The Maintenance Man Book 1
Chapter 7

Copyright© 2014 by PARS001. All rights reserved.

Mark was pissed, to say that he was seething, boiling mad would be an understatement. Walking down to the street Mark was focused solely upon the task at hand. After the tirade with his mother he had almost said to hell with it and let the little bastard ass just keep her. Sighing, he knew he couldn’t do that damn it! That little shit knew it too, that’s why he had grabbed his mother.

The look on Mark’s face, if seen by anyone on his way there, had them turning and fleeing in the opposite direction. Little did they know, Mark had every sensor, every weapon cloaked and hovering behind him ready at a moments notice. Moving ever nearer, he set all his tech on voice command.

Walking into the old square, Mark could see that the bots hadn’t gotten this far, as a matter of fact, they were still a block away. Coming to a stop Mark scanned looking for any sign of ambush.

“Alright Tantka! I’m here you little shit!”

“Ah, temper, temper, fart boy,” came the nasal reply as if someone was having trouble breathing, “I hold all the cards!” the sneering whiney voice replied. “I see you didn’t bring your tech with you, a bad mistake!” a beam shot out from behind Tantka and struck the building behind Mark, it seemed to piss off Tantka even more that Mark didn’t even flinch let alone move. “Well, well, it seems you grew some balls since we last met, as I remember the last time we did this is simulation you couldn’t stand still,” Tantka sneered as he looked at his long time enemy and hated rival.

“You’ll find that there is a lot about me, that has changed in the last two years.” Mark breathed a sigh he hadn’t detected his tech yet, good, thing is he still had no sign of his mother.”Stop the bull shit! Where is she? Your tech is nowhere as advanced as mine, I know she has to be here somewhere my scans didn’t detect her.”

Tantka started to laugh, “Did you happen to check in orbit? She has 6 hours of air and that was an hour ago. Now you got 2 choices go after her or me. Maybe after you lose something as precious to you, then you’ll realize the pain you put me through.”

Mark clenched his fists, looking at the little shit head, he realized that he had been planning this for quite some time. Suddenly there was a beep, then another, huh? The proximity alert was going off, someone else was here.

“So fart boy, what’s it gonna be? huh? Going after me or mama?”

“Shut the fuck up, you pathetic little ass,” he listened as the cloaked bot gave the readings and the one heading in orbit was relaying life signs as it got closer.

“Me pathetic? I’m not the one who wanted the glory of turning in a better student than you I...”

“Better?” Mark started to laugh, “since when? Your test scores were never better than mine, except once when I was sick even then you barely edged me out, that one time!”

“It doesn’t matter I was the better student, I studied harder, I was better liked, therefore I WAS the better student!” he yelled almost a shrill sound, grating on the nerves.

“What makes you so sure I can’t get you and her?” Mark said trying to buy time for the bot to get there, only a mile to go now.

Laughing Tantka pointed at Mark, “You think I don’t know about your tech at all huh? I detected it as soon as I landed, every piece, all their functions and capabilities I told you I was and AM better!”

Mark got confirmation from his bot that she was alive, but was unconscious and only had an hour and a half of air left. He thought to the bot through the new neural link he got right before he left empire, bout time I got to use it. He increased the speed of the bot, now only 20 minutes but an hour to get her back to the planet surface. Shit! How was he going to stall him that long.

<Contact Nissie and Samantha have them stand by to retrieve the personnel capsule coming down to these coordinates> Tantka noticed that he was pausing.

“Ah, I see you’re using the neural link I have heard so much about, unless you have a shuttle in orbit already, there’s no way you can save her.” Shit! how the hell had he heard about that? It was so new that hardly anyone knew about it. Mark was beginning to wonder just what he knew about.

“So, cut the shit Tantka, why are we here if you aren’t trying to kill me?” Mark said a look of anger and extreme malice crossing his face.

Chuckling Tantka pointed at him. “I want to see you in pain, with the look of horror on your face. When you realize that there is nothing that you can do. That someone else holds your fate in their hands. Then I will be satisfied that you have suffered half as much as I have.”

Mark held his anger in check as the bot had started to bring to capsule back slowly through the atmosphere. At least another 30 minutes good, the improvements he had made, just in case it had to go into orbit, were paying off he’d have to remember those, they were coming in very handy.

“I know that you already have a shuttle heading there, I saw it leave 10 minutes ago, you won’t make it,” laughing he pressed a button at his belt Mark had already prepared for almost anything. The bot and the capsule were barely into the upper thin layer of the atmosphere 30 kilometers above the planet. Even with the bot bringing it down at 60 kph it would be at least 15 minutes before the air would be breathable enough to open the air flow into the capsule.

Tantka seemed distracted, “What’s wrong, something not go right?” Mark almost snickered, “your superior tech not working?”

Mark could see the look of pure hatred as Tantka pressed the button again and again. “You fucking little ass!” he yelled, “there was no way you could know what I was going to do! Well too bad, so long sucker! I’ll be seeing you soon, next time though, there won’t be a chance for you,” about that time a shot rang out as Tantka grabbed his arm and the hologram of Tantka vanished. Mark ran from the square as the bot told him that it had detected an explosive charge of high yield, fuck that little shit had a final laugh at him. Leaving he got a reading of 2 people, a kilometer away, one injured getting in a small shuttle, the other running to another, as they left the ground.

Smiling he knew that Tantka was hurt and he thought he knew who to thank if he ever met her. Nearing the capital building he checked the bot it wasn’t that far off now. He met Sam and Nissie at the entrance, Nissie wasn’t completely healed yet and Sam was helping her.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to save her, I have a lot of issues with her but she’s family no matter how much of a fucking shit she is.”

“Mark, there has to be a reason why, no matter what she’s still our mother” Sam said trying to keep her brother calm.

“Oh, by the way Nissie I think I detected your sister, she shot Tantka in the arm I don’t think we’ll be hearing from him for a while.” A steady beep indicated that the bot was almost there, “Ok back up, I only have a few minutes to get her out. Then I have to get the bot back into orbit with the capsule”

The bot slowed as it neared to the ground, stopping it hovered and lowered the capsule. Working as quickly as he could he had the top of in a few minutes. Looking at his mother he saw that she had been gassed and a small nuke was around her waist. Getting her free from it he gently put it back into the capsule. Activating the bot he got the speed to start increasing the further it got. Mark just hoped it was fast enough at 2 kilometers he still didn’t feel safe, at 5 kilometers he began to breath a little easier. Once the bot had reached 10 kilometers he felt better, when suddenly there was a brilliant flash, the nuke going off. Mark grabbed the three women and secured them waiting for the shook wave.

Shit! The bot hadn’t been wrong it was high yield, Mark covered all their heads as the wave rocked them and the ground. Finally the shaking had stopped, as his sister and Nissie got up to help Trina to her feet. Her jaw almost healed from the nanomites, she lowered her eyes and turned towards Mark, “I must apologize to you, then I will leave you alone, I know it will be a long time for you to forgive me if you ever do.” She shook violently as she continued, “I have a condition that I know you aren’t aware of, your sister has seen it briefly. It can cause brief flashes of anger and irrational behavior.” She sighed utterly defeated, “That time, when you walked in I was at the start of an episode. They can last 10 minutes or ten hours. This one lasted almost an hour, by the time your father came home you were gone.”

 
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