World of Darkness, World of Hope, a Rocketman Story, by John Pirillo. Stranded on new timeline Harry faces worse than darkness: Loneliness!
World of Darkness, World of Hope
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
What had gone wrong?
Time and space were no longer just concepts to be studied in a school or class room. No longer idle ideas of a thirsty mind. No longer theories to be argued and defended vigorously. They weren't a friend long gone in the memories who would remain there forever because he was dead. To himself and the world now.
No time and space were a harsh and hard reality to him. They meant that nothing was solid and certain in his life. They meant...
"Harry!" A voice assaulted his ears even louder this time.
Harry snapped out of his thoughts and became aware once more he was flying through the stratosphere at...he eyed his tach. Almost twice the speed of sound.
"Yeah. Here" He finally managed, sounding like a weak imitation of himself.
"Harry, what's wrong? We've been out of contact for hours!"
"Small problem is all. Everything's..." He had to force himself to say the next words. "...Is alright now."
Harry toggled the communications off, killing the connection to his...friend?
Harry's stomach was turning flip flops in his body, assuming full attention now. It had started soon after he had patched up the cannibalistic American and left him to his own resources to survive or not. He had a feeling he would, and then he had dashed back to his suit, and launched as quickly as he could.
He was still stunned from his experience.
His forehead felt like a meat factory with dozens of meat cleavers slashing into it, splitting it into tiny pieces. He wanted to wipe his forehead. It was sweating. And hot.
What had gone wrong? He asked himself for the thousandth time since he had launched. The real reason he had been out of communications had not been the fight. That had been relatively short. No, it was the soul searching he was doing now.
Red back home. Home? He snorted to himself. What's home?
He had to snap out of it, he couldn't keep circling the globe forever. He had to go somewhere. But where? America had become a cesspool of cannibalism. London was run by the Chinese and an alliance of peoples who had starved a once proud nation into what they had hoped would be a nuclear surrender, but instead had turned them into monsters like themselves.
This world had no happy alternative. It was just plain farked up!
He wanted to puke. His stomach agreed. He tried to restrain it. He couldn't afford to puke inside his rocketsuit. So he did the only sane and reasonable thing. He landed in what had once been named Greenland on his time line. Near the coast, where he could see icebergs floating lazily on the waves not so far away.
The beach he had landed on was very rocky and lightly covered with snow. He had marched along the beach in his rocketsuit, not sure if he could manage it without mechanical help at the time. He had found a small cave that overlooked the beach and gone inside. He had ditched the suit, leaning it against a back wall that was littered with driftwood. Probably from a past thaw that had raised the waters temporarily here.
He managed to shift most of the wood forward and get it burning with the help of an old boy scout technique he had learned what seemed centuries ago in time and space. He tugged out an emergency rations pack from inside the suit, broke out a folding plate and cup and made himself a jerky and spam sandwich.
Even this other world relied on Spam. Then he looked t it and the slimy Spam hanging out over the edges of the dry cracker ration he had, then slowly put it down. How did he know if even this wasn't...something else?
That put the nail in the coffin of his stomach's resistance. He immediately threw up, spewing into the fire, almost putting it out. He flung himself away from it, not wanting to do that and continued to gag for what seemed like forever. Finally, weak and exhausted he managed to crawl against the cave wall and fall asleep.
"Harry, you goof."
Harry smiled. Jet was dangling a paper doll in front of him where he lay upon his bunk, arms beneath his head. "Get it outta my face, or I'll rip you apart."
"Yeah. You and what Rocketman?"
Harry laughed. He was so untypical of the Brits who surrounded him and Jet in this war. He had blonde hair and lustrously warm brown eyes, witty and spunky, able to shoot the wings off a fly at a hundred years. Big ears, but they were offset by his long face, which was handsome and rugged with a two day old beard he never seemed to shave, sparkling brown eyes, and a frame that was six and a half feet tall.
Jet, tall as he was, was still a half foot shorter, but was muscled and slim like a well oiled wrestler, with luminous brown eyes, tight hair that looked like bands of curls, and flawless black skin that all the ladies loved. Harry grinned. His friend was the proverbial lady killer, though he was as gentle as a lamb with the women he dated, and never broke a single heart. Some kind of record for any warrior in this day and time, considering the circumstances.
Jet took the paper doll and as Harry watched hung it on a make shift Christmas tree, slung together from a beat-up coat rack, hangers for branches and shoelaces for strings of bulbs with tiny rocks hanging from them. Up and down the fake tree were cut outs of paper dolls. All women.
Jet had several fish that some sailors had brought into the camp by the truckload for the camp personnel. Their Christmas gift from Ike and the Brits who appreciated their efforts to save them and their fair land. The smell of the sizzling fish was driving Harry nuts. His stomach growled so loudly he was certain everyone a mile away had heard it.
"Jet, you've got too much doll on your mind, buddy!"
"Yeah. And you don't?" Jet snapped back. "And I heard that buddy! You like to me and Santa will take away the goodies I'm making for you."
"You're not Santa!"
"That's right and don't you ever forget it, pal!"
Harry laughed. Jet was always good for lifting his spirits up. He didn't like all the violence that went with war. He was sure Jet didn't either, but Jet appeared to burn it off with is rowdy sense of humor. But yes, he did have dolls on his mind. One in particular. A petite sassy nurse with the heart of an angel.
Nurse Sally, everyone called her. Flaming red hair and startling bright green eyes that cold poke holes in any lie with a look. His first and probably only ever love in his life.
His girlfriend had gone on a way mission to the outskirts of London to help with the wounded there, and even though close enough it seemed like a million miles away at that moment.
"Think you two'll get hitched up after the war?" Jet asked out of the blue.
Harry snapped awake, conking his forehead into the cave wall. The pain caused him to see stars a moment and it was then he noticed a familiar smell in the air. The same as that in his dream. Fried fish.
A hand put a wet cloth in front of his face. "Take it. It'll help reduce the pain."
Harry took it, rolled over and put the wet cloth on his forehead he had struck against the stone. Seated across from him at the fire he had made before was a slender man, with shock white hair and kind blue eyes. He wore a thick white jacket, white pants and boots. He had the posture of a warrior, but his aspect was kind in all ways. Harry could almost smell it from him, and that reminded him.
Growl! His stomach churned angrily, demanding to be fed.
The man laughed lightly and took a fish from the fire. It had been poked through by a piece of branch, which the man released into an eager Harry's hands. Harry took the catch and began gnawing on it right away, his hunger so intense he was almost blind.
"You have a good appetite."
Harry swiped the fish grease from his lips, and then sat up straight. Too fast. Everything began to swirl about him. The man leaped so quickly Harry wouldn't have had a chance to avoid him had he been an enemy, and caught Harry before he could collapse into the fire. He gently tucked Harry back against the wall.
"Will you be all right?"
The man went to the other side of the fire again and took off a second fish on another branch. He said no more, but ate, methodically and slowly. Harry watched for a time, and then when his stomach growled again, he remembered the fish in his own hands and started eating again. They both ate in a peaceful, camaraderie of silence until they were done.
The man leaned back against the other cave wall and belched.
The man smiled. "Good to see some Americans have a sense of humor."
Then Harry realized where he had seen that kind of clothing before.
He jumped to his feet. "You're the enemy!"
The man remained seated. "Do I look like the enemy?"
Harry stiffened a moment apprehensively, and then shook his head. "Only physically."
Harry sat back down.
"Well then." The man said kindly. "Why not tell me why I look like your...enemy?"
The man listened as Harry told him about the American he had encountered, and the Brits he had abandoned. Then he told him what he never thought he would tell anyone. He told him about his childhood.
"When I was ten I used to lay on a rock outside my parent's home and gaze at the stars. Someday I'm going to fly there, I promised myself."
"And did you? Did you fly there?"
The man gestured briefly at the Rocketman suit at the back of the cave.
Harry snapped to attention.
The man laughed. "Harry, you are so different from the other Americans. Why is that?"
"Because I am not from this world."
The man gave him a stern look.
Harry blushed, though he didn't know why. "I mean not from this world and its timeline."
The man nodded as if he understood everything Harry had told him.
"Now my friend, I think we both need to rest. It's been a hard day for both of us I think."
For some reason Harry could never explain until much later on, he trusted this man. Even if he did look like a Nazi storm trooper. He lay down and went to sleep immediately.
The man, however did not. He took out a small tablet and began to write in it. Finished, he ripped out a piece of paper, and then slipped it near Harry. He smiled at Harry, took another look at the Rocketsuit, and then exited the cave.
Harry woke up the next morning feeling better than he had in a long time, though he couldn't say why. He rolled over and then realized he wasn't alone. Or rather he was alone again. He jerked upright. The stranger was gone. He had never learned his name, where he was from. Not a thing. Harry cursed himself for being such an idiot. He turned. His Rocketman suit remained in place.
He frowned. Then he saw the piece of paper near him. He picked it up and read it.
"Harry, I can't promise you a peaceful life, but I know there's a greater purpose to our lives than what both of us have seen. If you believe as I do that man must aim for the stars in every way possible, and then I have drawn a small map for you to follow. Meet me there in one day and I will show you a world unlike what you have seen.
"Signed. Nicolas Tesla."
Harry got to his feet, kicked out the rest of the fire, scattering the embers, then crushing them beneath his boots. He went to the back of the cave and looked at his Rocketman suit.
"I don't know where this is all going, but there has to be a reason. A purpose to it all." His eyes wet for a moment.
Rocketman shot into the skies, an arrow of glistening metal and bright forces congealed in a mixture of hope and trust as man and machine went forth to discover the meaning of this new world and their place there. For now!
Death of the Dream, a Rocketman story by John Pirillo, audio book. A battle over food and nuclear weapons. Only one will win!
I noticed that a lot of you like the audio books, so I am now going to start converting my works into audio files for those of you who enjoy that format, instead of reading it directly.
Please let me know how this feels to you.
I will be attempting to improve these conversions over time. So if you want me to do so, encourage me by commenting.
I really do read them!
Enjoy my first audio book story!
Rocketman, "Death of the Dream" Nuclear bombs are coming and Rocketman is betrayed and trapped by American double agents.
"War Wings" A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo. Harry transitioned to a new timeline. His new enemy wants to eat him! But things get worse.
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry grabbed for his boots, then realized he still had them on, flung off the blanket covering him, which he hadn't placed there, then for a moment remembered the presence of the warm body against him that night. Red! He blushed. He was a very moral man and the idea of sleeping with a strange woman was unnerving to him and his sense of values, but then after a few moments he let it go. Nothing was normal about his life anymore, was it really?
He slammed for the tent opening and almost knocked Al down as he came running from the opposite direction. "The Feds are flying in with their rocket wings. We've gotta slow them down or they'll destroy everything we've been fighting for."
Jet sighed deeply, but grabbed Harry's arm and led him to where the Rocketman suit stood, surrounded by guards. "The Feds. I suspect they're the equivalent of what you fought in wherever..."
"Yeah. That place."
Harry gave Jet a look. "Harry, you don't know, you really don't know? Know what? There's no Europe here. Never heard of it. This is the Britains. It stretches from the Atlantic to the Asias, where the Capitol is."
"Capitol is Asia?"
Jet grew a very frustrated look. "God! This is just driving me nuts. I wish we had time to debrief you properly. Are you going to help us or not?"
Harry stopped Jet in his tracks. "I have only one question."
"The Feds...why are you at war with them?"
Jet paled for a moment as he remembered something Harry had no idea of, and then he spoke again. "The Feds cannibalize the populations they conquer."
"Strip down their technologies?"
"No, Amigo. They eat them. Eat the people!"
Harry turned pale as a ghost himself. "And I thought Nazis were bad."
"Nazis?" Jet asked, dumbfounded by the comment.
"They grow soldiers to nine feet tall, turn people into zombies, and use Nukes to wipe out any resistance."
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about, Harry, I just want to know if you're with us or not?"
By that time Al and the General were standing next to them, watching and listening to everything.
Harry glanced at them, noted the intensity of the looks, then at Jet. "They really eat people?"
"Yeah, Harry. Even their bones. They take no prisoners, except for lunch or dinner."
Harry thought he was going to throw up. He wobbled for a second. Jet and Al rushed to steady him. Harry steadied, and then pulled away. "Sorry, this is just..."
"So much?" The General said in his strange Oriental accent. "Imagine how we must feel looking at the Harry we sent off into battle, who has come back an entirely different person."
Al nodded. "And who wears his Captain's stripes on his collar, instead of the belt like proper soldiers." Al pointed to the General, where Harry for the first time saw the General's stars.
"I guess I should be grateful you guys didn't just haul off and shoot me." Harry said.
Al lit up a new cigar, and then said. "We considered it."
Harry gave him a surprised look.
Al broke into laughter. "Just kidding, man. Just kidding."
Al rushed off.
Harry stared after him. "My Al doesn't smoke cigars are crack corny jokes like that."
"Your Al?" The General asked, his eyes narrowing fiercely again.
Harry looked at Jet, then the General. "Look, I don't know you guys. You don't really know me, but one thing I can promise you. I will do everything in my power to stop these Feds!"
Jet looked to the General. "See!"
The General nodded, then put his hands behind his back and followed Al's direction.
Jet took Harry in tow again. "Sorry to ruin your beauty sleep."
Jet handed Harry a block of something brown. "Eat it."
"What is it?"
"Keep you going until you come back safely."
Jet stopped Harry. "I don't care if you're not our Harry or not, I only care if you come back alive, Amigo. Harry or not, I have the feeling we're still close in your timeline. Am I right?"
Harry twined two fingers together. Jet laughed. "Got it!"
The two men rushed to the Rocketman suit.
Jet nodded to the Guards and they dispersed, rushing to their regular posts, joining the hubbub of activity around the base as the sirens continued to wail. Harry began to climb back into the Rocketman suit.
He turned around.
Red was rushing to him. He almost flinched when she put her arms around him, then he slowly puts his around her.
"Come back to me, Harry." She said.
She looked up into his eyes and he smiled. "I just want you to know I'm a one woman man. Whatever the other Harry was, I'm not him. You deserve an honest partner, not some low down immoral Sonuvabith."
She gave him a shocked look. "You're really not my Harry, are you?"
She let go and he held on.
"I mean it!" He reiterated.
She nodded, getting it.
Jet pulled her next to him. "Don't worry, Harry. No matter what happens, I'll make it right for her."
She leaned against Jet and smiled. "He's my huggyboo."
Jet shoved her away. She laughed.
"I am not one of those ugly stitches of a doll!" He complained.
"What's a huggyboo?" Harry asked.
Then the sirens changed their tone.
Jet's eyes widened. "Harry! Scramble! Now!"
Jet ran for a shelter that led beneath the ground. Red followed several paces, and then turned back as Harry began strapping himself into the Rocketman suit. She smiled. It was so warm and big that he felt as if his heart was a cold lump of ice melting in the hot summer sunlight.
She ran after Jet and followed him into the shelter.
Harry pressed the automatic that shut sealed off the suit and blended him with its controls, then eyed his combat screen. He could see a field of green and against it four large objects vectoring in on the camp. The objects had a strange shape like birds, and yet not.
As Harry prepared to launch himself he felt first, rather than saw Jet. Jet waved from the shelter's entrance, and then gave thumbs up.
Harry gave him a wave from the rocket suit, and then blasted off, jets roaring behind him, slicing the air with the force of their energies, leaving a screaming sound behind him like a banshee out for blood and guts. Troops all over the camp turned to look at Rocketman as he soared and they all burst into cheers. But Harry didn't see or hear that. His combat screen showed him he had to hurry or the wings would reach the camp before he could stop them.
He vectored into a level flight, and then accelerated. In moments he was out over the Atlantic, meeting the approaching machines of war. As he closed in he began to get snatches of static on his receivers and nothing quite clear. He ignored it. Combat was never simple.
He gave the suit another goose of speed and angled upwards so he'd have some maneuvering room for his attack. As he shot over the approaching wings, they fired cannon at him from the wing tips and noses of their craft. Harry gave them no thought. Ordinary cannon fire couldn't stop him unless it was dead on, and he had no plans of being dead on. He changed his vector. The cannon fire followed him.
"What the crap?" He cursed, and then gave the suit a sharp vector to the left.
The cannon fire closed in, still following him.
Harry did the only thing he could think of then, he arced up and over and headed straight for the cannon fire. At the last possible second he flipped the Rocketman suit over in a steep deep, and then shot straight back up.
The cannon fire missed him, but turned also and began tailing him as he ran. Straight at the wings. As he closed in on the wings, he could sense, rather than feel their surprise. The first wing, a huge vehicle the size of a B-52 with a double fuselage and triple wings turned slightly. Whoever flew that monster knew tactics.
Then Harry almost lost it. The insignia on the side of the wing was the Stars and Stripes. "Oh dear God!" He uttered.
"Harry." Jet's voice entered his shattered thoughts.
"Read you, Jet."
"Watch out for their cannon..."
"Already know. Dodging them now."
Harry closed in on the banking Wing. It was going to be close. The cannon fire was hot on his heels. Literally. If he had exposed bare feet at that moment, he was certain they would've been burnt by the heat of the closing cannon fire.
He had no time to analyze the technical aspects of t he munitions, only that they were deadly. Then he grinned to himself. "But then again, so am I" He said to himself.
"Repeat Harry. I didn't get that."
Harry grinned. "Later, Jet!"
Harry did an abrupt vector switch that lined him up with the nose of the huge bomber wing and its escorts. The cannon fire was smart, but not human smart. They kept going.
Harry shot upwards as fast as he could, but not fast enough. He was caught in the backwash of the cannon fire impacting the bomber, and then slicing through the remaining wings like a horde of angry bees attacking an insect.
The whitewash of the power that exploded was immense.
Harry was flung so hard that even inside his protective webbing he was slung so hard that his teeth rattled.
He lost control of the suit for several long moments. He blacked out.
He was back home. "Dad?"
Harry looked up at his tall father, so fine looking in his military uniform. Blue and gold. Major stripes glistening.
"What are cannibals?"
His father laughed, and then swung Harry up on his shoulder and behind his head. Harry hung on and laughed.
"Gonna eat you! Eat you!" He laughed.
Harry laughed too.
He snapped out of the vision and instantly saw on his combat screen and through the visor that he was only a matter of a dozen yards of crashing into sea. He reversed the engines and slowed down, then nudged the suit around until it was facing land again and goosed the power.
As he flew he spotted the wreckage of the four attacking wings. The insignia on the bomber still floated. Stars and Stripes. A very sobering image.
When he landed at the camp, soldiers rushed to help him climb out. They pounded his back, congratulated him, offered him candy, cigars, their tent number...the women, and tears. Harry accepted it all with humility. His eyes were just on two people at that moment. Red and Jet. But he ignored them as Al and the General stepped up to stand next to them.
"The Feds are Americans?" Was all Harry said.
Al's eyebrows rose questioningly.
"The Feds are Americans?" Harry said again in disbelief.
The General was about to answer, but Red beat him to the punch. "The Americans fell to the Feds at the beginning of the war."
Al jumped in. "I'm sorry, Harry, but there is no longer an America."
Harry almost fell at the shock of it.
Jet jumped in and steadied him. "Hey, Amigo, it's war. It happens."
Harry looked at everyone. "I think we all need to sit down and have a long talk."
The General nodded, and then looked to Al, Jet and Red. "You take care of him."I've still got wings attacking Ireland."
He marched off.
The soldiers about them gave Harry more cheers and applause, then began thinning out.
Harry finally turned back to his new friends.
Al motioned to the tactical tent. "I think it's best if we talk in there. I can show you...show you what you need to know."
A gorgeous blonde burst from the ranks of the soldiers and flung herself against Harry. "Hey big guy! You're the hero. How about tonight? Ready to cool your jets yet?"
Harry was so shocked he couldn't respond. This was the second time a woman had done this to him. "Uh..."
Red came in and gently broke Harry and the Blonde apart. "Give the man some time to cool his heels, Private."
The blonde gave Red a dismissive look, winked at Harry, then turned to leave. "I'm still in Tent 20, Big Guy. Don't forget. I know I won't!" She said with a wink, and then dispersed into a crowd of milling soldiers, all taking excitedly and pointing towards Harry.
Red looked at Harry. "You really aren't him, are you?"
Harry smiled. He liked her. He just wasn't sure how much he should. He wasn't her Harry. But then who knew how long he'd be in this timeline. "No. I'm not."
She slipped a hand into his and squeezed. "I think I'm going to like this version of Harry."
Jet was watching the whole thing with his jaw hanging open. Finally, he couldn't hold back any longer. "Mother of God in Heaven, Harry. My Amigo, you really aren't Harry."
Harry smiled at him. "Not that Harry anyway."
They all laughed.
Al motioned to the tactical tent again. "Unless you'd like to spend the whole war gossiping?"
Harry laughed and they all entered the tent.
He didn't know how long he would stay in this timeline. He worried about the last one he was in, and his original timeline. Did they just stop while he entered a new one? Was this timeline just an alteration of his life, like the Hindus believed? Was he just following a different thread of the vast tapestry that God had already created, where every single thought, word and deed were already detailed?
He didn't know. He almost didn't even care anymore. He was dislocated in time and space. But as he felt t he warmth of Red's hand in his, and listened to the friendly chatter of Al and Jet, he knew that somehow, some way, it was all going to work out in the end.
"There's Always Tomorrow." A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo. Harry's mission brought him back in time, but which past, and to whom?
"There's Always Tomorrow."
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry had felt a kind of wavering of his consciousness, kind of like you feel when you're surfacing from a particularly difficult sleep and you're not quite back in your body yet, and still submerged partially in your dream state. He had been traveling from West Berlin on a special assignment for the Allied Resistance. Now that the power domes had been lit up all over the planet, the Allies had bent their every resource to a way of passing through the domes without being instantly incinerated.
Their first clue had come from Harry himself. His brave dive that had brought him beneath the dome had revealed their limitations, that the power fueling the domes did have its limits, though it appeared to be almost limitless on the surface. Even so, beneath the hot zones of the domes the bubbles tapered off. They had weak spots. Not many. But they had them. Trouble was unless you had a jet suit like Harry that was more like a guided missile than a back pack, you couldn't survive the transition.
Harry frowned. He knew that because some of the brave men who had attempted to do so had either fried before they could complete their transition or their vehicles had exploded from the heat. The domes transition zone measured at a mere depth of a few centimeters, but the radiation and heat were their most intense in the middle centimeters, and that's the barrier they had yet to overcome.
Except for Harry's rocket suit, none had successfully been able to transit the domes of energy. Until today. What had been built by man's brain, was now being undone by man's brain. Einstein and Tesla had come up with a transition device, not much larger than one's thumb, which counteracted the dome field, causing a strong enough disruption for any vehicle or man entering it to pass through safely. Even as he weighed those thoughts in his mind Hitler and his nefarious regime of criminals would be surprised when dozens of their deeply secret bases all blew up at the same time and the domes went down. Permanently.
"Once the master dome is down, Harry." Einstein had told him, his face somber at the moment in the light of predawn overheads in the secret base. "Once it's down, you will go immediately to West Berlin and destroy its base."
"I don't understand, Al. If the dome's are down, isn't that enough?"
General Brighton, the lead commander at the base had returned from a mission in America with some of their scientists. It had been a scouting mission and successful. They had mated up with their companions in the underground of San Diego. There they had come up with the blueprints and plans for a simultaneous destruction of the domes. It had cost them almost ninety percent of their men to return safely with the plans, but they had done it.
General Brighton was one of the few British military leaders still left from World War Two, when it was still just bombs and bullets, instead of zombies and energy weapons. He was an old man of sixty now, but still wiry as hell and energetic enough to make a Chihuahua jealous.
"You need to understand, Captain." He cut in with his usual brisk British accented voice. "That the bloody place is protected by another dome, inverted about the power center that controls all the domes. Without that in ruins, the domes can be brought back on line within a matter of months, if not weeks."
Harry considered that. Jet stood to his left, chin lowered. Deep in thought. "He's going to need more than a rocket suit to take out that place, Sir."
The General eyed Jet and nodded. "And that's why you'll be leading the team that parapets in behind Harry and take out the guards and sub power stations. With enough of those blown, Harry'll be able to penetrate the inverted dome and blow up the rest."
Al finally gave everyone his usual boyish smile. "Which means it'll take them years to rebuild. If they ever do."
Tesla played the devil's advocate. "Of course by then, the bastards will probably have come up with something else equally as diabolical."
Jet smacked Tesla on his shoulders. "You're my man, Doctor."
Tesla gave him a crooked smile. "Just making sure you realize the tenacity of our enemy."
Everyone laughed. There wasn't a man there who didn't know the enemy was as determined in this day as the last. With their continued subversion of the remaining survivors into zombies, they had less and less resistance internally to deal with and could concentrate their forces and energies on coming up with more ways to uproot the Allied Resistance.
But that had been this morning, now Harry was on his way to complete his mission and something had gone wrong. Horribly wrong. He could feel it in ever bone of his body, when the uneasy feeling subsided. The air about him had changed. Not dramatically, but subtlely. He checked below him and then to his right and left. The domes were gone. He was high above their reach and he should have been able to spot their tell tale flares of bright incandescent energies, but there were none. Had his Allied friends already dropped the domes?
He checked his internal time and it was still ten minutes before detonation. What was up?
He did the only thing he could. "Jet. I seem to have a little problem."
There was a long pause of nothing but static.
"Jet, can you read me, over?"
The static intensified, then as suddenly as it had come, it vanished.
He heard his friend screaming like a child who'd just had Santa dump all a ton of Christmas gifts in his lap. "Jesus! Harry! Where the hell have you been?"
"Where are you?"
"On target for the detonations of the domes."
"Detonation of the what?"
"The..." Then Harry got it. He felt every nerve in his body light up as if it were the 4th of July. "Jet, am I home?"
"Harry, you all right?" Jet's worried voice called to him.
"Home me in, Jet. I seem to be suffering from some battle fatigue. I don't trust my own senses right now."
"Gotcha, pal!" Jet chimed in.
A moment later his suit made a pinging sound and went to automatic pilot. He shut his eyes. All he had to do now was relax and everything would be okay. Then alarms sounded. His eyes shot open, the suit was dropping rapidly.
"Harry, what the hell are you doing? You have to maintain power to the thrusters or you'll drop like a Nazi bomb!"
Harry was almost in too much shock to think, but he got the thrusters back under control. "I thought you pinged me."
Harry's mind was racing. What was happening?
"Jet, quickly what year is this?"
Harry let out a whoop of triumph. "I'm back!"
"Back from what, Harry?"
A new voice broke through Jet's. "Harry, this is Al, please describe what you think has happened?"
Harry went into every detail of his mission starting from that morning. When he was finished, the radio went deathly silent for a long time.
Jet's voice came back on abruptly. "Harry. Alter your course to the following co-ordinates."
Jet gave them and followed them. He had had a long day already. His sleep had been terrible, as it often was before a big battle and the battle fatigue was catching up to him again. He fought to keep alert as he followed the co-ordinates. It wasn't until he spotted a familiar sight that he woke up, as if someone had thrown cold water in his face. It couldn't be. Yet it was. He refused to believe it, even though he had already figured out he wasn't any longer in his own time line. Question was, which timeline was he in now?
He had already fought in the original timeline. That's when he had transitioned from a secret war against the Nazis into an alternate timeline where Super Storm Troopers guarded a base of intercontinental missiles armed with nuclear devices. He had been cast unconscious into the freezing lakes of the Swiss Alps, then later recovered by a female scientist to carry on the war with the Resistance of that world which had been nuked to destruction by the Nazi empire.
Then he had found himself switched into a yet different timeline, evidently some side effect of the energies of his rocket suit, which had been built for him by Tesla and Einstein. The radiation sparked some kind of intermittent cross time travel, which he had absolutely no control over. He was a puppet of destiny, wherein he was fighting the Nazis, who seemed to always be winning in every world he ended up in.
He cut back on his jets and as the dust settled, was immediately surrounded by a platoon of British Marines. Something odd about them, though he couldn't figure out what it was at first. Then as he unhinged the front of his suit and stepped down, a very beautiful red head came flying between the troops and flung her arms around him. She gave him a kiss that would've melted the side of a battleship, then pushed him back and slapped his face. "How dare you run off like that into battle and not tell me, Harry!"
Harry stood there stunned a moment. He eyed her closely, noting that she had blue eyes and her hair was a true red, but tinted with shades or orange as well, and then said. "Who are you?"
She gave him a shocked look, then dropped back, finally giving his suit an odd look. She dropped even further back as he pushed through the troops. Jet had a thick beard and mustache. He didn't have the battle fatigues on the other soldiers did. Instead, he wore professorial glasses and a doctor's smock.. "Harry?"
They stood looking at each other a long time, trying to absorb the differences they both saw. Then Jet spied the rocket suit behind Harry. "I don't know where you've been, Harry. But that's not the suit you took off in when you were assigned to fly to Paris and blow up the Eiffel Tower."
Harry's turn to be shocked. "But the Eiffel Tower was destroyed by Hitler's nukes at the end of the war. The nukes I failed to stop."
Jet and Harry eyed each other silently a long time. Finally, Jet nodded to the Platoon and they scattered, returning to their positions. "Someone wants to talk to you, Harry. We'll sort this out later."
The redhead scooted back in close to Harry again, taking his right hand and clenching it so tightly he almost screamed with pain. "We're going to get through this, Harry. I promise!"
They walked towards a large tent. The Tower of Big Ben hovered in the background. Harry stopped for a moment and pointed. "That shouldn't be there. This shouldn't be here." He pointed to the camp. It should be a nuclear pothole."
Jet eyed Harry warily. "Amigo, you sure got some head injury. Don't know what Nukes are, but they sound truly nasty."
Jet gave Harry a second and longer appraising look, then they went inside. There, General Eisenhower and Albert Einstein stood before a large tactical map. Except that General Eisenhower looked different. Even Al; he had brown skin. The General yellow like a Chinese.
Eisenhower turned a fierce glance on Harry. His almond eyes appraised Harry thoughtfully a moment, then sharply. "Report, Captain."
Harry immediately saluted, even though he was still in a state of shock.
"Captain Harry Jackson, Air Command. Rocketman reporting as commanded."
"Sir." Eisenhower growled in an oriental accent.
"Sir!" Harry repeated, saluting smartly yet again.
Eisenhower came closer, examined Harry with eyes as fierce as hawks. This man was a lot fiercer looking than the strong, but milder man he knew back in his home timeline. Harry glanced towards Al. A black Al. He could never have imagined such a thing. But there he was, the same face, but framed by spiky white hair. Al smiled out a cigar and lit it.
"Al, where's your pipe, why are you brown?" Harry stammered.
He looked at the red head. "Who are you? Why did you kiss me so...swell?"
She almost choked with laughter. "Swell! Harry no one talks like that anymore."
He turned to Jet. "You don't need glasses."
"You've got eyes like an eagle."
"Sorry, Amigo, but that hasn't been true for a decade."
Al continued to gaze at Harry in a relaxed manner. He indicated a beat up stool. "I suggest you sit down, young man. You've got a lot to digest I fear."
At first he didn't believe a word he was hearing. He was in a kind of battle shock. The alteration of timelines had yet again caught him in its grips and this time in a more rigorous manner. Britain was a nation of Orientals. Jet was a doctor like Al, and Al was Latino. The red head was his fiancée in this time line. But there were more shocks to come. And ones he didn't like one bit.
He kept giving her side glances. She didn't look like Nurse Sally exactly, what with blue eyes instead of green, but...
She kept looking at him, like a child who's found themselves in a horrible nightmare that can't wake up from. "Stop looking at me like I've turned into some kind of monster?"
"It's not that, it's just..."
She shook her head, fighting off tears, then couldn't hold it anymore. Her heart was breaking. She burst into tears finally and ran from the tent.
Al looked at Eisenhower. "Ike, I think I should..."
"She deserves some help right about now. Go ahead."
Al smiled gratefully and slipped from the tent to follow Red.
The General's eyes gazed solemnly at Harry. "Just answer one question, son."
Harry nodded, the fatigue and shock taking a toll on his energies. He could barely keep his eyes open. "Yes, sir. Anything."
"What do I look like in your timeline?"
Harry burst into laughter. The Ike he knew of his timeline would never, have never ever asked such a question. And he sure as hell wouldn't have let Harry off the hook so swiftly. He would have dogged him until he had wrung every single bit of Intel he could, then wring him again."
The General finally lost his solemn look. He clapped a hand to Harry's shoulder and turned to Jet. "See that he gets a warm meal and a bed to rest on. We'll figure this mess out tomorrow. Time enough for questions, right Doctor?"
Jet nodded, though he didn't act as certain as the General. He gave Harry a long look, then nodded again, indicating the exit.
As Harry was being led out he looked back. The General was still watching him. "Tomorrow, Harry. Tomorrow. There's always tomorrow." He chuckled. "Especially for you."
Harry followed Jet, who had yet to gather his own senses together. When they reached a tent, Jet opened it. Two cots were inside. "Yours is the one on the left."
"Jet, what happened to me?"
Jet looked him in the eyes. "I don't know, Harry. You're still Harry, but you're different somehow. The fact that you looked like you were in shock when Red smacked you with those gorgeous lips clued me in really fast that you were not my Harry."
He paused, then grinned. "Either that or you were giving her one of the biggest cons a Romeo like you can do."
"Harry, everyone knows Reds just one of a dozen ladies you got on the hook." Harry laughed again and slapped Harry on his back. "Amigo, there isn't a soldier in this camp that wouldn't love to trade places with you."
Harry gave him a blank look. None of it made sense. He'd never hang one woman up to dry to be with another and that many at the same time. He bit his lower lip. Evidently these multiple time lines were not only different in how the Nazis won the war, but also, how the people acted. At that moment he determined not to let what Jet had said about him be his real self, whatever that might have been.
Then he got a really, really horrible thought. What if his alternate Harry was also thrust into his last timeline instead of him? What happened there...would it affect him here? And did what he do here affect there? His mind was reeling from the implications of what had happened to him...yet again. The first times the timelines had been altered only by the amount of time, but this time...
Jet gave him a searching look. "Harry, you don't look so good. You all right, amigo?"
Harry shook his head. "Would you be?
"Last thing I remember was flying a mission to destroy the energy domes surrounding the continents."
Jet's jaw dropped. "Energy domes around the continents! Where the hell you been, amigo, what happened to you?"
"I don't know. Yet. So now what's going to happen?"
Jet smiled. "I imagine you'll wake up bright and early and go through another, deeper and more thorough briefing, then you'll probably be off to war again like all of us. Like all of us, Harry. Only..."
He started to say more, then waved it off. "Just rest, Harry. You've can re-rig your brain tomorrow. Time enough then." Jet slapped Harry on the back again. "Good to have you back with us safe and sound, amigo. Sleep well. You've earned it."
Without another word Jet exited.
Harry collapsed on his bunk. He didn't even bother to kick off his boots. The moment he hit the bunk he was out like a light. Then he felt something warm press against him. He awoke to find Red laying next to him, her arms about his neck, snuggled against his chest.
Harry started to wake her, then pulled back.
"Tomorrow, Harry." He whispered to himself. "There's always tomorrow, Rocketman."
Then he fell into a deep and restful sleep.
At least until the air raid sirens began to wail.
Red was gone. Jet rushed through into the tent. "Rocketman, we need you!"
"The Last Rocketman." A terrifying view of the future that might have been. The future that still could be. And the courage to face it!
The Last Rocketman
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
He stood at the top of Mount Everest, his rocket suit shining a metallic green in the harsh light of the dusk. He was exhausted, beaten up and weary. He had done as much as any one man could ever be expected to accomplish. And yet it hadn't been enough. He still wasn't able to stem the tide of evil sweeping across the world and slowly, but surely stomping on every spot of Light that remained unblemished by the virus of hatred led by Hitler and his regime.
What had gone wrong?
What had he done then, that he could have done differently?
"Jet! I'm getting a very strange reading."
"What's new?" Jet's voice rang in his ears from the inserted receivers.
"No. I mean...really, really strange."
Harry adjusted his altitude and attitude controls, leveling out after his rocketing plunge from the stratospheric heights...his usual ploy to remain unseen until the last possible moment before he attacked his targets. For some reason the targets were getting harder to spot, and faster in eluding him. That wasn't a good thing.
"That isn't a good thing." Jet echoed his thoughts.
"What? Oh yeah. Right!" Harry answered, his eyes focusing on the blurry blip before him. He adjusted his altitude and again plunged deeper into the lower strata of clouds that still veiled the American skies. There were more clouds these days since Hitler had nuked Las Vegas. The one town he had left untouched, even though he had taken out Nellis and Area 51 decades before in his initial attack. He had saved the nukes for the larger cities. Evidently some of his generals had convinced the Fuehrer that gambling was a waste of bombs.
"I see something." Harry hollered, not meaning to.
"Easy on the ear drums, Harry. Remember. You're right in my brain."
"What you see?"
Harry swept through the final layer of clouds over the Mojave Desert and then almost wet his pants at what he saw. Huge towering constructions of metal and highly polished mirrors that stood dozens of stories into the air. The whole complex he was reading was off the charts.
"They've got some kind of weird energy structure built."
"Tez it back to me."
Harry nudged the Tez camera and shots of the desert structures began to line up on Jet's screen back at the base. Einstein and Tesla eyed them solemnly. "They've managed to do it."
"Do what?" Jet almost hollered at them, totally confused by the odd looking structures.
Einstein leaned over Jet's mike. "Harry, you've got to take them out. Now!"
"What are they, Al?" Harry's voice rang throughout the base.
Everyone was watching what he saw through his external Tez on huge screens about the interior of the base. When Harry fought, everyone supported him in prayer and anticipation, because the war effort hinged on whatever he did next. It had come to that.
"Your worst nightmare...and mine." Einstein almost gasped.
Jet looked at him. Al looked back and shook his head. "I'm all right. Chest cold."
Al leaned closer to the mike. "Harry, if those are activated they will create a screen of energies over America which are impenetrable to anything we have. We won't be able to pursue them there anymore."
"I assume they must be doing the same on the other continents." Harry sighed.
"Count on it." Tesla barged in, grabbing the mike.
"See the central tower?"
Harry angled his helmet to glance to his right. "Loud and clear."
"It's the one you must take down for certain. It's the power hub."
"Are you sure?" Harry asked. "I don't see any soldiers around that tower at all."
"It's a trick, Harry." Tesla blasted. "You know they're good for that."
"But what if their trick is to leave the real thing guarded, not the one that isn't."
"It has to be the power hub. The rest of the towers are too diminished. They have to be the ones that feed the energy screen once the power is added."
Harry shook his head as best he could in his helmet. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"You always do, Harry." Jet kidded.
"Suppose." Harry acknowledged. "But something stinks to Nazi hell about this."
Harry sent his suit into a sweeping arc of the complex. As he did he was able to see the complex better, weigh the positions of the guards. "They do look pretty nervous. The guards. I would too if I were standing in front of machines about to blast the skies with mega joules of power."
Al took the mike back. "Harry, you've got to take out the large tower. It has to be the source of power."
Tesla took the mike away from Al. "No. It's the smaller ones. Leave the larger one be. Take out as many of the smaller structures as you can."
Jet looked at the two scientists, took the mike away from Al. "Harry, this has to be your call."
Harry began to sweat profusely, even though the interior of his suit was a cool seventy degrees. "This really, really stinks."
"Okay. Al I'm going to take out the big tower."
Harry launched towards the larger structure. He let go with a barrage of his hand missiles. Below Nazi Storm Troopers looked up at the sound of the approaching rockets. Then they looked towards the large tower. As the missiles struck it, there were no explosions. The large tower shimmered for a moment and the missiles passed through it.
"Harry, get out of there. Get out of there now!" Jet screamed at him.
Harry lit his rockets and shot upwards in arc of power.
Even as he did the smaller structures began to light up one by one, like Christmas tree lights. The soldiers below rushed away from the structures they had been sent to guard and turned to look, cheering and triumphant as the towers spewed massive forces of energy that gathered together in a swirling funnel, vortex of massive energies that slowly expanded upwards and outwards.
"Come on, baby!" Harry coaxed his suit, giving it everything he had as his rear Tez showed him the inverted bowl of energies flaming upwards towards him.
"Jet. Calm down. Worst that can happen is that I'll get stuck here. This suit can handle anything."
"No Harry." Al hollered, taking the mike. "It'll fry every electronic in your suit. You'll fall like the dead piece of metal you'll become."
"Damn, don't go easy on me, Al. I gotta enough to handle." Harry spouted comically.
Then beneath his breath. "Come on, baby. Come on!"
Sheaths of furious energies closed in on Harry as his rocket suit climbed higher and higher. "You didn't tell me those things could reach into the stratosphere!"
"We didn't know. Till now." Al told him.
Harry looked behind him and the energies were hot on his heels and closing fast.
He felt the heat of them through his suit, even with the cooling now turned up sky-high. He kicked at the air beneath him, as if that would help, and then grinned. "Idiot!"
"Not you guys! Me!"
Harry angled his suit and gave it full power towards the rapidly rising curtains of energy that threatened to engulf him.
"What the hell are you doing, Harry?"
"Playing out a hunch!"
Harry gathered speed. The glare of the waves of energy smote his eyes so powerfully that he had to raise the sunshield to protect his eyes. Even so, he could barely see. He eyed his sensors. "Closing in fast."
"Harry turn around. You'll fry!"
Harry did what was probably the most stupid thing he had ever done in his life. He fired his hand missiles into the conflagration about to overwhelm him. For just the briefest of moments as the missiles exploded, the energy bubble wavered.
Rocketman burst through the narrow opening and shot across the skies beneath the flaming canopy of catastrophic forces.
Harry swiped the sweat on his face with an invisible hand that did absolutely nothing to get it off his face, but he still relaxed. "It worked, Jet."
Harry frowned, and then realized he was cut off.
He did the only sane thing he could at that point. He headed for the Pacific. Maybe the shield didn't go deep. He could.
Harry stood on the top of Mount Everest. From there he could see the towering, overarching shields of energy that enveloped Asia, Europe and the Americas. They were so large and massive and so bright and terrible that not even daylight could hide their horrible magnificence.
The Nazis had done it. They had finally won the war.
There was no way he could effectively stop them now. The continents were sealed. He had managed to escape beneath the dome over the Americas, hoping to return the same way, but soon afterwards the Nazi Command had extended the dome to include at least ten miles of offshore sea as well.
He was permanently and effectively locked out of America, Europe and Asia.
There was nothing more he could do.
He couldn't even speak to his friends in the Alps.
He stood on the peak of Mount Everest, storms of snow blasting around him and didn't care. There had to be something he could do. Something he could do to change this horrible course of history.
For there would be no more Rocketman. He knew his friends. He knew their abilities. His suit was the last one they could build with the resource they had. The jump suits didn't have enough reach and would run out of power once they were unable to secure more supplies from the Americas. This was now. This day.
The resistance was over.
Sure, there would still be pockets of resistance. But inevitably, they would be crushed.
He rubbed at his eyes in a futile gesture, but his armored hands could only thunk the hardened glass of his faceplate.
Alone, like a Superman cast off from Krypton, he stood on Mount Everest, again and again trying to figure out what he could have done differently. Then he heard this weird sound. He turned around and looked up. It was Rocketman! Arching down from above, blasting way merrily on its twin thrusters of powerful forces.
"How?" He asked.
Then a voice rang in his ears. "You're not the last Rocketman, you big jerk! Stop thinking with your emotions and use your brains!"
Then the second Rocketman, the one that should not have existed, vanished as if it had never been there.
Harry stared at the empty skies a long time, his Rocketman suit pounded by the almost hurricane force of the winds and snow about him. He finally looked towards the horizon where the glowing domes lit up the skies.
The last Rocketman?
He grinned. "I don't think so!"
He raised his arms and shot up into the sky, accelerating faster and faster. He remembered now. What he had tucked back into the interior of his subconscious. There was a way. A way to get back. To change things.
He shot upwards, higher and higher.
He had tested the theory one other time and it hadn't worked. But then he had chosen the situation and it hadn't been a true risk of his life. This time it was. Whenever he was in mortal danger. About to die, the timelines blurred and he was translated into an alternate timeline. It was his one and only chance.
He took it.
He arced around and shot like the rocket he was towards the nearest of the huge domes of energy. "Well, Harry, no one lives forever!" He cried out as he shot at the nearest of the domes at a speed that broke the sound barrier over and over.
Jet laid down his hand, grinning at Harry, while Al smiled from his side of the table and Tesla from his. They were playing poker. "I win!"
He had three aces and two kings.
Harry slammed down his cards. "You're cheating!"
Jet spread his hands calmly. "Since when have I ever had to cheat at anything, Harry?"
Al stood up and then Tesla.
"Good night, gentleman." Al said, and then exited towards the right, tapping his pipe on his coat sleeve as he walked away.
Tesla swept his chips into a hand and pocketed them. He looked to Jet. "Tomorrow night?"
Tesla nodded to him, then to Harry and rushed to catch up to Al, whom he put an arm around his shoulder.
Harry heard them both laughing and gave them an angry scowl.
"Harry! Lighten up! It's not like you're facing death or anything."
Harry froze for a moment, the flash of huge columns of flaming energy burning in his vision, and just as quickly as the vision flared, it vanished. He let go of his anger. "Sorry, it's just the stress catching up, I think."
Jet swiped all his chips into his hat, and then stood. "Spoken like the man you truly are. Have a good one, Harry."
He strode off, leaving Harry pondering the meaning of his vision for a long time. Finally, Harry also rose. He yawned. "It's been a long day." So saying, he headed for his room. Enough thinking. Enough...everything!
Below the dome a Nazi WarWing was roaring towards its destination. The co-pilot excitedly pointed upwards. "Something's striking the dome!"
The pilot looked and shook his head. "Probably another one of those meteorites."
The co-pilot nodded. "Nothing could ever pass through those monstrosities. Not even us."
They both laughed.
The Nazi War Wing banked and headed for its destination, the lone disruption of the shield above forgotten and filed away as just another meteorite strike.
It was their first and final mistake as a barrage of missiles stroke their WarWing and it exploded.
Rocketman shot through the exploding debris of the demolished plane and headed for the Pacific on a mission to return home.
Captured by the Eastern Faction allied with the Nazis, Jet and Harry are in great danger! Doctor Zombie. A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo.
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry struggled against the maglocks that kept him chained to the wall. Jet watched him from across the cell, straining against his own as well. Finally, they both stopped.
"Well if that doesn't take the cake." Jet finally said in a blast of exhaustion and frustration.
Both men had been strung up to the wall now for two days without food or water. Their pants were soiled and stinking and their arms hurt like hell as well. Their wrists and hands were going number. Their legs were about to buckle, which meant they would probably collapse, causing their wrists to dislocate and the loss of both hands.
"Yeah. War stinks." Harry cursed. "And so do we?"
"Well, the way I see it, pal, is that if the Nazis don't turn us into Zombies to kill our friends, then these Eastern Faction crazies going to rip our skin off to see what makes us tick."
"Or both." Harry added.
"You had to say that, didn't you? Didn't you!." Jet shot back.
"Hey! Someone's gotta keep up our spirits!"
"War is still hell."
"And it stinks!" Harry said sniffing the air in a comical manner.
"Now, now Harry. Just look at it as a little manly fragrance to pass the time away with."
"This is serious." Harry insisted.
"And it's never not been?"
Harry sighed, and then looked to the solid wall that opened up to allow their captors inside. "What do you think they want from us?"
"Maybe a chocolate malted and fries."
Harry laughed despite himself. "Jet!"
"Yeah man. Thinking. Thinking." Shakes his head. "Nope. No thoughts. You?"
Before Harry could reply the door in the wall slid open, revealing a very beautiful oriental woman clad in a doctor's smock. Her hands were covered in gloves.
"This don't look good, Harry." Jet said, eyeing the gloves.
"Losing your touch with the ladies, Jet?"
"In this case I'll make an exception." Jet quipped, again his eyes not leaving those gloved hands. Finally, he looked up. "I hope those gloves have got useful purposes...like letting us out of our prison, feeding us, arming us."
The oriental woman neither smiled, nor responded. She came into the room, plucked a thermometer from her smock, stuck it in Harry's mouth, then went to the other side of the room and did the same with Jet.
Jet smiled at her. "My favorite flavor. None."
Her eyes flickered for a moment, but she still said nothing. She left the room.
Harry looked over at Jet. "I think your charm is making headway."
"Yeah. Like an airplane crash."
They both laughed.
Several minutes later the door opened again and the same oriental woman entered the room, plucked the thermometers out, made a note of their temperatures, and then exited again.
"What the hell?" Jet asked no one in particular.
"You have to admit, it does help pass the time between getting nowhere fast and possibly being tortured next."
Jet perked up. "You think?"
Harry didn't respond. He didn't want to think about it. He knew what kind of tortures the Orientals on his own timeline had used during World War Two; he could only imagine what the ones in this crazy cocked up would do.
The door opened again a large man, also in a doctor's smock entered. He was glancing at a notepad in his hands. He was escorted by what appeared to be Samurai, except that instead of swords they carried these wicked looking rods with barbed tips that emitted sparks every now and then.
Jet swallowed. The torture was about to begin.
The large man gestured to Jet.
The guards headed for him.
"Don't worry, pal. I'll be there with you when the time comes."
Jet looked back at Harry as he was removed from the maglocks. "You're kidding? Right? Right?"
As the guards walked past Harry, he suddenly jerked his entire body upwards, straining against the maglocks with his hands to hold on, and kicked the nearest Samurai Guard. It swung around and shoved its rod at Harry, who managed to dodge the blow to his chest. The rod glanced across his shoulder and struck the maglocks over Harry's head, emitting a shower of sparks.
Harry slumped against the wall.
"Damn! Harry! Harry!" Jet cried out as the Samurai Guard gave Harry a second blast from his rod in his back, then grunted happily and followed the first guard and the large man out. The doors closed.
Harry's body hung on the maglocks for what seemed like forever, but then a strange thing occurred. A smile slid across his lips.
Jet was hauled into a large warehouse with an open door at the opposite end, where Japanese Soldiers were marching. Rows of odd looking tanks lined opposite walls. The tanks cannon all appeared similar to the rods the guards carried. He was marched to a large table where his and Harry's jump suits lay stretched out. A scientist with a Nazi band on his right upper arm, with its red deadhead on it, looked up from his examination of the suits.
"Ah, I see you have accepted our invitation to join us." The scientist said. He nodded to the large man and he walked off. The two guards fell back from Jet, who began rubbing his wrists to bring life into them again. He hadn't had a chance in the grip of the guards.
"I wasn't invited." Jet said, his voice growling and low.
"Come now. Surely you can appreciate a bit of humor in light of what we could alternatively choose to do?"
"You mean like hanging me on a wall and torturing me?"
"Oh no, that would be too uncivilized."
The scientist gestured to the right and then Jet saw the silent men and women in uniform that stood at perfect attention. Their faces rigid and immobile, fists clenched against their hips. They wore Nazi armbands.
"Zombies!" Jet uttered, the horror of what he was seeing gripping his heart and soul.
"Ah. I see you have fond memories of the good old days."
"How could you know...?"
The scientist came closer to Jet and looked into his eyes. "Do you not recognize the one who made you?"
Jet's horror grew even more. "Doctor Zombie"
Doctor Zombie smiled at Jet. "Oh, I'm so much more than that!"
Jet actually managed to shake off both his guards for a moment as he rushed the Doctor, but their reactions were faster than his and they snapped him back against them again, locking their hand tightly about his arms.
The Doctor smiled. Their grips relaxed.
Jet tensed, ready to spring again for the Doctor, but decided to see if a better moment should arise.
"Yes. A curious name your fellow zombies named me and one I've grown affectionate of. And I have never forgotten you, Jet. You always were the one that got away. Both figuratively and literally in the end. I look forward to inspecting your brain to see how that happened." He clapped his hands.
The guards gripped Jet by his arms again. He tried to shake them off, but was too weak to do so. Their strength was immense.
"I see you have noticed the superior strength of my new generation." The scientist said.
"You're mad." Jet swore. "No good will ever come of this!"
"Oh, but it already has. I expect you to talk excitedly about these..." He pointed to the jump suits. "And very loudly."
One of the guards quite unexpectedly broke Jet's left pinkie.
Jet screamed in pain.
"Am I making myself quite clear, Jet?"
"But how, how did he know to..." Jet uttered despite his growing pain.
The scientist tapped his head. "Here. I have found a way to connect myself to all my creations."
And upon those words every single zombie in the lineups turned and saluted the scientists with a Nazi goosestep to boot.
"Damn!" Jet muttered, a smile coming to his lips. "Busby Berkeley could sure use these guys!"
Jet screamed even louder when his left pinkie was broken.
"What the hell you do that for, man?" Jet hollered.
The scientist tapped his head. "Because I can. Now, shall we talk as peace loving men, or shall we continue our little game of sticks and stones."
The scientist started to smile and then grimaced and made a very, very ugly face as his forehead sprouted a blossom of red. He tumbled to the concrete floor and lay there unmoving.
Jet broke away from the guards, expecting them to stop him, but they were frozen in place. Alarms began to ring.
Harry came running from behind a tank, tossing a Japanese rifle to the ground as he dashed Jet's way. "Suit up!" He screamed.
Jet didn't wait for another invitation. He hurriedly buttoned up as Harry scrambled to do his own. Both men finished as the troops arrived. A barrage of bullets zinged about them. They didn't wait for further encouragement.
"Rockets away!" Harry hollered.
"You got it!" Jet cried out.
Both men ran towards the exit, where the massive doors were beginning to close with a loud groaning sound. They leaped into the air and their rockets cut in and propelled them faster and faster towards the diminishing exit opening.
Soldiers outside were running to cover the exit, firing at them as they came closer.
"Ever had a close shave before, Jet."
"Yeah...every day with you!" Jet cursed.
Then both men in perfect sync turned as one sideways and shot out the closing door exit, making it just in the nick of time. The soldiers outside spun around and aimed their weapons at the fleeing men, firing round after round.
"Ow!" Jet cried out as they shot over the encampment and the vast warehouse they had been held captive in.
"Where you shot, Jet?"
"My damn pinkies, they're both broken and I forgot that and tried to use them."
"Next time, use your middle finger." Harry joked.
Jet did. But not on his controls.
The two rocket men shot upwards and safely into the high clouds overhead.
Fighting Nazi Monsters! "Storming the Future" A Rocketman Story by John Pirillo. Would he ever be able to return to the woman he loved?
Storming the Future
"A Rocketman Story"
by John Pirillo
Harry stood before the Rocketman suit, which was hanging by its arms in a clench of metal clamps that held it at a perpetual 12 inches above the pressed concrete flooring that covered the interior Swiss base of the Resistance. Behind it hung a second version, and behind that a third and so on through about ten versions. Each version was smaller than the last, but still far too big.
He then looked at the smaller jump suit, as he called it, that was slung casually over a work bench where Einstein and Tesla were clucking like mother hens over their new babies. It looked similar to the old movie serial he had seen in the States before he had been transferred to the Allied front in Britain It was, however, powered differently, and modular. Each part of it could be replaced by simply removing the entanglement field that kept it in place.
The entanglement field was something that Edison had come up with on a whim. He had been researching electromagnetics in hopes of finding a way to automate the building of his cars...and now the war effort's weaponized vehicles more rapidly, with them being easier to fix when things blew up. Which was often. It was based on some law that Harry didn't have the slightest comprehension of. Science was not his forte. Flying was. He frowned, but flying a ticking bomb had never been on his list of flying objects when he woke up in the future, or in the past and was drafted into the war on the Nazi regime.
"Don't worry, Harry, they'll work it out." Jet told him from the side.
Harry, startled from his reverie, and turned to eye his friend. "It's getting worse."
Jet put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know, brother. Believe me I know. I'm the one that has to listen to you scream at night, remember?"
Harry sighed, then dug his hands into his uniform pockets, letting his frustration drain away. Jet was right. He always was. It just fretted at him that he had so little control over what was happening.
Al, perked up, probably feeling Harry's upset and nodded to Tesla, who gave Harry a wave, then returned to probing the jump suit with a tiny tool that had headlights on it. Al brushed his hands off, wiped them carefully on a dirty cloth, then on a cleaner one, and came over, all smiles and perky. "Harry, my boy. So good to see you. And so bright and early."
Jet gave Al a cockeyed grin. "As if anyone could sleep in this hole in the wall anyway."
Al clapped a hand on Jet's right arm. "Always shooting from the hip."
"Just be glad you're not the one in my sights."
Al laughed, patted Jet's arm, then gave Harry a more serious look. "You had them again?"
Harry adjusted his flight attitude and zoomed in a descending arc towards the newly reconstructed Eiffel Tower. It was late at night and only a few guards stood there, but they were Sturmgiganten. The giant, genetically enhanced soldiers cooked in Hitler's massive genetics labs buried somewhere in Asia and out of the reach of the Resistance.
For now. Harry thought grimly. One day. He let the thought subside as he dropped lightly onto the semi-lit platform at the top of the tower. It was similar to the one he remembered from his youth, when his father and mother had taken him to Paris for part of an European vacation. Those had been happier days. For Harry. But they had ended badly for his parents. His mother had contracted cancer and went through what seemed like an endless series of tests and remedies, which left her weaker and weaker over time.
A stomping of a boot.
Harry snapped out of the past to the present. This present. Not the one he had been born to. Which was in late twenties. Not this one which was a thousand years later and the hollow shell of the world it had once been. Its peoples decimated by a constantly warring faction of Nazi soldiers and Eastern Global warriors and weapons. The Second World War had ended with nuclear strikes at all the major western capitals of the world. The Eastern Block and Nazi Germany had divided the planet into two zones. They lived an uneasy peace between them, which was enforced locally by zombie soldiers...citizens whose minds were preempted by electronics...and Sturmgiganten...huge genetically modified soldiers that stood over eight feet tall, had muscles as thick as tree trunks and fists the size of hams. No, it wasn't a pretty future, or past as he remembered it.
Harry slid in a sliding curve with his left foot and the other one jacked up and caught the Nazi giant in its right kneecap. It grunted in pain. They had no voice like normal, but spoke in a kind of apelike grunt. Harry knew the one on the opposite side would be coming fast. For some reason these creatures always knew what was going on with the other. Knowing that, he swiftly followed the kneecap kick with a double punch into the giant's privates. The giant grunted even louder, the pain of its crushed testicles...thank God it had something normal...being so excruciating that it doubled over. That brought its chin into Harry's reach. He slammed his right elbow into its throat, then shoved with all his strength and sent the giant tumbling against the railing, where its giant yellowed eyes glared at him angrily, promising hideous torture. It wasn't going to happen. Harry drop kicked the giant in its stomach and it flew head over heels from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Its grunts grew louder and louder with pain as it fell into the large metal struts holding up the massive tower.
Harry never got to listen to it strike the bottom, because even if he could have heard it, the second giant was on him. He spun around powered his suit and flew like an arrow of destruction into its chest, sending it falling back against the railing. Harry didn't wait to struggle with it. He clasped one of its arms, gave his suit a power surge and lifted it off the platform, dangled it over the ground below and let go. He didn't listen for any grunts. He had a mission to do. He lit on the platform again and went to the strange device that topped the tower. It was, according to the Resistance informants, a death ray, that once activated. That one and a score of them about the city. That once activated, would create a lethal dome of blazing energies which no living thing could survive.
His mission. It's not going to happen.
He set the charges he carried in his side flaps, planted the timers carefully on all of them, set them for sixty seconds and leaped from the tower.
He flipped on his jump suit and waited for the rockets to kick in.
Harry's face was flushed and sweating by the time he had completed the retelling of his dream. Jet looked at him, his jaw hanging down. "God, Harry, I never knew. Man!"
Al took out his pipe, which he always did when he was considering something weighty, or something that bothered him deeply, proceeded to tamp tobacco in it, then light it. He took several puffs, then said. "We're going to find out what is causing these time loops, Harry. I promise it."
He said nothing more, but he gave Harry a quick side hug, then stepped back to rejoin Tesla, who looked up then, saw Harry's face, gave him a worried look, then returned to his work, with Al whispering words to him so Harry and Jet couldn't over listen.
Harry slumped against the work table behind him and wiped the sweat from his face. He felt like crap. Probably looked like it too.
He and Jet went to the small eating area that was allowed the base, took out two mugs and filled them steaming black java. They plugged the liquid with dabs of sugar and milk, then sat down, eyeing the activity going on, even at such an early hour.
A platoon of Resistance Forces were training in one corner, their Squad Leader, hollering at them to stay trim, stay in line, be quiet, get down and all the other nasty things those guys did to save the lives of those in their command.
"It's like I'm unhinged in time, Jet." Harry finally said, lifting his eyes from the activity in the base, to Jet's.
Jet nodded. He waited for Harry to go on.
"I never feel the death, but it always ends up that way. Why do I only remember the deaths?"
Jet laughed. "God's keeping you humble, man. God knows you need it, Flyboy."
Harry laughed despite the sadness and dismay he felt. He took a long sip of the hot java, the coffee streaming down his throat and igniting the nerve endings in his body, bringing some semblance of reality back to him again as he got further away from the dream.
Then he remembered. "Jet, it's been happening to me when I fly the suit."
"Yeah, man, we knew that."
"Yes, but it only happens after I've been in battle."
Harry jumped to his feet and dashed off.
Jet set his coffee down. "Now, I know why they call him Rocketman. He never keeps his feet on the ground long."
Jet sighed, threw the rest of his drink down his throat, then ran after Harry.
Harry struggled into the Rocketman suit while the Techs helped him lockdown. It was like squeezing a soft tomato through the top of a wine bottle. It had to get inside without bursting. At least that's what it always felt like to Harry at first. He eyed the jump suit and wished it were stable. He needed the flexibility it provided. No use living in the past, he thought, then stuffed his arms into the arms of the Rocketman suit and waited as he was closed inside.
Jet tapped on his faceplate. "Reading me, Harry?"
"Only too loud and clear, pal."
"Good, next time you run out on me like that I'm charging for the time."
The Techs about them laughed too.
Harry and Jet were base favorites. Their humor and stamina were well known, as was their battle readiness.
Harry activated the controls in his suit with his chin, tongue and nose, then dropped lightly to the floor as the overhead clamps released him. He turned towards the rising hanger door. He twisted slightly to look at Jet. "Make sure Al and Tes are monitoring my flight this time. It's important."
"Not telling me why, pal!" Jet exclaimed in aggravation.
Harry smiled through the face plate. "No time. Just tell them. Please!"
"Gotcha!" Jet dashed off.
Harry turned the Rocketman suit towards the opening to the Swiss air, then ignited his suit's rockets. He kept them tuned low so the radiations didn't backwash into the crew scrambling to clear his path, then punched them into full gear when he reached the opening. They could never leave it open more than a few seconds for fear of the Nazi Fume Fighters catching wind of them. So far they'd been lucky.
Harry launched into the clear blue skies of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne below him as he angled towards the clouds. He checked his radar and spotted a Fume Fighter. They had won that name from the ugly black smoke they emitted as they tore through the atmosphere, leaving a smoking trail of black fumes and stench.
"Closing." Harry said into his communicator.
"Gotcha, Harry." Jet said.
"Be careful, Harry." Al told him.
"My middle name." Harry chuckled. "Except when it's he who drops like a rock."
Jet whooped with laughter. "That was good, brother. Really good."
"Here goes!" Harry warned, then accelerated the suit, closing in rapidly on the Fume Fighter which was high above. Obviously, the pilot had his attention forward, instead of below, for Harry was able to launch a series of rockets into its exhausts before the pilot awoke to the Rocketman behind him.
Harry didn't give him a chance to warn anyone, not even himself. He launched a deadly one, two whammy salvo of rockets which sent the Nazi pilot back to Valhalla.
Harry circled the area he had struck the Fume Fighter in, waiting for his theory to be proved. Nothing happened.
"Well, Harry?" Al finally said, his voice sounding a bit worried.
"Nothing. Not a damned thing." Harry groaned.
Realizing he had just shot down his own theory, he headed back to base. He shot through the entrance, backed off on his rockets, then lit like a dandelion on his favorite spot. He waited impatiently for the Techs to unlatch him, then thanked them, and raced to the back where Al, Tesla and Jet were standing next to the jump suit, which was still in pieces.
Al gave Harry a searching look.
"I thought the weapons somehow triggered the response that threw me between timelines."
Al nodded and turned to Tesla, who had been jotting notes in a small tablet in his hands. "I think you're wrong, Harry. "
He held the tablet up. Harry squinted at the mathematical symbols on it.
"What's it mean?"
But the words that left his lips seemed hollow, empty, as if he were in some kind of deep echo chamber. He jerked his eyes towards Jet, who was reaching for him and then...
Harry was falling and falling. The rockets had failed. He would die if he couldn't fire up the engines. Finally, he did the only thing he had left for him to do, if he hoped to survive. He jettisoned himself.
He watched the jump suit smash into a building and explode, sending scores of storm troopers from their quarters to see what was going on.
And there Harry was, dangling from a parachute high above their heads, but plainly visible if any of them looked up.
"Harry!" Jet screamed.
Harry shook his head. Jet shook his body.
Harry snapped out of the vision he had been experiencing and realized he wasn't falling anymore.
Tesla wrote more notes in his tablet. "You were gone for..." He looked at his pocket watch. "Three seconds."
Harry let out a whoop of joy. He hugged Jet. "It worked. It worked!"
Al smiled comfortingly. "Yes. It did. Now..." He sighed, as he and Tesla exchanged glances. "We have to figure out why you are disobeying every law of physics known to man."
Jet patted Harry on his back. "That's because he's Rocketman."
Everyone laughed, except for Harry, who secretly wandered if someday he would be able to use the new knowledge and return. Return to the woman he had left behind. He had loved and was stricken from his life forever by a quirk in time.
Chapter 11. Explosive Action. Once more the Mask seeks to destroy America and The Spy Smasher. Republic Serial. High octane action!
Fiendish plots. Nazis! Sabotage. Death. The Spy Smasher faces certain death yet again in Chapter 9 of the Spy Smasher!
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