The object rose and fell, rose and fell. It’s smooth, black edges caught the final light of the Stungett, randomly, and decorated the surrounding foliage with arty light. Foo stared at the rhythmic movement of the object with total fascination in his huge green eyes. His tail twitched and a shiver ran up his spine. He raised his hind legs and then repositioned his tail before sitting again in the warm dirt of late evening. The dirt would cool overnight. Temperatures could hit minus sixty overnight and if there’s a wind it can be hell. Foo hoped it didn’t get much colder than minus ten or fifteen tonight. Bor didn’t care how cold it got. There was murder in Bor’s eyes and although Foo never said so, he was quite agitated by it. That was the main reason his focus was trained on the rise and fall of the object Bor seemed quite fond of. Several time’s words would seem to hit a volume barrier just outside his lips, bouncing his inquiries and curious thoughts back. The rest of the cats were spread out in the Ficusth tree’s on either side of the narrow path Kevin had led them too through a telemap service, (first month free) he pirated from the universal archive. Bor regarded the glowing eyes decorating the area and his brow furrowed. The Stungett was all but lost to other areas of the planet. A purple glow streaked across the portion of cloudless sky Bor could see through the trees. A weak wind rustled some leaves and threw some dirt, but somewhere inside these sounds Bor thought he could hear something else. He caught the black rounded object and held his hand up in the air. Every cat in the area stiffened and silenced. The sounds around them grew very loud. Foo slowly raised his eyes from where the object had been to where Bor’s concerned, murderous, flushed face protruded from his thick neck. He wondered if he had somehow become hypnotized by the object. He also considered whether this was intentional or not. Bor was a mystery sometimes. The earth was being disturbed farther up the path. Accompanying the sounds of disturbed earth Bor could hear fast, heavy breathing coming from several sources. He knew what was coming before the message was relayed from scouts at the head of the path. Dogs. Lots of them. Bor waved his arm back and forth a few times and then pointed upwards before climbing the tree he had been leaning against moments ago. He moved with much effort while Foo watched from a branch halfway up. His accent had come much easier. When Bor reached the same branch his forehead was running with perspiration and his breathing was hard. Foo found his way through the volume barrier with a two word question. “You okay?” Bor glared at Foo for a brief moment before settling his balance, turning and surveying the path from this new elevated position. The sounds seemed fainter up in the tree. Bor supposed the path was a wind tunnel and most of the sound rushed past at a lower level. But there was no mistaking what he could hear. He watched a few trees over as cats relayed a message that would eventually find its way to him through eye blinks. They would have to refrain from telepathic use until Andelad Mot and Bohspox fired up the tunes, lest they give up their surprise. Up in the trees they still had a chance to avoid detection until they Men in Suits were below them and the music was playing. A loud squawk ripped through the silence . Bor looked in the direction of the noise and saw a large black bird perched above a row of cats. The cats looked up at the bird and then at Bor for direction. He shook his head and reached into his pocket for the object. The cats looked on.
“Please. Let’s stop for a moment and rest,” Bohspox pleaded. His shoulders slumped in a defeated fashion and he regarded Andelad Mot from beneath a weary brow. Sweat ran along the edge of his loose jaw and dampened the neckline of his cotton shirt. They had been climbing and leaping along the rooves of buildings for the past forty minutes, slowly making their way closer to the flashing blue beacon at the top of the control tower. The Stungett made its way deeper into the horizon, painting the sky with bruises and lighting the horizon on fire. Andelad Mot halted at Bohspox plea and regarded this fire thoughtfully. The consideration of a reply did not present itself anywhere in his body language and his silence was full of impatience. He did not turn out of fear Bohspox would read the thoughts he had through his eyes. Little did he know that Bohspox had read just that in his silence no less. He just didn’t care. He flopped down on an air vent protruding from the flat roof of the building they stood on. They hadn’t seen the dogs in nearly twenty minutes. Andelad Mot had heard one single bark from a distance but nothing otherwise. The only other sound was the growing Easterly wind that ruffled the long hairs toppling from his small head. It whistled and whined through the alleyways and window panes surrounding them. “Have you considered that we will be expected? The dogs couldn’t be coincidence. They did not look starving or unkempt,” Bohspox said and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt. It only took seconds for the perspiration to reappear and begin to run again. He regarded the Stungett and hoped its disappearance brought with it cooler temperatures. “Oh they’re expecting us my good friend. They are just counting on us not expecting them. Their plan with the dogs was not to kill us. It was to drive us higher so they could watch our approach. I can feel their eyes on us as we speak,” Andelad Mot said flatly and continued to stare into the horizon. “Not sure about that. The dogs did look as though they would have pealed us like bumble fruit if they got close enough.” “Yes and if they did get us it would be of no care to them. One less thing to worry about. But if they didn’t get us they would know where we were coming from. Little do they know that we have this.” Andelad Mot pulled a small device from a side pocket on his jacket. The device was circular in shape and transparent except for a small black button in the centre. “What is it?” Bohspox asked, remaining in his resting position. The heat in his legs finally began to abate. A throbbing sensation ran along his outer left thigh. He rubbed at it as he listened to Andelad Mot. “It’s a projection ball. Remember when we played on Suflagone D78?” A small smirk appeared at the corner of Bohspox’s mouth. A breeze cooled his forehead and a heavier darkness was suddenly recognized as the Stungett began to disappear into the desert. Realization dawned on his face. His exhaustion found somewhere else to go. He stood and looked into his friends eyes. “I could kiss you right now.” Andelad Mot looked horrified.
The Stugett hovered over the East hills, sickly distributing it’s failing light over the reddish horizon as day began to fall. Shadows crawled along the edges of sharp rocks, distorting, dimming and contorting over every other object like a river of molasses. Stars, far and near, began to poke through the black sky, winking and sparkling fantastically. Animals crawled into caves. Birds flew into trees. Brightness bloomed in the distance, accompanied by inebriated shouts of joy and celebration. The party was into its second hour. Where Okmar and Solith’s house once stood, unmanned machinery continued to purr and hum in its auto state as the factory waited for the following day. Suddenly a new sound. A low rumble as the rock face of a cliff, west of the factory began to rise from the dusty ground, revealing a dark hollow. Ghostly shapes began to appear in this darkness. Ghostly faces hovering in deep dark. The day had come. Okmar’s smiling face bobbed into existence, followed by many others; these wearing blank expressions. They marched in single file, drawing a line in the dimming light across the horizon; each step in sync, thudding on the hard ground in a hypnotic, repetitive pattern. The line zigged and zagged its way west, in the direction of celebration. Okmar’s eye extended and bobbed with his movements. It rose ten feet into the air and turned to regard the line of Bicilites following, drawing a ghastly shadow in the red dirt. Okmar could feel his heart begin to accelerate in his chest. His smile began to hurt, but it would not dissipate. This was his day. He had risen from the dead with purpose. Nothing would stop him. Anything that tried would leave this world for the next. Judgment day had come for the residents of this dying planet and Okmar couldn’t hide his excitement.
There was a lengthy silence following his father’s words as he considered them carefully. His father sat at the foot of the bed and patiently awaited a response from his son. Okmar’s eye stretched out as he turned to face his father. “The torment would come from the knowing that these ignorant, useless creatures passed on by any natural occurrence regardless of its painful extent. The only way to quell these voices and move on to fresh pastures is to rid them. The only way to do so and maintain any form of sanity is to do it myself. I want to smell their burning flesh. I want to dance around the fire with my men and sing into the night sky one last time. I want to cut off Draxle’s wifes head and rub it in his face. I want to feel Draxles pulsing throat in the palm of my hands. I want to watch his eyes topple from their sockets as I squeeze. There is nothing else I can do to move on harboring any inkling of sanity. If they are to die anyway where does the real harm lie? There is no god father. I have been presented an opportunity I will not waste. I will not feel bad about it. In fact I may feel a whole lot better.” Solith regarded his son levelly for an entire minute and Okmar noticed the second of fear that glistened in those eyes before he turned away and silently floated back into the darkness from which he came. “Remember that I love you Okmar. Remember that I will always love you,” were the words that floated to Okmar as his father disappeared into the darkness. Okmar stared into the corner for a time. The voices stopped suddenly. A peace crept over his pale, tight skin. He lay back down and closed his eye. His other retracted and nestled into the socket. Okmar was asleep immediately, unconsciously wearing a smile.
When Solith spoke from the dark corner of the room Okmar lay awake in, his eye shot out and protruded defensively at full extension. Okmar followed his eye to a sitting position. “Hello father.” “Hello son.” A long silence followed in which the flesh from his eye slowly receded until it was a four inch protrusion, a predator in waiting. Solith broke the silence with words Okmar had not expected to hear. “I love you very much Okmar. Life has always been hard for us. I often wonder how much different it would have been had your mother not passed. I can’t help but believe it would have been much better. She would have leveled it out somehow. I may have made mistakes but I want you to know that my heart was always true. You were always my number one priority. I owed it to your mother. How I loved her Okmar. I am so very proud of you. I will stand behind your decisions whichever they may be for blood is blood, but I want you to know that violence is not the answer. I have witnessed too much proof of this for it not to be true. There is always more than one way to deal with uncomfortable situations. Killing Draxle will not bring me back or make you feel any better. Burning seven hundred Bicilites will do nothing but reduce your existence. The planet is dying on its own. God is taking care of it for you. I don’t imagine the Stungett will last much longer than ten more years. The surviving Bicilites will be lost in the darkness, freezing and starving to their death without your assistance. You could walk into town with your men and easily take control of it. Force them to understand their coming extinction and convince them that a move is the only way to survive. You can be the voice of reason. A future hero. Or you could just up and leave with your men. No one would know any different. You’ve been thought dead for ten years anyway. The universe is huge son. Even with your new capabilities and strengths, discovering all of it is near impossible. You would have many things to keep you occupied. You may even find love somewhere. You can do all of this without washing yourself in the blood of your people. In the end the choice is obviously yours. I am dead after all. There is nothing I could do either way. I am simply offering you choices. Any choice you make will have no effect on my love for you. I don’t want to witness a life of torment and pain for the only remaining blood left in the universe.”
Solith came to Okmar one final time before the cave, the planet and its occupants became a thing of the past. Okmar had trouble going to sleep that night. His heart rate wouldn’t level out. Blood flew through his veins fast enough to heat his arms and neck. He replayed scenarios of anticipated future events in a lazy attempt at burying the boring, over dramatic ramblings of those who found their way into his head. Draxle, the town’s religious minister found his way into these fantasies often. Over the past decade Okmar had been forced to hear a constant and relentless outpouring of degrading and insulting comments concerning his father from this Bicilite. Respected and often confided in, Draxle spent the time he had away from his religious practice helping those in need. He fed those who needed feeding. He housed those who could not do so themselves. He and Solith never seemed to see eye to eye. Solith’s science and insatiable love for new information stood against Draxle and the majority of the Bicilite populations beliefs. Solith had never officially been banished from the city itself but had been pushed out by a series of uncomfortable situations that continued to arise randomly. It seemed that Solith’s acceptance had pushed Draxle to another level of irritation. Instead of supplying relief, Solith’s ignorant abandonment of his people drove Draxle nuts for weeks. That had been the root of his hate for the man. The large majority of those residing within city limits contributed to its growth in some fashion or other. Solith’s contribution attempts were always outlandish and beyond most Bicilites ability to visualize. Mass ignorance slowly crept into Solith’s presentations of a new device, or a new method. Towards the end, Solith’s walks to the stage would be met with a deafening chorus of boo’s that continued through his words, drowning them out; wasting them. Okmar had to be removed from the education system. Solith was forced to home school him. He packed everything they owned and moved it to a small plot of land, beyond the east hills over a four day period where stood the house Solith’s parents had lived in when he was a young one. It turned out to be a great relief to both of them. Although Okmar was forced to spend a lot of time alone it did not seem to bother him at all. Solith was very proud of his son’s imagination. His son content presented Solith with plenty of free time to experiment further on the plethora of possibilities he planned on explaining before the day he moved on. And so had life been for a long time. Solith and Okmar. Now his father was dead. Ten years dead. His brilliance and devotion lost in a pointless accident caused by his own son. The idiots had won again. They continued to celebrate their made up holidays. They continued to pedal their pointless objects. They continued to promote their pointless religious views. They continued to break their backs, pointlessly. Nothing changed ever. Including Draxle’s hate for Solith. Almost daily he would think or speak something terribly insulting about Okmars father. These words became a drop of water on Okmar’s forehead, slowly driving him crazy for something savage.
Duplication was a simple process once one developed a rhythm. Hours turned into days into weeks into months into years. Okmar rarely slept. Instead he would fall into trance like states that would sometimes eat into two to four hours. In these states his mind would add pictures and scenarios to the constant bombardments of thoughts he received from random areas of the Universe. In wakeful states he was able to organize and control the direction he wished his mind to reach with terrifying exactness. In these states of un wakefulness it was as though he were being provided options. He would come out of these states slowly and with a perfect memory of said options. He would spend hours, while working, contemplating these options. They were obvious options for a being with a big heart and good intentions that had capabilities beyond the average Joe. Okmar considered these options heavily, recognizing the obvious warning against his true intentions. He was at a loss as to where these options came from or who/what provided them. He did not dwell on this however. Only God’s were left with no mystery and the ability to distribute it. Okmar did not consider himself a God. He simply considered himself lucky enough to have received a gift of such proportions at a time when his life achieved purpose. Almost ten years to the day Okmar began to administer the final antibodies and to remove the life support systems from each clone. Several broke into arrhythmia during this process. He was able to revive four of them but lost two to massive coronary failure. Six of them had developed lung problems, but none of them died. Two of them continued to display this breathing ailment but he was able to diffuse the problem with a careful balance of drugs provided by his expanded knowledge. The others simply absorbed the problem. In total, out of the hundred eggs he fertilized he stood, quite proud, before the ninety two perfectly healthy clones, rubbing his hands together and allowing his mind to wander to the party. The party was only six days away. That was the day Okmar would lead his army from the underground bunker and exact his revenge.
Beyond the large room containing the two levels of file cabinets was a vast empty warehouse type space filled with tools, medical machinery, vitamins and other useful gadgets one would require in building a new, more suited race to repair what surely was a dour universal impression. He worked quickly. The process was original and he operated with the precision of a veteran surgeon. Year five was the year he became father and master to one hundred of his new race. Using the information that continually poured into his brain he developed a cloning method that cut the growth time in half. One hundred rolling stretchers, organized and placed in a nearly perfect way housed the embryos as they developed into full grown soldier slaves during the final five years of Okmar’s assumed passing. You may wonder how Okmar was physically and psychologically capable of germinating, regulating and monitoring the cloning of one hundred Bicilites, while in a manic state, suffering from hallucinations, conversing with ghosts, often inebriated and your skepticism would be valid. The wealth of technology stored in the lab made the regulating and monitoring simple. The germinating was a different story however. Each egg had to be manually inseminated due to the fact that the egg sack was opaque and the egg was only located in the same place one out of every seven times. You may be wondering where Okmar managed to get his hands on one hundred unfertilized Bicilite eggs and this would also be a valid curiosity. Beyond the laboratory there was a giant walk in refrigerated chamber. Along the walls, catalogued to perfection were small drawers containing the DNA of every creature Solith had ever come in contact with. Okmar strolled with wide eyes in a dreamy state of disbelief. The soft blue haze that fell from the lights in the ceiling projected the names and codes from each drawer in an amazing 3D optical way. Okmar read each creature name with a growing, humble appreciation for his father. His entire life’s work was down here and the scope of that work was nothing short of unbelievable. He slowed his walk and halted at B 1240. He stared at the drawer for a very long time before slowly reaching up and pulling it from the wall. It came completely loose, much as a safety security box would, but was lit from the inside and it was made of glass. Okmar stared at its contents and his brain began to work. Next to a blood slide was a smaller capsule with an unfertilized egg inside. Okmar’s mothers unfertilized egg.
He soaked up the words from every page, eager for more, greedy for them. Equations and hypothesis danced in his brains. Compound concoctions. Farming solutions. Matter duplication operations. Language barriers. Psychological manipulation. Physical reanimation. War and art. Sounds. Musical manipulations. Telekinesis. When he reached any point of non understanding he quickly found it natural to close his eyes and reach out with his thoughts and lift understanding from some other, more educated brain. He never questioned this ability and never fell upon any information in the cabinets his father had directed him too concerning it. In the beginning it had been difficult, and at times would knock him into long states of unconsciousness. But over time the ability seemed to grow stronger and become easier to use as though Okmars body were adjusting to the weight of this new ability. Sometimes he would see his father. Solith never spoke much. It was Okmar who did most of the talking. Sometimes he would babble for hours and then look up to see the empty office and question his sanity. His left eye was his only friend during the ten years he remained under ground. It would extend and comfort him during emotional struggles, it would assist him when he was exhausted and it would listen when no one else was there. Okmar supposed he had gone a little insane but accepted this change and used it to his advantage. Seclusion, information, hallucinations, anger, sadness, alcohol and the ability to read random thoughts throughout the universe could certainly breed insanity in any creature but it can also breed many other things. It was year five that Okmar began to develop a plan to avenge his father’s death which he’d convinced himself in year three had been caused by all residents of Bicilite. They had passed off his father’s death as though it were nothing. Some were even joyous at the news. The government had seized their property, filled in the crater and developed a new plant for converting Bicilite to fuel. This had angered Okmar beyond belief. This was a dying race. Sometimes Okmar felt sorry for them and their small thoughts. What a waste of brain he would think. Dwelling on these unfortunates bred a layered loathing. His race should be leagues ahead of everything in the universe. If more had been like his father it would be.
When Onun appeared Z was unsure if he was really there. His head was swimming with delirium and his face hurt something awful. He actually attempted to move and ask for assistance even though the identity of the character was no secret to him, but it was a failed attempt. He watched the legendary Onun crouch down and inspect the impressions in the sand where Murphy had fallen. His head turned in the direction of footprints in the sand in a slow calculated way. Z watched as his mind continually battled with consciousness. His claws would extend and retract into the warm sand and his vision would wobble like television interference. He closed his eye against the terrible swimming in his head and slowly reopened it just as Onun blasted away in the direction of Murphy’s footprints. He moved away so fast that Z thought he had disappeared at first. Small dust tornados sprung up where Onun had been and a soft warm wind passed through Z’s clumpy fur. He dragged himself out from under the broken machinery and into the sun. He made it to the impression Murphy had made and noticed a Nicker weed sprouting from a small hole. Judging by these impressions in the sand, this was where Church had tumbled when Murphy fell. Z dragged himself into the hole and plucked the Nicker weed from the sand. As he began to use the weed his mind began to clear as the pain subsided. Following a few thankful moments his mind cleared enough to realize what was in the direction Murphy, Onun and Church had gone. An angry darkness spread through his face. He pushed all of this newly acquired information in the direction of Okmar’s thought sponge but received no response. Maybe they had gotten to him. Maybe they actually got to him. Z cringed at the first movement but found it easier each time he struggled forward. The hot Stungett beat down on him as he dragged his broken body, through the sand. When he crested the small rise he looked back at the smoking wreckage and the cluster of buildings in the distance. He pushed out one final thought before rolling over the peak of the hill. ‘The Pools.’