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Continue To The Next Chapter - Chapter 2

THE BARCHON DICTATORSHIP

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER I

TIME : June 7, 2013
PLACE : M.W.G.D. Headquarters

Things were rather quiet at M.W.G.D. Headquarters. M.W.G.D. or Milky Way Galaxy Defense was an organization dedicated to protecting the galaxy against a wide variety of hostile forces. The main reason M.W.G.D. was created was to stop a ruthless empire originating from the planet Altair 7 that threatened to take over the entire galaxy.

At the head of the empire was an ominous figure known only as the Ruler. Up until about three weeks earlier, the Ruler and his troops had been slowly taking over planet after planet with no sign of slowing down. However, the Ruler's most recent attempt at galactic domination appeared to be too much for him.

The Ruler and his team of scientists had created the Omega Destroyer, a weapon so powerful that it could destroy an entire planet with a single shot. Fortunately, a team of spies from M.W.G.D. discovered the existence of the Omega Destroyer before the Ruler had a chance to use it. M.W.G.D. and the planets supporting them launched a full scale attack against the Omega Destroyer resulting in the disappearance of the Ruler and X, their former leader. Since that fateful day, there had been nothing serious enough to warrant their full attention. That was about to change.

Without warning, Shawn came striding in through the double doors that led to the main office. Everyone who was goofing off stopped goofing off and began working hard on something at the first sign of his presence. Shawn had earned their respect by leading the team of spies that discovered the Omega Destroyer. It was he who had replaced X as the new leader of M.W.G.D. and it was up to him to make sure that M.W.G.D. ran smoothly.

There were many people who wanted to see Shawn killed both because of his new position and because of what he had done in the past. In his short reign as leader of M.W.G.D., he had already experienced several assassination attempts. None of them had been organized very well, so Shawn just shrugged them off and figured that it came with the territory.

Shawn looked around the room hoping to see either Peter, Hank, Linda, or Lisa. The four of them had come from the same planet Shawn did, Earth, and had been with him on numerous missions. They were now part of Shawn's personal staff since he got his promotion and the people Shawn would prefer to trust with his first top secret since assuming command.

He saw that none of them were in the room, so he turned around and headed out in disgust. At the door, he was met by Peter and Hank who had just returned from a four day vacation. They were well rested and ready to begin work again not knowing how quickly their work would begin.

"Hank! Peter!" Shawn exclaimed in delight. "I'm so glad to see you. Where are the girls?"

"Uh, oh," Peter thought to himself.

He could tell by the eager expression on Shawn's face that he had something in store for them and the fact that he had asked where Linda and Lisa were didn't help matters much.

"Linda is off on a mission to the Rigel system and Lisa is on her way here," Hank answered completely ignoring the warning signs. "She should be here in a few hours."

"I'll bring her up to date when she gets here," Shawn muttered to himself. "I have a mission for the two of you."

"I knew it!" declared Peter, but his victory was short lived as Shawn immediately began explaining their mission.

"Barchon has been taken over by a dictatorship made up of five people and several million robots," Shawn began. "Last September the majority of the people thought their government was too harsh and decided to rebel. They were poorly organized and lacking a strong leader, but they could not tolerate their leaders any longer and knew that the resistance would be crushed if they waited too much longer. That was when the five came to Barchon from an unknown previous location."

"They said that they would lead the revolt and did exactly that. By the time April came, the rebellion had won their brief civil war and put the five in charge of their new government. They treated everyone fairly until they gained control of all the robots on Barchon then, POOF, it was a dictatorship."

"How could they control all the robots on the entire planet?" interrupted Peter who thought he had a legitimate question.

"To increase their efficiency, all robots on Barchon have a built in link with the central computer allowing them to work as the unit," explained Shawn. "The central computer can override any program used by the individual robots. Needless to say, whoever controls the computer controls the robots."

"Where is the central computer?" asked Hank.

"I'm not entirely sure," Shawn confessed. "but I know it's on Barchon. Some of the people should be able to tell you where it is. Both the former government and the former rebels are untied in their hatred for the new dictatorship. They realize their mistakes and are more than ready to redeem themselves. Most of them should be more than willing to help you. The ones you can't trust should be fairly easy to spot since they have been rewarded by the dictatorship. Don't trust any of the wealthy. They are in alliance with the others."

"I want you to do two things," Shawn continued. "First, I want you to find their central computer and put it out of commission. Then, you are to find the five members of the dictatorship and keep them from trying again. I wanted them taken alive if at all possible, but if it is necessary to kill them, I'll understand."

"Bring them in alive," Peter repeated.

One of the responsibilities of M.W.G.D. was to protect human life, even the lives of their enemies unless they had to prevent other people from being killed. Even Shawn would have to explain why he had to kill somebody if such an event occurred.

"Once you arrive on Barchon, I will give you further instructions," he told them. "I will also be on Barchon on a separate, but related mission of my own. With a little luck, I should be able to find you."

"Here we go again," Peter groaned out loud.

"It's not that bad," responded Hank placing his hand on Peter's shoulder.

Lisa arrived sooner than they had expected and the four of them prepared for their journey to Barchon and whatever awaited them there.

TIME : June 8, 2013 9:35 A.M.
PLACE : Barchon

Peter, Hank, and Lisa landed on Barchon and began looking for someone to asked about the central computer. They spotted a nearby city and decided to begin their search over there. Most of people ignored them when they started asking question about the dictatorship either from fear that their answers could cost them their lives or from lack of concern. Peter suspected that it was a combination of the two. They hadn't seen any of the robots yet, but they had a suspicious feeling that the things were everywhere.

"Perhaps we should find some place less conspicuous," suggested Peter. "Preferably somewhere that's closed off so we can't be spotted from all directions at once."

They found a small store where they could continue to investigate. The people there still avoided them, but they seemed to feel more comfortable doing so. One of them even came up to the and advised them not to ask too many questions.

At last, they found someone who was willing to talk to them. He told them that the central computer could be found on Mt. Veneb upon which the dictators had established a place for them to live. Ironically, it was the same place where the leaders of the government they had overthrown used to live.

Peter, Hank, and Lisa thanked him for his help and returned to their ships greatful that they at least had a general idea of where to go. It didn't take them long to find Mt. Veneb. They landed at the foot of the mountain hoping they would not attract attention and continued their search for the central computer.

To their dismay, they had been spotted. As soon as they got out of the ship, two people were there to greet them. Both of them were wearing expensive looking masks which made them realize that they could be none other than members of the dictatorship itself. Unfortunately, the knowledge did them no good. They were trapped.

"Drop your weapons!" ordered one of them.

They had no choice but to obey. As soon as their weapons were on the ground, he disentigrated them with his weapon. The three of them stared grimly at the ashes that had once been their weapons. His gun was obviously more powerful than theirs were.

He glanced over the three of them looking for any sign of additional weapons that were still on them. Suddenly, he seemed to have recognized them from somewhere. He pointed his phaser directly at Hank.

"You're from M.W.G.D.," he snarled with utter contempt.

To prevent them from relaxing, he moved the gun to Lisa, then to Peter, and then back to Hank again.

"All of you," he added. "Tell me why you're here."

There was no response. Only the sounds of nearby animals and the wind that had begun to pick up blowing in a soft, gentle breeze that would have been pleasant for all of them if they weren't so preoccupied with each other.

"If you do not tell me why you are here, then you will die," he stated evenly.

His partner didn't seem to care what was going on around him. He looked at the scene as if he were just a neutral observer. There was something about him that reminded Peter of someone he knew. He just wasn't sure who.

His thoughts were interrupted by their other captor who was rapidly loosing his patience with them. He lowered the gun momentarily hoping they would change their minds.

"This is your last chance," he warned them.

Peter, Hank, and Lisa remained silent knowing they had beaten him. They knew that he desperately wanted them to talk. He was growing more and more disgusted with each second they remained silent. Even if he shot them, they could tell that his confidnce was shaken making it easier for Shawn or whoever came to Barchon after them to defeat them.

Finally, he gave up.

"I gave you a chance," he shrieked. "All you had to do was tell why you had come and I would have let you live, but you wouldn't cooperate. Now you shall die!"

He pointed his phaser at the once again. This time, with his finger on the trigger. His phaser was set to kill.

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