Slowly, I regain mass.
My abductors have found me.
That's it. I'm dead. Finally, I will be put out of my misery. It's over.
It's surprising how calm and relieved I feel as I materialize in the monochromatic toilet.
Bright lights shine in my eyes, and I can't see.
I can make out some long, shadowy figures.
The laser beam sears the flesh on my stomach..., and... I... black... out...
The stars swim in constant blackness. Space. My only escape.
I wake up in the room. The same dream. Every night. My room, now. Not my real room; where my abductors keep me.
I sit on the bed and feel time wash over me.
How long has it been? ten? eleven years? The abduction, it seems-- I want it to seem like yesterday, but I can't. Time passes, and I feel dead. My life ended, that night.
The slot in the door slides open.
And, a plate of buttery steamed rice is thrown through.
Like a dog, I dig in to my dinner bowl.
How much rice can one man eat? Are these aliens Asian or something? Does that even make sense? I don't know much about these guys. They're very shadowy and mysterious. I feel wholly isolated.
Mmm, that rice was good. I drift off to sleep.
Wha? Wha? Lights? Whaere? Sleepy...
The aliens drag me through the hall. I remember my dad carrying me to bed.
I can't see them. Light's in my eyes.
The sun! Ah, it feels good.
It mocks me.
The faceless drones shove me onto the hot asphalt. School recess taunts my memories.
I'm in an empty courtyard.
I stand up.
I sit sweaty and alone. I kind of want to go back to the room.
I'd run around, but I feel them watching me.
Why did they put me out here just to let me sit. Are they planning on leaving me here?
The door slides open, and a little girl is shoved into the courtyard.
She looks at me. Her eyes sparkle, even now, she's beautiful. She's afraid.
"Hey! Don't be scared. I'm a prisoner like you."
She looks at me, air moving back and forth against her big, pouty lips. She dooesn't believe me.
I smile and approach her.
She slaps me and runs away crying.
She thinks I'm going to run after her and hurt her. I can see that's happened a few times before.
She reminds me of myself.
I have to get her out of here.
I wake up, and images of my torture flash through my mind.
The past few weeks have been disgusting.
Nightmares I lived are still nightmares.
I have rods inserted through my stomach, mecha-parasites implanted in my bloodstream, who knows what kinds of chemicals in my nervous system.
Any sick test or experiment imaginable has been visited upon me in the weeks following my meeting Her in the courtyard.
What are they be doing to Her?
She's crying, panicked, in my head, and it makes me sick!
Can these images be real? How can I see what's happening to Her? Am I still dreaming? They must have done something to my mind.
Escape plans run through my head.
Schematics I saw when I was 13 run length ways across the lense of my mind's eye.
I run through the many times I've thought about it.
I think they could tell I was thinking about it. I always think about smashing their skulls with their enormous personal electronic equipment.
Haggard Hair flaps free of flames from a frag fire.
Blood on the microchip.
Alien bone on synthetic micro-fiber.
Fluorescent light on exposed internal organ.
White engulfs all.
The lights burn my eyes.
"AAAAAAAGHH!!!" A SCALPEL!
I pull away.
"AWAY!" I swing my broken chains in a threatening fashion.
The alien doesn't back off, so I throttle him.
He looked vaguely familiar. Too bad his face is all beaten in.
Suddenly, I convulse.
"What do you mean you like me?"
I run my fingers through her full hair. The same wind hitting my face ripples through her hair.
Her lips heave and pout like a beautiful, blossoming flower.
"I feel comfortable with you."
"More so than with an alien"
I kiss her full lips. The warmth I feel, as I put my hands on her, thaws my iced heart, even as the arrows of Eros fly overhead.
Suddenly, a broadsword slices through the girl's neck! I panic! I move fast. It feels as if the blade connects, but I flee unharmed.
The girl's head hits the ground. How strange this lifeless head was, mere seconds ago, inhabited by the life of a bright and courageous young woman. I never knew her name, and yet she means more to me than everything in this entire damned valley.
I pull the chemical bomb from my belt. I'm no dummy. This bomb will knock the creature off balance, and then...!
I'm coming back. It was a nightmare. Just a nightmare!
The lights so bright. I'm still here.
Focus slowly blurs a fond reintroduction.
I'm beating a thing with a chain. Dumb alien!
His brains are bits, still I continue until a white light transports me from infirmary to control room.
Disoriented, once more, I grasp for balance, steeling myself for what's to come.
And, I see Her.
Wild as the winds, She touches me, and I hear mandolins.
She kisses me, and with that kiss, my life begins.
Like a leaf clings to a tree, My Darling clings to me.
It's as if no time has passed.
"How-- How are you alive?"
"What do you mean? We were seperated when The Beast attacked. Then, I woke up in here."
She puts her lithe finger to my lips and pouts those lips of hers.
We kiss, and I survey the room.
She feels nice in my arms.
Her ample breasts push against my chest.
Nothing, but white styro-plastic.
I pull away.
"What have they done to you?!?" My voice cracks with anger.
"Nothing. These people are... our friends," she says.
"These aliens committed countless crimes against humanity on us!"
She grabs my forearms and pulls herself closer.
"No! The people that beamed you onto this ship are like us."
"Why should I even trust you, anyway, huh? I mean--"
"You don't have much choice."
She smiles. How can I be mad at her?
She squeezes my hand and leads me out of the room.
As the doors hum open, I sense uneasiness in her.
We walk down the corridor.
At the end of the hallway, I see it. The bane of my childhood is in front of me.
"It's for your own good! They're going to-- !"
I almost throw up.
I panic and tear open the wall. The metal massages my palms. Sparks fly. Bolts bounce.
I tear through the next wall and the next wall and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next and the next. People yell at me, but I tear through the next wall and fall right out of the ship.
I fly into the ground with a
The impact echoes throughout the vast valley basin, shattering the seemingly endless silence for what seems like hours...
The damp air of the forest floor cools my nostrils...
She's so tired.
The Girl reminds me of someone from home, and it pains me to see Her tired.
Her lips kind of do that thing.
I pick her up and run as far away from the compound as I can.
We have to escape!
My legs are like the wheels on a car. I'm amazed how far I can run with her.
I'm calm only for a second.
That's all it takes and, boom, my legs go out.
We tumble to the ground.
My bloody knee burns.
I lose all my energy, but She gives it back to me for that one brief moment, the moment before her head fell off.
I open my eyes and get up off the grounds.
I have to escape!
I shake the leaves off my undershirt. I'm fine. No scrapes. Nothing. What am I?!?
They'll be here, any second!
I'm scared. What have I become? How do I get home? Where am I? Am I still on earth? I need answers.
A butterfly flutters around me, and escape feels a little less impossible.
I pick up a rock and begin to run.
I run as fast as I can through the massive tree trunks, over the skeletal corpses of my predeccesors.
Time, They say, waits for no man.
That's what They say. They would; Dirty Aliens!
The Alien Menace loves to rub it in everyone's faces that they can stop time in closely-targeted areas.
If only they'd use it to help people, instead of using it for abduction and brutalization.
I hate Them.
That's what I think as my matter reconfigures on the ship's bridge.
I think I see The Girl. I wonder what her name is, but now is probably not the time to ask, seeing as I do the gunman pointing the incineration rifles at me.
I gasp for air, as my lungs complete their strange regrowth, and two aliens pin me to the wall.
The Girl slowly approaches me.
As she nears, she stretches her arms and the top of her shirt opens enough to see a nice patch of her warm cheast heaving with sensual energy.
"Why do you have to drag me into this?" I ask.
"These people want to help you."
"No. They're people like us, we stole a ship and mastered their holographic identity adaptor. We wanted you to help us take on the real aliens, but since you killed one of our best men, you don't have a choice. Join us--"
Two more aliens draw their inceration rifles and aim them at my head.
"-- OR DIE!"
I've been dead for ten years.
I tell the woman to leave me alone.
The guards approach, but my knife already digs into her throat. Whoever she is, her life will be the one in danger as I escape.
"BACK AWAY OR SHE DIES."
The guards keep coming.
"I'LL DO IT."
It's no use.
I run for my life, breaking through walls. The guards are on me so I turn and grab one, but the other gets off a shot.
The bullet ricochets off my head, and I throw the guard into the far wall.
Cumulus clouds once more obscure the full harvest moon.
Pitch black envelops the damp forest brush.
Rain pours 'twixt the branches of the forested valley region.
Winds ravage trees and bushes.
Loose branches fly through the sky.
I fall into the ground, and a clasp of thunder roars into the night.
As I rise, I look to my left to find the girl. I feel her neck. I don't feel a pulse.
I breath into her mouth. I pound on her chest.
Still, nothing. Nothing, at all.
Her cold eyes stare at me. I hold her close. She's gone.
I think I might have loved her, if given the chance.
I'm all alone. I feel scared, again.
A barrage of rocket shells explode against my back!
I turn around to find the thing I least expect.
Red haze, all I see is...
Red haze... until...
The man in the light's locus stares into my eyes with intensity.
He doesn't have to say anything. I know his name.
I remember a commercial from before my kidnapping.
"Spring is in the air."
Fresh grass; green leaves; clean air...!
I hear it in my head. Full of red, full of blood and life, this hero, this villain, stands afore me.
As if he has some special knowledge to share with me, the King of Spring, the God of Vigilance, once more glares at me with a stance that gives away an air of righteous indignation that seethes and moves in and out, around, under and above me, until...
...until a small light flashes over head and I hear it.
The slight hum of an alien craft is audible as time freezes and the white closes in, but in that very last moment, Mars raises his hand, and we are swept away to a land of valleys and vistas, a land ten times more beautiful than any I have known before, a land only gazed upon within the mists of bygone dreams before.
Birds sing a chorus as I follow my host down the primrose path ahead.
My nose fills with the smells of freshly bloomed flowers, as butterflies flutter, and bees collect nectar not a foot from my person.
The sky breathes and pulsates with life, as do the trees with the respiration of The Great One, all around.
We come to a table, and Mars motions that I sit down.
I follow his direction and rest my weary butt in a chair of great cratsmanship. It's wooden exterior hides a shape that makes one feel as if they are lying on maiden or the aquatic.
And so, Mars joins me at the oblong table.
I wait for him to speak.
As he opens his mouth, saliva drools down his chin in a cascade of charismatic over-slobberings.
When he sounds of new baby linen leaves his mouth, I don't hear, for he's just blown my mind.
I don't know what's going on, who I am, who's "Julius?"
"YOU ARE JULIUS"
My mind burns as memories brand my brain as painfully as possible.
BSH BSH BSH
Shrapnel bombs explode on the ground in front of me, and I fall to the ground. My leg has been blown off.
Blood flows as water, warming me into light and red and
Mars holds me close and tells me things only someone not dying might be able to grasp, but then, he lays hands on me and fuses my leg together as one, once more again and forevermore with any impossible hope to yet be found in this being.
"YOU ARE LUCKY FOR NOW. THE RULES WILL NOT ALWAYS ALLOW THIS."
Mars bounds thirty feet into the air.
The leaves rustle through the trees, as he flies overhead.
BSH BSH BSH
Shells explode on his seemingly inpenetrable chest, only serving to make him more intensely aggravated.
His eyes burn red, and his helmet begins to spin around his head, slowly at first, then picking up speed.
As he dissappears behind the shrubbery, all I hear are the sounds of death.
Mars lands in front of me, as if to inspire terror in my very being. I'm unsure if this is merely instinct or by design. I'd rather not find out.
We stare, eye to eye, face to face until...
I do. Out of respect, you must understand, and respect only for Mars. Never have I seen such a specimen of physical incongruity, even during my experiences in deep space and beyond, Mars is an anomoly.
I hear a massive explosion, and then Mars floats down to his seat afore my wandering eyes, wandering to the left of thy host.
There appears a miniature wine goblet, and from a hole arises a creature both wise and small, and yet utterly disgusting. This tiny man, shrunken by his own earthen science is not beast nor foul, though surely one must not call him human. For he hath been warped by Megalomania and disease. For fear and ego, he plunders his world with an uncommon disregard for the Laws of Man.
As the seething red of his words burns through my soul, I begin to catch my bearings and stop writhing in agony. I begin to see his point of view. He needs me. He's trying to be nice. Nice, like a steam stack of hate can be nice.
"YOU ARE MY SON."
My head swims in a sea of noxious red. Words have been carved on my mind with the flames of some distant shore. I fear a n--
"YOU ARE MY SON..."
He says it, again, and I lose consciousness.
Mars slaps me.
I try to rise.
"YOU ARE MY SON, INHERITOR OF MY POWER; MY AVATAR ON THIS EARTH."
The words enthrall me.
"THAT IS WHY YOUR POWER COMES ONLY WITH FEAR!"
That's why my powers only worked sporadically! They must only kick in when I'm terrified. Talk about a catch 22!
"BE AFRAID. YOU ARE AT WAR WITH THE ALIEN MENACE. THEY MEAN TO DRIVE YOU FROM DESTRUCTION VALLEY. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. "
And then, he disappears into a fine red mist and then completely. I'm his avatar. Here to enforce his wishes on "this" earth. That's what he said. He looked like he meant business.
That's when I notice time's stopped.
I fade back into existence on the bridge of a phantom starship to find someone waiting for me that I would have thought is dead, but I had a hunch. I find it best to go with my gut in these situations.
I make a fist.
I make a fist as I stare into the face of the girl I watched die in my arms.
Maybe more, it's hard to remember.
"What the hell is going on?!?"
She says nothing with her voice, but everything with her body language. Her hips sway with the sounds of shrieking incondolance. Her fingers rub together in a hollering hootinanny of howling hysteria. Her legs cross in a tirade of tauntingly tenacious troublesomeness.
Damn, she's angry at me!
"You're a clone of someone I once knew that died..."
She stares at me like nothing I've ever seen before.
"...Aren't you going to ask me my name?"
I think about it for a minute.
She SNAPs her fingers, and some aliens lock me in a hold.
I struggle to get free, but they're strong.
Another alien thug comes up and punches me in the stomach.
He knocks the wind out of me. It hurts. My strength is gone. These idiots don't scare me.
"Ask me my name!"
"Um, yeah... what is your name, anyway?"
He punches me, again.
"My name is JANSA, Queen of Outer Mongo."
"You're not from Mongo!"
I stutter from the tears.
"You're not! You're lying!!!"
I run at "Miss Jansa," but her guards grab me and toss me in a holding cell. Through the bars, Jansa continues.
"I don't lie, Boy. I am Jansa, Ruling Matriarch of Outer Mongo, a planet four times the size of this mudball."
"'This mudball.' What do you mean?"
"The planet we hover above... Earth."
I'm still on earth! I knew I felt my family close. Not close, but not beyond the stars. Hope intoxicates me, and I ready for the fight of my life.
The words sound strange and yet familiar. I'm taken to another world. I'm transported to another person. I orient to an existense i which I've never had to to, but wanted all. I'm weak. I'm controlled by--
"Don't talk to me! I will do the talking. You will LISTEN!!!!!!!"
The girl I knew was never this crazy. And, she was certainly no queen. Maybe she was thrown in that detention camp for political reasons. Was she some sort of political prisoner? How'd she come back from death? Maybe she has powers like mine.
"Listen! Stop thinking about yourself and listen to me for once!"
"Your name is Julius. You were my lover in ancient Rome."
Ancient Rome? That would explain my memories. That would explain a lot of things, but I don't quite understand how it's possible. I'm not yet twenty years old. How could I have lived and loved in the Roman Empire?
"We were once demi-gods, you and I, until the aliens stole you away for their sick corruptions. Your soulsought escape in the womb of Julia Bond. You gestated and lost all knowledge of your previous lives and experiences only to be dragged back into the same never-ending struggle to begin anew, this time in the body of Julius Bond, the boy who's brain you killed and revived as your own when he was but a defenseless fetus."
My mind races.
"You still have it Julius."
I don'tknow what to think.
One hundred armed doppelgangers of Jansa teleport through the matter interface through which I traveled mere moments ago.
As the army of energy artillery warms for base destruction, so too do I warm as I ready to kill a hundred and one of these bedraggled old broads.
CONTINUED IN THE GALAXY WAR!