Authors: Frank Montgomery
The Last Sunset
The Dark Star is Coming and Death Lingers in its Shadow
Copyright 2015 by Zenith Publishing- All rights reserved.
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“Sherry, I swear to God if you come to me with one more stack of papers I’m going to quit!” Darius yelled in a half joking tone as he hung up the phone, clearly dissatisfied with the conversation he had just had.
Sherry, his assistant, had just dropped a stack of papers on his desk that had the same thickness of a Stephen King novel. Darius Downey was right in the middle of a massive legal battle in which he was defending a member of “The Hell’s Angels.” The guys name was Desmond Morrato and he slit a man’s throat at a bar early last year. The man he killed happened to be the bartender and the only people in the bar at the time were members of Desmond’s crew. Darius was trying to prove that Desmond was not responsible for the killing and that the bartender had been murdered in the early hours of the morning, after Desmond and his crew had already left the bar.
“Sorry D, don’t shoot the messenger. You don’t really think he’s innocent do you?” Sherry probed.
“He’s innocent Sherry and I’m going to show everybody,” Darius said convincingly. Sherry rolled her eyes and left the room.
In reality, Desmond did kill the bartender and Darius was well aware of this. Desmond claimed the bartender was listening too intently on the conversations he was having with other members of his motorcycle gang. Desmond thought the bartender might be a spy for a rival gang, so he did the logical thing (in the eyes of a Hell’s Angel) and killed the man before asking any questions at all. Desmond was used to defending the scum of the earth, but defending Desmond Morrato was a new low for him and he wasn’t certain he could win the case. Life wasn’t easy as a defense lawyer, but hey, it paid the bills.
Darius has a dark complexion and he’s just over 6 feet tall. He’s 43 years old but he looks a few years younger. You can nearly see your reflection on his bald shiny head, but you don’t want to stare too closely or he might knock you out. Darius is an ex semi-professional boxer and he has been known to rough people up and then get himself off the hook with his wealth of legal knowledge. He quit boxing at the age of 22 after he lost in an Olympic qualification fight. He got knocked out in the final round by a man much smaller than him and he still has a scar under his left eye that reminds him of his defeat every morning when he looks in the mirror.
Darius never quite seemed to get over the fact that he missed out on the Olympics. After quitting boxing he decided that he needed to sharpen his mind. Unlike a lot of boxers, Darius had a relatively short career and he hadn’t been hit in the head too many times. In fact, the only time he had ever even hit the canvas was when he was knocked out in his final fight. He had immaculate agility and his opponents always found him to be very elusive and hard to hit. Darius decided that since he wasn’t ‘punch drunk’ and still had a long life ahead of him, that he needed to sharpen his mind. He began reading a book every two days and this greatly expanded his mind and his perspective on life. Darius was always quick witted and smart, but he knew that he could become smarter and he did.
He lived in a fairly crime ridden area, so he started renting out law books from his local library just in case the police ever gave him a hard time. He became obsessed with learning the law and he eventually made a run at law school. He made it through law school with ease and a few years after graduation and working at some low level firms, he founded his own firm with two other lawyers. The firm was calle
Duckers, Downey & Smyth
The firm has now been in operation for 11 years and it employs 33 lawyers. Darius continues to hold the best win percentage out of anyone at the firm. Rarely does a case come across his desk that he doesn’t win. He is a master at manipulating the law and finding any and all legal loopholes that can help earn his clients an innocent verdict.
Chicago is a dangerous, violent place and there is no shortage of people who need a good lawyer to help them get off the hook. The year is 2040 and if you had asked Darius 10 years ago if he would still be in Chicago at this time, he would have responded, “Hell No!” It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy life in Chicago; he just hates the winter with a burning passion. He lives in an enormous penthouse with his wife Kristina and he really doesn’t have a whole lot to complain about. He is rich, physically fit, intelligent and his wife is amazingly gorgeous, great it bed and a lot younger than him.
He rummaged through the thick stack of paperwork and his blank stare quickly turned into a scowl. The papers contained everything his assistant believed the prosecution would use to assassinate Desmond’s character in order to prove that killing the bartender was not something out of the ordinary for him to do. Although Desmond had never been convicted of murder before, he had served time in the past for assault with a deadly weapon, vehicular manslaughter and armed robbery. Things were not looking good for Darius and his near perfect winning record. He pushed the papers aside and started thinking of ways he could manipulate the jury and find some sort of a loophole to win the case. Just then his office phone rang and he promptly answered it.
“Hello, this is the law office of Duckers, Downey and….”
“Honey it’s me, spare me the rant,” Kristina said with a laugh.
“Oh, hey babe how are you doing?”
“I’m fine D, there’s just some updates on the news and I wanted to let you know”
“What are they saying? Are we all still doomed?” Darius laughed.
“You know this isn’t a joke D and I don’t like when you turn it into one”
“I know, I’m sorry. What’s going on for real?”
“Well I guess that billionaire, Lance Bitcow, is funding a new project to destroy the meteor before it hits us”
“Fuck Bitcow, just because he has money doesn’t mean he’s smart”
“Will you just listen for a second? He obviously has nothing to do with the project, he’s just funding N.A.S.A scientists who can actually make a difference”
“Honey I told you before, the earth is fucked. The only hope of survival is getting to the lunar base and the only way that’s going to happen is if we have enough money to buy our way in, which is why I’m working my ass off right now”
“You’re so cynical”
“Kris, I’m a realist and there’s nothing wrong with that. Enough about the meteor, how’s the baby doing?”
“Oh you know, she’s growing and I’m getting fatter. Sometimes I think I can feel her kicking but I know it’s too early for that yet”
“I told you she’s going to be a fighter”
“Just like her big, strong father”
“Thanks beautiful, I need to get back to work though. Thanks for the call, I love you and I’ll see you tonight”
“Bye D, play safe”
Darius hung up the phone and stared back at the seemingly endless stack of paperwork. He let out a sigh as he looked out his office window and into the darkening sky above. He knew that somewhere out there the meteor was coming. N.A.S.A scientists first noticed it about 5 years ago after they developed a new high tech space telescope named the
After the telescope was launched deep into space, a leading astronomer used it to see a massive meteor leaving the Kuiper Belt and heading towards the sun. It was calculated that if the meteor continued on the same path, then it would be pulled by the suns gravity in a way that would give it the perfect trajectory to slam into the earth. N.A.S.A named the meteor
The Dark Sta
and the name has really begun to stick over the past 5 years.
Every time Darius lost motivation to work on cases he would think about
The Dark Star
and remember that if he didn’t make enough money; he wouldn’t be able to leave the earth before the meteor hit. The meteor was expected to hit in exactly 8 months on September 16
2040. The current date was January 16
and Darius knew he had to make money fast. He was certain that the billionaire, Lance Bitcow, was bluffing about his plan to destroy the meteor. He figured that the government was using Bitcow to calm the global population down and give them hope for destroying the meteor before it killed everyone. He knew that only the extremely wealthy would be traveling to the lunar base and while he had a lot of money, he knew he would need more to get him and his family onto the ship. He was intelligent and he was confident that he would find a way; he just didn’t have the perfect plan yet.
Bitcow and the government were not bluffing, well, not entirely. They were 60% sure that the weapon they were designing would be able to completely disintegrate
The Dark Star
. Bitcow had a net worth of roughly $30 billion and he donated $20 billion to designing the weapon that would hopefully save the planet. Bitcow was already guaranteed a spot on the lunar base and he knew that if he was responsible for saving the world, then he would be worshipped like a God if the crises was averted and he was able to return to earth. The lunar base was massive and it had been built 20 years earlier. The base was built as an emergency evacuation station but this was before the threat of
The Dark Star
had even arisen.
On September 1
, space shuttles were scheduled to start bringing the wealthiest and most important people on earth to the lunar base. This wasn’t a publically known fact, but anyone with half a brain knew that the government was going utilize the emergency lunar base in a situation such as this. Darius knew this well and he also knew that it was going to require a large sum of money to get a spot on one of the space shuttles.
Even the people who made it to the lunar base were still at risk. If
The Dark Star
did hit the earth there was a good chance that the immensity of the explosion would send large chunks of the destroyed planet directly at the moon, causing thousands of meteor impacts. This was merely speculation though and at the end of the day the safest place you could realistically be was on in the lunar base.