The Tainted Forbidden Love – Chapter 2

Shane lived in a rich suburbs called Rosepond some four kilometres east from the school. He had to avoid the most desolated part of Dunk and sticked to lighted areas as he made his way to the bus stop. He didn’t like coming here but he didn’t hate coming here either. The state the town was in brought forth the feeling of euphoria because there were people way less fortunate than he was while the threat of being attacked by some lowlife made him feel alive, just like how he felt on the court.

The late evening bus came just shortly after seven and he took it to the bus station just on the outskirts of the main city, Pinepond. He transferred to another bus that would take him directly to the main road near his house. He could have called either of his parents to pick him up but he didn’t want them to know he frequented Dunk or was carrying something he shouldn’t have. Besides, they were out of town and in the city for work purpose and won’t be back until tomorrow night or the following night, depending what extracurricular activities his parents wanted to do in the city.

The journey home took an hour. When he alighted at the bus stop, he saw a girl sitting on one of the benches. It looked as though she was waiting for something. He recognised her almost immediately when she looked up and their eyes met. Shane started feeling both guilty and surprised.

“Shane, where have you been? I have been waiting for you for the last hour.”

“I’m so sorry, Shirley. I had to get something for us. I promise you, the wait is worth it.”

“If you say so. Now can we go to your house?” Shirley asked as she wrapped her arms around her body and looked distressed.

Both of them walked beside each other, spending the next ten minutes walking and chatting until they arrived at the side gate leading to Shane’s house.

His house was one of the larger ones in the town with three stories. It had eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the upper levels. The ground level hosted the family room that doubled as living room, a dinning room, a kitchen and one bathroom. Attached to the side of the house was a garage big enough to hold two SUVs. The house also had a basement that his dad converted into a wine cellar where some of the best wines were kept. The front of the house was a garden maintained to perfection by a team of gardeners with a roundabout for vehicles to drop off passengers. A yard behind the house hosted a custom-designed olympic-sized swimming pool. Surrounding the house was a concrete wall eight inches thick with state-of-the-art security system designed to keep people out.

Shane punched in his own key code on the keypad beside the gate before scanning his right iris at the scanner. The gate unlocked a moment later with a click sound. He led Shirley through first before closing the gate. He waited for the lock to engage before moving on. They walked through the garden path and enjoyed the smell of roses planted on the side.

A sexless android butler with a fake tuxedo walked up and greeted Shane as they stepped through the front door of the house. Behind the android was a large hallway that had a spiral staircase to the far left. There were three arch doorways leading away from the hall. One located beside the staircase led to the kitchen while two other arch doorways to their left and right lead to the family room and dinning room respectively.

“I will be up in my room with Miss Shirley here. I wish not to be disturbed. Do give me a warning if my parents ever get home early.”

“As you wish,” the butler replied with its usual monotonous voice before moving to the living room.

Shane grabbed on to Shirley’s hand and led her up the spiral stairs until they reached the third floor. They turned to the left and made their way to the first room on the right.

Upon opening the door, the room no doubt belonged to sporty type of guy. There were posters of great basketball players on the walls. The only desk in the room was messy with books and papers everywhere. Dirty laundry piled up high in the bottom right hand corner of the room. The king size bed was unmade.

Shirley beelined towards the bed as she took off her jacket and tossed it to side. She sat on the edge of the bed and faced the door. Shane dropped his bag on the floor and took off his sweater and t-shirt, tossing them onto the top of his bag before taking out the packet from his pocket and waved it in the air with a smile, “That’s what I meant.”

She knew what Shane had in his hand and grinned, “Now we are talking.”

He tossed the packet over to her while he went to get two piece of paper from the desk. He rolled one of them into a straw. He went over and sat facing Shirley, placed the flat piece of paper on the bed for her to pour content from the packet. He went first, breathing in almost half of those powders through the rolled paper. Shirley went next, taking in the remainder.

It didn’t take long for the twenty-second century version of unisex viagra to take effect, heightening their senses to a level where they could smell each other’s pheromone, and raised their sex drive.

“Dim the lights for sex,” Shane called out and the smart home system dimmed the lights in the room according to the sex preset. Now they could just barely see each other’s faces and body.

They began making out. A couple of minutes in, Shirley took off her black blouse and revealed a pair of red bras. Then they were kissing each other all over the neck and chest. Moments later, Shirley’s bras came off and tossed aside. She laid down as Shane got down to suck those pink nipples as he massaged her breasts with his veiny hands. She moaned uncontrollably and gripped his back so tight that it hurt. But it only made him want some more. He undid his belt and pushed down his pants and boxers in a single action to his knees, showcasing a seven-inch thick erected penis pointing straight up. As though on cue, she took off her skirt-pants and pants before lying back down again, spreading her legs wide to reveal a clean shaven and wet vulva. She didn’t even wear panties.

He bent over and continued to suck her nipples while he pushed two fingers into her vagina and rubbed the insides until his hands were full of female secretions. The combined attacks sent incredulous amount of information up her viagra-enhanced nerves making her quiver with cries of astonishment. Whatever brief moments of consciousness she had, she took that hard penis and stroked it, focusing her thumb on the frenulum. She knew how sensitive an uncircumcised cock was. He too moaned and quivered while he continued to stimulate her breasts and vagina.

He switched up the act, now pushing his penis into her vagina and made her moan. He combined thrusting actions with massages of her breast with the occasional sucking and licking. It went on for what seemed to be forever until they both reached orgasm at the same time. Ropes of warm semen went deep into her vagina, helped by the contracting muscles.

But neither of them were done yet.

They went on a few more rounds of intense sex until the drug wore off. By then, both of them were completely exhausted. He laid on top of Shirley with his penis still inside, now too raw and painful to pull out. He buried his face between her breast. Before long, both of them fell into deep sleep and didn’t wake up until it was noon. Lucky for them, there was no school on a Saturday.


Dexter got up of his own accord rather early in the morning but didn’t quite know why. It was a Saturday and he could sleep in. His mom definitely won’t mind because she won’t be in. She would be at the nearby convenience store helping to stock up the shelves. His father would be out at the shipyard working, at least that was what initially he thought until there was pounding of his bedroom door. His dad was home. Judging from that pounding, he wanted…no…needed something.

“Dex! Dex! Time to wake up! I’m hungry!”

He leapt off his bed and almost ran towards the door, “I’m coming!” Once there, he undid the lock in the quietest manner possible and opened the door. His dad, stepdad to be precise, was standing there with a bottle of beer in his hand and without his shirt. He had sloping shoulders and sagging man breasts. His eyes were half-closed and had grey stubble that spanned his lower jaw. Like most poor men around the planet who relied on alcohol to get through his day, he had a huge belly that if Dexter were to curl up into a ball, he could probably fit in.

His dad, Sam, took the chance to admire his stepson who was only wearing a pair of boxers and sporting an erection. If not for his mop of hair and a tad scrawny, Sam found him to be a handsome lad.

“I will make you breakfast,” Dexter said nonchalantly as he walked past Sam, walking to the kitchen in a measured manner. His dad followed closely behind moments later.

While he went about preparing breakfast, his dad sat by the dinning table and drank from his bottle. He knew Sam was watching him intently but he learnt to ignore and focus on the task at hand.

Just as he was about done with cooking, he felt his dad standing close behind, drinking the last sip from the bottle. Knowing what would happen next, “I don’t want any accidents. Let me turn off the stove and serve this.” He waited for a brief moment before turning off the stove and put the pancakes on the plate he had placed beside the stove. He placed the pan in the sink and rinsed it with cold water for a brief moment.

Dexter stood by the sink and waited.

He heard the sound of glass touching the marble surface of the kitchen counter and felt the air behind him shifted. The wooden floor panels creaked as something heavy moved about on them. Large arms wrapped came from behind, wrapping him up like a python around its prey. One hand caressed his naked chest slowly moving down to his abdomen while the other reached down to squeeze his private parts through his boxers.

Sam’s fat tummy ensured that Dexter couldn’t get out of the embrace. Not that he even want to try. The last time he tried, a slap went across his face that sent him to the floor, landing on his side. His dad fucked him even harder until his butt bled. His face was swollen for the next three days and could barely eat. He was lucky he didn’t lose his hearing or teeth. This time, he let the ordeal run its course, for his own sake.

The caressing stopped and one hand was on his shoulder tugging to get him to turn around. He did. Sam’s face came closer and started kissing him all over the face, leaving behind a trail of alcoholic breath. Dexter found himself lifted into the air and boxers pulled off. The next thing he knew, he’s on the dinning table seated. Sam’s mouth were all over his upper body while the hands were all over his lower body and groin.

Sam undid his belt and took off his loose work jeans and undergarment in one fell swoop, revealing a hairy bottom half and a huge, hard eight inch penis.

Dexter swallowed a lump of saliva. He was scared but powerless. With hands around his shoulders, Sam gave him a light nudge and Dexter lowered his body as commanded until he was laying on the table. He stared at the grey ceiling above, trying very hard not to think about what’s next.

Sam took Dexter’s legs, spread them apart and slung them over his shoulders. Dexter started quivering. His heart pounded so hard that it almost came out of his body. He wished it did. At least he would be dead and not have to deal with this crap anymore.

The moment that huge penis entered him without any kind of lubrication was excruciating. Sam wasn’t being gentle about it either. He yelped.

“Good! You think I don’t know you have been stealing from me? This is your punishment,” Sam yawped and started thrusting. The table shook and creaked with each motion. Dexter’s whimpers were barely noticeable.

The pain gradually went away. It became rather pleasurable. He allowed his mind to wander while Sam did his thing. After it was over, Dexter got off the table, collected his boxers and went back to his room. He spent the next half an hour scrubbing himself in the bathroom to wash away the stench and bodily fluids his stepdad left on him. As he started scrubbing his private parts, he started sobbing. He felt a wave of weakness hit him and he dropped to the floor, curling up into a ball, and let the warm water ran its course through his body.

He didn’t mind being Shane’s punching bag every now and then or even being forced to go hungry because his family ran out of money. He didn’t mind to have to steal drugs from his father’s stash and risk his life for Shane. He didn’t mind not having friends at school. But what his stepdad did and had been doing for the past three years to him was unbearable, no matter how well he prepared himself. His mom knew about the abuse but could do nothing about it. He too knew there was nothing else he could do. They both needed the money Sam provide with his shipyard job. It wasn’t much but combined with what his mom made working as a store assistant, they could scrimp by.

He wasn’t sure how long he was in the shower curled up as a ball. The next thing he knew was the water stopped running. Soft and small hands were on his shoulders, shaking him. He looked up to see a familiar face.


Hayley responded with a soft spoken voice, “I’m sorry, baby. I came home as fast as I could once I knew Sam was home. Now let’s get you dry.”

Dexter started crying, “I’m not done. He left his sperms inside of me. I need to get it out.” He tried to stand but slipped. She caught and stabilised him. He tried to turn on the showers again but stopped when she embraced him.

“There’s nothing you can do,” she caressed her son’s wet hair and kissed him on the forehead. “But you will fall sick if you don’t dry up properly.”

He whimpered and nodded.

She helped her son out, who had some trouble walking and grabbed the towel. They stopped beside the bed and she started towelling him dry. He offered no resistance and stood like a log. She took out a set of fresh, recently bought set of clothes from the wardrobe and laid them out on the bed.

Dexter looked at the new clothes on the bed then at his mom with a puzzled look.

“Baby, the last thing you need is to stay in this house. It’s Saturday. You should be out.”

He went over and started putting on his clothes. He was wobbling when he was pulling up his pants that Hayley had to step in to make sure he didn’t fall over.

“Looking all nice and handsome,” Hayley smiled. “Wait for me while I changed out of these wet clothes.”

“What about dad?” he asked the moment she opened the door.

“Don’t need to worry about him. He’s already gone when I came back.” She was out the door and it closed behind her.

Dexter went out of his room, albeit with a limp because his butt was still sore from the ordeal. He stood outside his parents’ room, which was directly opposite his, to wait for his mom to finish. When she was done, they strolled across the living room towards the front door. The kitchen was on their left when they walked past it. He stopped for a moment to look at the table where it all happened. He quivered with anger and his fists tightened till the veins were visible.

Recognising what just happened, she pulled him close with an arm around his left shoulder and whispered, ”Baby, it’s over. It’s in the past. We should get going.”

It took several gentle tugging before Dexter started moving again and followed his mom out the door.

The mall in the city was the furthest he ever went with his mom. There were only three occasions in his life they would be here: when it was his birthday, when his mom earned extra money from sex, and after he was fucked by his dad.

He loved the mall with all the colourful holo-advertisements and store signs. Those always reminded him how great it was to be alive. There were people from all walks of life roaming about with cheerful faces. There were the occasional cries from children who didn’t get what they wanted. There were countless families too. At times, Dexter envied them, especially the kids who had great and loving parents. But he knew he would never have that. It was too late for him. All that matters was he’s here and alive with his mom. Despite all her flaws, she did her best she could to ensure her son could survive and be someone better than she ever could.

They walked around the mall window shopping until they came across a fancy Japanese restaurant on the third floor that served authentic and fresh sushis instead of the typical 3D-printed stuff found in other cheaper stores. Dexter looked at the storefront, bit his lips together, and walked away only to feel a hand tugging at his sweater. He turned around to see his mom smiling.

“I know you love sushis. Let’s eat here for lunch.”

Dexter frowned, “Mom, we can’t afford it. We can have something cheaper.”

“Oh baby. I made quite a lot of money this month. It’s enough to last us for three months straight. And I found a better paying job. Just don’t tell your dad.”

He went wide-eyed and his jaw dropped, “What did you do?”

Hayley narrowed her eyes with a sheepish smile, “It’s nothing you need to be concern with. Come on, let’s go in.”

One of the restaurant’s staff standing by the counter overlooking the entrance, an android designed as a female dressed in traditional kimono, bowed and greeted, “Irasshaimase”

They nodded and went in. The inside of the restaurant was spacious with original Japanese decor. Even though it was lunch time, there weren’t many customers in the store judging from the amount of empty tables. They suspected it had to do with the price tag.

Another restaurant staff, this time a human, came over, “what table would you like? Western or chabudai?”

“Western,” Hayley responded without thinking. Neither of them could tolerate sitting on a zabuton or tatami. The staff guided both of them their table deep in the restaurant by the window, offering them a view of the city outside.

Dexter browsed through the food menu on the ordering tablet by the side of table. Just by looking, his mouth was watery until some of his saliva landed on the table. His mom had to tap his foot underneath the table and point to the spot on the table where his saliva landed.

His face turned red and started wiping away the wet spot with the sleeve of his sweater. He went back looking at the menu. It didn’t take long for him to add a few of the sushis and a plate of Japanese curry with Tonkatsu and rice to the ordering cart. He handed the tablet to his mom who ordered a bowl of hot Udon noodles in light brown broth with aburaage and kamaboko.

After they had their fill, the bill came out to be two hundred dollars, bulk of which came from the sushis which had fresh sashimi as topping. Dexter felt guilty over having ate so much and was visibly upset when his mom patted him on the back of his head with a smile that made him feel better.

They spent the next few hours walking around the mall, mostly just window shopping. They did stop by some stores to get some new clothes and kitchenwares to replace some of the older stuff they had at home. They also got some perishable food, snacks and drinks.

It was already evening when they got on the bus and went home. With the amount of things they had with them when they alighted at the bus stop in their town, they chose to take a longer and less frequent path home, not wanting to bring any attention to themselves. When they arrived, they went to the back of the house as quiet as mouse.

“Wait here while I make sure your dad isn’t home,” Hayley said as she put down the bags she was carrying. Dexter nodded and she made her way back to the front of the house.

Hayley opened the front door and went into the house. She creeped around, hiding behind whatever walls she could find to have a peek. It became clear that Sam wasn’t home for the night. She went back out to get her son.

“Nobody’s home,” she said with a sigh of relief. “But to play it safe, let’s hide these stuff in the shack.” She picked up the bags she left on the ground and let Dexter lead the way to an unassuming patch of grass just beneath his bedroom window. The grasses weren’t real. It was a perfect illusion formed by nano-holographic projectors installed around the entrance way.

He put the bags down. His right hand went through the projection and started feeling his way around. He found the door ring and without hesitation, he placed his right thumb on a smooth surface beside the door ring. The sound of bolts releasing followed a gentle beeping sound. He yanked on the ring and lifted the door up, revealing a stair leading down. Over the years, his mom and him had been saving up whatever money they had left monthly, sometimes even going hungry for the day, just so they had enough money to build a basement, which they nicknamed ‘shack’. It was completed in secret on Dexter’s fourteenth birthday by friends of his biological father. He was involved in the project too. He programmed the projectors and implemented the biometric lock during his free time, using whatever he found in school or the nearby scrapyard.

They kept reserves of basic necessities, stacks of cash worth at least two thousand dollars and some weapons in the shack. It was also shelter of sorts. There were mattresses, an air-recycling system, a desk-size computer, and a micro-fusion power generator. On bad days, both his mom and him would hide in there until it was safe to come out. Sometimes it was just him hiding in there when Sam was outside his room pounding away in a drunken state, refusing to go away. They both knew one day they won’t need Sam anymore.

Hayley went through first with Dexter following closely. He made sure the door was closed before going deeper in as none of them wanted Sam to find out. They carried the bags to a room in the basement where they keep the food and started filling up the shelves and fridge. The clothes were next, going into the respective wardrobes. Then it was the kitchenwares.

They filled one bag with some of the older stuffs and expiring foods from the shack which they would take out to replace what they had upstairs. It was dinner time when they came out of the shack. Hayley made them pasta with tomato sauce.

Since Sam won’t be home for the rest of the night, Hayley decided to sleep in her son’s room as she wasn’t comfortable leaving him alone, especially after what he’s been through. And his bed was big enough to accommodate them both.

Dexter turned in first, stripping down to his boxers and got in bed after brushing his teeth. His mom made sure the locks on his door were in the right positions before joining him. She wrapped her right arm around his body, forming some sort of protective shield and kissed him on the cheek before slipping into deep sleep.


Shane was aching all over when he woke up. Somehow, his now flaccid penis was still inside Shirley who was still sleeping soundly. When he took it out, he moaned from the pain. He tried to use the toilet but it was near impossible to pee. Not with the burning sensations every time he pushed urine out his cock. His urethra suffered badly from all those ejaculates blasting out at forty kilometres an hour throughout the six sessions. It took a long time before his bladder was empty. He didn’t realise that Shirley was up and watching him pee while outside the bathroom. She wanted to use the toilet too.

He went over to the sink beside the toilet bowl to brush his teeth and rinse his mouth. Shirley lowered the seat cover and whimpered as she peed. While he was brushing his teeth, a thought struck him. He realised he had forgotten about his two cousins who were coming over in the afternoon for a video gaming session.

With mouth full of toothpaste, “Shirley, my cousins are coming over today.”

“What? Which cousins?”

“Blake and Carter.”

Shirley wanted to scream but managed to hold back with a grimace, “Blake? Shit! I need to get out of here.”


“Don’t tell me to relax. If Blake sees me here with you, he will freak out and tell everyone at my school I’m slut who double time his cousin. My reputation is at stake!”

The house AI announced with a female voice and showing no regards to how Shirley felt, “Shane, your cousins are here at the gate.”

Her face turned bright red. She didn’t even clean herself, dashed out of the bathroom to put on her clothes and took her belongings. She was already gone when Shane came out of the bathroom.

Having been at the house several times, she knew where to go. She ran down the main stairs, into the kitchen and out from the door there. Once she was out, she ran across the pathway alongside the swimming pool until she went past the outhouse. A right turn, a left and then a couple more steps forward, she reached the back gate. She put on her shoes, pressed the door release button, and went out to the street. She sent Shane a private text message from her wristband computer that doubled as a communication device, telling him she’s out and safe.

Shane got the text message while he was washing his face. He went out to put on his pants before picking up his wristband computer from the table. He pressed the button on the side and the hologram of the home screen appeared beside it, showing a grid of colourful application icons. He tapped on the message icon and read what Shirley sent him. He replied with a smiley emoji followed by a ‘I love you’.

He put on the wristband computer and pulled out a shirt from his wardrobe. He gave it a good flick to shake loose any lint. A piece of folded photo fell out of the chest pocket. He bent over to pick it up and unfold it. His lips parted way the moment he saw who was on it. The memories came rushing back and he remembered how he felt. He started to remember he had secretly taken the photo, printed it out on paper and deleted all digital traces of it. He did spent several days in panic mode when he couldn’t find the photo. He was afraid someone may have pick it up and ruin his life. When nobody came forth or mentioned anything remotely close to the photo, he went on with his life.

He folded the photo and put it into a small box he took out from the drawer underneath his desk. The box was the perfect place for the photo since it also contained discarded stuffs that once belonged to the same person. This person had captured his heart the moment their eyes met. Unsure if it was right, he denied and suppressed the feelings for two years.

“Blake and Carter are in the house and waiting for you in the family room,” the AI announced.

“Tell them I will be right down,” Shane responded in a hurried manner as he put the box back into the drawer and closed it. He went out of his room, down the stairs two steps at a time and greeted his cousins in the family room. He led them up to the second floor to the converted bedroom on the east side of the house. It was where the latest holo-game console resided.

They spent hours playing games, cheering or jeering at each other depending on their progress in the games. The butler also came up several times to serve them food and drinks.

It was past midnight when they grew tired from the games and laid on the couches in the room. It didn’t take Blake and Carter long to doze off.

Shane on other hand, laid there thinking about the person from the photograph and the interactions they had. The more he thought about the recent ones made him grimaced. He came to the realisation that he was the one at fault. And he didn’t love Shirley as much as he thought.

Shane didn’t know when he fell asleep after all that thinking. He woke up to the sound of his parents chatting away downstairs in the dinning room with the sound of glass clanking. He glanced at the clock on his wristband computer to see it was four in the morning.

He went downstairs to join his parents. Even though he was underage, his dad poured him a glass of wine. He took sips from the glass and started sharing what happened at school over the past week and his progress on the basketball team. However, it wasn’t a full disclosure. He remained aware enough to leave out the part where he bullied some of the students or had sex with Blake’s girlfriend, Shirley, using a prescribed drug. Parents being parents, they questioned some of the things he’d done or suggested what should have been done. But they were candid about their day in the city too, sharing all the glory details about their activities in hotel rooms.

By the time they finished the bottle, the sun was up and they were too tired to continue. They went their separate ways to their bedrooms and slept until it was almost noon.

Click here for Chapter 3.

Click here for Chapter 1

The Tainted Forbidden Love – Chapter 1

Dexter got up and sat by the side of his bed, burying his face in his hands while the alarm continued to blare on the bedside table. The sun was already up and shining through the window adjacent to his bed.

“Alarm off,” he grumbled with a hoarse voice and the blaring stopped.

He pushed himself out of bed and shuffled across the square room to the bathroom on the opposite side with a raging erection underneath his loose blue boxers.

The rectangle bathroom was smaller than the one near the kitchen. To the right was the shower area with a simple shower head connected to a cheap looking water heater. There was no cubicle or even a screen except for the slanted floor to ensure water flows towards the drain. If not for that slanted floor, his bedroom would flood every time he took a shower. To the left was a circular sink with the rectangular medicine cabinet nailed to the wall above. Beside the sink and below the only window was the toilet bowl that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. The flush mechanism wasn’t even working properly half the time.

He tried urinating into the toilet bowl but with that erection his urine landed everywhere except the toilet bowl. He sighed heavily, I hate puberty. He masturbated until he reached orgasm. He didn’t even bother to clean up the mess. As soon as the erection subsided, he emptied his bladder. He tried the flushing mechanism and was surprised it worked this time.

He went over to the sink and studied himself in the mirror. He had a mop of brown hair that hadn’t been trimmed in more than two months. It was in a complete mess and was covering a quarter of his face. That hair made his oval-shaped face look small. He moved some of the hair away from his face to reveal two fresh cuts above his right eyebrow though the bleeding has since stopped. Unlike his friends of his age, he still looked like a young boy but had brown eyes that were too tired to open fully. There were a few fresh and old bruises all over his naked, narrow shoulders, and untoned chest.

He rinsed his mouth with some water from his filled cup and drank the rest before making his way out of his bedroom to the living room where he found his mom, Hayley, sleeping on the couch. He went over and was careful not to step on any of the empty bottles on the ground. He pulled the blanket that was around her waist up to her chest, making sure she’s well covered. The autumn had been particularly cold this time, he didn’t want his mom to fall ill.

He made his way to the kitchen and thought he had just stepped into the kitchen of an old abandoned house from those twentieth century horror movies. The only light in the kitchen, nailed to the ceiling above the dinning table, was flickering. The smell was unbearable. The dishes from yesterday’s dinner were still in the sink undone. There were food scraps on the table with flies everywhere.

A growling sound made Dexter realised just how hungry he was but he couldn’t bring himself to eat breakfast in such a mess. With two and a half hours to spare before he needs to go to school, he went about doing up the dishes and cleaned the table. It took him more than an hour to finish cleaning up and restore the kitchen to a bare usable state.

He searched the cabinets for something to eat and found a box of pre-made pancakes. He found a bottle of maple syrup, a bottle of milk past its expiry date but drinkable, and an egg too. He fired up the stove and dropped two slices of pancakes in. Once those were done and set aside, he made himself a sunny side-up egg.

He spent the next few minutes finishing up his breakfast before cleaning up the kitchen again. He was on the way back to his room to get ready for school when he saw his mom up and about.

“Morning mom,” Dexter greeted with a smile.

His mom hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, “Morning baby.”

Being so close to his mom, Dexter could smell the alcohol in her breath but he had since gotten used to it. He returned the kiss and wriggled out of his mom’s embrace.

“I’m late for school.”

“Go,” his mom playfully slapped his butt as he went. The moment she stepped into the kitchen, tears of joy rolled down her face. Despite all they have been through, her son was still very diligent when it comes to helping around the house. That was heartwarming. It inspired her to clean up those empty bottles around the couch and on the coffee table. She even tidy up the couch.

Dexter had a quick shower. He put on a pair of blue skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, and a wind-proof jacket to shield him from the cold. He also took the chance to comb his hair to achieve some level of tidiness. He took his backpack containing just a tablet computer and a water bottle for school, and left the house after bidding his mom goodbye. He would spend the next fifteen minutes to walk to the bus stop where he would get on a public bus for a ten minutes ride to school.


The moment he walked through those grey double doors, students loitering in the hallway turned their heads to look at him. Those who liked him nodded their heads to acknowledge his presence or greet him as he walked past them. Even those who hated him to the core couldn’t ignore that air of confidence he seemed to emit everywhere he went. Instead of greeting him or acknowledging him, they used it to their advantage and avoided him like plague.

He was the school’s star basketball player, capable of playing both defense and offense equally well. His legendary skill with three-pointer had helped the school win multiple championships against other schools or turn the tide around if the school team was losing. He was also equally good with mathematics and physics.

Not only he had the skills, he was good looking. He was one of the taller students around at six feet four inches with broad shoulders and well-toned body, all from the training he underwent as part of the basketball team. He had a head-turning oblong face that was part-adult and part-teenager with olive skin, which scarcely need shaving. His blue eyes and well-maintained blonde crew-cut hair greatly enhanced his already good looks. The guys aspired to be him and the girls loved him.

Shane was everything the academia type in school wasn’t that made them jealous. His family was also rich. His parents had been donating millions to the school every year since he joined the school to ensure their son got the best. However, some wondered why Shane didn’t go to a boarding or private school since his family could very well afford the school fees but never quite questioned him about it. As the bulk of the salaries for school’s management team and teachers relied on that donation, they gave him special treatments and attentions that made other less well-off people resent him even more.

While he was mingling with students in the hallway, Shane saw the back of one scrawny student making his way to class in a hurried manner. He knew right away who that was.

The student was in tenth grade, kept mostly to himself, had no disciplinary issues, and didn’t have many friends. According to classmates in the same class, he’s really smart, scoring ‘A’ no matter the subject.

“I’ll be right back,” Shane told the students whom had gathered around him. He jogged over to the student and slapped his right hand on the student’s right shoulder causing him to grimace in pain, “Hey Dexter.”

Dexter knew who that was. He swallowed a lump of saliva and slowly turned around, “Shane.” There was just no way he could go anywhere as Shane was so much stronger and faster. Not to mention Shane was at least three-quarter of a foot taller.

“Where do you think you are going?” Shane placed both his hands on Dexter’s shoulder to stop him from running away.

“Class,” Dexter whispered.

“It doesn’t start until I say so,” Shane tightened his grip around Dexter’s shoulders until they hurt.

“You are hurting me,” Dexter whined.

Shane leaned closer, so close that Dexter could hear his breathing, and whispered, “I won’t stop until you give me what I want.”

“I don’t have any now. I will get it by today. Please just let me go,” Dexter pleaded. The school bell rang a moment later as though on cue.

The students started making their way to class. Shane smirked, “Saved by the bell.” He let go of Dexter and walked around him. Just when Dexter thought it was over, Shane took the chance to shove him to the ground, “Oops, sorry.”

He walked away laughing. The rest his friends joined up and ignored Dexter. The other students were equally nonchalant about the whole situation and went on their way to class.


As Dexter was skinnier than most, he didn’t have much flesh in his butt to absorb the impact, allowing his pelvis to take brunt of it. He yelped. Tears start forming along the edge of his eyelids and he wiped them away. No one even bothered to help him up. Soon, he was all by himself. He waited until the pain subsided before getting up but even that was hard. He tried to walk only to fall again onto his knees and hurt equally much. But he didn’t give up. He tried to get up again and when he did, someone came to his side to support him.

He tilted his head to see who it was and recognized her immediately. “Mrs. Don,” he mumbled.

“Can you walk?” she asked with a frown that indicated concern.

Dexter put a foot out then the next, “I can try.” He tried to hide the fact that every action sent searing pain up his back. He bore with the pain in silence.

It took fifteen long minutes before they arrived at the infirmary, located on the first floor of the school at the northeast corner. She led him to one of the benches and helped him sit before getting the doctor.

Due to the generous donation by Shane’s parents, the infirmary was as advanced as any other private clinics outside. It had a wide variety of medical equipment that could allow the doctor to perform even minor surgeries. A recent renovation saw it expanding its patient wing to have sufficient bed for eight people.

Mrs. Don came out from the consultation room with the doctor and nurse trailing behind. Dexter tried to stand up but his legs decided to give way and he fell back down on the bench, causing him to cry out in pain.

Upon seeing how badly injured Dexter was, the doctor and nurse rushed over to help him up into the consultation room and had him lay on his stomach on the bed.

“What happened to you, kid?” the doctor asked. He was Doctor Steward, the school’s resident doctor who spent the last fifteen years taking care of the students. He treated all their ailments ranging from minor cuts to fractures. He also offered counseling services for students who had too much going on.

“I was clumsy and fell,” Dexter offered weakly.

“I see,” Steward looked at Mrs. Don who could only shrugged. They both knew the truth but didn’t really have the power to do anything. “I will take a look now to see how badly hurt you are, ok?”

Dexter gave a meek nod and buried his face in the pillow while Mrs. Don stepped out of the examination room and waited outside.

“Could you lower your pants?”

“Not really… it’s too painful for me to move. Can you help me with that?”


Steward slid off Dexter’s pants and underwear together in a slow, deliberate manner, not wanting to exacerbate the injury but it didn’t stop the kid from whimpering in the process. It was that painful. Steward, having kids of his own, felt an aching sensation in his chest.

The lower half of Dexter’s body was almost bony with parts of the pelvis visible through the skin. There were bruises all over his inner thighs and both butt cheeks were blue-blackish. A light press with the finger caused him to cry out.

Steward looked at his nurse who looked back. Both of them knew what each other were thinking.

“Dexter, is there anything you want to tell us?” Steward asked.

Dexter’s face remained buried in the pillow, “No. Why?”

“There are some bruises here that don’t look like you got them from a fall. We just had to make sure of the facts.”

“I do skate from time to time.” Dexter had lied so many times to people around him until it was natural for him and most people would take him at his word. Sometimes, he even believed his own lies.

“If you say so. But I will have to examine further to make sure you are all ok.”

With the aid of medical diagnostic tools, Steward spent the next half an hour discovering a myriad of issues that were consistent with abuse and bully. There were also signs of malnutrition. The good news was there weren’t any broken bones. He went ahead and treat all the bruises and cuts after they had been sanitised with the medical wand, which relied on sonic and light waves to accelerate healing of most injuries. He also prescribed multi-vitamins and minerals for Dexter to take.

It was almost noon when Dexter came out of the infirmary. He felt much better and went back to class. His classmates didn’t even ask where he was and lessons went on as usual. During lunch, he ordered some food from the vending machine so that he could have it in one of the classrooms instead of sitting in the school canteen. He didn’t want anymore confrontation with Shane and his group of hooligans.

The rest of the day was uneventful with history and literature lessons. He left for home as soon as the clock struck four in the afternoon.


The next three hours after lessons was Shane’s favorite part of the day, everyday.

He beelined to the changing room and got into his basketball attire. The rest of the basketball team started streaming moments later in batches. They too didn’t waste any time either and started changing.

Shane and a few of his close friends went out first to do warmup consisting of a quick jog around the basketball court, two sets of twenty jumping jacks and two sets of twenty pushups. Once they were done, they loitered around the side of the court until the rest finished their warmup.

The coach, Harvey Fornite, came into the court pushing a cart of basketballs with his assistant and son, Christian Fornite. Christian was a fellow student from ninth grade and didn’t do sport. Instead he was on the school debate team and had won several district-level debates. He only helped out his dad when he doesn’t have to go for practice.

Harvey waited until the last member of team had finished his warmup before blowing his whistle, “Everyone gather up!” Without hesitation, the team members gathered around in front of him and waited for instruction.

“Ok, listen up! Today’s training will be shorter than usual as the school needed this court to host a night gala for the city’s elites. So we will be focusing on your three-pointers and then teamwork. We will use both side of the court to play Around the World for an hour. So spread yourself evenly. After the hour is up, we will play a quick, two rounds of five-versus-five match to see which side can score twenty points first in twelve minutes. The only caveat for this match is nobody is allow to form a group with your own cliques. You are to mix it up amongst yourself. Am I clear?”

The basketball players were unanimous, “Yes coach!”

“Now move!”

Everyone scattered and rearranged themselves along the three-pointer line on both side of the court. Christian took out the ball from the cart and passed a ball to each side. Once the players got their ball, Mr. Fornite blew his whistle.

Shane consistently put his ball through the hoop without fail. It didn’t take much for him to win every round. His teammates on his side of the court struggled and found themselves having to restart from the beginning. Not wanting this teammates to feel left out from winning the game, he took himself out of the game to let them compete amongst themselves.

Another whistle blow and it was time for the five-versus-five match. Shane partnered up with Johnson, Rick, Aaron, and Toby, all of whom didn’t hang out with each other either. They each have their own clique of friends, some were not even on the basketball team.

The match was at first uneventful until Shane’s group scored twelve points in under eight minutes despite the opposing group’s best effort. Tensions started rising amongst members of the other group and one of players, whom Shane knew as Dominic, grew aggressive.

Dominic was about the same height as Shane but much bigger in size due to his weightlifting hobby in addition basketball. Because of his size, his group had picked him to be the defense, which he used to his advantage. The only person who dare to come close to him was Shane.

Shane was dribbling the ball halfway through the opposing group’s court when Dominic came up beside him from the right in an attempt to grab the ball but failed. Shane was faster, more agile. He directed the ball away to his other hand and back in a swift continuous movement. It frustrated Dominic. He tried one more time and failed. When he saw an opportunity, he placed his right foot in a way that caused Shane to trip over yet obscured enough not to trigger a penalty. Due to his momentum, Shane fell to the ground hard and landed on his face, breaking his nose in the process. Dominic took the chance, grabbed the ball and attempted to continue with the game.

Harvey blew his whistle to call a timeout after seeing Shane getting up with a bloodied nose.

Knowing what Dominic did was intentional, Shane approached him during the timeout and his right hand connected to the side of Dominic’s face. Dominic spun around and stumbled before managing to right himself.

“What the fuck was that?” Shane demanded.

“Why the hell you hit me for? It was an accident.”

“We both know that’s not true.”

“You can only blame yourself for being such a clumsy showoff.”

Shane grimaced, “What did you say?”

“You heard me!”

The two of them went at each other with fists flying. The rest of the team had to pull them apart and keep them that way.

Harvey went over fuming, “What the hell are you guys doing? This is supposed to be a friendly match and we are be a team here!”

With a raised voice and finger pointing at Dominic, “He intentionally tripped me up.”

“No. He was too clumsy for his own good. All he could is shoot three-pointers.”

Harvey’s face turned red, “Alright, enough! Both of you are done for the day. Go home and cool it off.”

Both Dominic and Shane kept their distance from each other as they walked out of the court, heading straight for the changing room. In the distance, Harvey called for the game to resume.

After the two were done with their showers and changed to their original clothes, they left the school without even saying a single word.


Shane went up the steps leading to a single story, flat roof rectangular house within a town called Dunk, located six kilometers south of the school. It was one of the poorest towns, where the wealthiest families were living paycheque to paycheque while the poorest had to rely on donations or go hungry for days. The house he was approaching was at least twenty years old judging from the decrepit exterior and moldy steps. Even the main door looked like it could fall apart any time.

He gave the door a quick double knock and waited. No one answered. He tried again and waited. The door opened with a gap wide enough to see who was it. A chain lock remained on the door to prevent anyone from bursting in without warning.


“Shh! My dad is in. He will kill us both.”

“Fine. Where is it?”

“Here,” Dexter put his hand out and revealed a tiny packet containing a mix of green and white powder. “Take it and go.”

“That’s it?” Shane raised an eyebrow, “I thought I told you I want two.”

“That’s all I could get. Now please. Just take it and go.”

“Who’s that at the door?” a male voice yelled from somewhere in the house.

“Just a salesperson. He’s just leaving,” Dexter yelled back.

Not wanting to get into trouble, Shane grabbed the packet, shoved it into the front pocket of his jeans and leave. Dexter’s dad hasn’t been known to be a very nice person to even talk to and had once threatened to blow off his head with a shotgun. Dexter closed the door gently and locked it before creeping back to his room, turning in for the night.

But before he got into bed, he made sure the double bolt sliding lock on his door was in the lock position.

Click here for Chapter 2.

Short Story – Clean Up

Surreal was the best word to describe what Brandon felt as he stood on the parapet overlooking the city below. Thunderstorm raged overhead in the late afternoon sky while massive amount of raindrops fell from the black colossal clouds, pulled and tugged by the strings of Earth gravity. The thunderous clapping of raindrops against the windows and concrete made him believe he was in a concert hall, right after the end of a show.

Like an eagle targeting its prey, he watched a particular group of people as they cross the road towards the opposite building—a church. He was on mission and planned it for months. If he fail to complete this mission, the repercussions would be disastrous.

The group of people looked like any other civilians on the street. In the heavy rain, visibility was low but it didn’t affect him as he was not a human being. He was something more. With his genetically enhanced eyes, he could still see his targets and make out the smallest detail that humans would require a telescope to see.

These people were armed to the teeth with automatic plasma-based weapons and were not of Earth either. They had been hiding amongst the humans, waiting for the opportunity to strike. Their main goal was the destruction of all religions and had been roaming around the galaxy, seeking out religious group to mount attacks against them.

It was not the first time Brandon had crossed path with them and this time, he hoped to put a stop to this menace.

As soon as the group arrived at the church gate, he leapt off the parapet. His feet touched ground seconds later and was not injured despite the height of at least six stories. His landing was softened by his use of telekinesis. Even without that ability, his bones were dense and tough enough to withstand the impact energy from a fall at this height with ease. His rapid healing could also fix any organic damages incurred without any issue.

On the surface, he looked like any other fifteen-year-old but his actual age was at least three times that amount. He stood no taller than sixty-seven inches and was of average build at best. His blemishless, boyish face allowed him to sneak through most places with ease and could get near to his target with without raising an alarm. Everyone believed, on first sight, he was just another child until he attacked at the least expected moment.

Brandon wore a simple black cargo pants, a hooded black jacket with white tees and a pair of canvas shoes. It was his favorite dress code and he never goes anywhere without his hooded jacket.

Though drenched, he never felt cold as his body automatically produced more heat to compensate. Brandon stuffed his hands into the side pockets of his pants with the hood over his head. He walked briskly towards the church while ignoring the stares people gave as they carried umbrellas and hurried across the street. They thought he was one of those spoilt children walking in the rain.

His targeted group entered the church. Brisk walk broke into a sprint as he knew he had only minutes before everyone in the church ended up dead. And It was Sunday. The amount of causalities would be unthinkable.

When Brandon reached the church gates, he rolled up the sleeves of his jacket, revealing two unique armlet-like devices on both of his forearms. They were of different sizes and the one on the left had some blinking lights along the edge.

“Eva, fabricate sword and pistol and switch to battle order 3,” Brandon spoke without specifically looking at anything. Eva was the Artificial Intelligence residing in the devices on Brandon’s left arm.

“Acknowledged. Beginning fabrication. Battle order 3 initiated.”

He yanked the door open. As he stepped through the entrance, a twenty-two inches sword materialized in his left hand. The edges of the sword’s blade glowed with baleful yellow. The sword was made of materials alien to Earth and was extremely durable, able to withstand a direct nuclear blast and light to carry.

Brandon walked in and shouted, “Your attacks on religions end today!”

The group turned around simultaneously. Their faces were hideously disfigured but they had hoods on, preventing the public from having any actual glimpses.

One of them said with a low booming voice, “Ah, a Perfect Child. Even with all your powers, weapons and technology, we will succeed today. Earth will understand that religion is illegal.”

Brandon was never given the chance to response when suddenly; he felt the air behind him changed in pressure. As a Perfect Child, Brandon’s reaction time and senses were at least six times faster than a human being. He knew danger was coming and he sidestepped to see a large battleaxe landed on the floor near his foot. The impact cracked the concrete floor.

He glanced to the side to see a large burly man holding on to the axe. The man had been hiding in the small landing above the main door all the while, and Brandon’s mind immediately sounded alarm. The group had known all along that he would come. So they set up the ambush to kill him first.

A large pistol operating on the principles of electro-magnetism appeared in Brandon’s right hand. Brandon spun, bring his pistol up to shoulder level and he squeezed the trigger. A loud crack echoed as a heavy slug burst out of the barrel at speeds exceeding four times that of sound. The slug slammed into the man’s chest, punching through and exited through the back, severing the spinal column in the process. Blood spewed out of the holes on both side and the man dropped to the ground dead.

However, before the man hit the ground, Brandon had thrown out his sword at the group like it was a shuriken. By then, the congregation had broken up, screaming and cowering in fear from the gunshot. The first two men dodged out of the way but the sword struck and severe two other men’s head. Their neck stump spurted blood as the body dropped to the ground. The sword continued spinning until it was brought down by gravity. It impaled itself against the concrete floor.

Four more men remaining and they pulled out their plasma-based weapons. They aimed their weapons at Brandon and squeezed the triggers. Hot bluish plasma balls flew out of the barrels at high speed but Brandon dodged the shots. The balls struck the door and burned through it, starting a fire.

Brandon jumped onto the benches and gestured with his left hand. Brandon telekinetically pulled the sword out and threw it at the next available target while aiming his pistol at a target on the corridor above him. He fired the pistol just as the sword penetrated through the enemy’s torso and cutting the heart into half. The bullet found the target in the head and splattered brain matter all over. The target was dead before he dropped to the ground with a thud.

All the while, the enemy plasma shots continued to miss Brandon as he leapt from bench to bench, performing his self-created style of gun-sword play. Within minutes, the battle ended and all his target were terminated.

Brandon lingered around for a few minutes when he heard the police sirens. Even against the heavy rain, the sirens were distinct and clear. Someone had called the police. Brandon, not wanting any trouble, disappeared in a blue flash of light, leaving behind the frighten congregation and dead alien bodies.

P.S.: I wrote the initial draft of the story back in 2009 and only found it yesterday. I decided to edit parts of the story to make it read better but I made sure I keep the core of the story.

The Victorious

Author’s Note: This story was submitted previously for Golden Point Award 2011 but never manage to win anything.

Every hour, turquoise-green inverted funnel-like pseudo-structures would appear in space, fifty thousand kilometers from Earth. It was the tearing of space during the opening of a hyperspace window. In the third millennium, such was a common sight. If anyone were to peer in closely through the hole at the center of the structure, past the fury display of ultra-hot multi-colored plasma streaks, they would see a massive tunnel enclosed within a cylindrical pure opalescent blue wall with sliver of white streaks running along the surface. A dark speck could be seen in the middle within seconds of the opening of such window. As soon as one would open his mouth and say ‘A’, the dark speck within would be thrown out at high-hypersonic speeds before the window closed in a dwindling display of whitish-blue light before dissipating into nothingness. Upon materialization in real-space in fractions of a second, this dark speck would grow into spaceships. They came in a variety, ranging from ovoid shapes of fifty meters long to the mammoth oblong rectangles of a kilometer long, five hundred meters tall and forty deep.

One such window opened one-point-four-five million kilometers from Earth, just a short distance from Lagrangian point 1. This window was slightly larger than the average and was of a slightly darker turquoise-emerald color. A short time later, a massive oblong rectangular, almost trapezoid, object shot through the window. The object was a massive ship of nearly one-point-five kilometers long with dark, radar-absorbing paint on its hull. Along the lower section of the hull, almost at the mid-point of the ship’s length, were words painted in white: Victorious, Behemoth-class. White ionized flames shot out of the hundreds of maneuvering thrusters situated along Victorious’s hull while the sixteen rear cone-shaped thrusters reduced their output of ionized flames. A short time later, Victorious came to a complete halt.

The Victorious was the Terran Federation’s premier battleship. As its christened name suggested, it always emerged victorious in any battle it was engaged in. Its tens of missile pods, zero-point energy cannons and MacroLaser turrets would ensure of that. Its Cyclonic-Slapper shield and point-defense systems would ensure no enemy weapons even get close enough to damage the ultra-thick superstructure. Powered by six zero-point engines with four more in reserve, the Victorious’s sublight speed could hit point-six that of light speed and was the fastest battleship known in this sector of space. Its six oversized hyperspace drive cores provided the Victorious the ability to travel hundreds of light years in a single opening of the hyperspace window; most ships would have to drop out of hyperspace after every one hundred light years to ensure their hyperspace drive cores don’t overheat and suffered irreparable damage. Most enemy commanders who encountered the Victorious in the field would initiate a full retreat. Stubborn enough commanders who chose to fight usually never saw the light of the next day again. The ships belonging to these commanders would be obliterated till there weren’t any parts left to salvage or return home.
Due to its legendary status, even with Terran Federation’s military, everyone thought that the captain was some old man with a massive wealth of combat experience. Adding to the mystery was that no one ever saw the true face of the captain, except for Victorious’s seven hundred crewmembers and some of the top officials in the government who kept the Victorious captain’s identity a state secret. Little did they know that at the helm was in fact an eighteen-year-old named Brandon Barrowsky, the Terran Federation President’s second son.

Brandon was standing by the window of the recreational deck when Victorious dropped out of hyperspace, staring out at the vast space. Space around was mostly black with the exception of the light from the Sun and the trade ships that shuttled hundreds of tons of goods between the thousands of colonized worlds of the Terran Federation. If Brandon was looking out for any ship around Victorious, he would find none. There were no other ships within two hundred kilometers of Victorious as many feared it. But that doesn’t mean that it was all alone in this universe. There were many other military ships of similar sizes and equally powerful but none were within range. Most of them were docked at the military outpost. The outpost was a two hundred kilometer wide at its center, a hundred kilometers tall and fifty kilometers structure in a geosynchronous orbit around Earth, servicing countless number of military ships, ranging from resupplies to repairs.

He turned his head gently when he heard footsteps approaching from behind. Once Brandon’s eyes registered who the person was, he recognized the person immediately. The person was a teenager about his age, about the same height as he was at five-foot-seven, with skinny long arms and a handsome, boyish face and dirty blond hair. Every facial feature on the face was placed apart at an optimal distance. He was in fact Brandon’s older twin brother, Jayden.

“Hey, lil’ bro!” Jayden greeted as he raised his hand.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” Brandon asked with a slight irritation in his voice before he turned his attention to the vast black space again.

“Just checking on you. You seemed a little off the whole week.” Jayden said as he approached closer, standing beside Brandon. “Do you want to tell me what’s wrong or do I have to pry it out your head?”

“I’m alright. I just miss home that’s all. I miss the meals that we have together as a family with mom and dad. I’m tired too.”
“Oh, I know how you feel. I’m feeling exactly the same way but—“

Brandon interrupted before Jayden could finish his sentence, “I know we are twins but there’s this difference. I don’t handle such situation with such coolness.”

Jayden bit his lips together and his eyes went shifty. He was suddenly embarrassed by the fact he had to be reminded that his twin brother had this slight difference. He went closer and hugged his brother as he always did whenever his brother was feeling down. And it usually cheered Brandon up. So this time wasn’t any different.

Then the communication devices which hung by their ears began beeping. The communication device was a two centimeter oblong black rectangle a hook at one end, which was used to hook securely to the ear. The two brothers tapped the small button on their respective devices and blue translucent holographic strips appeared in front of their eyes. A turquoise sine wave appeared in each of the strip, signaling that this was a voice-only communication.

“What is it?” the brothers asked in unison.

“Captain Barrowskies, the Chief Admiral is ready to receive,” a husky voice said on the other end. The twins recognized the voice immediately for it belonged to the Chief Communication Officer of the Victorious, a thirty-five-year-old man, Lieutenant John Caviar, who served on the Victorious for the whole of his military life.

“Roger that,” the brothers replied in unison. “Transport us down.”

“Activating Transportation Beam,” John replied.

A few seconds later, the fabric of space-time around each of the twins began to loop onto itself, slowing down time drastically. Objects began to blueshift as photons’ wavelength began to decrease. A small fraction of a second later, they soon found themselves encased in an opalescent ovoid, almost diamond-like exotic energy lattice. It resembled a bird cage made out of pure blue energy. Occasionally, milky-white streaks of energy surged through the empty spaces between the skinny poles of the lattice. Then each pole rapidly widen, merging with its neighbors. And when it was over, each of the twins found himself in a solid and opaque ovoid, almost diamond-like case with opalescent surfaces, which soon rapidly took on darker shades of blue until they became black. It all happened within a second. At quantum level, the wave function which represented the physical location of each of the twins’ quantum lattice—which itself represented all the molecules and their quantum states that defined each person—was transposed. The transposition of the wave function resulted in the swapping of the object’s physical location in real space. When the location swap completed, the process reversed. That was when the twins found themselves in a brown octagonal, tubular room.

The twins didn’t need to study the room as they knew where they were: The Federation Central Fleet Command Transport/Receiver Room. It was where all the transportation of personnel and receiving incoming transportation took place if one was to meet the Chief Admiral of the Federal Space Navy. They were standing on a raised white hexagon platform with three-step stairs protruding out from the middle of each side. Overhead, the polylight strips gave the room a warm white glow and with the white walls, the room took on an ultra modern look. Two Federal military soldiers, dressed in their dark and dull combat exosuits, stood guard by the side of the arch doorway with their gauss automatic carbines pointed at the ceiling and their facial expressions didn’t seemed to reveal anything. They were all straight faced however at the sight of any threat appearing on the transportation platform, they would spring into action without hesitation. The soldiers posted to this facility were of the best from wherever they came from. These soldiers were also further given the Federation’s best genetic modifications therapy to further boost their already superior reaction time, combat abilities, healing and regeneration, and strength prior to their postings. Unlike conventional soldiers, these soldiers were trained to deflect any attempts at telepathic influence or attack. Even the most powerful telepaths on this side of the galaxy could only maintain up to four telepathic influential connections to these soldiers. And that was with extremely intense mental concentration. After thirty minutes, the telepath would either burn out or die from excessive brain hemorrhage.

The twins stepped down from the platform and that was when a man dressed in the Federal Navy’s standard blue uniform came in and greeted them. Genetic modification allowed the man to stay in his late thirties and maintain a slim profile, hiding the actual age of late sixties. His hair had no trace of any whites or grays and was cut to the standard military length. There too weren’t any wrinkles and he was still as suave as the twins remembered during their childhood. He was Rear Admiral Joseph Adam, the Personal Assistant to the Chief Admiral. Despite the title, Personal Assistant, sounded like some secretary of a company, it was in fact a high-ranking military position that deserved respect due to the office he was in. And not just anyone could simply be the Chief Admiral’s Personal Assistant as it would require someone with years of experience and a colonel-equivalent rank or higher. The trio exchanged hugs which were uncommon within the Federal Navy. But because of the twins’ age, the adults always treated them as little kids. In Joseph’s case, he had always been a fatherly figure to the twins especially now that their biological father was always so busy with politics. So in this case, the hugs were more on the personal level. However that didn’t mean there was no mutual respect when it came to official business. Of course, the twins didn’t blame their father for not being around most of the time. They understood completely what his job entailed.

“Admiral Adam, what are you doing here?” Jayden asked, mildly surprised at Admiral Adam’s presence.

“I’ve got some free time and would like to enjoy a conversation as we walk through the corridors,” Joseph replied with a big smile on his face. He gestured to the doorway he just came through earlier with his hand, and the twins went through first with Joseph trailing behind. Upon exiting the doorway, they were walking along the long L-shaped corridor which led to several rooms with arch doors. A large oblong rectangle window took up much of the wall at the far end of the corridor—just before the bend—offering a grand view of the vast metropolitan below. At the end of the bend was the Chief Admiral’s office. As the trio walked, there was total silence and the twins’ walking pace ensured that they were a couple of inches ahead of Joseph. Sensing something was wrong, Joseph picked up his pace and placed his arms on the twins’ shoulders as he walked in between them, “So how have you boys been?”

“We are fine,” Brandon replied quickly, hoping to prevent his brother from divulging what he had been feeling for the past few days. Jayden glared at his brother before looking up at Joseph, who was at least four inches taller than them, “I’m fine but Brandon is not. He’s been feeling down for the past few days onboard the Victorious.”

“No, that’s a lie,” Brandon protested.

“Now, now, boys, be honest.”

“It’s nothing. I’m just exhausted from everything. I just wanna take a break,” Brandon replied. There were tones of sadness and tiredness.

Joseph ruffled the hair on the back of the twins’ heads, “Well, after this, the both of you can go on a long holiday. I believe the crew of the Victorious does deserve some shore leaves, especially after the past few successful missions against the Valsek Empire.”

The twins simply eased into a smile, “Really?”

“Yes, my personal promise. I’ll let the Chief Admiral know.”

For the next five minutes as they went winded through the corridor, they chatted about what had happened so far, sharing some of their experiences. They even had talks on what they thought about the Valsek Empire which brought up a well of emotions that were bottled up within the twins. Their mother was killed during a battle with the Valsek Empire’s legendary Fourth Fleet over two H-congruous planets in the Forhorn System. That was three years ago but the pain was still there. It was also the time when their father decided to leave the military as he was particularly angry at the bureaucrats for requesting the Victorious to focus on small time pirates instead of the actual threat. So their father went on to bid for the president.

The Valsek Empire was a thousand star system wide civilization consisted of mostly silicon-based life form, known as Valsekies, and had been fighting against the Terran Federation since their first contact four hundred years ago. It wasn’t a war over resources but rather because they were simply different life forms. Both sides simply fought out of fear of each other. Countless billions suffered bodyloss, even more suffered crippling wounds and there were millions actual deaths. The bodylosses and the wounds were nothing. Those that suffered bodylosses could easily have their consciousness and memories transferred to re-cloned bodies. Those who suffered missing limps or organs could have parts replaced with lab-grown versions which were derived from the person’s stem cells. But for the twins’ mother, she didn’t want to have anything to do with cloning. She believed that a person should only have one original body. So she didn’t have any consciousness and memory backup. But sometimes, the twins wished that their mother weren’t so stubborn and went for the backup procedure. Now nothing could bring her back. The only satisfying thing that brought some form of comfort to the twins’ emotional roller-coasters was their father’s policy on the Valsek Empire. With their father at the helm, the Terran Federation had been extremely successful in their battles. There were also times when the Terran Federation military brought the fight to the Valsekies, colonizing some of their planets in the process.

Before they knew it, they were standing just outside the large rectangular metal sliding door leading to the Chief Admiral’s office. Joseph stepped forward and slide his hand over the biometric scanner located to the right of the door. The door slid open with a hissing sound as hydraulics did their work and beyond the door was a massive oblong rectangle office that was partitioned into two sections. The first section contains the main office area for administrative staffs and the cubicles housing these staffs were arranged in a grid manner. Behind all that was a medium size room which was the Chief Admiral’s office. There were no windows of any sort in the room. Overhead, polylight strips arranged in a grid manner provided the warm and lighting needed.
Joseph led the twins through the main office area. Some of the staffs greeted them warmly while some ignored their presence and were engrossed in their work. Translucent and large blue holographic screens continuously changed their display contents as fingers danced away at the holographic keyboards of various colors. Before long, they were standing at the Chief Admiral’s oak door and Joseph gave it a light knock. The Chief Admiral answered almost immediately, “Come on in.”

Joseph opened the door and went in first with the twins following behind. The office was yet another oblong rectangle with sparse furniture scattered around. It was much spacious than they initially thought when they saw the way the walls partitioned. There were some natural plants and even a few cacti at the corners of the room. A large brown oak-analogue desk was in the middle with a large holographic screen and keyboard. The Chief Admiral was seated behind the desk, busy typing away at the keyboard when they walked in. There was a sense of trepidation as they were after all in one of the Federation’s most respected office. They walked towards the desk slowly as if they were kids about to be reprimanded. They stopped just a couple of inches behind the three chairs which were placed in a row, in front of the desk. The trio straightened up, saluting and greeted, “Sir.”

The Chief Admiral looked up and his fingers stopped typing. He was in his late nineties but had the appearance of someone in his mid-fifties without the wrinkles and fats. He was a handsome man with brown eyes, an average-sized nose and curly brown hair that was cut to military standard. If he had stood up, he would be at least two inches taller than Joseph and was of a muscular build. The Chief Admiral was also a person who followed strict exercise regime and only eat just enough to fulfill his daily calorie needs. His exercise regime allowed him to be the fittest in this whole office. Unlike most terrans who received gene therapy only after their tenth birthday, the Chief Admiral was a designer child. His genes were tuned towards perfection while he was just an embryo, making him vastly more intelligent than most. He was also much tougher and had rapid regeneration ability. He was also one of the most powerful telepath, almost rivaling the twins. The twins, being fellow designer children, were officially recognized as the Federation’s most powerful human beings alive at the age of fifteen.
The Chief Admiral returned the salute before gesturing with his hand at the chairs.

“Gentleman, please take a seat.”

The trio took their seats and stared intently at the Chief Admiral, waiting with anticipation. Four days ago, Brandon and Jayden with the help of the Victorious and the Federal Intelligence Services located the Valsek Empire’s Fourth Fleet and their next destination. The twins had always wanted revenge on the Fourth Fleet and had in fact spent considerable resources tracking their target’s movements. It was determined that the Fourth Fleet would make a stop at the Caridous System where the enemy had a small refueling outpost. Little did the enemy know the Federation had a small fleet of frigates in the system for a scouting mission; so the frigates were notified of the incoming enemy fleet and they went into hiding within the atmosphere of a gas giant known as GB-X9042 and using the gas giant’s powerful magnetosphere to scramble enemy scanners. That group of frigates had since been reporting back any findings they made. Two days ago, they reported that the Fourth Fleet had arrived and begun their resupply mission. As of two hours ago, the Fourth Fleet was still there. So Brandon and Jayden submitted a mission plan and a request to go after the Fourth Fleet an hour ago. It was a golden opportunity. Not only would the destruction of the Fourth fleet help bring on a sense of payback, it would also help the Federation Navy in general. Without the Fourth Fleet, the Valsek Empire’s Navy would be vastly crippled. For some reason, instead of letting the twins know of his stance on the mission over the Navy TransCOMNET, the Chief Admiral had requested the twins meet him in person. So now, here they are sitting in his office.

“Well, I’ve read through the mission plan and all. The amount of resources devoted to this operation is tremendous even by our standard. And what if the operation fail? We would lose a lot of men and ships—”

“But Sir, it’s the Fourth Fleet. If we don’t deal with them now, they would still be threatening all our future operations—” Jayden said, interrupting the Chief Admiral only to be interrupted himself when the Chief Admiral raised his hand, palm facing them.

“Let me finish, Captain. I didn’t say no to the operation. I asked you to come here personally because of two things. First, I want you two to be able to look me in the eyes and tell me you can do it,” the Chief Admiral said, his voice was still calm. If it was any other senior officers, they would have raised their voice in respond to Jayden’s interruption.
The twins simply looked straight, their faces devoid of any emotions. The air around them began to fill with their confidence, “Yes sir. We can do this.”

“Good. Second, I had made some changes to the battle plan to make it better and stored it in this data disk. I don’t want to pass it to you over the communication network for there might be spies,” the Chief Admiral said as he waved a yellowish, oblong rectangle disk in the air. “Next, I want you to take the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Armada for this mission. They are currently the most combat ready with their full complement of three hundred ships each and all crew positions filled. They are already in position alongside the Victorious. Wipe out the enemy. I want nothing of them left. That’s all.”

Smiles began to form on the twins’ faces but Joseph was still frowning at the idea. He knew about the mission but due to the nature of the Fourth Fleet for they had not lost a single battle even against overwhelming odds, Joseph feared for the safety of the two kids and Victorious. Till now, the Victorious had been their trump card against any enemy forces and if they lose the ship, it might just spell the end of the Federation Navy. But if they won, it would seriously put a major dent in Valsek Empire’s ability to conduct future operations.
“Thank you, Sir. We shall now get ready,” Jayden replied as he grabbed the data disk.
The Chief Admiral nodded, “Good hunting and good luck.”

The trio stood up and saluted which was returned. Then the trio spun around and went out of the office, heading back to the transportation room. On the way there, they didn’t speak much. The twins were still feeling elated and Joseph didn’t feel there was a need to spoil the mood despite how much he was against the mission. Unable to control his emotions, he started pouring out his dread into the surrounding and the twins’ telepathies picked it up. The twins stopped dead in their tracks, forcing Joseph to stop too.

“Admiral Adam, what’s the matter?” Brandon asked as he turned around to face Joseph. Jayden had also turned to face Joseph which made him blushed.

“Er . . . I’m just worried about you boys going out on this mission. It’s extremely dangerous. What if you boys don’t make it back? How the hell am I going to answer to your father?”

“Admiral Adam, don’t worry about us. We will make sure we come back alive. Don’t forget that we still need that break of ours and you promised us,” Brandon said with a smile.
“And the best thing you could do for us is to pray for us though we know there’s no such thing as God. Three thousand years of science had proven that much. Well, whatever it is, let’s just hope that the enemy has no reinforcement. Maybe you could help us along that line,” Jayden added and his facial expression had turned serious.

“I’ll do what I can. Just be careful. When you boys come back, the break will be waiting for you. Just make sure you boys are still alive to use it. Death is definitely not my idea of a holiday break.”

“Ha, we agree. And for insurance sake, we went for a consciousness backup procedure just before we came down here. Those memories of ours are currently en route to the re-cloning facility as we speak. There are of course multiple copies.”

Joseph nodded his head and smile. He gave them a hug each before they proceeded on to the transportation room. The twins got up to the platform and bid their goodbyes. Then Jayden opened a channel to the Victorious with his communication device, “Victorious, we are ready to transport.”

The next thing the twins saw was the familiar sight of the Victorious’s arrow-shaped bridge. At the front of the bridge was the one piece window that offered a view out. Scattered around the bridge in a petal-pattern were computer consoles which the six bridge crewmembers would use for communication, weapon control, shields and many other things critical to the operation of the ship. Hanging overhead was the large central holographic screen which the bridge crew would use to display any important information.
John was standing beside the twins when they appeared on the bridge. Jayden turned to look at him and handed the data disk to him, “it contains the newly updated battle plan. Communicate it to Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Armada. They are joining us in this mission.”
John grabbed the data disk, “Yes sir.” John immediately ran over to this console, plugged in the data disk and started transferring the information to the three armadas via the secure Navy ExoCOMNET. Once all the armada commanders acknowledged they received the battle plan, Brandon opened a secure communication channel to the three armadas from his command post. Jayden meanwhile had the crew ready as soon as the go code was given.

“Attention all commanders! I believe you had received the latest battle plan. So we will operate in accordance to the plan but if the situation calls for it, we will adapt to any changes. We shall not fail in this mission. The operation will commence on my mark,” Brandon said before he paused to scan across the bridge. Every one of them was looking at him full of anticipation. “Mark!”

At that instant, hyperspace windows opened in space in front of the six hundred and one ships. Seconds later, they were all pulled in by the vast gravitation field generated by the windows.


Several hours later, the six hundred and one ships dropped out from hyperspace just two hundred and ten kilometers from the system’s third gas giant. It was twice the size of Jupiter with thick, various blue and white bands of methane gas swirling around the planet at hundreds of kilometers an hour. The same gas giant was home to the Valsek outpost and the three hundred strong Fourth Fleet was in an elliptical orbit around it.

Even as they travelled through hyperspace, the federation ships received constant updates from the hidden frigates. As a result, the six hundred and one ships were able to exit from hyperspace at the precise moment and distance with their weapons already powered up. The ships’ automated target acquisition systems immediately locked on to their targets.

Then the six hundred and one ships fired their weapons. The Valsekies didn’t even have time to react.

Blue laser and gamma beams shot towards their target at near light speeds. Enemy shields shimmered violently in the red and purple spectrum as they tried to deflect the ultra high-energy blasts, releasing ultra-hard radiation in the process. Following closely were quantum missiles with anti-hydrogen warheads. They streaked out of their pods towards their targets at hundreds of gees of acceleration as their ion thrusters shot sizzling hot iridescent ions which resembled miniature shooting stars when viewed from far. The enemy ships’ point defense systems shot out red lasers as their auto-defense system tried their best to take out the incoming missiles. Missiles that got through bypassed the enemy shields in an act similar to quantum tunneling. The missiles exploded within the space between the ships’ superstructures and the shields, blanketing the ships in series of massive scarlet explosions. The ships’ superstructures buckled under the intense explosions. When the explosions died down, spots of charred metal could be seen. The already battered enemy shields began to falter in a display of red and orange flickers. The final nail into the Fourth Fleet’s coffins came in the form of kinetic projectiles shot by the Federation’s zero-point cannons. These silent, relativistic projectiles destroyed their target through sheer kinetic energy and needed no explosives. As projectiles struck their target, energies on the order of several times that of the impact which killed the dinosaur were released. For that brief moment, local space lit up brighter than the parent star.

By the time the explosions died down, only space dust remained. With the mission over, all six hundred and one Federation ships jumped back to hyperspace and went home.

Short Story #1 – New Rising (Part 3)

The reflective drones flew back to wherever they came from. Now it was just Tar’Kari, and the flying machines in the chamber. There was no response of any kind from the machines. The only sound in the chamber was the buzzing generated by the machines as they flew around maintaining the humanoid shape, and footsteps from the people in the expedition group, now walking towards into the chamber.

Tar’Kari did what he knew, treating it like an animal in the wild, he took a step back in a bid to present himself as friendly. Most animals took kindly to that kind of behavior and would be more at ease.

“What are you?” he asked again, straining to maintain his composure.

The tiny machines that formed the mouth area started moving in a female voice, “Your behavior indicated that you think I’m an animal. I’m not. And I’m not a what. I’m a who. Semantics are important. I’m Narka, charge with protecting this place from all threats. So… you are Tar’Kari?” The tiny machines move forward in such a manner that made the humanoid looked like it was taking a step forward, studying him. “Are you sure you are not a threat?”

Swallowing a lump of saliva, Tar’Kari mumbled, “No.”

“Good. Scans indicate that you are a descendant of from someone before the Black Plague. I think you will be happy to be able to meet your great-great-great-great-grandfather after we start cloning him a body. For now, let’s wait for your friends to get down here and we will talk more.”

It didn’t take the members of the expedition to reach the chamber. While waiting, hundreds of drones were deployed and they went out across the planet surface and began their scanning process for lifeforms and potential threats. The results were sent back, correlated and studied extensively. The six expedition members showed visible signs of fear as soon as they reached the chamber when they saw the black humanoid. They wanted to run away. Tar’Kari did his best to assure them that it was safe and they stand their ground.

“Well, it does look like there are thriving communities of people around the planet and the threat is gone. People are still fighting amongst themselves over trivial things,” Narka said nonchalantly. “Anyway, you say you are here to find out more. What would you like to know?”

“You mentioned Black Plague. What do you mean?” Tar’Kari asked.

“Long story short, we were a space-faring civilization and lived on multiple worlds out in the seas of stars. During our exploration expeditions amongst the stars, we encountered what we call Black Plague. We brought some down to this world to study it. An accident happened. It got out and began to take over people’s mind, manipulate their behaviors, and changed them. Soon, we were fighting against these virtually indestructible humans and we lost. All data indicated there were no survivors.”

“What is this place then?”

“While those who could fight fought, the rest of us worked in complete secrecy to build these chambers. They are known as Recovery Vaults where our individual genetic information and minds, and all our combined knowledge are stored. We had hope to restart our civilization and contact our other worlds, assuming they are still out there.”

Tar’Kari couldn’t help but felt extremely excited at the prospect of having more knowledge from this ancient vault. It could benefit his tribe immensely. “Could you share with us more information so that we can bring it back to our tribe?”

“I could but I don’t want to. I want to meet your tribe leaders first.”

He wasn’t sure how his tribe leaders would feel about that. Even though he felt at ease with this thing, he still couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad might happen to his tribe. The others in the chamber were just looking at each other, unsure of what to do next.

Sensing his hesitation, “If I wanted to destroy your tribe, I would have already done that minutes ago. Either I meet with your tribe leaders or you can leave now and don’t come back. If I like what I see or feel about your tribe, I will share more information that would benefit them greatly.”

“Please allow us to discuss this amongst ourselves.”

“Go ahead. I’m not going anywhere.”

Tar’kari and the six expedition members moved away to discuss what to do next. But it didn’t matter that they were whispering. Narka could hear every thing they said. When they finally decided and came back, Narka pretended that she didn’t know anything.

“We will bring you to meet our tribe leaders.”

“Great. Give me a moment to get ready.” During the time they spent walking back with the answer, Narka already had the replicators within the vault clone a body for her stored mind. She also greatly augmented her body with nanites that would allow her to handle any threats, including the Black Plague, with ease. The last several centuries, the artificial intelligences of the vaults across the planet studied and understood everything there was to know about the black plague and that knowledge translated into knowing how to fight them effectively.

When the clone was ready, a circular hole appear in the structure. The humanoid retreated back into the structure and out came an actual female human, clothed in some kind of tight-fitting polymer-based material. In Tar’Kari’s eyes, she was the definition of a goddess with her slim physique, standing at least a head taller, with a completely smooth face and olive skin. Her hair was straight, soft, copper-brown, and ending just an inch below the shoulder.

“I’m good to go,” Narka said as she tried to bundle her hair into a ponytail.

Tar’Kari nodded, turned, and started walking. The rest followed. When they finally reached the main hall, he introduced Narka to the rest, casually omitting the fact that she was originally a machine. He wasn’t sure how the rest would react to that information. The fact that she was there, dressed so differently, taller than anyone already got people both awestruck and concerned.

During the trek back to the village, the cold didn’t affect Narka at all. She just kept going, stopping only when the whole group decided to take a break. She didn’t even eat or drink anything and when offered, she declined. There were moments when she’s alone, she would be in a daze. Unknown to the rest, she was spending most of her time accessing the network that connects the Recovery Vaults and conversing away with the various AIs with her Neural Link Clusters.

As soon as the group reached the village, at Narka’s behest, Tar’Kari led her straight to the tent where the leaders had gathered and they spent the next few hours talking. After the talks, she stepped out of the tent feeling strangely happy. She was able to achieve result. The leaders were very open-minded throughout the talks and more than willing to accept new information as presented. In exchange for sharing their knowledge about the world, the sciences, and everything, all Narka asked on behalf of the awoken stored minds and AIs was that the village provide them an area to setup homes for the cloned bodies hosting these stored minds.

As she was standing there, few meters away from the entrance of tribe leaders’ tent enjoying the snow with her eyes closed, one of the male tribe member approached her. As soon as the person was within five meters, she was alerted to the detection of Black Plague by the passive scanners built into her body.

“What?” she uttered as she swiftly turned to look at the approaching tribe member. “Stay wherever you are!”

“I…I just want…want to give you something,” the tribe member stammered, shocked at Narka’s sudden call.

“Just don’t come any closer. It’s your last warning.”

The tribe member didn’t heed the warning and took a step forward. Narka raised her left hand and fired off a blast of concussive energy, sending the tribe member flying backwards several meters and landed on his back. The blast caught the attention of the whole village and the tribe leaders all came rushing out.

The tribe member got up, seemingly unaffected by the blast, and grinned, “How did you know?”

Narka gritted her teeth and sent a general alert to the Recovery Vault network about the detection of Black Plague. She knew that people infected by Black Plague do not suffer from aging but didn’t expect them to be around anymore. Especially not after the AIs defeated the Black Plague and cleansed the planet eighty years after the last of the non-infected humans died out.

“I just do,” she responded and threw out a sphere-like device, which went into hover position above the Black Plague-infected tribe member, firing an invisible energy field that prevented him from moving a muscle. “We have learned a lot about your kind since our last encounter.” Simultaneously, Narka initiated a wide area scan and found comfort that this was the only Black Plague-infected person in the village.

More information started surfacing from the scans conducted by countless drones flying around the planet indicated that there were many more Black Plague-infected humans, mingling around unsuspecting humans. It became clear that the non-infected had to be protected and informed of the threat. Combat drones were deployed while the stored minds of those who could fight were given cloned but augmented bodies and sent out.

“What’s going on?” Tar’Kari asked as he approached Narka.

“You are looking at a Black Plague-infected person,” she replied still with her arm raised, pointing at the tribe member.

“He can’t be. He has been with us for nearly ten years. We found adopted him into our tribe after we found him wandering in the forest.

“Where did you find him?” Narka asked.

“In the forest further south of our village.”

That information was relayed to Recovery Vaults where the stored minds and AIs would make decision accordingly.

“I will show all of you what a Black Plague look like,” she said and fired highly-focused but powerful concussive energy blast at the host’s legs, destroying both and send a command to the drone hovering above to shutdown the energy field. The now legless host dropped to the snow-covered ground, landing on his stomach. There was no blood of any sort and before long, the stumps started regenerating. It didn’t take long for the legs to be fully regrown and he stood up, grinning evilly at Narka. The rest saw the whole thing and started gasping. They were truly afraid.

Without hesitation, Narka send a command to the drone and encasing the host in some kind of energy field. Not only does the energy field prevented the host body from moving, it also started melting the person by splitting molecular chains and stripping the atoms into their constituent parts, at a rate faster than the Black Plague could repair the body. It only took mere seconds for the whole process to complete and there was nothing left.


Over the next few days, Black Plague hosts were hunted down and destroyed. More resources were expended to look at every nook and cranny of the planet for traces of the Black Plague and there were none. All the stored minds were downloaded and put in respective cloned bodies. The cloned individuals contributed whatever they could to the various villages but largely stayed together in their own gated communities setup across the planet.

Century-old traditions were almost overturned overnight by new information and knowledge, causing bloody revolutions when the tribal leaders refused to accept. Messages were sent to previously known communication channels used via hyperspace, hoping to catch the attention of the ancient ones’ civilization, which was subsequently known to be Salakic Confederation, a collection of worlds that had their own governments with relatively large amount of autonomy.

It didn’t take long for the messages to reach their intended audience and a fleet of spaceships arriving in orbit over the planet.

The world of Waylyka was finally back in the Salakic Confederation.