Here is the latest in our series of short background vignettes, selected 
from those that will appear in the Blue Planet RPG. This one is for the
the John Woo fans among you ; ). 
It was not starting out to be a good day. The scene that greeted Peter 
Church as he climbed out of his patrol hover was less than encouraging.  
There were seven Patrol multi fans parked on the deck in front of the 
warehouse, and a green and silver GEO VTOL darted nervously through the 
air a hundred meters above.  Church searched the confusion for his 
lieutenant.  Spotting a shock of red hair crouching behind a skimmer, the 
Marshal-In-Charge for District V parted the crowd with a glare as he 
jogged across the sun bleached plastic. The chief Patrol Officer saluted as 
best he could while stooped behind his vehicle.  "Hey, Boss!  Just in time 
for the fun I think.  It looks like it's going to get interesting."  He 
started to explain, but an unfamiliar voice on the radio cut him off.
"Okay, Dillon, what you got is two options. Either these kids is leaving 
here in a skimmer that you're gonna put on the roof in thirty minutes, or 
they're goin' home in sandwich bags, understand?  Now, to show our good 
faith, we're sendin' the youngest one out."
Church raised an eyebrow. 
"Kids on a field trip, got grabbed off their transport when these screw 
heads botched some cargo job.  Shot the teacher dead, right in front of 
them . . . the kids I mean," explained the Patrol Officer . 
One of the large overhead doors in the center of the warehouse began to 
open, and the patrol officers all dove for cover.  Church, however, 
remained standing, and so had a clear view of the small frightened child 
standing alone in the middle of the doorway. As the child looked over his 
shoulder and then began to run, Peter had a momentary premonition, but 
too late for action.  Before he had run more than a few meters, the child's 
head exploded as a loud crack echoed out from inside the warehouse.  As 
the sound of the gunshot disappeared into the humid sky, a part of Church's 
mind went with it, taking him light years and decades away.
. . . I, Peter Anton Church, do hereby swear to uphold the laws and edicts of 
the GEO.  May my left arm always be raised as a shelter for the weak . . . 
The radio spoke.  "I told you, Dillon, the only way they're going home is in 
a skimmer or in boxes . . . the only way!  Now, either there's a skimmer on 
the roof in twenty-five minutes, or we start sendin' them out, one at a 
bloody time!"
. . . May my right arm always be raised against the wicked. . . 
Without looking around, Church reached into the open cabin of the parked 
Patrol hover and grabbed the autoshot from its bracket.  With the weapon 
held loosely in his fist, he stepped around the front of the gently 
bobbing vehicle and strode out over the open stretch of plastic.
. . . I swear to defend the GEO and it's citizens against all foes. . . 
The mid-afternoon sun beat harshly down on his balding head as Peter bent 
and picked up the limp, hideous wreckage of the toddler.  As he continued 
to walk towards the warehouse, he could feel the child's knees pressing 
into his chest even through his body armor.  By the time he reached the 
door, his entire back was wet with the child's blood.
. . . I swear allegiance to the Charter of the GEO, and to the 
Principles for which it stands. . .
Church brought the autoshot up, and held down the trigger.  The door 
exploded off its track.  The tough just inside the warehouse was cut from 
hundreds of tiny pieces of flying plastic, but that didn't prevent him from 
taking aim at the Marshall.  His first two rounds thudded into the heavy 
armored vest protecting Peter's torso.  The third drove white-hot irons of 
pain into his arm.  Gritting his teeth, Church shifted the autoshot and felt 
it kick three times against the crook of his elbow.  The gunfire left rather 
less of the thug than it had of the child.
. . .Liberty for all humankind, equality for all. . .  
Peter turned to face the stairs that led up to a row of glassed in offices 
and an open conference area.  A greasy-faced teenager, wearing combat 
fatigues and waving a pistol came barreling down the steps.  When Church 
tossed the now-empty autoshot at him, he instinctively caught it.  In one 
smooth motion, the Marshall drew his sidearm and fired.  The autoshot 
clattered to the floor, followed quickly by the teenager.
As the Marshall reached the top of the stairs, he quickly noticed 
several things.  There were two people guarding the children, both of 
whom had automatic weapons, and the bearded man glaring out of a 
window and yelling into a radio was almost certainly the leader.  As one 
of the guards raised his weapon, Church dove across the hallway and into 
an empty office.
. . .I dedicate my mind to the search for truth, my body for the defense of 
the GEO. . .
The guard came cautiously around the corner into the office, 
searching for the madman who had managed to get past two of his 
companions.  Spying a child's shoes sticking out from behind a desk, he 
fired a burst into the furniture hoping to hit the Marshall behind it.  
Church, however, had a different idea as he stepped from the utility closet 
behind the gunman and stuck his combat knife sideways through the man's 
head.  Peter stepped around the desk and retrieved his small, limp 
. . .I dedicate my heart to the preservation of life . . . 
Peter stepped into the hall, and strode purposefully towards the open 
conference area at the end.  He could hear the frightened cries of the 
children.  Rounding the corner, Church saw the last guard on 
the far side of a huddled mass of pre-schoolers.  Hearing the Marshall's 
footsteps, the guard looked up.  Peter promptly shot him in the chest, 
sending him crashing into the wall behind.  Church turned towards the 
bearded man with the radio, stepping between him and the children.  His 
wounded arm screaming in agony, he nevertheless held aloft his grisly 
"I am Peter Church, GEO Marshall.  I accuse you of kidnapping, murder, 
attempted murder, assault on a GEO officer, and conspiracy to commit 
same.  I find you guilty. Your sentence is death."  
The man dropped the now quiet radio, and went for his weapon.  Church 
brought up his sidearm, and slowly, deliberately, shot the bastard in the 
forehead.  As the body toppled backwards and slid down the wall, Church 
set the dead child gently on the floor.
. . . and I dedicate my soul to the service of Justice . . .    
copyright 1996, Jason Werner.

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