Mexifornia, Great Iron Hall, Level 58
General Falcon Helfitta sat at his desk silently, his gaze firmly fixed on the folder before him. He flipped through it cover to cover and then slammed it down on the desk. Major Pedro Chang who was standing on the other side jumped out of his skin but remained at attention
‘WHAT IN THE NAME OF STARK DO YOU CALL THIS CAPTAIN?” the veins pulsed through his forehead and neck as the young officer felt like a hurricane had just yelled at him
“It-it’s-s the Arachnis Report sir” Chang stammered, slowly realizing he had just been demoted
“Did you prepare this report?” growled the General
“Sir yes sir”
“Then why is it written like YOU FOUND A CHILD IN THE CORRIDOR AND ASKED HIM TO SCRIBBLE YOU A SENTENCE?”
“Let me read to you parts of your brilliant ninety two page essay of insight and wisdom Chang. “They are a collective inspired by the death of Peter Parker. Their emblem is a stylized spider. They are cult masquerading as a benevolence social group. Their leader, presumably a woman, directs their agenda. Some members display mutant powers mainly since as yet to infiltrate the group.” THIS REPORT IS AS USELESS AS THE JELLY THAT INHABITS THE SPACE BETWEEN YOUR EARS LIEUTENANT”
Chang had no idea where to look
“YOU HAVE WASTED NINE MONTHS, THE TIME OF FIFTEEN AGENTS AND A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY ON SOMETHING YOU COULD ASK ANY IDIOT ON A STREET CORNER AND GET A BETTER ANSWER THAN THIS WASTE OF TIME!
“I’m sorry sir”
“This report was commissioned by the Supreme Commander” seethed the General “Notice his title. SUPREME. COMMANDER. DO YOU THINK IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR HIM TO SEE? IF THIS IS THE RESPONSE FROM ME, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WOULD DO TO YOU?”
“It won’t happen again General” shouted the new lieutenant as he threw up a salute
The General threw the report at Chang’s head and he clumsily caught it against his face “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT WON’T!” The general drew his atomiser pistol from under his desk and fired, the shot turning the report and Chang’s face into a fine grey dust cloud. The body wobbled and collapsed in a headless heap on the floor. The general snatched up a decanter and poured himself a scotch. He threw it back and looked out his massive window on the city. He took another glass splashed two large nips into each and then sprinkled some white powder out from his cuff link into each glass, carefully watching it dissolve into the auburn liquid. The general then placed a blue capsule in his mouth, sighed and swallowed. He looked at the file on his desk in despair and disgust. He put his weapon back under the desk
“Send in Malcolm Shaw” he directed his new robo-valet
I’d been alive for nearly forty seven extra years when I finally had enough. The scurrying, hiding, running and then resetting up after we’d scurried, hid and run had broken this camel’s back. The realization that the Iron Army had won sunk in...and I was fine with that.
At the beginning I would’ve been the first one over the top, grenades in my hands giving it to these tin-pot bastards but when you’ve won only a few battles in a war that’s last nearly a hundred maybe it was time to go quietly into the goodnight. But not to Danvers! She was constantly pushing, trying to improve moral, finding us a new battles and applying band-aids to bullet wounds. She couldn’t, wouldn’t see that we’d lost.
I got word out and soon I had a handler. But S.H.I.E.L.D being paranoid, it wasn’t like I could go meet them on a bench in a park and ask him the rain in Spain fell mainly on the plain. But he came up with an ingenious plan on how I could get word out.
Asides from food and water, a resistance force needs one thing: bullets. And just like the lack of parks we couldn’t just go down the shops and pick up a box of shells. So we made them. I had started way back in 2150 etching slogans on my bullets like “Take That!” like they’d done back in the wars on missiles. So when I started getting more intricate no one seemed to care, only it wasn’t the bullets but the casings I’d dotted with Braille. Cut the casing in half, flatten it out and one secret message left on the floor, hundreds of messages out in the open lying about
Usually it was a three to five word message. Thankfully my handler was patient because I didn’t always get the flashy missions and not always did the Iron Army soldiers do their standard cleanup after a fire fight. It was SOP because any spare metal could be smelted into another suit, but mistakes get made. How I knew whether they’d got my messages was a simply country wide alert that “The Supreme Commander was in Washington today” across the feeds.
What do I get out of all this? I get to live above ground. I get to stop waiting for the inevitable knock on the door. I get out. I get to see the sky. It’s been fourteen months since I breathed air that wasn’t recycled or out of a canister. Danvers has picked me and several others to run a decoy whilst Holland and his howling sycophants do another mission for the history books. I’ve got six hours to Braille up “We have the Apocalypse”
But I’m sure I’ll get branded a traitor to the cause. I don’t care. My name is Kylie Martell