Sci-Fi Starshatter - "Twin suns of Carolla" By Black Knight

The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
A lone human dismounted his strangely designed bike and stretched his limbs. His eyeglasses were oddly shaped but reflected the powerful sunlight that those two suns were trying to bake everything alive with. Short reddish hair and bushy unkempt beard kept the rest of his head safe from the unforgiving suns. He looked towards the ruined Terran colony and spat on the ground angrily – there were supposed to be people here! The man needed food and also fuel for his ship's FTL module. Now, he was stranded here on that planet, and John Mackenzie didn't like this one bit! After landing here, the lone biker soon found out that the colonists were all killed. That, or dragged away on board of some slaver ship, kicking and screaming. Had his ship's sensor array not been damaged in his last scuffle with some pirates, he'd be able to detect that from orbit. He looked at the back of his bike; tied up there was one strange alien helmet he'd picked up earlier. The more he looked at it and inspected the jagged alien runes it was inscribed with, the angrier Mack got. Filthy taz'arans! These slimy failures were leaving trails of dirty footprints everywhere he'd usually traveled. Fringe space was a large expanse, but he and they had clashed on multiple occasions already.
The biker mounted his machine and revved its highly modified Tesla engine. A loud whirring sound boomed over the empty farming fields and his chopper leaped forward. Behind him, the bikes' wide rear tire made of solid megasteel, left a huge trail in the dirt. Now again on the move, Mack wasn't feeling like a baked potato anymore. His face and neck were red and hurting from sunburn already. Along the way, he'd passed through a watermelon field. It had been expertly planted and maintained, sadly the local critters helped themselves to any fruits left after the colonists had vanished. Mack did find one good hand scanner and a laser pistol though. The gun was oddly small and at first, he'd thought it belonged to a kid. Then realized it was probably the handgun of bunny or hamster farmers. He liked the small buggers. Use to give rides on his bike to their kids whenever he traveled to “Murphy's Landing”. Last time when he was here, he visited an old mentor of his – Alberto. That old fossil was like a father to him, back from the days he was but a runt.
His childhood wasn't happy, but it was relatively safe compared to what other kids had to endure. The unfortunate ones who were grabbed by them slavers during the 69's pirate invasion. Exactly when he was born. His own mother he never knew because she gave birth to him in the ruins of Sheridan Wyoming. Alone. Mack was later told that her legs were crushed and after he was born, crawled a good mile over the debris-covered road towards the local clinic. Died along the way she did. Baby Mack was picked up by that same Alberto, a soldier then and part of the local national guard infantry unit. Rifleman 1st class Alberto was more a sniper than an ordinary soldier. Using an anti-tank rifle alone, he killed one whole section of aliens before his unit was wiped out. He then roamed the ruins in search of survivors and found baby Mack by chance alone.
During these days the nation-state of America had enough money and resources to restore all of the damage that the invader had inflicted upon its infrastructure and cities. The case with Sheridan was something else. The local population of roughly fifteen thousand souls was completely exterminated. In fact, Mack was probably its one and only resident left amongst the living. There were other towns and cities that badly needed reconstruction and the minimalistic, but highly effective government of the USA rightly decided to take action – spending resources where they would actually do some good. Old man Alberto took the kid and basically adopted him. Since he couldn't serve any longer because of nerve damage, Alberto was discharged with honors. He returned back to his home and garage in the small town of Liberty Texas.
A capable mechanic and a biker himself, Alberto thought little Mack everything he knew about everything. He practically grew up in the saddle of a bike. His toys were the tools that were rolling around on the ground and his playground, Alberto's garage itself. Therein lied the problem for Mack – he fell in love with them bikes, a little too much for his own good perhaps. There were those kids, orphans like him who formed clubs, dedicated to riding bikes and each day they would race against each other. For control of territory, for each other's bikes and other stuff. Mack remembered these days fondly. Despite the chaos and mischief he and the rest of them runts were inflicting upon the good citizens of Liberty, except some old assholes who threatened to beat them up, nothing bad happened. The spent all of their youthful energy building, modifying and racing their bikes. At first, the machines they were using were equipped with the phased down, discarded internal combustion engines. With scrap yards full of parts, it was easy for the tech-savvy kids to each build themselves a ride.
His own club, “Black Crow Brotherhood” was the biggest and the baddest of them all. Mack remembered how he thought of the name. It was because of a small group of crows who nested near Alberto's garage. The birds were smart and stuck together, helping each other with the bits of food they snagged from people. And they remembered! Those who chased them away, or destroyed their nests, they attacked together when they could. Even a single crow would fight to the very end. Mack was intrigued and for a short time devoured everything related to crows he could find in Liberty's public library. They were proper bastards for sure but always backed each other up in a pinch. Intelligent and vengeful, the birds could make your life literally full of felgercarb if you'd angered them. The runts around him quickly sewed their club new colors on the backs of their jackets.
None could stand against them, both when racing on the streets and fighting for territory. Unmatched in everything, the Crows soon generated such envy that the rest of their competitors banded together against them. In the battle that ensued, young Mack raced against his toughest adversary and was winning. His rival then, in desperation, kicked Mack's ride and lost control of his own. The kid splattered his burning guts all over the nearby wall. Of course, after that stunt, people wanted to have nothing to do with any of them bike clubs. The government sent their goons to kick them out of Liberty. Despite their original orders, those bastards actually used lethal force against them, all of them. The local sheriffs had deputized everyone they could muster and the yahoos came armed with shotguns, hunting rifles, and revolvers. Instead of an orderly arrest and relocation, the teens were shot at point-blank range, and many of them died.
Back then, those local sheriffs were the last thing remaining from the long dead Big Govt. A new organization called Internal Security or I-sec for short was being formed entirely from volunteers. The old guard was going out of business, and they hated every bit of it. Most were corrupt pieces of felgercarb, who misused their positions of power and authority and could easily get away with racketeering and all other sorts of abuse. In an effort to show that they could still “do the job”, the idiots overdid it. Mercilessly beating everyone they caught, the coppers made a lot of those kids invalids for life and killing some of them. That did it for his guardian Alberto and the people of Liberty. They picked up their own guns and attacked the posse. It was a battle Mack would remember till his last day.
It was then his club gain its notoriety. Instead of leaving the already surrounded coppers for the I-sec agents to arrest – they attacked them. Riding on their custom choppers and other bikes, the “Black Crow Brotherhood” killed most of them and escaped in the desert when the real lawmen arrived. Because of that, the Crows had gained an unsightly reputation amongst I-sec agents. Fringe space colonists knew better.
After the Liberty massacre, he and the rest of the Crows left Earth and traveled towards the newly colonized Imperial Minarchy space. Places like Applecrate, Murphy's Landing, and many others became their clubs' territory. People paid them protection money and his boys could always raid the pirates, druggers and other alien fucktards lurking around. Those were the days. Mack quickly gained a huge price on his head. As a matter of fact, most, if not all of his boys were wanted by some criminal syndicate, pirate clan, or alien law enforcement group. They could never get them though. Every time when the Crows had trouble, the colonists helped them. His club had hiding places everywhere. Yes, some of his brothers were rowdy and rough around the edges, but that was occupational. The Crows were free. Nothing else interested them. They lived away from central colonies and could effing do close to everything and without serious consequences. Or at least that was what he and his brothers thought.
A month after one particularly vicious run-in Taz'aran Imperial space, the club was assaulted full force. Somehow the slimy taz'arans managed to find all of their hiding places, orbital installations, and ships. In a multi-pronged assault, the aliens overwhelmed and slaughtered all of his brothers. All except him. Mack was then visiting a lady friend. Avern'a seer called Lena'la had called him to discuss some important issue. He took his modified GAV that was, in fact, a custom built a grav-attack vehicle, and capable of orbital flight. His guys had fashioned for him an FTL “crutch” – a module with Gate-drive and space engines that he docked his “Blood Crow” with. The GAV itself had little cargo space, and instead of a troop-carrying module, he had his chopper and personal guns secured there. Otherwise, the GAV, like all vehicles of that class was ridiculously overpowered and bristling with weapons. Similar in concept to the combat helicopters of old, the GAV utilized cutting-edge grav-engine tech. It allowed crazy maneuverability, good armor protection and when controlled by a capable pilot could wreck an entire armored squadron with ease. His own had a twin 20mm auto-railgun turret on the nose, two pulse lasers on the wings, loads and loads of missiles, mag-rail launched bombs and even an effin' mazer. The Blood Crow and his bike were the last two vehicles left from his clubs' small starship fleet.
Mack reached Lena'la's small asteroid cabin only to find her dead body. Apparently, she'd died of old age in her sleep. Deep in an asteroid field, he received the call for help long after all of his brothers were dead. Traveling back to each different battleground was pointless – the bastards fought to the last with everything they had. Just like the crows their club was named after, they used every sneaky and reckless tactic, all of the weapons in their arsenal. The taz'aran shitheads had paid a heavy price for their victory, but that gave Mack little respite. He would find all of them, all who were responsible for his brothers' deaths, and shove plasma grenades deep in their asses!
Mack's thoughts entertained the possibility that they were betrayed. Somehow the whole scope of the taz'aran operation, the fact that they had managed so masterfully to organize themselves and strike precisely and simultaneously at all of the “Black Crow Brotherhood” sites was eerie, to say the least. So Mack decided to go and check on his old man. Alberto was but a farmer now, he'd gifted his old grav-bike to two bunnies - brother, and sister. He drove a friggin' tractor now, plowing his fields and moving them Mumpa trees around. Peculiar trees they were, Mack always got a strange feeling when near the forest – as if the trees were watching him. Turning the bike towards the nearest colony house, Mack cursed loudly and pressed the mag-brakes.
Alberto's house wasn't where it was supposed to be – in its place there was a crater! Mack quickly jumped from his bike and grabbed that scanner he found, flipping the on the switch. The green holo-screen blipped above the small device and he walked nervously into the crater, stepping over the burning and melted pieces of mega-concrete. He angrily waved the device around, pointing its scanning beam at every larger debris. Mack found no DNA except that of some bunny, who was heavily wounded and moved towards Alberto's garage. The friggin' tractor was gone too and Mack detected faint traces of taz'aran DNA. Somebody had driven the old piece of junk and killed two of them shitters with it. Mack smiled. It was that bunny. He ran following the trails that tractor threads left and found the small battlefield where its melted wreck lied. More traces of taz'aran DNA, all of them dead. The scrooges had, of course, gathered all of their corpses, not for burial but to salvage the equipment...
Reaching the forest, Mack's scanner found some craters and charred by particle beam fire trees. That was it. No more traces from that bunny. He whistled on his PDA's mic and soon the bike rode itself and stopped next to him. Mack jumped on the saddle and rode towards the other end of Murphy's Landing. Slowly. There were mummified corpses everywhere. The colonists' bodies laid where they were killed, Carolla's two suns had dried up their flesh, turning them into wrinkled husks. Towards the other end of the colony, Mack finally found Alberto's body. Shot from the back, one of his arms chopped by a vibro-blade, his other hand still clutching a shovel. Mack was a proper bastard, but that was the man who raised him. Wiped the felgercarb off his scrawny little ass, and put food on the table. Mack sat beside the corpse and opened his last two beers. Good Bulgarian pale ale, “Bear's tear” was the name. He slowly drank both, first his and then the one he opened for Alberto. Grabbed the shovel and carefully inspected it. The shovel's blade was sharpened well, made from good mega-steel. Mack carried Alberto's body to the side of the road. He spent the rest of the day digging graves for the colonists...
Next morning Mack was awoken by an unmistakable sound. The loud screech of taz'aran grav-engines. He tapped the side of his glasses and with multiple magnification view, Mack saw the damaged taz'aran grav-truck. It suddenly stopped mid-move and its front end caught fire, with long plumes of white smoke surrounding the vehicle. There were three taz'aran soldiers who leaped from its back end and one officer from the driving seat. All of them frantically began unloading small cargo crates on the ground and dragged them away from the burning vehicle. Mack slowly walked towards them. He produced a whiskey-infused lollipop from his front pocket and unwrapped it. Unable to see or hear him walking because of the smoke and fire, the first taz'aran soldier turned around and the last thing he saw was the shovel. Didn't even raise hands to defend himself. The shovel slashed his face, bone, brains and he fell on the ground, pinkish blood splattered everywhere. Mack smelled the lollipop. He hated the stank of taz'aran blood. Much preferred was the smell of whiskey and that thing was loaded with it. The equivalent of a small shot. Not enough, but something was better than nothing. He raised the gory shovel and whispered, wrapped around with smoke:
“Hey! Holes-for-ears, your Empress eats felgercarb and likes it!” the biker stepped to the side and raised the shovel above his head, gripping the handle with both hands. The two other soldiers dropped those crates and one lunged with his dagger in the air, aiming at the direction where he had heard Mack's voice. The shovel hit him from the side, slicing and crushing his neck.
“Shiteaters!” – shouted Mack and himself lunged forward, stabbing the third soldier's gut with the shovel, splitting his belly open. The taz'aran screaming fell to the ground, both hands trying to stop his guts from spilling everywhere. Mack left the officer for last. With his vision enhanced by those sun glasses of his, Mack quickly found himself behind the idiot and turned the shovel's blade to the side. He hit the back of the officer's head once with the flat of the farming tool.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The taz'aran officer was a second lieutenant. It never crossed his mind, that someday he would be captured by a Terran. The officer woke up tied to a metal chair, mouth parched and with splitting headache to boot. Before him and under the shade of one of those local trees, was resting a tall, bulky human. Strangely dressed, he had no armor or helmet. Instead, he wore exotic looking dark leather clothes, that were laced with mega-steel pieces. The man had his jacket resting on the handles of his bike and he could examine the colors on its back. It was a stylized dark-feathered bird with long beak in the center, wings spread and blood dripping claws. The circle surrounding it had some words written in a human language he knew nothing of, but the bird! This human was part of that infamous gang – the brotherhood of the dark bird or something. He tried licking his lips and looked down, suddenly realizing that something was wrong with his legs. The taz'aran screamed – his feet were naked and lightly slashed by a blade, blood dripping on the ground. A puddle of smelly pinkish blood was getting bigger, his vision dimmer and breathing harder. The human stood up and walked towards him. He had only a thin shirt to protect his torso from the sun. Old, made of some white cloth, it had a strange yellow circular face with wide open white eyes and a toothy grin. Confused the taz'aran tried to talk but was kicked straight in the face. Spitting blood and teeth the chair he was tied to fell backwards, his head hitting the ground.
“Shiteater, you gots only a couple of minutes left. The felgercarb smelling blood will soon leave your meat sack. I don't have to tell you how good your kinds' death from blood loss feels. Nod if you understand!”
He got another boot to the head before nodding. The Terran effortlessly picked him up from the ground and leveled his face with his.
“And now assface, you will effin' tell me, why were you here and what happened with the rest of those colonists!”
“I..I don't know anything, you hear me! Stupid huma..” he got another boot to the face. More of his bloodied teeth rolled on the ground.
“Listen to me you felgercarb-mouth, I'll have to spend precious and not-so-nice minutes of my time, cleaning me boots from that felgercarb running in your veins. The smell is always a killjoy. Start talking and I might let you use this” and the human produced a medi-spray from his pants front pocket.
“Ugh...you filthy scum! Even if I tell you what you need to know, what could you possibly do all by yourself?! You have no friends because we've killed all of them! Ahahahahah!” He got kicked in the gut and choked for air, then vomited what was left in his belly all over his feet.
“Hmmm, vomiting all over those slashed feet of yours. In this climate and heat, I imagine that infection will soon be spreading in your shitstream,” he dangled the medi-spray before his face “You still have time to reconsider.”
“Good! I will tell you what you want to know, and only because it will get you killed, you stupid human! Yes, some colonists were taken alive and loaded on one of our cargo ships. All that I know is – they were supposed to make a stop at Pion base. Only some thirty two light years away from this scorched hell hole! Why were we here you ask? For the glory of the Taz'aran Empire of course! Capturing this place and turning it into a military outpost deep inside your territory – is that enough for you human filth?”
The human smiled and walked over to his bike and put his jacket on slowly. He looked at the medi-spray still in his hand and then at him. Sighted heavily.
“You know what crapblood, a promise is a promise. I told you that I'll let you use this if you answered me questions and I am a man of my word” the human dropped the medi-spray on the ground and walked away mounting his bike. The life-saving spray was a good thirty feet away from him and he was still tied to the chair!
“Filthy human! Once I get myself free and heal, all of your stupid colonies will BURN!!!” – he screamed enraged and tried moving his chair closer to the medi-spray – “Your genetically deficient clients will all die together with you, dumb humans! We will make toys for our children from the bones of yours!” – he suddenly lost balance and fell to the ground. The puddle of blood was getting larger, and he furiously strained his limbs to the max, trying to break the chair or at least rip the ropes. Both were sturdy and he failed. That human calmly turned on the engine of his bike and revved it a couple of times.
“Ya' know what? All that kicking and straining just shortened what's left of your time. See that puddle – it is getting bigger.” he smiled and continued “I forgot to tell you something else. Farmers here had to deal with some alien invasive species of rat-like creatures. They say them buggers love eating the roots of those trees, vegetables and...can smell blood from miles away.”
The officer's eyes widened because he knew what that human was talking about. The wozzies were native to Taz'ara, considered a pest, many special agents deployed considerably sized populations of then on Terran frontier colonies. The idea was to undermine and disrupt their farming and ideally starving the Terrans to death. He saw a group of six wozzies closing. Their heads were up, noses sniffing the air and they looked hungry...

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Mack slowly rode his bike away, while listening to the desperate, dying screams of the taz'aran officer. He, of course, had recorded everything on his PDA. Someday, some morale officer would pay good creds for that recording. His glasses had helped him see something in the distant sky – it was a heavy shuttle descending through the atmo on a short vector. Piloted by somebody very, very good. And the ship was unmistakably Spacer by design. Strangely looked like an effin' frog to him. Mack spat and increased his speed – he had something to trade for fuel and supplies. Whomever this ship belonged, they were Terrans and he could peddle info concerning abducted people easy. Had his crew were still alive and kicking, they would've assaulted that Pion base themselves. Kill everybody who was not Terran. Then loot everything not bolted to the floor-plating. Cut said plating with plasma torches and drag it away for scrap too. As angry as Mack was, he was not an idiot. Even though he was somewhat of a lone wolf all his adult life, he had his brothers. Now he had to work with others. Temporary, but a much-needed arrangement. Mack only hoped they had no lawmen on board.
He looked at the two Colt model M69 Exterminator railgun pistols resting on his belt. Those spewed 3mm projectiles at one half the speed of light. Power packs were good for twelve shots before slagging. In a hardpoint on the right side of his bike, and connected via plasma cable with its power core, was Mack's main gun – a highly modified and overpowered anti-tank rifle. The beastly weapon fired undo-steel slugs, who made of an alloy much stronger than the already super tough mega-steel, and ignored most vehicle armor like it wasn't there at all. He had a whole case of those in his GAV's cargo hold. Mack kept many other weapons there too, but for now, his pistols would be enough. Alberto's bloodied shovel was tied at the back of his chopper – Mack intended to use its blade to bloody butcher all of them taz'aran crapbloods he'd soon meet. The chopper's loud, whistling Tesla engine, echoed in the air while he left the ruins of Murphy's Landing...
 
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The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
Mack's bike.
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Tom

An Old Friend
I like the industrial look of the bike and your avatar suit.
Just a taste of steam punk with the pipes.
The shrouding is very effective.
Do you have a pic with Mack on the bike?
In assault configuration?
 

The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
I like the industrial look of the bike and your avatar suit.
Just a taste of steam punk with the pipes.
The shrouding is very effective.
Do you have a pic with Mack on the bike?
In assault configuration?
Sadly my budget, for now, does not allow me to order more art. If I had more exposure and readers everything is possible :) And that is a stock picture I found that looked 90% close to what I envisioned for Mack! The weapons are deadly as hell too. You should check the other exert I posted here about that Kil'ra morale officer. My book has all the goodies:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079K62S78
 

The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
What kind of gas is ran in that motor? 91' octane or higher? That bike looks bad to the bone!!!!
It has a portable Fusion core and the engine is original H&D Tesla "Smooth coil" 4500hp. Everything runs on electricity, since in my Universe Nikola Tesla actually managed to succeed with all of his business ventures. Edison died in poverty after getting out of prison. In the center of Berlin, there is one giant statue of Nikola Tesla holding the globe. In it, there is one huge fusion core that provides wireless power to all of the planet.
 

The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
I like the industrial look of the bike and your avatar suit.
Just a taste of steam punk with the pipes.
The shrouding is very effective.
Do you have a pic with Mack on the bike?
In assault configuration?

This image is pretty close to what I had in mind when conceptualizing the character and his weapon loadout. Every single one of my characters has a specific weapon and combat tactics. Also, I am wondering what can you say after reading my first book? You like it I hope:)
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