Well, today, October 11th, 2018, I am posting a new entry in my story, Infestation In Limbo. My writing has been in a slump with the passing of my wife, and I'm glad I got this done in the beginning of my leave of absence from my job. Hopefully, this is also a sign that more stories will start flowing in the coming months, possibly a sign that I'm starting to return to a more normal mind set. I do hope you enjoy this entry of Infestation In Limbo.
Silverhawks was initially the property of Lorimar Telepictures, and is now the property of whomever holds those rights now. No money was made off this story.)
Infestation In Limbo
|First Chapter (Prelude)||The Arrival|
|Previous Chapter||War on the Horizon|
Once they had arrived back at Hawk Haven, both Commander Stargazer and Lieutenant Quicksilver approached their leads from separate directions. Quicksilver was reading over the file Brightlight had given him, certain of its accuracy. Sometimes Quicksilver had almost a sixth sense when it came to others, since as he was walking towards the elevator, he almost absently waved at the dark skinned Silverhawk passing him. "Patrolling with Moonstryker today, Hotwing?”
As he paused, he saw the newest member of the team come walking over. While Moonstryker had a similar skin tone to his, Quicksilver had to marvel at new recruit’s aquamarine color. This was due to the self propulsion unit, or belt, the newest Silverhawk had. He was the first of all of them who didn’t need a vehicle to fly. As it was, everyone took it in stride, especially since Moonstryker never made a big deal of it. He tended to think his marksmanship was his better quality, but he didn’t always bring that up.
Hotwing nodded, and said, “You got, Quicksilver. Remember that there is that armored vehicle heading to Do-Lar today. It’s almost an odds on shot that the Mob is going to try something. Had the idea to give them the multiple vehicle illusion while Moonstryker distracts them.” Quicksilver had to admit that sounded like a good plan. A better one would be to prevent the Mob from even having a shot in the first place.
Moonstryker chose that moment to add his comments on the plan. While he was still the rookie on the team, he did have good points. “From the reports we got in, we should get out to its location in about an hour. Tallyhawk, nor any of the other birds, sent in any news that the Mob had mobilized. I’m just hoping we didn’t miss anything waiting for you to get back with the Sprinthawk.”
Quicksilver let that comment slide, knowing they were limited on vehicles. Only Stargazer, Condor and Copperkidd, had their own vehicles, which meant with five out in the Miraj, someone had to alternate using the Sprinthawk. He nodded, and then said, "Just keep your comms open. The Mob appears to be up to something new, and there will be a full briefing once we have our facts together."
That comment got a nod from both, and he got into the lift. As the doors closed, Quicksilver saw the two depart to escort the armored vehicle. He then returned his attention to the file, wondering why the Mob was getting into both drugs and trafficking.
During this time, Commander Stargazer had run to his office, and began going through the hard copies of all cases regarding the Mob. He had been part of an old school of thinking when it came to criminal records. While most enjoyed the space saved by keeping all files digital, Stargazer knew that unless one had perfect security, the records could be tampered with. Having a paper copy was the only way to make sure that a file remained genuine.
To that end, the Commander kept records on every bust he made since coming to Limbo. He had arrived during one of the worst gang wars in Limbo’s history. During that time, he had received many tip offs on the various Mob kingpins and members. Eventually, it had been Mon*Star who was the final kingpin, and it took Stargazer a few years to finally catch him.
During that time, Stargazer had figured out that while the Mob boss was dangerous in his own way, he had more scruples than the others. There were others who would have plagued Limbo with drugs and other activities. Mon*Star didn't go for that, and given the one person in his mob, he never would have. He was certain that what they found was worse than what they were thinking. He was certain a new faction was in Limbo.
After going thought the top drawers, he knelt down and opened the bottom drawers. He inwardly cursed himself for not thinking to look there in the first place. Sure enough, he found all the files on the original Mob members at the time. Most of them were long gone now, with the occasional one still being alive in the Penal Planet, under maximum security. It didn’t take him long to find the file there he was looking for.
He pulled it out, and read over it, making sure he had remember everything correctly. Sure enough, he had. When this one joined the Mob, they were Mon*Star’s first recruit. The then fledgling force in the Mob had seen potential, and made sure the opportunity wasn’t wasted. Of course, he needed to get the rest read in on this information.
He went over to his desk, sat down to start truly refreshing himself on the information, and then turned on his loudspeaker system. Once he did that, he said, “Quicksilver, once the Hawks are back, tell them there is a high priority briefing in my office. We are even including Brigadier Brightlight in on it.” He shut off the speaker, and then started reading over the file, absent-mindedly picking up and tapping a pencil on his desk.
Several planets away, on the hellish colored planet known as Brim-Star, Hardware touched down on the launching pad of The Mob’s base of operation. He had arrived to see his fellow Mob members, Windhammer and Buzz-Saw getting into the Roadstar. He had no doubt that the duo were heading out on a job, most likely an armored vehicle robbery.
He didn't pause to ask them, and made his way to Mon*Star's power chamber. The leader of The Mob conducted all meeting from his throne-like chair in the center of his transformation chamber. Hardware would sometimes wonder about the platform, but erred on the side of safety rather than ask about it.
As he arrived at the room, he saw Mon*Star standing near the console with the snakelike Yes-Man, watching a video feed of an armored vehicle, most likely heading to Do-Lar. While he knew the Planet Master would want to observe this, Hardware knew his news would require Mon*Star's attention. He ran forward, and said, "Mon*Star, you need to hear what happened on Bedlama. "
Mon*Star turned to face Hardware, recognizing both the voice and the urgency in it. While his weapons expert knew better to interrupt his monitoring a job, he knew the troll would not do so with out good reason. "What happened on Bedlama, Hardware? My spy resources are busy with other things. "
He watched Hardware as he appeared to catch his breath. Finally, his weapons expert spoke. "Brigadier Brightlight called in the Silverhawks after finding a brothel." That was a statement he hadn't expected to hear.
With out missing a beat, he grabbed Hardware and lifted him to his eye level. He took note of the stunned look on his weapons expert’s face as he requested clarification on what he was just told. “They found a what, Hardware?” He did not allow those places in Limbo. He had even forbid Poker-Face from offering those types of services at the Starship Casino.
He was taken back when Hardware repeated the fact. “A brothel, Planet Master. It was full of women, and some sort of a crystalline drug.” He dropped Hardware right then. Mon*Star started to pace in the room, forgetting about the upcoming attack Windhammer and Buzz-Saw were going to launch on the armored vehicle.
As he did, he heard Yes-Man slithering up beside him. “Boss, didn’t you order that there are to be no brothels in Limbo? You always said they lead to the downfall of mobs.” He nodded, recalling his early days, when he rose to power in Limbo. While he would never openly say it, Yes-Man was usually very accurate in the information he recalled. He just lacked the nerve to act on his information. He had no doubt Yes-Man’s uncle, the noted former crime boss known as The Rattler, had some part in that.
To his shock, he heard Hardware say another disturbing statement. “Well, there is, and Brigadier Brightlight and the Silverhawks think your running it.” He turned and almost struck Hardware, but then his weapons master amended his statement. “Well, not all the Silverhawks. Seems Stargazer has his doubts about that.”
Mon*Star relaxed his arm. That bit was a small consolation. He sighed, and then said to Hardware, “Stargazer is smart. He’s been in Limbo since the great Mob war. He’s aware where I stand on both brothels and drugs. Neither is allowed in any criminal activity here. Anyone breaking that rule gets no mercy.”
Hardware had been stunned by that statement. He had joined the Mob when Mon*Star had fully wiped out all his opposition in Limbo. While the first time he heard the rule, he didn’t question it, he questioned it a bit now. He got up off the floor, and decided to press on that. “What’s the plan then, boss. Are we going to move in and take over?” He back pedaled as it looked like Mon*Star was going to strike him.
To his shock, it was Yes-Man who seemed to answer the question. “The boss won’t take over a brothel. He says the brothels lead to the end of any Mob, especially if drugs are involved.” He then saw Yes-Man looked over to the Planet Master. “Right boss?”
He saw the Planet Master nod in agreement. “Yes, Yes-Man. There will be no brothels in Limbo. They only lead to the ruin of any organized crime. Do you know how many groups fell because of some reliance on brothels. Mobs that have politicians in their control lose everything when the brothel is found. Even a few Earth mobs have fallen because some prostitute was caught by police. It’s even worse when drugs get involved.”
Hardware shook his head a little, still not understanding the reluctance to get involved in those two trades. The Planet Master had approved of his Fantascreen, which had brainwashed the Silverhawks, although he hadn’t anticipated Steelwill breaking free with Steelheart’s help. He then looked at Mon*Star, and said, “But boss, maybe with those crystal drugs, we could make the Fantascreen so strong, the Steel Twins can’t break free.”
Mon*Star felt his anger start to boil when he heard about the crystal. While he had never seen it, he had heard enough about it to realize what drug the brothel was using. It was definitely something he wanted out of Limbo. “It is not something we want here, Hardware. In the past, that drug was turned people into addicts in hours. People will want it so bad, it will be hard for us to even do petty theft.” He then caught sight of who had entered the room, and if they heard this conversation, he was sure Hardware would end up blasted. “It warps anyone it touches, and very few can even beat that.”
Hardware went to say something again, and while she had only just walked in on the conversation, she had heard enough to know what it was about. She had already been holding her Sound Smasher when she entered the room, but in an instant, she aimed and fired it. Hardware had yelped in pain, since her blast caught him right in his ass.
She advanced quickly on her fellow Mob member, and said, “Hardware. If you were to ever think about bringing Crystal Twist anywhere near here, or me, it will be the last thing you ever do.” She emphasize her point, Melodia placed the tip of her Sound Smasher right between Hardware’s eyes. It was one of the rare times she saw the weapons master cross-eyed, and scared. Even Mon*Star looked scared, but she had told him her reasons for wanting nothing to do with that drug.
She remained like that for a few moments, before the silence was broken. It was Mon*Star, and he spoke in one of the softest voices she had heard in a long time. It was the same voice he used when he had first recruited her for his mob. “Melodia, someone has opened a brothel on Bedlama, and they have it there.” In that instant, she knew what was going on. There was only one individual, one person, who could be behind this, at least in her mind. She let out a primal scream, and ripped off her glasses, revealing for the briefest of instants a rare glimpse at her eyes. It was a sign to all those in the room that something truly was wrong.
Else where in Limbo Galaxy, an armored vehicle was making its way to the bank planet, Do-Lar. This was a semi-regular occurrence, due to the staggering amount of wealth kept in the bank planet. Do-Lar wasn‘t just the main repository for Bedlama, but for several neighboring systems. Shipment to and from various financial institutions would make their way to the planet, but in an effort to prevent any losses, the shipments had no set routine.
Still, the pilot of the vehicle kept an eye out for any threats. Two of his long spider like limbs held the steering mechanism, while two others manipulated the various controls. He kept swiveling his head, trying to see anything the sensors might miss. As he did that, he spoke to the new guy. “The run to Do-Lar is a true test of any new pilot.” He momentarily turned to the new guy, who was the same species as he was. “You know, you’re the first rookie to go on this run so quickly after joining.”
The rookie quietly nodded, and looked around. As he did so, he glanced off to his right, making sure to try and spot any vehicles that could be a danger. As he did so, he said in a squeaky voice, “Do we have any weapons in case of attack?” At that point, he did spot something, but it was just a space rock big enough for a space vehicle to hide behind.
The pilot nodded, and pulled out his own laser pistol. “Only what we bring. These vehicle are extra armored, and the engines had to be made extra powerful to cope with it.” He tapped the console, and said, “The old models, while not designed right, last longer. Even the new models crumple under the assault from the Mob.” He then returned his weapon to its holster, and looked in the direction of Do-Lar. “Besides, the Silverhawks are already on their way to escort us to Do-Lar.”
The rookie nodded, and then glanced at the scanners. He could see by it that there were two blips in front of the vehicle; one large, and one small. He also noticed one blip behind the vehicle. He pointed at the scanner, and said, “So the Silverhawks are those blips in front of us?” The rookie glanced out at the rock, which was still where it was and hadn‘t shown up on the scanners.
The pilot glanced at the scanner, noting those two blips. “Looks like one in the Sprinthawk and Moonstryker.” He then noticed the other blip, alarm crossing his face. He quickly looked around to where the blip should be, and gasped, seeing the vehicle approaching behind them. To his horror, he saw one of the vehicles belonging to the Mob. What was worse was the figure twirling around a giant tuning fork.
He returned his attention to what was ahead of him, and said to the rookie, “Strap yourself in. The ride is going to get seriously bumpy.” As they both strapped in, the vehicle started to roll in a violent fashion, as if being tossed in a heavy wind.
That was because Windhammer, the alien creature from another world entirely had slammed his tuning fork on the side of the Roadstar, and sent a tornado to toss the vehicle around. It was an affective tactic to use on the armored vehicle, since they usually were tough vehicles to crack. As the winds did their work, Buzz-Saw, the robotic hit man of the mob, said, “Nice shot, Windhammer. I think I see some dents in that one already.”
Windhammer nodded, glancing over the area. He noticed the large space rock, but decided against using it, and used the winds to steer the armored vehicle into the field of some smaller space rocks. It didn‘t pay to destroy the vehicle. Too much of the cash and cargo could be lost. He did, however, accept the praise he had gotten. “Thanks Buzz-Saw, but I‘m going to have to pick things up. I think I see the Silverhawks approaching.”
Depending on which ones it was, Windhammer knew he could handle them. All of their vehicles could get caught up in his wind attacks. Some could even get damaged with him summoning hail. Even his mastery over lightning, which of his kind, only he ever managed to harness effectively to protect and save himself, could target the vehicles, and on some occasion the various flying Silverhawks. Only one was tricky for him to take care of.
Buzz-Saw set things so the Roadstar would stay on the tail of the armored vehicle, and then stood up, pulling the cords to start all his blades. Buzz-Saw, when first constructed on his homeworld, had been designed for construction, specifically lumber and demolition. He had quickly found crime and mayhem more appealing. Since he wasn‘t from Earth, he never understood what some humans meant when they said he was a maverick, or got the Wily treatment. He raised his arm, and aimed at the approaching Silverhawks, and said, “Don‘t worry, Windhammer. My blades will clip their wings.” With that, he launched one at the oncoming threat, and as it flew out, he followed it up, waiting for their return. If they didn‘t it would take a few Limbo minutes for new blades to reform, as long as his blades remained spinning.
Moonstryker was the first to see the oncoming attack. He quickly veered off, using his special propulsion until to use the winds created by Windhammer to his advantage. As he did so, he relayed a warning to Hotwing. “Watch out, Hotwing. Looks like Buzz-Saw is itching for a fight.”
As he rode the winds, he saw the canopy for the Sprinthawk open up. Hotwing leaned out, his fingers touching his forehead as a magical blast came out of the red triangle in the center of his forehead. Soon, the blast hit the first blade, and then the second, turning both into banana cream pies. He inwardly chuckled as Hotwing flew out of the Sprinthawk and toward the Roadstar, loudly shouting, “Thanks for the pies, Buzz-Saw.”
As the Silverhawks flew towards the Roadstar, Windhammer changed his tactics. He would have to let the winds slow down, but the vehicle should be hampered in the speed department. He slammed the fork down, and then pointed it in the direction of the Silverhawks. “Hail, stop the Silverhawks.”
As hail flew at the Silverhawks, Moonstryker moved expertly, and even blasted various hailstones away from them. Hotwing created a magical shield to deflect them away. Buzz-Saw in response, pulled his shoulder blades out, and tried to hurl them at the Silverhawks. He then pulled out his own laser pistol, and started firing on them.
As the fire fight happened, the armored vehicle started to stabilize, making its getaway as the Silverhawks fought. As they flew, and kept an eye on the firefight, no one noticed the new vehicle coming out from behind the large space rock. Behind the controls of the vehicle was Rhino, and Bandit as well as one other member of the Infestation were ready to strike. Their vehicle went right after the armored vehicle.
In a few moments, as the firefight continued, they had reached the vehicle. Bandit had jumped onto the roof, and managed to reach the door on the pilot‘s side. He blasted it, surprising the pilot before he could get to his gun. The pilot tried to dislodge Bandit, but to his surprise, he heard the release on his harness go, and he felt himself pushed out of the vehicle. This move caused him to scream in shock, and it didn‘t go unnoticed.
The first to notice it was Buzz-Saw, who was at that moment ducking Hotwing‘s blast, and saw the attack happen. He shouted, “Someone‘s muscling in on our action.” It was a statement that cause the whole fire fight to stop. Everyone turned to look in the direction of the armored vehicle. At that time, the pilot was falling out in to space. The other group was already emptying the back of the vehicle.
The reaction was as expected. Hotwing and Moonstryker jetted off after the pilot as he fell through space. Ironically, Windhammer and Buzz-Saw went after the other craft. While both were fighting before, they wanted to stop this new threat, albeit for different reasons.
It was Hotwing who used his magical powers to slow the pilot’s fall, casting a magical beam out to hold him in a magical shell. As he did so, he shouted, “Moonstryker, help me get him up to the Sprinthawk.” Hotwing knew they needed to both help defend the armored vehicle, since there had to be another person in.
Moonstryker had grabbed the pilot, and started to do just that. Unfortunately, he was unaware of the one man in the other vehicle. As the Silverhawks were rescuing the pilot, the Infestation was successfully fending off Windhammer and Buzz-Saw. A well placed shot from Rhino had disarmed Buzz-Saw, while the other man had fired a shot to hinder the Roadstar. This member of the Infestation , known only as Crackshot, had an uncanny knack, or luck, for finding the best possible shot for what he wanted. Right now, his orders had been to hinder The Mob, and to make sure the pilot didn’t make it. The one Mob member had already disarmed himself, and the other one had unconventional weapons.
Crackshot looked at his next target, and said, “Be ready to run. We will need to activate the bombs, and make sure our plant is with us. He needs to be the only survivor.” He then took aim at the pilot, or better yet, just above the pilot. He had to take into account how fast the Silverhawks were moving. The goal was to shoot him before they could get him to their vehicle.
Windhammer, at this time, was preparing to do a lightning strike. As he started swinging his tuning fork, he said, “Buzz-Saw, start using the Roadstar’s guns. If we don’t damage their vehicle, they will get away with all the money we were going to steal.” He then noticed that the co-pilot of the armored vehicle was leaping into the unknown groups vehicle, as well as a figure he did recognize. “And when did Space Bandit get more people in his group. He knows better than to muscle in on Mon*Star’s business.”
Windhammer struck his tuning fork then, and lightning came out of nowhere and struck the tuning fork, and then went in the direction of the armored vehicle. Unfortunately, it hit the armored vehicle just after Space Bandit and the unknown vehicle left. It also coincided with Crackshot’s shot, which struck the pilot just as he would have been put in the Sprinthawk. Both Silverhawks could tell that the pilot was dead.
At that exact moment, the unknown vehicle speed away. The whole scene had both the Silverhawks and the Mob dumbstruck. The Mob would only off someone if they had no other choice in the matter. Yes, they’d deep space someone, but there was always the understanding that someone might rescue them, even if the chances were slim. Besides, a death might lead to an entire change in operations.
This moment of being dumbstruck, however, almost put all their lives at risk. In that moment, a bomb that had been placed in the armor vehicle started to go off. It was a little earlier than expected, due to the lightning strike Windhammer used. The vehicle was blown apart, sending shrapnel in all directions.
Hotwing again cast a magical shield, protecting himself, Moonstryker, and the Sprinthawk. Luckily, only one piece of shrapnel got through, and it only caused minor damage to one of the Sprinthawk’s lasers. As the rest of the shrapnel rebounded off the shield, Hotwing made a serious observation. “Moonstryker. I think we may be facing some sort of gang war, or the start of it.”
The younger Silverhawk nodded. “That’s not good, especially if they were willing to kill that easy. Even worse, they took the co-pilot hostage. I didn’t even catch where they went off to.” The explosion had made a very noisy cover for the unknown group’s escape. He was not going to like putting that in his report.
Hotwing glanced over at the Roadstar, which was limping away. It was obviously damaged, so he figured the Mob wouldn’t be causing problems right now. He was actually torn on the idea of arresting them. While they had initially attacked the vehicle, they didn’t actually rob it. Yes, there was also outstanding warrants for both of them, but given what just happened, Hotwing figured it would be better to let them go.
He got back into the Sprinthawk, and said “We need to get back to Hawk Haven, and tell Commander Stargazer about this.” He closed the canopy, and took off, knowing Moonstryker was right behind him.
As the Sprinthawk flew off, the Roadstar limped along. Windhammer had gotten down, and taken control, since one piece of shrapnel was lodged into Buzz-Saw. No doubt it damaged one of the circuits that allows the robot to use his arms. As he piloted the Roadstar back to Brim*Star, he heard Buzz-Saw say, “Mon*Star isn’t going to like this.”
Windhammer had no other option but to nod his head. Their heist had been hijacked. What made it worse was the fact that it involved some of the low level thugs that frequented the Sini-star Diner. He tried to push a little more force into the vehicle, however, he was also ready to flag down Seymour if the need arose. After a few moment, Windhammer responded to Buzz-Saw’s statement. “No he isn’t, Buzz-Saw. I just hope Sky-Shadow was watching us. That could be a saving grace for us.” With that, Windhammer tried to get the vehicle back to base.
As they did slowly cruise through space, Buzz-Saw managed to say one bit of good news. “At least the Silverhawks didn’t come after us after the armored vehicle blew up.” Windhammer nodded in agreement on that fact. Still, he had a feeling that the Silverhawks may have deemed what happened something to report on first, since there was now a new threat in Limbo.
Some distance away, currently beyond the Light-Year Limit, a special starship was waiting. Similar in function to the Starship Casino, this starship also served as the base of operation for The Infestation. The leader of the group had already returned to it, with Hotwire and the blonde woman. They were waiting quietly as the attack on the armored vehicle played out, thanks to special cameras and such in the vehicle he sent them in. As he had expected, the plan went off without too much of a hitch.
Once it was done, the leader turned to the others there. “Well, now we have the attentions of both the Silverhawks and Mon*Star’s Mob. No one should be aware of the various agents we’ve been installing. The next step is to start bringing down the forces in power in Limbo.” He looked over at the blonde, and said, “Are you sure we’ll get her under our sway?”
The blonde cackled, and if one didn’t know better, they would have sworn she was her sister. “Of course. My sister remembers what I did to her. She won’t be thinking straight, and will fall easily into the trap I have set up. She may have resisted the twisting when we were younger, but I know how to break her now.”
The leader nodded in approval, and then turned to Hotwire. “How goes methods for hacking into the various information systems? Any progress?” It was important to get into all the communications systems. Currently, they had some of the government facilities bugged, including that of Brigadier Brightlight’s office. Knowing what the authorities knew was always in their favor, as well as being able to get rid of all information that was held on any of them.
He saw Hotwire smile at that. “We don’t have access to Hawkhaven, but it will happen soon. Stargazer will no doubt keep Brightlight up to date on his latest findings. All it will take is one conference call, and we will have Hawkhaven bugged. I can even alter all their records on any thing.” Hotwire laughed at that, but the leader held up his hand, causing the laughter to cease.
The leader got up, and walked over to a door in his command room. As he did so, he said, “I have no doubt that Stargazer is old enough to remember a good deal of the old ways. He will make sure he has hard copies of everything. We are going to have to rely on misinformation. In fact, I’m sure he will realize that the Infestation has reached Limbo, and will seek out those who know how to handle them.”
As he activated a light inside the door, he heard the blonde say, “Which means, they will seek out the private investigator.” He nodded, and that made the blonde laugh some more. The move was exactly what they hoped would happen. However, the laughter ended when the blonde said, “But doesn’t that mean they will seek out that old fool, Rattler. He’s one of the few crime lords we didn’t eliminate.”
The leader nodded, and then said, “Yes. They will no doubt seek information from him. With him in Penal Planet 10, they will have easy access to him. They don’t know, however, that I had at least one person in place at the Penal Planet. When they go to seek him out, he will end up silenced, defanged, and having shed his skin very early.” Again, laughter rang out, and the Infestation started work on the next phase of their plan for Limbo Galaxy.
|Next Chapter||(in production)|
|Library Page||Infestation In Limbo|