I glare out from the cell that holds me.
"I'm in here!"
"Good. Bye. We'll come get your corpse, of course, of course!"
They killed the Queen of Mongo!!!
Oh, my gosh, this means war! We're at war with the entire galaxy, a GALAXY WAR!!!
No, no, no, wait a minute. That's just a flesh wound. They're taking hostages.
They're leaving, absconding with Queen Jansa. They're just going to leave me here to starve to death and then come back for my dead body with which to create ghastly doppelgangers from the abyss. I'm so scared.
I hit the wall with full force and the bricks break upon my bare knuckles and fly into the faces of some straggling supermodels.
"AAAA!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!""AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAA!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!""AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAA!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!""AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAA!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!""AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAA!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!" "AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!""AAAAAGH!!" "AAAGH!!"
I block out the cries of agony and continue thrashing. Punch in the head. Kick in the stomach. Jab to the jugular. Stab in the side. Stick in the grill.
And so on and so forth, until...
I kick another girl in the stomach. She catches my foot and spins.
--in the air--
--at speeds estimated by myself at ninety miles an hour, but it's pretty hard to judge.
I spin in mid-air for what seems like an eternity. I utilize the time to clear my head. Focus. One slip up and I'm dead. Make no miracles, and galactic war becomes unavoidable.
I remember what Mars thought to me of time.
"Time is like the ocean."
I didn't know what he meant, but now I do.
I focus on my breathing. As the ground approaches, I put out my hands and break my fall without a 1/100th of a second's thought.
I focus on my hand as it punches the only remaining clone in face. I take her teleportation GPS box and...
... away, I go!
As my matter fades, my mind feels with a warming calm. I'm channeling my acrenaline. I can feel myself grow stronger.
I start to see shapes. I'm on the crest of a long mountain range.
The sun is high in the sky. It beats down on me with mid-day heat.
The distant ground below wiggles back and fortha nd I disorient. I feel the adrenaline rushing into me.
I regain my balance and above my head floats around one of the girls. I feel like I'll vomit. I fall to the ground.
The slight noise I made shows up as a blip on her viewscreen and she approaches. I hear her...
The woman, my would-be attacker, approaches. Twigs crunch beneath her heals, and leaves snap. Rocks break. How strong is this woman? My adrenal gland beats anew.
I pounce on the unready victim. I tear into her neck and snap her like so much paper. I scare myself with my unknown strength. I wanted but to gather information.
I continue along my way. A new day has dawned, yet again. And, it is my duty to see that it is not exinguished by evil's might.
I hear Jansa's voice in my head. I think back to the woman I killed prior. Tears well up, but I refuse. I'm going to consumate my relationship with Jansa whether she wants me to do so or not. And then, I will be King of Outer Mongo...
As I tread the mountain ledge, the thin veil across reality flutters in the wind like only so much detritus.
My mind is calm. Although day, I feel night.
of nowhere racks me in the balls!
I fall helpless. The floor my only compeer.
"For what hath you carried out--"
The words cannot reach their targeted rendezvous for mine attacker disobeys the orders and requirements of even myself, his mental and physical better.
He's so... thin. Like a stick.
And then, I realize he is a stick!
The beating does nothing for me. I cannot breath. My back stings. I feel great.
I can't get up. I try, but fail.
He proceeds to flog me, anew.
Until, I grab him, afraid, fearing for my life!
I beat him senseless against a rock.
He pleads for compassion, and I break him.
I throw him to the four winds.
God can more truly guide him from here.
The sun in my eyes, She follows me. She's peaceful, and I feel peace.
"It was me in the yard."
She's silent, as we float. I'm no longer weighted by my mortal coil.
On to the Queen of Mongo we drift. Past birdhouse and owl, trees and tennis courts, until finally I ask her.
"Why are you here."
I think I know the answer. I would say hope, but I haven't any left.
She leads me down the corridor and I become under tension, tunnel vision on her feature I admire most, her lips. Her large pouty lips. I remember in the courtyard, seeing those and wanting to touch them. I'm afraid. I'm terrified. No, I tremble. I tremble with anxiety and unease. I have moments before I pass from dehydration and exhaustion.
I scan the environs.
Sticks, trees, grass. Getting water won't be easy from those.
I grab the girl as I sink to the ground.
She resists, but I affix her lips to my own and suck away.
She tries with all her might to resist, but I hold on.
She slaps me away, and I feel great. I'm back. But, we must find more water.
After a long harangue, the girl told me where to find water.
I run headlong down the tunnel of my sight. I feel as a rabbit traversing his winding hole, into the World of the Dead. My mother, my father, my boroth
I will find water. I will find water! I will find water.
My vision blackening. There! Water!
I continue toward the sight of rehydration, though my sight is lost.
Don't panic. I fumble around. My hand runs through mud. I drop to my knees, almost in desperation until my hand fins something wet.
I cup the liquid to my mouth and drink until I regain full bodily function and beyond.
I make it back to where I left the girl, and she's gone, so I continue along the path.
Twenty minutes have passed, and I've spotted the castle.
I would bet money, the girl's in there.
"Who is it?"
The musty air heeds no reply.
"Hold y'r horses! I'm comin'!"
The mighty ogre, bruised from years of abuse to his massively grotesque countenance, lumbers to the knotted wooden door.
He swings the door open to find nothing but the tattered shirt of some small pixie he once squashed dancing in the wind as it tries its darnedest to wriggle free of the branch on which its become entangled.
The pixie Gweneth once wore that shirt. The ogre (his name's Dung) asked her on a date a life time ago. She was squashed immediately upon refusal. How do I know this? It appeared in my mind's eye mere seconds ago.
The ogre destroys the flooring, as his body meets the ground. I made sure most of the weight was distributed to his head. So, he's quite unconscious. I never knew ogres were such sensitive creatures.
Onward I march.
The castle of Jansa's abductors (an army of her own ruthless clones, if I'm remembering correctly) is quite laborious.
I run down the corridor, as an ant runs to a bread crumb across the length of a checkered picnic blanket.
An arrow in my side!
I turn and pounce upon the shooter.
He's mere cloth, a tunic, with no body. I hit the floor and can't bring myself to get up. I've
I awake in a carbon-based room of green incandecense.
The light re-energizes me, and a gunshot ricochets off the wall.
My heart races.
I run to the door.
My vision's going.
I race to the sink.
Through a tunnel of blurred speed lines.
I feel bad.
I'm hit over the head.
I grab the bitch's hand.
"No, my name is Sa."
She looks incredulous.
And, she shuts me down.
"Don't try it, or I'll have my guards lock you down in my vault under the Aegean Sea."
I have to get water.
"Let me have a drink!"
She turns on the spicket.
I fill my palms and drink.
My mind shifts. I rega--
My head hurts.
I look over and see the skull of my best friend Mike. He was only ten, last time I saw him, still I recognize the corpse.
"LET ME LOOSE!!!"
This is it. Seems like everything's lead to this. I just hope I live to fight another day.
My head throbs with psychic energy. It stings like a superconductor.
I feel like my head might catch fire, but my arms are bound. All I can do is try to focus.
Focus on the energy flowing through my skull.
"Enjoy yourself. You'll not be live for long!"
The shrill, almost insane, voice is that of Jansa's clone. I'll remember that voice forever.
"What is your name, Clone?"
"I am Jansa."
"NO, YOU AREN'T"
"You don't know anything. All you know are lies. Slice him up."
The alien torture master, massive cranium covered in holographic implants, drags his grotesque being into my space and starts his saw.
My head explodes!
My bonds are broken.
"His strength! You said it's twas gone, but--!"
I punch her in the face out of necessity and run.
I punch the tortured alien menace through the head, doughy plasma congealing along my forearm.
Aliens come after me, one after another. I make a game out of using their bodies against their friends. It gets fun once you have some unconscious weapons.
I take down a big one.
"You know you can't handle my fury."
"GET OUT OF MY HEAD, ALIEN!!!"
I go wild, smashing every alien I can get my hands on.
Thrashing their puny baby skulls is like popping grapes, not particularly fun, but not terribly hard.
Over and over, the teeth fly and scatter on the floor. There must be seventy chompers on the rug of this minimalist sadomasochism chamber.
My fists work as one and I time as a machine. My body works autonomously. I am my authentic self.
I am focused.
The alien is still talking to me. What's he saying?
We mean no harm.
The Galaxy War now seems imminent.
Galaxy War can be averted.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?
I smash the stupid alien in the face and run.
"GIVE ME JANSA!"
Through the corridor, I approach a pleasant sound, soothing me. The tension, the stress leaves me. I feel like a kid with a crush, but it's just a cute sound. Something falls over me and I forget where I am...
And, I'm standing with a beautiful girl that reminds me of someone I once knew back in school in Hawaii. Beautiful black hair, shapely figure, and so nice.
She smiles at me and I'm in Heaven. I'm older, now. I can actually do somthing with her. Trouble is I've been in the testing facility so long, I have no idea how to concemate a relationship with a woman. A sexual relationship. Does that make sense?
Does that make sense? Hello?
Oh, I forgot you're not talking. This whole process is so... foreign to me.
Anyway, I bounce into bed with this woman, and she calls me Her Little Teddy Bear.
I think, Man, that's pretty cool.
Before I know it, I'm sitting in a pool of my own slobber, drooling for hours while doctors are conducting more tests on me. More tests. More. Tests. Girl. Are. Damn. These. The same guys? Girls. Guys and girls. And girls in Hawaii and me and what? Where
I punch myself in the face.
Damn, that felt good in a bad way.
"Where am I?"
No answer. I vacate the room. Where was I? I go into a room with some aliens! Shit! I bolt for the door, but they mean business! I punch and punch to no avail! They overtake me and strap me down into what seems like a torture chair! Fuck, I'm scared!
The straps hold tight. This is some heavy duty stuff.
That voice. Sick!
A large flat screen descends and throws an image into the air of a rabbit jumping in front of a car full of kids as they run for their lives.
"What is this?"
"I thought this was earth."
It looks like he looks at his friend for some reason. What's up with that?
"Sort of... but this is where YOUR from, here on the viewscreen."
The tires screech, the car flips, and hundreds of people push through the accident. Now, I see what they're running from, KILLER DRONES, launching explosive devices.
The drones keep coming and coming, blowing up people just as easily as they explode through buildings. Wreckage is strewn across the road, fire breathes from the earth. The sky bleeds and rain falls on everyone as they run in panic and terror.
Battle Boy looks away from the monitor.
"You can't do it! STOP!"
WE WILL DO WHATEVER WE WANT.
The Galaxy War is begun!
And, I am unfreed to move myself to action.
Stuck on my bum, thanks to this mob of alien scoundrels.
They just told me telepathically that they can basically do anything they want. Well, I don't agree with that. And, I'll let them know.
"What will you have me do?"
WHAT WILL WE--?
A cry of war, if ever I'd heard one.
Of course, I hadn't. So, I really have no idea, at this point, what's happening.
I expect anything and I'm frightened out of my mind!
Mars told me when I'm this frightened, my strength and endurance are also heightened, but that doesn't calm my nerves.
Truthfully, I'm learning to cultivate this state of awareness.
The emotions scare me more than anything. You could say I scare myself.
I scare myself.
YOU WILL BE OUR NEW WARRIOR.
"I am your weapon."
The words sound strange, but not to me. The aliens are starting to come around.
THOUGH YOUR HEART RACES, YOUR MIND IS CALM. We believe you.
The bonds relinquish their hold over me, and I stand.
My legs give out from inactivity.
I massage my muscles and stand in front of my apparant alien leader.
"I know where to strike."
I jump to the heart of the Valley. Destruction's her name, yet she teems with life. As the cool jungle air flies through my hair, I let out a HOWL.
A cloud of Bats fly at me from the caverns below.
I evade the blood-stained bestial beings.
As they grope for my eyes, I swat. And, swat.
Soon, the bat's catch on. No one messes with Battle Boy.
I dive through the cavern, into the maelstrom of my own tortured psyche. Fear, Mine Only Companion.
And suddenly, a massive blow to the head.
Oh, no! Oh, no!
Must keep terror levels elevated!
I get up and walk towards the light streaming in from the surface. The rest of the massive cave is pitch black. Things scudder along the walls. I'm scared and disgusted.
As I approach the light, a calm passes over me.
I resist and move forward toward The Waterfall.
"These beasts must die!"
My blood boils, once more, as I head down.
I follow the trickle of the stream. Loaded for bare with every kind of weapon imaginable to the crude subserviant, I'm actually getting somewhat exhausted. Must think of something else. Don't think.
I focus on the trickle of the stream.
I feel Mars speaking to me. What are you trying to tell me?
The calm and steady trickle flows with me as I move closer and closer. I'm going down.
Down. Down. Down. Down. Down.
The Waterfall gets louder and louder in my head.
My own thoughts quiet.
The water sparkles.
Fish jump in and out of the mighty waterbody.
The stream looks magnificent.
White spray in my face.
I feel the fresh mist upon my face and smile.
I look down at my neck. I dart the size of a large hummingbird protrudes from my neck. I reach to remove and f al l . ..
I can't open my eyes.
I try to talk, but it's hard.
Ah, water! My friend!
My eyes open slowly. Crusted from long disuse. How long was I out?
Who? I can't make anyone out. Everything's blurry.
Slowly, my eyes adjust, and I see they're just three normal guys. Normal people!
"What do you want with me?"
There's no answer. They seem to be wheeling me down a hallway. I'm bound to a cart.
"We need to talk."
His voice is gravely as he sets my stretcher up. I face them, even though I'm still bound up.
I'm getting tired of this, but I don't feel my strength. I guess I'm not threatened.
"You must preserve life."
"How can I preserve life and fight a war?!?"
I'm getting agitated.
"Are you going to tell me what the heck yer talkin' about o--!?? AAAAOOOWWW!!!"
My head is covered in blood. A bat or mallet or something just smashed me. I'm about to pass out.
"You WILL preserve life..."
This-- guy-- is--
"...and we WILL preserve your life..."
The short one puts medicine on my wound and stitches me up. I almost lost too much blood. If that happened, I have no doubt my powers would have kicked in. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we didn't get that far.
And now, I've given my word to hear the man out.
"If you kill one more living being, the universe as we know it, will cease to exist."
I cease to listen to this fool!
"I hear your thoughts. You forget we possess telepathy."
"Actually, I just don't care that YOU possess telepathy!"
"I was speaking of the three of us, THE ALIENS FROM ANSAR!"
"Never heard of you!"
"The rumors of your fiery temper have not been greatly embellished. Indeed, you think with a clouded mind. There is but one recourse..."
The Aliens from Ansar drag me down to the sub-basement (Yeah, this subterranean San Simion has a sub-basement!), where I am to be put into who know's--
Sounds like no one has used this room in ages.
And then, I see the device.
"This device amplifies our power."
As they hook the device to me, they plug needles connected to brightly colored wires into my arms. Blue, green, white, yellow, red...
"Pretty colors, Mr. Bond?"
I don't give him the satisfaction of answering.
"If you decide to get up, be sure to take out the right color wire first. There's a safety mechanism. It will inject you with a most deadly poison. Now, shall we begin?"
As the liquid pours into my veins, I'm overcome with a feeling that reminds me of the compound.
In mere moments, we will have you primed for an in-depth psychic molestation!
Too hard to talk, just get out of my head for a minute.
We prefer being in your head. Much better than being trapped in our own hyper-intelligent Ansarian megabrains!
You SHOULD be--
I rip punch him in the head and steal his weapon.
What do ya know, I'm a decent shot!
With the vaunted "Aliens from Ansar" out of commission, I'm left to figure out which wire to pull first, lest I choose wrong and trigger the release deadly neurotoxin. I can't take any chances.
The fear activated my super-strength, but it did nothing for my brain. Adrenaline courses through my veins. So hard to concentrate. Must stay calm, but I'm still scared.
How can I choose?
I look down at the wires and remember what Mars said.
"You are my avatar."
His eyes glared red with that sentence. His power is immeasurable. And, I am his avatar. Immediately before my abduction, I had just returned from spending several hours at the park reading a book my grandmother gave me. The book was all about eastern pjilosophy. I often thought about that book during my time in the project. Wasn't much else to do. Anyway, I seem to remember that avatars possess all the properties of whatever they represent. They are that being. I have all the powers of Mars within me. Mars must have a power to sense energy. That wierd book also said that everything in the universe is energy and a person can sense positive and negative energy. Maybe I can sense which wire to pull. If only I had the power of Mars. I don't-- I don't--
My vision turns hot, as a searing sensation makes its way around my mind.
BELIEVE IN ME. I AM YOU.
Okay. I will believe in you, Mars! Thanks!
BELIEVE IN ME. I AM YOU.
Hey, maybe it's like one of those chant things.
Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you. Believe in me. I am you.
He believes in me.
I pull the red wire and the rest of them and stand up.
Ouo, I'm woozy.
I stumble. I messed up! I'm dying!
I fall to the ground and wait for death to come. My neck hurts. I don't feel good. I'm-- still thinking! I get up and steady myself. I'm okay. I just got up too quickly! The red wire was the right choice! I did it!
I walk over to the alien on the ground, his big white bloody head.
WE ON... LY WAN-TED TO SHOW YOU...!
I glare at him. What does he mean?
Suddenly, a rift is opened of thin air afore me! Like ball lightening on a fantastic scale, I've seen nothing of this kind in my life!
"What is this treachery?!?"
The alien does not speak. He just lays there defiantly. The aliens never listen. I hate them. They all think they're so much smarter than I am. I can't stand them. Hhhhhhhh.
THE ALIEN IS DEAD.
IT IS I, THE UNIVERSAL CUSTODIAN.
I TAKE CARE OF UNIVERSAL MATTERS PERTAINING TO BALANCES UNPAID.
"What does that mean?"
IT MEANS THAT YOU'VE CAUSED A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT WITHIN REALITY THAT HAS OPENED THE GATE TO PURGATORY AND IS SUCKING IN INNOCENTS.
"What do you want me to do about it?
YOU DON'T FEEL RESPONSIBLE?
THE CARING BEING WHO'S CORPSE BLOODIES THE FLOOR BENEATH YOUR FEET WAS WARNING YOU HONESTLY. HIS DEATH TRIGGERED THE UNIVERSAL IMBALANCE THAT HAS OPENED PURGATORY'S GATEWAY.
IF CHANGE IS NOT MADE, YOU WILL BE IMPRISONED IN PURGATORY FOREVER.
CONTINUED IN THE KILLZONE!
S.E.Amundson is Editor-in-Chief of THE NEW ADVENTURES and a devout Methodist.