Assault lasers illuminated the Moon’s black sky. A shattered colony dome leaked oxygen and bodies were flushed into the vacuum of space. Another Luna Federation Agent shot dead, another shopkeeper bot stumbles to die in pile of its own liquefied processors.
Flashes of green and blue blistered from under the batwing doors of a supercharged stealth rover. Droplets of blood form and dance in the zero gravity outside the site of this latest in a string of robberies across Earth’s Moon.
In the expertly driven truck a hardened, thin-faced youth, his hair matted with pomade, fires a Browning Laser Rifle during the getaway. His accomplice, a deadly accurate side gunner and thief, a striking beauty with crimson color change curls, usually smoking a cigarette, scanned their six firing another machine laser spraying green bolts to deter a pursuit.
The newly liberated nation of Tranquillitatis has been struck by violence again, for the 8th time this lunar year. Two brazen individuals, assuming the identity of Clyde Barrow & Bonnie Parker, embarked on a year long crime spree, have hit another helium deposit and cryptocurrency mining firm.
Struggling to build a peaceful, prosperous, and safe nation after their Great Dusty Civil War, this latest murder of a Luna Fed agent, and large scale helium robbery is especially embarrassing. At a rover checkpoint between Mare Serenitatis and Dorsa Smirnov, Luna Federation agent, Kingston Jack, was shot between the eyes, straight through his space helmet, by a calm, cigarette smoking Bonnie, as the pair pulled to stop for the police barricade.
Jack, 110 years old, made the fatal error of leaning his head under the couple’s Tesla T Rover’s batwing doors in an attempt to question the young drivers masked in a cloud of smoke.
Their criminality began last year when a string of snail and mushroom farmers living near the original Apollo landings began reporting robberies and missing equipment. The largest lunar colony in the area, known as Armstrong Prime, became the site of their first openly brazen heist.
In The M-Voss CrytpoExchange on Washington Avenue, they shot and killed 4 guards, making off with over 1,000 Bitcoins, and various fractions of other alt coins. The pair then briefly paused at a nearby bar, Torchy’s, to also rob some alcohol imported from Earth. Weighed down by their haul, the young hoodlums escaped in their camo-painted Tesla T, wings up, lasers blasting.
Apparently, the dangerous lovers reunited after small stints in separate lunar prisons. Clyde, originally known as Charles McRay, was sent away for stealing nitrogen and small artifacts from neighboring colony pods. Age 13. Bonnie, formerly Molly Xoa, sent away for withholding information about a murder involving a prominent Tranquillitatis Diplomat’s son. She was 11.
Together, the self proclaimed new Bonnie and Clyde are wanted for 27 murders, and countless robberies, kidnappings, network hackings, malware attacks, and laser battles inside pressurized colony domes with Luna Fed agents and local municipality police forces.
Bonnie, the titian-haired gunner, seems quite proud of her accuracy, as the laser pistol she uses shows a nifty digital display, tracking her hit percentage, and of course, number of headshots. At the time of publication, the counter read 7. Clyde usually handles the navigation computer, or manual guide stick when necessary, as Bonnie covers their daring exits.
So far this month they have struck several small targets, refueling centers, parts labs, and various farms and storage houses. The smoke, or alcho bars, they treat as way stations and safe houses, always acting like Robinhood dispensing stolen cryptocurrency, either in food rations and drink, or direct payment.
In response to this latest killings of one of their own well loved agents, Tranquillitatis F.B.I are said to have laid roadblocks, as well as deploying drone swarms to hunt and destroy the dangerous outlaws. But, as Bonnie & Clyde roll around in a stealth T Rover, with reinforced spiderweb Kevlar, a hacked driving computer, and bat wing doors that fly up as the start shooting starts, there may not be a more unstoppable force on the face of the Moon.
A victim of the deranged, yet charming criminals, was released after a brief kidnapping that aided in their escape after the slaying of agent Jack. That agent, who was working the checkpoint with Jack, Martin Shelly, was dropped at a small refueling outpost unharmed.
Upon his rescue, he stated, “She told me no nice girl smokes cigars. Also, they told me to loose some weight.” After shaking his head for nearly one whole minute during his mental press conference, the Tranquillitatis agent went on to say, “When I was tied up in the back seat, she kept saying something about death and the wages of sin. I don’t know. But I swear, I am going to capture those little moonrats. Dead or alive.”
Agent Shelly’s quote was later redacted by Federal authorities, saying the agent only meant to think dead or alive, not mentally broadcast his own personal opinion, which is understandable given the agent’s recent trauma, or so says the Tranquillitatis Fed Press Corps.
After an explosive riot caused by co-conspirators working on the inside of the Hartford Lunar Prison, and the subsequent escape of over 100 high level convicts aided by Bonnie and Clyde, the Commonwealth of Colonies has offered up to a 1,000,000,000 $M$ reward, in Tranquillitatis Goldbacks, for the capture of “the most dangerous desperadoes on the Moon.”
Public opinion is split, as many colonists on the Moon sympathize with these hard scrabble youth, their rebelliousness, fearlessness. And, Luna Citizens may even be envious of their quick trigger fingers. Bonnie and Clyde were outcasts, colonist orphans, a burden on a hostile rock.
A young Clyde, reported to refrain, “They may hate us together, but they can’t stop us.” While Bonnie has used her celebrity to call out local police and political figures, “You’re hardly doing your job. You ought to be home protecting the rights of poor folks, not out chasing after us!”
These young members of a burgeoning new nation on the Moon are seen as Tranquillitatis’ dark side, a perfect example of Luna Craziness, otherwise known as Space Madness, an often cited reason Earth politicians do not want those on the Moon to govern themselves. But perhaps, these two criminal kids have grown too fast and seen too much, private prison abuse, murder, rape, kidnapping. All before 15 years old.
Tranquillitatis Sheriffs have been more brazen in there intentions, “We’re shooting to kill, I’ll tell you that.” So informed us, Mare Serenitatis Sheriff, Weolo Manchester. “The John Dillinger Bot Gang is unimpressed with these two school children, playing a very dangerous game, and I have to say that I for once in my life agree with a criminal robot.” He went on to describe the latest activity and progress by Federal and Local law enforcement.
“These criminal terrorists will get hunted down. They just struck near here, on Montes Caucasus, hitting another local cryptomining vault. 100,000 supercomputers at near zero gravity, in the cold of space. Supercharged AI assisted algorithmic mining. You can see why it was such a tempting target. It has been reported that The Bonnie & Clyde gang siphoned off millions. Information about their next target has been telepathically leaked, and Tranquillitatis agents are in pursuit. There has been a warning issued to remain indoors and be on the lookout for the young couple with well manicured hair. Last seen heading toward the penal colony near Lons Vista 7. And again, rumor has it, to free their siblings and friends held there in the work camps…”
The Sheriff’s mental press conference was cut short, local programming resumed. Here in Armstrong Prime, at a local coffee shop, the patrons can be heard discussing the youthful bandit couple, speaking in hushed tones of reverence about the duo’s vow, they will not be taken alive.
My sources here on the Moon, with access to Tranquillitatis Police and Governmental RSS feeds, have informed us that the stealth Tesla T was last seen visible for just a moment on the Route 99 darkside highway, between New Vegas, and Lacus Somniorum.
Witness reports from automated vehicles traveling in the same direction describe the vehicle as a leopard striped floating affair, bat wings up, Clyde in the front seat, cigar and Browning Laser Rifle in hand. Bonnie, cigarette and pistol. Their doors were seen closing, and the vehicle vanishing into the charcoal horizon toward the Lons Vista 7 Penal Colony.
By Sade Achebe
Some day they’ll go down together they’ll bury them side by side. To few it’ll be grief, to the law a relief but it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.