Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta planet. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta planet. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 3 de febrero de 2017

Wild Space

   Above them, the various pieces that made up the space station had caught on fire and were falling at high speed to the ocean in front of the islands. It had been a miracle that the planet had a archipelago in the right place, or their pod would have landed in the middle of the water and they would now be dead. As the biggest pieces collided with the surface of the water, the five survivors of the station looked at the water in horror, as an enormous creature roared, visibly enrage by the fallen projectiles.

 There, above the ground and the sky, their life had been ideal but not perfect. They had everything they could ask for, such as running water, food, information, communications and so on. The program they were involved in was only about civilians in space, so none of them were actual astronauts or scientists. They were all normal people, in the sense that they only had the basic knowledge of how to survive in space. And now, survival skills were the most needed.

 The group started walking downhill, as their pod had crashed against the highest part of a mountain that seemed to be made of something sand-like. Shock wouldn’t have let them move but they noticed the ground shaking below them and the monster in the water became a second problem. In front of the team, Richard was leading them towards the beach, where he thought they could be safer. No one really said anything, they just followed and tried to hear everything around them.

 Richard had been a boy scout as a kid. He had camped in various national parks back home and he had enjoyed it thoroughly except for a traumatic experience that made him retire from the scouts. Their parents never demanded to know why and he concluded it was better like that. Now he was walking under a blazing sun, with four other people he barely knew, even after living together in a space station for a year. That, somehow, had not been enough time to get to know one another.

 When they arrive to the beach, the first to sit down was the only other man, a man called Sebastian. Despite the English sounding name, he was actually Swedish and spoke with a very thick accent. Sebastian was older than Richard and he had been a magazine editor back home. He had become a part of the team as they all had: paying a big sum and basically winning a lottery. He wanted to get out of the Earth fast, as his wife had died only a few years after getting married. He felt so heartbroken that he decided to leave on an impulse and now there he was.

 The three women were called Maria, Kim and Victoria. Maria had only win the lottery. She had won the only seat in the station that was up for grabs without the need to pay anything. She was a janitor back on Earth and had decided to join in order to get away from her family, who she secretly hated. Kim was a famous supermodel, tired of being in the spotlight and Victoria was an architect from Angola, named after the queen that had conquered the African continent.

 The three of them seemed tired but none sat down on the ground. They instead watched the ocean, looking for the creature. At some point, it had disappeared, along with the wreckage from the station. Richard was still trying to understand what had happened but it had all been so fast… They were all sleeping and the alarm started beeping: apparently the ship’s hyper drive had ignited by itself and they were now ramming against a planet. With only minutes to decide, they jumped on the pod and saved their lives.

 As they had no idea how that world worked, they agreed that the best thing was to walk along the edge of the ocean and look for something to eat. Then, they would try to find some sort of cave or safe place to rest. After those two things had been achieved, they could be thinking about the future, if that was a possibility. They walked in silence, watching the strange bushes growing by the beach, hearing the strange squishing sound coming from the greenish water of the ocean.

 Not of them wanted to talk too much. After all, there were originally six people in the space station. A man called Bruno had not come to the pod after hearing the alarm. They never knew what he was doing, if maybe he had been the one to make the hyper drive work. In any case, he was now dead, spread across the skies as the station fell to the ocean. He was a strange man, always hiding something from the rest of them. He seemed much more tormented than all of them put together.

 They stopped when they noticed a small stream coming from inside the island. The water was also green. Kim walked closer but Richard warned her that it might be poisonous or have chemical compounds too different for the human body to process them. But Kim didn’t want to drink the water but to observe it. It behave differently, not like a normal liquid but like some sort of creature. The woman got up fast, shaking. She then looked at the ocean and said what she was thinking aloud: what if the water in that planet was actually alive, moving slowly on its sides?

 As she said that, tentacles branched out of the ocean and launched themselves at the group. Richard and Kim ran first. Maria followed them closely, as did Victoria but Sebastian was way to slow and he got grabbed by the ankles. What happened next made Maria scream and Kim almost faint. Victoria vomited right there, just a few meters away from the water, as they saw the most disgusting spectacle that they had never seen. The universe was a place to be afraid of.

 The water, or whatever it was, had absorbed Sebastian’s body through those tentacles. It was like watching a kid drink out of those juices that come in a bag, only that this bag had been alive just moments prior. He didn’t even had the chance to scream or anything like that. The man just died, obviously, his empty body dumped carried by the tentacles towards the ocean. Apparently, the tentacles fed the creature that had been disturbed by the fallen debris. It appeared again, eating their companion.

 Victoria was trembling wildly and Kim had to be helped by Richard, as her legs didn’t properly work. It was Maria who, her face white of the horror, suggested they looked the opposite shore. They had to verify if water was like that all around. It could be the decisive point between remaining alive in that planet or dying without any possibility. So they walked, in silence, still shaking and wanting to scream. But hey feared potential creature in the bushes, so they kept to themselves.

 The opposite shore was only an hour away, cutting through the island. When they saw it from afar, they noticed right away it was a different kind of ocean. When they got closer, they realized it was normal water, the one they knew from back home. Deciding it couldn’t get more dangerous than a stomachache, they decided to drink some. It wasn’t salted, as ocean water on Earth, rather on the sweet side. They each drank a bit and then sat down on the beach, to rest their trembling bodies.

 It was Victoria who started crying first, then it was Maria and then everyone was crying. In a weird way, that united them more than anything before. They hadn’t really been friends or anything back in the station, just travelling mates,. Now, things had to be a little different.

 They were drying their tears with their hands when a loud noise was heard above them. They looked up in horror to discover an enormous ship just passing above them. It was obviously not man made. It had all sorts of inhuman features. And it hadn’t noticed them… yet.

jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

The cube

   Jessica walked carefully over the edge, barely having enough room for her feet to move around. The mountain that she was in dominated the jungle below and, in any other context, she would have been able to appreciate. But being just millimeters away from death, the least of her interests were the magnificent views. She grabbed herself to the dirt and the rock of the mountain and could finally pass the tricky section in a matter of minutes. She decided to rest a bit after that, and she only had a small space to do so as the mountain was not kind to any visitors.

 As she rested, she noticed a big bird-like creature raising from the jungle. It appeared to be fighting something off but the other creature, or whatever it was fighting, could not be seen. After a couple of minutes, the bird appeared to be toppled from the ground and disappeared from sight. Jessica knew right then that this planet was definitely not a good one for life in general but she had no choice in the matter of visiting it. After all, her mission was there.

 A couple of days earlier, a skinny man going by the name of Renzo Uto, contacted with her team in order to ask for an extraction. Normally, that meant rescuing someone from some horrible place, most often jails or some kind of internment camps. There were lots of both of those in the galaxy and they had a vast experience getting people out of both. But instead, Uto wanted them to rescue an object.

 They almost had to torture him in order to get a basic drawing of the object he wanted to retrieve. Well, torture is a bit extreme. But Jessica’s companion Jimmy, a very big and tall Glafarian (species with the appearance of a dog) was asked to make the client talk fast or to expel him immediately from the ship, by any means.

 Of course, Uto was so scared he did a drawing in less than thirty seconds but he clarified that the object could change form whenever someone attempted to grab it by force. The drawing he had made showed a very simple cube but he said it only looked like that when at rest. If someone when near it, the object would change into any type of thing that would lure the person into a false sense of security and then it would kill them.

 They really wanted to ask Uto why someone would want that type of object. But their motto was “We don’t ask questions” and they couldn’t just violate that. Bounty hunters had to keep a little bit of their dignity and, if that meant seeking for an object hey didn’t really know existed, they had to do it. But Yera, the ship’s pilot, reminded Uto that the team only worked for days. So depending on his pay, they would determine the number of days they would look for his weird cube.

 Uto, of course, had no tons of money. So he was able to pay them for only three days worth of work. The team then agreed on setting course for the jungle planet, which didn’t really have a name and now Jessica was on her second day looking for the damn object. According to Uto, she wasn’t that far away now. After the dangerous mountain pass, she had to go through a razor sharp field of rocks between that mountain and the next one and then descend a bit to find a cave. The cube was supposed to be there.

 The razor sharp field of rocks, a straight line that united two summits well above the jungle level, was easier than the pass but still a horrible experience, mainly because some sorts of animals paraded around the site and launched themselves at Jessica. She had to use her ray gun several times but the little creatures were very fast and attacked with some sort of liquid that smelled really bad. It didn’t hurt or anything, just smell really awful. She crossed the field just before nightfall.

 At the other end, she found a suitable place to sleep and decided to pull out her sleeping bad and protective shield from her special belt. The belt had been an old gift from her mother, a former bounty hunter herself. Now she lived at peace in a farming colony where she could just relax and not worry about someone blowing her head off. Her mom was a legend among the people Jessica knew and she was proud of her.

 The belt had been created by the most advanced civilization in the galaxy. They were able to construct things like that, were size and space and even time did not matter. She could fit an endless amount of things in there and only had to press a button and think really hard about whatever she wanted from her belt. So that night she was protected from the creatures by the shield and slept warmly in her sleeping bag.

 The next day she woke up screaming. Her face hurt, as well as her arms and some of her chest. The stinky liquid had transformed, somehow, into something that had apparently burned her skin and was now penetrating more and more into it. She felt a horrible burning sensation and tried to pour water over herself to feel better or look for something else in her belt, but it was useless. It hurt and she could barely move.

 It was the last day for Uto and could have been the last day for her if she hadn’t decided that the liquid might actually be the best weapon she could ever have. To put it simple, the cube supposedly transformed into something false, in order to kill the person that wanted it. So it would transform into a cure for the liquid if Jessica showed up. But then, it would be obvious to her that the cube was there and she would just fire away.

 Thinking the plan was far simpler than doing it. Her body really hurt, as if she had been very badly burnt by the sun. Her legs though, had been left untouched by the creatures, so they still had their agility intact. She started trembling halfway down the mountain but she focused on the prize, which was something she could have never imagined. Although Uto had almost no money to pay them for their days of work, he did offer something else if they actually gave him the cube he wanted.

 There was an information network called the Omen. It was a very big and important piece of information as it had records on every single living creature in the galaxy intelligent enough to do stupid things. It was like a criminal record center for the entire galaxy and, of course, Jessica and her group were in there. What Uto had told them was that he could be able to remove every single one of their names from he list permanently. Not even erase the crimes but their names altogether.

 At first, they didn’t believe what he was saying. Jimmy threatened to eat his hand and Yera told him it was impossible. But then he simply asked of them to look for his name in the Omen. Everybody could access the network so it was easy for them to see that Renzo Uto did not appear in any part of the Omen. They even scanned his head to look for him, but it just wouldn’t work. He wasn’t there and that was more than enough proof that what he said was real.

 The cave was only a few meters away when Jessica collapsed. She was trembling too much in her upper body and felt really sick. Not even her healthy legs could get her away from danger or from the pain. She stayed down for a good while and, once again, she gazed at the jungle and saw the trees moving and what looked like tentacles rising above the treetops. She only thought about how insane that planet was before she fainted.

 She woke up hours later in a nice room. A beautiful nurse came to her bed and asked her if she was ok. Her face and body didn’t hurt anymore. She touched her skin and every single centimeter was normal. Then, the nurse smiled and told her she was going to be all right. Se turned around but Jessica had recognized her. And the only thing she could do was pull out her gun and shoot right in the center of her body.

 The illusion fell to the ground like a house of cards and so did the cube, a rather normal transparent cube that fell to the ground and Jessica put inside her belt. Her face still hurt horribly and she was sure she was in a worse state than before. She turned to the jungle one last time, watching the tentacles and the moving trees, as she pressed another button for her ride to come pick her up.

viernes, 25 de marzo de 2016

Corina, Silkat and the pirates

   She left all of her clothes by the shore and the slowly entered the water. The sunrays coming from both suns toasted her skin but it was not necessary because Corina already had the most beautiful skin, which she completely submerged into the ocean after a while. She felt the water cooling down her body and a certain peace of mind that she hadn’t felt in quite a while. She swam from one of the big rocks in the beach to the other. The water was not very deep and it was very clear, so much that you could perfectly see if anyone or anything was too close to you.

 Corina stopped swimming after a while and went back to the beach where she sat down on the sand, leaving her feet in the water. She had wanted to do that for so long. She had been very stressed lately and just needed to relax a while. She worked very far from there, as a nurse. Silkat was one more of the many new colonies, so she didn’t really have a lot of people to handle back in the infirmary, but Corina was ok with that too. Even with a few people coming in, she was glad to help and to learn.

 Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw something in the water. Instinctively, she stood up, stepping away from the water. The water moved again by one of the rocks and it was then she saw it: it was a medium sized creature, swimming very slowly, with not a lot of grace. Corina couldn’t tell if the creature was violent or not but she didn’t move any more than she had. She just waited to see if the creature came closer or if it was just passing by.

 The creature then jumped out of the water and landed almost in front of Corina. She almost screamed but covered in her mouth in time. She realized screaming to a creature that was double her size would not be a very smart thing. The creature looked like some old pictures Corina had seen as a little girl in storybooks. It resembled a lot to what her parents called a seal but this one was larger and its husks were smaller and its skin was light blue. And the end of its flippers, it had something like fingers.

 The creature walked towards Corina and she decided not to move. Even if she had wanted to, she wouldn’t have been able to do so because she was very scared. She even forgot for a while that she was stark naked in the middle of a beach she had just found. The creature slowly walk (maybe it had something like human feet, too) and then raised its “hands” and touched Corina.

She almost screamed but she was surprised to realize the creature was nice and warm and its skin had a nice thing about it, it felt good. It was like its skin had the power to make you feel better. Somehow, she saw the creature’s face form something like a smile and Corina responded with the same. So she had found a friend.

 Corina was about to touch the creature when something loud broke the peace of the beach. The creature apparently felt it just before because it moved quickly back into the water. Corina stumbled to the ground and saw how two men came out of the wilderness by the beach and started shooting something at the creature. It was obvious they weren’t trying to kill it but they were hurting him somehow. The men got near her and she tried to get to her clothes but another men, that she hadn’t seen, blocked her way. When she tried to run the other way, she found another men.

 The creature was caught inside a huge net that appeared to hum, like a bee. It was probably taking its energy in order to control the animal’s strength. The creature complained for a while, but then it stopped making sounds. It had died or maybe fallen asleep. As for Corina, one of the men was holding her and the other one was smelling her clothes and then threw it all to the water. They pushed her into the wilderness and made her walk for a while until they reached the water again but this time there was a boat and they made her go into it.

 Silkat was made of many islands, both big and small. They were no big continents like in other planets. The island on which Corina met the creature was next to a bigger one, where a small town called Pazu was located. The pirates, the men that took her with them, probably used another island as their hideout.

 They tied Corina’s hands with a thick rope and she was able to see that the creature was being transported on another boat, behind hers. She wondered what they were going to do with her. She looked at them and saw only men so she remembered the tales that some of the woman in Pazu had told her. They said that Silkat was not very advanced and that men ruled life in here. It wasn’t like in the rest of civilized planets. Silkat was still in the Stone Age, in that sense and also in many others.

 They reached another island when the sun was setting and they put Corina in a cage made of a strong wood. She would stay there for days, never to see the creature again. She wondered if it had been killed or if had another use for them besides food. It was very classic of her to worry about others when her own situation was not the best. She decided she wouldn’t fight unless she had a clear shot at escaping.

 But that opportunity didn’t present itself the first year. She remained on that cage for many months until they decided to put a collar on her and then make her work for them. They threatened her to activate the bomb on the collar if she ever did something wrong or if she tried to escape, so Corina had no choice but to bare with everything those men did to her. They touched her a lot, like an object of their property. They made her cook for them and also clean their boats and their clothes. She was a slave. They never gave her anything to put on her body except that collar but she didn’t really care because the weather had gotten somehow hotter.

 Every single night, when they stopped harassing her and she could just lay down on her cage, she looked up to the stars and wondered if someone was missing her at all. Maybe the people of Pazu were looking for her, although that was unlikely because she didn’t feel the town was too far. If they had been searching, they would have found her. And her family and friends abroad, they probably had no idea that she had vanished so long ago.

 Some days, most of the pirates left and left her to do her chores almost on her own, only one bodyguard with the activator on his belt. But even so she just couldn’t get herself to steal from him. She didn’t think she could win in a fight. Besides, every single day she felt less like a human been. It was as if they were draining her energy very slowly, second by second. She recalled the net they had thrown over the poor creature and how it made it weaker.

 The other thing was that she worked so hard, in so many ways, that when she was left alone she could only think about sleeping. Corina had stopped wanting real food after she realized the men treated her like a pet and just threw whatever they weren’t going to eat to her: some bones with very little meat on them, hard flat bread and some rotten fruits from the nearby trees. So she preferred to dream. And those dreams she asked, way to often, to be killed or to die fast.

 One day, after almost two years, she saw most of the pirates coming back as she was cleaning their clothes by the shore. Then, some of their boats exploded and she could hear gunfire. She tried to take a better look but her eyes weren’t what they were anymore. She could only see there were other boats there and that the fight was savage. Then, she felt someone stand behind her. It was a woman, fully clothed, with the activator on her hand. She pressed the button and Corina thought her death had come.

 But it didn’t. The activator was actually a deactivator. The pirates had never wanted to kill her. As the woman that rescued her told her some days later, “They need their slaves”. She was dragged into another boat and brought into civilization were she was cured and then asked if she wanted to remain on Silkat or if she wanted to be transferred. She thought about it for a whole day before realizing she wanted to stay to help build that society, to make those men realize they couldn’t do what they had done to her. She wanted the universe to be fair.

sábado, 6 de febrero de 2016

The 501st

   The first battalion to arrive at the drop point was the 501st. Commander Yok, who led them nowadays, was a very experienced man, having the privilege of been one of the few soldiers in the war to have been personally awarded a medal by the Chancellor. He was very respected by his men and it hadn’t been very difficult to decide he would be the one to lead the invasion of Kamara. And even if they hadn’t chosen him, he would have volunteered. That was the kind of man Yok was, always putting the mission first, him second.

The planet Kamara was very far the industrial worlds and the farming planets but it was important for another reason: tourism. It had been a resort world for many centuries, a favorite spot for the wealthy of the galaxy but just after the war the ties to the planet had been cut and the indigenous population, which lived of the tourists, was left to defend itself when the Confederacy invaded. They destroyed many of the hotels and resorts, as well as many attractions that had made of Kamara the envy of all the tropical worlds.

 Commander Yok landed in the jungle, near Kyloi, the capital of the world and the center of all confederate activity. The idea was simple: to decimate them with aerial attacks and then move in the troops. They were lucky enough to have two full cruisers for this mission so the planet was expected to fall shorty after the arrival of he army. Such was the trust put on Yok and his men that many aristocrats were already planning their trips to Kamara, not only to enjoy its beaches and climate but to recover the fortunes they had left in the many vaults constructed all around.

 Before the first way of bombers departed, Yok demanded a probe to be sent and check for the status of the city and the population. But that proved useless as the probe, and the two sent after that one, exploded in midair before reaching the central area of the city. Bombing started and from a mountain overlooking the city, Yok was able to see how many buildings the bombs destroyed, how they fell and burned. He was pumped. He had been made for this in the factories of his home world, and now his flesh was ready for battle.

 He led his men raging through the streets of the decimated city, running at first and the marching, all the way to the capitol of Kamara, building that was at the center of the city in every sense possible. They were silent, slowing down their march and blowing up roadblocks every so often. They climbed the steps of the capitol and went inside. No one was there, not a single confederate. They went to the top of the building and planted there the flag of the galactic government, claiming back Kamara. But joy was short-lived.

 Everyone knew taking a planet couldn’t be that easy. It normally involved very heavy fighting and resistance. It required days, at least, or months at most. Besides, they hadn’t seen a single native. The people there were rather humanoid but with green skin. If they had seen one, it would have been obvious. But nothing, not one of them was lying dead on the street or hiding in any of the many building that the 501st checked on that first day. To prevent anything from going wrong, Yok asked for no more battalions to come down to the ground until the situation was clearer.

 The first night was very confusing for the soldiers. They gather around and improvised fire and were rapidly divided into two groups: the one that believed they had won already because the enemy had abandoned Kamara and the other group, who believed there was something darker in the shadows of the capital. They discussed each theory thoroughly but didn’t reach any consensus. Yok didn’t really pay attention, not even taking part of the conversation.

 He was a soldier, a hero for many and now he was in a situation in which he had never been before. The enemy appeared to be smarter this time or at least much more mysterious than usual. He wondered why there were no bodies, from any kind, why there were no signs of the invasion that had cut off Kamara definitely from the rest of the galaxy. Communications had been interrupted but in the capital all services appeared to be in optimal shape except they didn’t work.

 Yok was the only one that didn’t sleep that night. Every other man closed his eyes and fell asleep fast. None of them were tired, they couldn’t really be but maybe it was because it was their first peaceful night in a while that they felt so at ease and in peace in Kyloi. The following they, they checked several other government offices but they couldn’t find anything that would explain why the planet was deserted. The army was already considering pulling off their war effort on the planet and place it somewhere they could actually help in some way.

 But as decisions were taken, something happened and only the 501st was there to see it. Up, in the sky, several enemy cruisers appeared out of nowhere. They engaged the army in the air and the battalion on the ground could only see how their forces were destroyed in a matter of hours. The only ship they had was a shuttle that hadn’t been built for galactic travel. So they were trapped in Kamara with enemy cruisers in the air and a sudden sound that made their souls quiver. It was a sound they realized had always been there but just now they realized it wasn’t supposed to be there.

 The enemy cruisers left the airspace, disappearing into the blackness of space, leaving the soldiers frightened to death on the ground. The sound didn’t stop, growing in volume and, apparently, in number. They all had their guns up, pointing at the sound as if they could attack it. But they couldn’t do anything about it. The sound continued as the small group of men climbed a building and decided to take shelter in the terrace, in order to see if they could decipher what was making that noise.

 But when they decided to investigate, the sound stopped. However, damage had been done. The men were scared and knew they were trapped for at least three days if not more. Commander Yok tried to contact their headquarters several times but he was unable to do so. Nothing came into his radio, no communication of any kind. He even tired scanning the sky for ships, even maybe cargo vessels or whatever was up there. But nothing, it just didn’t work.

 Then they heard another sound but this was weaker. It came from below so they descended the building and so what it was. A humanoid, one of the greens that inhabited the planet, was there in front of them. But it didn’t seem to be ok. It was barely moving, its arm an legs moving very strangely and his eyes just opened but unfocused. Commander Yok ordered the men to raise their weapons and wait for his command. The humanoid stayed there and he began to tremble, especially around the waist and chest. The men were all scared at this point.

 Suddenly, the most awful thing that could have happened happened. The humanoid burst open and from inside his bodies many insect-like creatures emerged, breaking his ribcage and launching themselves towards the soldiers. Gunfire was heard all around, insects blowing up in one side and the other. Commander Yok ordered the men to climb up the building again. But he hadn’t realized many more insects had come out, they appeared to have been waiting for them or possibly they all hatched at the same time.

 Arriving last in the terrace and locking the entrance, Yok realized the enemy had set them up. They had used some kind of creature to lay eggs inside the indigenous people of Kamara and use them as hosts that would burst open once the army had arrived. The bodies were probably in the sewers and hadn’t been detected because they were practically dead.

 The insects pounded the door hard, clinking sound made by their pincers. Every single man tried to help in holding the door, except Yok. He knew what was going to happen, somehow he had always known. He decided to put on his helmet and face the true destiny of a hero, of a true soldier of the Republic.