A new and exciting short story by me Cecil Thax, this was an entry I wrote for a ‘A bad science fiction writing jam’, I’m breaking it down into several parts so your mind isn’t overwhelmed by words and Sci Fi cliches.
Previously on ‘Rage Slave’ Jack Steel had just acquired a license to allow him to be on Mars
Part five – Justice
Jack now had a license, DNA and microchips and could move around freely. But what was he to do now? He was on Mars, a world of pleasure, leisure things only in measure, the computers in the city wouldn’t administer alcohol in any great quantity, certainly not enough to get Jack drunk enough to quell the memories. He couldn’t stay in the farm, sooner or later someone would come to look for the old man, he had to go to the city, there at least he could find out what level of ‘luxury’ his new license entitled him to. Depending on what Hildred had created Jack was to be subject to various levels of pampering, there was a risk he would have to spend his days getting spa treatments, deviating from your expected life and ID level would result in the police taking an interest in your life. Keep to the system and they left you alone, but act odd or out of character then a life audit would take place.
Jack set off to the nearest city, Milim, one of the largest cities on Mars, it housed many of the large universitys and the main government buildings. These buildings were now mostly run by droids, no human had anything to do with governing the planet and very few people attended university, the only humans that did, did so because the droids thought it important for some semblance of human presence.
Jack got into Milim just as the sun was setting, it was night when he got into Milim city centre, the sleek minimalist shops with their clean white tiles, chrome and black furniture were just opening for their evening’s trade. Servant droids dashed about in the droid sidewalk lanes while fat pampered women waddled in the human lane, each clutching bags filled with expensive clothes and food. Jack baulked at them, this level of sloth and privilege made him feel sick. He felt like pulling out his sword and killing everyone just to wipe the self-satisfied look off the people’s faces. Hologram adverts with their lights, colours and sounds made Jack infuriated, he swallowed his rage and walked into the first store he could, inside he could swipe his ID to find out who he now was.
The store he entered was predominantly selling items used in kitchens, overpriced lemon juicers, anti-gravity ravioli makers, Smoopils. Jack walked to the back of the store to use the ID interface, he swiped the card, the interface flashed then the details appeared
“Professor Judith Prippyplaitt
Professor at Mars University, Head Human Dean of Human Intergalactic Human Space Politics.
57, female, married”
Jack punched the ID interface, he hadn’t counted on being female, it didn’t cross his mind to specify a gender! Within seconds alarms were ringing, the store’s front door slammed shut, all the shelves disappeared into the floors leaving just the cube space, Jack knew his time was up. He desperately looked for an escape, he scratched at the door, but the Gramplock seal meant it was impossible to open. An announcement came over the speaker system
“CITIZEN, YOU HAVE USED A FALSE ID, STAY STILL AND AWAIT ARREST, YOU SHALL BE IMPRISONED ON PHOBOS FOR 20 CYCLES FOR ID VIOLATION”
Jack pulled out his sword, the door opened, police droids burst in, in four rapid slices Jack had dismembered them, he made for the open door, outside were 10 more police droids closing in on him, Jack span round and deftly relived their heads from their bodies. Humans were stood looking on agog, never had they seen such acts of violence. Jack ran into an alleyway, but due to the nature of the buildings the police could rearrange walls, paths or any building as need be. Within seconds Jack was boxed in. Above him police droids took aim with tranq rifles, seconds later Jack was shot and unconscious.
When Jack came to he was in a single one man pod hurtling its way out of Mars’s atmosphere and heading directly to Phobos, the prison moon of Mars. Having not been stripped of any of his weapons or nanobots, Jacks chances of survival, for at least a day, was slightly higher. The pod careered through space towards Phobos, the journey only took 3 hours, with the stories Jack had heard he didn’t know what to expect. Tales of gangs of cannibals who would rape, eat and sing to you at the same time, colonies of twisted mutilated ex humans and droid hybrids killing anything not identified as similar, settlements built from human bone and flesh, viruses that could melt your skin in a single agonising day, and various similar stories. No one knew if they were true as no one had ever left Phobos.
The pod reached Phobos, it passed through the protection net but accidentally hit an electronic link in the net, sparks billowed from the control panel in front of Jack, sparks poured over his legs, smoke and the smell of burning flesh filled the pod, he couldn’t breathe, he felt the gravity slowly pulling his burning body downwards, his skin was on fire, flames surrounded his torso, the pod hurtled to the ground at 300mph, suddenly the door to the pod exploded off, wind came rushing into the still falling pod, the flames were immediately extinguished, Jack trapped in restrains writhed in agony, seconds later the pod slammed into the ground, Jack was thrown out of the pod and through the air, he bounced off the ground, rocks tearing his clothes, breaking his bones. When he came to a stop he was little more than a pile of meat, blood poured from countless cuts, just before he lost consciousness the last thing he saw was a swarm of rat like creatures surrounding him and tearing him apart, his last sight was seeing his own intestines being pulled from his torso. The pain didn’t bother him, he only had one thought, his last thought was of her, would he meet her in the next life?
He saw nothing, he felt nothing, he just faded to black.