The Ship was “The Confederacy”.
We were “The Red Hand”.
Personal top secret armed force of soldiers and assassins answerable only to the “Father” who in turn answered to the “God KIng” himself.
What had been known on old Earth as “President” became “God King” in space due to the total obliteration of any kind of pretense that normal humans had any real notion of who was actually controlling things. Democratically elected leaders became puppets, even presidents themselves were dancing on strings. A plan that had started on old Earth had come into fruition. Once all the moving parts were put into place, the curtain was pulled back. The true God king revealed himself.
His name was Eddie.
He had been born and bred by a secret society of power mongers to be the most feared and ruthless dictator of all the ages. The put him into power and rejoiced at what they had wrought.
Then he had them all spaced.
Eddie had cut the strings and ruled with an iron fist. He outlawed any form of worship, except for the worship of him as “God King” of the Confederacy. Churches, Mosques and Synagogues were destroyed. Religious leaders killed outright. Great monumental buildings were built so that the people could worship him.
He declared war on neighboring ships, causing the destruction of the “Pan Am” and “The Argentina”, killing billions in the process. The rest of the country ships then joined forces and created a wall of defense that he could not break through. Not for lack of trying. He regularly sent armadas of new and improved battle ships, sacrificing the lives of those that crewed them for nothing.
This, of course, didn’t sit well with the relatives of those sacrificed, so plans were hatched. Secret groups were forming. “Terrorist Organizations” they were called. They were planning on battling back. There were several assassination attempts, all failures. some got too close for comfort, so battle plans were formed. The Red Hands came in to being.
I was not born, I was created. I was the conclusion of several forms of gene editing. I don’t have a clue if I actually came from a mother or father, or was just scooped up from some form of genetic chowder.
I was born into the 4th generation of the Red Hand, and by then they had a scary reputation. My earliest memories were of “Father”, the high priest of the Red Hand. His brutality was real and complete. ” I will prune this family tree!” he would yell and usually someone disappeared that night. He was a total psycho. He once beat one of his aides to death in front of us to prove a point. ” If you do not follow orders, you do not have a use.” He said this as he cleaned the bloody bat he had used to kill the young man who had been chained to the wall” If you do not have a use, then you are just meat baggage and shall be disposed of like trash”.
The training was also brutal. A lot of the trainees died during this ordeal.
We were once free climbing a rock face wearing 30 kilo packs when the guy above me lost it. I manged to get the strap of his pack as he fell and he slammed into the wall below me. I had to hold him there until he regained consciousness and could climb again. We made it to the top and Father was there. He grinned at me and then pushed the guy I had saved off the cliff and then beat the crap out of me.
A real role model.
We were trained at assassination, several forms of hand to hand combat, pretty well every weapon that could be used to kill. Heavy and light artillery and my favorite, explosives.
My first mission. I was twenty.
I was brought before the presence of the God King himself. God? more like a mewling a petulant idiot. He was now nearing 200 years old and looked like a fat hairless baby. Even his throne looked like a crib.
“You will assassinate the Prime Minister of the ship ‘Cascadia'” he growled. “He has called me weak and sordid. I WANT HIM DEAD!”
I dropped to one knee and kissed the ring as was the custom, and left him and Father talking. I packed the things I required and secured a ship. As I left the “Confederate” I contacted dispatch.
“Is Father still with the God King?” I asked.
“Yes, they are having a meeting with all the top advisers” Dispatch said ” Do you need to contact him?”
“No, it’s not that important, and I don’t want to break up the meeting. 07125 out.”
“‘May the god king smile on your success, dispatch out.”
I set the ships course then grabbed my travel bag. Reaching into a pocket, i pulled out crystal sim chip and inserted it into the slot in my wrist. I tapped my wrist and said “castle schematic”. A three dimensional representation of the castle appeared in the air before me. There were several blinking dots showing the locations of all the explosives that I had spent 6 years squirreling away and hiding throughout the castle.
There was a bright flash in the view port and I looked out to see thousands of pieces of the castle floating in the air, almost hitting the atmoshield, then slowly floating back down into a pile of rubble.
Guess I broke up the meeting.
I was happy.