Happy Birthday too Charlie Chaplin. This story is in honor of you keeping us laughing.
The Gold Rush
A gold bullet shot out of a metal tube. It splattered against the chest of a male bringing up a weapon of his own. That weapon hit the ground a few seconds before the male did. “You came to steal my gold. So, I decided to give you some of it.”
Jorrin turned and walked back toward a small hill. Just before he got there, an entrance slid open and a bright golden light shined out of it. He walked into that light. After entering it, the entrance slid shut. “I wish they would stop trying to steal my gold. I’m getting tired of killing them all. It takes time away from me for collecting my gold.”
“So, that’s where he’s been hiding. No wonder it’s taken us this long to find him. He’s using his spaceship not only to collect his gold but to blend in with the rest of the planet in the form of a small hill.”
An image of that sliding entrance appeared on a large monitor hovering in front of three individuals. Two females and one male stared at that monitor that showed the entrance to the spaceship half closed. One of the females sat in a floating chair in front of the other two who sat slightly above her but behind her.
Rabecci looked at the two others behind her. First the male, then swinging her head around the female. “Now that we have found him we can stop him from killing anyone else. He has killed at least three hundred. And those are only the ones that we know about. Who knows how many others he has killed over the last two years.”
“He’s not the only one who been killing those who would rather steal than collect their own gold. There are several thousand others just like him.” Rabecci looked back at Marn.
“You’re right, Marn. And he’s not even the worse of them doing it. He’s just been the hardest to find.”
“Now that we know where he’s at, what are we going to do?” Rabecci swung around toward Nanca. “We just can’t go down there and confront him.”
“Why can’t we? We need to get these Collectors off Poraxis before it disappears for a thousand years when it reappears in another part of the galaxy. At least that’s what the legend, myth, story, hearsay, etc. says what happens to it.”
“There are about fifty thousand Collectors on Poraxis from a couple of hundred planets in this Sector,” Nanca spoke first. “How are we going to do that?”
“We can’t even get them to talk to us. Most are like Jorrin; they refuse to leave their part of Poraxis until they collect all the gold that they can.”
“I don’t know what we are going to do, Marn. But we need to start somewhere. And we might as well start with Jorrin.”
“Yes, I know all about the rumors about Poraxis. Everyone here knows all about it. That’s why we are trying to collect all the gold that we can. We all know we only have a few months left before we disappear along with Poraxis if we don’t get off it by then.”
Jorrin continued picking up small pebble size gold leaves and stones from a large hole in the middle of the metal floor. He tossed the leaves onto one pile and the stones on another. Both piles almost reach the ceiling in that large empty room. The only things in there were the hole and the gold bubbling out of it.
“How did you find me?” Jorrin suddenly stopped his collecting and looked at the three individuals standing in front of a large hole in the wall.
“You aren’t the only one who has been using this planet of pure gold to hide.” Rabecci stepped forward. “Some of those stones and leave around here aren’t real. In fact, you have some of them in here right now. They are Image Recorders. We have been watching you for a couple of months now. Sooner or later, we knew that you would kill someone else.”
“Who is going to pay for that?” Jorrin pointed at the hole.
Nanca glanced at the hole then back at Jorrin. “We will pay for it out of our collections. That’s right; we aren’t just Peacekeepers. We’re Collectors too.”
Rabecci looked at one pile of gold then at the other one. “I’m curious about something, Jorrin. How much is gold worth on your planet?”
“I don’t know. A couple of years ago it was five fifty. It’s probably gone up a little, if not a lot, since then.” Jorrin returned to his collecting. “Why did you asked me that? It wasn’t just out of curiosity.”
“How much gold have you collected,” Marn spoke first. “Is it worth all the individuals you have killed?”
“You do know you are going to have to pay for killing all those individuals.” Rabecci smiled. “And I’m not talking about paying for it with your gold.”
“Leave me along. I haven’t done anything wrong. The only ones I have been forced to kill have been trying to steal my gold.”
“That isn’t exactly true. The last one you killed wasn’t a Stealer of Gold. He only came here to talk to you about leaving. But you didn’t even give him a chance to do that before you killed him. Do you know who he was? He was a fellow Peacekeeper like us.”
Word Count = 912