Mark was working on a simple relay when the call came in, "Mark!" Sam Mark's sister was screaming, "They're gone! I was working on a sonic display here at head quarters and heard a noise when I went to check they were both gone!" Mark was a little confused gone? Who? His sister was so upset she was practically babbling. "I looked everywhere, you know Nissie always leaves a message!"
Now Mark was starting to become worried his self, " calm down Sam, start at the beginning."
Sam relayed all the details and the strange recording device that she'd found that had Mark's name on it, obviously keyed to only his voice. Racing home Mark's muscular body practically tore the door from the frame cause it didn't open fast enough. Sam handed an ancient (to him) recording machine which started as soon as he touched it.
"Hello fart boy," came a voice he hadn't heard in over 6 years, "remember me you little shit? Well I remember you, it's taken me almost 5 years to remove the comp virus you infected me with. You didn't think I'd gone away had you, you putrid son of a bitch! Speaking of sons, I now have yours and the whore of a wife of yours, know this within 2 days he'll be dead and she, well suffice it to say you won't want her after the slavers are through raping her a few thousand times, though you might want her as a rag doll. The only thing I want is you, they are just bonuses, for taking the last six years of my life I take them. Then you, I'll come for you know you're a dead man walking." With that an evil laugh sounded then a hiss started, Mark threw the recorder with an improved wrap shield around it out the window, the resulting explosion shook the whole building.
Tantka! Damn it! why hadn't he just killed the bastard 6 years ago? Reaching above a shelf Mark activated a switch that not even Sam knew was there. Over a dozen hunter drones activated as soon as the hidden door opened.
"Activate active hunt mode search and retrieval," Mark stated.
"Compliance," the drones answered.
"all significant data is contained within this disc," Mark stated, sliding the disc into the lead drone.
"Updating, retrieving data, correlation of voice prints and machine alteration, affirmative voice prints overlaid with 32 different machine alterations, correcting. Composite voice confirmed all further information confirmed, hunt will now commence.
"Advise and transmit all data collected, directly to this terminal only, with password protection code Arthur," Mark instructed.
"Activation and mission confirmed code word Arthur," the machine droned.
Sam's mouth hung open, damn brother had been busy, there wasn't anything on the open market that even can close to these. Mark was fuming, he had half a mind to contact Nissie's sister Assti so she could get in on it, on second thought he'd better, she was a mean one when you got her angry as he found out years ago when she went after Tantka. Opening a special comp he'd not used in years her smiling face appeared on the screen, "Mark! How's my sister?" looking closer she saw something was wrong, " What's happened?"
Mark explained what had happened, Assti's face twisted in a look of pure hate, "I knew I should have killed him back then, I thought your idea was better, shit! both of our plans together would have been better, don't worry the network won't let him through this time, I guarantee it!"
Mark was working on refining a new concept when his new neural link beeped. The First of the drones had detected something the relay was coming in now.
"Detection of primary target has been confirmed, now beginning passive scan of surrounding area. All scans indicate that subject was in the area within the last 2 hours, confirming" it droned on.
"Initiate more active scans beware of explosive detection, enact all anti hacking protocols, continue all reports."
Mark replied seeing that Tantka was still a creature of old habits, he was glad he'd equipped both his son and Nissie with the updated comps he'd just finished 2 days ago.
"Complianc... ," suddenly there was an explosion then a dozen more.
Startled Mark flipped on several screens almost all were blank but one, "withdrawal to outer perimeter, active scan area for transmissions."
As the readings came in Mark cursed under his breath, so his time in prison he had used to advance his skills. The destructive energy he was detecting was something only a more advanced maintenance man would know.
He'd finally gotten the last of the drones withdrawn when he received a message, "surprised fart boy? Told you I was better, I have always been better, you'll find out soon. Hope you like your little bastard of a son extra crispy, the time tables moved up, he's dead tomorrow as if I care rather slice his little throat now but I want you to suffer."
A crease of anger crossed his face, reaching into his back he grabbed a comp that he hadn't used since he'd gotten Tantka put away.
The headmaster of the maintenance school was enjoying the peace and quiet for the first time in years, a whole week of no problems, hell he'd even gotten a few chapters of his book done. Damn he could get used to this, suddenly a pinging went off in his desk opening the top drawer he sighed it had been a few years since he'd had contact with Mark. Snapping on the comp Mark's face appeared, "hello sir it's been a while," mark said.
"Hello Mark, I knew you'd be calling soon but I was hoping you'd not need my help. Detail the situation for me," Mark's mentor said.
Sighing Mark began the long report of what was going on with Tantka. The headmaster listened intensely nodding from time to time at certain snippets of information. "Alright Mark, I'll contact the prison and find out exactly what he took while he was incarcerated, till then you might want to update all your software."
Mark clicked off, opening another comp he initiated a network connect to every system and planet he'd been to in the last 7 years. Sighing he knew that this would take a few days to a week, not all of the planets would receive the update till they were contacted by a liner or ship that was in the network. Smiling he saw that this planet and central were already almost done, the encryption he'd used wasn't even known to the school yet. Mark smiled when he saw that Tantka had already used it against him but no more. Everything he'd done was laid out to Mark most of it was fixed immediately, some though a lot more complicated, would take a week or more.
Looking over everything Mark was starting to get a little more insight into a lot of what Tantka was trying to do. Mark was on his way out the door when his synaptic interface clicked on, "Subject moving towards spaceport alpha, 2 large containers also in transit with him, internal scanners indicate the presence of an adult female within the first, a small male child contained within the second. The first, the readings are unclear all further scans blocked and reflected back. The second, readings indicate the child within is the offspring of first class, aa-1, modern advanced system and sub-system, super master tech Mark Doraland." Shaking his head he'd have to remember to reprogram the damn drones to drop all that shit.
The drone went on detailing almost everything on the condition of his son. Mark nodded as the information came in, heading not far from the site of the explosion of his drones mark looked down every few seconds at the scanner in his hands.
Reaching a doorway Mark tapped his ear and started to issue commands, his heart racing, his anger apparent he reached for the door.
Nissie was scared, far more scared than she'd been in years though they couldn't touch her she wasn't that sure that they couldn't after a while, that ass Tantka had given them a lot of readings on her comp and shields. She more than remembered him from years before, all the threats and explosions were as fresh now as they had been then. All the slavers were pouring over the readings, had been trying to deactivate the shields for hours the reading she was getting indicated they were no closer but though he was the best she was afraid that someone might find a way through her husbands shields. Why the hell hadn't mark included a communicator on this model? True it was more advanced than anything she'd ever seen him create, true as soon as she felt a threat from Tantka it had snapped on, pissing Tantka off (she'd laughed at his tantrum thereby pissing him off more).
It was obvious that the slavers were a little pissed themselves, they'd already tried to contact Tantka something about untouchable merchandise? There was a knock at the door which all the men in the room ignored till the door suddenly was blown off its hinges disintegrating as it flew across the room denting the back wall as what was left smashed into it. Each man in the room turned pulling many manner of energy weapons, "I'm here for her," Mark said the anger apparent on his face, his tall muscular body taunt and tense not quite sure what these slaver's tech were.
The lead slaver stepped forward, "we've been expecting you, we know of your tech and you capabilities." With that he fired his strange weapon at Mark.
An alarm had gone off as soon as he'd entered the room, an energy wave distortion gun? A thermal implosion grenade launcher? Damn it! These fuckers weren't playing! Looking at the leader as he stepped forward Mark pressed a control on his side the shield shifting to a blue hue. The first alarm went off then the grey beam struck his shield, sparks flew a moment then it was heading directly back at the man! Screaming the man dived to the floor the beam barely missing him, striking the man behind him, a blood curdling scream then a gurgle erupted from his lips as his blood boiled inside, then what was left fell to the floor a smoldering mass of cooked flesh (no blood),
Nissie smiled though she'd dealt with them over the years she still didn't really like any of the unsavory group of men in the room. Mark wasn't a very violent man, he'd let a lot of things he didn't approve of go by the wayside, his family was the one instance where all bets went out the window. Though he hadn't intended to kill anyone when he went there his anger had risen a few notches higher then it had in a long time.
"I suggest," Mark started, "that the rest of you give up or I WILL kill all of you."
All the rest of the men in the room started to laugh, the leader from before stood, "oh yeah? you and what fucking army?"
Mark smiled pressing several buttons on his wrist comp. Moments later each of the men had at least 3 drones of various shapes and sizes pointing different weapons at them. Not undaunted they each had pressed a few of their own a different bunch of shields snapping up around each of them.
"Now what are you going to do fucker? You can't take all of us!" The leader sneered at Mark.
"Well," started Mark, "I was going to let you go if you gave me my wife back, it seems we can't come to an agreement so," here Mark paused shifting each drone's energy, weapon and intensity, "I guess I am going to have to kill all of you, starting with you," Mark pointed at a man in the back an earthman who'd grown extremely rich exporting women from earth the only planet in the empire that had totally outlawed slavery.
The man started to laugh at Mark calling him a little pussy bitch. "I usually don't like to kill anyone but I have to admit like with any disease you won't be missed." The man laughed harder till his body began to get hot then exploded in side his shield his screams echoing off the walls. This started the general slaughter, several of the men got off a few shots destroying a few of his drones though in the face of things they never had a chance. Amid the screaming and dying the leader wasn't touched, Mark had already cloaked and removed Nissie from the building.
Thirty minutes later the smoke cleared, Mark looked around the room at least half his drones were gone of the 45 men that had entered the room 42 of them were dead in a variety of ways. The three most powerful were huddled in various parts of the room dead bodies or parts of bodies were all around them. Activating a small device he hadn't used in years he grabbed the air watching as the leader was lifted off the ground.
Drawing the man closer, Mark looked him straight in the eyes, "I suggest that you and the other 2 retire a lot of your activities, as of today, I am not the man I was when I walked in here, if I ever hear of any of you three doing anything even near the Doraland family I'll finish what was started here today," dropping the man with a thud, he looked hard at all three, then turned to go saying over his shoulder, "there will be no mercy."
All three looked at each other, best to get on his good side, within moments they'd agreed to help Mark get the man that was responsible for all this. Mark smiled with their and Assti's networks Tantka didn't have a chance and if he didn't kill the bastard he wasn't about to stop Assti from killing him this time.
Walking out he went to where Nissie was, "Mark? where is our son?" she asked as soon as he appeared.
Sighing he was afraid of how she was going to take this, "Tantka has him still, I have..."
"Mark! We have to get him back!" she cried the panic apparent in her voice.
"Tantka can't hurt him or touch him," Mark replied, though he knew that wasn't going to be good enough to a worried mother.
"Mark, I know your tech is unparalleled in the known empire but this is our son, just like in there, some people have devised a few ways around your tech." Nissie said the tears beginning to fall from her now dull deep blue eyes. "I'm sorry my love, I never doubt your tech but you've not been developing much lately. When we met you seemed to think up things it seemed spur of the moment, I can't lose him it would kill me Mark, as I think it would you, he wants to be like you, as he puts it, the greatest fixer in the universe."
Mark's anger softened while she was speaking, he thought his son wanted nothing to do with fixing things. A steady beeping let Mark know that Tantka was having problems leaving the surface, grabbing Nissie Mark went to his speeder pulling her the whole way, they were flying twice as fast as the speeder should. Mark started to curse under his breath as he saw that Tantka was starting to lift off, his hands flying over the controls Nissie was suddenly in a separate section that quickly detached from the speeder. Cursing louder the speeder began to climb, Mark had designed this one to actually fly but this time Mark was afraid that it was toast. Switching engines the speeder turned almost rocket, was actually starting to catch up with the shuttle.
Mark was about 5 miles high when he was in sight of the shuttle firing 2 energy cannons at it he cursed when they both barely hurt the engines. Tantka had been monitoring the pursuit cursing Mark for everything he had. As soon as the energy cannons hit his engines, Tantka's own cannons shot at Mark the first few missed, Mark actually got off 4 more shots each hitting Tantka's engines to no avail the last not even penetrating the shield.
Tantka was trying to shake Mark a few more miles and Mark wouldn't be able to follow. Shooting a rapid spread of shots Tantka's cannons finally hit one of Mark's engines, the speeder/rocket shuttered then began to slow then lose altitude. Knowing he didn't have much time Mark used what was left of the other engine to slow his decent he'd fallen two miles now a mere 3 miles above the planet, still too far to engage the speeder's regular engines they were no good above a mile. Mark watched as the speeder slowly began to pick up speed at two miles he could feel the speeder start to get hot damn it! Abandoning the speeder he watched as the last of the fuel was exhausted, nose diving it started to streak toward the surface. His shield was working the heat of his decent wasn't bad yet but it would be soon, at a mile and a half he saw the speeder explode on the surface finally in range he activated a series of commands on his comp.
Within moments three drones larger than most were beside him slowing his decent. Damn he was good and so were the drones but they weren't that fast. His neural display screen snapped up, "you stupid son of a bitch don't you ever do that again!" His sister was screaming at him, "you better be fucking glad I passed the seventh year exam or I might not have gotten these drones up to you as fast as did! "I ought to kill you! I just might if Nissie doesn't first!" With that she clicked off, Damn Mark thought when did she get that emotional over him, shit he forgot she was a mother too after all. The drones took him almost to the front door of the office he had here, Nissie and Samantha were standing there with crossed arms on the front porch.
Releasing him the drones stayed right behind him, what the hell? they only did that if... , at that moment Nissie and Samantha both screamed, oh yeah that's right he'd been hit as the world went black he saw that the new tracking tracer he'd planted on Tantka's ship was working, perfect, ugh so sleepy.