Category: Rage Slave

Rage Slave – Part 5

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.

The End

 

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Rage Slave – Part 4

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 woken from Soma sleep and found himself on Mars, after taking refuge in a barn an old gnarled farmer had captured him, brought him into his house and shot Jack through the lung, hung him up to dry and was about to eat him!

Part four- Payback!

The old man stood over his counter top slicing and dicing root crops, he planned several meals to eat Jack with, he would roast him, braise him, fry him, grind him into burgers and stew the bones. The old man hadn’t caught an unlicensed human in over a decade; he was going to savour Jack’s meat! After 10 minutes of preparing, the old man went into his pantry to remove Jack’s head; he would start with the brain, his favourite part. The old man opened the pantry door and walked over to Jack, the robots had wrapped Jack’s corpse in a thin cotton sheet to stop his internal organs plopping out of the hole in his chest. The old man approached Jack, he fondled himself while grasping at various parts of Jack, his old filthy hands caressed Jack’s head, he put his wrinkled old face close to Jacks, sniffing him, pressing himself up against Jack, kissing his cheek and neck, he started licking Jack’s face all the while grasping at Jack’s man zone, the old man drove his tongue into Jack’s mouth, exploring his still warm tongue. The old man pushed his tongue as far into Jack’s mouth as he could, that’s when Jack bit down as hard as he could, shaking his head he tore the old man’s tongue out of his mouth, blood gushed from his twisted old face, the old man clutched his mouth, a look of horror and disbelief in his eyes as he saw Jack free himself from the meat hook. Jack towered over the old man, kicking him to the ground, he put his boot on the old man’s throat and pushed, the old man’s neck slowly gave way and broke with a dull pop.

Jack had long ago been fitted with nanobots which would repair almost any damage to his body, only if his brain was destroyed would he be killed, that’s how he’d planned to survive in the tournament on the moon! Jacks chest was now repaired, there was just a slight itch in his lung as it was still being rebuilt. Jack set to work hiding the body of the old man, luckily for Jack the droids had no loyalty to the old man and simply helped jack tidy up the mess.

Days passed while Jack stayed at the farm, the droids took care of most of the crops and house work, Jack just concentrated on acquiring a fake license to be on Mars. They were easy enough to come by if you knew how, the only problem was getting to one without being spotted, if you got within 20 feet of a drone they would scan you, without a license this would mean instant capture and shot to prison on Phobos. His only option was to send a droid in his place which he would control remotely. This could be done via a telepathic rift headset which would download your consciousness into the body of the droid, should the droid become damaged or destroyed you would just wake up back in your body.

Jack slept all day, the light was too bright for him, his tired eyes couldn’t open in the harsh mid-day sun, so he spent his days unconscious and his nights drinking the moonshine the old man had been brewing in his basement. After a few nights rest the time came and Jack got into the rift headset and uploaded himself into a droid. The droid was nothing special, a squat four legged, one eyed dog like machine, Jack had fitted it with audio capabilities so he could interact with the people he was meeting. The droid started running towards the city at high speed, for the first time in a long time Jack actually felt an emotion other than anger, the thought of being in a city again sparked the smallest seeds of excitement in him.

Mars didn’t have slums, or ghettos, the cities were pristine, immaculate buildings of glass and chrome soaring high into the sky. The electric cars moved silently in underground tunnels, the people were all tall, elegant figures. The suburbs were perfect community hubs, all maintained by an army of droids tirelessly taking care of every aspect of human living. Having long since eliminated the need to burn anything for fuel, now using clean efficient Smaptons the air on Mars was the cleanest air in the solar system. It was a utopia. The people, for the most part, lived a life of pure relaxation, the need for work was none existent as everything was provided, the only so called ‘work’ was the things people created, art, literature, entertainment, new scientific discoveries or philosophy, but most people simply lived lives of leisure.

There were no shady corners where anything could be bought and sold freely. Nobody broke the law because the punishment was banishment from this Eden. The only way Jack could acquire a licence to be on mars was to trick an artist to create him a ‘work of art’ that just happened to be an exact copy of a license, including the DNA profile and required microchips. Luckily for Jack, the level of laziness the population of this planet had achieved such a high level that very few of them questioned anything, so when a talking droid dog arrived on Hildred Prudence Chamberlain’s lawn, she never questioned its motives, she simply thought whoever was controlling it wanted a work of purest art!

Hildred went about preparing her tools for the commissioned art work, deciding to mix traditional art processes with technologies she set up a 3D transmission space which allowed anyone viewing to see through her eyes. She streamed this over the perceptive tubes into viewers’ brains. The work she created took 5 hours from start to finish, Hildred created a perfect replica of a license and working microchips, the DNA was the hardest part to replicate but she did using Advanced Smaptons creams.

Hildred placed the ‘art’ in the droid dogs back pouch and the droid ran off at top speed, just as the droid darted into a sewer, police drones surrounded Hildred’s house, within seconds she was in a prison pod and being blasted to Phobos, the police had been watching her broadcast and convicted her of counterfeiting a license, luckily for Jack the policeman watching the stream had gone to the toilet when Hildred had written on the name of who the license was made out to.

Rage Slave

Rage Slave – Part 3

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 decided after witnessing the destruction of the Moon and waking from countless days in soma sleep he would kill himself by ejecting out into the void of space, but when he blew off the hatch to space, in rushed cool fresh air!

Part three – Unlicensed

Jack dragged himself from his now crippled ship, pulling out the needle that was still in his neck, he felt a light mist on his face. The ship has exercised his muscles so there was no risk of atrophy. He got to his feet and tried to adjust his eyes to the dim light, from the little he could see it was clear he was on Mars. Reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a half smoked cigar, he lit it and inhaled deeply. The fresh air made him feel sick. He scowled and went back into his ship to get the power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine and a few things he’d brought with him. Putting his rifle over his left shoulder, his sword over his right and his back pack over his the middle bit he made his way to the lit up city in the distance.

It was dawn, the few wisps of cloud were tinged with incandescent red as the sun rose slowly over the mountains. The grass was damp and soft under Jack’s feet, the cool morning breeze washed over his skin, blowing away any last remnants of the deep tormented sleep he’d endured. He was stone cold sober! Making his way through the tall grass, out of the field he’d landed in he saw in the distance some vehicles floating through the air towards him. He threw himself to the floor and covered himself in as much of the vegetation as he could, if they saw his body heat they’d take him in. You don’t get to walk on Mars without permits, if they find you and you’re not with permit then it’s 10 cycles in the securest prison in the solar system, secure because you’re fired in a tiny pod at Phobos which is surrounded by a protection net, you get in but you can never get out. Life on Phobos is hard; the failed terraforming means there is only moss and mould growing on rocks. The stories go that the longest a prisoner has ever survived is 38 months, this was mostly due to him eating other prisoners! No one really knows what happens on Phobos and those that do don’t talk about it, the things that happen there are born from nightmares, mutated creatures, what once were people now living monsters born from a cycle of horrific violence, rape and destruction. If there is a hell in the universe, chances are it’s a nice summer vacation compared to Phobos!

Jack lay in the dirt and grass for 20 minutes, he only put his head up once to take a look. Two figures were loading his ship onto a truck and taking it away. They would begin the search for its pilot any time now, he had to get away. When they had loaded his ship and were leaving Jack sprung to his feet and ran to a house he could see in the distance, it looked like a lone farm, he knew this would be the first place they came looking for him, but it was his only choice.

It took him 3 hours to get to the house, because there were drones flying over each field of the farm. Jack had the foresight to bring a heat shielded blanket. Every time a drone got close he had to drop to the ground and get under it. His progress was slow, he was getting angrier and angrier. He wanted nothing more than to shoot them all out of the sky but that would pinpoint his location in seconds. His only chance was that they thought his ship had been flown here on auto pilot but as he’d removed the power source when he got out this was highly unlikely.

By mid-morning, a time of day Jack hadn’t been conscious in for years, he had made it into a small empty barn. The harsh morning sun burnt his eyes, his head screamed with pain, 142 days in soma sleep takes its toll on the body, Jack was in for many days of migraines and sleepless nights, but what was worse was the cold relentless sobriety. Jack needed a drink, his memories were far too close to his consciousness, things he’d not thought about for years were just on the surface, his deeds haunting his waking mind. He just needed a drink to make them all sink back into the mist.

Jack went into the barn, like everything on mars, it was pristine, there was no dust, no dirt, just clean fresh wood plank walls, a gleaming anti gravity tractor, a few hand tools which didn’t look like they had ever been used and bags of seeds. Jack checked for droids, there were none. He slumped against a bag of grain, his head was throbbing, he could hardly see, he had not felt this level of agony for years. He felt like someone had injected his blood with glass, every heartbeat made every inch of his head, shoulders, knees and toes scream in pain. He vomited on his shoes. Jack knew he couldn’t stay here long, he could tolerate the pain so long as he kept moving. Jack looked through cracks in the walls of the barn, he could see the farm house, there were no sign of any occupants. He went to the door of the barn and waited for the drones to move away before he made his dash to the house. They flew to a new sector of the farm, Jack drew his sword, the drones would easily detect any gun fire so if he had to kill someone in the house using a sword was the safer option. He began to run to the house.

He had not got 3 meters out of the barn when a gruff old male voice shouted “Now where you going son?” Jack spun round to see an old man sat on a hover pod just above the barn door; he had a rifle aimed right at Jacks head. Jacks brain went through a thousand thoughts, looking for an escape route, a way out. “Looks to me like you’re in a spot of bother son, best you get in the house” said the old man. Jack slowly turned round and walked towards the door of the house.

Jack entered the house, the door opened into a large room, there were chairs and seats everywhere, the smell of burnt circuitry filled the air, on each available seat was a droid, but not the human style with realistic flesh, these droids were stripped down to their basic components, wires and pistons jutted out, circuitry was visible, they all slowly turned to look at Jack. Jack felt the barrel of the rifle press against the back of his head “Go on, get in there boy” said the old man. Jack had no option but to walk into the centre of the room. He slowly moved onto a large rug in the middle of all the chairs, none of the droids moved but they all followed him with their cold robotic eyes. “Now, it looks to me like we got ourselves an “unlicey”, he aint gonna get far without a license is he boys?” announced the old man to the robots. The droids didn’t and couldn’t respond, having long since had their audio circuits removed. Jack was getting tired of being pushed around by this old coot, nobody pushed Jack around and lived long to talk about it.

Jack slowly turned round to face the old man, sick with sobriety, exhausted by the soma sleep, Jack’s patience had run out. In the blink of an eye Jack drew his sword, he lifted it to strike down the old man. Jacks chest burst in a cloud of blood and bones. The old man had fired his rifle at point blank. Jack looked down, there was a hole where his right lung used to be, Jack slumped down in a bloody crumpled mass. The droids quickly got off their chairs and went about cleaning the blood and body parts, they dragged Jack into the pantry and hung him up by his feet to drain. The police drones came to see why the gun shot had been fired, the old man told them he was just putting down some livestock, the drones left and the old man then went back into his house and began preparations for his feast; human flesh was a rare treat!

To be continued….next week!

Rage Slave

Rage Slave – Part 2

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 managed to get the power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine and fitted it into his small one man pod, he blasted off towards the moon and the Luna fighting tournaments hosted there nightly

Part two – Space Spiders!

The trip would take slightly less than 5 hours, just enough time to prepare! Jack set a countdown for every hour, his preparations would have to be thorough, he couldn’t afford to be ill prepared for the coming battle and any slip in his preparations would mean certain death, and death was the one thing Jack was never prepared for! He checked all his components meticulously, 3 hours into the flight the whole ship jolted, the anti-gravity gave out, Jack was thrown around the tiny cabin, alarms screamed in his ears. He checked the readouts, it was space spiders, squat metallic robots, fitted with cutting lasers and powerful venoms to destroy and convert anything they might encounter into more space spiders! He was not prepared for this! When the Glanioks came they had released a few space spiders in orbit to trap anyone trying to escape, but as far as Jack was aware they had all been wiped out after the Smaptons!  There was only one way to destroy a space spider, by pure coincidence Jack had fitted his ship decades ago with reverse anti-gravity repulsers, he turned them on, the spiders were pulled into the hull of the ship and crushed under their own weight, to celebrate Jack took a swig of the last drops from his flask.

By the time he was in Luna orbit, he was ready. He could see on the surface, the lights were on, somebody was home! He didn’t wait for landing permission, he just took his ship down. When he got near the tallest building he had to laugh, the light’s weren’t on, nobody was home, the lights were flames. The whole city was burning, but due to the atmospheres mix, there was no smoke, every building was either smouldering rubble or gutted by bright all-consuming flames. “Figures” Jack said to himself. He flew on across the surface, luckily the power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine would keep his little pod running with enough power, oxygen and water for 9000 years. Technically he could live in there indefinitely, apart from there only being only slightly more than standing room, in terms of life support he was fine, but the ship couldn’t synthesize alcohol, only water, protein and air, so while he could survive, he wouldn’t be living, without alcohol Jack was nothing. As he flew over the burning cities he wondered what could have wrought such planet wide destruction.

It wasn’t until he reached the dark side of the moon that he found the cause. Huge swarms of space spiders as large as cities swept over the surface, melting everything in their path with their cutting lasers. Jack turned his ship around before getting too close, he could handle a dozen or so at a time, but in their millions they were indestructible. But Jack was getting sloppy in his old age, he’d left it too late to turn round, his ship couldn’t slow down quick enough, his flight path took him dangerously close to a swarm. There was nothing he could do but let the ship change its course, if the spiders saw him then they saw him. They did see him, a small clump of them began to float up from the surface towards his ship. Jack had no choice, there were about 100 space spiders floating towards him, he was just within the atmosphere of the moon, so he did the only thing he could, he grabbed his rifle, kicked open the entry hatch and leaned out of the pod and shot down as many spiders as he could before they reached him, he managed to take out clumps of them with the explosive setting of his rifle by the time he couldn’t breathe and had to enter his ship there was only about 30 coming up on him. He set the reverse anti-gravity repulsers to be double reverse, so when a spider touched the hull they vibrated so violently they exploded, it only took 5 spiders exploding to destroy the rest of them.

Jack growled as his ship sped away from them, he was free, but his freedom gave him little comfort, despite his instincts screaming at him to persevere and live, his mind had long since given up the battle to remain alive, he longed for death but he couldn’t resist a fight! His life was his punishment for all he’d done. Jack looked at his navigation screen, he had two choices, back to Earth, though there was nothing there for him or he could go on to Mars. There was nothing there for him either, but at least there were no memories haunting him there. He set the computer on its course and jammed the soma needle deep into his neck, he passed out instantly with the needle still inside him, the journey would take 142 days.

As Jack slept, his ship taking care of his limp fragile body, space spiders devoured every city on the Moon, 9.4 billion people, droids and animals wiped out, every trace of existence on that rock was reduced to a burning rubble, then that rubble was consumed and used to make more space spiders. They grew to such a large number they covered every inch of the moon’s surface. Within 60 days they were making their way to earth, 20 days later humanity had be exterminated from both planets, every living thing had been burned, broken down and converted into space spider components. The earth now was a vast silver crawling ball, not a spec of green or blue could be seen, just a seething writhing mass of metal inexorably crawling.

For days Jacks ship silently floated through the endless void of nothingness, all the while Jack dreamt, he dreamt of her, his mind tormenting him with twisted memories of her holding him, being with him, how things were back then, over and over again he watches as she slowly floated away, she drew cold, her skin peeling from her muscle, then back to the warm loving woman he knew, then again the skin, being torn apart in front of him, the twisted look of agony on her face, her torso being torn open, her organs spilling out over the carpet while the Glanioks feasted on them, his screams, the Glanioks holding him, he breaks free, she’s writhing in unbearable agony as the last remnants of life are torn from her, Glanioks swarm round her, their machines ripping her over and over again, it’s all he ever dreamed, it’s all he saw when he closed his eyes, it’s all he ever thought about, the agony in her face and the monsters that took her, while he was held down, forced to watch because he’d managed to kill some of them. His nightmare lasted for an eternity, trapped inside his own head, being dragged from short bursts of loving memory to sheer horror. When he awoke he wanted nothing more than death, his eyes didn’t function, he could barely move. He was going to do it, he couldn’t live any longer. He fumbled around in the dark, feeling for the emergency hatch button, he would blow himself into space, he’d float eternally through the emptiness. He felt around and found the button, with the last bit of strength in his barley conscious body he hit it. There was a loud bang as the explosive rounds blew the hatch away from the craft. Jack waited for the rapid decompression then cold and silence. These never came. The hatch exploded away but in rushed cool fresh air. Air that smelt so sweet, like early morning dew.

Rage Slave

Rage Slave – Part 1

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.

Rage Slave

Rage Slave By C. E. Thax

Gladstone’s penis began to sway in the spring air.  Lucy unpinned it from the washing line and placed it in the jar with the 7 others she had acquired over the year.  Since starting her collection she had killed 43 men, 9 women and 4 cheese plants, most times her method of dispatching her victims meant there was little left to keep as a memento, but this time there was genital remains and she planned keeping the souvenir as a trophy of her kill.  Her thirst for blood was only equalled by her desire for revenge.  Every murder took her one step nearer reaching Professor Judith Prippyplaitt.  Once trusted mentor and lover of Lucy, now deadly but highly erotic enemy.

A distance alarm bell tolled, Lucy ran into her caravan.  Grabbing the remote drone controller, she switched it to ‘search’ mode, the drone sprang to life, it hovered above the caravan, powered up its jet engine and shot into the air, scouting for bandits on the horizon.  Lucy prepared herself the sterilizing gel and applied it to her wounds.  Gladstone had managed to get a shot in before he was disembowelled on the lasers. His intestines lay strewn around the outside of the caravan, crows pecked at his spleen while a lizard gnawed lazily on his lungs. The stench of bile filled the air.  Lucy vomited all over her shoes.  An alarm sounded, the raiders had shot down the drone.  Suddenly the windows burst, glass sprayed everywhere.  A sound wave had been fired by the raiders causing all the glass to oscillate to the point of explosion. Jars shattered on the shelves.  Body parts flopped to the floor.  Lucy slipped on a liver.  She fell to the floor, face first into pile of shattered glass.  A shard pieced her eye ball.  She struggled to her feet, her eye jelly dripping down her bleeding face, every heartbeat forced a stream of blood from her wound. Her heart pounded as she heard footsteps outside her door, a stream of blood arched from her face and hit the wall.

A gnarled twisted figure appeared at her door, she couldn’t make out detail, she was losing consciousness, it was a man, he walked over to her.  She felt a burning sensation in her left breast, she looked down, a gleaming silver sword pierced her chest, she felt her heart spasm one last time before shades of grey flashed before her eyes.

The man looked around her caravan, it was nothing but a mess of robotic circuitry, glass, blood and pickled body parts. He walked over to the work bench, knocking through the mess of wires and metal with his sword, he exposed what he was looking for. The power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine. The last remaining source of power from the last remaining Zargon-9 space ship on the planet. Lucy had acquired it from Professor Judith Prippyplaitt after seducing her with her feminine wiles. The man laughed as he put the small glowing rock in his pocket, knowing full well that everyone who had come by the stone had acquired it in the exact same way, by murder!

The man was Jack Steel, one time best space pilot on the planet, now a washed up no good rogue willing to do anything to anyone to make just a few bucks to buy the next bottle of cheap hooch. He cared about no body and nothing, he was an outlaw, a rebel who played by his own rules, from a rule book he had thrown away years ago. A low down thief, who’d cut you as soon as piss on you. The universe took a dump on him and he took a bigger one right back. He lived in a part of the city where nobody knew anyone and those that did killed those that didn’t. A real dive, sex droids worked every corner, robber droids worked every ally and if either of those didn’t get you then Jack Steel probably would.

By day Jack slept, by night he drank, on the nights he couldn’t drink he’d drink anyway! He drank to forget, he drank to remember, so long as he remembered to drink everything was a’ok by him. Now Jack had the power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine he could get off this rock and up to the Luna cities. Up there a man with nothing but a quick wit and an even quicker draw could go from nothing to something in a night! The nightly laser tournaments could make or break a man in less time than Jack could polish of a bottle of dime store hooch. They were brutal matches, 10 men death matches, 10 men enter the arena, only one survivor, the catch? You only get 2 shots from your gun! But Jack had an advantage most men don’t, a hidden surprise for the other contestants, if he could just get to the moon and enter a match, he’d be made for life!

He got into his apartment, a rat infested hole, nothing worked, and what did work only did so out of spite! Jack kicked a rat clean across the room, it burst on the far wall, hitting the roof release button as its backbone snapped through its flesh. The roof retracted and pistons maneuverer his ship from the storage compartment. Jack crammed the power core to the Zargon-9 ships engine in his own custom made one man pod, the pod which had been void of power for the better part of 2 decades, since before the imperial collapse, burst into life, panels lit up, hologramatic displays displayed holograms, quickly the ships systems were in full working order. Jack drank his last half bottle of booze and climbed into the small ship. He took one last look at his wrecked apartment, the place where decades ago he had lived with her, the day the Glanioks came was the day he died and the husk he was now, was born, inside his emotions had withered and died without her. He took one last look at the spot where he had proposed to her and she said yes, now it was a pile of broken robotic hearts, the irony wasn’t lost on Jack. He hit a button and as the ship shot into the sky he felt nothing inside, nothing for the world he was leaving, nothing for the memories he was leaving, after she had died all his memories were like a poison to him, tainting every thought he had, he couldn’t even remember what she looked like. As he passed out of the earth’s gravity’s pull he finished the last of his booze, he would need to be utterly numb for what came next!