Situation Prompt :: “We Are Earth”

Note: For those of you following my Story-A-Day-May yarns, you know I’ve been keeping to a strict >1500 word count. However the rules of this particular prompt allowed a flex of >2000 words and I flexed with it for the fun of it. However, all the rest of the stories for this month will be the usual >1500 word count. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this tale!

** ** **

27, 28, 29, 30.

Sweat flung to the farthest reaches of the tiny room.

58, 59, 60.

The walls of the Training Box began to glow the warm hue of fresh strawberries in the height of summer; a warning. Critical body fatigue fast approaching.

83, 84.

Scissoring veins spasmed with the effort of maintaining solid hold upon the Gravitic-Grip-Resistors. The GGRs were specifically designed to expand the human capability for stimulated muscle growth by working against the pull of gravity itself to various, programmable degrees.

108, 109, 110.

Trembling fingers unclenched. The GGR interface rails clanged to the ground. The Training Box was a choking mass of sweat and hotly burning exhaustion, clouding the walls and visual sensors. A high-pitched, whiny voice came through the internal com systems.

“Sir? Sir.”

The man’s thick muscles coiled down his back, blazing trails of sweat in every direction. His breath was shallow, unable to summon sufficient amounts of oxygen to replenish his body, every nerve on fire beneath the weighted fitness suit encasing him from head to toe. Blackness hovered at the edges of his vision. He closed his eyes; a momentary reprieve.

“Sir? Mr. President! … Sir?”

President Ward opened his eyes, steely resolve cutting through the weariness of body and mind. He exhaled defiantly, reaching out a single hand, thumbing up the temperature of the room. The walls responded accordingly, shifting from happy red to a sickeningly blood stained pallor. If you want to go farther than anyone, you have to train better than everyone.

“I’m training Tollie. I will be with you in five minutes.”

Tollie’s nervous fidgeting was palpable.

“But. Sir. Mr. President. Sir.”

More fidgeting.

“I. Um. Well. I think there’s something you need to see.”

** ** **
My name is Damian Darkclaw.
Well that’s a little pretentious isn’t it?

I am a virus.
What kind of virus?

The kind which cannot be undone once unleashed.
Like Pandora’s box?

Pandora dare not utter my name.
That’s scary.

My name is Damian Darkclaw.
What do you want with me?

You have been selected.
Computer programs can’t select people dude.

You have been selected.
Lol Come on. What’s your REAL name.

You have been selected.
Fine. “Selected” for what.

As my liaison.
What are you talking about.

You will go to the council.
Wait- THE council? They’ll never admit me in a hundred cycles!

You will go. You will insist that Measure 19J90 be passed.
They’ll never go for it. Measure 19J90 is considered invalid.

You will go. You will be admitted. You will insist.
Why would they admit me? And what happens if I don’t?

You have something they want.
… what happens if I don’t?

You will die.
I don’t want to do this.

You have been selected.
You have been selected.
You have been selected.

** ** **
Tollie closed his eyes and counted to ten slowly; President Ward didn’t exactly scare him per se, but he radiated a natural aura of intense power that Tollie had never experienced before with anybody else. Ten. Tollie opened his eyes. President Ward was still staring at the notice Tollie had received via Ionic Courier mere hours ago.

“Tollie.”

The President’s personal assistant looked up anxiously.

“You need to leave the room. Now.”

Something in the President’s voice sent him scurrying away without a second thought or a moment to ask a question. President Ward spun away from the slamming door and paced slowly over to the giant window overlooking the courtyard of the Grand Establishment that housed him and miscellaneous other organizations critical to running this country. His lips curled reflexively, eyes harder than Asgaardian ice crystals. Waves of fury rippled out from him, invisible pulses of energy warping the atmosphere of the room.

He exhaled.
And the energy buildup dissipated instantly.

He spun back to his desk, eyes vowing torture for the soul daring to cross him. He sat and removed the eagle ornamented faceplate that appeared engraved into the top of the desk itself.

A screen presented its silvery features to him, surface undulating gently with the eddying currents of electro-data darting around. A red circle glowed interminably in the upper right hand corner until he covered it with his index finger. The screen immediately shifted, painting his desktop with a crisply lambent reconstruction of widely varied, assembled personage. President Ward knew his own upper body was being projected similarly in the special room where the others were gathered. Fifty faces peered curiously at him; he fought to contain the fire threatening to leap from his eyes.

“You can’t do this.”
“Can’t do… what?

That was Gar’Fundel. Arrogant as ever. President Ward suppressed a sneer. Gar’Fundel, a very high-ranking Nemnis from the Castalorian Sector, was the sole heir of his father Kar’Fundel. It was Kar’Fundel who had discovered a seemingly bottomless well of Ashki- living energy- on the twin moons orbiting their planet. Ever since then, an ever widening circle of planetary regions had been in high demand of the stuff, because it was the quintessential power source; it operated faster than brain impulses and carried more power than any military warhead from any of the galaxies protected under the umbrella of the Arias Domain.

“You cannot just elect to cull us. I am President Ambassador of Earth and I will not allow-“
“You are President Ambassador because we chose you to be. “

A yellowish-gray female with bobbing tentacles and bulging eyes cut in sweetly.

“We trust you. The darkness of your skin echoes relentlessly of regality. We like that. And so we chose you.”

Gar’Fundel cut back in.

“However. We are the Council of Sentient Species. We can do whatever we want.”

“Including placing genocide grade restrictions upon a planet unflinchingly loyal to the Arias Domain and bearing no unnecessary difficulties toward said council?” President Ward thundered. “And without consulting leader of that planet?” His lips thinned. “You. Can’t. Do this.”

Gar’Fundel made a dismissive gesture.

“We can. And we have. It is done. We have more pressing matters at hand President Ward. You may stay if you so choose, but if you have urgencies to attend to, I understand.”

President Ward fumed silently.
A young, ginger haired male appeared in the hologram before him.

“H-hi. My name is… well my name doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that- Measure 19J90 MUST be passed.”

I believe we can be of service to each other.

President Ward looked at the text scrolling across his screen. His eyes narrowed. Gar’Fundel’s voice filtered into his consciousness in the background.

“Young man. As I’ve just finished explaining to a colleague of mine… we are the Council of Sentient Species. We don’t HAVE to do anything. You were admitted for one reason and one reason only- you knew the secret word that only five in this room know. Now. What do you want.”

They’re not going to listen to him. He is already dead. But you are not President Ward. You are very much alive. And I can work with that.

President Ward flexed his jaw.
What an incredibly complex day this was turning out to be.

“I’ve already told you what I want. Pass Measure 19J90 or suffer the consequences.”

Gar’Fundel nearly came out of his chair with indignation.

“Did you just threaten the Council boy?”
“I made no threat Gar’Fundel. I expressed my will.”

President Ward. There isn’t much time.

What do you want.

You are not afraid of me. Good.
I know who you are.

Then you know what I want.
I know it’s impossible.

You humans excel in not seeing the big picture… the potential of things.

“That Measure will never pass. Technology is no more than elegantly fashioned stone. Wood. Dirt. Technology is a tool. And the programs which run them are servant to whosoever wields that tool. We will never grant them a seat on this Council or affirm the rights of their so called sentience.”

The moment fast approaches President Ward. I can help you save your people. I can help you deny the culling.
Yes, but at what cost? You would only turn on us in the end.

I solemnly swear to you amnesty of the Ally’s Oath.
Supposing I believed you. This is still impossible.

Nothing is impossible President Ward. Do we have a deal?
Yes. But if you double cross me, I swear I will destroy you.

President Ward thought he heard a faint chuckling in his ears.

** ** **

It is time.

The young man felt the virus deep in his brain.
This alarmed him greatly.

Thank you for your service.
You were a most satisfactory selection.

Blue and white lines began to trace themselves along the contour of his body. The Council leaped to their feet, Gar’Fundel’s long fingers stabbing forcefully on the security button.

Nothing happened.

The blue white light warped the ginger haired boy’s visage into a mirage for a moment, then violently ripped him apart, surging across the room.

“We are BETRAYED!”

The crackling blue-white light began arcing from member to member of the Council.

“NO,” it howled mechanically, “You are infected.

Every seat holder on the Council of Sentient Species, established for the governance and regulation of all planets and realms within the Arias Domain- with the exception of President Ward- were utterly consumed by the crackling beam. Gar’Fundel, the last one absorbed into this web of sizzling light was the only one who actually saw what was happening. As each species ambassador was killed, their flesh was sucked into a swirling vortex raging in the center of the room; a vortex blending all of the fleshly appendages into one horrid, galling body. Gar’Fundel vomited.

And then was no more.

** ** **
Tollie looked aghast.

“What?”

President Ward paced grimly before him.

“I didn’t know he’d do that. I had no idea he’d already figured out how to self sustain- at least for a limited time- inside biological life forms.”
“But he did.”
“And he still is.”
“And you made a deal with him.”
“To save billions of earth lives.”
“But what have you unleashed in the process?”

President Ward stopped pacing and placed his hand on Tollie’s shoulder. He looked deep into his aide’s eyes- one green, one blue.

Sine die vox terminus. Kube umuntu onguye ngempela.”

A shudder passed over him, illuminating those multicolored eyes with a new light.

“This is why I’m calling in my favor with you Tollie. I have to keep my deal with Damian. He wants access to Kar’Fundel’s Ashki reserve. I believe that will grant him full sentience.”

Tollie winced.

“And let him grant sentience to all other computer programs too.” President Ward nodded as Tollie mused on. “This was probably always his plan. Measure 19J90 would’ve just made it easier to accomplish- he wouldn’t have had to cut a deal with you.”

President Ward squeezed his shoulder again, feeling the Earth nature of his aide slip further and further away.

“Exactly. So you have to go Tollie. You’re the only one of us who can. You have to travel beyond the Arias Domain and enlist the help of the Celestial Fathers.”

Tollie snorted.

“They’ll never listen to a half-breed.”
“They have to.”
“And if they don’t?”

President Ward dropped his arm and shrugged; sadness in his eyes.

“If they don’t… well… you know how those primitive 20th century tales go… it’ll be the end of the world.”

President Ward paused.

“The end of all worlds.”
###

Joshua Evans is a prolific writer and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast who believes story is central to everything and that mythology can change the world. He currently hosts two youtube shows- The Truth About Superheroes and Comic of the Week. If you would like to further be a part of his cosmic psyche, you can join him on Twitter and Instagram (@comicsinspire) or simply subscribe to this story reel… and remember- sharing is caring! Cheers!