Chapter 2! Read chapter one first if you haven't! PLEASE COMMENT AND RATE!
|Chapter Two: The Ominous Glass of Water
Possibility #1: I’m not a real person at all, and neither are Leo and Rachel. We’re just a bunch of ridiculously meta fictional characters, who’ve been written as totally aware that the world around them isn’t real, but under the belief that we don’t belong here. If that’s what’s going on, whoever writes me is freaking sadistic.
Kurt Vonnegut once said that every character has to need something, even if it’s just a glass of water. Whoever penned this latest tour de force I’ve found myself is either a literalist or just really damn stupid.
So yeah, in case you forget: room. Four walls. No exit. Hovering glass of water at the exact center. It should be pretty obvious what the plot wants us to do.
Leo still has that shotgun. That’s weird; weapons we’ve found have never carried over to other movies before. I start to get up, but notice something else: the dirt on my clothes, a couple of bruises on my arms and legs, products of my repeatedly waking up on the ground during our recent horror misadventures, they were still there. That definitely never happened before; moving onto the next movie always acted like a reset-button for injuries and clothing damage. But I was filthy and sustaining minor injuries. Leo and Rachel were in the same boat.
Rachel. She shows up and stuff starts carrying over like this. I know I sound paranoid, but I really doubt that could be a coincidence. Not when it’s breaking the only real rules I’ve known since all this crap started. Whatever this was, it wasn’t good. And I definitely don’t trust her, not yet.
“Hey Josh,” Leo started, now on his feet, “Do you need help up, I mean you’ve been crouching in that position for a few minutes now.
I quickly rejoined Rachel and Leo in the land ‘stands-on-two-legs’.
“Alright, so who wants to get the water?” I ask.
“I’ll do it,” Leo and Rachel respond simultaneously. What eager beavers.
“You can… you can go ahead,” Leo muttered nervously.
“Cool,” She responded. Cool indeed. If that thing is a trap, then I get to put off dealing with my own trust issues for a little while longer. Hooray!
She walked over to the water and put her hand out, but she was instantly knocked back by some sort of invisible telekinetic force. She hit the ground, landing on her rear. She got back up pretty much instantly and looked at Leo.
“Gun?” She asked.
“Out of bullets,” was the response.
“Let me see it anyway.”
I don’t like where this is going.
She took the gun and attempted to poke the glass with it. It stopped a few inches before the glass, and then Newton’s Third Law of Motion kicked in, pushing the gun back an inch or two.
“Well, I guess this thing’s totally useless then,” She said, frustration audible in her voice. And then she screamed and threw the gun at the wall, causing the whole thing to fall forwards revealing a sleek, spotless, chrome hallway outside. Why didn’t I think of that?
A disembodied, robotic female voice came from nowhere, proclaiming, “Intelligence test: passed. captaincy of ship granted.”
“Hey, how ‘bout that?” Rachel said, the frustration replaced with satisfaction and a large grin.
“Nice work,” Leo congratulated her with a meek smile.
“Yeah,” was all I put forward.
We all walked out into the hallway, Leo picking up the unloaded gun as we moved forward. We walked until we entered what appeared to be the bridge of a UFO. I’m completely serious. It was a round room, everything made of silver metal, with rotating chairs in the center and windows covering every wall. There were bizarre control panels at the front, filled with… buttons! Big colorful buttons that lit up. Oh yeah, and the outside the aforementioned windows was space. There was that too.
“What is all this?” Rachel asked, “Besides the obvious, I mean.”
The robotic female voice came back and responded, “This is spaceship 1587. You were selected, teleported here, and, after passing the intelligence test, were granted captaincy.”
Rachel’s face lit up as she said, “Hooray,” with a weird fusion of joy and nonchalant-ness.
The next few minutes were spent gawking and/or running around jovially (picture us all staring at each other for a moment and then dashing about and jumping over stuff and admiring the controls and briefly reenacting a few scenes from Star Trek, that kind of thing) over the fact that we had our own spaceship. Or at least, Rachel had her own spaceship that she was apparently willing to share with us. Looks like I’m gonna have to deal with those trust issues after all.
My common sense told me I should be more mature then to go around gushing over something like this, or at the very least I should be jaded to the point where coming across stuff of this variety doesn’t really phase me anymore, but come on! It’s a freaking space ship! After an endless of torture porn horror movies, this isn’t just refreshing, this is miraculous.
Anyway, back to business.
After we finished our version of the death of the Enterprise scene from The Search for Spock (better flick than everyone says it is), Leo paused for a moment and asked Rachel, “Hey, back in the cabin, when you saved us from CJ, you said you’d been looking for us. What’d you mean by that? I mean, given what we deal with, that could be a bit difficult.”
Good question. I’m just glad I didn’t have to ask.
Rachel responded, “I’d heard rumors from a few characters about how they’d dealt with “people like me” before, a couple of proverbial yahoos named Josh and Leo. So, every new movie I wound up in, I spent the whole plot looking for you guys. Took me twenty-five tries, but here I am. Did you guys know that it’s physically impossible to go beyond the locations the plot describes?”
“Really?” Leo asked.
“Well that’s reassuring,” I said. Her supposed backstory checked out so far. Time will tell, though.
“Yeah, I mean it could be a sign about where we actually and we’re doing, you know?” She said.
“Makes sense,” Leo said. Always so trusting, he is. Although I gotta admit, she had a point. It was certainly intriguing.
“Seriously, haven’t you guys ever tried to figure out what’s really going on?” She inquired.
“A few times, but they didn’t go anywhere. Plus, we wind up in a lot of movies where not getting killed takes a higher priority,” I offered.
“Understandable,” was her response.
But then something less understandable dawned on me.
“Hey, I just realized something; the computer said we were teleported onto the ship and then you were given captaincy, but we’re clearly on autopilot. Where are we going?” I asked.
“Good question,” Rachel said, “Computer, what is our destination?”
The electronic female voice came back, and said, “You’re destination is the planet Achillion 5,” as a holographic image of a planet, apparently solid, covered in green and blue and surrounded by rings, appeared at the center of the room.
“And why are we going there?”
“You’re mission is to assist in the destruction of the Up Risers, the rebel group attempting to resist the will of our glorious ruler, Emperor Carnicus. You will land in the North Eastern hemisphere, coordinates 85, 97, an area reported to be infested with Up Risers. Upon arrival, you will be given weapons and sent out into the field, and, taking into account the Up Risers frequent attacking of unknown assailants without first being provoked, will be engaged in battle.”
A bunch of images of aliens and robots and deserts were projected while she spoke, but none of it really registered as the realization that we were the bad guys in this story fell on top of me and knocked me to the floor.
Leo and Rachel seemed to get the idea, too, because Leo was somehow even quieter than usual, and it took Rachel a minute before she choke out, “And why have we been selected for this mission?”
“Emperor Carnicus’ selection of you and your compatriots as due to your meeting his criteria: you are not members of his master species, the Carnicoans, and, after being teleported here, and you passed the basic intelligence test. As such, deploying you into battle against the Up Risers provides a tactical advantage: the Up Risers will be drawn out into the open by your team and can then be terminated by attack drones stationed above the atmosphere, helping to eliminate the threat without any Carnicoan lives being lost in the process.”
Why does it always turn out to be worse than you thought?
“Why not just… destroy the whole planet. Get rid of the threat all at once?” Leo ask, the words fighting to escape his throat. The question’s shock value was equalized by its perfect logic.
“Achillion 5 is home to many natural resources vital to the Carnicoan Empire’s survival, most notably the radioactive energy source Unitirium, found in abundance nowhere else in the galaxy.”
“Computer, how long until we land?” Rachel asked.
“Approximately: eight minutes.”
She was spot-on, too; I could see a ringed ball of blue and green out window.
“Computer, override autopilot and give me full control,” she demanded.
“Negative. Refusing the emperor’s orders constitutes high treason.”
“You’re not gonna be of much help to us, are you?” I finally snarked.
“Negative. Refusing the emperor’s orders is high treason.”
“Heard you the first time, bitch,” I spat out, and then I turned to Leo and said, “Give me the gun.”
“I told you before, it’s empty,” he said.
“I know; give me the gun,” I persisted.
He handed it to me; I grabbed it by the barrel and then proceeded to walk over to the control panel and smashed it with the butt of the gun, creating a large dent.
“What are you doing?” Leo asked.
“Making sure we don’t get to that planet.”
“You have no idea what that could do.”
“Yeah, but there’s no way the plot’s not gonna let us die this early on. And in general, breaking stuff makes it stop working, so start smashing,” I said through my own barely concealed rage as I pulled the metal board off of the panel and started ripping wires.
“I like this plan,” Rachel said with a maniacal grin as she entered hot blooded mode, running over to another part the controls, raising her leg and bringing her high-heeled boot down on the metal, leading to another indentation. Leo was pretty quick to join the fun, too.
The voice returned, this time saying, “Cease your actions immediately. Damaging one of the empire’s ships is high treason.”
“Sorry, I’m just enjoying myself a little too much to that,” I said.
And then five fancy looking guns came out from the ceiling, still attached. Lasers, as in the deadly, cut-you-in-half kind, came out of them, chasing us via rotation as we ran away in terror.
Okay, now just about everything I’ve told you about Leo up until this point has no doubt painted a mental picture of him as a shy, timid, spineless, possibly neutered, borderline mute. The reason for this is because Leo is man action, rather than words. And that’s why it shouldn’t be surprising when I tell you that practically without hesitation, Leo grabbed the empty shot gun and threw it at one of the laser shooters, causing it to spin around and slice all of its brethren off of the roof, making them fall to the floor and cease fire. And then he ran over to the one of the damn things, picked it up, and threw it at the remaining weapon, breaking its attachment and knocking it to the ground, ending the laser storm. Oh yeah, and all that happened within the space of about thirty seconds, and he didn’t yell or say a damn thing the entire time. That’s the kind of guy Leo is.
“Sheesh! Nice work, Leo!” Rachel exclaimed in bit of a captain obvious moment.
“Don’t… uh, don’t mention it,” he responded casually.
“Oh boy,” I said, eyes widening.
“What is it?” Rachel asked.
“That,” I said, pointing my finger at the window, and, more specifically, at the incoming planet directly outside the ship that we appeared to have just entered the gravitational pull of. We were landing whether we wanted to or not.
An alarm rang out, followed by that computer damn voice (man, that thing will not shut up) saying, “Warning, landing controls disabled. Crash landing imminent in: two minutes and thirty seconds. 2:29…2:28…2:27…”
So that’s what those wires did.
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