an adventure.”

Lydia grinned. “Grab your stuff, let’s go get onboard.”


The trip on the Farseer was uneventful, Captain Bemer made the girls feel welcome and they had run of most of the ship. The girls spent most of their time in the observation deck watching the swirl of hyperspace pass by. They were confined to the observation deck when the ship landed on Atlantis II.  Bemer didn’t want to explain passengers to customs officials. The girls watched the transfer of cargo out the viewport and were amazed at how soon the ship was loaded and ready for take off again.

As the last crates were being loaded Emily turned to Lydia. “How are we going to explain ourselves to the officials on Verde?”

“Don’t worry, I have a friend there who is going to meet us.” Lydia shrugged and continued to watch the crew outside.

“You never told me that you had a friend there already.”

“I guess I should of. His name is Sam, and he’s going to help us get to Rio Querino, he said he has jobs already lined up for us in the capital there.”

Emily was surprised by all this, “Why didn’t you tell me all this?”

“I wanted it to be a surprise. He said he can even get us introduced to Fontana.”

Emily was even more shocked, it was setting in just how little she had thought this through. The memory of Fontana D’or was not a pleasant one to the people on Pangea. She was remembered as Javis’s right hand General, and was known for being ruthless. Emily believed in the idea of equality between classes, but was Fontana really the right woman to work with?

Lydia seemed to know her thoughts, “Hey, remember that the winners are the ones that write history. Everything I’ve heard about Fontana says that she is good leader, I don’t think all the stories about her are true. I’m excited to meet her. Maybe I can even give her some of my ideas on how to make the Republic more socialist.”

Emily nodded, that was her goal too. To help the Socialists spread equality to the Republic. She would wait till she met Fontana and make her own decision. If she was willing to listen to Emily and Lydia’s ideas then she would be someone worth working for.


The Farseer was soon on its way again and the girls were enjoying dinner in the officers mess. Captain Bemer sat down next to them. “We’ll be at Verde by morning. Are you two sure that this is where you want to be?”

Lydia smiled at him. “Of course, I know people there, we’ll be fine.”

Bemer focused his attention on Emily. “Are you sure? Cause when your dad finds out where you are he’s likely to start a war.”

Emily drew in a deep breath and looked at him stunned. “How do you know who my dad is?”

Bemer leaned back in his chair. “It took me a while to place your face. But when I heard on Atlantis II that Middoni Giagua had a half million credit reward for information on the disappearance of his daughter it all clicked.”

“Are you going to tell him?”

“Of course. I’m in the business of making money. I’ll fulfill my contract though and deliver you safely to Verde though, unless you would like a return ticket home. It sounded like your parents were very worried.”

“Fine, he won’t find me. And make sure you tell him that I ran away of my own accord.”

“I’ll do that. Just make sure you take care of yourself. If you get hurt out there your dad is likely to blame me, and while he may have started out in the same business I’m in, he’s got a whole lot more power now and I don’t need his weight coming down on me.”

“Don’t worry. I can take care of myself.”

“And if you change your mind and want a ride home, call me.”

Emily nodded and she and Lydia went back to their quarters to get everything ready for the next morning.


Verde lived up to its name. It was even greener than Pangea. The Farseer touched down on a landing pad cleared out of a jungle. Even the ground was green covered in thick lichen. Lydia’s friend Sam had gotten her message and was waiting for them as they exited the ship. He was exceptionally tall, and very thin. His skin was black and his closed cropped hair reminded Emily of some of the ball players on her dad’s team back home. She suspected he would be good at zero g ball with his long reach.

He smiled wildly showing off perfect white teeth and pulled Lydia in for a hug. “Good to see you again Lyd.”

“You too Sam. You been waiting long?”

“Nope, you’re right on time. Let’s get into town though. Your ship was spotted by the space traffic controllers and they’ve got people on the way. I thought you said this guy never gets caught?”

“Bemer must be getting sloppy, or he wanted to get caught.” Lydia looked at Emily, “Unless he wanted us to get caught.”

Sam grabbed the girls bag’s and headed for the tree line, “Either way it is just easier not to explain. Let’s go.” He led them down a thin path through the thick foliage. Insects chittered away and brightly colored birds dodged in and out of the branches. They soon came to a hovercar tucked under the trees. The car was old and had a large bubble dome on top. It opened at Sam’s approach and the girls climbed in. “Sorry my ride is old, but it’s small enough to duck down into trees when I need to, and you can’t beat the price of an old tourist car. Enjoy the view. It’s nothing but jungle from here to the capital, and then I’ll be putting you straight onto a ship for Rio.”

Lydia frowned, “We don’t get to hang with you any longer than that?”

“Sorry love, I got you and your friend jobs on Rio, and they want you right away. Hopefully business takes me there in a couple of weeks though. In the meantime though some friends of mine pulled some strings and you got you and Emily an interview with Fontana D’or. Apparently she sounded excited to meet Emily Giagua and is thrilled to hear that the children of capitalist leaders are interested in socialism.

Emily smiled, the excitement of the adventure was coming back and she found herself looking forward to meeting the most powerful woman in the galaxy. The car rose up over the trees and shot off towards the setting sun. Emily watched the greenery below and found herself drifting off to sleep.


The trip to Rio Querino was dull and quick and before Emily knew it she was standing side by side with Lydia looking up at the massive sandstone building that comprised the capital building for the entire Socialist Alliance. Lydia had explained to her that most of the government operations were run out of the old capital complex on Balsavis, but that Fontana liked governing from her home planet, and so wherever she set up camp was the capital of the Alliance. The landscaping around the capital was minimal, mostly rock and cactus with a few trees that required little water. Rio Querino only had a very small ocean and was located at the edge of the habitable zone around its sun. It was very hot. But it had many large rivers that welled up from deep underground that created rich fertile zones in the deep canyons that they carved. Rio Querino was especially known for the peppers that it grew, both sweet and spicy. The finest chefs around the galaxy preferred to only use Rio peppers in their dishes.

Two burly heavily armed guards watched the girls approach the main doors. The glass doors slid open automatically at their presence and they stepped in to the cooled interior from the blazing heat outside. The lobby was polished sandstone and a fountain bubbled in the center of the room. On the other side of it a line had been formed leading through the security checkpoint to the rest of the building.

A woman in uniform approached the two young women. “May I help you?”

Lydia turned to her, “Yes, I’m Lydia ____ and this is Emily Giagua. We have an appointment to meet Fontana D’or.”

The woman checked her palm computer. “Yes you do, please proceed through security and take the lift to the tenth floor. Someone will direct you from there.”

“Thanks.” Lydia led Emily around the fountain and in a few minutes they had passed through the weapon scanners and were in the lift rising quickly to the top level. The door opened and they stepped out into another lobby.

Several armed guards eyed them and another woman looked up from a reception desk. “Ah, you must be Lydia and Emily. Right this way please.” She beckoned them to follow her through a large double wide door into the adjoining room. “Please wait here and Director D’or will see you soon.”

Emily plopped down on a thickly cushioned couch and Lydia wandered over to a window. Emily watched Lydia go. “Aren’t you excited? I would think this would be a dream come true for you.”

“Oh it is, I’m just so nervous now that I’m here.”

The door opened and Fontana D’or stood there in full uniform looking out. Her dark eyes took in the two young women and she smiled broadly at them. “Welcome to Rio Querino and the Socialist Alliance. I’ve heard so much about the two of you and cannot wait to get to know you. Lydia, why don’t you come in first.”

Lydia looked at Emily who gave her a smile of encouragement. The door closed behind them.

Once the door was closed Lydia came to attention. “It is my pleasure to report that my mission has been successful director.”

Fontana smiled ruthlessly at her protégé. “Well down Lydia, well down. Any difficulties?”

“No ma’am. Emily believes completely that I am her age and her friend. I discovered quickly that she and many other republic youth are primed for a socialist takeover. They feel the injustice of their system keenly. Even the children of the one percent feel that wealth is unfairly distributed. Emily has had to work for everything herself despite her dad being one of the wealthiest men in the Republic. He doesn’t give her money, except for an excellent education and a few other perks of their wealth. But she has always had to work for the fun things she does.”

Fontana sat down at her desk and crossed her arms. “Does she know how her father made his money?”

Lydia shook her head. “I don’t know, we’ve never discussed it. All I ever heard was that he got rich in the war.”

Fontana nodded her head, “A basic truth. He got rich in the war stealing from the Socialists and selling it to the Republic. He and his team stole dozens of warships, and all kinds of new technology.  The Republic paid for it all and Middoni Giagua and his brother got filthy rich, off the work of our hands.”

Lydia became incensed at the passion in Fontana’s voice as she relayed the information. “What can I do director?”

“I need you to stay undercover as Emily’s best friend. Once she is completely on our side I’ll redeploy you to the field. Now go back out there and send Emily in. If all goes well she’ll soon be the poster child for the future of the Socialist Alliance and the galaxy.” Fontana smiled again and it made Lydia think of a calculating beast on the hunt.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spies of Pangea Chapter 3: Mathoni Learns the Truth

I present to you the third chapter of the in progress novel Spies of Pangea. This is a rough draft, typos will hopefully be forgiven. Enjoy and please tell me what you think!

Mathoni Learns the Truth

“Mathoni, we’re not your parents.”

Mathoni stared at the woman he had called mom as long as he could remember. His eyes went back and forth between her and ‘dad.’ Mathoni leaned back into the light blue fabric of the couch and reached for a pillow. Thoughts were not forming for the eighteen year old young man with blue eyes and dark hair. He hadn’t ever noticed that both of his parent’s eyes were brown before. He shook that thought off. “Wait a second; I’ve seen my birth certificate. Both of your names on are on it.”

Mathoni’s father, Amos, looked at him sadly. “Forgery.”

Mathoni sank even further into the couch trying to process what he was being told.

His mom, Sarahi, took pity on him and began explaining. “Sixteen years ago your real parents were killed, executed by Javis for crimes that your uncle had committed.”

“Not really crimes at all.” Amos interjected.

Sarahi nodded and continued. “Your parents were Dianna and Michael Griffin. Your uncle Marcus Griffin harbored a political fugitive, and when High Lord Javis found out he executed your entire family. Before they came for your parents your mom was able to get you to us. You were just barely two years old. “

Mathoni stared blankly at his mom for a moment. “Griffin? As in Senator Griffin?”

Dad nodded. “He’s your cousin. Now that your eighteen we thought that you should know the truth. That and since Robert Griffin helped overthrow Javis and he is now the senator we thought he would be able to help you get a leg up in the world. We sent him a message yesterday about you. We’re hoping he can get you into one of those colleges you’ve been dreaming about.”

“Don’t you think he’ll think it’s a fake? That we’re just after some of his money?”

“We have the proof.” His mom looked at him carefully. “I hope that once you have money too that you won’t change.”

Mathoni frowned at his mom. “You raised me better than that Mom.”

Tears filled Sarahi’s eyes. “I hope that you will always call me mom. No matter where life takes you in the galaxy know that you will always have a home here.”

Mathoni hugged his parents. He did have big plans for the future and he was going to make a name for himself. These were always going to be his parents. But he couldn’t pass up the chance to get not just a leg up in the world, but a leap.


Senator Robert Griffin loosed his cravat and leaned back in his chair. It had been a long day of committee meetings. Robert took in the dark wood walls and plush carpet of his office. He liked that the room could feel so formal, and with the push of button it could all transform into a command center of the political realm of the Republic. “Byte, is there anything else on my schedule today?”

Byte, the computer AI that had once inhabited Robert’s starfighter, had proven to be an excellent aide and secretary. Byte was as adept at maneuvering the politics of the senate as he was at doing automated repairs and generating missile locks on a starfighter. Robert frequently had an ear piece in that connected him directly to Byte. The information that Byte had gotten out of the news waves and net had more than once been immeasurable to Robert on the senate floor as he debated.  “Sir, the only thing left on your schedule is a conference call with Mathoni Griffin.”

Robert had long given up on getting his AI to stop calling him sir. So many other people were doing it these days and in his days in the military that he had gotten used to it. “So what did you turn up on this kid Byte? Is his claim real?”

“Yes sir. I double checked a number of sources, including a hack into the DNA database on Pangea. He is your cousin.”

Robert stared at the polished wood surface of his desk and ran his hand through his sandy blonde hair. Relatives. Family. I have family. There were plenty of friends that were practically family, but Robert had assumed that all blood relatives were gone. Javis’s purge had been pretty wide spread. Anyone who even knew they were related to Marcus Griffin had been killed. And anyone who had even considered themselves a close friend of the family had been wiped out. But now his cousin Mathoni had survived. Miraculously spared in much the same way Robert had been. What am I going to do with a relative?
“Better connect us Byte, let’s find out what this kid has to say.”

“Yes sir.” A panel of wood on the wall behind Robert slid away and a series of numbers scrolled across it as Byte made the hyperspace connection to Pangea. Robert glanced at the digital clock on the wall that showed Pangea time compared to Galantos time. He did the couple hour conversion from the Pangea capital at Zora to Zephyr City where Mathoni lived. Robert was ready to go to bed, but Mathoni should just be getting up. Hopefully he wasn’t a lazy sleep till noon kind of teenage kid. Robert turned around in his chair to face the camera that would transmit his face to Mathoni and waited for the connection to be completed.

Mathoni’s handsome face appeared on the screen. Robert stared at him instantly seeing his aunt’s features in Mathoni and the deep blue eyes that seemed to be very common among the Griffin family. “Mathoni I presume?”

“Yes, Senator Griffin. Thank you for responding to my message.”

“Of course. Last time I saw you you were only two years old of course. But since you are my cousin I thought we should talk.”

“I’m still thrilled to talk to you. You were kind of a hero to me, even before I knew that you were my cousin. Robert Griffin and Liberation squad are pretty much legends around here.”

Robert smiled. Ever since the liberation of Pangea from the clutches of Javis he had been quite the celebrity back home. They had even erected a statue with he, and his fellow squad mates Rod Beruby and Lance Jenson on it. “I don’t have a lot of time to chat today. What can I do for you?”

“Well Robert, I can call you Robert right?” Robert smiled and nodded his head. “Don’t think that I’m contacting you because I need anything. I really didn’t know until the other day that you and I are related. But I was hoping to come to Galantos and attend school, I was even thinking of joining the military, or even the intelligence agency. I can do all those things on my own of course. But I was kind of hoping maybe I could stay with you.” Mathoni added the last part hurriedly.

Robert smiled to himself and then a half brewed idea that he had been kicking around for awhile began to solidify. “Intelligence you say? Hold on a minute.” Robert mashed a button on his desk and Mathoni’s face disappeared replaced with an on-hold sign. “Byte, see if you can get Lt. O’Bray on for me.”

“Yes sir.” Another line of text scrolled across the screen and then the screen divided showing Lt. O’Bray’s round face on the screen against a blank background.

“Senator, how can I help you?”

“I’ve been thinking for a long time that we don’t have good intel coming in from Fontana’s government. At least nothing very high up. I may have found an excellent candidate that we can get into the higher levels of her government. But I want to do it off of the books with as few people knowing as possible.”

“Shouldn’t be a problem. Just have to run it past Colonel Hawkins.”

“That’s just it. When I saw as few people as possible, I meant just you and me.”

O’Bray paused and considered. “I’ve bucked authority plenty before. And having this kind of a spy isn’t anything new. But we at least have to bring Colonel Hawkins into the loop.”

“Fine, but just Hawkins.”

Whettam shrugged, “We really should give him some training. I’ll set him under an alias so no one will really know who he is but the three of us.”

“Do it. I’ll get you the info. And remember, no trail that this kid is working for us.” Robert killed the connection and pulled Mathoni back up. “Sorry about that. But how would you like a job?”

Mathoni was shocked. He was going to be a spy. As of right now he couldn’t tell anyone the truth about what he was doing. That was going to be the hard part. Even his parents were going to have to buy the cover story he and Robert had come up with. No one could know the truth. Robert was even going to give him the money to get started. There could be zero trail of any kind to point to the fact that Mathoni was secretly working for Senator Griffin. A freelance agent Robert had called him. Everyone had plausible deniability if things went wrong. He was also going to have to keep the secret about his relation to Robert.  That of course would be a dead giveaway. Mathoni was going to keep the name he had always known. Mathoni Griffin would have to wait; Mathoni Gubler was going to be here to stay for awhile.

Mathoni went up to his room and took a look around. The environmentally friendly house didn’t have a lot of wall space that wasn’t windows, so Mathoni didn’t have much in the way of decorations. But he would miss the view. Three of his windows looked out into the pine forest surrounding Zephyr City. In the distance he could see the jagged peaks of the mountains to the east. Hopefully he would live through what he was about to do and be able to come home someday.

Packing the essentials into a duffel bag Mathoni took one last look around and went back down to the main living area where his parents had been waiting. Mathoni looked at his mom who looked back at him expectantly. “Hey Mom, no matter what you hear, I love you.”

“What are you talking about Mathoni? What did Senator Griffin tell you?”

“I can’t tell you mom. But,” Mathoni trailed off and fought back emotions welling up inside of him. He couldn’t keep it in, he had to tell them. “Mom, Senator Griffin has given me a job, it’s a very dangerous job, but it’s important and I want to do it. You must keep it a secret that I work for him though, and no matter what you hear, just know that I’m working under Senator Griffin. I love you, but I don’t know when I’ll see you again.”

Sarahi fought back tears as well. “You’re leaving now?”

“Yeah mom.” Mathoni went to her and wrapped his arms around his mom. You won’t hear anything from me for I don’t know how long, but I love you.”

“I love you too.” She was going to say more but the tears stopped her. Amos put his arms around her and pulled her in close.

“Be careful Mathoni. I think Senator Griffin is a good man, but don’t do anything that isn’t right.”

“I’ll be careful dad. I love you.

“Love you too son.”

And just like that Mathoni walked out to the door; hoping that someday he would see his parents again.

The spaceport at Zephyr City was not very big. Nothing compared to the one at the capital city Zora. Mathoni had been to both. He had once won a science fair project in school that got him a free trip to the massive space station the orbited Pangea. The trip was the first time he had been to space and he loved it. Seeing the planet from above was amazing. Mathoni was glad that he had that opportunity as a kid. He was going to be drawing a lot from that experience.

Mathoni purchased a ticket on the next shuttle to the space station and made his way to the boarding area. He looked out the glass window and admired the sleek long triangular shuttle that would lift him off to the stars and the biggest adventure of his life.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Assassination of Robert Griffin, or at Least the Attempt

Here is the next chapter of Spies of Pangea, hope that you enjoy it, and please leave us comments about what you think. Good bad or ugly, want to hear it all.

The Assassination of Robert Griffin, or at Least the Attempt

Jerrick Mitchell monitored the bouncing lights and flipped between channels listening to the various languages coming from the translation booths that he was sending out to the main floor of the Republic Senate meeting. Most senators spoke Common just fine, but for the handful who didn’t and the number who wanted to hear the proceedings in their planet’s native language the Senate Translation Division did their job well, supervised by Chief Engineer Jerrick Mitchell.

Mitchell was a bit on the short side, and looked younger than he was with dark green eyes and wavy brown hair. His cheery disposition made him well liked by the Interpreters and the Senators who worked with him. He excelled at his job and never gave anyone cause to think otherwise; which was exactly what he wanted as a well placed Socialist Alliance spy.

The senate leader began calling the vote and the bouncing lights stilled as the interpreters stopped talking. There was need to translate yea’s and nays. The education bill passed, Jerrick knew that it would, it had been purposely kept as a simple bill and no one really opposed it. There wasn’t any behind the scene dealings to get the need majority vote and Jerrick had nothing to report back to the Alliance. If anyone back home even cared they could pull up the results of this bill on the Republic nets and nothing Jerrick could add would be very helpful.

Other days things were different. Of course what happened on the main floor was public knowledge, but many of the meeting rooms and conference rooms that the senators used for private discussions were not really as private as they thought. Microphones were in every room to be used if translation was needed, and whether it was needed or not Jerrick monitored every discussion he could for valuable intel. Particularly useful was when they discussed intelligence reports from their own spies within the Socialist Alliance. Reporting back to the Alliance what intel had been gathered was helpful in finding the Republic spies. Most days Jerrick had nothing to send back, but when he did it was always something good.

The Senate leader adjourned the session for the day and the senators stood and gathered their belongings. Jerrick watched the camera feed as it panned across the hall. He took note of Senator Robert Griffin as he turned and headed toward the exit. Jerrick had been recently asked to do more than his usual intelligence gathering, Senator Griffin was feared by Director Fontana D’or and she had ordered Jerrick to take out Robert.


The explosion ripped through the building. Fire alarms blared and overhead sprinklers kicked on soaking everything and everyone. Two senators lay dead. Four others seriously injured. Senator Robert Griffin picked himself up off of the floor. The explosion had come from the treadmill that he had been going to use, if Senator Farland hadn’t stepped onto it first. “I’ve got to stop using the same workout machines every day.” Robert muttered to himself. This was the third assassination attempt this month. Intelligence had been good about warning him the other times. But Fontana D’or had placed a bounty on his head so high that even honest people were willing to kill.

Emergency personnel were beginning to arrive and armed soldiers in dark uniforms were securing the room. Lt. Whettam O’Bray appeared through the smoke, his gray uniform rumpled. He stopped when he saw Robert. He took a second to catch his breath, and then half smiled. “Glad to see you’re alive Senator.”

“Found out too late this time?”

Whettam dropped his head. “Sorry Senator. Tracking threats on your life alone is keeping my team busy. How bad is it?”

“There isn’t much left of Senator Farland. I don’t know who else is hurt, but there is plenty. I’ll probably have to stop using the capital’s gym.”

Lt. O’Bray nodded. This was supposed to be a secure area. Obviously not secure enough. If Senator Griffin wanted to stay alive he was definitely going to have to be extra cautious for awhile. “I’ll escort you to the medical wing sir.”

Robert shook his head. But then noticed that the ringing in his ears was getting worse and that he did have a pretty good cut on his arm. So much to do as a senator, Robert just didn’t have time for attempts on his life, hopefully he could give his presentation at the intelligence committee meeting well enough without the practice he had been hoping to squeeze in. “Lead the way, Lt.”


Jerrick grumbled to himself as he watched the news that night in his apartment; so much for the exploding treadmill. And how did Griffin keep finding out about the attempts on his life? Mitchell was going to have to keep his plans even quieter. Someone back in the Alliance must be tipping off the Republic intelligence agents somehow.

Jerrick turned back to his dinner. It had gotten cold while he was watching the report on the explosion in the Senators gym. Frustrated he threw the rest in the garbage chute and paced his small apartment. Fontana D’or was not going to be happy with him on another failed attempt. She was a hard woman to please and had gotten even more picky and paranoid now that she was the head of the Socialist Alliance. There was no telling how many more attempts he would have before she sent someone else to do the job and take him out in the process. What could he do, his skills were useful, but they were pretty specific, and assassination wasn’t one of them.