A space odyssey set after the end of the Earthen Era. Work in progress.
|(This is a work in progress. I'll come here and post more to it every so often. Please send me reviews as much as possible. Also, I'd appreciate e-mail reminders and reminders in the reviews to finish the work, or I may never end it. Sorry, it's just the kind of person I am. Thanks, and enjoy.)
The Dark World
A young boy awoke suddenly to the pounding noise of sirens. Still in a state of half-sleep, he stumbled out of bed and into the corridor next to his cabin. The red flashing lights almost blinded the poor boy. He could make out a stream of sillouhettes running through the corridor, but he was unable to make out any faces in his dazed state. The boy suddenly realized that he could hear another sound. After a few moments of figuring out what it was, he finally understood the words being shouted by one of the command officers.
"The captain has issued a full passanger evacuation! Crew, assist all passangers to the escape pods!"
Suddenly, the boy felt himself being lifted into the air. He finally started to regain his senses as he realized that he was being carried by a crewman. It wasn't long before he found himself tossed carelessly onto the floor of an escape pod. He turned around just in time to see the figure of his father, the captain, closing the door to the pod. It would be the last time he ever saw his father.
His father was the captain of the ESA Atlantis, the largest ship that the Earthen Space Alliance had ever created. He was a large, handsome man. He was intelligent, too, having ranked highest in the fleet on all technical exams. The captain had only two flaws. He acted like a hero, facing danger blindly, and like a classic hero, he had slept with every damsel in distress that didn't have tentacles. He had many illegitament children, many of which whose names he never bothered to learn. Most of them he never saw in his entire life. This boy was the only one lucky enough to ever stay on the same ship as his father.
It wasn't luck, however, that had brought them into company. It was the unfortunate death of the boy's mother that had brought them together. She was the captain of another ESA starship. She cared about the boy deeply, and sensing a trap, sent him in a stasis pod into the depths of space. Through some strange circumstance of luck, the pod was discovered by the crew of the Atlantis during a scouting mission. The boy had been asleep for the entire six-year journey, but when he awoke, he found a small disk in his pocket. It contained the essence of his mother, his last memory of her. It was a program designed by his mother to simulate her exactly. Her physical body was dead, but he always carried her aparition by his heart.
Having found the stasis pod in which the boy had laid since he was six, the captain took in the boy as a son. Neither had proof that they were father and son, but they both felt it in their hearts. The mother knew, of course, but by chance, the boy had never activated his disk in the prescence of the captian.
The escape pod shuddered as it thrust away from the Atlantis. The boy stuck his face against the window to witness the bombardment of the ship by enemy fighters. It only took a few minutes before the brave Atlantis was dust. The boy cringed at the explosion and wept himself to sleep.
When he awoke, he was still floating in the cold depths of space. He now realized that was still wearing his underwear in which he had slept. He opened the supplies compartment and pulled out a small cloak. It was a little too large for him, but he had no other clothes, so he put it on anyway.
The escape pod was on auto pilot, but he decided to sit in the pilot's chair anyway. He carefully tuned into the Galatic Alliance's broadcast frequency. He had to be careful not to make a noise, because any sound sent over the broadcast frequency could be tracked back to his pod. He knew that he was lucky for his pod to have escaped the bombardment, as most of them probably had been hunted down and destroyed. He thought that the monotone voice of the GA broadcaster might be able to calm him down a little.
"The most recent attack by the Galatic Alliance on the the reminants of the Earthen fleet was completely successful. With the exception of a few escape pods, all thrity-two thousand pasangers and crew members on the the Atlantis were destroyed."
The boy turned off the communicator quickly. He couldn't bare to listen to it for much longer. He knew that he'd been lucky that he wasn't hunted down, but he didn't know the extent of the attack. He realized then that ignorance was bliss. He almost wished he had been on the ship with his father, but he knew deep in his heart that it was better that he had survived.
Suddenly, the computer started beeping loudly. The boy quickly sprang into the front seat and fastened the safety restraint. He knew that the pod was low on supplies and fuel. It would soon need to be restocked. Luckily, there was a planet with a suitable atmosphere just within the reach of the pod's limits.
It was five hours before the pod reached the planet. The boy had been forced to disable most of the pods' systems in order to keep the pod from running out of power.
The pod hit the atmosphere hard. Those watching from the surface saw a blaze of light similar to an explosion as the pod entered the first layers of the atmosphere. The pod's hull began to buckle under the force of the atmosphere as it fell through the sky like a shooting star. Many animals were extremely startled within miles of the crash. Fortunately, there was only one injury sustained.
Reena fell to the floor of her cottage neatly placed at the edge of the forest. It was a small home with enough room to comfortably fit four. The hut by the side of the woods was a cozy home for Reena's family. Reena lived with her daughter, a young girl with eleven Dolurian years of age, which is roughly thirteen and one half Earthen years, and with her unborn son.
Warriana, Reena's daughter, helped her mother off the floor.
"Are you okay?" Warriana asked the elderly woman.
"Yes, I'm fine, Warriana, but I'm worried about the baby."
"I'm sure he'll be fine, Mother," Warriana answered as she reached for a chair on which her mother could sit.
"I heard something from the woods," Reena blurted out suddenly, trying to remove some of the humiliation from her fall. "Did you hear it?"
"Yes," replied Warriana, feigning interest. "It's probably nothing. A tree fell, or an animal was shot, or nothing." Warriana walked over to the coat rack and took down her blazer. The weather was bad that day, but she was determined to leave the house anyway.
"Where are you going?" asked Reena.
"I'm just going to walk to town, Mom. Just because you want to live in the wilderness, doesn't mean I can't have a life! I'm going to find out what my friends are doing. I'll be back in a few hours." Warriana could not bare being alone with her mother for more than a day. Reena was in need of much assistance during her difficult pregnancy.
Reena sighed. "Don't be gone long, honey. If I'm out when you come back, dinner will be on the stove."
Reena slowly began to gather her materials for the evening meal a few moments after Warriana left. She knew to only make enough for one person because chances were that her daughter would not be back that night. Reena was in severe denial that she wished her daughter was more supportive of the pregnancy. She had been suduced by a mysterious stranger after an evening of cocktails. She was right in believing that after Warriana's father had left them, Warriana would be distraught by the fact that she had gotten pregnant so quickly. The pregnancy had just entered the fifth month of the ten month cycle. Reena did not truley suspect that her daughter would be home that night, but by some random impulse, she decided to make enough for two people.
Reena walked out her back door into her vegetable garden. She enjoyed gardening there in the sirene wilderness more than anything else in the universe. She bent down to pick one of her exotic vegetables from the ground when she realized that she had forgotten her basket. As she stood up again, her eyes caught sight of smoke rising from behind the trees. She knew this was not the smoke of a forest fire, or she would have run to the village. Instead, she unlatched the gate to her garden and began to venture into the woods.
Warriana came home late that night. When she arrived, she expected to find her mother already asleep. Reena was nowhere to be found. Reena would not have left the house, despite her ealier warning.
After about an hour, Warriana began to become impatient waiting for her mother's return. The only place should would have gone was the path for flower picking. Warriana's eyes fell on the flower basket, already full.
Warriana began running around the outside of the cottage frantically. She ran through the garden, along the creak, and even to the nearby lake, but she still could not find any trace of her mother. Eventually, she went back inside their house and colapsed on the chair she had used to help Reena. It was then that Warriana noticed that dinner was still laying uncooked on the countertop. Suddenly, thoughts of her mother being abducted by thieves and bandits flew flooded into her mind. Warriana became flustered and was at a loss on what to do, so she cooked dinner.
The remaining food on the table had long ago gone cold, but Warriana was still awake when her mother returned. Warriana immediately jumped out of her chair to scream at her mother. She was outraged that Reena would have left without so much as a note, especially in her condition. Warriana wanted to scream at her mother until her face turned blue, but in an instant she stopped herself and just stared. In Reena's arms lay the limp body of a child.
As his eyes slowly opened, the boy moved his hand to his forehead and began massaging his temples. He sat up, coughing violently. Reena ran across
the room and quickly eased him back onto the bed.
"Relax, child," she whispered as his head fell back into position on the pillow. She slowly removed her hand from behind his head and walked back to where she had been sitting with Warriana.
"What is he?" asked Warriana, sipping her coffee.
"I don't know. He could be Earthen."
"There aren't any of those left. They were all killed in the rebellion."
"Well, I don't think he's a Similan. His blood is too red."
"He could have a disease."
"Maybe. But I don't think so. I have a wierd feeling about him," Reena said. "I just don't know what it is about him, but I don't think he's one of us."
The boy stirred again. Reena helped him lay back into bed and returned to her conversation with Warriana.
"That's the third time in fifteen quatars that he's done that. Let's just wake him up!" Warriana's impatience was beginning to show.
"You're so much like your father." Reena smiled.
"I'm nothing like my father," mumbled Warriana. She added, "It's time to wake up the kid." Warriana pulled the boy out of bed and positioned him against the wall. She spit on her hand and rubbed it on his cheeks to wake him. He slowly began regaining consiousness. He screamed when he saw her, but she held onto him.
"Alright, spill the beans! Who are you?" Warriana yelled at the boy.
"Relax, Warriana," Reena interjected. "He's confused. I bet he doesn't know where he is. Let him go."
Warriana dropped the boy back on the bed. He was a little smaller than her, and she tossed him around like a rag doll. He began rubbing the back of his head after his rough landing.
"What's your name, dear?" Reena asked quietly.
"I'm Lucas," the boy answered.
"What race are you?" Reena asked. That question surprised Lucas.
"I'm Similan," Lucas answered simplistically. He had always been told to pretend he was a Similan. Humans were hunted after their government had been overthrown. He would never claim he was Earthen, for fear of persecution.
"Nice try, Earth Boy!" Warriana interupted. Lucas was clearly shocked. It was obvious to that Warriana was correct.
"So where are you from? What happened?" Reena asked with concern.
"Yeah. And what's with the pod?" added Warriana.
It was a long story, but Lucas was glad to tell it.
Lucas was sitting in class. After the crash, Reena had allowed him to stay with her and Warriana. Thriteen timarons passed, but it was only two weeks in Earthen time. Lucas stared at the clock as the final timanas of class ticked away. The bell rang and the students ran out of the classroom. Warriana made sure to catch Lucas as they were leaving.
"So what do you think of Diversaca?" she asked.
"There are so many different types of people here."
"Yeah, this planet was orginally used as a prison for the Earthen Era. When it was liberated during the rebellion, it became a cultural center for the whole galaxy."
"Seems my race was responsible for one good thing." Lucas said smirkly. He turned the nearby corner. Warriana continued talking.
"I think your race wasn't too bad, Earth Boy!" she joked.
Suddenly, Lucas jumped back around the corner pulled Warriana behind a nearby garbage receptical. He tried to silence her, but was unsuccessful.
"Hey, what's the big idea, Earth Boy?" Warriana yelled as Lucas covered her mouth with his hand.
"Go around that corner and then come back here and tell me what you see," Lucas whispered. Warriana did as he asked, stopping to take a look at her surroundings.
There were two men talking with the school principal. The first man was short and grey. His two antennae both seemed to be scanning the area for any unusual odors. The second one was much larger. His pupilless yellow eyes were darting around the hallway as if he was looking for something while the first man distracted the principal. His dark orange skin was covered with ugly scales. She returned to behind the garbage receptical with Lucas.
"Who are those two men?" asked Warriana.
"Did you see the uniforms they're wearing? That's the uniform of ALIEN troops! They've got to be here to get me!" Lucas whispered with increasing urgency. "I'm going to sneak through the kitchen exit! Stay here and spy on their conversation! You can meet up with me later and tell me what they say!"
Warriana had no idea what was going through Lucas' mind, but she sat down and began to study near the two men. She listened carefully to every word they said, clutching her text book so that her face wouldn't be seen.
Meanwhile, Lucas was exitting the building through the kitchen. He knew all about the ALIEN troops. The Alliance of La'sha for the Inhilation of the Earthen Nation. During the rebellion, the leaders of every planet, with the obvious exception of Earth, signed a treaty that once they had overthrown the Earthen government, all of the Earthen people would be destroyed. Now they were after him.
When Reena saw the boy's expression as he bolted back to her little cottage, she immeadiately sensed some kind of danger. Without saying a word and stopping only to latch the door, she pulled him inside and held him close to her.
Lucas' world was spinning out of control and he knew he had little power to protect his own existence. He stayed in Reena's arms for what seemed like only a few timanas, but was in fact several Earth hours. Without saying a word, Reena held him and spread her arms over him, yielding whatever protection they could to the quivering child. They remained like this until there was came the sound of a fist pounding on the door.
Reena rose slowly to answer it, taking heed to rest Lucas on the stool without dropping him suddenly. Her sleeves and collar were dripping with tears, but she ignored them to glance over at Lucas before she'd open the door and allow whatever troubles laid in waiting on the other side into her house. She saw him crawling under Warriana's bed, still maintaining his silence. The pounding continued. Reena waited for him to pull a blanket over the side of the bed, hiding him from sight. She slowly unlatched the door and flung it open to face the evil she was certain waited for her on the other side.
And in a flurry of movement, Warriana, tears running down the side of each cheek flung herself through the door and latched onto her mother with all her might.
Warriana had returned to her mother with a torn shirt and no shoes. Her cheek had a fresh cut on it and her left arm was covered in scratches. Her collar was tear-stained and her pant legs were brown with mud. She was out of breath, sweaty, dirty, tired, and she had visions of pain burned into her eyes, but she was safe, and that was all that mattered to Reena.