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By: Jonathon L. Moreno
“Roll call,” Bragnin said, “All you earthlings in a line-up formation, NOW!”
I only remember pieces of my childhood, and I honestly don’t believe that some of these memories are even mine. I am shocked that this is life, yet it is! I get up every morning, get checked for weapons. A few minutes after weapons check, we get served our breakfast. We then sit, and while we wait, the part of us are trying to get a grip on the idea of working in the mines. For more than a few, this is their first time. Working the mines is a year round project. These aliens want the resources that this planet contains, resources like food, water, fruits, and the animals. They also want the dirt, precious metals, and rock.
My mind is drawn back to when I started to see the truth in this whole picture. “They won!”
“You mean to tell me you ain’t heard?”
“Stop it, stop talking to yourself! Other people might think you’re possessed. Stop jerking. Seriously, you’re acting like a crazy person, the type that are in asylums.”
We didn’t even know they were there, we didn’t see them. That’s the problem! They caught us blind off the dark side of our planet’s moon, just before the sun rose that morning. They slipped in the silence of the night while we were sleeping. Some speculate that they used a biological weapon on us, filling up our atmosphere with a deadly chemical or biological agent.
As we slept, they worked. They pumped their poison into our atmosphere. When we thought they were done (for the first time in the few days since it all started), they lined their spacecraft up around the globe and started to shoot at us with alien artillery we have never seen before. In the wake of their assault on earth, we never really stood a chance. They decimated the population to practically nothing.
This was now their battle, now for us to attain and achieve under the pretense that we were dead or beaten beyond recovery. As they hid from us, waiting to attack, so now it was our turn. The truth of it was that we were still alive! Barely, but still holding on. The biological weapon they used didn’t t kill all of us. It honestly did not! And it only made those who survived stronger. If you were younger than 35, the chemical made you live forever...
Mir sat in thought. “What did he just ask?” It’s all good. He didn’t really care.
“Alright I ain’t asking again,” this giant of a beast said, “Your name. I have to mark it on my list.”
“Miriole Vanlerent, that is if you know how to spell.”
“Shut-up!” Bragnin yelled, “I will deal with you later!”
Mir began to think about his actions, yes he had to admit they were a little rebellious. He felt like their lives were starting to unfold, and that destiny was emerging from the realest ideas of the prophecy.
He only vaguely remembered the next few moments. They finally opened the gate for the prisoners to move from one spot in the yard to another. As they were on their way across the central focus of the camp, which they had established along a cliff’s edge, Mir was stopped. Then without hesitation, one of the beasts again asked his name. After giving it, Mir was pointed in another direction, on another path. This one seemed like it never ended. He felt like I didn’t belong there, but kept walking, finally stopping at a place in the path that opened into more paths.
After a beast showed him where to go, he started walking again. As he walked, he noticed that there was a ton of the demon-spawn here, thousands in fact. They seemed to have the idea that war was the answer, yet none of them with the balls to ever prove it in a fair fight.
As he continued to walk, he thought about what Bragnin had said. The thing Bragnin failed to mention was the thousands of the horde that were housed with the prisoners, and less than 1,000 feet of the human’s own living quarters. As Mir walked, taking time to look around, he saw them looming, as if they were hanging in the light left of the day now turning to dark, Beady yellow orbs that stood out in any light, and flesh like lime green, almost a florescent green. All of them sitting, watching, and each one of them he could feel was looking at him. However, he managed to keep on walking the way he had been instructed to do, not detouring to either side of the path. Within the next few hundred feet he was forced to stop. As he stood there and waited, a Horadian guard walked over and asked, “Are you Mir?”
“Then you are to follow me. Stay close, the others don’t like it when strangers are brought to this side of the camp.”
“Nope, I totally get it,” Mir replied, “I didn’t like it when my brother played with my toys as a kid, and he was always able to get under my skin about it.”
“Whatever,” the creature said, pointing me in a specific direction. “Ask for Dropitron!”
As Mir stood there waiting, another alien approached and asked if he was lost. He responded that he was looking for Dropitron. The guard pointed Mir toward the bluffs, toward the area that they said was attacked by humans the night before.
“Make sure to check the parameter,” Dropitron was saying. “We want to think that they can get in, knowing they can’t. This is why we are safe.”
“Right,” one said, “yes, sir!”
“Excuse me,” Mir interrupted, “Are you Dropitron?”
“And if I told you I wasn’t,” Dropitron said. “Not that it would matter, it was only a thought.”
While Mir stood there listening to this baboon of a fool only make an even bigger idiot of himself, he was wondering what all this standing or sitting was actually accomplishing. After a few minutes of mumbling and grunting the creature looked Mir up and down and said, “Well who’s asking? And also, if you must know, yes I am Dropitron.”
“They call me Miriole,” he started, “Mir for short. Regardless I was sent to talk to you.”
“Yes I know. Let’s not make this any worse than it needs to be, can you step into this cage?” That had started to be lowered in front of them, then he continued, “I’m sorry it’s how it needs to be.”
“Why?” Mir asked, as he was stepping into this cage, then slowly it started to lift to be suspended above the ground.
“In case you decide to play the part of the hero,” he went on. “Oh, it don’t matter anyway. To be frank and partial to the truth, I was actually asked for you to assemble a team, and to prepare them for battle.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Mir asked.
“Nope,” he answered, “On our planet we have what we call the deathmatch!” When he mentioned the deathmatch all of the aliens that were around him yelled out in unison, “COL- LAK!” In return, Dropitron yelled it back to them, “COL- LAK!”
“Llyandry,” Dropitron continued, “bought out this big piece of rock, and turned it into the galaxy’s biggest profit!”
“How?” Mir asked.
“By providing the game as a circuit. Besides it’s not like one of your kind would take a shot at the grand stand, in lieu of your freedom?” He paused, took a breath and continued, “Even if you did, could you or do you think that you will win?”
“Maybe," Mir answered, “but on the other hand I really don’t know. I do think that if we were united, then maybe we might have an honest shot, to have that chance to win like we are looking for. Why?”
“I was thinking back to the day that I watched this planet burn to the ground,” Dropitron answered. Another pause, “I remember it all too well. As I watched, I saw the human faces as they burned, alive! Do you know how long it took for the smell of burnt human flesh to clear the air? Forever.” He paused again, took a breath, and then looked over to Mir, one eye twinkling in the light in the room. “Every once in a while you can still smell that scent on the wind outside the outpost facility.”
“So what really happened, if you don’t mind if I ask?” Mir said.
“It’s all true!” Dropitron chuckled, “Caught red handed even! Well, that is up to the point that the humans think that we attacked for all the natural resources that this planet has. Maybe, but honestly we have been in search of the device that’s called the spectral!”
“Now the light comes on,” Mir said. “Honestly, any luck?”
“Nope, and the only person, it is said, that will know where to find it would be the child of destiny,” Dropitron said with sound of conviction in his voice.
“And what of this child of destiny?” Mir asked.
“It’s said that once he sets his foot on this planet it will be beautifully transformed,” Dropitron answered.
“In what sense?” Mir asked again.
“Well it’s said that he is to be savior for your kind, in the sense that he is what will drive the herd from your planet.”
“Ok, right, then another question for you,” Mir said, “If this chosen child were ever found, would anyone know?
“You’ll never know or ever hear about it,” the creature replied. “Besides what’s with the sudden fascination with this child?”
“Everything,” Mir said. “As long as I am breathing, that means that the boy is still alive. I am the kid’s protector. So, I guess you can sit on that, think it through. If you help me escape, and find a way outside this place, I will go and find him!”
“You honestly you didn’t plan that one yourself did you?” Dropitron started to laugh. “Nice try. What makes you so different than the rest?”
“Take me out of this animal cage or i’ll prove what I can do to you!” Mir yelled.
“Again, you didn’t think about that one very well either did you?” Dropitron said. “Keep it up, this is the best free entertainment I have had in a while!”
“Very well,” Mir said. He put his hands together and from the center of them a bright brilliant light took hold and started to careen forward toward the glass. As it hit the glass, Mir was already behind it extending his arm and hitting the glass wall with all of his brute force and the glass shattered on impact. He landed on his knee with one leg out having been suspended above the ground, in mid jump when he broke the glass. He started to turn around in a circle, sizing up the guards standing there. Once they realized what Mir had done, did they all started to walk towards him. “We have him surrounded,” one muttered, “there ain’t a place to go.”
After planting his feet on solid ground, Mir stood watching the first guard make a move in his direction. The guard swung his saber at him, as Mir spun a half circle towards him, ducking under the saber, and hitting the behemoth square in the gut. The guard looked at Mir with a puzzled but shocked look on his face, looked him right in the eyes as Mir started to stand fully erect, one hand out towards the guard, who at the moment looked as if to be frozen in time. Looking at Mir, the guard got a glimpse of what rage does first hand. Mir felt like the center of an atomic bomb in the moment of detonation.
In that moment Mir disappeared into the darkness around them. And then with a brilliant blue flash of energy, he reappeared as his knee caught the solid exoskeleton of the alien guard, cracking the shelling that encased his mouth. His razor sharp mandibles flexed as he tried to deal with the pain and the piece of plate that had cracked and was falling off his face. Mir jumped again, catching him once more off guard with his knee, and sending him flying backwards. With energy pulsing through his right hand, Mir grabbed the guard by the throat with his left. As he pulled the guard down to eye level, Mir created a spear out of the energy pulsing out of his hand, and then shoved it through the aliens neck and out through the top of his head. After he pulled it out the alien fell dead to the ground.
As the first guard fell to the floor, several others took a few steps back, while another came flying towards him. Mir ducked low enough to grab the guard’s legs, and the guard came down to meet the floor face first. Mir unsheathed the guard’s knife, feeling fully alive for the first time since breaking free, and stabbed him once. Mir looked over at he other guards, who had begun advancing toward him, and for good measure stabbed the alien over and over until he pulsed blue all over his body. Then, drawing out energy again, Mir formed an ax and sliced the guard’s head in two.
The remaining guards took a few steps back, then advancing forward and watching as Mir walked slowly in a circle, jagged one way, shifted his weight in the opposite direction, and took off in another. Mir dove through the legs of the next victim, rolled to his feet, flipped backward, spinning, and stabbed the knife into his back. He then grabbed the guard’s sword, spun it in a circle over his arm and threw it, catching another alien in the center of his chest as he reached for his side arm.
Mir had been thinking that this is hand-to-hand combat, who reaches for a gun? But if that’s what they wanted… he reached for the alien’s sidearm, the same alien he had just taken the sword from, aimed the gun at another guard, and then proceeded to shoot him two times in the mouth, one between his eyes. He aimed and fired a round at another, killing it with a head shot, before shooting the one he hand his hand on in the eye.
He turned and started to walk towards Dropitron's mirage, looking him in the face, and then asked him the one last question that he had been needing to ask, “Where did you say you had tracked the spectral to?”
“What do you mean?” Dropitron asked. “Wait I think I just figured it out. What you’re saying is that you created the device we are hunting, yet not even you can find it, RIGHT?”
“The point I am trying to make is that not even you know were to look or even venture to search,” Mir said. “That only goes to show that you are still waiting for the right person to show you the way.”
As Mir spoke, he was focused on the one final thought, kill Dropitron. He moved slowly closer to his victim. Yet it seemed that the closer he got to Dropitron, the farther away from him he was actually getting. He stopped and waited; closing his eyes he sat and started to hum a soft easy tune into the air. The sound of it hit the rock walls and echoed. As the sound reverberated off the rock walls it also left a sound mark, helping him identify Dropitron’s true location. The pulse of his heart was visible as he smoked out into nothingness and then back through the portal. At the moment he crossed back, he shoved an electric blue sword through the center of Dropitron’s chest near his heart.
As he was lying on the ground dying, Mir looked at him with a solemn expression and said, “That’s where the light is made different from the darkness you know and see. You would that I should die, yet the reason I am here is to aid this world in your kind’s defeat!”
“Then you lack the truth in understanding why we are really here,” Dropitron said. “We were not here to destroy this world. We were to aid them, no force them, to live forever!”
Mir didn’t care to listen to the invalid fallacies, or the misguided perceptions of a tyrant bent on the ideas of perfected world domination. He had heard enough. He walked over to the guard station gun hold, picked up a weapon, loaded it, walked over to Dropitron and shot him repeatedly until every bullet had been fired and the sound of it was the subtle insight that he was out of ammunition. Then he threw the gun across the open field and ran back to the gun hold, grabbed more weapons, turned around and made a run for it. The thought crossed his mind, “I need to run and run fast!”
As he was running, he was also looking for an exit. He neared the main arena for this outpost, stopped, and three more prisoners caught up with him. Mir, being the oldest, motioned for them to stop. With their backs to each other they stood there, waiting for the surrounding aliens to decide if it was in fact a smart thing for them to attack.
“You run, and we will kill you!” a guard shouted.
“Not likely, not today, and sure as heck not the day that will follow this one either. We will prevail!” Mir yelled back.
While they were debating their next move, Styge, one of the prisoners, started to tamper with the time continuum, slowing down time. As a guard was reaching and pulling his sidearm, Mir caught a single drop of water that had been falling from the sky, as it started to rain, whispered to it, and brushed his other hand over the top of it. As he moved his hands it started to change, growing and freezing into a sharp point. Styge let time slip back to normal, and Mir thrust his ice pick through the alien’s chest. As he fell to the ground, his weapon sounded off with a tat tat tat.
Mir spun around as fast as lightning trying to avoid another alien’s weapon, sweep drop kicked the next and the ice pick doubled again in the center of his rotation. The alien’s weapon hit the ground as Mir shoved the sharp piece of ice through his left temple. He picked up a scrap of metal, and as he rose it became a sword.
“We are the guardians of earth, sentinels of perdition, sent to this earth to watch and protect it. And we will, at the very cost of our own breath if that’s what it takes!”
The four of them stood in the open, Styge, Orgial, Razor, with Mir in front of them. As Mir started to walk forward the others followed, Styge yelling, “Pick up any weapons you find in the open, save your magic, we need to conserve physical power, unless you are mutating more than one weapon.”
From his vantage point Orgial could see more aliens advancing towards them. He took off on a dead run, and as he came to the first, Styge slowed time enough that Orgial was able to slide on his knees and spin around the first alien, stab the next one in line, seal roll across the ground, stick the blade through the next one’s throat, jump backwards and put the blade deep into the back of another. Orgial in the heat of battle, with animal-like body parts flying everywhere, another of the guardians caught up to help him.
“One shot,” Mir yelled out, “One kill!”
“What do you mean?” Styge cried back, “I was thinking one shot, two kills over here, being a little too generous you think?”
“Heck no,” Mir laughed, “I honestly do not want to have to kill them a second time!”
“Righteous!” Styge yelled back.
“Then lets finish this!” Mir yelled, as he bent over to pick up a Colt M4 that had been dropped by one of the dying guards. He put it at his side. He knew that it was getting dark, and from the enveloping darkness thousands of orbs sat and watched them.