Fiction,  Writing

Virtual Mortality Part 4

Bleak. Empty. Terrifying. A deafening silence. Neither hot nor cold. No cues for his senses to latch onto and they screamed for input.

How long have I been here? Where is here? At least I have you, parrot. Did I ever give you a name? No, not Polly. Something more–piratey. Hey look, Polly–Lena. Hello Lena, have you met Polly? Lena? Why are you green? Your eyes, Lena! No!

The apparition morphed into Commander Chameleon. He came closer. No, he’s growing–or I am shrinking? The giant’s form changed. It had the body of a man and the smiling head of a crocodile. I’ve seen this before, but where? Something familiar. The goliath started to chuckle. The sound echoed infinitely across the void. Gabe tried to muffle the din with his hands. If anything, the laugh grew louder. Bent double, clutching at his ears. Gabe screamed…

“Finished?”

He looked up at–Sobek! That’s it.

“Finally click did it?”

How can he be reading my thoughts? Unless–

“Yes, that’s right, Gabe.” At that Captain Zain vanished, replaced by a standard amorphic avatar. “I am one of the gods. Did you really think you could slip in undetected and play around on my server? And for what? A Lost One? They are lost for a reason, you know that.”

Don’t think of her, don’t think of her.

“Lena? Oh we know about her, don’t you worry. Right now her data feed has you heroically flying around the universe. She has no idea. But–you can’t be fretting about her now. You know she is out of our reach. Ah, wait! Another, is it?”

Change the subject. “So what’s it to be? Threats? Violence? Those don’t work on me. Go ahead. I’m waiting.”

“Oh Gabe, if only you knew what we can do. Nothing so barbaric. I could, however, just leave you here with your pretty parrot. How does that sound?”

Here, alone? I’ll go mad.

“That’s right.”

“Get out of my head!”

Sobek chuckled once more. No echo this time, thankfully. “I don’t care who you came to find. As you see, your mission was a failure. Whoever she is, she is lost. I–need something from you.”

Interesting. “Whatever it is, I am not interested.”

“Your thoughts deceive you. But, as I am a good sport, I shall stop reading your mind.”

A previously unfelt presence shifted and tore its way loose with a shock that coursed through his brain. Nausea, nearly blacking out. Swallow it down, fight it.

“Come on, that wasn’t so bad. There. Your mind is your own. Play nice now Gabe.”

“OK,” he gasped, “let’s have it.”

“Another has one of your Lost Ones. It’s quite simple. I want him.”

“I thought you lot were a big happy club of tyrants. What makes this one unique? And why can’t you just get him?”

Sobek paced back and forth, each giant stride stretching half a mile.

“You really don’t understand us. Yes, we have the same objective, but there is a hierarchy. My associate has more power, more miners, and greater influence. This Lost One would tip the balance in my favor.”

“So it’s a power play. This one must have been worth the effort to trap me here.”

“You have no idea. He can crunch numbers like ten ordinary miners. I want him, and you will get him for me.”

“What’s to stop me from unplugging this Lost One when I find him?”

“We are not gods for nothing. Take a look behind you.”

Gabe spun around and watched a silent feed of Swelker flipping buttons and shouting commands to Henry. There, on the bridge, was Captain Zain, deftly avoiding the Alpha ship, and maneuvering through the asteroid field.

“Your friend. I have been keeping an eye on him for quite some time. I knew you’d show up sooner or later. All I have to do is snap my fingers, and he will be lost too. He will be passed from god to god, you will have no chance of ever finding him.”

I have no choice, I can’t lose Swelker too. “Alright,” he said finally. “Give me the details.”

“I’m sorry Gabe, but this will sting a little.”

Before he could process it, Sobek shrank to normal size, grabbed either side of Gabe’s head and squeezed. An agony like no other, his thoughts not his own. Places and people he had never seen before crashed into his mind. Armies, war, death, destruction, and, finally, a mushroom cloud, thousands of wailing cries dying on the nuclear wind.

He jolted out of his seat, and fell to the floor of the bridge, shaking.

“Gabe! What’s wrong?”

Good old Swelker, it’s good to see you. “Get–just get us out of here.”

“Aye aye, Captain.”

Swelk took the controls, punched in a target, and The Marauder hummed, creaked, and rattled as the hyperdrive charged.

Lena, are you there?

Gabe! What’s wrong? You seem–different.

Oh, thank God. Tears welled in his eyes. Get me out. Now.

 

Originally posted on Steemit – where you earn to blog.

© 2017 GMuxx

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