The Rainbow Brothers and their friend Shine are looking at Cascade, their new acquaintance from the SeAgora, with skepticism. They’re on Cascade’s ship, about twenty miles off the coast of East Africa. The Rainbow Brothers’ ship, Big Bopper, is nearby, as is Shine’s vessel.
Rob Rainbow: You want us to do what?!
Cascade: It’ll work.
Bob Rainbow: Big Bopper, what do you think?
Big Bopper: My role has an 88 percent chance of success, but yours appears to be much less.
Bob Rainbow: How much less?
Big Bopper: Are you sure you want to know?
Shine: Guys, we can do this.
Rob Rainbow: I say we wait for more help. How long until other agorists can meet us?
Bob Rainbow: No, no more waiting. We have to act now.
Cascade: I go on land fairly frequently. I know how to slip in and slip out. It’ll work.
Shine: Why do you go on land again?
Rob Rainbow: Yeah, we haven’t been in years.
Cascade: I still have some family there.
Shine: The things we do for family, huh?
Cascade (sigh): Yeah, don’t get me started. Ok, I’m gonna fire up La Paloma.
Bob Rainbow: La Paloma?
Cascade: My seaplane. Everyone double check your gear.
Big Bopper: You’re gonna need it…..
An hour later, the small group is flying under the radar in Cascade’s plane through sweltering night air. They’re coordinating with Big Bopper.
Rob Rainbow: Hey Bop, how are things on your end?
Big Bopper: I’m 3,000 feet deep, playing tag with the coast.
Bob Rainbow: Getting any attention?
Big Bopper: Yes, there are two extortion-funded subs from the Oscuro faction tracking me, and they appear to be sending some drones away from the base you’re approaching.
Rob Rainbow: And you’re sure our rocket is still in the same location, in their underground base?
Big Bopper: Do you take me for an amateur?
Shine: Man, your ship’s got an attitude.
Big Bopper: I heard that!
Cascade: Ok, I found the soft spot on the perimeter of the base. You boys ready to drop? (laughs)
The Rainbow Brothers grimace.
Cascade: Come on, you never jumped out of a plane before? They’re smart parachutes, don’t worry. (smiles again)
Bob Rainbow: Easy for you to say.
They jump out from 500 feet and the smart parachutes create enough resistance for them to have a reasonable landing. They get up and start dusting themselves off.
Bob Rainbow (glancing at green officer’s uniform that he’s wearing): I feel so ridiculous in this thing.
Shine: It’ll work. We just have to show up in uniform and act like we own the place. Technology will take care of the rest.
They walk quickly for five minutes and reach a large fence. There is a small storefront by the fence and a man and woman dressed in simple shopkeeper attire inside. The Rainbow Brothers and Shine enter.
Woman: Can we help you?
Shine: We’re here on orders of Oscuro.
Man and woman share confused look.
Man: Oscuro sent you to our shop? For what, milk and cookies? (laughs)
Shine (leaning close to man’s face): You know damn well what we’re here for.
Man: I’m afraid I don’t.
Rob Rainbow (shouting): Do you really want us to get Oscuro itself here?! Now open the damn gate!
Woman (gulps): Let me scan you.
Woman hits button behind counter, which activates scanners from all four corners of the store.
Woman (looking at holoscreen readout under the counter): Take a look at this.
Man (looking at holoscreen): That can’t be. Reset the system, there must be a glitch.
Rob Rainbow: We don’t have time for this!
Man and woman eye each other.
Man: Send them in, but alert our superiors and arrange an escort.
Woman: Follow me.
She leads them to the back of the store, and down a flight of stairs into a cellar. From the cellar, a false wall opens and reveals a murky tunnel.
Woman: Start walking. An escort will come for you.
They walk off briskly. Big Bopper contacts them.
Big Bopper: Wow, the glitch worked?
Rob Rainbow: Shutup, Bop.
Big Bopper: I had to go to the seafloor to evade those statist subs. I’m surprised it worked.
Bob Rainbow: How comforting. We’re meeting an escort soon.
Big Bopper: Yeah, I know, not much time. You should know, though, that a huge contingent of violent moral relativists in uniforms are coming in from the north and the west. If my readings are correct, they are from the Archon faction and…
Shine: Wait, this is an Oscuro faction base.
Big Bopper: Well, technically, it was never formally changed from an African Union base, but…
Rob Rainbow: Dammit, Bopper! Insignificant detail!
Shine: So they’re about to be under attack here.
Big Bopper: That appears to be the case.
Bob Rainbow: Ok, we gotta go. I can hear the escort coming. Real quick, how’s Cascade doing?
Big Bopper: Still in the air.
Bob Rainbow: Well, that’s comforting.
Two extortion-funded jeeps with two order-followers pull up in front of them in the tunnel. Both order-followers get out and salute. The Rainbow Brothers and Shine don’t know how to respond to such ridiculous behavior, so they just stare blankly at the newcomers.
Order-follower 1: Sir, sorry for the delay at the entrance. The circumstances are highly unorthodox.
Shine steps forward: Are you referring to the malfunctioning of your identification equipment?
Order-follower: Yes, sir. We were also not alerted to your arrival. We understood that only President Oscuro would be coming with his personal security team.
Shine: Yes, things were changed at the last minute. For extra security, we were sent to make an inspection before President Oscuro’s illustrious arrival.
Order-follower: Understood, sir.
Shine: Let’s get moving. We don’t have a moment to spare.
Order-follower: Yes, sir.
They get into the jeeps and rumble down the tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, they take an elevator to an even deeper underground chamber. Within the chamber, they find the small rocket guarded by two humanoid A.I. and two mind-controlled humans in uniforms. The Rainbow Brothers and Shine struggle to conceal their joy and relief. Rob Rainbow approaches the rocket and brushes it with one hand, stealthily releasing a self-replicating nanobot that is programmed to consume all the material of the rocket and then self-destruct. He turns and smiles at the order-followers in his midst.
Rob Rainbow: Most extraordinary. President Oscuro will be quite pleased.
An order-follower with the most pins on his extortion-funded shirt steps toward Rob Rainbow and says: President Oscuro is arriving early and is due any minute.
Rob Rainbow: Our work here is done. We will leave you in the illustrious company of the president and be on our way.
Order-follower: I don’t understand, sir. I thought that President Oscuro was expecting you.
Oscuro materializes from one of the information feeds of the chamber and takes the shape of a wide male face, floating and smirking with puffed cheeks.
Oscuro: Yes, don’t leave so soon General. I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you. What was your name again?
Episode 4 coming soon!
Thanks for your time and attention!
Just say "NO" to slavery!
Top image is from Pikrepo.
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