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Angular Trifecta (37): Who He Is

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Angular Trifecta (37): Who He Is

“Hmm,” Boyd sighed, “is it that obvious?”

“Judging from the blood on your trench coat,” Lalia said playfully of the hindrance which prevented her from hugging the Enforcer, “yes.”

Hard to believe, but Boyd had almost forgotten about, “That? Yeah, things had gotten pretty rough for a moment. I’d get cleaned up and offer to take you to dinner, but I need to take a detour first. Have you seen Gregoire lately?” It was a welcome feeling to be home, almost in the arms of his lady friend. Since netting the approvals of his superior officers to allow her to come on board as a nonessential Enforcers overlay, she had taken to this treacherous lifestyle quite well – standing there with a polished appearance in a Space Force uniform.

The normal uniforms were of a dark, sterling gray metallic color which its black boots really accentuated. These uniforms clung eerily, albeit comfortably, to the body as the material’s ‘one size fits all’ special polymer customized itself by molding to a wearer’s physique for that perfect fit. The jacket and pants of the uniform held a certain weight to them which a person could equate to the feeling of bundling up, but mobility was strangely not affected as they felt incredibly lite. A weighty, white undershirt shone through the opened jacket – providing an additional contrast to the gray and black. As always, the jagged insignia of SpaceStation Konxerus sat embossed on the left breast of the jacket – in black.

future world Writers Serial Story Science Fiction Story Poets and Writers Online Magazines  Angular Trifecta (37): Who He IsLalia would have never voiced this opinion aloud, but Gregoire (who was now going by the codename of Cheapshot these days apparently in honor of the fallen Enforcer leader Chipshot) was a threat to her relationship with Boyd. The faction of the Ethereals – the Pillorian Regime were not the only ones in the universe who laid claim to souls or sought out to collect them for unspeakable purposes. So she actually had an important, ongoing job to perform in ensuring that he never got ahold of her man’s but kept things on topic of the original query, “He’s off the spacestation right now and the Enforcers Essentia, Haruspex, Logjam, and Scoper accompanied him to help with taking over interim command of the Second Earth group. What’s on your mind?”

“I’m thinking about calling in SpaceStation Konxerus to destroy Dio Qze,” but Boyd had not yet decided.

“Why?” Lalia questioned, her part as the angel on one of the Enforcer’s shoulders taking advantage of the absence of Cheapshot being on the other. A certain amount of coldness was needed for Boyd to be able to handle his black ops duties effectively. She knew that, but certain elements (namely Gregoire who also did not want her aboard) were seeking to have her man be consumed by this savage occupation and have him turned into an obedient and heartless drone that followed orders above all else while offering no dissenting opinions, independent thoughts, or further questions to the contrary.

And that was Cheapshot’s tag line, was it not? ‘Chain of command, {insert name here} – chain of command.’ Not every Enforcer was so bleached away of self, but that was the idea because his ultimate goal was power. The Enforcers were a decentralized and, as mentioned before, secretive wing of the Space Force. They held an underlying mandate to make sure that the megapower remained all-powerful, but with so many disparate personalities across the universe, getting to this point of dominance could be achieved in various different ways.

Its leadership worked like this:

General Horace Pile (codenamed G-Pile) was the high-ranking Space Force link who actually happened to be one step away from running the megapower and had originally sanctioned the use of the Enforcers, so he was big stuff. Ultimately, the General was in charge, but there was no way that he could wield those reins out in the open because his other two peer generals would see the aggressive move exactly for what it was: A power play within the government to perhaps and likely usurp even greater influence and/or control – like they had never before tried, currently engaged in, or planned to do something similar….

Briar One was their more active Enforcer leader, in terms of rank and function, who oversaw the operations of the Terran System Enforcers and happened to be based on Earth. He was not quite a mindless drone but definitely a company person.

The comatose Chipshot was supposed to be the Enforcers’ second in command who oversaw the operations of the Quadron System Enforcers, so his prognosis seemed mighty timely for those who might have wanted to move up and step into his slot…or perhaps be the cause behind said medical condition. But he had made enemies within the unit and powerful allies elsewhere, so even though his vitals net the same amount of cognition as a zombie, that Enforcer was far from a drone.

Acro hailed from a completely different universe altogether, came up with the original idea for the Enforcers which he successfully pitched to G-Pile, and was actually one of the most powerful people in all this universe – certainly much more powerful than anybody else on this list, combined or otherwise multiplied even. And yet, the Enforcers’ founder sat quietly in the number four position. Not two. Not three, but four…out of five. If the others were not watching their backs, they had to be either stupid or crazy but certainly (because of that dangerous naïveté) not worthy of their rank within the group. For him to subordinate himself made little sense, and the explanation behind this behavior was closely held.

And then there was Cheapshot who had commendably (albeit conveniently) moved into Chipshot’s role. His normal task had included managing the operations of off-world Enforcers like Boyd who often dealt with missions across the universe but outside friendly Space Force locations and jurisdiction.

In theory, the leadership structure worked for them, gave the Enforcers incredible range, and served the overarching purpose of furthering the megapower’s interests while keeping it in power.

But Boyd knew and had recognized where his heart belonged. He had not wanted this life, and Cheapshot could not make him want it – thanks to Lalia’s influence. For a while now and before she had touched his life, the Enforcer found himself slipping away. How was it that he could just execute three people in a hotel bathroom and not bat an eyelash, break a sweat, or care – just dispatched them with no remorse? Without that black ops title, the case could be successfully made for him having been a serial killer in theory or a mass murderer in practice. This was a far cry from the guy with the nice car who simply wanted to take care of his family. And yet, killing was not supposed to become easier the more that a person did it. The fact that this lethal adeptness was now second nature meant that his superior officer was winning the battle for his soul. The fact that he often found himself hesitating and thinking his actions through, first, meant that his lady friend still had a chance.

Cheapshot might not have originally wanted Lalia to come aboard the spacestation, but to deny her (accommodations) was to lose Boyd forever more. He still held the leverage of dangling the Enforcer’s family over a cliff of reciprocation plus the addictiveness of the black ops position getting in his subordinate officer’s blood, but those only concerned the mind and body. She had made an annoyingly disruptive beeline for the heart and soul which prevented him from adding another amazing soldier completely to his hive.

Lalia was dangerous because Cheapshot could not control that piece of Boyd’s life. There was also no doubt in his mind that she happened to be verily protected as well. The scary thing was that he had no idea of what lengths the Enforcer had gone to in order to do so. But even this was not what most concerned him.

Boyd’s lady friend had never picked up any kind of weapon in her life. She had never accompanied him, nor anybody else for that matter, on any sort of mission.

To Cheapshot, the biggest worry was in how much power Lalia exerted over the Enforcer: Control that he wanted – a certain grasp over the will of another individual that he craved. It was this type of thing which could turn Boyd’s indentured servitude into sheepish, willful slavery.

To succeed in this endeavor would mean that Lalia needed to be removed from the picture. Well, Cheapshot was certainly unwelcome to try and take that first step of Boyd attempting to reclaim a stolen life out of this new family portrait. He obviously would not mind taking over that fifth slot in the Enforcers’ burgeoning leadership. And those thoughts were actually treasonous to the objective, but it was not like all this deceit was secretive, plus this would not have been the first workplace where coworkers did not exactly like each other yet still were expected to work together toward a common goal.

Getting back to the conversation, Boyd mentioned, “Galaxy Bloc got themselves twisted up into something that all I can describe it as…is insane. And the Carriveaua are also along for the joyride. I’d prefer to get down to the bottom of things, but certain parties on Dio Qze just aren’t cooperating.”

Here was the part where Lalia normally shined in how she presented a different tact, “Maybe you just need to be a little bit more convincing rather than giving up on them.”

“I’ll be honest,” Boyd admitted, “I’m afraid for them as well as the possibility of this bioweapon (that they’ve been hording) becoming widespread.”

“So the Enforcer part of you wants to blow it up and all who get in your way of preventing its amplification,” Lalia stated. “What does the other part of you want to do?”

Even though it sounded like he was pleading, nobody was arguing with Boyd – maybe other than his torn self, “I want to go back – to do something to help the unincorporated planets. These are still our people.”

Competent in arguing a point without becoming argumentative in the slightest, Lalia concurred, “Eradicating Dio Qze would seem to defeat the purpose of trying to protect those people. But that could fly in the face of your original mandate which is to protect the Space Force from Galaxy Bloc being exploited. Both angles appear to be in conflict. Do you possess a third?”

“Yes,” Boyd hoped, “there’s gotta be a way to net each objective. I just need to figure it out.”

Speaking with Lalia in the Docking Bay Section was absolutely refreshing because she brought a certain detachment in perspective to the proceedings. Boyd’s lady friend did not understand all the intricacies or idiosyncrasies of the political climate and really did not care to. Her objectivity in utter ignorance (on these topics) helped him to balance out the biased trap of being constantly informed (but only by one side). Since one of them was ingesting the Space Force’s flavored drink, then perhaps the other could serve as a weaning agent. Meeting halfway might net some semblance of the truth.

“That’s what I love about you,” Lalia claimed: “You’re so giving of yourself – even when those who you give of yourself to don’t deserve it.” There was a hint of internalization associated with that statement. Regardless of its self-deprecatory merits, she never stopped trying to make things up to Boyd, but he never ever personally made her feel like she had to (continue). Not like the Enforcer was exempt from mutually benefiting from this relationship either – his lady friend doubled as his sanity after all. Theirs happened to be an item of continuously chasing those incredible feelings from the first day which had been the strong pull to bring them together and long since remained the hearth of this swirling attraction.

They made it through the slid-open entrance doors and out into the corridor which would lead to a transport and then their cabin in the Ranking Officials’ Living Section. Boyd said, “I’ll get myself cleaned up. You don’t mind talking over dinner, do you?”

Lalia agreed, “Not at all. I’m actually looking forward to spending some time with you,” and smiled with a mild glint of warmth at the thought.

As if on the cue of bad timing, the ringer went off inside Boyd’s Ear-To-Mouth Com which halted all manner of purposeful procession down that corridor. Disappointedly, he shook his head and looked at Lalia as if to apologize.

“Go ahead,” she offered permission instead of an acceptance for a needless apology. Her tone was slightly deflated but not of the surprised variety. And this was why the Enforcer absolutely adored his lady friend. Who else could deal with this nonstop Enforcers interruption to their relationship?

“This is Boyd,” he greeted after fingering his Ear-To-Mouth Com.

Dio Qze

“Señor Boyd,” Mexico responded in a calm manner, “what in the name of la Madre del Etéreo have you gotten me into,” which only underscored his frustration as Corinna and Jocelin attempted to pilot their shuttle down through a laser barrage from some stealth ship (or ships) above, the retaliatory laser pulses from the defensive batteries of Galaxy Bloc soldiers below, and the forceful entanglement of a whipping foliage from an enormous photochromic plant which had begun its frenzied task of swarming throughout further and further reaches of the planet’s surface.

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