September 4th, 2021

_Fall of Empire_ part 17

And I'll probably put this before the previous post . . . must stop writing this story backwards . . .


Chapter Sixteen

Authority

May 6, 3740

Murphy jerked his attention away from Igor and back to the situation. :: Any more Portals? ::

:: Nothing. :: the octagon sounded weak, scattered.

:: Relax. Igor’s too tough to die. More likely the doc’ll have to strap him down to keep him in bed for a few hours. Do you guys need to take a break? ::

A negation, and the merge firmed up.

He looked back over at the Inquisitor and that Regulan Agent Igor’d let in . . . Damn, I wish the Boss was here! The Inquisitor’s a good man, but he has neither training nor experience in the military. But he’s the man in charge, right now.

Murphy walked over. “No portal action at the moment.” A glance at the Regulan. “As Igor was saying, we need to find out what’s going on, on Regulus, and on Orion. If the fighting is over, the priority is going to be search and rescue, and medical.”

The Regulan paled, nodded.

“If your hospitals in Paree are overwhelmed—or for that matter damaged or without power—we can use our two Commercial portals to transport patients out of Paree, and back into another of your cities, switching cities as often as needed.”

Double blinks.

“Excellent plan.” The Inquisitor looked relieved. “I’ll warn the Portal managers, and police that traffic management may be needed.” A glance at the Regulan. “Go talk to your people, come back and tell me what you need.” Murphy stepped back, spotted the property manager. “We’ll need two beacons, straightforward on-off switches. Two more ramps.” Vehicles guy . . . “ATV, no weapons.”

:: Still no portals? ::

:: Nothing. ::

:: Take a closer look. Let’s see how the fight is going. ::

He piggy backed on their odd “vision” as they swooped in close . . . to a scene of surrender. Tanks with the tops open crew standing in front of their machines. Cyborgs kneeling, left hands on the ground, right arms on their heads. :: Excellent. Now can you see any field hospital setup, yeah right there. We’ll need a Portal there, in a short while, but it would probably be better if we back way off and talk to people first, so we don’t get shot. ::

He looked over at the Regulan, then pointed, “The fighting’s over. Grab a spatter suit.”

A tech nearby grabbed one from the cabinet and helped the guy into it.

:: Okay, we need a nice clear space away from the action . . . yeah that park will do nicely. ::

Murphy closed off that contact, checked the Regulan, nodded, and grabbed his helmet. Sealed it as the portal opened. Green flag and he trotted up and jumped through. Turned and steadied the Regulan as he stumbled the landing.

Unsealed the helmet, but left it on. “It takes a little getting used to, doing it on foot.”

“That last step . . .” The man pulled out a phone and punched numbers. “Chenov. Siberia Max is offering assistance getting people to hospitals . . . I see there’s no broadcast power.”

A long pause.

“They said they could use their two commercial portals, one from here, and the other, two miles away, could connect back to other cities here.”

Another pause. “All right, where do you want the portal from here to attach?”

A squad car zipped around the corner and slammed to a halt.

Murphy turned and gave them a casual wave. Pulled up physical and energy shields as he gave his helmet the little counter clockwise twist to loosen it and took it off, tucked it casually under his arm and walked over.

The driver’s door opened and a Cyborg cop stepped out looking cautious.

“Hi, I’m out of Siberia Max, setting up a Portal Relay to get your injured to hospitals.” he nodded back at the Man. “What’s his name, Chernov, there is something in your Security Bureau . . .”

“Got a location?” He called back.

Chernov walked over. “Somewhere in the vicinity of the West Highway access road north and Starburst.”

Murphy eyed the cop. “Are the roads passable to there? I can get a beacon, and the first leg’ll be ready.”

Chernov snorted and got back to his phone. “There a police cruiser here, if you can ask dispatch to detail them to take a beacon there?”

Murphy walked back to the portal and jumped back through to check—no portals—get a beacon and a ramp . . .

A little back and forth to find out where in what cities had hospitals ready to take patients . . .

Ape trotted in from the back. “Concussion, broken jaw. There’re going to sedated him for that cool brain treatment so his brain doesn’t swell.” :: Lady Dina’s there. She brought the wine, I got a bit into him while the doc wasn’t looking. Got a thumbs up.”

“Good, send all the guys who fought to the locker room, recall half the squads at the other three sites.”

“Yes, sir, Boss Murphy!”

Once a steady stream of ambulances were running back and forth, he stood down the Octagon for food and drink, sent for the “weekend Quad” to come up and take over, talked to the tired Quads and sent Boleslav’s to their homes for a good night’s rest . . . Henrik’s quad flopped down to nap, but handy in case of emergency . . .

Made sure the guys still on duty got breaks for dinner . . .

The Inquisitor thumped his shoulder. “Don’t neglect yourself. You’ve been in armor since eight this morning. Catch a shower. Go eat. Sleep. Just in case, God help us, there’s another attack. I’ll stay up, and you’re the first person I’ll yell for if anything happens.”