3508 - Victor

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“It was black and dotted with tiny speckles and flakes of white.”



It had always looked that way. It had looked that way during the time of the first man, it had looked that way before the first man, and it will look the same after the last man. The quote ran through Harold's mind on what seemed to be every morning. The quote was given personally to him when he signed up for his first day of Transcorp. The way the Captain had said it could change people, then again the captain was a very charismatic man. Harold could never be like that, he moved his fingers through his short black hair but they began to gravitate to his face soon after. He grabbed a cup of steamy coffee and began to slurp it like a child. He tapped his fingers rapidly on the touch-pad on his door, it quickly opened and he walked out into the large monochrome corridors soon he reached the movers deck, this was the facility where the laborers would move the crates to the loading dock. They would then be catalogued, This was Harold's job, and then eventually be moved to unloading dock. Harold walked up the thin metal steps to his office. His office was a small room it had large glass windows which allowed him to see the dock below. Although the windows allowed him to see the dock they blocked out the sound of the beeping and screeching machines below.


He sat down at his desk and began to quickly tap his fingers on the keypad, He began to fall into that rhythmic motion he knew all too well. As he worked he slowly got distracted he began to look at the master clock outside his office in the loading dock. It said Tuesday, December 3, 2196, 12:34:27. As he stared at the clock his mind began to wander he found himself in a nice daydream. He was on Earth back with his wife his two sons and his daughter. They were on the beach, the sun was shining. His boys were building sandcastles and his daughter was swimming.


Suddenly, reality came back to him it was now 12:51 he now began to get back to work Cataloging item 3426, which was a set of computer parts, He now had only 307 more items to go. A few minutes later he stopped again this time he was staring perplexed by the image on his screen he starred a few moments and realized the odd thing he was looking for it lie on the list between item 3507 and 3509. The object was in fact nothing it wasn’t even listed the thing he was looking for was in fact just a blank area. This fascinated him so he decided to call his manager. He pressed a small red button and began to talk he told the manager how the shipment was missing. The manager informed him that it would looked into soon. Later that evening after work he went home and thought, he thought about the crate and its contents, he thought so hard that he could not stop thinking about the crate and what was inside. Eventually he planned to look inside the next night. The next day he went to work as he normally would, but when he arrived at his office this time sitting in his chair was the manager himself, he informed Harold in person that what had happened yesterday was a computer error and that someone in the listing department must have made a mistake. As the manager was walking out he stopped, he hesitated a moment, then he handed Harold a pen. The pen was chrome and had the Transcorp. symbol on it. On his way out he filled out a report on his day only to find that the pen was out of ink. After going home he decided to go to bed early today because he would be leaving later he set his clock to wake him up at about 1:30.

At 1:30 his alarm clock awoke him with a discreet buzz. He got out of bed and began to sneak down the hall when he finally reached the deck he faced an unexpected problem, the main door was locked, the door could not be opened unless he held a laborers card for the deck. But he decided that this wouldn't stop him and he went to his own office door and opened it. Now in his office he could break the glass and jump into the deck below. At first he hesitated but then his curiosity got the best of him he picked up his miniature filing cabinet and smashed it through the glass. He jumped through the window and onto the floor his feet fell and the glass crunched. He walked through the rows of shelves and traced the sides of boxes. He counted them until he found what he was looking for but again it was nothing. Maybe they were telling the truth he thought to himself. But suddenly he saw a light flicker at the end of the row, Harold stayed perfectly still thinking they noticed him. But they continued walking on. He looked through the gaps between the large wooden crates that separated him from his antagonist. Harold could not see the shadowy figure carrying the box but could see the numbers painted on the crate as it passed by, 3-5-0-8, Harold's eyes widened in amazement that he had been right, He slowly crept behind the men carrying the crate. Until he found cover behind a crate he peeked over and saw the men next to a wall, they pulled off a panel and pulled a lever that was behind it, it caused the wall to open and they walked into the huge room that was hidden in the ship.



Harold was astonished by the vast amount of extra room the ship had, he figured most of the ships space was filled with the engine room. As the two men left Harold overheard them speaking, to his surprise he recognized one of the voices, it was the captain. Harold waited for them to leave and when they did he dashed from his cover and pulled down the same panel and opened the door. Inside it was amazing, this room had better lighting and tiling than every other part of the ship the crates were also metal. Harold rushed over to the box to check what was inside, he unhinged it, and to his surprise it was another box. It was small and seemed to be hollow but it kind of buzzed inside the box itself fit inside his pocket and so he stuck it there. It was then that it occurred to him that the crates in this room were all the same, this made him curious, so he opened one. On the he was then horrified at the contents of the crate, he could only make out a bit of the frozen body but if there was one thing that stuck out most it was the face. Harold slammed the top down and began to breathe heavily. It took him a moment to truly realize the horror and then he ran out of the room.



But in his escape he was stopped by his own fear and victim to fast fall. When he woke up he was dizzy he found himself bound to a leather chair facing a silhouette of a man back-lit by a thousand lights shining through a dark drape. When his vision became clear he found himself face to face with his tormentor. The eyes that could see into his soul were on him once more and in his calming voice he said

“Harold Let me tell you a story.” Harold looked into the captains eyes in an attempt to counter their piercing gaze.

“Ok then tell me what's going on in that room!” said harold

“First I have to ask what you know.” said the captain

“I was look-erm I mean wandering around the deck trying to find the pen the manager gave me.” said harold

“oh really then,” the captain said while looking at his computer “then why is it in your pocket?”

“Huh, how did you know that?” Said Harold.

“Honestly, you did know we were watching you right?” mocked the captain.

“Why would you do that?” Said Harold

“Because You saw th- never mind.” said the captain angrily

“What are you doing with those bodies!” yelled Harold

“Don’t worry, there more than just bodies, there people.” He said calmly

“Still what are you doing with them!” Harold yelled louder.

The captain went to his desk and pulled out a large syringe, he waved it in front of Harold's face and said “Those bodies are part of our study Harold.”

“What study, why do you need them!” Harold struggled

“Well it appears I’ve told you enough so I’ll just explain the rest”

Harold slumped down in the chair and listened. “You see for many ages man has searched for purpose and we believe we have found the key to finding this secret. It is a known fact that every day galaxies move apart from each other, and that they are speeding up everyday. Now we believe we have found a way to make that stop and actually reverse it, because you see this box, it may be our purpose, inside this box is an odd material we found while trying to extract raw dark matter. We call it Promothium it is an element capable of generating a huge gravitational field it plan to use it to make this field.”

“Yes, so why keep it secret! and why do you have those people?” said Harold

The Captain held up the syringe “You see the element is very unstable, but we have found a way to control it, sort of.”

“What do you mean sort of?” said Harold.

“The element must be used in an environment that has gravity. And to get our desired effects it must be in a stable atmosphere” said the captain

“Still why keep it secret?” Hollered Harold.

“It may erm... explode.” Said the captain

“Still why keep the people?” Harold asked?

“It doesn’t matter!” The captain said with a loud voice

“Why!” Shouted Harold

The captain softened his voice. “It doesn’t matter, because you’ll be joining them.” The captain lunged at Harold’s neck, and the syringe went it, Harold screamed then fell limp.



End?









Harold opened his eyes which were veiled with a blurry fog, the world around him was moving, or was it him? He tried to move his arms but they were out of sight and a stamping sound surrounded him. His neck was stiff and his eyes were dizzy, He felt as if he was being pulled apart from his arms and legs. The feelings made him nauseous and he released a spray of vomit across the white plain in front of him, which to his surprise was in fact not moving and it was him! His neck felt puffed out but he managed to look upwards and saw two blurry figures. They were dragging him through the ship in a dark maze. When all the sudden a light seemed to burn through Harolds skull.
“Ahhh!” he screamed.”

Then darkness crept from the sides of his eyes and consumed his vision. I awoke to another bright light, his mind was clearer now, and his back felt the cold touch of metal. When he tried to move his arm a cold numbness moved down his arm and seemed to penetrate his lungs. Harold’s eyes began to adjust and now found himself in a cream colored room. He saw a mirror and moved his legs to get up from the bench which he sat on. His bowls seemed to jerk and his legs turned to jelly but he stumble to a desk on the other side of the room his stomach was now on the desk and he stiffly turned his neck to see the mirror and what was on his back. A large metal curve ran over his spine, Harold recognized it to be incapacitator, this machine, was commonly put on insane members of society back on earth. It was in most respects a futuristic straight-jacket syringes stuck into holes on the back and a small red flashing light showed it was on. Usually they were made with a recording system, health monitor and a few remote activated syringes. Harold could only recognize a few of the syringes, one Cerumbrus-Ambio would knock him out in a matter of seconds, the next Consprentus-Ambus would make him blind for quite some time, and finally Seredus-Mortem would quickly end his life.

Harold shut his eyes and began to think. About an hour passed before he finally came up with some options. The first option and probably the most risky, was Harold could hope there was no lock on the syringes, he would then pull out the syringes one by one and attempt an escape. Second He would bang the incapacitator sensor with his hand and attempt to cause a distraction, he realized they would more likely knock him out before he could, and his final plan was the most tragic. He would push himself off the desk landing on his back, which might cause the needles to inject into him causing the toxin to end his life. Harold optimistically rose his hand and reached for a needle, this caused him severe pain in his head and his eyes began shaking, but he found the protruding needle on his back and slowly pried it from his flesh. He threw his arm to his face and dropped the needle in front of him. He did this over and over again for some period of time before he had pulled out all six needles. After this he used his shaky eyes to read the names and effects of the needles, eventually he found one that was not lethal but would attract the attention of a guard he picked up the needle and jabbed it into his arm. His stomach twisted and his gut shook, he fell over and puked, but then felt warm and fine. He mustered some strength to get up and take the three toxic needles. After this he thrusted himself against the wall next to the door and waited. Soon after he could hear footsteps through the wall and the beeping of a keypad. The door decompressed and the two guards ran in he quickly injected the first one with a needle and the other lit a stun baton and turned. The first guard took off his goggles and covered his face with his hands, at the same time the second guard swung at Harold and hit him on the shoulder, A flash exploded from the baton and Harold Lunged with extreme pain. When his eyes cleared they were crying and the syringe was locked in the guards ribcage. The guard fainted and Harold took the baton from the floor he then turned around and hit the blind guard, breaking his jaw. Then Harold, who was still a bit petrified, walked out to the hall. He found himself in the settlers deck, a place workers were not allowed to be, to his surprise, it was very quite. In fact he could hardly hear anything at all. The place was dead. It was now that it struck him. He honestly had never seen a settler on the ship at all. They were loaded about 12 hours before any workers. Perhaps they had never even reached this wing of the ship at all. Harold slunked down against the hallway thinking about the large room two levels below him and the bodies it contained. Most of the settlers were wealthy entrepreneurs who funded the settling of Praetoria and the research being done there. Of course now Harold realized the research being done there was the research on Promotheuim and the “settlement” was actually a was actually a prison.
Harold rubbed his brow and exhaled. He picked up the stun baton, put on his goggles and went down the hallway still rubbing his shoulder from the blast. When he reached the corner he turned his head and saw a guard walking back and forth. The guard seemed to be patrolling the exit to the deck. Harold, who was still injured and partially incapacitated, began to think of a way to get out. His first thought was to just rush out and test his luck against the guard. Then he remembered a trick he saw before he got fired from his last job. He wasn’t fired so much as the company got mixed up. You see his last job at The RWOWA or “Refuge Warehouss of West America” Was a company that stored Items for large companies. Machinery, vehicles and materials. Anyways Harold was a cataloguer here as-well. He was paid a decent amount of money, enough to get by, but some of the laborers were not. They went on strike and he was blamed for leading just because he was the only Cataloguer who showed up. Anyways while he was outside the building the company mercenaries were carrying the same kind of batons. These unofficial guards would pull off the bulb at the end and throw it hard against a wall. This would cause a blinding flash and shrapnel would fly everywhere.
Harold took his chances and pulled the top of black metal stick. His arms were still weak so prying it was hard. He could not bang the top off without making a very loud noise. So instead Harold put the baton under his foot and pulled upwards risking the chances of breaking the delicate mechanical structure inside. Finally the end twisted loose and Harold clasped the makeshift bomb in his hand. He jumped from around the corner and quickly threw the bomb to the guards’ feet. The guard fell over shuffled on the ground covering his face. Harold, who had managed to avoid the field of effect, limped an tumbled down the hall towards the guard. Harold stood over the guard and hit him heavily with the bud of the baton effectively breaking the guards nose. He took the guards stun baton and rushed down to the control deck. Harold stealthily navigated the corridors until he found himself on the command bridge, he looked around and couldn’t locate the captain amongst the crowd. Harold figured the captain was in his quarters alone. But before Harold could even think of confronting the captain he had to disable the incapacitator before he collapsed from pain. Harold slinked off to settlers bathroom hoping to thing of a way to disable the device. When he finally reached the room he ached with pain and spine was stiff. He realised one way he could disable the machine, he could hit it with the baton, this might short-circuit the machine and release the locks in his spine. Harold remembered his first two Ideas and their astonishing success. So he took up his baton and whacked his back. A pain burned through his body and he fell on his stomach. He was immobilized and his mouth hung in an “O” shape. He could barely feel where his neck began and his feet ended. He lifted himself with his fore-arms and his spine cracked. He pulled himself up using the sink and turned on the water. In the mirror he saw the machine, laying on the floor behind him. He sat for a moment and gained control of his legs. After this he left down the hall with his baton. Again he snuck into the command bridge of the ship. He walked to the captain's door and burst it open Inside the captain sat in front of the same window he sat at earlier. But this time he had a mix of anger and fear in his eyes.
“You, I thought the guards got rid of you!” The captain said quickly. “You know I let you live, even after all that trouble you caused me and the crew, I offered to let you see your family one last time!” This was the first time Harold had thought about his family in a while. His stomach began to swell up.
“Why did you chose to pull the planets here!” Harold choked, still remembering his family.
The captain looked into Harold's eyes and said “We are currently leaving Praetoria and are going to its sun, which is quite some distance away. Its sun Y-21-A913 or Victor, as it is known by us, is a Neutron star. These stars are some of the hottest known to man. But these stars can get even hotter, all they require is time, once every couple thousand years a Neutron reaches an intense temperature.”
Harold interrupted “why are we going there?”

“Because, Victor is hot enough to generate the field. By heating Promotheuim to atomic levels, we noticed the gravitational field, of course just using man-made energy we could only make a minimal effect. But even nearing this sun, we could easily make an atomic inferno with all the stars that will reach this center point.” The captain mocked. Harold looked round and ran towards the exit but just then the door shut.

“Open it!” Harold yelled.

“Even if I did, you wouldn't make it to that deck in 5 minutes, would you?” The captain replied.

“No, but that would give me 15 minutes to make you suffer.” Harold said.

“Go ahead!” The captain yelled. As Harold walked over to the desk, he noticed something, the one case of Promothium was still left underneath.

“Alright then!” Harold lifted the baton. He hit the captain in the head then in the neck and the captain was unconscious. He fiddled with the case, but could find no way to open it. He hit it with the Baton. And sparks appeared. At first the case appeared unscratched but then it shook and the lid collapsed in. Harold now pried it open with ease, and a chill wind hit his face, inside was a small glass container. It contained a swirling grey smoke constantly pulsing with energy. He realized this was the promothium and he took his baton in one hand and the promothium in another. He swung and the two collided in an explosion. Then all at once the area grew quiet and and large metal girders began to bend in the distance, and explosion was heard somewhere far away. Sheets of metal flew slowly towards the large glass window and all at once things just seemed to implode.

About three months later news on earth talks about a modern “Titanic”, Transcorp is shut down, settling of planets near Victor are denied due to the intense heat, believed to have been the cause of the ship's destruction. And alone twisted in space lie the remains of a twisted metal pen.





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