Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Flash Fiction Friday, Week 19: The New World
The prompt this week was to write a weird (dark, bizarre, etc.) story using one of the starter sentences. The one I chose is highlighted. The genre could be horror or science fiction or a combination of both. Mine is in the realm of sci-fi and hopefully, is twisted enough to quality as weird. Take a journey with me to The New World.
The New World
He hoped he would be able to outrun them this time. He felt safe for the moment, and was relieved to have found this deserted shack at the edge of the river. The temperature was dropping and the rain showed no signs of letting up. If he could stay inside for a day or two, his clothes would dry and he would stand a better chance of survival. There was no food to be found, but there were jugs of fresh water that would get him through a couple of days. Had he covered his tracks well enough to delay being discovered while he briefly rested? How had his mission gone so horribly wrong? He thought back to how it had begun.
Jack Schiller was a Commander, and had already been on three interstellar missions. In the past, he had always had a full crew. On this latest one, however, he would be traveling solo. The logic behind that decision was that it would be safer for all concerned. A spacecraft landing with a full crew on an alien planet could be perceived as a threat. A lone occupant, however, who announces his point of origin, rank, and purpose of visit, would be viewed with less suspicion. At least, that had been the hope. The President himself had requested Jack make this journey for the good of his own family and for all of mankind.
“Commander Schiller,” the President had said. “I know you realize the importance of your mission. We were warned many times over by our ecologists and scientists that misuse and waste of our resources would one day result in their critical depletion. We have been warned of the dangers of deadly diseases and have been urged to direct more funding toward research to facilitate their elimination. We’ve used up all we have, Jack, and have learned the error of our ways too late. We need a new world to which we can relocate our people, and our scientists believe they have found the perfect one.”
Jack had been briefed by more agencies than he knew had existed. This new planet was within a solar system still within the Milky Way Galaxy, and that was the biggest plus. If his entire planet’s residents were going to be transported to this new world, risking travel to an outlying galaxy could have deadly consequences. From telescopic observation and scientific investigation, the planet appeared to be a parallel world. The air was mildly polluted, but breathable unlike that on his planet. This planet had a moon as did his that orbited and functioned in a like manner. The inhabitants were very much like his own people, both in appearance and use of language. There were minor skirmishes between some, but nothing near as catastrophic as those in his own world. We will all be able to live together, Jack thought. We can share knowledge with each other and build a new world stronger than either had before.
His flight went smoothly, and he maintained communication with Control until he entered the foreign planet’s atmosphere when all contact with his home planet was lost. He planned to meet with the rulers of the various nations and explain the purpose of his visit. They would, of course, make technology available to him to contact his planet so the transport of all its residents could begin. He began transmitting his identity and intent as he made his descent, filled with hope and anticipation. In less than five minutes, his spacecraft had been shot down and crashed into one of their large bodies of water.
What went wrong? He had been told the inhabitants spoke his language. Why did they not understand that his intent was to bond and ask for their assistance in saving his world and his people? When the seal was broken on his ship, soldiers entered, and they were heavily armed. They pulled him out and onto one of their water vehicles. His hands were bound behind his back and he was pushed into a small dark room. He was told, in his own language, to remain quiet or he would be shot. The door was then locked and he waited.
A short time later, the door opened and two of them came in carrying a tray with what Jack assumed was some type of food and a couple of bottles of water. They released his hands from the metal rings that held them together and told him to eat. Since there were two of them, he decided to comply. The chance for escape would come again, he hoped, and he would take it. When they returned to retrieve the tray, they left his hands free, but quickly closed and locked the door. He wondered where they were taking him and what would be done to him there. He hadn’t spoken a word yet, and felt conversation would be best conducted with someone of higher authority than these military men.
He had almost dozed off when the door opened again. They pulled him from the room and he was again instructed to remain silent or face death. Why were such threats being made? What harm did they perceive he intended? How he wished his crew had come with him. It was a poor decision to send him alone. He had no support here and was completely at the mercy of this savage race. He was transported in a motorized vehicle to a large white building. He was dragged down a long hallway and pushed into a room. He was lifted and placed on a long table and straps were fastened around his legs and chest. His hands were secured by smaller belts on each side. What were they going to do to him now?
“Please,” he said. “I am Commander Schiller. I am not your enemy. Can you direct me to your President or one of his subordinates?”
He knew he was talking very fast, but didn’t feel there was time to lead into it all. Better to get it out quickly.
“I was sent here at the direction of my President. My world is dying and yours is suitable for our existence and I am here to find out if it is acceptable to you if we relocate our…”
Tape was placed over his mouth. They were obviously not interested in anything he had to say. One of his arms was freed and his sleeve was rolled up. Tubing was being wrapped around it. Jack pushed the man with the tubing away as hard as he could and quickly began loosening the straps binding him to the table. He kicked the man on the other side, slid off the table and headed for the door. He had no idea where he was going; he knew he had to get out of there. There were machines with flashing lights, test tubes and trays full of needles. He surmised he was in some sort of medical facility and knew it would be disastrous for him to remain. They had no intention of talking to, or with, him. They were going to experiment on their unknown visitor or worse – perhaps dissect him. He couldn’t chance it.
He ran down a long hallway and two of them came out of nowhere and pinned him down. He pushed and pulled, but could not free himself from their grasp. They brought him back to the room with the table and two of them held him down while a third one in a long white coat came toward him with a syringe filled with a blue liquid. I can’t let them drug me, he thought. If they drug me, I will die. It was now or never. He kicked and punched literally for his life and made it back into the hallway where he ran as he had never run before. As he encountered the occasional staff member, he shoved them up against walls or pushed them to the floor and kept going until he came to a door to the outside. The building he had been brought to was in an area surrounded by trees. He fought his way through them and the brush, and saw he had not been followed. At least, not yet.
Now, in this temporary sanctuary, he prayed that one day soon he would be rescued and be able to return home to his family and his dying world. Better to perish with one’s loved ones than on this barbaric sphere. The scientists in his world believed this world was parallel to his. How could they have been so wrong? These people were filled with so much fear and hatred they would rather destroy than try to communicate or understand. This new world was obviously a Hell rather than a Haven. He wished he had never come here. To this third planet from their sun. To this place called Earth.