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James M Otos

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   Recent stories by James M Otos
· Apex 7
· Apex 6
· Apex 5
· Apex 4
· Apex 3
· Apex 2
· Apex
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Apex 8
By James M Otos
Monday, April 30, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Futuristic struggle between the commmon people and the ruling elite



2375 A.D. - Good and bad. Black and white. Rich and poor. Up
and down. Moral or immoral. These are all things we learn before we are old enough to influence input. Attitudes which are thrust upon us and drive us crazy because their roots are
entangled in our ancient genetic histories, thus making those meanings often paradoxical and open to interpretationm .

Jon Duke stared at the second hand as it moved past the two and then the hour hand. The old clock hung on a peeling, cracked wall that must have been cream colored once. It was amazing to the diminutive Jon that the ancient clock continued to run, like an old mule pulling a load and forgetting to die. Jon wondered why Jsuixeo always called meetings in old buildings in Ceato. Security, she said. No extra words. The Council represented many groups outside the Valley, and though Jsuixeo had brought them together, she trusted none of them completely.
The small, thin Jon Duke ran his hand through his short red hair as he realized he didn't trust these outside members the an organization founded by Jsuixeo to support the Valley. The outsiders didn’t know the location of the Valley, but they reaped at profits from the raids as payment for the necessarities they provided to keep the Valley running as a community. Jon Duke felt a quick, sharp fear for Jsuixeo's safety. Again he glanced at his watch and then the old clock and wondered if the dark streets were as empty as they should be at this time of the early morning. Duke's eyes moved up and settled on Niv Uray as he rose to speak. Niv was an insider, and Jon knew he would take care of Jsuixeo, if anyone could.
Niv Uray, lean and strong, looked past the members of the council, down the long meeting table at Jsuixeo. He began with a voice hardened with resolve. "We can't stand against all of Nujim’s resourses. They are too many," Niv nodded at two exceptions sitting at the table. "The Topfive, an organization of the richest manufacturers, owe most of their gross income to Nujim, taking tax money as payment. The Topfive press the government to increase the size of the army because that means more profit for them. Many poor side with them, out of fear, but also because the Nujim controls the news micros and the viewing
screens, and many of them believe anything they read in the micros and see on the viewing screen. Our only hope is to topple the government from the top and from within, by killing Nujim and his top ministers."
Jsuixeo Mullany looked at Niv Uray and nodded in agreement. They had spent some time deciding the things he should say. She had read once that the best sleep comes after planning the small details of the death of your enemies. She was surprised that was true . Some of these men would be needed to supply their assault on the Castle, but it would be dangerous to blurt out their complete plan. They needed to test the waters. She needed to find the sharks who were swimming with the fish.
So Jsuixeo had called the meeting for another reason, a more important reason. Before she went to her sure death at Nujim's Castle, she wanted to weed out a traitor she knew sat here among them. She needed to leave the movement pure, and she had little time.
The faces of the council members shouted silently that they thought the idea of breaching the impenetrable Castle to reach Nujim was absurd.
"And so you kill him," Darrol Bay growled. "Then someone takes his place who is just as mean, and you're dead. Or most likely dead before you ever reach him. Unless you have a hell of a plan. What are the details?"
The massive Carrol Bay stressed the question so that it sounded more like a command. He looked past Niv, directly a Jsuixeo. Bay's small eyes darted back and forth under dark bushy eyebrows.
Humped forward, resting some of his great bulk on the table, Bay waited for a reply.
"The details are not worked out. When the time comes you will know," Niv smiled a wolf's grin in Bay's direction.
"You still don't understand. The only way to succeed is to gain a toehold in the King's empire," Bay spoke with authority to Jsuixeo, ignoring Niv. "And I have had some success. Things aren't easy, but I do my part and assert my influence. To be efficient and helpful to my full potential,
I must know the essences of your plan."
Jsuixeo looked at Bay with attentiveness, as though searching his words for
meaning. She had decided only that morning that he was no longer with them, but she had know if he was against them. Was he the one?
Niv spoke, "You, Bay, have attained your position in industry with stolen gold that came from the rest of us. You do work within the system," Niv stared at the fat man, "and you do the bidding of Nujim. You help them, even if you don't wish it. Perhaps you could sabotage them, causing them much trouble, but I'm beginning to think you've too much invested to cause them trouble. You were once poor like us. Does it look different when you are part of the Topfive?"
Niv snarled.
Jsuixeo tensed herself, ready to move if Niv provoked the giant, or his tall thin hooked nosed brother. Jsuixeo then noticed that Jon Duke had slid even farther down into his chair and she almost grinned.
She knew Bay could kill, but she sensed that he had too much at stake to try and kill them now, here. At least openly.
Bay's mouth hung open in rage as his brother, Ane Bay, angrily put his hand on his laser and withdrew it halfway.
"The words you spit are indelicate," Darrol Bay snarled at Niv. "Soldier, I will tell you this, though I'm a man of peace, you will answer for you insults!"
Niv stood relaxed, smiling meanly at the huge Bay.
The moment for fighting had passed and cooling, the younger smaller Bay slid his laser into its holster. "I agree with my brother. Time and subtlety are our true weapons and if
we are rash in our actions it will ruin us."
"Indeed, indeed, talk before fighting," the quiet computer expert, Jon Duke, said, settling a little deeper into his seat as the thick tension in the room thinned.
Everyone in the room sat quietly, waiting for Jsuixeo to comment or bring the meeting to an end.
Jon Duke didn't really care for this kind of planning, and it was really beyond him why he was even here. His mind strayed south, to his Silva. She will have wine warmed, he thought, and some delicacy ready on his return, which he hoped would be soon. With Jsuixeo, one never knew.
Jsuixeo finally stood and spoke. "We can't count on the poor, they are duped. We can't count on the Topfive, they have too much to lose. We can only look to ourselves. We are the only ones with the resources and the insight to fight the King."
Jsuixeo stared down the table at the women and men. Some brightened at her words, sitting on the edges of their chairs, confident in Jsuixeo Mullany, and tense with curiosity about her plan. Bay slumped in his fatness with half-closed lids, his face blank.
"Nujim's forces will soon overwhelm us," Jsuixeo concluded.
"And what do you want us to do?" Bay asked, incredulously.
"Plan some diversions large enough to attract a sizeable force of the King's men to many places. Prepare these diversions yourself, and hold the plans secret."
Turning to Jon Duke, she asked, "How many emergency troop movements would it take to divert the attention of the King's Western computer/radar system, allowing us some movement, undetected."
Jon Duke's mind snapped to attention, and he tried to calculate. He reached into his vest pocket and retrieved a small solar calculator and ran some quick figures.
"To be sure, it would have to be many. At least a couple of hundred major actions. Attacks on radar installations, ground troops and weapons factories would do it if each incidence was large enough."
Jsuixeo turned back to the rest, "So each of you will plan twenty incidents, and if you need any help with explosives or logistics, contact me."
Pulling her tan cape around her, Jsuixeo towered over the table, "Go now. Be careful. Be silent."
Slowly the meeting disassembled, each leaving quietly, one by one. Bay and his brother sat, watching the others slowly leave until they were alone with Niv and Jsuixeo. Darrol Bay seemed to settle his enormous weight and then he addressed Jsuixeo.
"I have much money and I know many people with the government. I could be much help in planning and executing your plan."
The speech was spoken in a growl and in the tone of an order.
Jsuixeo responded. "I was thinking the same thing. Be prepared in two days to come to the Valley. I will send someone to show you the way."
She moved her eyes to the other Bay, the younger one. "Both of you."

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