The Maintenance Man 9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nissie and Sam were physical wrecks, Nissie had already been through this before with the attacks, explosions, threats and general terror. Sam had just gotten her brother back after years of him isolating him self from his family.
To lose him this quickly was maddening to both women especially as good as Mark was. Coughing from the dust and smoke, neither woman saw the shadowy outline of a man walking through it all toward them. Neither saw when it stopped near by watching them both for a moment, "I thought I told you two to go back to the room!" Mark said a little irritated that neither had listened to him.
With a shout of relief and pure joy both women threw thenselves at Mark clutching him tightly, kissing his entire face the tears flowing freely now. "Mr. Mark you scared the crap out of us, when you said you might not be able to defuse the bomb we thought you were caught in the blast, neither of us would know what to do if we lost you," Nissie said wiping tears away.
Gently caressing both their faces he had to admit it had been close, even with the wrapping enshrouding shield, the bomb had still had enough energy to take out the back wall and take his breath away from the concussion of the blast.
Kissing each woman he took them back to the room, "please stay here for a while I have almost everything done, then I'll be back, I'll call you if I need you there." Mark said, still a little shaky Mark walked into the comp room more than pissed off, obviously the little bastard was starting to lose his mind, a maintenance man NEVER damaged good equipment NEVER.
To Mark, Tantka had broken the first unwritten rule of the maintenance man creedo. Checking all his equipment and running his scans again he found no futher charges of any kind, with the comp finally clean he installed a anti virus program 100 times better than what had been in place before.
Finishing Mark started back to his room the look of anger on his face causing many that met him to to slowly back away. Mark wasn't caring, all he could think about was stopping the little ass before he hurt people that weren't even concerned with this war between him and Mark. Nissie and Sam though visibly shaken, were actually calmer than they showed, they sat nearby in case Mark needed them after he came back in and pulled a mutitude of machines out of hie bag and case.
Setting up a network interface Mark began to scan the whole planet for anything even remotely resembling Tantka and his tech. Moments later there was a knock at their door, opening it Mark was greeted by the sight of a slender, somewhat thin almost wiry, redhead.
From behind him in the room he heard Nissie squeal "Assti!" at a full run Nissie flung her self into the arms of the other woman. "Mr. Mark! I'd like you to meet my sister Assti!" Mark looked her way and nodded still scanning trying to get a location on Tantka. Assti stepped closer, her eyes suddenly wide in surprise, holy shit she'd never seen a scanner as detailed as his! No wonder that little ass hadn't got them yet. A new found respect for Mark began to grow. Sitting with her sister she decided to wait for Mark to finish and maybe get him to upgrade her scanner.
Mark had been at it for almost an hour when he started to get readings, smiling he looked at Assti, "you've been after him with no let up, good!" Assti looked at the read out holy shit! bio readings too? Who the hell was this guy? she'd heard he was good but not this good! "Yes, but I lost him when I landed here my scanner can't pierce his damping field, " Assti said, Mark took hers removing the back and for half an hour tweeked and added parts, then handed it back to her.
Amazed she turned it on and was amazed again that it clearly showed where he was, the weapons he had but best of all his current physical condition. Damn Mark was good, if her sister didn't have a claim on him she might go after him her self! Mark sat and discussed what her plan was and filled her in om what he knew and had on Tantka to date. Though not as detailed as her info, his tech more than made up for it. Hugging and bidding her sister good bye, Assti left with just a few words to Mark, then Mark began to put his own plan up.
Mark knew that as long as Tantka was on planet he nor the women were safe, so he concidered that they had no chose but to remain but with a few surprises of their own.
Following Assti with a drone he saw she was getting closer, Damnit! Tantka started to move not as fast as before but fast enough seeing 2 shots being fired neither went down causing Mark to curse. The com he'd given Assti was working perfectly. He saw that Assti had a burn from where the bullet had skimmed her, but the comp was already healing that. Watching, both shuttles departed Mark knowing they had to be much more careful now. After seeing the president letting him know what was done and all was ready, plus the fact the back wall was gone, they headed for the liner.
Nissie and Sam took up their places as Mark went through the ship and programs with a fine tooth comb. Updating everything he could, he also added the new updated version of the image filter set to distribute to all ships that contacted this one, he also made a point to upload it to the company mainframe.
Linking them to his comp he figured he could also use the ship's system though out the empire to possibly keep an eye on Tantka. Releasing the ship they were soon on their way to the next contract though this was only 2 days away mark didn't want any surprises.
The first day he worked on a new idea he had, something he was sure would come in handy very soon. The second day he was so tired and worn out he just slept and snuggled between Nissie and Sam, this made the women happy to no end.
Though still a little shaken from days before, the fact that Mark was there to hold them made them feel even more secure than before. Waking up as the ship landed, Mark felt rested for the first time in at least a week. Looking under the covers he saw that neither woman had resisted the urge to play with him, smiling he must have been exhausted he didn't remember a thing. Departing the ship Mark looked at the ram shakle space port, this place looked old, relly old looking further he saw that the repair bots were also old, holy shit!
they were the mark I's! The very first repair bots made! slow and bulky but tough as they came Mark felt he was almost in a museum of ancient machines. Taking a cart to the presidential building Mark again shook his head had no one ever wanted to learn how to fix anything? Out here it appeared that everyone had given up and not even tried, what the fuck was wrong with these people?
Mark just wanted to slap the shit out of all of them, really people! To live in the dirt? Hell might as well live in caves and hunt with spears again. Mark just hoped that those he taught would continue on and not conveniently forget and let everything go straight to hell again.
They were met by the president, who begged them to fix the place. "I've heard you're good but from what I saw from a world you were on for a whole month you're not that good," the man sneered.
Mark though having been through this before felt the rage build within him, grabbing the man by the throat, Mark lifted him off the floor, "Listen to me you little shit head!," Mark shouted in his face, "I did what I could for them and they were happy! Nothing I've seen here is unfixable though you have machines over 150 years old in the street.
I've had extremely bad times the last few months, piss me off more and I'll leave! Your whole damn planet can rot for all I care! So shove it up your ass I can claim breech of contract and take this planet so back off you piss ant!" Slamming the man to the floor Mark turned to go his face now red the rage finally leaving his body.
Nissie stayed with Sam to advise the man of the very few choices he had left, the man quite shaken had started to call his police force when Sam advised him not to if he wished to have a force after today. An hour later they walked out to a small table Mark was sitting at with food that had just arrived, smiling the women told Mark all that had been discussed, Mark listened with rapt attention smiling from time to time at what the women had said.
"So you suppose he might be more receptive now huh?" Mark asked. "Yes, Sam replied, "He has been advised of the 2 companies or planets that couldn't pay also, I think that alone put him in a better mode especially when we told him that you might trash the planet for a jumk dump." Sam laughed at that which elicited a small laugh from Mark, both women stared at him this was the first time Nissie had really ever heard him laugh for Sam it had been far to long.
After eating Mark decided to make the president sweat more and took a short tour of the city. Though not really interesting Mark saw the potential in a good many things located throughout. Finally with the day starting to wind down the three went back to the building. Mark was ready to call the president's bluff but found that the man was more than ready to come to terms with Mark.
That settled Mark went to the planetary comp to assess the problems, walking in his heart sunk once again he could see that these people were idiots! Further proof that these idiots didn't give a shit about their machines.
Well, at least the comp was one of the newer models (it was only 20 years old) and hadn't been opened or destroyed. Nissie on one side, Sam on the other they started listing the parts that they would need. Sighing Mark next checked all the power lines into the comp, the whole time scanning everything Mark didn't want another repeat of the last planet.
The power seemed to be working but it appeared that all the lines were in pretty bad shape. Mark went to the president giving him the cost of everything, the man's eyes buldged while he sputtered, "I'm not paying this, we can't afford it." "Since you only contracted me to fix what I could, I'll tell you right now that without these parts I won't be able to fix anything there, for YOU are keeping me from working not having or getting the parts to replace, so I can fix what I can.
Therefore I expect the planet to be empty in 1 week it is now mine unless you care to retract what you just said." Mark snarled, "don't think the courts will side with you every contract I make is iron clad." The man became extremely red faced and just nodded, Mark turned and walked out pulling his comp at the same time.
Calling the judge on the empire world that dealt with these cases, he tried to calm before the judge came on.
"Ah! hello Mark, problem?" Mark nodded, still too upset to speak the judge thought a moment, "send me the planet coordinates and I'll have the paperwork wrote up I'll leave it blank, that way if you don't use them this time it'll be ready for next, huh I can't believe one refused you after all you've done," Mark heard the judge mumbling under his breath about a dickless bastrd.
Mark had to smile at that, within minutes Mark had the paper work in hand and was walking back in, the man was still trying to talk his way out of it with Nissie and Sam. They all got quiet when Mark handed him the papers and his eyes got wide. Nissie looked over his shoulders and smiled the little prick only had 2 decisions now.
"How soon can you start on the job," he sighed Mark just smiled and whispered to Nissie, "Mr. Mark says as soon as the parts are here he can start." With that the three went to the room that had been provided, Mark pulled out every scanner he had and went over the room, the little shit was finally starting to get smart.
This time everything was micro size and hidden with image screens, thanks to his enhanced image filter they were no problem to find. So the little ass was finally using more advanced tech, Mark guessed he was feeling like he was better now, sighing he wished that Assti got him soon. The next day Mark began the work on the comp, strange but all the damage he was finding seemed to have been done on purpose.
An hour after he started Mark discovered the reason why, it seemed that some of the damage was more extensive than he had thought at first.
Hmmm so that was his plan huh? Enough damage had been done that there was no way that Mark could finish by the dead line, thinking a minute Mark called a friend in the parts house. Detailing what exactly what he needed and a few others he felt they'd run into later, Mark closed the communication off. So the little bastard was trying to discredit him huh?
We'll see about that, having replaced everything but 2 parts Mark knew that they were going to be cutting it close. Within 4 hours a shuttle touched down near the building, a tall man stepped out, "sorry Mark got here as fast as I could damn parts were buried," the man said.
Nodding Mark shook his hand, "I'll keep in touch." Mark replied. The man only grinned and left.
Not even an hour later Mark had the comp operational. Walking to the presidential building Mark confronted the man again. "Your comp is repaired I have fixed what I could. I am here for payment," Mark smiled as the man's mouth dropped agape. "There's no way you can be finished I.," stopping the man ran to see. 20 minutes later he came back in with Nissie and Sak trailing behind him, the look of panic on his face was priceless.
Whispering to Nissie her eyes grew wide turning to the man she smiled hugely, "Mr. Mark says that you owe him 50,000 credits plus another 50,000 for the parts.
Mr. Mark is in possession of evidence that the comp was deliberately damaged and 2 things. One you know of with this whole planet the other is that this is under investigation and the person responsible will go to imperial prison for about 10 years with no parole or hearing. He suggests that if you know the person responsible you could go too.
If they are still on the planet when the investigation is through then they are gone there's no where that they will be able to hide on this planet." Nissie laughed when the man's face suddenly went pale.
Mark and the women went to pack, taking their time they slowly made their way to the space port. Mark was glad to see that almost all the services were back on line, alot of the people they met were smiling alot more than when Mark's party had arrived.
Waiting for the liner, they overheard many people talking about the fact that the president had disappeared. Strange it had happened not long after the planet comp had gone online, Mark had to stifle a laugh but Sam and Nissie weren't as controlled and were almost rolling on the floor over the news.
Running through the normal checks Mark could see that the little bastard wasn't going to give up, sighing he removed another bomb, this not as bad as the planetary comp bomb but enough to seriously screw up their day. Checking on Assti Mark saw that she was now out of the system, from what he saw she was getting closer to Tanktka hell with any luck she might get him this time.
After another hour Mark had cleared the liner to go, soon in hyper drive they all went to eat, they were stopped at the door. It seemed that the kitchen was closed as it wasn't working, sighing Mark walked past the protesting man directly into the kitchen.
Stepping in the chef turned around and upon seeing Mark cleared everyone out of the room. Working for an hour Mark saw that the chef had been keeping it going with the repairs that Mark had shown the first chef he'd taught. Calling him back in, Mark showed him what had to be done as this time a power relay had blown and needed to be by passed till it could be replaced. Writing everything down the chef promised to show all the chefs in the fleet as soon as possible.
Sighing Mark Nissie and Sam sat in the dining room the chef promised to fix anything they wanted no matter how simple. They had just started eating when Mark's wrist com went off. "Mark?" the familiar sound of his father's voice, "we have a problem on the first world you repaired on." "We have a problem?," Mark inquired looking at his father strangely. "Yes it appeares that Tantka has landed, he's taken your mother and I hostage.
Thanks to these coms you gave us we can contact you. The shields are working but we can't leave where we are and are trapped. How long before you can arrive here?" his father said. "I am not sure what you're up to Tantka but as I said before you're just a little bitch who is throwing a tantrum," sneered Mark "quit trying to fool me, you're the fool!" Sputtering Tantka roared at Mark, "look who's talking, I have you mother and father asshole come back to the first planet you repaired I'll have the paperwork for you to sign saying you were mistaken and that I should be reinstated in the school." Mark started to laugh, then to guffaw finally he was rolling on the floor unable to stop.
"I," Mark started between gulps of breath, "will NEVER let your stinking, cheating, assinine, putrid ass back into the school! You are a disgrace to the proffession of maintenance man." "You will or I'll kill your parents slowly, painfully I'll record it and broadcast it all over the empire," Tantka laughed, "here take a look," Tom could see that his folks were huddled together they only had one of the wrist coms.
Laughing Mark just sneered at Tantka, "you can't hurt them they are protected that com they have can take anything you can think to throw at it." "That may be true but remember fart boy, there's alot of things you can live through." growled Tantka. Mark estimated that they were at least a day from the planet, sighing he knew that for the moment Tantka had him but only for the moment.
This had to end, Mark was tired of this shithead and all the crap he was putting so many people through. Sighing Mark was thinking through everything when with a smile he knew he finally had a way to defeat this jackass.
"Ok Tantka, we'll be there in two days, after I free my parents I am coming after you, you little shit!" Tantka's face grew redder hardly able to speak he shrieked at Mark.
"Come then I'll enjoy breaking you, when you sign the paper, I'll make sure to make your death quick." Laughing he signed off.
Smiling Mark thought laugh it up idiot while you still can. To Be Continued