• Escape from Planet Zion

    Darkness. Darkness all around. For to long had I seen nothing but black, grey, and death. I walked on through the unbearable hell this planet had become. I walked on with no recollection of starting and no intention to stop. My feet bled against the gravel. A rusted broadsword hung on my back held only by rags torn from my robe. The robe swayed with my every step. It was black, worn, smelly and caked with blood. My loose black hair hung with a surreal wetness upon my head. I continued aimlessly. There were no landmarks, no signs, no buildings of any kind. This terrible place was the home to countless plagues, zombie outbreaks, planetary invasions, and a host of other hellish disasters the worst of which being the Planetary Holocaust.
    I finally began to get a glimpse of a structure of some sort. It was flat except for an antenna every couple of feet. There was absolutely nothing else on the horizon so that is what I headed for. As I walked I began to recover some of my memory. I saw myself strapped to a bed. “Doctors” hovered over me with face-covers and fiendish eyes like they belonged on a demon rather than a person. They stabbed me with needles to the chest, about a dozen or so. I heard myself yelling. There was a faint crackle of voltage then blank. My vision ended. My eyes began to focus and I realized I had reached the structure. It was a hologravity street. As oppose to other planets, Zion has an opposable field of gravity. Jetcars equipped with hologravity would sync their thrusters to the field of energy emitting from the street. I decided to follow the street as it may be the way to some sort of recovering village.
    No power coursed through the street like it used to so I was surprised when a reddish-purple HyperCorps jetcar flew past me, merely a foot away. An extremely powerful blast of air shot from the craft almost knocking me over. As I stumbled to recover, a pair of Xiar-Immigrant-Police (X.I.P) cruisers shot past in hot pursuit. The two cruisers pumped volley after volley of pulse-rift laser bolts into the first car. I hated the X.I.P with the intensity of a thousand suns. They had foiled my first attempt to get off this god-forsaken rock of a planet. I quickened my pace in a blend of hatred and curiosity.
    Off into the distance I heard the continued spray of pulse bolts as I began to run after the cruisers. There was a small settlement of people along the hologravity street. The rift shots screamed from the cruiser-mounted blasters. Then a frighteningly bright explosion erupted from the first car. White-hot metal sprayed in all directions as the main chassis flew high into the air coming down with a painful crash.
    The cruisers stopped, powered down, and produced four heavily armed X.I.P officers. One of the officers went to inspect the wreckage while the other three formed a perimeter to hold back the onlookers. I crouched and watched from the street as the inspecting officer gave the report: “She’s been vaporized sir.” My heart sank. They were willing to kill over the fact that Planet Zion was a supplier of unwanted planetary immigrants? Weeks before the Planetary Holocaust about seven billion people evacuated Zion. Some went to Planet Korekavaan others went to Planet Vantoshiik but the less wealthy (about 80%) went to the closest planet: Planet Xiar. At first the leaders of Xiar held open arms to the refugees of Zion. But when the count reached five billion they fashioned nearly an entire army to halt the immigration. Now they are patrolling the nearby systems and destroying any attempt to escape to their sacred world. The four officers inspected the surrounding settlement for another hour or so. They then retreated to a nearby hill planning to move out in the morning.
    I had grown tired and hungry. My stomach growled like a two-headed lion-dog and my pale, unnatural, gray skin felt clammy. I looked to the hill the detachment of X.I.P. had settled for the night. They would just as soon shoot me in the back than care what I was doing. I sneaked down into the village and came to a hut with a glow coming from the inside. I carefully pulled the tarp to the right and eased in. A young, sinfully curvaceous woman of Japanese decent shrieked with fear and drew a pulse-rift handgun from under her torch-lit desk. She aimed it with surprising steadiness. I studied her as she threatened me with her weapon. I could take about twenty hits from that gun and still fight. Then I realized that on her desk was a map of the blackflights or the hidden evacuation sites still in operation. Putting all the pieces together I found that she was the person the X.I.P. was chasing and she hadn’t died moments ago.
    “I apologize if I frightened you” I said, not remembering the last time I conversed with a female.
    “What do you want?” She asked quite curtly still aiming at me.
    . “Take me to a blackflight.” I told her.
    She refused deeming it too dangerous plus two tickets were all she had and her sister was meeting her at the site to use the other. After a little negotiating she agreed to let me follow her to the station and work it out from there. Then an armor-clad hand tore the tarp from the hut. Two X.I.P. officers made their way into the room squeezing away at their pulse laser rifles. I tore my age-old sword from its makeshift sheath and shielded my face. The bolts slammed hard into the wide blade causing it to burn and spark. The officer directly in front of me lowered his shoulder and charged. The off-worlder knocked me back just as I braced. We become locked in a bout of strength. I pushed sharply into him with my left foot. He fell backwards. The other agent launched more rounds into the room. The girl cowered behind me as I shielded my body and hers with the wide, dense, blade of my sword. Then I heard a break in his volley of blasts. I lunged.
    I swung wide from left to right severing his arm in two at the elbow. He loosed a howl of pain in his native tongue. I raised my sword and swung it down around my head into the officers waist. He cried again as his brilliant red-violet blood spilled from behind his armor. As he fell dead the other soldier reached for his sidearm. Before he could squeeze off a shot I stabbed my sword into his abdomen. He screamed with agony as I gutted him with end of my sword, turning the tip of the blade, tearing apart his entrails.
    Glistening violet blood pooled under his corpse.
    I had similar ease dispatching the other two X.I.P. officers. The woman and I took a cruiser of theirs and headed toward the blackflight station. Upon arrival we discovered a terrible scene. The hangar was demolished and all the planetary transports destroyed. Bodies of refugees and X.I.P. officers where spread about the station. Smoldering ships and craters filled my view. Smoke filled the area and all hope was lost. The woman gasped and ran to one of the bodies. “Nina.” She said to it. “Roxxane.” It answered. The body of the woman’s sister was mangled. She was cut and bruised. She had been shot many times and lay on the brink of death. Her pulse was fading as we spoke. Then more X.I.P. cruisers zoomed next to us. I took another scan of the area and saw one last transport. It stood upright and unscathed amongst the wreckage of the hangar. I pulled hard on Roxxane tearing her from her dying sister. Pulse blasts whizzed all around us. Roxxane cried as I jerked her about attempting to save her from her sister’s fate. I pounded on the access pad of the ship. It beeped wildly trying to process the nonsense I had entered. By the hand of God the ships doors slid open and I threw Roxxane in. I turned and shielded my body and hers with the wide, dense, blade of my sword. Thin, piercing rift lasers hammered the ship. Sparks flew as the doors slid shut. I tossed my sword from the craft at the last second leaving it and this planet behind.
    Roxxane shed tears as the engines roared to life. She sulked over her lost sister. She hated me for taking her away. She loved me for being strong enough to save her from the hellish black planet. In moments we had broken the atmosphere and escaped Planet Zion.

    “Hold me.” She said through her fray of emotions. And I did . . .