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Raiden Yamato: The Samoan Samurai [Part 2]
In the vast scape of the Pacific Ocean, withstanding constant waves, and blazing sunset, stood an artificial island, built around an aging but still functional oil rig. The island consisted of ten large metallic platforms bind together by millions of electric fiber strings. The isle stood on dozens of thick steel pillars that rested on oceanic rocks deep in the ocean, able to withstand pressure as deep as 2500 feet below sea level. The fortress isle was composed of feudal-era Japanese towers and post-modern buildings that surrounded three large satellite dishes, all three aimed at the sky. The Command Tower stood in the center of these three satellites and functioned as the central operations point of the whole island.
The isle was surrounded by twelve warships, four for each side. These were battleships with missile and laser cannon capabilities, each vessel carrying 5000 crewmembers, mostly slaves in military uniform, and twelve multi-range gun pods. Along the isle’s side railings were armed jets and stealth bombers, supported by thousands of military personal and air troopers. Underneath these self-supported railings were expandable missile launchers; large trackable pods that could expand outward from the island and, at any angel with dozens of launch pods on all sides, fire missiles at a target 30 miles away or less.
Beneath the sea were stealth submarines that roamed around the island’s pillars. Black and shaped as sea lions, the underwater boats carried 100 crew members [mostly slaves in military uniforms] each and were armed with multi-range missiles, grenade launchers that could fire cluster bombs designed to rip any ship apart from below, and laser beam guns.
The artificial island was called Mao Putin, one of the largest military facilities of military slave labor in the world.
One afternoon, low-ranking crewmen set out on motorboats to inspect the steel columns under the giant platforms. Initially the inspection of the nine dozen pillars was typically dull for the cleaning crew, all the men of different ethnicities and creeds; for each individual platform leg they had to use multiple monitors to detect foreign substance or lifeform, and then remove that entity for disposal. Giant hoses were used to blast the columns with foamy cleaning solution, and every corner and section had to cleanse with that solution. The first twenty pillars the crew performed this major yet uninspiring task, plus scrap off mucus residue with sea-proof brushes. It took roughly two hours to carry out this cleanup job; during this time, to cure their boredom, the men bragged amongst themselves about their successful conquests with women; even the devout religious men were gleefully persuaded to admit to their encounters with multiple ladies while still married.
Reaching the 24th column, one of the younger crewmen spotted a floating yellow ball bobbing along the ocean currents. The other men didn’t bother to notice what the one lad was looking at. Feeling obligated to do something, the younger worker managed to convince three others to call their captain about the odd sphere. At first the captain, a 50-year-old Aboriginal man bearing thin white facial hair, appeared annoyed by the crewmen reporting about the ocean ball, but despite that, he ordered one of the crewmen to retrieve the presumed floating trash [in hopes of avoiding having another negative report written about him by his young subordinates].
The swimmer retrieved the yellow ball and handed it to the captain. The sphere was plain, made of plastic dyed in sun-orange pigment with two air holes on the top [or the bottom depending upon how it was held]. It was very light, barely carrying any weight, which was convenient for the crew as they dealt with heavier trash moments earlier. Amused, the captain ordered his men to put the ball in a plastic bag for trash disposal.
While the sea crew continued their external cleaning, the elevator unit [composed of six men operating a cube-shaped cage attached to a hanging pole connected to the platform] took possession of the ball along with other oceanic debris and headed back inside, where they were heading to the waste/recycling treatment center. There the trash was separated and organized into various containers. The container carrying the ball was taken to the plastic unit, a section where plastic items were broken apart and melted into five pound blocks for trade with the city-states.
The ball was examined by humanoid robots supervised by two female managers, running scans on it with their robotic fingers before handling the sphere with delicacy. One robot had a light petit hammer in hand and aimed it over the ball. In one stroke the robot tapped the sphere…then suddenly shut itself off. Thin streams of smoke rose out of its neck, followed by sparks shooting out and a wall of flames engulfing its head from the shoulders. The ball was unharmed and beeping.
An emergency crew quickly arrived at the scene and hosed the fiery robot with several fire extinguishers. Once the smoke cleared, the crew for a moment stared at the charred robot, its head completely melted to a slated mound of metallic fluid. The female managers quickly noticed the two other robots ceased moving, their electronic eyes malfunctioning in violent twitches. They tried to send commands via their control panel to all the robots in their immediate area, but to no avail. One by one, one every few seconds without warning in random rhythm, the robots either hunched over and collapsed or burst into flames. The ball continued to beep.
The ceiling lights died. The red emergency bulbs self-activated and the alarm system triggered, but moments later, both electronic mechanisms died. Every computer went offline and all machines stopped operating; the entire unit floor plunged into a blackout. The workers resisted their natural impulse for hysteria, but worry and confusion still overwhelmed them as they struggled to stay calm. The ball continued to beep.
Room by room, all mechanical and electric activity ceased, from the smallest batteries in hand held devices to the largest indoor machine died. All wireless communication ceased. Within a minute, an entire level blacked out. 2 minutes later, over a third of the isle blacked out. Another 2 minutes passed and two thirds of the isle went dark. Gas powered boats and aircraft froze in the middle of use, their engines either overheating ‘til they exploded, or going completely cool; all aircraft midair dropped and twirled in their downward spiral to the ocean, their pilots trapped inside as their emergency ejection system failed. The surrounding warships encircling the manmade island stalled. The ball continued to beep.
Beneath the ocean, submarines’ captains received few warnings of the rolling blackout before their communications with the isle died; they ordered their crew to evacuate. The sailors were able to reach the ocean’s surface in their floatable pods before the submarines began to malfunction. Their captains remained onboard, becoming trapped in the failing submarines. Eventually the underwater vessels descended, their few remaining occupants suffocating to death before the ocean’s pressure crushed them. The ball continued to beep.
In less than 30 minutes, all of Mao Putin fell into a standstill. All the inhabitants left their interior stations and gathered outside, occupying every road and sidewalk on the artificial island. A female sergeant from an air force unit separated herself from the massive crowding and roamed an empty runway once occupied by parked jets, most of them either in the ocean or transported to another location prior to the island’s sudden chaos. Stressed, she pulled out her pack of cigarettes and lit in haste with her lighter, probably the last functional mechanical item on the whole isle due to its lack of parts and simple function. As she smoked, still drenched in panic, she wondered the cleared runway when, while looking to the sky over the ocean, she noticed a strange black dot in the sky, slowly appearing out of the high clouds many miles away. Though this dot was petit, it was very odd for her to notice anything so far away since she had average vision, suggesting that the dot was in reality not small at all.
Seemingly drifting in the partially cloudy sky, a serpent-like dragon snaked through the passing clouds, rising out of one cloud and submerging into another, never fully disguised. Covered in radiant purple and blue scales with gold and diamond fillings and dust particles, the dragon bared eagle crawls as large as a pickup truck, whiskers that leaked misty streams of electric currents that sliced through clouds it passed, and a large ridge-like head adorned in gold with lion hair. Its eyes were white and jade green.
A short, bulky samurai sat on the dragon’s scaly head. Suited in celestial armor, the Samoan warrior sat with his legs crossed in the sitting position, arms tightly folded against his armored chest, staring straight ahead. His suit of heavy steel matched his dragon’s pigments, though his armor had more blue dominating the purple.
As Mao Putin came within sight, the samurai kneeled up and patted his dragon’s head. Feeling its master’s touch, the serpent beast shifted right and dipped below the clouds, casting a burst of wind that struck the ocean surface, creating a circular wave of mist that covered a wide area with rain. Behind them came a swelling formation of gathering grey clouds, taking the shape of a mountain with small roars of thunder.
The dragon was named Raiden Ofu, the Guardian Dragon of Olosega. The Samoan samurai was Emperor Kenji Minamoto, one of the wielders of the Armor of Raiden Yamato, and Head of State of the Samoan Kingdom, successor of its founder and Kenji’s departed uso [brother] Jubei Minamoto.
The island’s inhabitants were at first clueless of the happenings above them, but over time, few by few, people began to look to the ocean and see the black dot. It grew and grew, and the inhabitants began to panic. Someone using a camera recorder with long distance range recorded the mysterious object, and moments later, screamed in terror, “Dragon!!! It’s a dragon!!! It’s a giant dragon!!!” Hysteria broke out as a plague sweeping over Mao Putin; stampedes erupted across multiple blocks, forcing people to jump off the island’s ledges; some were able to able to find exits leading to tunnels that reached the ocean, having flexible ladders attached from the outside openings that made it safer to jump into the ocean. However, the exits quickly filled beyond capacity, creating a swell of trapped people unable to move and barely capable of breathing while trapped and squeezed by standing bodies. Those that jumped swam around the isle’s pillars, some badly injured from the splash impact.
Among the panicked were military officials wielding electroshock sticks, the only functional electronic devices left, to create space, including a bold man of Asian heritage with a grey mustache. He ran out of one of the substitute communication stations near one of the satellites. His name was Kurogane, head enforcer of Mao Putin and former assassin. Wearing a light navy blue kimono with military badges, Kurogane raced down a flight of stairs, shoving and stabbing fleeing commoners with his electroshock shaft out of his way, unaware of where or how they fell.
As the dragon flew at jet speed toward Mao Putin, Kenji reached out his hand and summoned a burst of purple smog-like flames from his palm. The energy expanded, taking the form of a bow and arrow. Fully transformed, the bow was lavish in decoration with a golden spiral dragon statue enclosing much of the stem, while the arrow was engulfed in blue-white fire. Kenji gripped his summoned weapon with both fists.
Less than a mile from Mao Putin, Kenji ordered Raiden Ofu to elevate; his dragon slowly ascended while maintaining the same direction to the isle. Kenji readied his bow and arrow, waiting for the right moment to aim.
Kurogane found a clearing at a small park along an edge near the jet runaway. Using his electronic shaft to smack people out of his way, or zapping them with its electric current to make space, Kurogane ran to the park, running faster than many of the younger folk around him. Once on the green grass, he began to lose his breath, as the panic overtaking his tired body forced him to sit on the grass; desperate to calm his rattled nerves, Kurogane put his hands on his ears, hoping to drown out the noise, hoping to calm down his rapidly beating heart.
Eventually, Kurogane could hear and feel his heart ease, its beating relaxed and slowing down. His eyes closed, he felt his lungs slow its pace to a calmer state. He regained control over his body and the fear no longer overpowered him despite the hysteria surrounding him. Right before he opened his eyes, a strong quake swept right through the surface, causing everything to suddenly vibrate. A settle breeze came and quickly changed into a powerful gust, causing the panic crowd to move back to the isle’s interior sections. Kurogane opened his eyes…and saw the dragon’s scaled belly soar just a few dozen feet above his head.
Despite the force of the dragon’s body pounding Mao Putin, Kurogane managed to keep still and watch the beast rise back to the sky, seemingly star struck by the dragon’s awesome power and size. However, Kurogane never saw Kenji.
Kenji, ignoring the chaos below him, had Kurogane in his sight, seeing the military officer through his helmet’s accessory thermal goggles. He aimed his arrow and stretched his bow’s steel string to its maximum extent. With the target at the perfect spot and time, Kenji quickly fired his arrow, releasing a surging pop of plasma-like energy that turned his flying arrow into a bullet-size comet.
Then, splat!!! Blood sprayed out of Kurogane’s neck, gushing out in heavy gulps flooding down his kimono. He spun around a few times, agony paralyzing his senses, blood flying everywhere, covering the grass. Soon he collapsed on his left side, his sight gone and twitching in violent jerks. Everyone nearby were caught up by the dragon flying over their island, the ground still vibrating from the weight of the dragon’s pressure; no one noticed or heard Kurogane’s blood-curdling screams. The officer lay on the grass, blood settling beneath his head forming a liquid blanket, his eyes blank white gone of life.
Raiden Ofu departed Mao Putin, heading back to the sky. The whole island was left exhausted, dazed and baffled by the series of events that made no sense to anyone on it. Many were left urine-stained, some soiled. As the dragon seemingly shrunk back to the little dot that it was before, the island’s people wondered in confusion. Then a woman screamed. Quickly a few men came to her side and she pointed to a dangled corpse on the park grass. A red-lit arrow stuck out of the man’s swollen neck, petit streams of smoke rising from grass steams shrinking into ash by the hot thick blood oozing out of the body. The body seemed to be settled as a sunken vessel on a pool of blood.
The people, most of them slaves, gathered around the body; a few noticed the badges and a teen boy of Asian heritage spoke to the crowd, “Its Admiral Kurogane. He’s dead.” The crowd was silent, many glaring at their deceased enforcer, their faces plain and emotionless. Armed guards with swords shouted at the slaves to scatter, grabbing random persons and gesturing the blades to their captives’ throats to disperse the crowd. The slaves returned to their quarters, the guards following them. Only three guards stood around the body, never looking at it.
The dragon flew through the clouds, and Kenji sat on its head, looking straight forward with watery eyes. He held a photo in his hand, an old photograph him with a friend, both smiling and goofing around. Wiping the tears out of his eyes with his free arm, Kenji murmured to himself, “Yona…your killer is finally dead.”