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Young Writers Society
Skies of Nebulae
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 am
In the distance they could see the sky turning a polluted shade of grey and tan as the wind picked up the dust into the air. It was no slow development either, as the sky had only been mostly clear a few minutes ago.
"There's no way we're going to survive that out here," Ceres stated, the dread in her voice palpable.
to get to shelter," Lurin replied with urgency.
"We need to get back to the ship," Korena declared. The others looked at him with an expression that read:
The ship? So soon?
Yes, so soon.
would be nice!" Korena commanded impatiently, pointing at the ever approaching sandstorm.
They all nodded, and hurried to gather their things, all looking at the approaching storm with wariness. Bo grabbed a lot of it, thinking of how fast they would have to move while carrying all of the supplies - and he wanted the others to be able to move as fast as possible. He knew there was no guarantee that they would even be able to outrun it, but considering it was their only option apart from getting buried alive in sand and dirt, they would have to try.
They began the hurried trek back to the ship through the desert, running through the sand for a good while - a feat in itself - before they began to slow to a quick paced walk. They'd covered a lot of ground, but the sand storm was still following on their heels, and when they finally saw the ship in the distance, the storm was only a minute out from where they were.
"Let's book it!" Lurin shouted.
The five all sprinted towards the wrecked ship, in a race against time and the giant cloud of dust closing in on them. Bo raced ahead with his long legs and, arriving several yards of distance before them, pushed the blockade they'd set up at the entrance out of the way with a big heave.
"Hurry!" He yelled out to them, watching with worry-filled eyes.
There was a few seconds of delay as Bo watched the sand storm threat to consume his friends. He didn't know how extreme the sandstorms were on this planet, but all he could imagine was them being feet away from him and never making it to the entrance. The image of them getting swallowed by sand replayed in his mind several times, but then they all ran into the ship with a rush of movement.
In came Gavi, Ceres, Lurin, Korena, and then him, sliding in behind them and pushing the blockade back in its place - though it was a great struggle to do so, since mid-way, the sand and wind hit the large chunk of metal with full force. With one final hurrah he grunted and the entrance was sealed off - leaving the dust previously swirling inside the wrecked ship to settle on the ground.
Several minutes passed as everyone walked around or sat on the floor, catching their breath. Though the air wasn't the purest, it was infinitely better than what breathing outside of the ship would feel like.
"Is everyone okay?" Korena asked, breathing still somewhat heavy.
They all nodded.
"We didn't get caught up in it," Lurin replied, surprised but relieved that they made it.
"That's a good thing," Gavi commented dryly.
"A very good thing," Bo echoed, slouching and plopping down on the floor, exhausted from the walk and run over.
"I guess this means we won't be leaving the ship any time soon," Ceres noted.
"It doesn't look like it," Korena replied. "We'll have to see how long the storm keeps up."
"You know, speaking of uh, leaving the ship -" Bo started, but stopped when they all felt the same thing. They couldn't hear the storm anymore, nor did they hear the creaks of the broken ship against the wind, or anything of the sort. They all looked at each other in the silence.
Bo got up to check and see if the storm was still active, and Gavi and Korena got up and huddled behind him as well as he pulled at the blockade again, this time only to open it a peek. But then the blockade began to move on it's own, and Bo, having applied more pressure than he'd expected to be necessary, was caught off balance. The giant chunks of metal that had been their "door" floated out of the way while surrounded by some kind of green energy field that carried them. And once they were gone, they revealed a crowd of uniformed alien people looking into their ship, one with a device pointed at the floating debris that had previously obscured their view.
Around the aliens and around their ship appeared to be what looked like a force field, shielding the area from the storm.
Lurin leaned in toward Ceres who stood beside her. "What was it you said about there only being small lifeforms?"
Ceres sent Lurin a glare, but remained silent, as they all looked at the aliens staring into their ship.
They were tall, bulky aliens, with a humanoid frame but dark, shiny skin like that of a reptile's. All of them stood at about Bo's height, if not taller.
Korena stepped forward.
"We don't mean to-"
Korena didn't get to finish his sentence as a net-like bag was propelled towards him that enveloped him, and seconds following, the other four shared a similar fate.
As they were transported in a small carrier ship, his head covering was taken off. As he looked through the window, he saw a
spaceship growing ever larger in his view. Bo stared at it with wide eyes. He'd never seen a ship larger than a star, and the very thought of being trapped on one so big was overwhelming.
He looked around to his left and his right, looking for their crew, but was only met with an even greater feeling of dread when he saw that he was alone, in a small room, still bound up.
They already separated us.
He frowned deeply with worry.
What about the others? What have they done to them?
"It's all a matter of perspective... everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's." - James
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:59 pm
Korena awoke in a dark room. No, the room wasn’t dark, but he was unable to see. A brace was wrapped around his head, blocking his eyes from taking in his surroundings. The only thing he could gather was that the warmth of a body was resting on his back, and they were both seated in the ground. Cautiously, he listened for the sound of some other presence, but found none other than himself and his fellow prisoner. “Hello?” He asked, directing the question at the person beside him.
Korena felt a wave of relief barrel into him. “Lurin, it’s you. I was worried it was someone else, someone more… problematic.”
“I’ve been afraid to say anything for the same reason,” Lurin replied. “Any idea where we are?”
“I can’t see because of this metal band, and my limbs don’t seem to work at the moment, but I still have control over my magnets. Maybe I can…Ah, there we go,” he said as his blindfold popped off his head, carried overhead by a swarm of non-sentient magnets. They lowered it to the ground and got to work on Lurin’s, quickly freeing her eyes.
The two looked around, gathering what they could of the room. What they could gather was not much, however, as the room seemed to be a white cube. There were no ornaments on the floor, ceiling, or individual walls. No furniture, no nothing. Not even a door. There was no way in or out, and the room didn’t even seem to have a designated purpose.
That’s when they noticed it. A blue ooze seeping through the space between one of the walls and the floor. When the entire puddle made its way through, it expanded and took shape, forming a translucent humanoid body. It looked them in the eyes, or so Korena thought. It was difficult to tell, since the entity had no facial features. “Hello,” it said in near-perfect English, its voice coming from somewhere deep down in its body. “I am LiuekwoIDheIDuejaheID, the second in command of this ship. Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if you can’t pronounce.”
“Well them, Liuekkwol...il… why have you brought us here?” Lurin asked, only attempting to pronounce the name before quickly giving up.
“We had a deal. You would leave this solar system, and we would leave you alone. Yet, here you are, near the highest risk planet in the cluster for our alliance,” he answered.
What could possibly be on the planet that has them so worried?
“I don’t think that was exactly the deal, but either way, we were doing you no harm,” claimed Korena.
The alien shook his head. “You lesser beings can’t comprehend the situation, or what’s at stake. Just you being near that planet puts our plan at risk-” He watched as Korena’s magnets suddenly spiraled towards his head. They plunged into the ooze and flew out the other side, leaving him unaffected. “That won’t work.”
“So I see.”
Lurin interrupted suddenly. “What, exactly, is your plan? You haven’t informed us.”
“Our planet was destroyed millennia ago, by a supernova,” started the second-in-command. “Most of population was killed, but the few that escaped danger regathered, creating a ship to temporarily inhabit while they looked for a suitable homeworld. After a decade, supplies ran low, and they still hadn’t found the right planet. You see, our species, known as Yuveya, are so unlike the most common form of life, carbon-based organisms, that there was only one known planet capable of hosting us… Our former homeland.
“With nowhere to go, we devised a plan to create a massive ship able to host our entire population. The only problem is that artificially sustaining an entire race requires such an amount of power that we couldn’t even begin to imagine generating ourselves. So, our head engineer devised a system using data collected from the supernova event that wiped us out so long ago. And as a people, we built this ship, the largest ship in the explored universe.”
“But that doesn’t explain how you’ll generate enough energy to...” Lurin started, before trailing off as she realized what the alien had implied.
Korena finally spoke up. “You can’t. That would wipe out so many civilizations!”
“We already faced mass-extinction, and stopped considering others a long time ago. Right know, we only care that we can ensure a place for our offspring to safely live. Don’t think any of us are happy to be doing it, but we have no choice,” he answered calmly. “And before you ask, no, we can’t do it in an uninhabited portion of the universe. You would be surprised how rare those really are, and they usually can’t generate enough power.”
“You’re willing to kill millions of offspring just to ensure yours live. Maybe your people went extinct for a reason. Maybe your time is up, and now you need to let some other race become the most advanced,” Korena hissed.
“We are far from the most advanced race. On the planet we pulled you away from, in fact, is the only race in this solar system capable of stopping us from consuming this solar system’s star.”
In my eyes, all potatoes are equal.
...Except sweet potatoes.
Formerly Sheyren, Sheyren, and even once I was Sheyren
Lumi Lumi Lumi makes really killer sushi.
Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:55 pm
A collar was locked around his neck; a small red light blinking until it clicked into place, and Bo could feel a brief, sharp pain at the top of his spine.
"Uh, what was that?" He asked as the lofty guard spun Bo around towards the door. "What did you just inject me with?"
"Sustenance," the guard explained, with a voice low and smooth - understandable, but distinctly not human. "Or perhaps in your language, you would understand it more as a drug. It will strengthen your body more than food will."
"What does that even mean?" Bo wondered out loud, frustration and helplessness mixing together in his voice. "Are you saying I won't get to eat?"
The elevator they were standing in came to a stop. Bo stumbled backward slightly on his feet, only to be pushed forward by the guard behind him. The machine seemed to heave with a sigh, releasing air as three sets of doors in front of them slid open, one by one. Bo, staring into the hall, found himself unable to be present in the moment. All he could picture was one of his crew behind that last door. All he could imagine was where they could be at right now, what was happening to them, and what their captors could be doing to them. His gut twisted as only the worst possibilities came to mind.
"No," the guard finally replied. "You will not
to. You will not
to. All you need to focus on, is your work."
Bo frowned. "...Work?"
He was pushed forward. The doors closed between him and the guard, and despite wanting to turn around and go back, he knew there was no other way to go but forward. Especially not with a tracking device around his neck either. With a clenching of his jaw, he tread quickly to the last door, and waited for it to open. (With all this technology, they still had a second delay on the reaction times of the doors.) But as Bo stepped out into his new
he felt an even stronger urge to turn back around. Smoke and chemicals filled the warm air, filling his nose with a sickly sour scent. And in a matter of seconds, he'd begun to sweat.
What he was staring at looked like the exposed inner skeleton of the tubular ship, and below at the base of the support beams were rows upon rows of various assembly lines, much of it metalworking. Laborers with masks and protective bodysuits and gear carefully hand crafted metal gears, and various parts that Bo couldn't identify the use of.
Bo whispered under his breath. "How in the universe am I gonna get out of this..."
A cleared throat from behind him startled him, and Bo's shoulders shot up to his ears.
"Thinking of leaving
A feminine voice followed, to which, Bo turned back to see who'd overheard him somehow.
Standing behind him was a tall, humanoid-like figure, but whose skin and appearance was like that of a reflective mirror. Her clothes, however, appeared peculiarly human - they were dirty dirty, but looked much like normal khaki overalls and a ratty bomber jacket over a plain tee. Bo felt sweaty just looking at her. How was she not burning up with a jacket on? It was so warm, and he was already sweating at the rate of rainfall.
"Oh," he croaked, smiling nervously. "You uh, heard that?"
The alien's mouth upturned into an amused smile. "I have exceptional hearing compared to your kind." Her eyes flickered to his chest, where she expected his heart to be outside of him. But it wasn't. "Hm... or not. You must be human. Perhaps the same still applies."
Bo's eyes followed hers, and he looked at her with a curious raised brow. "What else would I be?"
"Well not the Asteri, that's for sure. I was wondering why one of them would be
of all places."
Bo scratched the back of his neck, the question forming in his head visible on his face. The alien wore another toothless smile.
"You don't know who they are, do you?"
Bo opened his mouth to reply, but still befuddled, amongst the other concerns on his mind, he ended up just shaking his head and blowing a raspberry through his lips. It was only after the gesture that he realized not all non-verbal communication was universal, especially staring into the expectant, dark, and reflective eyes of the alien in front of him.
"No uh, no idea," he said.
She looked ready to reply, but gave a wary glance around them. Some of the workers had noticed their idle standing, and by this, she looked worried - or something like it. It was hard to make our her features amidst the dust filled air and her mirror-like skin. She grabbed Bo's arm, pulling him with her.
"Come, walk with me to your station while we talk." She looked up at Bo, awaiting consent: to which Bo simply said, "Alright."
She looked back briefly at the door he'd come through before proceeding. "The Asteri are a powerful, commanding race," she explained in hushed tones. "Rumored to be the only ones powerful enough to destroy those who hold us captive. Their home planet is not far from here, actually. We're pretty close to their moon, but from my understanding they have a..." her voice faded to silence away as she looked back at Bo's face.
"Why do you keep making such movements with your face?"
Bo blinked a few times, pulled out of deep thought. "Wh-what? Uh, I mean, I'm-I'm not... I'm not always aware of what my face is doing... like, expression-wise and all."
"Curious..." she hummed. "But why did you squint and look like that?"
Bo's eyes lit up at the opportunity to say what he'd been thinking. "Oh! I guess, like, what you were just saying about the moon and stuff - I think I was just there! But we didn't meet any of the Asteri. Only flesh-eating bugs." He held out his hand to reveal the scabbing spot where the insect had bit him. "But the Asteri - it sounds like they've gotta look a lot like humans for you to confuse me for one, ey?"
The alien on his arm smiled even wider at the scab on his hand - her mouth saying laughter, but the rest of her appearing calm. "Yes. The main difference would be that their hearts are not inside them like yours is."
Bo's brows shot up. "Really? How's that work? The heart's a pretty vital organ, at least from my understanding. That sounds pretty risky."
"Risky? That's is humorous language to use, but no." She pat his arm. "They are much more hardy than they seem."
"Oh yeah. Otherwise they wouldn't be quite so formidable, ey?" Bo said with a finger raised, and a grin.
The alien didn't seem to do much more than smile, watching Bo's hand go up.
"Humans are so entertaining," she commented, seemingly distracted by Bo himself and not really hearing what he had said. As they came to a stop in front of a welding station, Bo looked furtively at the tools lying on the workbench. He didn't know much about welding, but he had a feeling he would be expected to do it, and soon.
"So uh... what now?" He asked.
The she-alien let go of his arm rather abruptly, and grabbed a masked helmet. With her legs stretching more like rubber than anything Bo'd ever seen, she raised herself up and plopped it on his head.
"We make frames."
Bo, with face now hidden behind a metal mask and a transparent guard over his eyes, blinked a few times.
"You do not know what that means either," she observed.
"Do they throw
of their prisoners down here to work with no training?" he asked.
A scoff. "Oh, no. Of course not. Some they test on. Some they hide." Disgust began to lace her words. "They only keep those they have use for." She scratched at the collar around her neck. It looked just like Bo's.
"And even the ones they keep, they treat like machines."
Bo's brows lowered as his hopes for the safety of the others in his crew began to dwindle and crumble at the sound of her words. They'd already lost Isle... he... didn't know what he'd do if he lost all of them. He clenched his teeth.
I have to get out of here.
A tool he didn't know the name of was shoved into his hands. "I am your teacher until you are self-sufficient," the mirror alien finally explained.
"Does my teacher have a name?" Bo asked, though the thought of wasting time working instead of finding his crew-mates twisted his gut with great discomfort.
Bo blinked again.
Hluk'est'ad'e looked at him blankly. "Call me Hyuk."
Bo nodded. He didn't want to tell her what that sounded like from his culture and earthen experience. He bowed slightly. "I'm Bo."
"Is that short for something?"
Bo chuckled, despite feeling his inner clock ticking against him, telling him to find a way out as soon as possible. "You know, it is. But there's a bit of story to it that I don't feel like explaining. I'd rather my focus be on welding so I don't melt any of my limbs off or anything."
Hyuk looked to the workbench. "Well. Let us work, then."
"It's all a matter of perspective... everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's." - James
My tongue must tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart, concealing it, will break...
— Katherine, The Taming of the Shrew
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