Beamo’s Gold part 35
Beamo goes up against an ancient shape-shifting entity from the 21st Century.
As the two orange uniform females escorted me to Amoze, Tee stepped out of an alcove. My escorts allowed us to go inside to have a private parley.
“You said back at the last battle that you were with us.” Tee said.
“I said I was with your riders. Not necessarily you.”
He pulled out a folded paper. “Give me something.” He looked me in the eyes as he unfolded it. Of course, he already knew I was being sent on a hit job and might not be coming back. Even though he had never been to this geemo nation before, he already schmoozed enough to have serious connections.
I took his hand drawn map and looked it over. He had the script down to maybe ninety-seven percent of the original. With my pen I corrected some words and lines. Now his copy was ninety-nine percent authentic. “Looks just about the readea.”
He nodded. I gave him back his map and he stepped out of the alcove. I went out after him then joined up again with my two escorts. A couple minutes later I was presented to Amoze.
Here was a warrior woman from the storybooks. Faint scar on her left cheek, wavy indigo-dyed hair about mid-length. She held a short, violet bladed sword with a double-point tip. Without any introduction the orange uniformed woman handed me the weapon.
“Careful how you handle Thunderbolt Reign.” She spoke. Those woman warriors up there name their swords. “Open the latch on the back of the pommel. Press the button to power it up. If you’re not precise and hit yourself or something touching you that conducts, you’ll be dead before you can drop it.”
Amoze gave me instructions on how to charge the battery of the weapon using a solar panel web you have to unfold and put in the sun. The sword was superbly balanced and the thirty-inch blade cut through the air with pleasing whoshes when I stepped back to practice with it. First off then on.
“You are a trader and an assassin for your little county nation in the Ozarka?” Amoze queried with a slightly flirty half smile. Three other warrior women behind her seemed impressed at her attraction to the foreigner. They stood from all fours to their hind legs and moved in closer to hear what I had to say. “You might judge that we are hypocrites. That hiring you to eliminate, which is against our Primary Code, instead of disable an enemy makes us less than all that.”
Giving me salacious eye contact now. Her ruby red lips quivered to let me know she liked the way I handled the high-tech blade. After all, no male around her ever handled a weapon to her face. Confident woman, seemed like she had close contact with foreigners like me before. Whatever her motive, I knew to stay professional.
“They lack subtlety, nuance, the males from his region,” a gold-ring-nosed, oil-bearded man wearing a slate grey suit and billed cap stepped out from behind the group of women warriors.
“Well, back where I’m from we get cross-trained in various skills,” I smiled back. “No, I don’t judge. Down home we have plenty of high-rollers who live up the bluff. They all eat their fill of pork and never get close to the pen where they slaughter the hogs.” It took a second, they don’t eat red meat up there, but their faces soon all showed a fuming flame.
“Just destroy it,” Amoze ordered. Since I wasn’t going to flirt back she went right to it. “Thrust into its central core with the blade at full power. Whatever you do don’t listen to it if it speaks to you. It is an abomination, a relic from a culture that tried to own what should never be owned.”
Fifteen minutes later I was strapped onto the Peak Zipline. I didn’t realize what it was when they hung a nuuk-check crystal on my neck before they pushed me out. I flew down a cable that ran for mile after mile through frigid air of the highest summit in the Blue Mountain chain. Crags and bushy canyons and cliffs and outcrops in the afternoon sunshine rushed past, like falling sideways. Faster and faster winding down a sliding board that never ends, heading straight for the base of the smoking, glowing volcano to the north. Finally found the hand-grip break above me and slowed to a more comfortable speed.
After about fifty minutes, I hit the ground. At once a struck-match smell was up my nose. De-hitched myself then started moving around. Up a ridge was a line of thirty-five scarecrows. Worked my way up the slope and then realized they were mostly orange-uniform-clad female bodies along with male mercenaries dressed like Saints or Mutant Angels, all dismembered. On a closer look I saw the wrong limbs and heads attached to the wrong torsos with sharp sticks. A great bonfire glowed out past the woods.
Light fading under the trees, the first renegade Highster guard ran at me. He waved his sword as he scrambled on his other three limbs. Humming, I met him with my new sword and he fell clutching his shoulder. I finished him with a precise throat jab. Got down low and crawled through the brush shadows to get around two more who cried out when they found the first guy.
Still humming to myself, I peered out of the woods to the vast barren side of the volcano that I could smell but couldn’t see looming above everything. Propped up on what looked like a natural stage above the great bonfire was a being I could never have imagined. Citizens in the Zarks carry a lot of superstitions. Loco stories about skinwalkers that fly and shape-shift into animals were just one. This entity must have been two-hundred pounds but was constantly morphing its shape and color, now shifting to dark green, then scarlet then deep blue, arms growing into multiple tentacles then back to arms again. Face glowing like a chiseled statue that was somehow shaped liquid, that mouth moving with its own music. Not a voice but a brass instrument of deep sonority.
I stepped out and shouted, “I want to join up!”
The two guards rushed into the firelight. They were breathless and terrified at the sight of me. They kept their distance and shouted over each other: “He killed! He murdered! Jeesup! He’s dead!”
“Had to prove I can fight.” I kept moving up the hill towards the entity. “I’m against those Highsters sitting up on those mountains trying to run the world. They teamed up with the Mutant Angels and their Saint thralls.”
“Do you know what power I have at my disposal? Do you have any idea what zero-point energy is?” That brassy voice did something to you, snapped the chain on your cycle so your engine ran without you going anywhere. Had to use my most intense inner music to get through that voice.
The shape-shifter flowed down the side of the volcano. Almost flat, just a little more solid than magenta liquid oozing itself up or down shear drops. I kept stepping closer. When we got within a few yards he rose up taller than me into a bright white tower. “I commanded multinationals with greater resources than almost all the nations of the earth over a millennia before your existence! Why do you think you can add anything to our movement?”
“I have intel. Inside their mountain chambers they are ripe for the taking. I know what you renegades don’t know. You’ve already done more damage to their society than you realize out here. I can get you close because they think I’m just a trader.” I eased past some of the small crowd of male Highsters who stepped up to block my path. They wore hostile grimaces but now seemed to accept I wasn’t out to slice them up, so they stepped back.