Rocketman, "Death of the Dream" Nuclear bombs are coming and Rocketman is betrayed and trapped by American double agents.
"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.
The Swarming Red. Story of early life of Doctor Watson John Pirillo. War is hell. He found healing could also cause pain and suffering.
Much has been written about Sherlock Holmes, the Master Detective, but little has been revealed about his wonderful partner and friend, Doctor John Watson. This was and is a situation I intend to remedy with a series of stories over time that fill in the missing parts of his life, both as a young man and later as a partner in the waiting for Sherlock.
This is the third story in my saga about young John Watson. While not steeped in as much magic and other worldly events as later stories will and might be, this one establishes his character, his desires as a humane being and gives us a glimpse of his early love life, which as any good author will tell you, has little shadows surrounding it. Shadows of change.
I hope you have as much fun getting lost in this wonderful little story, as I had in telling it. I have the additional pleasure of seeing it quite clearly in my mind. And, if you've been following my series of interviews, perhaps a bit more. Hey?
The Swarming Red
A John Watson Story
By John Pirillo
"John!" The urgent call of Nurse Betty Stone called.
John, his white scrubs trailing behind him as he ran, dashed into the corridor to help two orderlies with an especially large man they were trying to move onto an operating gurney. He took the blanket the man was on, stretched it onto the new gurney and pulled as they shoved. The overly weight man groaned as he dropped several inches onto the hard steel surface, his eyes fluttering madly in his skull for a moment, and then he drifted back into unconsciousness.
"How long's he been like this?"
Nurse Betty Stone ran over with a clipboard and shoved it into John's hands. "He has the blood disease."
"The Swarming Red, I believe it's called, Nurse Betty Stone."
"Yes, Doctor...I mean John."
John gave her the hint of a grin, but said nothing. His stint at the Hyde and Mary Hospital had started him off as an ordinary attendant rushing men like this on gurneys through the corridors to the emergency operating rooms, sweeping up floors, mopping bathrooms and distributing food to patients when the nurses were too busy elsewhere. It was tough, sometimes grueling work, but he never complained. He was always learning something new. He couldn't explain why, but he had a fascination with medicine, and in particular the study of how things came together. The clues that explained the why and the wherefore of wounds, whether caused by guns, knives, battering or just plain stupidity.
"No, problem, Betty."
She gave him a blush. She was about three years younger than him and came from a fine family dedicated to the Arts. Her father had been disappointed when she decided to take her artistic hand and apply it to the suffering instead of to garnering fame and fortune as her artist father, renowned throughout the Britains had. Her hair was an off blonde with hints of red in it, and her eyes were spotlights of blue that illuminated a face full of warmth and concern and right then that moment, Watson.
Watson helped the orderlies get the man into the operating room where Doctor Owens, Charles Owens, an elderly man of thirty five, finished pulling on his surgical gloves, and his nurses rolled out a tray of surgical equipment, as well as hot towels and dry ones to mop his forehead as he worked.
"Very good, John. Over here." He commanded.
John steered the gurney into the requisite spot and the orderlies left, but John remained next to the Doctor.
"Better put on a mask and gloves if you're going to help me, John." The good Doctor said with the hint of mischief in his eyes.
John didn't waste a moment. He sprinted into the clean room, tossed his scrubs, threw on fresh ones, then a mask and gloves and hurried back inside the operating room.
Doctor Owens shook his head. "This one has let it go too far this time."
Doctor Owens pointed to the man's right and left feet where they were swollen and discolored. Parts of them were showing evidence of a kind of mold. "The Swarming Red. It's advanced into the final stages."
"What does that mean?"
"John, be so good as to hand me that saw over there?"
John looked to the counter behind them and saw an array of saws. Some bloody ones lay in a solution towards the end. He noted that uneasily, and then took the one the Doctor gestured too. He gently lifted it, and then brought it to him.
"Now you must help me strap him down."
"Strap him down? But he's unconscious."
"Not for long, I dare say, poor wretch."
He gestured to Nurse Betty Stone."Give me two doses of blue and one of the red please."
"Blue and red?"
Doctor Owens looked at John. "The Blue is a distillation of opium. The red is a special drug that Count Tesla found on his expedition to the Isles of Darkness. It has the ability and tenacity of an opiate, but when used in conjunction with one, sustains its effects and amplifies it by a magnitude of ten."
"That would kill him!" Gasped John.
Doctor Owens took the syringe when Nurse Betty Stone returned with it. He tapped it and squirted it slightly to clear any air, then turned to John. "This man will die anyway...most certainly within the next hours if we don't. Believe me, John; he's going to need ten times more than this once we begin."
John didn't know what to think, but he watched as Nurse Betty Stone properly cleaned the man's feet, and then applied a salve to them.
"It'll help stem the blood flow."
"Yes. John. I'd advise you to step back a bit. This could get messy."
Nurse Betty Stone gave John a nervous glance, and then raised a pure white sheet between her and the doctor's bodies as he reached over with the saw.
John watched in stunned silence during the next several minutes, as the man on the gurney cried out in pain, his eyes snapping open in horror as he realized what was being done."
"Two more Blue and double the Red, Nurse!"
She fled to the cabinet where the medicines were stored, plucked out two vials, got a syringe and filled it, then ran back.
Doctor Owens looked at the man who was sobbing and crying with terror and pain, his two feet severed free and laying on a separate gurney with a steel bowl and a fluid holding them floating within. "This will hurt even more, sir." He said, his eyes filled with compassion.
Nurse Betty Stone gave the doctor the syringe and he stuck it in the man's belly. The man started to cry out, and then gave the doctor a perplexed look. It hadn't really hurt at all, and then he saw the red hot iron that Nurse Betty Stone pulled from a flash oven as she gave it to the Doctor.
He looked at the man. "I just think you might make it, young man. But you must have a stiff upper lip. Do you believe in God, sir?"
The man's eyes were starting to sag closed. He shook his head no.
"Well, it doesn't hurt to now, does it?"
He applied the iron to the first leg's stump.
John would never forget the sound of that scream. And finally, it broke his resolve. He rushed from the room and threw up in the corridor. Nurses and patients looked at him and the mess. He sagged against the wall and put his hands over his face and began sobbing.
Nurse Betty Stone came out about ten minutes later, wringing her hands in worry. John was still against the wall. Still crying. She dropped beside him, put her arms around his shoulders and hugged him close, ignoring the filth of the vomit all over his front and the smell of it in her nostrils. This was a man in a kind of pain that couldn't be healed by medicine. Her own natural womanly instincts guided her in what to do next.
She pulled his head into her lap as she sat next to him and stroked his hair as he sobbed over and over. No one said a thing about this strange event occurring in the corridor. Not even Doctor Owens as he exited the operating room said anything. He just stood there, his eyes filled with sympathy and hope as he watched the love being given and the wretched soul, whose extents were tarnished and sullied by all the terrors and horrors of war. If only the two of them, Nurse Betty Stone and Doctor Owens could have seen what terrors and horrors John Watson would later face, they might have held even greater sympathy and compassion in their hearts.
Later the next morning, John awoke in a hospital bed. Nurse Betty Stone was sleeping with her head next to his chest. Her blonde hair looked like tiny waves of gold spread out before him. She was snoring lightly which brought a grin to his lips, then his hand reached out and stroked her hair, gently at first, then firmer as she looked up at him smiling.
"I love you, John Watson."
"I love you, Betty."
He drew her up towards him and their lips met.
"Ah-hem!" Doctor Owens said, as he cleared his throat from the doorway.
They both hurriedly withdrew from the near kiss and blushing, turned their faces towards the older man. He tapped a pipe bowl against his shoe, and then loosened the remains into a trash receptacle, and as they watched and waited patiently, he tamped fresh tobacco from a small bag he took from his waistcoat, and then lit it. He took several puffs, and then sat down in a chair opposite John's bed.
"Sir...please don't fire me." John blurted out, his heart racing with fear. "I won't do that again. I swear it!"
Doctor Owens shook his head.
John felt as if his whole life were flashing before him. Betty lost all color in her face. "Please, don't do this, Doctor. He's a good man."
"Yes. I do know that, Nurse Betty Stone."
He gazed at John a long time, his eyes measuring him in many ways, and then he said. "I think it's time you got formal training."
John and Betty looked at each other in astonishment. John sat up in bed, elated. "Formal, sir?"
Doctor Owens rose from the chair and gave them both warm smiles. "Yes, I have asked the hospital to grant you whatever funds you need to attend Oxford. They will of course transfer you once you have your understudies done to the appropriate school to complete your doctorate."
Doctor Owens went to the door and closing it, smiled at them. "Now, carry on, I suspect you both have something rather...." He laughed. "...Pressing to discuss."
On that laughter he exited the room, shutting the door behind him.
John pulled Betty to him and hugged her tight. "I'm going to be a doctor! I'm going to be a doctor!"
"Yes, John." She said, brushing her fingers through his hair. "Yes, you will."
Then he pressed her gently away and looked into her eyes. "We must speak with your parents at once."
"Why is that?" She asked, uncertain as to his motives.
He smiled warmly. "I rather suspect they'd like to know what profession their future son-in-law will be practicing."
She threw herself into his arms again and they kissed.
Ah, the innocence of youth and of time. All things are always in flux, always changing. Sometimes they remain the same, untarnished or diminished by time, but sometimes. Sometimes not. But for this moment the two sweethearts will enjoy their time of joy. And in the future, well, that will be what it will be, won't it?
John Pirillo"Writing fuels the heart and soul!" Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Tales to Take Your Breath Away!