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Prince Toreus Rhann Rhann and the Thuvian Rangers chaps 9



The age following the Guild Treaty was a halcyon era for mercenary soldiers and pirates throughout the Great Sphere. Gangs, armies and corporations of hired guns were available for the hiring. There was not a major port town or Fountain Base that did not have a pub or bar that doubled as a mercenary hiring hall. During the early days of the Arcadian Civil War MacKeans in Arcadopolis was the place for the elite of military and covert operations specialist to meet. It was a dive with an unsavory clientele and in those days especially it was raided by the RAMP at least every other night. I rather liked it.

For The Duke: A history of the Arcadian Civil War by Kothar Khonn Jr.





Prince Toreus Rhann Rhann and the Thuvian Rangers chaps 9

Chapter 9: Rendezvous

        Now the Khy’Vhann were advancing cautiously toward Prince Toreus, their weapons raised. ISharkhorja advanced too, despite the Silver Lions misgivings.My Prince either allow himself to captured or try and fight it out with the Khy’Vhann trooper.Nobody was not sure exactly what the Thuvian Ranger had in mind,nor his Lion Companion and it was thought nor  did he.He was playing this plan by ear-hoping to surrender and force a military action or fight it out with the near mindless Khy’Vhann and escape into the darken streets of the city.Suddenly,the Guider spoke and startled Prince Toreus Rhann out of his dilemma.

        "Warning, oh Prince,' said Guider. "I detect incoming artillery shells."

        It was then that mortar shells began to rain down on the enemy personnel carriers destroying several of them and scattering dead soldiers to the winds.

        "Possible hostiles on the roofs," said the Guider. "Armored and armed men."

        Sharkhorja by way his keen hearing and his telepathic link to  Ulyseas eyes became aware of movement on the roofs to either side of the street and in several apartments.  There were men up there-possably the local resistance forces by their various dress-Arcadian,working with Thuvian Rangers,Tyrhainean mercenairies and Vanderheim mercenairies.  And they were armed with blaster pistols,swords and energy lances-possably Atlantean design.  Lasers discharged and bullets rained down on the Khy’Vhann.  The one's moving toward the Prince's location  had frozen, shaken by the sudden attack.

"There is a high probability that the enemy will engage you in retaliation," said Guider.

‘’So much for my usual solution,Guider’’ Prince Toreus Rhann commented.

Now the Khy’Vhann fired their weapons at Prince Toreus.  Lasers and bullets cut through the tail of my Prince's coat.  The Thuvian, along his two companions quickly dashed into a deserted alley, avoiding the oncoming Khy’Vhann forces. Prince Prince Toreus,quited down his spike’s engine and waited for Khy’Vhann troopers to desend upon his area. One out of sight, the Khy’Vhann shopped firing as if awaiting new order from their Central Command Squad Leader.  Khy’Vhann, often worked as unite-the Squad leader, would coordinate the troops actions and operations.  Without them, these artificially created zombie soldiers, where nothing more than pawns for a higher command structure.Several Khy’Vhann troops were heading toward the alley,near a blue Doctor Poop portable public toilet booth ,that resemble the old style police boxes found all over the city were hiding behind.Doctor Poop was another fine item introduced to Terra-Prime,like the Sackett’s Interstellar Department Store Ordering Mechines,scattered all over the dysonsphere-by the Zatikhonns.

        Prince Toreus  spotted a large man in armor and a hood that concealed his facial features moving back from the edge of the roof with several other similar dressed men while his comrades continued to rain down fire on the hapless Khy’Vhanns. Bullets ripped through the blue toilet booth and spwashed human waste all over the squade of zombie mercenaries. These were no doubt guerillas in the employ of the Taylors.  A stay behind force to make sure that the royal family had time to escape and the Wallaces did not enjoy an easy victory.

        "So much for surrender," said Guider.  "Nobody was doing that today."

‘’Guider-give a tactical sensor scan on the hooded subject.’  The Thuvian Warrior commanded.’  I want to who he friend or foe.  What he ate for dinner last night and when he last took a dum.’’

‘’Affirmative, Warrior.’’  the Guider responded.’  Sensor scans beginning.’’

Prince Prince Toreus Rhann then looked to his hunting falcon Ulyseas.  perched on his shoulder.  He knew to use this Thuvian Hunting Falcon, equipped all sorts of nano sensors, could help assist the Guider, in it's surveillance of the local area.  Thuvian Hunting Falcons, were used for centuries by the Thuvians and those similar type, by civilizations back on ancient Earth around the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and ,as far back as ancient Atlantis-back before time began in this universe.  Thuvians, like many newer civilizations, adopted much of their ways into their own and made them apart of their culture.  Common Atlantean Hunting Falcons-a genetically engineered.  Larger variety of the Peregrine Falcon was modified by bionic cybernetic systems at first and later nanotechnology, to improve their hunting skills.  Later on, even some members of the Legion of Time-Sorcerers.  along with such creatures as dogs and cats, would falcons as tactical field assistance, feeling such animals were less likely to detected by enemy forces and those augmented intelligence often out-thought similar tactical intelligence system, due their ages old hunting skills.  Also, they were felt to better companions on long, away solo field missions or away team field missions.  He could hear more fire between the Arcadian Resistance Forces and Khy’Vhann forces exchanging fire in the street

Ulyseas, I have a job for you.’  Prince Prince Toreus Rhann told his avian companion.’  I need you to fly up and quietly survey the perimeter-always assist the Guiders sensor scans.  Give a more accurate detail of the local area.

Will do, boss.  Ulyseas telepathically, transitting his mental communications to Prince Rhann, via the link Shakhorja and him, shared with Guider device.’  Those Khy’Vhann piss pot pinheads will never know I'm around.

And that Ulyseas, the Thuvian Hunting Falcon hopped down Prince Prince Toreus Rhann's should and onto his right gauntleted hand.  He spread out his wingspan of around 80–120 cm (31–47 in), gave out a loud screech, and took off as Prince Prince Toreus Rhann held up his gloved hand to give his avian friend a better lift off capacity.  Prince Toreus Rhann's superior catlike eye sight watched as Ulyseas flew off into the distant clouds of Terra-Prime, disappearing into the blue skies, with faintly outlined landmasses of other sphere world plates, located somewhere opposite to the Arcadian world.  Prince Prince Toreus suddenly had a moment of concern, placing his old friend into an alien and dangerous environment, such these Thrull curse Arcadian lands, haunted and patrolled by the near mindless Khy’Vhann.  Hunting medium sized birds such as doves, waterfowl, songbirds and pigeons, was one thing, for a Thuvian Hunting Falcon to do, but those Khy’Vhann imbeciles were another thing. What if Ulyseas flew to close to the ground, some Khy’Vhann nitwit accidentally spotted him flying over head and got off a lucky shot. He could not only been a valued allie, but a close companion, he has had for many years now.

Don't worry, my Prince,Ulyseas will be fine.Shakhorja spoke standing behind the First Prince of Thuvia,breaking him out of his deep,dark thoughts.There isn't one of those idiot pinheads who could land a shot on him,let alone one on you or me.

Prince  Toreus turned and smiled as he looked down upon his snow white feline freind.He knew the Caporonean Silver Lion correct.As a team they were a formidable trio-a Thuvian Prince and two companions-a lion and a falcon.Most likely,Khy’Vhann were very superstitious and the sight of a great warrior commanding such wild life creatures,would as odd and unnatural,as Tarzan of the Apes,commanding a herd of elephants and Great Apes,into some natives village in one of those old holovids of that Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

Your right,Old freind.What am I worrying about.Prince Prince Toreus Rhann spoke sudden renued vigor and vitality.By Thrull Khonn's Mighty will,let em come-we'll show how one Thuvian Ranger can take on twenty of them single handedly.

Besides.I want to who that guy lurking about the roof is.I've got a hunch,by his dress-he's not Khy’Vhann.

        Prince Toreus' pistol came out as he exited the alley away ,turned as his keen catlike green eyes focassed on the lead Khy’Vhann soldier ,with two companions and armor-piercing shells cut down three Khy’Vhann in a row as the Prince retreated toward cover. The the first  Khy’Vhann fell over first,followed by his two side fellow officers. He had his fight.  Intended or not. He fired as he retreated and as Guider detected targets.



‘’Ulyseas ‘’’the Thuvian Prince commanded ‘’Anymore ahead’’

‘’Sqwalk ‘’the Thuvian Hunting Falcon tele thought back to his master,via the Guider Gem.’’Nothing’’

Very,folks-lets get the hell outta here.’’Prince Toreus Rhann ordered’’I got places to go and people to meet.Shakhorja..Ulyseas.Meet at our appointed location-after I get this meeting Kotharr Khonn over.’’

‘’Will do, boss.’’Ulyseas relayed

‘’Bird brain.Can’t think of anything to say.’’Sharkhonja shot back.Toreus Rhann smiled.Sharkhorja acted he hated the big black and golden falcon,but he didn’t.He actually like the old bird,like a brother.He give anything to protect Ulyseas if anyone tried harm him,just he would the Thuvian Ranger or anyone else he like.Toreus Rhann agained,as he would too,if anyone threatenned two animal companions or anyone else he considered apart of his pride of family and freinds.

‘’Ebony Ho.’’Toreus Rhann shouted,as one would a flesh blood horse.The Smart Speeder bike lurched upward slightly as it kicked dust and debris behind-lifted on paragrav engines and pushed along by repulsor exhaustes.



Prince Toreus Rhann settled his bike to the ground in the alley beside the bar and used his macroscope visor to scan the area. In the Tarington Mall anyone could carouse and roar as they liked, for honest people shunned the quarters, and watchmen, well paid with stained coins, did not interfere with their sport.There were a series of wanted poster for various members of the House Taylor scattered about a nearby wall.Some had pother smaller ones pasted over of Watch Sperue-now it’s 29th Season over them,whiles had a series of randonly postioned ‘’Post No Bills’’ about them.Toreus thought it strange that the so called now paperless civilizations such as Arcadia,with other high tech forms of communication,like holograms or holo video,would resort to the backward use of paper posters and bills.But perhaps,these old style forms of advertising was simply cheaper to produce,here Terra-Prime or maybe the Wallaces like everything else were just too cheap and backward to let go of things achaic and out of date.

Along the paved streets was now heaps of refuse and sloppy piles of garbage,now that Wallace Clan ran thing into the ground.Every night drunken roisterers staggered and roared a merry silly tone up and down the streets,with other near mindless folk that now inhabited the district.Mister Poop Portable Toilet Blue booths were scattered about,simply left by whomever was in charge of clean up duties everywhere around the area.Steel glinted in the shadows as drunken mercenaries darted inside and out of alleyway, and often them from the darkness rose the shrill laughter of women, and the sounds of scufflings and strugglings. Galaxean Globe Torchlight like devices licked luridly from broken windows and wide-thrown doors of the many still opened bars and resturants,kept open because,that made them money,and nothing else the Wallaces enjoyed the making of money,while robbed the owners of their profit,gained from long,24 hours work. And out of those doors,Prince Toreus Rhann’s keep lion like senses could smell stale odors of wine and bear,coffee and tea,mixed the rank sweaty bodies of offworld mercenary soldiers of all sors from TyRhaineans to Throveans.The Thuvian could also hear the clamor of drinking-muggs and fists hammered on rough tables,with  snatches of obscene songs gotten from world and places far away and long ago,reinvented to suite the times and places those sang in.

‘’ ‘Ups your all

‘Ups your all.

The short ,the fat and the tall,

Line em up against the wall.’’

The Thuvian prince smiled,knowing whatever the original tune,it wasn’t this one they sang.Toreus Rhann then scanned down into the stygian dark alley next the Tavern. An internal readout or heads up displays that provided information on distance and elevation, while many could be programmed to record and playback.It also contains detailed files on human anatomy and physiology.The visors,fitted a consceal Macroscopic Eyepatch or Lence,working the Guider and Utity Belt Comlink-a device for recording and communication,could calculating the distance of objects relative to itself; making detailed kinetic studies of trajectories; sampling and analyzing the atmosphere, weather patterns and wind velocity; analyzing human emotional states (in order to assess possible hostility); analyzing body language and direction of muscle contraction; calculating the force of gravity; analyzing texture and temperature of materials; and sensing radar scans. The visor fitted with an internal chronometer inn order to keep track of  track of its external battle units

.

Two civilians lurked in the alley next to the dumpster. They were raggedly dressed and had dead, staring eyes.One was rootting through the dumpster,looking the treasures,others threw away. Toreus Rhanns’ keen sense of smell could sense them from a block away and his combat alertness came up.

‘’Chicken pen do we eat ?.’’one said the other older one.’’ Chicken pen do we eat,old Crust of Bread?.’’ When do we eat,Old head the Guider translated by way of the visor.

The words ‘’non hostiles’’ came on the visor head up.

Stupidol addicts transmitted Shakorja. I can smell it on them. And they always smell as if they slept in their own dung.

Most likely they have, replied Toreus.

He could smell the drug too. Stupidol was a mixture of several drugs including cocaine base that virtually robbed the long term user of any of his higher mental functions. Turned them into zombies for all practical purposes.

There was an epidemic of Stupidol use throughout the Sphere and beyond. Organized crime—mostly Zatakhan-- fueled entire empires on the profits of it.

Prince Toreus found it hard to believe that people used such a dangerous concoction—especially since just about every one knew that its long term effects were permanent and eventually led to death. And that the long term users already seemed pretty much dead.

‘’Warning Warrior Prince’’the Guider suddenly spoke.’’Proceed with caution.’’

There are also men in a van across the street and positioned on the rooftop and in the local buildings said the saber cat sniffing the air. Nervous men. Armed, nervous men.

The Thuvian outlander nodded. That could be RAMP agents or a security detail for Kothar’s people. We will soon know.

Let’s get a report from Ulysseas, the Prince transmitted. Via Guider interface he accessed the memory of the scout hawk.

From the point of view of his bird he could see that the streets were deserted this time of night. No pedestrians. Well, considering that there were stupidol zombies around one might be taking one’s life in their hands if they wandered these streets unarmed and unaccompanied. Some of the zombies were known to be violent—those with enough memory left to be familiar with violence. And those in the early stage of the addiction, unable to work, were given to robbery as a means of self support.

Radu Wallace, a rigid libertarian, had all but eliminated all social welfare programs from his budget. He believed the poor, sick and unemployed should die and wanted to do all he could to promote that. Even though the tower farms and unlimited sun power of Arcadia could support one hundred times the current populace.Why bother helping the poor,sick and umemployed,when can follow the Shaitanus Clans favorite motto ;;Greed and power is good for the wealthy and elite classes.’’

It would be a pleasure doing all that he could to help eliminate this turd of a leader from the Sphere.

Skawaalk skawaaalk  sreached the Thuvian Hunting Falcon‘’Alert.Alert’’the Guider translater the Avian bird talk.

Through the outlander’ eyes Toreus Rhann could see the men in the Khy’Vhan. He recognized the face of the big guy in the front shotgun seat. That would be one of the O’Brien brothers—the youngest one, Colin. That meant that the meeting was being backstopped by Colin O’s team. Good, they had worked with him before. They were reliable and effective.

Toreus instructed Ulysses to stay on station and to warn him via Guider link if anything in the situation changed.

I suppose I will remain here, said Shakhorja.

I need someone to watch the spike, pal, said the Prince. I’m going to link it to your control in case it needs to move. Are you up to it?’’

If there is no other choice?’’the Silver Capronean Lion sadly responded.

‘’Don’t worry,Shakhorja’’Prince Toreus responded back.’’I’ll give you a hollow-if I need you.Ok ?’’



Toreus knew that the cat did not like to drive vehicles but that, with the help of his hyper-mentation computer implants, he could do so very easily. The spike was a smart machine and could very well fly itself. All it needed was someone to tell it where to go.

Toreus started off down the alley past the stupidol zombies.

”Got any quid, citizen?” one of them asked through rotted teeth and cracked lips.’’ Bread and Honey for a spiffing Robin Heard repast and Cilla Black noight nickle and dime Micro Chip. ‘’

‘’By Thrull Khonn’s patience’’the big Thuvian prince spat out ‘’What ?’’

‘’Warrior,allow me to interperate.’’the Guider cut in

Toreus Rhand didn’t understand the meaning until the Guider translated ancient British Cockney slang mixed other near by dialecs,like Scottie,Jolly Well Spoken and Brumbie’’ Money for a good meal and late night time nip’’the Guider stated.’’In other words,the fellows need money for a meal and drink.’’

‘’Bravo Guider’’the outland Prince  answered.’’I understood that.’’

“Sorry, pal,” said Toreus. “I gave the same answer to the dude I killed two blocks back,”

They did not acknowledge his presence further, recognizing at least that he was a tall, armed and dangerous individual and not a soft touch citizen. They had absolutely no interest in anything that went on around them except the drug and the means to procure it. And these two had enough will to live left in them to not wish to be killed by the hulking figure in the combat suit that now passed them.

‘’Youngblood,told ya so.’’the older one said the younger companion

He did not pay much attention to the zombies in return. If necessary it would take him a tenth of a second to kill both. Not that the effort would be worth it.

.His mind was ahead of him, focused on the meeting that was going to happen inside the pub. He had not come here to fight people who had given up on life. He had come here to help rescue the future for those who still wanted to live.

The lurid lights and drunken revelry fell away behind the Thuvian,as he lion like moved toward MacKeen’s Den.

***



Notes;I cut and passed a bit of the old story.I cut the bit in half,to give a Chapter cliffhanger of sorts.

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