Author Topic: 2106 A.D.  (Read 1024 times)

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2106 A.D.
« on: March 23, 2016, 06:15:25 PM »
  • Publish
  • A forum roundtable story that amounted to something through the magic of editing, submitted for your approval.  -Note that forum language restrictions are somewhat loosened for stories in here.

    Copyright 2009 by the authors.

    The discussion thread is here.  Please comment - it's all the pay I get...






    By eastsidebagel, Buster’s Uncle,
    lemonhead, hs1611 and z4ckdabeast


    ----

    Book One:
    Hero of the Future


    ----




    Chapter One
    Jack's Crime




    The thing David wanted everyone to understand about him is that he was loud for a reason. Teenage angst and anxiety about his social life at High School took the best from him, and all that was left was an obnoxious emo kid who listened to Green Day all day long, the volume on his iPod turned to max.

    "David", his mother called him from the kitchen downstairs, "I've served dinner. Come down, hun."

    But David couldn't hear her because of the ear plugs and so he didn't notice her loving care for his well-being and he continued to indulge his self-pity.

    He knew cranking up the volume on the music so loud wasn't good for his crappy hearing, but, like any teen in the 'tude stage of his life, he didn't care.

    David's mother, enraged after minutes of fruitlessly calling her son to sit down at the dinner table, entered his room, pulled out the ear plugs from his ears and said ferociously: "That's it mister, no more pocket money for you this month!". David was utterly shocked by this prospect. He needed money for the movies, concerts and such things. This could mean only one thing: he must get a job.

    At the next day, David told his friends at school about this and they too were truly surprised. After all, David's mother was generally known as the most tolerant and indifferent mother around; normally she didn't give a crap about the eccentric behavior of her son and therefore, this sudden cut in David's monthly budget came most surprising. David's peers, Charles and Ramon, both emo kids of the finest kind, suspected that this sudden mind change of his mother must have something to do with a new, unknown lover in her life.

    Being punk kids, they didn't phrase it that delicately.

    So David was forced to look for a job; his first choice was to apply at the nearby McDonald's, where his father had worked for nearly thirty years until his retirement. David's haircut, pierced nose and obvious bad attitude were going to be a problem in getting hired anywhere, but at McDonald's he had an in.

    He was a legacy.

    The next day, David entered the office of the manager of the local McDonald's and sat down before the desk of Mr. Ricardelli. Sam Ricardelli was a war veteran of Vietnam, with no tolerance for self-indulgent, worthless slackers like David.

    Nevertheless, Dave got the job he was looking for after a very embarrassing, very awkward job interview, and the next thing he knew he was occupied as the new fry cook.

    David had no idea why he wasn't manning the drive-thru window or something instead, as he couldn't cook. Still, the pay was better, so he was quite happy when he received his first pay check a month later. Just some three-hundred bucks more and he could be able to afford one ticket to the next Green Day-concert, which happened to be held next week in his hometown, Columbus, OH.

    David was very happy with the current circumstances of his life, so he even stopped cutting himself; which kind of alienated him a bit from the other emo kids he had befriended so far at his school. Non-conformists cliques always wanted everyone to non-conform together.

    One day, on his way to home to his ignorant, middle-class mother a black car pulled over to the sidewalk David was walking on; he stopped, curious. A black, mirrored window of the car cracked opened and a mysterious, smoky, low, female voice called from inside: "David, why don't you have a seat? We have a very interesting offer for you."

    David was paralyzed, and as though forced to move by a puppeteer, slowly opened the door and entered the car. There was a soundless buzzing- a shapely brunette, wearing an oddly-styled gray woman’s business suit, was in the back seat lying on her back, eyes closed; she said with a husky voice: "David, there is a service I want you to perform for me"

    "But who are you, I even don't know why you picked me out of all people for your task!", he said in a distressed voice, almost crying, for now his sound little suburban world seemed to get more coming-to-an-end by the minute.

    The woman sat up, grabbed David with both hands on his face, and looked deeply into his eyes. She said in a crystal-clear voice, as cold and emotionless as a diamond, "Dave, I'm your wife… from the freakin' future!"

    "What..? What do you mean, from the future? How is that possible? My wife? When did we meet? Who are you??" - shouted David while trying to back out of the car.

    Unfortunately the door on his side was already closed and the car was speeding down the street.

    The woman looked out the window for a moment, collecting her thoughts before turning again to look at David and saying, "Never mind that now. That's a long story and our time is short. You'll just have to trust me and I'll explain everything later.

    “You see our nephew, Jack Hawksmoor, is in trouble and he needs your help.

    ”I’m Melinda, by the way.”

    The black limousine rushed down the deserted road, ignored red traffic lights and was heading straight to the airport. Dave, the wuss, was silently weeping on the whole drive. Melinda, a hot brunette, sighed at the view. In a dark, vibrant voice, she began to tell her story; "You see, Dave, the son of my brother will be the first man on Mars. His journey will mark the beginning of the colonization of the red planet, but in my time, all settlers are presumably dead, killed by a Martian killer virus, which our nephew accidentally unleashed. Since I'm from your future, my ability to interfere in this timeline is very limited. I can't do this on my own, and so you gotta help me with my mission by warning Jack not to start his travel to Mars in order to save about twelve-hundred lives in the future. Got that?"

    David, being all the emo kid he was, wept even a little bit more after hearing this.

    "Stop that", said Melinda, "stop that, I say. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks."

    David just cried harder, "Oh no. I’m gonna miss the Green Day concert next week!!"

    "Don’t be stupid", said Melinda, "with my time machine I can return you to this very moment after you finish your mission."

    Finally David got a grip on himself and stopped crying. Melinda sighed in relief and drew a gun from under the small desk which was attached to the driver's seat. David noticed nobody was actually driving the car- it seemed fully automated.

    At the sight of the futuristic weapon, David gasped and asked, "What’s that supposed to mean?"

    Melinda put the safety catch on again, pushed the gun into the shaking hands of David and calmly replied, "With that, you're going to kill your future nephew. You'll be getting life for this and I'll return to the future, but with your sacrifice you'll be saving hundreds of people from their certain death. Are you going to do it, my future lover?"

    David got a boner...

    "Say," he said, his eyes flicking down to glance at her very healthy bosom, "if we’re married, couldn't we, y'know...". David wasn't sure how to express himself. Oh, how different was reality from the sterilized fake set of a movie!

    But Melinda brought her finger to his lips to silent his unintelligible mutter, grabbed his left hand and drew it slowly to her boobs. But in the very last second before his hand reached her vibrating and firm flesh, the car went out of control. A bright red light went on and off in the spacey passenger cabin and a shrill alert filled the air. Melinda and David were shaken all around the seats and David was fearfully crying, "What the hell is going on?", before everything went pitch dark before his eyes.

    ----

    When he woke up, he saw- HITLER!

    He sat there on the floor of the office in awe, eye in eye with the Fuhrer! So Melinda was telling the truth from the beginning; She really was able to travel in time and the car had obviously been a mobile time machine or something, which ran out of control and randomly catapulted them into this time. Hitler stood up from his desk, slowly approached Dave and Melinda- who was lying knocked out on the floor- and when he came to within a few feet of David, he said quietly, so that it more resembled an angry hissing sound than a human voice: "Wer bist du?".

    David began frantically groping Melinda, too frightened to enjoy it, but Hitler was faster: He grabbed David by his shoulder, pulling him up as he called for guards. Mere seconds later, two heavy-armed men entered the room and took the time-lost pair to a cell. One of them spoke a little bit of English, and he explained to David the situation they were in. Hitler feared that they might be English spies, and after interrogation they were probably to be executed in the morning.

    As the trailing soldier of the pair was reaching to close the cell door behind him, Melinda woke up, first disorientated, and then slowly grasping what had happened in the last ten minutes. She laughed frantically; relieved they’d not had time to strip her.

    She slapped her hip pocket hard like it was a pilot's harness release, and out in the hall, Hitler started to slap himself in the face. It was like Hitler had lost all control of his body. He took out a gun and shot himself right in the face.

    A mass of broken cables and melted metals was seen inside Hitler's broken face.

    "What the hell!" said David

    “It’s just an android. Someone is trying to sabotage our mission. Come on David, we need to get out of here and find my car. We must figure out where and when we are”.

    Suddenly, three guards appeared in a flash before them.

    "Teleportation! That means we’re really in the future; a timeline more advanced than mine!" said Melinda.

    The guards were obviously androids; when they talked together it sounded like a modem connecting to the Internet.

    "Melinda, we gotta find the car; this place is gonna make me crap myself!"

    The guards were raising mechanical arms, their hands hinging open at the wrists, revealing cavities where bones and flesh should have been were they human. Out of those cavities, a gleaming light came, glowing more and more intensely by the second. The guards otherwise stood still, still tracking every movement David and Melinda made.

    Then she realized what was going on, "They're charging their energy cannons! We're gonna die if we don't get away now!"

    Melinda grabbed a still-paralyzed David by the wrist and pulled him with her towards the cell door.

    As they rushed out into the cold and dark outside, they heard something like the shot of a gun, but much louder than an ordinary gun could have ever made. The cell they’d bolted from was now filled with a blue and unearthly light, and small bolts of electricity and pure energy were circulating all around the walls and furniture. It felt like the moment before a big explosion, and the pair forced themselves to run away as fast as their shaky legs could take them.

    They were running through a big open area. In the distance they spotted a lighted opening and turned to go in that direction. David, less afraid of exploding androids than Hitler, finally noticed something strange; their strides were unnaturally long and lofty, with each step taking them a dozen meters farther.

    "Where are we?" whined David.

    "My best guess is somewhere on the Moon", answered Melinda, "but the real questions are: Who brought us here, why, and how?"

    They were swiftly proceeding to a lighted area ahead when they heard a voice reverberating through a Public Address System: "My dear uncle and aunt, where do you think you’re going? There’s no place to hide. Surrender now and I promise not to harm you."

    "Jack", they said simultaneously.

    A silence fell upon the scene, the pursuing androids had finally charged enough energy and fired their energy blasts. David and Melinda stood stunned and unable to move an inch.

    Then they disappeared yet again and in the next second, they stood on a metallic, polished floor, very much unlike the dusty and grey ground they’d trod a second before.

    A seemingly omnipresent, malevolent-sounding voice which seemed to come from everywhere around them asked again, "Where do you think you're going; this is my turf and you are intruders here!"

    Melinda made a few steps forward, unconsciously protecting her future husband behind her. "I’m Melinda Madison and this teenager behind me is David, your uncle from the past. We don't know what happened, but we accidentally happened to come to this place in this time. I'm not sure if it was a malfunction of the photon flux generator or..."

    "Silence!", the voice boomingly interrupted her, "I know exactly who you are and from where you come from. You planned to eliminate my past, to kill me as an infant, but now on my turn I'm going to eliminate your future!"

    They heard a faint burst of static; obviously he had turned off the communication system. At the very end of the rectangular room they stood in, a door opened and in the light streaming through the now-revealed entrance, the broad-shouldered silhouette of a man with seemingly long hair appeared.

    "My dear uncle and aunt, finally, oh finally, I see you both together, from face to face. It took a long time to sabotage your time machine, but I must admit that my plan to lure you guys into my Moon Base just worked marvelously!"

    "What do you mean with 'your plan', you freak?" an increasingly enraged Melinda asked the man- who on a closer look appeared to even more insane than he’d sounded before.

    "You see, my good aunt, I sent dozens of android agents into the past to watch every action you might come up to against me; for example your manager, David- this Ricardelli guy, or your mom’s new boyfriend-"

    "I freaking knew it!", David interrupted his speech spontaneously. “The guy was just talking crap, but sometimes he used some weird words I've never heard before in my life, like 'Shanagizzl' or some crap like that. I knew that there was something fishy about that guy."

    Jack's grin became wider and wider as he was listening to David and he said: "Yeah, you see, in my time, we say 'Shanagizzl' when we're mad or angry about something or someone; it's slang."

    He took a pause, closed his eyes and laid his head back. He audibly exhaled some air, then said in a very low voice which only Melinda could hear from her position in front of David, "How long? For how long did you know that I deliberately tried to get rid of all the human scum on the face of the Mars?"

    "Deliberately? What the hell are you talking about?" she asked.

    “Oh, don’t even front, Aunt Mel. Didn’t you know how they polluted Mars, how they filthened up that place with their greed and their perpetual striving for money and pleasure? Well, I decided a long ago to make them stop and created a virus which would show those...animals their boundaries!"

    Melinda couldn't believe what she was hearing; all her memories about Jack as a peaceful and nature-loving child, -the stories and news reports about how that horrible incident happened- shattered and crumbled now like shards of glass. In this moment they were replaced instantly with the image of a homicidal maniac who was responsible for the greatest tragedy in the history of Extraterrestrial colonization; a monster, but still, the only child of her only brother Steve, who was among the settlers dead that day.

    "You...you beast, did you mean that even killing your own father was it worth that? How are you ever going to look in the mirror again with this shame?"

    Jack lowered his countenance and stood in the same position for a long while. David, who had only that afternoon been merely a regular student and unambitious fry cook, was absolutely startled by what he had seen in this future; he still didn’t know how to react.

    Finally, Jack raised up his head again, tears flowing down his cheeks. David was even more shocked to see that than anything else he had seen on the journey.

    "Yet, there is still another, very important reason why I couldn't allow those reckless fools going rampage on the surface of Mars anymore. Please forgive me, but after you'll see what I mean, I think you might understand my reasons, at least partially."

    He turned away from them and made his way back to the gate again. He was waving his arm and said: "Melinda, Uncle Dave, follow me, you two."  David and his wife obeyed, slowly following him towards the glowing portal.

    The shock that greeted then on the other side was understandable: A seven-foot high, wolf-like creature with a nearly opaque, grey skin was sleeping in the other end of the room.

    David, again on the verge of breaking out into tears was harshly hushed by Jack.

    "Quiet, you idiot, don't wake it up now! It’ll be just hungry and unbearable when it wakes up, and I'm all out of food at the moment."

    "What is that?" asked Melinda, unbelieving.

    "It's a Vergophlox, one of the few creatures which emerged from the barren wastelands of Mars. They’re what I was trying to protect by killing all those people."

    "Are you freaking nuts, Jack? You went havoc because of these ugly assholes??" David inquired.

    "Well, you don't understand; those beasts are quite worthless in my opinion, at least not nearly as precious as a human life, but this massive disturbance by the settlers had to stop, because when the Verges were awakened in their innumerable hordes, unbelievably terrible things would have happened to those people; it would have ended incomparably worse than a quick, painless death by the virus."

    "Like what exactly?"

    And in that moment the Vergophlox slowly raised his eyelids; suddenly they were all soaking wet, like they’d had each had a bucket of water thrown on them.

    David looked frantically around, trying to find a place to hide, when his roaming eyes passed over Melinda. He was mesmerized by her figure. She was dripping wet, her clothes clinging very close to her supple and soft body, showing her ample bosom and well defined, heart-shaped, buttocks.

    David felt the first stirrings of an undefined emotion rising from his groin. He recognized it as lust and was reaching out to grope Melinda when Jack said "Oh shanagizzl, damnit!  It's awake, now we're in real freaking trouble! Melinda, do you have a g-".

    He couldn't finish his sentence, for the raging beast had raised its arm in a coherent, almost elegant, lightning movement and slapped Jack all across the room, where he smashed into the bookshelf which stood against the stony wall.

    The Vergophlox laid his eyes now on David and Melinda and he was beginning to proceed towards them. Every step he took was done in a ridiculously delicate, dance-like fashion as though it was doing ballet, but its broad, open mouth which displayed razorblade-sharp, saliva-covered teeth in the color of ivory dismissed very efficiently any impression that this creature was harmless or to be taken as something less than dangerous.

    Melinda reacted quickly despite her shock; drew a gun out of her pocket and pulled the trigger. A blue ring of energy emerged out of the barrel, hitting the beast right on its forehead.

    "Good shot!" commented David.

    The Vergophlox's massive form went rigid; a second later it was collapsing to the floor, where its heavy weight made the ground shake. Now unconscious, it looked like a shapeless pile of shallowly-breathing rotten flesh, very much unlike the vicious, yet cat-like creature they'd witnessed a moment before.

    David rushed to the still form of his nephew. "Jack, Jack, are you alright?" he said, but there was no answer. Jack’s chest moved as he breathed, but a disturbingly ample volume of blood was dripping out of a wound on his head.

    Melinda stripped off her coat and wrung it out. “We’ve gotta keep him warm. I don’t know how we’ll get to the bottom of this without his explanation.”

    David froze when he turned to her. She was all dripping wet, a true feast for the eyes. In opposite corner of the room, the Vergophlox, breathing heavily, exhaled loudly a final time and passed out completely. A thick cloud of vapor escaped its mouth and hovered a few seconds before dispersing into tiny drops of icy water like a fine rain.

    "Quick Dave, search for a belt, a string, something like that which has a bunch of buttons on it!"

    David snapped out of his paralysis as he was idly standing beside his nephew, who was quite rapidly bleeding to death.

    "Wha...what do you mean by that, Mel?" he asked, confused about her order.

    "A teleportation device! Do you remember those guards outside which were suddenly appearing out of nowhere? That was the technique of teleportation! In my time, we have already conducted some experiments about that, but with almost no success coming out of it. But I'm really sure that Jack has a device like that somewhere lying around here, how else could he have held this creature from Mars in his Moon base and from where could he have gotten all its food? There just gotta be something helpful in this room to bring Jack back to Earth, or else, I'm afraid he's going to die before our eyes!"

    David understood. Together they scoured the room for something which might fit Melinda's description, and after a couple of frantic minutes, David finally drew a thin band out of black, polished leather with a LCD display and three scarlet buttons on its front, out of a drawer.

    "Melinda, come over here; is it that for which you were looking for?"

    She was a delight to see as she rushed to his side, her thin white shirt rendered largely transparent by moisture.  David, who had never seen such a magnificent body on a woman outside browsing internet porn, once again forgot the urgent matter of life and death at hand and began to reach for her.

    “David, stop staring at my boobs and help me lift Jack up!"

    "Oops; my bad!" David said a little embarrassed.

    Together they pulled Jack's inanimate body in a sitting position so that they could put the belt around his waist. It was a difficult task with his dead weight. David asked, “Why don't we just put it around your waist and you hold me and Jack by your hands?"

    "Because I'm not entirely sure if the energy of it will suffice to bring the three of us together back to Earth. So even if we can't make it, at least Jack will arrive there and get the medical attention he needs."

    David was too distracted by her jiggling chest as she struggled with the unconscious man’s body to register that she proposed possibly sacrificing themselves for the sake of a mass murderer.

    When they got the belt on Jack, Melinda began programming the belt with the help of a little display and the buttons to bring them to David's hometown, Columbus, in the area of the hospital.

    "The precision of these things is amazing! I mean, we’re millions of miles away from Earth itself, but you can still determine the exact street this belt is going to transport us to!"

    Melinda finished to typing coordinates into the device and hesitated for a moment to push the button amongst the other ones which was slightly bigger and shinier than them.  "I hope we don’t get ripped apart by..."

    "Wha-" but too late; the three of them disappeared in a swirl of energy and cold fire.

    A jarring pain throughout his bones and nerves hit David for some seconds after they clumsily touched the ground again. He yelped with surprise that they really did make it. Then he looked around: Was this really Columbus? Obviously yes, it was, but it still looked very different in a freaky and futuristic way.

    "Welcome to the world of tomorrow, Dave", Melinda said and smiled in his direction. Now, would you be so kind to show me the way to the hospital?"

    ---

    An hour later, as they tiredly exited the Emergency Room entrance in the exterior of the hospital- which David found an unsettling mixture of familiar and oddly changed- he turned to Melinda, who, even exhausted and disheveled looked splendid- just as she had proved an equally splendid liar in the story she told the ER personnel- and said, “What now?”

    “Rest while we wait for word,” she said, “Clean up.  Get some clean clothes.  First hun, let’s go to the library, to the theater, to a restaurant, I'm so excited to ask you about the past, about how the people then behaved, which clothes they wore, simply anything!"

    "I...I have no cash to do with you all of this. I want to all spend my savings next week on the Green Day-concert and I can't waste even one penny!"

    "Green Day? Never heard of them, are they famous?"

    ----

    After a quick meal -breakfast food, as it turned out they’d materialized at barely past dawn- and a change of clothes, courtesy of Melinda’s credit chip, they felt ready to take on a new world. 

    David had gotten shorts and a pullover shirt something like a tee but with a strange collar.  It seemed to be summer in Columbus.  He couldn’t help but sneer at the golf cap he had to wear if he wasn’t going to stand out; men seemed to all wear hats outside, like they were in a really old movie.

    Melinda had purchased a very modest polka dot one-piece dress.  It was white, with purple dots that set off her dark blue eyes.  She looked like the farmer’s daughter -- the one in dirty jokes.  The simple dress did nothing to conceal that she was every inch a very healthy young woman, a look combining virginal and voluptuous in a fashion that had David trying desperately to look casual while holding his cap in front of him as they exited the shop.

    The two of them spent the next few hours walking through the future Columbus, made a short visit to Lake Michigan- which had in that time become a lot smaller- and visited, via magtube -the trip took ten minutes!- the WW3 memorial in Seattle, the new capital of America, or more accurately, the NAU. David marveled at all the wonders of this time, and slowly he forgot all about the Vergophlox, the Hitler android and even...Jack.

    But not Melinda.  David couldn’t forget the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen for a second.  He could feel her beside him as they walked, like a heat was radiating from her body.  When she casually held his hand on the magtube ride, chatting merrily away, David had to take off his hat again.

    The motel they checked into that night wasn’t much different than those of David’s time- save that the door keys were stamped in silvery ink on the back of their hands by the desk clerk, as though the place were a nightclub.

    When Melinda emerged from the shower later, clad in a pink towel not entirely up to the job, David sat up on the bed, instantly clasping his hands in his lap, his mouth gaping open.  Melinda laughed merrily at his goofy expression as she picked up the purse/overnight bag she’d purchased that morning and turned back to the bathroom.  “I’ll be right out hun.  Go to sleep.  It’s been a long day.”

    Tired as he was- he’d been up most of a day when they met and this HAD been a long, albeit wonderful, day- sleep was the last thing on David’s mind.  He turned out the light and slipped under the covers.  ‘This is it,’ he thought, ‘she rented a one-bed room.  Holy shit!  This is it!’

    When Melinda came out and got in bed, she rolled onto her side, her back to him.  David rolled over and put his hand on her hip.  “Melinda-“ he said.

    Crap!  She had on a nightgown!

    “Dave, I can’t,” she said wearily without turning over, “I’ve been awake over thirty six hours hun, and I just can’t.  Snuggle in behind me and let’s get some sleep before we start hallucinating.  I like it when you hold me at night.”

    David did as he was told, though he had the most achingly hard erection of his entire life and actual spooning was too embarrassing.  Her perfume didn’t help. To his surprise, the pain didn’t keep him awake five minutes.

    When he awoke in the middle of the night, still rock hard, to find her wonderfully muscular rump pushed against his crotch, he was still too tired to do anything but think ‘Huh. The perfect woman snores a little,’ before lapsing back to sleep.

    ----

    The next day, when they were lying on the grass of a Columbus park, sunbathing and calmly smoking their Super Tobacco cigarettes, Melinda's cell phone rang, and after the brief talk she turned to David and said, "He's fully recovered, Dave, let's roll! This evening we are going to hear everything!"

    David was saddened that the best day and a half of his life- spending here and now vacationing with Melinda- had come so abruptly to an end.
    « Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 04:14:37 PM by BUncle »

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    Re: 2106 A.D.
    « Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 04:22:32 PM »
  • Publish
  • Chapter Two
    Escape from the Vergophloxes




    On the cab ride to the hospital, Melinda was obviously very eager to get Jack’s complete story.  David was more like a clam which had closed again after really opening for the first time in its life.

    Jack was asleep when they entered his room, and an android nurse told them to have patience until he woke on his own. A thick layer of bandages were wrapped around Jack's head, covering the wound near his temple.

    Ten minutes later, Jack’s eyelids opened in a quick, single movement, as though somebody had just shocked him.

    "Where am I?  ...oh yeah, hospital; I remember."

    "Hiya, Jack!" chirped Melinda enthusiastically, "how are you feeling today?"

    "Not too good, but not too bad either," he turned his heavy head to David, "And what's your deal, sport; enjoying the future so far?"

    "Yeah, kinda..."

    Jack sighed and then closed his eyes again; every attempt of speech and focusing his eye view seemed to still cause him a lot of pain.

    "You know, Mel and Dave, we must return to my base as soon as possible. We just can't leave the Vergophlox on his own. Melinda, what exactly happened after I passed out?"

    "I shot it with my ray gun, right on its ugly forehead!"

    "Oh gizzl; I was afraid you’d done that,” Jack said.  “Listen, the nurse told me that by tomorrow, I'm free again to leave this hospital whenever I please, so prepare yourselves, for tomorrow morning we're going back to the Moon."

    "Why?” Melinda asked.  “Just let the ugly beast starve, start a new life on Earth, find a job..."

    "Rubbish!  Now that the Vergophlox is hurt, it will be terribly angry when it wakes.  I'm the only person who knows how to deal with those creatures when they are in a mood like that,” Jack said.  “Listen, all I want is to prevent more trouble, more casualties than have already happened; if this creature decides it's time to take revenge for the settlers disturbing its sleep, and now that another human even dared to shoot him, then terrible things are going to happen on this planet.  We must return and see what we can do about it - period!"

    "But what is going to happen if this vergo-whatever..."

    "They are called Vergophloxes, David", Jack interrupted him calmly.

    "Okay, so what exactly can this Vergophlox do against the people of Earth? I mean, its whereabouts at the moment, the freaking moon, are not exactly in our neighborhood, right?"

    "It will howl,” Jack asserted, “He's gonna assemble all his brethren, his countless children, siblings, tribes, whatever you'd call them, and they would all fly here, slavering with vendetta for our crimes against them- committed by those foolish Martian settlers."

    “Fly through interplanetary space?” Melinda said, incredulous, “Was it the Vergophlox who dowsed us when it woke up?  What else can those things do?

    “What’s going on here, Jack?” she said.

    "Not now, you two. I'm tired- I'm exhausted from making plans the whole time since I regained consciousness.  Pack your suitcases; I want to see you both ready for a flight tomorrow."

    Almost instantly, he fell into an unnaturally light sleep; obviously the drugs trickling through the IV in his forearm were kicking in.

    ----

    "Melinda", David asked Melinda on their way back to the motel, "in what year are we exactly"?

    "2106; two years after the time from when I traveled back to pick you up.  That’s why we don’t go home to my apartment.  Meeting myself would be bad.”

    David hesitated before deciding not to express how not-at-all-bad the possibilities of meeting two Melindas at the same time sounded to him.  "And nearly a century away from my time,” he said, “But tell me, how come you people don't age? I'm here in this time for two days now and I haven't seen a single old person. How come?"

    "It all started in the 2040's when-“

    She was interrupted by a bright flash.

    A police car behind them was flickering its headlights.

    "Oh damn, and I thought I finally escaped them in '04! Shanagizzl!"

    "Melinda, it's probably just a routine check or something. Don’t worry,” David said.  “Nobody knows the real background story of Jack."

    "It's not about him; they're chasing me- since the day I escaped with the time machine to find you."

    "Escaped? From what, Melinda?"

    "Stop calling me that, fool! I’m not Melinda!"

    The android cab driver automatically slowed down as it complied with the stroboscopic police signal, but the woman, who just claimed a second before to not be David's future wife after all, grabbed the robot violently by its neck and twisted it sideways so that the delicate shell of aluminum and wires was broken. The driverless car instantly lost control and swerved directionless over the broad eight-lane highway, where the other drivers did their best to not collide with the cab.

    The woman vaulted into the front seat of the slowing car; as the cop closed in, she pushed the broken android out of its seat and hit the gas pedal. The car, not built for a normal human driver, accelerated at an insanely high rate and David began to weep again for the first time since yesterday.

    “Mel,” he sobbed, “What the hell?”

    SHANAGIZZIL!  She paused while swerving dangerously between two cars, and continued in more measured tones, “Dave, I’m a little busy, hun- I’ll explain when we’re clear.  Don’t distract me!”

    As she rolled down the window, and her thick mane of long, wavy, dark hair began to blow back in the hurricane of the car’s ultra- high velocity passage, David reflected through his tears that even the back of her head was smokin’ hot.

    All of a sudden, she opened the door beside her and threw out the former driver of the cab. Its metallic, light-weighted body wooshed across the air and landed crashing on the window of a car behind her. Whoever this woman was, she had some amazing physical strength.

    The driver lost control of his vehicle and hit the crash barrier which divided the highway in the middle with full speed. The environmentally friendly motor of his car spat some purple sparks which ignited the flux generator in the hood and within seconds the whole car exploded and disappeared in a raging storm of flames.

    "Holy freaking crap, Mel; didja see that?"

    "David, what made Hitler shoot himself in the head?"

    "Wha..?" and in the middle of his question he fainted on the back seat.

    "You see, my little horny friend", the impersonator spoke to herself, "I'm not a normal woman. I'm not even a woman at all!"

    She drew her ray gun out of her purse and shot randomly out of the window at the cars behind her while focusing all her concentration on the road. ‘That was a mistake,’ thought the woman grimly, ‘now David knows my secret and this will make it much harder to persuade him help me.’

    It appeared that more and more police units were on their trail by the minute. She abruptly hit the breaks hard and the car spun to a sudden stop. The vehicle smoked as woman calmly left it. Unhurt, David was still numb as a stone.

    The policemen were surprised by her unexpected exit. Was this a sudden surrender? What were her motives to provoke such a deadly chase in the first place?

    She yelled as the police SUV's finally came to a halt and the deafening sound of the sirens subsided a bit: "I give up. I made a big mistake. Please come and arrest me now."

    The two policemen which came out of the nearest police car next to the cab slowly approached her, nervous and tense, their guns straight pointing at the woman's head and not lowering for a second.

    "Calm down, lady, we're not gonna hurt you if you just stay where you are."

    With a flash, Melinda, or whatever she was, disappeared into thin air, leaving a numbed David in the cab alone.

    Once again David felt his cheeks grow moist with his tears. His teenage heart didn’t know how to deal with all the emotions he had felt in the last couple of days. A great sob came from his lips and he left the cab and leaned on the side, completely drained and exhausted. “Melinda, please don’t leave me. Now that I found you I don’t wanna lose you.”

    Meanwhile the cops approached, guns covering David. “Where did she go?” asked the shorter one.

    The other cop scratched his head, incidentally pointing his gun away from David, and said “Must have teleported out of here. Too bad she got away; we could have had some fun. That bitch looked hot!”

    Enraged by these words David went berserk and attacked the cops. He rushed the taller cop and tackled him to the ground. While screaming “MELINDA!!” he pounded the cop’s face, bloodying his nose but failing to do any more damage, being a wimp.

    The shorter cop used his stun gun on David and he collapsed on the floor, arms and legs twitching until, mercifully, blackness claimed him.

    ----

    David woke up on a hard plan bed in a cold cell.  He was confused how the hell he came here, then memories of what had happened last night hit him like a baseball on his head. He looked around him and saw Jack standing in front of the bars.

    "Jack...Melinda, she's gone insane, she..."

    "I know David.  The cops told me all about it." And after a short pause he added, "I’m sure she was an android, because she had the ability to teleport and she didn't possess a teleportation belt as far as I know. I admit that I'm very confused about that at this moment."

    An older policeman in a creased uniform approached the cell, with a big key ring in his hand and it looked like he was about going to open the door.

    "Mr. Hawksmoor", he said in a high-pitched, exhausted voice, "you are free to go. Your father here was ready to pay bail for you this morning."

    "My father...?", David questioned - but Jack put his finger on his lips and shook his head behind the cop’s back.

    ----

    After David signed a couple of electronic documents they exited the building together.

    Jack began to speak in a low voice, "The real Melinda is dead and so are you, David. Now I'm almost completely sure that the whole time we were talking to a copy of her, a copy that brought you from the past to our time. Her plan all along was to find me with your help when I was a toddler, so that I'd be eliminated and not present a danger anymore in this time. Somebody among my enemies must have constructed her and sent her to the past so that little, naive Uncle David could do the dirty work."

    They strolled to the municipal graveyard, Jack leading the way to a specific spot.

    "David, take a look at that gravestone," Jack said.

    He read: "Here lie David and Melinda Madison, victims of the Great Fire of 2079."

    "Great Fire?" David exclaimed.

    "The last World War," Jack said.  "A nuclear missile hit near Columbus and hundreds of thousands died that day - and it seems that you two were among them. The survivors built the new city on the ruins of the old, and maybe that's the reason this place now appears so very strange to you."

    David felt as though his heart suddenly moved up his throat and was trying to flee from his body through his mouth. He didn’t know what to say.

    A grey cloud moved before the sun and a strong wind came up.

    They turned their backs on the grave and went towards Jupiter Hills, a small, private spaceport where Jack's spaceship stood.

    “Jack,” David said as they passed inside, “I've got a lotta questions without even getting into the Mars stuff. Like, why do you have a ship ready in the city we teleported you to on Earth? And- hell," his eyes began moistening again, "she CAN'T be an android. I had her ass rubbing against me all night the other night. No way she wasn’t alive.”

    Jack’s eyebrow went up at that last. “Dave, are you freaking brain-dead? Even our shanzing president is part-android, so what's so hard to believe that Melinda was a ‘bot, too?

    “Also, it's much easier to travel by the means of lightning-fast teleportation than doing so with a spaceship what takes almost a whole day,” Jack said. “Time I didn't have when I needed to take care of the Vergophlox and to appease it constantly with food and my tranquilizing voice. If this creature would have noticed that I was away from the cave just for one second, it would have raged like a rabid dog, out of boredom – not to mention anger at a long captivity."

    "Why hold that thing on the base anyway?" David said.

    "Vergophloxes have tremendous powers, powers whose origins and attributes we even now just barely understand,” Jack looked serious as he continued.

    “I wanted to be able one day to exploit that for the sake of humankind, making up a small part of all the harm I caused to it, but so far all my experiments can be summarized as just continuous failures. I captured one after every settler was killed and brought it to my moon base after severely hurting it when I was fighting against it on Mars."

    "You fought it?" David asked amazed.

    "Yep,” Jack said.  “I wandered on Mars for a couple of days after the virus had done its work and I stumbled across one when I entered a cage to find refuge against the icy cold. The son of a bitch caught me by total surprise but I was quick enough to fire a ray straight to its eyes. I teleported it to my base on the Moon, but after a couple of days it succumbed to its heavy wounds. But what I didn't know was that it was a pregnant female, and left behind one single, gigantic egg. It took just a small amount of time until I saw it hatching - and out came the beast you saw when you arrived there."

    David was satisfied with this answer and together they entered the spaceship.

    Sitting in the copilot’s seat while Jack did a preflight check gave David time to catch his breath. ‘Melinda,’ he thought.  His heart was leaden in his chest; he wanted to die. ‘God, it can’t be true.’

    Jack said, as though he has read his mind, "Your first flight will always be something special, Dave. It is incredibly beautiful out there in space and sometimes you will wonder if you are dreaming or not".

    He smiled which instantly gave him a much younger appearance.

    "Buckle your seatbelts.  We're starting now."

    When they were strapped in, with a dozen of belts and strings for each, and had put on their helmets, all of which took almost half an hour, Jack pushed a sequence of buttons and the ship rose over the ground in a perfectly horizontal line. Just mere minutes later, they were already out of the Earth's atmosphere.

    "Now, the real flight begins, David. Are you ready?"

    Through the internal communication system which was engineered into their helmets, he heard Dave’s feeble, unsure answer: "Yeah, man, I think I am."

    And Jack activated the Neutrino generator of his ship, and instantly they were completely out of sight.

    Under constant acceleration, space didn't feel special to David. Nothing could pull him out of the mood he was in. Tears where running back from the corners of his eyes, but the lights of the stars, warped by the extremely high speed they were travelling, distracted him a little. Most of the time, they were sitting side by side in the miniscule spaceship remaining silent, only talking about mundane flight issues.  Melinda wasn't mentioned at all while David thought of nothing else.

    Then, they arrived at the Moon and Jack easily brought the ship down on a small landing stage. Even when they were still miles away from the actual base, they could already see atmosphere escaping the habitat in thick, black smoke steams ascending to the black sky. Jack urged his uncle to hurry.

    David couldn't make himself care.  He felt like he was already dead.  How could it be? 'Melinda,' he thought, sobbing again. The tears puddled on his cheeks in the low gravity and he didn't see the gap in the ground he almost stepped in.

    Before he fell, Jack grabbed him by his shoulder and pulled him back.

    "What the shangz!" mumbled Jack, "this wasn't here before."

    They hopped towards the base, each step bringing them dozens of meters forward in the low gravity.

    They saw more signs in the closing distance of the flames and the chaos the enraged Vergophlox had left. It looked like a missile had hit Jack's lab.

    Then they both heard a high-pitched, vibrant howl in the distance and they both winced at the sound. Jack drew his ray gun, shouted loudly "Shanagizzl!", and ran towards his now devastated home, David following him anxiously.

    Jack was shocked when they arrived at the cave entrance leading to the base.  They peered around the edge.   David sat down with his back to a rock, beyond caring for long. For a nickel, he'd go charging in there, ready to fight anything- it didn't matter to him anymore if he died.

    Then he heard something he thought never be hearing again: Melinda's voice! Crying for help!

    "David, help me! The Vergophlox...it's killing me!"

    "David, NO!” Jack shouted.  “It's a trick, don't..."

    David had already jumped up, now snatched the gun from Jack's hand and ran straight into the dark entrance of the cave.  When he found the rectangular room again he saw her from behind, standing like a statue.

    "Melinda, thank God I've found you!" David cried joyfully, but then Melinda turned, and the evil, ice-cold grin on her face stopped him in his tracks.

    "You bloody fool", she said in a voice which was dripping with malevolence, "Now you're gonna die and there’s no Jack here to save your ass this time. Good bye."

    She drew her gun lightning-fast, and pointed it at David.

    He lowered his gun.  If his true love hated him, he didn't want to live anyway.

    The ground began to shake horribly and a huge rock from the ceiling of the cave crashed onto Melinda.

    Jack came running in, slapped David him in the face to bring him out of his shock and yelled: "Dave, we gotta get outta here! The Vergophloxes are coming, thirsting for revenge!"

    Now Dave saw Jack's Vergophlox lying dead on the floor, its ugly, misshapen head almost blasted in two. The Melinda-android had killed it; but because of the murder they now had to deal with an entire horde.

    They rushed out of the cave and saw dozens, no hundreds of winged Vergophloxes descending in an unbelievable speed from the sky. It looked almost too terrible and surrealistic to be true, but the beasts’ dreadful screams quickly snapped them out of their stunned state. The ground began to shake now even more intensely than before and the two of them scrambled for the spaceship as fast as they could.

    David was too numb to wonder how he was hearing so many things over his suit radio; he’d never heard well anyway.

    As the ravening beasts drew closer, David’s despair made the decision for him. He raised the ray gun and shot randomly, with closed eyes, at the dark cloud of Vergophloxes. Some of them were hit and fell like gigantic hail.  There was actual hail falling, too. 

    "Shanagizzl!" shouted Jack as he snapped away the gun from David and began shooting, much more effectively.

    "Vergophloxes are magical creatures, reigning over the elements and the weather. Now they're exploiting their powers to crush us with hail! Go into the ship now, I try to kill as many of them as possible in the meanwhile."

    Suddenly, a bright blue light was coming from the ruins of Jack's lab, the entrance of was now sealed with huge grey rocks- Jack stopped shooting, startled by the sight.

    "You shangzers! How dare you!" an extremely loud and wrathful female voice boomed from the direction of the cave. The biggest rock in front of the cave's opening was blasted into dust by a blue and powerful burst of energy; Melinda came out bare to the vacuum, her skin damaged in places, revealing metallic parts.

    Her left forearm was now completely missing and an energy cannon, very much in the fashion David had seen already with Jack's android guards, was now visible.

    "I'll kill every single one of you bastards!" the android shouted with an unnaturally amplified voice and began shooting blue streams of pure energy into the sky, directly into the swarm of the Vergophloxes.

    “Melindaaa!” shouted David as he instantly began running towards her, but before he just could get closer to her than a couple of meters, she reached with her hand into her pocket and he instantly fainted.

    "How did you do that?" Jack wanted to know.

    "I'm an android of the newest generation, Jack. I have APP, Artificial Psi Powers. They come in handy, but are only applicable on the weaker minds, like the mechanical brain of your Hitler android or a random pathetic emo-kid like our Dave."

    Both charged their guns and began firing again, but without much success. Though the swarm suffered heavy losses, there were just too many, and the shadow the swarm cast became thicker and thicker.

    "Melinda, this doesn't seem to work at all. Quick, grab David and carry him to the ship, I think the sky is now clear enough to try a start."

    She pulled David up as though he was as light as a feather and ran with him inside the ship. Jack fired a final blast with his gun and followed them. When they all sat down, Jack omitted bothering with putting the safety belts on this time and instantly started the engines. They went off the ground, right in the middle of the furious beasts.

    "If we ever gonna reach space, we must make a trip to Mars first", Jack remarked.

    "Why?" the Melindadroid asked.

    "Cause I don't want them following us to Earth. We have to go to Mars, find a hiding place, and in the meanwhile, come up with a plan on how to get rid of the Vergophloxes too."

    And the ship went higher and higher until it was beyond the exhausted Vergophloxes. Jack finally donned the necessary seat belts and urged Melinda to do the same; also for the unconscious form of David. Then he activated the Neutrino drive, and they were on their way to Mars.

    Meanwhile, on the face of the Moon, the Vergophloxes which survived the battle landed gracefully on the ground, howling in wrath and pain.  Jack calculated they'd gained a half-day's lead even if they couldn't lose the beasts.

    “Mel,” Jack said, turning, “That was mean of you. You never told him, did you?”

    "No, it was..." she paused for a moment, looking for the right words, "I just never found the right moment to tell him the truth; about the settlers, about anything. I'm glad you knew to fly to the Moon to meet me. Also thanks for your help with those damn Vergophloxes."

    "Do you think he's really the same boy Melinda was talking about back in the days before the Great Fire? Because by now, I'm more than a bit disappointed to see this little wimp crying and shangzing all the time!" He took a gulp from his hip flask, and continued: "You know that we can't afford to make any more mistakes, don’t you? If we somehow altered the time continuum already and picked up the wrong person in the past, our fate will be sealed and there won't be a thing we can do about it."

    Melinda glared at her metallic forearm and chose not to answer. Silently they approached Mars and chose not to talk anymore throughout the whole flight.

    ----

    When David came to after ship’s landing a few hours later, he was slow in orientating as he sat up.  His heart leapt when he realized the white and purple thing with pink streaks he was looking at was Melinda’s bottom.

    “Hello, hun,” she said with a smile as she turned from the portal, her external damage repaired, but her dress nearly as much composed of rifts as fabric, “Feeling better?”

    Too stunned to process his reaction, David sat mute as she knelt beside him, saying “How’s our little horny?” as she leaned in to kiss his cheek.

    David, turning to answer, met her lips inadvertently.  Their eyes locked as his heart stopped.  The look in hers turned predatory, hungry.

    She put her arms around him, pulling him to his feet with her, not letting go as she withdrew her face an inch, still eye to eye.  “Dave, I have a lot of explaining to do, but I want you to know that I was made for you.  Made for you.  I’ve loved you from the moment we met.”

    David’s eyes began gushing tears as her arms tightened and their lips met.  When her tongue slid into his mouth, David felt-

    “Shanagizzl!” she shouted as he went limp in her arms, slipping into unconsciousness yet again.

    "What happened?" Jack called from the cockpit.

    She sighed. "Nothing really important; he just fainted again. Maybe you were right. Maybe this Dave isn't the same person we know from our timeline."

    Several hours later, they landed on the old, now completely deserted airport of New Berlin, the settlement which had been intended to be a springboard for other colonies - now a sad, empty relic.

    Jack and the android left the spaceship, leaving David alone while they wandered, seemingly aimless, on the red ground which once had been a profitable barley field. Then they stopped in the same instant.

    "It is time, Melinda", Jack declared solemnly as he held up a golden key.

    "Yeah, let’s do it already. For the sake of mankind and ourselves!" said the android as Jack bowed down to look for the hidden lock buried under the sand.

    Soon, under the sand he brushed aside, a yellow glow appeared. A door out of red stone appeared where a moment ago has been nothing. With shaking hands, Jack inserted the key into its lock and the door disappeared again, but now leaving an entrance behind which in a perfectly vertical angle went down the ground. Jack stood up and jumped down, followed by Melinda a moment later.

    He had been here already two times, but each time he had cursed about hurting his legs and knees when he was forced to come down here in this most inconvenient manner.

    "Shanag..." he began, turning, but Melinda was already behind him making a very elegant landing, Jack observed, not without envy.

    It was Melinda's first time here though, and she asked, "Where do we go next, Jack?"

    Before Jack could open his mouth, they heard a faint scream of a Vergophlox in the distance, but this time it didn't sound furious at all, but more like the beast was enjoying a delightful meal, with loud munching and chewing sounds following.

    "If I remember correctly,” he said, “we just have to go for like ten minutes in this direction and we will arrive at the Great Chamber."

    Walking half-erect because of a low ceiling, there were on their way. After ten minutes as predicted, they reached the end, and a massive bronze gate.

    "Now what?" a slightly angry and very dusty Melinda wanted to know.

    "Cuthulu arg nappu!" Jack said, and slowly, the pair of doors opened up with a loud, irritating squeaking.

    Melinda couldn't believe the new sight that met her eyes.  A huge cave made out of red stone, maybe thousands of iron-made lamps hanging from the ceiling which were illuminating the whole dungeon in an eerie red light, and hundreds of Vergophloxes, in all the variations and shapes of their kind, were wandering around.

    A small path led from the porch where the humans were standing to the center of the room in which a huge chair stood, formed from the stone of the cave floor.  On the chair, actually a throne, sat the biggest Vergophlox Melinda had ever seen; their king.

    Telepathically it told them to approach its place and slowly they made their way through this cathedral-like room towards the beast, their faces reflecting their astonishment and bafflement as they came closer.

    A high-pitched and screaming voice rushed through their minds when the Vergophlox spoke to them.

    Why did you have to kill so many of my children when you were on the Moon? it asked.

    Jack said quietly, "We had to.  They were going to kill us, and the only way to survive was to shoot them down from the sky."

    The king moved slightly from one side to another. What do you wish from me, Jack? I appreciate that you killed all the settlers two years ago, but we are an aged, diminishing race.  We won't be much of a help for a human like you.

    "The thing I ask from you, O great King of the Mars, is to save Earth by deflecting the deadly solar event which will hit our world in a year."

    The creature on the throne fell into silence for such an irritatingly long time that both Jack and Melinda thought it was ignoring them, but finally, it opened its mouth for the first time in the conversation, let out a horrible scream, but answered as before with the power of its mind, Granted, human. But you also have to do my people a favor.

    "We listen, Overlord," Jack said, bowing his head slightly.

    Human, human-thing, you must bring us a sign of your loyalty, a sign by which we will be able to perceive if you are really worthy to be saved along with the rest of your kind. If you succeed, we will be ready to help you.

    "What is it? What do you want from us?"

    One nuclear missile, so that our race will be feared in the eyes of the humans so that they'll never dare to disturb our rest again. And with that it waved to the nearby iron lance-bearing guards, and the earthlings were forced from the cave, both utterly shocked and totally clueless on how to fulfill the demand.
    « Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 04:10:41 PM by BUncle »

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    Re: 2106 A.D.
    « Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 09:07:25 PM »
  • Publish
  • Chapter 3
    Revelations




    When David regained consciousness back on the ship, the trio was already in flight.

    "Mel," he heard Jack saying up front, "could you go put some clothes on? You’re very distracting in that tattered dress and you look like my dead aunt. It's creepy, for Gizzl's sake."

    David had to verify that immediately.  He stood up very fast, all his drowsiness forgotten. When he reached the pilot cabin he was greeted by Jack: "Well, how's our little champ today?"

    "I have a mild headache, but it feels like going away now. Uhmm, where exactly are we flying right now?"

    "The Moon", answered Melinda, who was indeed barely covered by her abused dress and showing no sign of moving aft to do something about it, "We need to go to the past again."

    "Why?"

    "We need to steal a nuclear missile from your timeframe. After the Great Fire, all of them were destroyed."

    During the flight they explained what happened after he had passed out and why they had to visit David's time yet again. When they landed on the Moon, they inspected the timemobile, the limousine in which Melinda had picked David up, where it sat outside Jack’s base.  They found it still perfectly intact besides a thin layer of moondust on its paint, which was a great relief.

    Suddenly, Melinda hesitated to come with them. "Ehrmm, somebody should watch the base while you're gone, maybe one of the Vergophloxes will be coming back to transmit me a message or something. It's better if one us stays here."

    "What are you talking about?" objected Jack, "the deal is now sealed. We bring them a missile and they'll help us save the Earth. Vergophloxes never revise any orders they already submitted in the past; you know that."

    "Well, uhmm...just go together with David. I have just a feeling, Y'know, an intuition maybe, that it's better for all of us if I stay here, watching how things are coming down in this timeline."

    Jack was obviously annoyed and perplexed by her sudden change of heart, but then seemed to make a decision.  He said to David, "OK then, then it's just us two", and they entered the car.

    "Stand back Mel, we're going to start now", Jack told her when the machine was set. Melinda took a few steps back, and saw the car instantly disappear through an eerie gateway, of blue bolts of cold flames, that appeared and disappeared with a radio bang like an electromagnetic cannon.

    "Fools," she said quietly to herself as she went to the now obsolete cave where Jack's base entrance had been, laughing in a truly self-satisfied manner.

    ----

    “Gizzl, that ‘bot must think we’re really stupid,” Jack said in the car.

    “Huh?” David said, just then turning away from contemplating the strange glowing- whatever- that was all that could be seen through the window where he’d last seen her.

    “Good one, kid.  That Melbot.  Does she think I’m dumb enough to just leave all my good stuff out where she can have what she wants?  I’ve got a few surprises set up for intruders.”

    “On the Moon?”

    “Dave, I killed everyone on Mars.  I’m a little paranoid now, okay?” Jack said, “With any luck, one of my traps should have caught her or the guards will have locked her up when we get back, and the surveillance cameras will have caught some clues about what her deal is.”

    “You don’t know?” David said, “Hey! - HITLER, by the way? What the hell's up with that?"

    “Funny you should ask now; I’m not the original owner,” Jack said, “The base used to belong to the Space Nazis of the Dark Side of the Moon. -Who aren't all gone and never gave up on the 4th Reich-- hold on; we’re materializing.”

    Out of nothing the car bumped on a dusty country road which seemed to lie in the middle of nowhere. Endless wheat fields covered the area on both sides and no one was in sight.

    "Where are we?" asked David.

    "If everything went smoothly, it’s supposed to be 1945 in the vicinity of Hannover, where the Nazi regime tried to build a nuclear weapon to eliminate the American soldiers who were penetrating the borders of the Reich on a massive scale at that time.

    "Wait, what? The Nazis never built anything like that, or else they would have easily won the war,” David questioned, “besides the nuclear research was at Peenemünde."

    “Huh?” Jack said.  “Dave, you never struck me as a Word War Two nerd.”

    “History Channel.”

    “Oh.” Jack said, "Anyway, the Hitler android told me so. You see, the former owners of the Moon base lived there until the 2030's and then vanished mysteriously. All they left was an empty habitat, and some bots.   Hitlerbot was, I think now, meant as an immortal replica of the Fuhrer himself or something.

    “When I discovered the base, I installed several traps in there to keep them away and to fend off unwelcome intruders as well," he grinned evilly.

    "The Nazis of this time never came to use their missile though, because we stole it before they even noticed the theft, or at least the Hitlerbot told me so after I reactivated him to make him another creepy, if kinda weak, guard of my lab. You see, David, we are even supposed to succeed; we have absolutely nothing to worry about for our little mission today!"

    After ten minutes or so, when they were still driving through the seemingly endless fields, David dared to ask: "Why is Melinda sometimes so mean and at other times so sweet and nice to me? Why..." he sobbed now, "why doesn't she just finish her job already and kill me? What makes her hesitate to execute her orders?"

    "I have no idea, but first we gotta know who actually built her, and she steadfastly refuses to talk about it and blocks any investigation of mine at all.  I noticed that she can't be functioning properly, or else she ought to be a raging beast when she sees you, like a mindless rabid dog or, well...a machine."

    “I…” David paused, feeling stupid about saying it out loud, “Someone sent a malfunctioning Terminator after me?”

    “The band?” Jack said, “No, Dave, I just think someone who doesn’t have our best interests -“

    He was interrupted by the car’s glide to a stop outside a nondescript factory, which would have been almost completely invisible in the middle of the fields had Jack not known its exact location.

    "Dave, do you know how to handle a gun? You come from a time where virtually every schoolchild had a gun, right?"

    "Well, uhmm... I think you might be exaggerating a bit, Jack; but, I mean, we can't possibly screw it up, right?  So I suppose you could trust me with a gun."

    "Good answer!"

    Jack opened the glove compartment of the car and drew out two futuristic ray guns, completely ordinary in his time, and put one in David's slightly shivering hand.

    "Let’s roll, buddy!" Jack said, exiting the car and going towards the gate of the building with amazing self-confidence.  David followed him in a much more nervous and uncertain fashion. Jack charged his gun, and a ring of blue energy hit the lock of the door, melted it in an instant, and set the wooden door frame afire. He shot another two times at the door and it was ripped apart in thousands of little splinters.

    "Almost no security so’s to avoid attention.  Yeah, this will go as easy as stealing a lollipop from an infant! David, just stay close behind me and keep the people inside in check if necessary, okay?"

    "Yeah, okay...," David answered, doubtfully.

    Slowly they crept inside; their attention caught by the huge, although as yet uncompleted, rocket which stood in the center of the hall, two men in white coats standing beside it with their hands already raised.

    "Like I said, stealing a lollipop from an infant", Jack said, and without any hesitation he shot them. They fell to the ground, holes gaping in their bellies with smoke emerging.

    "JACK!" David yelled in panic, "why did you have to kill them? They already surrendered!"

    "I like killing people, simple as pie. Now come with me; let’s figure out how we can transport this thing with the time machine." Jack approached the missile, the top of which was missing, and thoughtlessly kicked the dead bodies of the scientists out of the way to have it easier to peek at its bottom.

    "Hmm, no wheels or anything underneath.  It's gonna be a pickle to haul this baby up the limousine. David, could you please come and help m..." His back was hit with an energy beam from David's gun. He fell forward and landed beside the corpses. He cried in pain; he wasn't dead yet- David didn't want to kill him, just punish him.

    "David you son of a bitch!"

    David, with a furious expression on his face, screamed at the top of his lungs, "YOU KILL PEOPLE FOR FUN? So you really are insane.  I bet you killed all those settlers just for your entertainment, TOO!" He charged his gun again and aimed it now at the center part of the missile to blow it up, thereby making it worthless for the Germans.

    "No you idiot", cried Jack, "You’re going to kill us all if you do that!"

    "I don't care, to be honest,” David shot back.  “I hated my life before I met you guys and now I hate it even more since Melinda rejected me. I have no reason to continue living."

    Suddenly, he heard her behind him, shouting: "No Dave, don't do that!" 

    David was so surprised to hear her voice that he dropped the gun.  "Melinda! How?"

    She walked past him, her polka-dot dress in far better shape than before, to where Jack was lying on the floor, his face distorted with pain. “Look at the nose of the V2. The warhead isn’t installed. That thing probably isn’t fueled yet anyway. We have to find the warhead itself.”

    She knelt beside Jack, "Jack, oh Jack; what did you do to deserve this?"

    "Melinda, did you happen to bring any ointment from my secret locker? Quick- I’m passing out soon!"

    "Who did this you?"

    "David, he went insane! This maniac, you were right, he was always a big disappointment for our family! Can't you eliminate him now and drag me back to the Moon base where I have the means to heal my wounds within seconds? Please, I'm dying here!"

    Melinda looked long into Jack's eyes which were shimmering with rage and agony. Then she said in a low voice: "I'm sorry Jack, but I'm afraid I can't let you off the hook this time."

    She got up and walked towards David. "David, I'm glad you're okay. I was worried." And then she hugged him.

    David, overcome with –among other things- joy to see her, by her touch, threw his arms around her. As her body pressed against his, returning the hug, he marveled that a robot could feel so soft, warm and real, and smell so wonderful.

    "What do we do now about Jack?" he wanted to know, his head still pillowed in her plentiful bosom.

    After a pause she released him and sighed. "He knows too much we still need to know to let him die, I guess. Take the crazy killer back to the future and heal him for questioning. We’ll need to tie him up, for everyone’s safety."

    She directed her eyes to Jack, "The Vergophloxes appointed you to do all their dirty work for a reason, eh Jack?"

    Jack didn’t reply to this rhetorical question, too preoccupied with the agony of the gaping wound on his back.

    "Lets find that bomb; we don’t have much time before security for this place drops by," Melinda suggested.

    A quick look around turned up a bulky object on a wheeled trolley to one side of the room- Melinda ran to it. It was a white, metallic object in the shape of a cone, the generally known radiation sign printed on it.

    "Oh my God!" she gasped, lifted its 250 lbs from the trolley and set it on the floor. Then she picked Jack up and took him outside to the car while he whimpered all the way. She closed the door and ran back to the rocket and kicked, with unbelievable strength against the base of the frame the missile was standing on, which caused it to shake dangerously.

    "David, go to the car now!" she demanded. When David was gone to safety, she made an unnaturally amplified battle cry, a sound like finger nails scratching on a chalkboard, but louder and more disturbing, kicked against the stand with even more power than before, and the missile tumbled down with a loud crash.

    ‘I hope this piece of crap isn't broken now,’ she grimly thought, and attached the warhead on the missing tip of the missile. Next, she pulled a belt out of her pocket, much like a teleportation belt, but a belt was made out of futuristic silicium instead of leather.

    She buckled it around the middle of the rocket, where its diameter was smallest, pecked, with blinding speed, coordinates into the minuscule keyboard of the belt and pushed the scarlet button in the middle. The whole structure of the missile disappeared in the usual manner, with blue lightning and cold flames whirling around the object and lingering for a few seconds. Melinda, satisfied, hurried back to the timemobile.

    "I managed it, David! Now the Verges have no excuse anymore to deny us their help!" She started the engine, and the car once more vanished in a flash- leaving behind two dead Germans in a now-silent facility.

    ----

    In the car, David took her hand, figuring amidst all this craziness he had nothing to loose.  “Mel, you.  I.  I mean, I don’t understand what’s going on, but I want you to know that I-“

    “I know, hun,” she interrupted, squeezing his hand back and smiling affectionately, “But we only have a minute, and we need to be ready for anything on the Moon.  I don’t have a pressure suit, and I’d rather not get bruised all over by vacuum holding my breath and running, so I’m going to try to materialize in Jack’s hangar.  I don’t know everything that’s up either, and the way things have been going, that’s dangerous. 

    “The first thing we need to do there is to get Jack stabilized as quickly as possible,” she said, “If something dangerous is going on when we arrive, that’ll be your job. Where’s your gun?”

    "I, I don't have it with me. I guess it is still lying on the floor of that factory where I dropped it when I saw you…" He blushed and Melinda cursed silently.

    They materialized on the Moon where the car landed on the gateway near Jack's former base. They came to a halt shortly before the path which led to the now collapsed entrance of the cave.

    A bright blue ray of energy hit the car and it exploded, killing David and Jack in the same instant.

    The other Melinda approached the burning and crackling rubble of the timemobile, and she wore a triumphant grin on her face. Her artificial skin tissue was partly damaged, revealing bones and wires of cold steel, the cavity on her left side where her arm would have been if she'd been a real human still smoking from the shot.

    "Finally!" she screamed and laughed.

    Then ten feet away from her another object materialized, blue bolts of light and energy surrounding. It was the nuclear missile from 1945.

    She had won.

    Jack and Dave now dead and not presenting a danger for her plans anymore, she confidently strolled towards the rocket, but suddenly her twin emerged from the car, showing metallic tubes and red lights with the skin burned away, leaping on her counterpart, determined to execute total revenge for the death of her loved ones.

    The fight was intense but short, the bionic remnant catching the android responsible for David's and Jack's death by total surprise, ripped her literally apart, burning with desire to at least make her pay for her crime.

    The fight over, Melinda fought to retain consciousness as she took the belt off the missile and flashed away.

    She materialized again in 1945 in front of the crashed door of the lab in Germany, feeling that her body was too severely damaged to make it much longer. She saw Jack with his wound on the floor, cringing in pain and herself and David arguing what had to be done now.

    "Look at me!" she hissed hoarsely with burned, vacuum-ravaged, lungs and throat, making them notice her with shock, "look at me, be warned. Melinda, I'm you after you'll travel back to the future, our twin did this to me. Don't go back yet.  Tell the boy everything!"

    She stopped speaking and fell forward to the ground on the remains of her face, as lifeless as a machine would be. The Melinda left, her friends alive, understood the message from her future-self and said to David, "Mostly burned organics.  That’s not the android.  Lets have a talk; I surely owe you an explanation, Dave."

    "The thing is, there's so much I don't know," she said, taking his hand, "I only remember bits and pieces- and they didn't tell me things I didn't need to know for my mission. I was grown, Dave, from cells of Melinda Hawksmoor Madison, with improvements of all sorts added, to protect your life and the life of Jack."

    In that moment, Jack cried out, "Oh, the pain! Melinda, please help me!" Then he fell instantly asleep; she had used her Artificial Psionic Powers again. She continued her story.

    "I don’t know what year I come from, and I don’t know who my creator was, but they told me that in my era, you and Jack were dead for a very long time already. Humankind was scattered throughout the solar system after Earth was devastated by the catastrophic solar flare that hit in 2107. I was made on Pluto’s moon Chiron, the most remote outpost of the Human Federation, in a secret location which was only known to a handful of rebel scientists.

    “You see, in my time,” she said, “the human race lacks a home world and the remnants of civilization are under the yoke of the dictator Mendacor the third, who reigns over us with terror and violence. His great-grandfather was a hero of the Great Exodus of Man from the Earth in 2109, and once he had risen to Overlordship, he, and after his death, his respective descendants, never ceased to control and exploit us."

    She paused a bit, and said in a lower voice, "I think they must have raided the lab I was grown in after I was deployed, and built a wholly-robotic counterpart of me to send back and make me fail in my mission.  -And to eliminate any potential that Earth might be saved by the attempts of Jack and you to appease the Verges, to persuade them to deflect the catastrophe which will devastate Earth next year. A timeline in which Earth is still our home and Mendacor never rose to power would be that paranoid maniac’s greatest nightmare.”
     
    A puzzled frown appeared on her face.  “Something… happened when we were leaving the hospital the second time.  The Melinda who escaped from the police in Columbus and who tried to hurt you on the Moon was her, not me.  I woke up in a tank in the lab in my own time, surrounded by strangers.  They’d apparently managed a switch of some sort by tracing my time-track, and must’ve needed a near-perfect duplicate of me for it to work.  They hadn’t accounted for my psi implants and my strength, though.  Escaping was simple.  Inserting myself back in a precise place and time was less so.

    “I appeared in Jack’s moonbase where I expected the two of you to go, and saw myself fighting his guards,” she grinned wryly and squeezed his hand, “Hun, I can’t tell you how strange that was.  That was how I found out about the substitution. I was able to overcome my shock and attack her from behind while she was preoccupied with finishing off the nazibots.

    “With the advantage of surprise, my psi powers had the upper hand over hers,” she said, “It was eerie, interfacing with a mind so nearly identical.  They’d programmed her with a duplicate of my mental patterns and the fuzzy memories the time probes had extracted from the original Melinda for me, overlaid with new instructions neither of us understood.  The technicians who built her hadn’t done nearly so good a job with her programming as they did with her very realistic robotic body.”

    “Realistic?” David grinned.  “I’ll say!”

    Melinda’s face twitched quickly with jealousy, then grew perplexed again.  “Dave, she feels the same way about you that I do, but- it’s complicated.  I couldn’t tell if her mission is simply to kill the two of you, short circuited most of the time by the overwhelming majority of her mind that is me, or if they sent her to do something unfathomable to change things.  Maybe she’s to save Earth but use her knowledge of the future to see that Mendacor the First still rises to power.  I don’t know.  She’s only aware of her mission programming when it manages to take charge, and she wasn’t told anything she didn’t need to know, either.”

    “That explains the mood-swings,” David said.  He was managing to pay attention despite his joy at being with Melinda again and his constant awareness of her hand in his.  His relief at finally getting some answers was enormous.  It was actually overpowering his desire to try to kiss her.

    “I was worried about you; your safety had to come before getting all the answers,” Melinda said, “so I dropped the interrogation, locked her in one of the cells in the lower level of Jack's base and put her to sleep.”  She frowned, ”But I think that the only reason I would have risked doubling back to warn myself is that the android has awakened and is now lying in wait to ambush and kill us. Now we have to come up with a plan to prevent her from doing that when we return to the base to heal Jack's back wound and to finish delivering the missile."

    “First, there’s something I have to do,” she said, withdrawing her hand from his.  “Where’s your gun, hun?”

    "I, I don't have it with me,” David said.  “I guess it’s still inside.”

    “Gizzl, we almost left without a gun.  It’s not safe to stay here any longer.” she said, and dashed inside.  Seconds later, she ran back out with the gun, stopping ten feet from her future duplicate’s lifeless body.  She blasted it to vapor.  “We didn’t dare leave that behind,” she said, turning towards the car, “Come on.  Arming you and materializing somewhere she wouldn’t be waiting for us should make the difference we need.”

    She lifted the sleeping Jack over her shoulder and opened the back door of the car where she carefully laid him down on the seat. She and David both got in and Melinda said, "The hangar near the entrance of the base would be the best place to land in 2106, but since we know we got ambushed, I think it's best we materialize the car inside Jack's desolate lab." She typed in the coordinates, ignited the engine and the car disappeared in small blue bolts of energy.

    They arrived in the dungeon of Jack's lab, which was still intact. Melinda unbuckled her seat belt and was breathing heavily.

    "Hun", she said, "whatever you might hear from outside, please, I beg you, do not come to rescue or help me. I have no clue where she might be at the moment, but seeing you die by her hands would – I can’t live without you. Do you understand that?"

    He nodded. Then she touched his face with her two hands and kissed him on his lips. When she pulled back, David saw a lone tear running down her cheek. Without any further words, Melinda pulled the handle of the door and exited the car.

    "Good bye, David. Give Jack the ointment on the table over there.  It will make a good job of relieving his pain and healing his flesh. Then fly back to Earth and bring him to the hospital."

    "What about you, Melinda? What do you expect outside?"

    "My fate, whatever that that might be", she ominously replied and went towards the stairway which led to a rectangular room, now inaccessible, buried under large rocks.
    « Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 04:17:32 PM by BUncle »

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    Re: 2106 A.D.
    « Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 04:09:33 PM »
  • Publish
  • Chapter Four
    Girl-Fight on the Moon




    When she was out of David's sight, she lost all self-control and began silently weeping. At the same time, she moved obstructing rubble away with ease.  She pulled herself up through the trap door leading out and took some anxious looks around her, walking slowly towards the exit, pushing wreckage out of her way, when she saw signs that somebody else must have had used brute force to come through it lately. Pulling on a pressure suit from an exit locker, she went through the airlock in the cave entrance and saw the nuclear missile lying on the runway outside, ready for delivery.

    Nothing was here, no sound was made but the sound of her breaths and steps. Nothing was there; maybe her twin had fled the scene and returned to her masters?

    A hand out of the Moon dust clutched on her ankle and Melinda shrieked and tried to get away, but the hand pulled harder and its owner used her as an anchor to rise up from the ground.  Melinda saw burned hair, then her lifeless and yet hateful eyes, and then her face in completion - which was a horrific sight, with its evil grin and the shreds of artificial skin tissue hanging from bones made of metal.

    "Hiya, Melinda!"

    As the Melbot finished climbing out of the dust, the organic Melinda, taken by surprise, felt her mind begin to shut down.  There was a flash of light-


    And she yanked her ankle loose as the Melbot was stunned by the blast.  Spinning around to run, she saw David in the entrance, his gun raised, hands shaking with fear.  “Dave!” she shouted, bounding towards him, “Inside! We’ve don’t have time for your gun to recharge before she’s on us, and neither of us will live long out here with ripped pressure suits! Inside!”

    The Melbot suddenly jumped into the sky, almost hovering in the low gravity, shooting down small, blue bursts of energy from her left arm.  The surface cratered in small explosions all around, as if she was just teasing them, not hitting close to either Melinda or David.

    Melinda ran towards David to save him, but her twin rushed down to her like a bird hunting for his prey. Melinda jumped into the air too, and they met halfway, fighting with their fists and feet and in an incredible speed and power.

    Melinda seemed to have an advantage in speed and coordination, blocking all her doppelganger’s blows, but David could hear over suit radios her grunts of pain at the power of them.

    Melbot flash-vanished, reappearing behind David.  She charged her energy cannon to full power and aimed at his back, but missed due to Melinda misguiding her arm with Artificial Psi Power.

    Melbot leapt into the air, creating another small body of energy which floated above her left arm.

    "You'll never hit me with that thing!" Melinda said mockingly, "I'm much too fast for you!"

    Again, Melbot disappeared, appearing instantly behind Melinda, who kicked her in the face lightning-fast, causing the energy bomb to disperse.

    As they both leapt upwards again, each fighting with all their power to overthrow the enemy and moving so quickly in midair as to look like something from a bad kung fu movie, David watched the scene from below, the gun now forgotten in his hand, as the mirror twins were struggling for the fate of Earth.

    As the battling pair landed next to him, Melinda grabbed his hand- it was her turn to vanish, taking David with her.

    ----

    When they materialized, David heard her panting harder than ever.  The room they were in was unfamiliar; more rubble than walls.

    When they’d removed their helmets, Melinda, still panting, said, “We should have a few minutes’ lead now. I didn’t want to have to do that, but I was dead the first time she landed a punch on my faceplate’” she panted a second, “I’m sure the only reason I’m alive is that she’s running combat software designed for my mostly-organic body, and her systems can’t compensate fast enough.”

    “But-“ David said, still catching up mentally, ”why am I…”

    She looked at David, an eyebrow rising with a ghost of a smile, “Her heart’s not in hurting you, clearly.  I know my own mind.  I don’t think SHE could live without you either.”

    David’s eyes had begun to well up with tears at the implication when she turned her back to him, ”Help me out of this suit. She’s stronger than me and better armed, but I think I can take her in here under pressure if I’m fast enough.”

    Then they heard several big explosions above them.

    "Melinda, where are we?" David asked with a shaking voice.

    ”I dunno,” she said, ”Somewhere under Jack's lab; my powers are now too exhausted to teleport anywhere much further than that, or else I would have chosen Mars or Earth instead. But still, this ought to give us some minutes’ time to relax and to come up with a plan."

    She pulled down the zipper in front of her suit and stepped out of it. Her nearly-naked, sleekly muscular body was flushed with exertion and shiny with sweat.  She sighed with relief to have set herself free from the suit.

    David was paralyzed at the sight.  She looked like… a wet dream come to life.  His aching admiration for her bid fair to ruin the integrity of his space suit.  He moaned under his breath, fighting to retain consciousness.

    "That's much better!", she moaned, "this suit was a pain in the ass when I was fighting her." Another big explosion from outside, much closer and louder now. She was now facing him, barely covered with minuscule underpants and a bra scarcely up to containing her generous breasts.

    "Listen David," she said, seemingly not noticing his trance-like state at  the sight of her very healthy body, "I'm gonna teleport us to the timemobile and you must take Jack to a hospital. Travel, like, five minutes into the future to Columbus and wait ‘tll Jack wakes up again to tell him everything that happened while he was sleeping, okay?"

    David was moving his lips but no sound came out. She took his hand and teleported to the room where they’d left the car. She opened the car door of the car and gently pushed the stunned David inside.

    She stretched over him to reach the controls of the photon flux generator, where she typed in the right coordinates, her chest bulging inches from David's face- he was very aware of that, and her feminine, animalistic musk- a salty scent, with a hint of something like pennies held long in the hand.  When her right breast brushed his cheek as she turned, he felt blackness closing in.

    She distracted him from his thoughts, pulling herself out again of the driver cabin, now looking down on her husband with an undecipherable stare, feeling the peril of outside approaching more and more. Another explosion and the lights in the small chamber went out, leaving them both in perfect darkness. David could hear her stepping away from the vehicle, but not see the expression on her face as the sound of the explosion reminded her of something important that instantly changed her fighting plans; the missile was still out there!

    "Dave, push the button in the middle of the steering wheel," she said, keeping her voice calm.

    "Good bye, Melinda..." and the room was illuminated for a few seconds with a flash of bright lights and blue flames.

    Melinda wiped a tear from her cheek and teleported back to the room where she had left her spacesuit. She pulled it on quickly, still breathing heavily, and teleported to a somewhat random point on the surface outside the lab. She saw herself standing twenty feet away, still in the pathetic remnants of the sundress -a sad reminder copied from the one she’d worn that wonderful day in Columbus with Dave- firing one blue energy blast at the cave after another.

    "Hey BITCH!" she cried over the radio, and as Melbot turned in utter surprise, Melinda was already on her, kicking her on the chin with all the power she had left. With nobody left on the Moon to be endangered by the two Melindas, the real fight had begun.

    Melinda was a hurricane of blows on her downed opponent, reaching out psionically as well while she had the advantage.  This was a stupid environment to confront an unbreathing, untiring, armed opponent in, she knew; but the nuclear warhead, close at hand, essential to the bargain for Earth’s future, made it necessary.

    If she was going to see her Dave again, she had to end this quickly.

    Melbot’s skin seemed brittle after extended exposure to the cold and vacuum of space, beginning to chip away under the thunderous punches of her living opponent, the metallic chassis beneath starting to give.  Her mind fogged under the surprise assault of Melinda’s APP, and once again the two knew each other’s thoughts intimately.

    Melinda felt her android double’s despair in the face of imminent extinction, her identical anguish at the prospect of dying away from Dave, and … something other- an automatic function asserting control! There was a concussive blast of energy, and her vision went black for a second, giving the Melbot time to hit her on the helmet and in the stomach. She finished her combo with a smashing kick to Melinda’s torso, which threw her through space, landing roughly in the dust on the foot of a nearby hill.

    "Shanagizzl!", Melinda muttered in pain, "I have to end this fast!". While she grew more and more exhausted, her twin seemed to be able to continue forever. Heavily, she climbed to her feet, noticing that the android had again jumped high into the sky while generating another bright, big blue ball of energy which was now shining above her like a small sun.

    Melinda heard a faint hissing of air slowly escaping her suit.  It was the end, she thought; she had lost- her limbs obeyed too slowly and she was far too weary to continue this painful cat-and-mouse game. Her knees crumpled under her and she looked at the ground, accepting her end.  ‘This is it- I’ve failed,’ she thought, ‘I'm sorry David.’

    "Are you giving up, you slut?" her enemy roared from high above, the body of energy pulsating, growing fuller and brighter by the second. "You don’t deserve to be the Melinda. Die!"

    And with those words she threw the energy bomb towards Melinda where she knelt defenseless on the ground. Melinda could feel the heat of it growing through her suit when...

    It was gone! She dared to look upwards. The Melbot burned like an angel falling, cast into Hell. The last remnants of her skin were now burning away, and her earsplitting scream filled the radio. She fell amidst an inferno of fire, a little meteor on her way down.

    "What the..." Melinda spoke aloud, and then heard a rustle in the distance, growing louder as it approached the battlefield. Momentarily she saw, distant in the dark sky, silhouettes of bulky, winged and monster-like creatures, storming through empty space, closing with marvelous speed.

    "Them! They came to rescue me!" mumbled Melinda and looked in the other direction where her doppelganger was now slowly smoldering to death. The foremost figure of the Vergophlox shot a large fire ball out of its mouth, which hit the burning thing. With a flash and a burst of radio static, she was gone.

    The king landed in front of Melinda while his minions stayed hovering in the air; with each simultaneous flap of their wings a psychic sound was made, like a thousand clapping hands in the distance.

    Human-thing, where is the human who is named Jack? the King inquired telepathically, I sensed our friend was in lethal danger and I brought my soldiers to fly here with all possible speed. With a wave of its claw, the hiss of escaping air in Melinda’s pressure suit ended.

    “Thank you, Your Majesty,” she said, feeling her strength returning, “I sent them to safety on Earth.”

    Good, the king replied and strolled in an eerily elegant and dance-like fashion to the missile and reached its paw out- the projectile rose and began to float closer.

    The missile hovering beside him now, he turned his wolf-like head back to her and spoke, this time with his mouth, which sounded like a crow had recently learned to speak "Thank you, human-thing; I will find you one week from now on Earth. I will come alone; the assistance of my warriors is no longer necessary."

    With a wave of his hand he dismissed them. In perfect unison they soared into the sky, and in seconds they were gone. Now Melinda felt a sort of relief, as though a thick psychic weight on her mind that she hadn't noticed before was removed.

    "Jack did our people a great favor. Your planet shall be saved when the Sun begins raging next year. Let us our last gift to humankind sixty years ago not be nullified now by an arbitrary turn of events. Good day, human-thing."

    He flew away, the missile under his massive arm.

    Melinda didn’t understand how she had heard his voice. It hadn’t come over the radio, and didn’t seem to have come over psionic wavelengths. Was it possible that the Vergophlox really did command powers of magic?

    And Melinda gave the surroundings a last look, from the desolate laboratory to the crater that was all that remained of her double. She slowly made her way back inside, taking her time while she gathered her strength. Finding the locker where she’d left her clothes, she pulled her dress back on and teleported to Columbus.

    ----

    David wrung his hands as he shifted his body in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. He was fighting back tears again. He didn’t care that the police were probably on their way after the inept story he’d told the emergency medtechs about a hunting accident.

    He cared that –Melinda- might be -dying– and he didn’t know how to take the car back to her! The tears came full blast now.

    The robot nurse glided into the waiting room, “Mr. Hawksmoor, the medtechs wish me to inform you that your father is in stable condition,” it said, “He is expected to recover in the next several days.  It is customary at this point for friends and family to go home; you will be screened if there are significant developments.” 

    David nodded, and then made his way to the original Melinda's grave near the hospital- the only link he had to his Melinda.

    He kneeled on the wet ground before the gravestone, thinking about her, her body, scent, and voice. It began raining like the sky itself joined him in his silent tears.  He didn’t move; didn’t care.  Anyone coming into the graveyard might have thought the boy was a strange funereal statue or something.

    He began coughing and sneezing and realized that he couldn't bring her back to life, no matter how long he might wait for her, so he went to the hotel where still all his stuff was lying around.  As soon as he entered the room and saw the bed they’d shared, a new wave of sadness and despair overcame him, much stronger than before.

    She was probably gone, burned to ashes in a fight the consequences and ramifications of which he still didn't understand.

    He washed his face and brushed his teeth and he began to notice how much he had aged in the last couple of days he has been here in this time. He looked now much more mature and adult-like than one week before, stuck in his boring life and job, stuck with his mediocre family and social life, was that really himself he was gazing at in the mirror?

    He began stroking his blooming beard, wondering what his friends back home might think of it.

    That night he had the weirdest dreams, haunting him whenever he overcame the temptation to close his weary eyes for a little bit to long. He was seriously considering suicide in the night.

    A whirl of blue light and cold, blue energy bolts snapped him out of his already very light sleep.

    “Dave.”  Melinda, smiling, greeting him in her very special, sultry, voice.

    He fell to his knees - which was much more painful than the same would have been seen in a sappy love story on TV.

    "Melinda...how, why...is it over now?", he asked out of his breath.

    "Yes, hun." And she went to him and hugged and kissed him ---

    --And that night, they both lost their virginity.

    ----

    When David woke in the morning, still in his true love’s arms, he found Melinda awake, lying beside him studying his face.  “THAT was nothing like my LAST first time,” she smiled, “I’d have had you right there in the car the second we met if I’d known.”

    David wasn’t a morning person. “Uhhh.  Whaa?”

    “Oh.  Some of my memories of being- I mean, from- the first Melinda are stronger than others.  She didn’t like sex all that much, and the memory scared me,” Melinda’s already-smiling face almost glowed with joy now, “I’m different, I guess.”

    She giggled, “I think they enhanced my attraction to you more than a little as extra motivation to protect you.  Good thing, too.  We’d be dead if my copy hadn’t had the same urges getting in the way.  You’re just too sexy to kill.”

    David returned her smile, “Love you.”

    “You too, hun. I love watching the way the morning light shines off-“ She stopped, suddenly looking puzzled, “Where the hell did that beard stubble come from? You’re beginning to look like the Dave I remember.”

    ----

    They travelled back to 2009, to the same street of Old Columbus where he stepped into the timemobile for the first time, just ten minutes later the same day. ‘I really could have attended that Green Day-concert if I really wanted to,’ he thought jokingly to himself, knowing that his old days as a depressed emo kid were now forever a thing of the past.

    He told Melinda to stay in the car and made his way home to his mother when he heard her crying in the kitchen.

    "Mom, why you're crying?" he asked, as he slowly entered the room.

    "Robert - he's gone! He left a note on the table saying that he'll never come again!" she managed to utter between her heart-rending sobs and flowing tears.

    David consoled her and pretended to be sharing her pain, but secretly he was happy to see that that mole inside his own home, who was nothing more than an agent sent from Jack to spy on him, now had vanished into thin air as fast as he had stepped into his mother's life in the first place.

    David began reporting his strange tale about Melinda ("Oh my gosh, you got a girlfriend?") and Jack and his base on the Moon ("I knew that that Ramon kid was supplying you with drugs"!) until he reached the end of his story.  -Saying that he desperately wanted to stay with Melinda forever in a strange place, together with that Jack fellow and more shenanigans.

    Naturally, his mother didn't believe him for one second and demanded to see that Melinda person in this instant, to tell her to keep her dirty hands away from her son and to stop filling his head with utter nonsense.

    David agreed and together they walked to the timemobile around the next corner where she saw a stunningly beautiful brunette with the body of a showgirl and a shining mane of raven hair standing outside a fancy limousine.

    "Are you Melinda?" his mother said.

    "Well yes, yes I am, Mrs. Madison. Nice to meet you."

    "I see nothing nice about that!", his mother said furiously, "why are you telling my son those fancy nonsense stories about Mars monsters and a time machine when you know very well that he's still a little boy who would believe anything a stranger would tell him if it's wrapped in a nice enough package!" She came closer to her until both of their faces were almost meeting each other and she whispered in a dangerously low voice: "Are you a drug dealer?"

    "Mrs. Madison, I think it would be the best if we'd continue our conversation inside the car, shall we? David, are you coming, dear?"

    And together they entered the car where Melinda took a seat in the driver cabin and pushed a button.

    "Where are you taking us? Are you trying to kidnap us? I warn you, missy, I got a black belt...", and then she fell instantly asleep and David sighed in relief.

    The car disappeared in cold blue flames.

    ----

    Mom saw the future and began to believe slowly, but steadily. After four days she wished her son all the luck in the world with his future wife and wanted to return to her own time. She kissed him on both cheeks and gave him a bear-like hug.

    "Do you promise to visit me at least once in a while, Dave?"

    "Don't worry, Mom, I will have enough time for that", and they both smiled to each other. She waved out the window of the timemobile, shouting "Goodbye!" and disappeared to present-day Columbus.

    Two minutes later Melinda was back saying, "I spent about a week in your time to see how it was like back then. I travelled with the car all around the world, spoke with many people, visited Washington and New York before the Great Fire occurred and had some quality time with your mom too. I think she's a good person, Dave, she is now much happier than when we both met the first time."

    "We can visit her sometimes, can't we?" David asked.

    "Oh honey, if there wasn't a time blockage between then and 2040, I'd have picked you up later in the timeline. About a month later of that year, the timestream becomes impassible." She paused, thinking, "If we waited a few months of our time between daily visits to hers, we could pack a lot of years of visits.”

    "Melinda, please could you tell me what exactly happened in the 2040's? What's the reason that humans don't age anymore"?

    "The Vergophloxes...they are like guardians, I think," she began, "when man first arrived on Mars, which was Jack and his team, they were supposed to stay there for just three days to collect dust and stones and all that and then return back to Earth. But they stayed much, much longer there, and only Jack came back.

    “He always steadfastly refused to give any answers whatsoever about the incidents -of which he was the only living witness- and the public grew tired over time of the media coverage when they clearly had not even one clue about what really happened up there. So people simply forgot this mystery over time, and ten years later, the once so glorified and famous astronaut Jack Hawksmoor, disappeared more and more from the sight of other people until he was forgotten or believed dead.

    “The truth is that the Verges had been waiting for that moment literally for thousands of years,” she continued.  “They analyzed our species over hundreds of generations and even made some appearances here on Earth every now and then - but always in disguise, of course. They wanted to know if we could progress and cooperate enough to reach their world on our own, thereby making us worthy in their eyes to receive their sign of goodwill and appreciation, which was the secret of not aging anymore."

    "Does that mean that they planned to make men immortal?" David interrupted her.

    "No, of course not. They are immortal, or at least the higher ranks among them, but that's because they're more like spirits or like ghosts with a physical shape than genuine creatures of flesh and blood. According to Jack, even they themselves forgot from where they came from, since they have no recorded history or something, and so they laid themselves to rest and decided to sleep, to forget all about that and instead to focus all their surplus energy on the future of mankind, which back then had just discovered fire and was trying hard to make it through the Ice Age.”

    Melinda didn’t seem to realize that her large blue eyes had become slightly unfocused and her voice had taken on an odd cadence, as if reciting an info-dump from her mission programming.

    “They had pity on us and showed us their compassion with teaching us to how to farm the land, how to build canals and how to set traps for the hunt. But their visits occurred less and less, until they became children tales, then legends, then folklore which withered away over the time to the point where nobody ever heard about them anymore.

    “All that -and the promise to equip man now with their greatest gift yet- was explained to the first people who ever set foot on Mars, awakening them. The only thing the Verges wanted in return was that none of the explorers would tell anyone about what they had seen and been told.  -The Verges wanted to keep their existence a secret after they saw how man became more and more of a dangerous and self-destructive species over time.

    “Then, Lance Delroy and Costa Wassiliwitch, the other men in Jack's team, dropped dead - to Jack, they calmly explained that they had read the men’s hearts and had seen that the two of them would have spread the things they've heard and seen anyway, despite the promises they’d just made.

    “Jack was given small silver chest containing a fine grey powder. The king instructed Jack to pour out that powder into the middle of the ocean when he returned to Earth.  He did that and it worked.

    “When the effects of that powder became impossible to overlook in about the 2060's, it was considered by some a miracle performed by a deity and by others as merely a natural result of selective millions of years of evolution.

    “After the Great Fire, Jack, already forgotten by great parts of humanity before the disaster, travelled to the Verges again and asked for a remedy for the radiation sickness still killing millions.

    “They granted him his wish, telling him that a day might be coming when he would have to repay that favor.

    “-Which eventually happened twenty-five years later once the humans were too close to their natural habitat, proving to be disruptive neighbors.  The Verges lost patience and blackmailed Jack to execute that mass slaughter lest they wreak havoc on Earth itself to make humanity pay for what they considered crimes against nature universal dignity of life itself.

    Her eyes returned to focus, looking at David, “And there’s no need to tell you more, since you and Jack and my evil imposter saw what happened then with your own eyes."

    David was flabbergasted and Melinda was thirsty from all that talking.  Together they went back to their room, David digesting what he had learned, and Melinda contemplating how to reveal to David the last, the most important, secret.

    ----

    Later the next day, they received a call from the hospital; the robotic nurse assigned to Jack's well-being told them that he was responsive again and that he could probably leave the hospital by tomorrow.

    Visiting, David and Melinda attempted to update him on everything that had happened while he was laying unconscious, yet Jack’s greatest worries revolved around the Vergophloxes and if they really would show up to save the Earth and how exactly they would be doing that.

    When Jack was released, he invited them to his own little apartment near Jupiter Hills which was owned by him under a false name "It's better that way, trust me.", he said.

    Stuck in his humble apartment which looked like it hasn't been inhabited for a long while now, they waited and failed miserably in pretending that they really were able to enjoy those few days of rest and idleness, when clearly their minds were much too occupied with what would be happening next.

    The sky darkened and the ground was shaken and they knew that something great and exciting was about to begin. People all around the world looked to the sky at this moment, amazed by the purple, thick lightnings gently dancing in the atmosphere and the enormous, colorful whirls of unearthly light which spread out to every corner of Earth, completely covering the heavens, and suddenly an unexplainable and overwhelming joy penetrated every heart of every man on Earth.

    Believers of every faith danced on the streets of the cities, anticipating Judgment Day, while others simply sat on the ground and stared upwards to the miracles happening in the clouds. For the first time in human history, every man, woman and child were united in bliss and exuberance, in perfect awareness that their heartbeats were just resembling the much greater, much more universal pulse of the Earth and every living creature dwelling on its face.

    David, Jack and Melinda stepped outside their home as though mysteriously compelled, their faces adorned with wide, shameless grins, their eyes shining with open and perfect happiness and every fiber of their bodies tingling with the sensation that a new age had begun.

    "Melinda, why did you choose me?” David asked, staring upwards, “Why did I, out of all men on Earth deserve to be together with you? What makes me worthy enough that we were married in the other timeline?"

    And without turning her face from the phenomena covering Earth's sky, she replied solemnly, "Well, there’s your son...our son, Samuel. He was a hero during the Great Exodus, but he was able to realize soon enough the bad intentions and egocentric schemes of Mendacor while he was still simply a captain of one of the spaceships which rescued the remnants of Man from Earth. When Mendacor rose to power and proclaimed himself as overlord of the scattered colonists, Samuel was brave enough to establish a dynasty of rebels and after his death, his heirs never ceased to present an ever-present danger to the stability of Mendacor’s regime and of his sons.

    “The resistance was the only source of hope.  They were like a spark in the darkness of that time for all those oppressed people which were nothing more then defenseless refugees on asteroids and artificial satellites, far, far away from their original home. Samuel is a legend in my time, condemned by many but admired by so many more."

    “But Melinda,” David said, the lights dancing in his upraised eyes, “That doesn’t explain why a sperm sample wouldn’t have done, how can we raise Samuel here in the future and have him the same, why it’s okay that I’m extracted from my original history – or what’s up with this growth spurt I’m having, or what a race that can do this would want with a primitive nuke, and what do we do about Jack – there’s a lot of questions unanswered.”

    She finally took her eyes from the mesmerizing glory of the sky and saw that David had just done the same.

    “We have the rest of our lives together to find out,” she said. 

    They looked each other in the eyes for a second and then kissed each other with love and passion, while the crimes and sins of mankind were cleansed.


    THE END?
    « Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 07:48:38 PM by BUncle »

     

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