Intercosmic - Chapter 35 - Meeting Creed

 

The blue sands drifts through the city gently, nobody seems to mind. It doesn’t seem possible when compared to the incredibly large orange concrete buildings. The entire city gives off a feeling of overwhelming and mysterious power that makes me somehow aware that I’m just a speck of sand to the galaxy. If one thing can be said about the Qhex is that they can build cities that truly make you feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Individuals enter and exit buildings seemingly on a whim. All while massive statues of Qhex leaders loom over them. Politicians stare down at them from hundreds of stories up and none of them seem to care. We aren’t much different as humans, but at least our cities have class. A busker on the corner, an old restaurant in a luxury sector of town, or children playing are all common sights for us; this all seem so sanitary. I shift my scope the left and settle on a temporary target.

Perhaps it isn’t the city that is making me anxious, but the mission at hand. A commanding officer I had never met named Creed selected me for this mission. Despite never meeting him, he seemed to know of my past missions and scores on various tests. He also seemed to know about a few disciplinary issues I had, but he promised to get those removed from my record if I undertook a mission from him. An assassination attempt wasn’t what I expected. He knew my history, he should have known I’m better suited working in a small team, surprise attacks, rescues, and stealth missions. I’ve got three front line missions and zero assassinations, yet he felt I’d be good for this mission. I only briefly met the other members of my team on the transport to the city. We didn’t exchange names, and we were on a crowded shuttle filled with other humans here for a convention of some sort. Once the shuttle dropped us in the city we all went our separate ways as to not draw attention. I’m not sure what the other three members of my team are doing, but I know I’m perched on the roof of a building adjacent to the courthouse, cloaked and waiting with a sniper rifle. My target is a Qhex named Siphandone. Today she’s being taken into the courthouse in order to be charged with treason. This wouldn’t be any interests to humans, especially since we’re in the Galactic Federation together. However, their definition of treason means she shared some information with humans that she probably shouldn’t have. In all likelihood, she’ll give details and names to avoid the death penalty. We can’t exactly have that, and the Qhex leaders know it, that’s why they’re making a show of the entire thing. Federation relationships are always shaky, filled with back office deals and favors. It’s the way the game is played, always has been. I’m just a soldier who gets his marching orders from the kings and queens, bishops and everyone else. But I know my role, and today my role is to kill Siphandone.

A single white car pulls in front of the courthouse where journalist have been waiting. The car lowers to the ground and they rush over with their cameras and take pictures. As Siphandone exits the vehicle with three officers I can notice their mouths moving and read their body language but I can’t hear the questions being shouted at her.

“Shields are down,” I hear Creed’s voice in my earpiece.

On cue, the crowd is distracted by some commotion, I don’t need to be told this is my signal to fire. I fire off four quick shots in succession. I only needed one to kill, but I’d rather the target be extra dead than still breathing. The first shot is a headshot, the next three all land in different spots on the torso. I watch as everyone tries to point out where the shots came from. A few point fingers in my direction, but most point elsewhere. It doesn’t matter, I’m too far for any of them to see me.

“Good shot, head to the rendezvous location,” Creed speaks again.

 ***

A news alert on my wrist comp wakes me up from dreams of the past. I set an alert to any news about the Xioshaa. I was starting to think I did something wrong, but I suppose news was just slow.

“In recent news, the Vaznian Civil War has begun an upswing in violence despite previous calm. Clashing sides were said to have clashed in a local city center but reports have varied. We’re working hard to bring you more information,” the androgynous newscaster speaks. “Recently the Revrell Republic have pledged to look into the tension that seems to be reaching a boiling point. One can only wonder if the Galactic Federation or Draconian Empire will attempt to intervene as well.”

There’s not really any need to wonder. The Federation has already been meddling in the war. The Draconians aren’t the type to play in shadow wars; they want all the glory and all the curses that come along with war for themselves. The Federation is already meddling, at least humanity is. I can’t imagine the Ghuk are leaving it alone either. I’m sure they’ve found someone to sell weapons to in this whole thing. The Revrell are probably already backing a side. They’re always looking for another race to bring into the fold. All these years later and the game is still played the same.

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