Doctor of New Mombasa (Part 1)
Posted By: Mr AngryPants<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 1 October 2009, 8:20 pm
(This story is entirely fiction but based on 'Sadie's Story' from Halo 3: ODST. Although it contains no spoilers, it is probaly best to play the game and find out the jist of the sub-story itself before reading. I do hope you enjoy.)
New Mombasa, 18th October 2552
Mike Branley an officer of the New Mombasa Police Department (NMPD) jumped down from the garbage truck. His dark blue uniform was drenched in foul smelling juices and sticky with foil and remains of food, he still kept a beaming smile on his dark face as he marched over to an elderly lady. He extended his hand with an antelope-hide purse.
"There you go miss." He said in his Kenyan accent as the old lady gingerly took it.
"May God bless you officer." The lady smiled weakly and walked with her cane on the sidewalk of the Lumumba District. Branley nodded in satisfaction as he dusted his uniform clean of litter, he sweated under the hot sun and smelt of the garbage he's happily dug through to retrieve the woman's purse.
He turned to the blue Garbage truck.
"Thank you Superintendent you can be on your way now."
The Garbage truck gave a small series of beeps and ignited the engines and the truck slowly began to move down the road. The traffic was less congested today Branley thought as he walked across the road and in the shade of the buildings. The best thing about New Mombasa was the tall skyscrapers offered great shade from the sun. On a boring Saturday night Branley researched and found out patients coming into hospital from dehydration and sun stroke decreased by forty-two percent in the past year due to completion of new upper floors to major skyscrapers. Branley wiped the sweat off his brow and checked his watch, quarter to one, his lunch break. Branley thought of the lattés on offer in his local coffee house and decided to go and check it out.
The Garbage truck ploughed on down the streets of Lumumba as the time reached two o'clock. Its mechanical arms picked up black trash bags and placed them in the big blue compartment on its back. Lumumba Alley was particularly deserted with no cars just making enough room for the truck to fit in between the modern apartment building on one side and a post office on the opposite side. At one minute past two the truck came to a screeching halt. Deep within its electronic database the city's AI, the Superintendant, was denied access to control the truck around its weekly route to collect the rubbish. It stopped in-between the two metal buildings.
Dr. Endesha was dressed more casually than he would be wearing his white lab coat to deliver a parcel to the post office. His cotton sweater made him blend in the queue with around twenty people behind him. He smiled and brushed the sweat of the humid air off his head and stepped forward to the desk. A friendly faced Kenyan girl beamed up at him with a black ponytail dangling from her head to her elbows.
"Welcome again doctor, what is it you wish to deliver this time?" She asked hands out to receive the square parcel.
"Oh its just some data chips, optics, holograms
all the stuff cluttering my lab floor." Dr. Endesha said, finishing off with a friendly wink.
"You mean a heart?" The girl asked jokingly.
"No Loretta, I'm not a voodoo doctor. It's the old data crystals from the Mombasa AI, I always send one a year to the archives in the city centre. They've been a bit
preoccupied to see me in person, so first class post will have to do."
Loretta accepted the parcel and put it in a large safe integrated on the wall.
"I'll make sure it gets on the first van to deliver the afternoon post for you sir." She smiled as she locked the safe and twisted the dial for the back up lock.
"I was thinking maybe you and I could catch up sometime
" Dr. Endesha blurted out; nervously
quiet conversations from the people waiting behind him died in an instant to eavesdrop on the reply. Loretta blushed and gave a coy smile.
I am sorry doctor, my Father has strict rules on who I go out with
your almost ten years older
he'd protest." Loretta said, her smile fading with every syllable until it settled into a sympathizing look.
Dr. Endesha nodded, dropped the Post Office pen he was fiddling with in his hand, went to pick it up, and banged his head on the desk. The people in the queue who had tried not to let the humor of the rejection escape roared in laughter. The doctor picked up the pen with one hand, keeping his other pressed to his forehead, he could feel the pain. Loretta walked around the desk to check up on him, but he flinched back.
"I am fine, I really am. I better get back to the lab." He made a quick exit for the door.
"Oh let me get that for you." Loretta called out running past the doctor to open the old fashioned reinforced glass wall. As soon as she pulled the door toward her and the air outside filled the stuffy Post Office, the Garbage truck positioned to the right side of the building exploded.
The wall caved in, metal, mortar and splintered wood flew in a shockwave at the people queuing up and the clerks behind their destroyed desks. Paper turned to ash in seconds, parcels flew off the shelves and the glass windows and doors shattered. Everyone was thrown to the floor.
The lights were out, smoke filled the air, and it was dark. Dr. Endesha found himself on the hot maroon carpet floor, ringing deafened his ears and his eyes stung to open. He rolled himself onto his stomach and looked around to see people who were in the queue on the floor too, bleeding. One man, not much younger than himself, had a wooden stake plunged in his chest, blood stained his white shirt. In the back of the room a small child knelt down beside his mother tugging at her dress, he screamed hysterically as the mother looked back with lifeless eyes. Endesha got to his feet, almost falling down from dizziness. He stumbled across the dead bodies of the previously laughing customers towards the child. He must have been four or five years old dressed in a smart school shirt.
"Mama! Mama!" He screamed in a high pitched voice it cut through Dr. Endesha's heart like a dagger. He scooped down to pick up the child. The boy protested kicking and flailing his arms as the stranger dragged him away from his mother.
"Come on little one," Endesha said, coughing and trying to see through the smoke, "it's okay. It's going to be okay." The doctor reached the door and stepped through the panes that would have been blocked with glass. He stumbled down the street and placed the child on the floor. "You stay." He said firmly. The boy didn't seem to take notice; he slid down the wall of another building crying out to the sky.
Endesha limped back into the wreckage of the Post Office discovering his legs wouldn't allow him to run. He tripped on the door pane and outstretched his hand to catch himself; he received a shard of glass in his left palm. He shouted in pain, and crawled to the nearest figure. The smoke was so intense he didn't even know which way he'd fallen from. He fumbled around the floor and found a leg. He crawled along to the body to see it was on fire. He quickly turned the body round to see flames licking up a female's face
Loretta's face. At first she whimpered, then as she came gradually around and aware of the pain it turned into screaming. Dr. Endesha tried to put out the flames with his dirty sweater but Loretta wouldn't keep still. She twitched and rolled and at one point kicked Endesha in the crotch, the doctor toppled down beside her. He could see the woman he had developed a crush with for years in agony, her beautiful face melting towards the floor, hair charring and vanishing in flames. Her screams fell silent abruptly. Endesha looked horrified on, he didn't even notice the sirens of the emergency services gathering outside.
Branley gasped at the sight of the inferno that blazed down the street, the skeleton of the Garbage truck smoked in the middle. Firemen hosed down the flames from their fire engine hose. There were already a dozen or so police officers on the scene, and twice as many medics. Survivors of the explosions groaned as they were carried on stretchers, those who were dead carried in black body bags. Branley walked towards two other officers conversing from a safe distance.
"What happened here?" Branley asked as officers walked past with roadblocks to place at the end of the street. Officer Gaumbii turned to answer; he looked similar to Branley but shorter.
"Around two o'clock the link between the Superintendant and truck broke. It stopped in the alley way and exploded a few minutes later. It was a planned attack. We even have a suspect target." Gaumbii said nudging his head to a nearby ambulance where medics were fussing over one man. The man seemed active enough from his shouting.
"Get off me! I'm a doctor I'll look after my self!" Endesha yelled. The paramedics got the message and left him alone to attend to those with worse wounds.
"He's the suspect target?" Branley asked again.
"Doctor Endesha, renown in his field of medicine, computer and an AI wizard, literally. He bit our heads off once we mentioned the Superintendant malfunctioned. He said only people with high authority or a criminal mastermind could disrupt the AI." Gaumbii said as he took a long slurp from his water bottle.
"He didn't have any security around him, couldn't be that important could he?" Branley commented watching the doctor as he got off of the ambulance bed and dusted ash from his blackened sweater.
"That's the point
" intervened the second officer, Dustin, a white south-African.
"He's ONI." Gaumbii finished his sentence.
Endesha went to the post office, unprotected, and the Garbage truck stalled right outside of the building. What can we gather around that?" Branley asked as he indicated for a sip of Gaumbii's water.
The shorter officer passed his bottle to Branley.
"Well the Superintendant was helpful in supplying CCTV monitoring Endesha's movements and that of the vehicle. The truck was moving along its normal route at regular speeds with no obstacles. Endesha went to the Post Office to deliver old data chips or something like that to Mombasa archives. That is probably what the killer was after."
"Woah Woah, Gaumbii, lets not jump to conclusions. I don't understand. Its plausible how someone would want to attack the doctor for his package
But if I wanted something this badly, I wouldn't risk blowing it up. If this was a planned attack, no one on CCTV was seen to be making a move to retrieve the parcel." Branley said, the two officers looked with blank expressions as they thought about it. Branley finished off the drink and thrust the bottle into Gaumbii's hands, "I'll have a word with Endesha."
"Mr. Endesha, may I ask to have a few words with you?" Branley said with his gentle smile.
Dr. Endesha brushed past his shoulder.
"You just did."
"No sir, please. Do have any reason to believe if its possible someone has ordered an assassination on your life?" Branley said raising his voice as the doctor walked away. He stopped dead in his tracks at the word 'assassination'.
The NMPD Pelican dropship flew in-between the skyscrapers of New Mombasa's city centre. The black aircraft shuddered as it went through some turbulence. Dr. Endesha held on tight to his chair with his legs while cradling a bucket in his arms underneath his chin. Officer Branley, Gaumbii and Dustin chose to stand up on the troop compartment hanging on to the overhead handles.
If I knew of your air travel sickness I would of taking the squad car." Branley said loudly over the roar of the engines.
" Endesha almost threw up, but gulped the foul smelling gas down, "why didn't you?"
Gaumbii answered his question while he took out a cigar from his shirt pocket and put it in his mouth.
"Commissioner Kinsler was very clear, he wanted you at the NMPD HQ as soon as possible, and there was a Pelican already awaiting you."
Dr. Endesha looked up, bloodshot eyed.
"Kinsler? Has that moron been promoted?"
"'Fraid so. Think he's bad
try having him as a boss." Gaumbii said as he gave a nervous laugh. He reached for his lighter with his free hand and sparked up a light, "Once he was interrogating an Insurrectionist, he took the poor soul to the edge of the highest air pad platform and dangled him off the side. He held him by the collar of his shirt which was threads away from ripping clean off. No surprise he sung like a canary afterwards. He's in a psychiatric ward now."
"Dear Lord, have you ever tried to ask him for a raise?" Endesha asked, burping some gas out of his mouth.
"Yeah, never again. He stubbed out his cigar on my neck." Branley said as he showed a small now white circle on his dark skin where it had been burnt.
"Surely he can't get away with it?"
"He's the Commissioner," Dustin broke in, "He can do whatever the damn hell he likes. No consequences, no warnings, nothing."
Three minutes later the Pelican swooped round the NMPD HQ's upper air pad. The launch ramp lowered and a howling wind rushed throughout the compartment. The Pelican hovered over the big '4' in the centre on the platform before touching down. The pilot exited his cockpit and jumped off the aircraft, followed by the three officers and Dr. Endesha still holding the bucket. Out to great them where several officers dressed in SWAT kit with Magnums aimed at Endesha. In the centre of their semi-circle formation was Commissioner Kinsler himself. Kinsler was bulky, tall, chubby face with a gritty stubble and dark eyes. He spoke in a gruff voice possibly due to his smoking habits.
"Why if it isn't the good doctor wasting my time with his personal quarrels." Kinsler said marching up to Endesha till their noses nearly touched, "suspicious how you work with the AI who coincidently malfunctioned very close to your position, isn't it?"
Endesha tried not to shake, not to let this brutish man know he was intimidating.
"Mr. Kinsler sir, the Superintendant does not harm innocent civilians, damage properties. Your officers told me they checked the logs. The Superintendant tried multiple times to reconnect to Garbage Truck 028 until it saw it explode on nearby CCTV cameras. I'm sure if you weren't too busy torturing your employees you would see for your
Dr. Endesha was stopped by Kinsler head butting him above the bridge of his nose. Endesha fell to the floor hands covering the bruise. It didn't bleed but it hurt. Branley who was watching from the sidelines took a few steps forward but a SWAT officer stepped in the way and pushed him back.
"What goes on in your cold laboratory stays between you and your ONI weasels. What goes on in MY building, with MY staff and MY BLOODY CITY, stays with me!" Kinsler roared, his face getting redder and redder in anger, "Now listen up doctor, you start thinking about who would want to have the great satisfaction in killing you so my officers can do what they are meant to do. I would lock you in the holding cells but I bet I'd have some ONI sod sniveling in my ear about 'human rights'. So get thinking, then get out, and please for the love and goodness of God
don't let there be another terrorist attack on you again. Earth has enough to worry about with the Covenant, let alone a frail old man dancing around with a bullseye on his ass for Insurrectionist scum to take a shot at."
Dr. Endesha managed to get up off the cold platform, the fierce wind blew the small plastic bucket off the edge, the breeze caught it and it flew in the orange skies.
"Its funny commissioner
you seem very quick to pin this all on Insurrectionists." Endesha said giving a weak smile. The SWAT officers began to murmur, Branley, Gaumbii and Dustin stared at Kinsler for a response. The Commissioner hissed and quickly marched away to the main building, his SWAT team followed. Officer Branley walked briskly to Endesha, glad that the vicious man had left.
"Doctor I do apologize
if I had known he was going to respond like this
"He's a villain officers, soon his true colors will come to light."