Title: Planet Angels - Have a Little Faith
Author: Jos Mous
RATING: PG-13 to R
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I'm not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
NOTE: The next crossover with Alpha Centauri after 'Spies Like Us' and 'Alliance'. I do have a plot for this one, I just hope I can actually work it properly into the story.
"you are orphans earthdeirdre, your homeworld already buried so young among the aeons. yet now you fill the skies where we watched a million sunsets with flame and contrails, paying no heed to the hard lessons the universe has tried to teach you. are you a breath of life to invigorate a complacent world, you earthhumans, or an insidious cancer which must be excised?"
-- Lady Deirdre Skye, 'Conversations with Planet'
*Gaiaís Landing; Gaiaís Stepdaughters*
Lady Deirdre Skye watched through the large windows of her chamber and saw the needlejets take off, taking hundreds of refugees with them. War had not yet reached her territory, but it was only a matter of time. She briefly wondered how many of those jets contained spies and infiltrators, returning to their respective factions.
"You should leave as well." Someone behind her said.
Lady Deirdre turned around to see one of her generals, standing to attention and looking rather worried.
"Gaia's Landing doesn't stand a chance, does it?"
"I'm afraid not." The general said. "Not unless Santiago manages to send quite a few troops before Miriam can reach us." The general looked hesitant for a while, then proceeded to ask what was on his mind anyway. "Have you considered using the mindworm trainers?"
"I have." Deirdre answered honestly. "But they are too few and too inexperienced. They are leaving here as well." The leader of the Gaians turned back to her window. "I, on the other hand, am not leaving."
"Forget it!" The general shouted, forgetting all formality.
Lady Deirdre turned around and her normally gentle eyes were cold. "Excuse me?"
"Forgive me. But if Miriam manages to take you captive..."
"My decision general."
"Of course." The general said. "But that doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Noted." Deirdre said coldly. "Now, I suggest you started organising our defences."
The general briefly bowed. "At once."
*Sparta Command; Spartan Federation*
Every single soldier and civilian in the command centre quickly stood to attention as Colonel Corazon Santiago entered the large room. Without a word she walked over to the large display in the centre of the room. She briefly studied the map. Three shapes were currently displayed. One small and green, indicating the Gaian territory, one just a little larger and black, indicating her own faction and one vast and orange. The Believers.
"That patch of sea between the Believer continent and us, is that occupied by the Pirates?" Colonel Santiago asked.
"I fear they have made no claims there." A Talent without military rank told her. "But there is a Cybernetic seabase nearby." The man said, pointing at a turquoise spot on the map, somewhere north of the green and to the east of the orange.
"The Consciousness will stay out of this, I'd wager." Colonel Santiago said. "The Prime Function has no grasp of the concept of war. I don't think she'll interfere." Santiago stared at the screen several moments longer, trying to calculate where her forces would be if Miriam attacked in the next few days. She didn't like the answers she came up with. Without saying anything else she turned around again and strode from the room.
*Data DeCentral; Data Angels*
Datajack Sinder Roze was faced with an unpleasant decision. She could just sit back and watch the conflict unfold, but she could also get involved in it. Unfortunately both options would most likely result in Miriam's victory. Her spies had already told her that Miriam would not be holding back during the invasion of the Gaians. She was out to destroy them, not force them into surrender. And when she was finished she would probably turn her attention to the others. Sinder suddenly smiled. They had been staying out of the way of the others for far too long. And if they were going to be wiped out by the Believers, then at least they would be going out with a bang. She quickly contacted the covert operations centre and gave them her instructions. All probe teams were to be recalled and set loose on the Believers.
Sinder Roze sat back, not wanting to think of the consequences that might follow her rather hasty decision. Suddenly the small screen of her computer blinked to life, showing a small map of Planet. A small piece of green blinked for a few seconds before turning orange.
The attack had started.
*Gaia's Landing; Gaia's Stepdaughters*
The first thing they noticed was the emptiness. That did not come as a surprise to them. They had seen the people queuing up in front of the airlocks, had seen the needlejets take off. They had seen it all, from their little corner where they had hid. And now they were practically alone, apart from the garrison and probably a few Workers for necessary food production. They were also wondering if it had been the right choice to stay here. After all, they had staid here because they liked the Gaians. Not because they wanted to live in a Believer base. But since every cloud has a silver lining, this one had one as well. In an empty base, with nothing to do except wait they could be together without any worries on their mind. They both realised that that was the last chance they had before the Believers attacked. After all, homosexuality was a sin and therefor strictly forbidden.
"Sam?" Brooke asked, breaking the silence they had been in for quite some time.
"Yes?" Sam said. It came out more as a sigh. She knew that whatever Brooke was going to talk about would not be pleasant, and she just didn't want to spoil the moment.
"Do you think we'll be forced into separate quarters?"
"Provided we survive the attack?" Sam said glumly.
"Sam," Brooke started pleadingly.
"I donít know." Sam cut her off. "Two teenagers without parents? We'll be put in a Believer orphanage. If they have something like that. Or maybe we'll be forced into service."
Brooke sighed. Sam guessed it was because the blonde had reached the same conclusions and had hoped that she could've said something else.
"The Believers," Brooke started. "They'll have to put up a new network around here, right? I mean, the Gaians probably erased any useful data around here."
"Probably." Sam said with little enthusiasm.
"How well encrypted do you think that'll be when it's being set up?" Brooke asked.
Suddenly Sam smiled. "Not all that good I'd wager."
Brooke smiled too. "That's what I thought as well."
They walked further in silence, smiling.
Then the ground shook.
Sam and Brooke ran over to the closest window. Rows of Believer soldiers lined the horizon, supported by several attack rovers and a few needlejets.
"Damn." Brooke said silently.
Sam couldn't help but agree with that sentiment.
*Lady Deirdreís chambers*
"My Lady, we have to evacuate."
"We have been through this before general."
"I know." The general admitted. "But I still think it's folly to stay here. What good can you do for our people when you are being held in a punishment sphere by Miriam?"
Lady Deirdre sighed. She knew her general was right. There was nothing she could do here any more. But she couldn't just let her troops stay here and fight to their deaths as she fled with her tail between her legs.
"General..." Deirdre started as a plan formed in her head. "I am no military expert, but what would happen if our forces suddenly turned away and left?"
"Are you saying we should just give up Gaia's Landing?" The general seemed shocked by this idea.
"You said before we were already lost." Deirdre said calmly. "Why fight and waste the few forces we have?"
"I think they will capture the base." The general said doubtful. "And then march towards the next."
Deirdre stared thoughtfully out the window. The Believer forces were already approaching, but not yet within range. "There is a considerably large xenofungus field a few miles south of here, am I right?"
"Yes." The general said, not knowing what his Lady was thinking right now.
"If a few attack rovers were to hide there, do you think the Believers will spot them?"
"Probably not." The general started wondering if he was actually having a conversation, or if he was merely someone who was there when Deirdre needed someone to talk to.
"So, if the Believers do march forward would it not be possible for them to attack their lines from the rear?"
"Yes. But the Believers would track them down and probably kill them."
"True." Deirdre said. "But they do not know their way around the field. Our rover pilots, on the other hand, do."
Deirdre was silent for a few moments longer when a small squadron of Gaian needlejets was about to intercept the larger Believer air force. The needlejets turned and twisted around each other like a flock of bickering razorwings.
"Call the retreat." Deirdre decided. "You are leaving."
"My Lady," The general started.
"Not another word." Lady Deirdre said as she put up her hand. "I am of little use in this conflict. And I am not abandoning my headquarters."
"If you wish." The general said formally.
Deirdre smiled. "I wish it so. Hopefully my people cares enough for me to try and set me free."
The leader of the Gaians looked out her window again. One of her needlejets crashed into the Believer infantry. She didn't know if it was because it had been shot down or if it was an act of kamikaze.
"I suggest you hurry, general." Deirdre said. "Before there are no forces left to retreat."
The general bowed stiffly, turned around and left.
Deirdre waited calmly until the doors had slit shut before she broke out in tears.
NOTE: Inspiration. It comes at the strangest times. But, even when it comes at the most inopportune time we're usually quite thankful for that. Anyway, it did not come for me for this story, but that doesn't prevent me from writing at least a little something.
*Gaia's Landing; Lord's Believers*
It was eerily quiet in Gaia's Landing. This was due in part because there were very little people remaining. But as the Believer troops marched through the corridors the few remaining Gaians watched. They didn't speak, they didn't shout, they just stood there. It was very unnerving for the experienced Believer troops who knew that this wasnít normal behaviour for newly captured bases.
The Gaians were rounded up in the main hall of the Recreation Commons. The Believer captain who had been at the head the assault made some speech. Everyone listened carefully to him. None of them believed a word he said, but they listened quietly.
Brooke and Sam too did not believe the captain. They didn't believe they were saved. They didn't believe that they were back in God's grace. They certainly didn't believe that the Gaian army was scattered and fleeing.
At the end of the speech everyone dispersed in silence and headed back to their own duties. Guards were almost literally lining the corridors. They always kept their hands close to their guns. They also seemed particularly hateful for the sons and daughters of the Lord.
But the Gaians took no notice of the guards. They simply ignored them and got on with their lives as best as they could. They weren't going to revolt or rebel. That would only result in more killing. But, they were going to stick to their own beliefs. To ignore the Believer propaganda that would soon be flooding their way.
In a way, that would be far worse for the occupiers than armed rebellion.
*Forest Primeval; Gaia's Stepdaughters*
Nicole Julian worked her way through the corridors of this unfamiliar base. She had tried to leave the rest of her in her quarters, but the mindworms weren't leaving her side. Even though they were not _completely_ capable of emotion they knew Nicole was worried and they didn't like that. Nicole kept walking, took several wrong turns, retraced her steps, took a few more wrong turns, but eventually arrived at the research hospital.
She quickly walked over to the Talent sitting behind the reception desk.
'A reception desk! We're at war here!'
"Can I help you?" The Talent asked.
"Uhm... yeah." Nicole said. "I understand you have a few injured from the battle at Gaia's Landing here?" She felt so stupid. The battle at Gaia's Landing. It sounded like some epic and above all ancient struggle.
"We do." Answered the Talent.
"Is there a Brooke McQueen here?" Nicole asked.
The Talent looked through his files. "Nope."
Nicole kept asking and asking. At one point she even stooped so low as to ask for April Tuna. She knew no one here. No one had been transported here except the mindworm trainers. As sad as it may seem her only hope of finding a familiar and more or less non-hostile face here was if they had fought, retreated and ended up here to be treated for their injuries.
"Carmen Ferrera?" Nicole asked, getting very desperate.
"Yes." Said the Talent suddenly. "We do have a Carmen Ferrera here."
Nicole almost sighed in relief. It was at least something. "What room?"
"Room 29. But you can't see her."
"Why not?" Nicole asked, starting to feel worried again.
"It says here her condition is still critical at the moment. She's not allowed to have any visitors."
"But, she is going to be OK, right?"
The Talent looked at the screen. "She was shot down." He said. "Her bio-suit wasn't functioning properly when a few rovers accidentally found her." The Talent looked at Nicole. "I'm afraid that she be going to be a few things, but OK is not one of them."
*McQueen/McPherson quarters; the next day*
Sam felt insulted. She was in a way happy to be insulted. But still, and insult was an insult. Even if that insult was in her best interests. The reason Sam was insulted was because the Believers were indeed setting up a new computer system. But they were rather slow with encripting it. Sam could easily access everything she wanted without leaving a trace whatsoever. It was very convenient, but Sam couldn't help but feel insulted. Her fingers flew over the keyboard. First Sam had discovered that she was about to be shipped off to The Lord's Grace and Brooke to Divinity Base. That was unacceptable, so she made sure she and Brooke could not only stay in Gaia's Landing, but remain in their own quarters as well. She briefly considered making sure that there wouldn't be any bugs installed there, but that would look a little too suspicious. Furthermore she managed to put a few more credits on their account and even managed to gave them several privileges that people of a recently conquered base normally didn't get. Sam decided to stop there. Any more and it _would_ become way too obvious. She turned off her computer and more or less wandered into Brooke's room. She stopped before stepping inside to take a look at the girl. Brooke hadn't noticed her and was typing away, with her back towards her. Sam should criticise this sloppiness. She didn't. She just kept standing in the doorway, admiring Brooke's back.
"I know you're there." Brooke said eventually.
"Thank goodness." Sam said. "I was almost afraid I had to lecture you."
Brooke turned around in her chair and smiled. "Lecture me on what?"
"Don't start." Sam said.
"Why?" Brooke asked. "They're gonna install things here tomorrow. This might be the our only private time in quite some time."
Sam suddenly saw Brooke's point of view. Soon Sam could only think of the entire world. Because, right now, the entire world existed only out of Brooke.
The problems could wait until tomorrow.
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