Lutts led us outside the hangar and we walked for fifteen minutes over to a large building complex. In front of the building there must have been ten air freight containers as well as a dozen or so trucks (lorries to you Brits). At the windowless door there stood four robotic soldiers. There were no national markers and their ID signals were none that I could identify with any country. They might be the General’s or they just as well could be Lutts’s. Either way, they ignored us and allowed us to continue to follow Sir Terrance inside. The room looked like some gigantic shipping business with all the boxes and shipping crates spread about. I could tell that all of them were empty. Towards the back of this warehouse I caught the distinct smell of dead flesh. Lutts walked us past a dumpster that was not empty. Legs, arms and heads were hanging out. They were all Africans. They all wore orange jumpsuits that were now rather black looking from the dried blood.
“My God, Terrance, who are they?” the Princess asked in a strained voice.
“Enemies of the General, my dear. The General loaned them to me to help me unpack. He expressly told me to dispose of them when I was done and I was done. You mention god, have you backslided?”
“Don’t be absurd, it just a figure of speech when confronted with something horrible.”
“Yes, it does look brutal. However, it was far more humane than what the General was doing to these enemies of the state in his Concentration Camp. Only 1 out of 50 were still strong enough for our purposes.”
Then we came to another windowless steel door. Inside was a control room of some sort. It was occupied by only three others. All of them went by the same name – Sir Terrance Lutts.
At the sound of the door all the occupants turned and each one walked over to greet the Princess. I could tell it was a creepy experience for both the Princess and Frank. Same clothes, same hair, same face and same voice.
“Which of you is my real husband?” asked the Princess.
Each of the four Luttses answered with a smirk, “We all our.” The Lutts who had brought us here then said, “We are all very democratic, my dear. We all believe we are Sir Terrance and in fact, we are. We work together as a single entity with the sole purpose of succeeding in this great cause.”
Another Sir Terrance said, “In a few minutes you will witness the beginning of the attack?”
“How is it going to come down?” Frank asked in his reporter voice.
The Sir Terrance who was now sitting at his computer consol said, “We have had to change our original plans because your Jewish friends have succeeded in destroying our primary bases. As vain as we are, we were realistic enough to have a final backup plan. With the security and help of General Andican we have this secret base. Which reminds me to ask you, how did you find us?”
“It was easy. I asked myself where could a world class criminal go?” Frank said in an even tone, “but you still haven’t answered my question.”
Another of the Luttses who was standing by an array of transmitters spoke up, “As I was saying, our first delivery system was going to be air borne using micro drones. We had enough drones to reach 107% penetration. Unfortunately, we have now had to settle for a water based delivery system. Twenty miles from here we have converted an abandoned water works to hold water borne nano-vectors. It will only take them five hours to flow down the Limpopo and enter the Indian Ocean. From there they will spread by ocean current all over the world. The nano-vectors are so small they can become air borne from wave action or evaporation. With ten trillion of them they will within their sixteen month life expectancy become inhaled or consumed by 70% of humanity. It will not totally wipe out religion, but it will be enough to make religion irrelevant.”
Another Lutts took up the narrative, “We have not totally put our eggs in one basket, Mr. Huntington. We have four shipping containers on ships that will explode and release four billion nano-vectors into the air. One is off the coast of California, one is off the coast of Chile, a third has just entered Southhampton and a fourth is sailing past the west coast of Italy. They will insure that the American and European powers don’t try and figure out how to stop the main body of nano-vectors from slowly traveling around the world. Who knows, we might reach 80% of humanity if we are lucky.”
By now, all of the Luttses had taken their places by some important piece of equipment.
“In order to activate the nano-vectors we need to heat them to 36.7 degrees Celsius or as you Americans would say 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Sir Terrance, what is our current temperature?”
“27.3 Celsius,” said one of the four Luttses.
Frank walked over to the Princess and said in a whisper, “We have to try and stop them. There are three of us and only four of them. I had worse odds in a bar fight.”
“Frank, I’ll try, but the only fight I ever had was with my sister when I was nine and I lost,” the Princess said in a low whisper.
“Jack, I know you can’t attack a human unless I am in danger. Please extend that to her Highness. In the meantime when I take these bastards on I want you to gum up the works.”
It took me a nano-second to figure out what my master meant by gum up the works. My logic and slang sub routines figured out he did not really want me to find some chewing gum and put it inside the equipment. Chances are a piece of gum would not do any damage inside a computer that has no moving parts. My historic language node had records of when humans would throw monkey wrenches or some other hard object to jam the gears in a machine. There were many silent films where heroes like Charlie Chaplin saved the day by ‘gumming up the works’. There were countless knobs and cables about that could be damaged.
Frank wandered over to the nearest Lutts and said to him, “Do you think the General will be able to protect you once the world starts losing their religion?”
“Mr. Huntington, we don’t plan on being here when the world’s elite who depends on religion to maintain their power tries to stop the unstoppable or try to seek revenge on us. They will soon be forced to adjust to the new secular reality or be replaced.”
The Princess then moved from her spot to be close to one of the other Luttses. She asked a baited question, “Do you think I intend to remain your wife?”
The Lutts she now stood behind gave a small laugh and said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
I thought that was very clever answer as it was an allusion to a famous movie from the early 20th Century.
The Princess oddly enough let out a small laugh as well and then asked, “Why did you marry me?”
“You were a guinea pig, my dear. You were the first human trial and I wanted to continue to observe how you reacted to losing your religion. You were famous for your religious zeal. Someday I hope to dissect your brain to see what happened on the molecular level.”
Frank had been waiting until there seemed to be a moment when all the Luttses needed to pay attention to their consoles. He did not get that chance. The Princess grabbed the hair on top of Sir Terrance’s head and smashed his face into his keyboard twice before the very surprised Sir Terrance struggled to get up and away from her reach. Before the second slam into the keyboard Frank picked up a piece of equipment by his Lutts and smashed him in the face just as he was turning towards the Princess. I also sprang into action and attacked the transmitters. I turned dials, switched off buttons and then started to rip off some heavy cables coming from the side.
Frank’s man was taken out by his first blow and so with one Lutts slumped in his chair, Frank started to run over to the closest Lutts. The Princess was now launching a frontal attack on the stunned Lutts who was vainly trying to hold back her arms. A couple of swift kicks in the groin stopped her Lutts in his tracks and she was able to push him down on the floor. A swift three kicks on the poor man’s head finished his consciousness for the rest of the day.
Two down and two to go. Frank reached the other Lutts and engaged him in fisticuffs. Sir Terrance tried to defend himself, but it was obvious that they did not teach boxing at Oxford anymore. Meanwhile, I had grabbed one of the transmitters and pushed it over. I was surprised to hear something that sounded like arc welding and then smoke started to pour out of the transmitter cabinet.
Frank had turned his Sir Terrance’s face into hamburger and was about ready to grab him when a shot was heard. At the same time I felt a bullet go through my arm. Almost immediately six busfault alarms from my arm told me that it was now offline.
The Sir Terrance farthest away now pointed his gun at Princess Marianne.
“Stop or I will blow her brains out.”
This activated my protect protocols and I ran towards the Lutts with the gun. The Princess screamed and cowered down on her knees. I do believe she was honestly scared for her life. Her scream was just the distraction I needed to get myself between her and the gun. Lutts finally saw me coming and fired his gun again. Thankfully, he was rather in a panic and missed me. I was traveling at about 35 miles an hour when I hit him. His body went flying as did his gun from his hand. He landed against a wall and struggled to remain standing. Slowly his legs gave out and he sagged to the floor leaving a streak of blood on the wall behind him.
That only left one Lutts unaccounted for. He must have been stunned when the Princess had launched her attack on the Lutts who wanted to dissect her brain. After witnessing two Luttses mauled and one killed he made a run for it. He did not get very far as Frank was on him like a bolt of lightning. The last Sir Terrance had gotten to the steel door and was trying to enter the keyed combination to open the door lock. It did not go well as I heard two error buzzes from the door lock. Before he could try a third time Frank grabbed him from the back and turned him towards him. Frank’s first blow was to Lutts’s solar plexus which doubled him over. It took only one well placed blow to the side of Sir Terrance's anguished face to send him to dreamland.
Frank and the Princess took a big breath and finally realized it was all over. Frank looked at me and said, “Jack, do you think you can make sure all this equipment is turned off with only one arm?”
“I think that should be no problem, Sir. What are you going to do with your prisoners?”
“First thing is I think I will take some of that cable over there and tie them up,” Frank said with a grin.
“I don’t think you need bother with the one over there,” I said pointing to the Lutts with the smashed head against the wall.
“I think you are right, Jack. I believe that is your first kill,” he said with a big smile.
The Princess did not say anything, but wordlessly helped Frank drag the other Luttses by the legs over to where Frank had already started to tie up the Lutts he knocked out with the equipment.
“Jack, can you get a message to Colonel Mann?”
“Not in here, Sir, the rooms seems to have that foam Sir Terrance invented. I can step outside. What do you want to ask him?”
“What about the robotic soldiers outside?”
“They will continue to guard the building. Since none of the Luttses can tell them new orders they will just stand around.”
“Crap, I’m glad those Lutts’s didn’t try to start that damn foam on fire. Ask the Colonel to send a team to us. Tell him we have all the Luttses. Warn him about the robotic soldiers outside.”
“Will do, Sir,” I responded.
“Oh, tell him to bring a bottle of Jack Daniels, too.”
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