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The Great Cosmic Void - Chapter Seven

Posted by StarMountainKid , 01 July 2014 · 287 views

The Great Cosmic Void - Chapter Seven Three voices are heard speaking at once. One is saying, “This is not where it’s supposed to be!” Another says, “No, it should be over there!” The third voice says, “I like it here better. It fits well here.” “Well, leave it there then, but when we can’t find it later, it’ll be your fault,” is the third voice’s comment.

That seems to have settled the discussion. There were no personages to the voices, and it isn’t clear where they are coming from, all being indistinct and ambiguous. Then another voice is heard. “What are you guys doing here?! Get back to work; you know we’re supposed to be taking inventory! All this stuff has to be checked and double-checked. We can't let anything escape! If any of it has, it’ll be on your heads, not mine. You know how the Guardian hates to go out and capture escapees! There’ll be repercussions if that happens!”

A sort of moment of vagueness occurs, then an illusive impression of movement in some abstract landscape. “Have you checked the catalog?” a voice asks nervously. “A complete set of values is missing. Who’s in charge of this department?”

“I am, sir,” another voice answers. “I don’t know how they could be missing, sir. Security hasn’t reported any breach of confinement. Perhaps it’s just been misplaced.”

“Misplaced!” the first voice retorts. “Correct placement must be followed at all times! This is an example of the slackness of this Department! Heads will roll if these values cannot be accounted for! Your Supervisor will be alerted immediately! I advise you to find these values before a formal complaint is submitted!”

There is the sound of scurrying about, which soon fades into a soft elusive silence

Meanwhile, Zarkor and Cloney are now back in the Control Room with Zerak, bleakly peering at the empty Viewscreen. “This is stupid,” Zarkor says. “It’s been hours and still nothing!”

“You’re not loosing faith, are you Zarkor?” Zerak asks a little sarcastically. “There’s still something pulling us toward it. There must be something out there.”

“Maybe it’s the other side of the Void that's pulling us,” Cloney says a little shyly. “I hope so; I want to get out of here, Zerak. Maybe there is no monster and no good stuff at all! I’m sad and homesick. Let’s turn around and go back to our own planet!”

Zarkor turns to Cloney. “Buck up, lad. This is a thrilling adventure! Sometimes in adventures nothing happens for a while, so don’t be discouraged. Gives you time to prepare for when the dangerous part happens. We should be seeing some dangerous parts pretty soon, I hope. I’m at my best in dangerous situations, as you know.” Zarkor puffs himself up at the thought of his pending heroism.

Cloney stares at Zarkor. “Then why did I have to rescue you in that Boating adventure?”

“How did you expect me to rescue myself when my poor brain was cruelly yanked out of my skull?” Zarkor asks indignantly. “You should have some sympathy. You know what it’s like having no brain inside your head?”

Cloney says softly to himself, “Yes, I see it every day.”

Suddenly Zarkor shouts, “Look! The Viewscren! There’s something ahead! See that fuzzy spot?!”

Zarkor and Cloney strain their eyes trying to make out the blurry object. “I hope it’s not Mr. Voice again,” Cloney says. “I can’t stand that guy!”

“I don’t think so,” Zerak says carefully. “Look it’s getting nearer…I can almost make it out.”

“It’s the monster!” Zarkor suddenly exclaims. “I’ll man the Death Ray!” Zarkor scurries over to the Death Ray Control Panel.

“Wait a TP, Zarkor!” Zerak yells. “Let’s see what it is first!”

“It’s the monster I tell you!” Shouts Zarkor. Zarkor studies the Control Panel, a little confused. “It’s the green button, right?! Or is it the red button? Why is this thing so complicated?”

Suddenly a loud booming voice comes over the loudspeakers. “Stop! You shall not pass!”

“Oh yeah?!” Zarkor yells looking up at the Viewscreen, then hovering excitedly over the controls he shouts, “Take this!” Zarkor fires the Death Ray. A blinding light fills the Viewscreen. As it fades, the monster, or whatever it is, is still there in all its horrifying presence.

“Fire again!” Zerak shouts. Again the Death Ray is fired. Again a blinding light fills the Viewscreen. Again it fades and the monster appears unharmed before them.

“It’s not working!” Zarkor cries. “This is impossible! The Death Ray has no effect! We must try something else!”

“But what?!  Zerak exclaims. “It is our most powerful weapon!”

“Let’s get out of here!” Zarkor shouts. "Quick, start the engines Zerak!”

“Turn back!” The booming voice says angrily. ”You have entered private property! Violators will be eliminated!”

“What does it mean by eliminated?” Cloney asks, drifting away and crouching fearfully in a corner.

“Listen, you!” Zarkor shouts. “Mr. Monster or whoever you are! This is Free Space! You can’t tell us it's private property! Get out of the way or you’re for it!”

“You cannot enter!” The booming voice continues. “My orders are to repel any intruders! This space belongs to my Masters, be gone!”

Zarkor and Zerak look to each other. “And who are these Masters of yours?!” Zerak asks.

“None of your business,” the Monster replies. “Leave before it’s too late!”

Zarkor shouts into the microphone. “It’s gonna be too late for you, fella if you don’t get out of our way!”

“Your puny weapon has no effect on me!” The Monster shouts. “Back off before I use my weapon on you!”

Zerak turns to Zarkor. “This is getting us nowhere, Zarkor. We’ve got to find out more about this creature and what it’s doing here before it trys to destroy us!” Turning to the Viewscreen, Zerak says, “Listen Mr. Monster, we’re here on an Official Expedition authorized by the Supreme Galactic Council! Our safety is guaranteed! Disregard the Supreme Council at your peril!”

“Never heard of your Supreme Council or whatever it is,” the Monster says, noncommittally. “The only authority here is…err…umm…my Masters!”

“And just who are your masters did you say?” Zarkor asks again.

“None of your business,” the Monster replies once more.

“You’ve already said that,” Zerak reminds the Monster. “This Void is our business because we’re on an Official Diplomatic Mission! If your masters knew we were here and you didn’t let us in you’ll be in trouble!”

“That’s right,” Zarkor says, winking at Zerak. “We have other means of defense besides our Death Ray! We’re a superior species!”

There is a moment of tense silence. Finally, Zarkor says, “Look, Mr. Monster, we’ve come a real long way to get here! We’re not going to just turn around and go home! Besides, you’re scaring poor Cloney over there. See, he’s hiding in a corner all shivering and scared with fright. You should be ashamed of yourself!”

“Oh. Well I’m sorry about that,” the Monster says, somewhat apologetically, “but I have my duty to perform. I’m only following orders, after all.”

“Where have I heard that before?” Zarkor says. “Listen, we’re on a peaceful mission here. We represent the whole Universe! We know you’ve got something hidden here and we’re going to find it! It’s all the good stuff the Vulgarians have secreted away, and it rightfully belongs to every species everywhere! It’s unfair and immoral to keep it from us! We demand you hand it over!”

There is another pause as the Monster thinks this over. “Good stuff?” It asks tentively. “I don’t know about any ‘good stuff’. All I know is I’m supposed to stand guard and keep intruders away.” After a moment, the Monster asks in more humble voice, “Exactly what is ’good stuff’?”

“It’s everything that’s nice and pleasant and friendly and cheery that’s missing from everybody’s lives right now, and all because the evil Vulgarians have hidden it here in this Void!” Zarkor says. “Even you must have noticed life isn’t as satisfying as it’s supposed to be. I mean, just look at you. Even though you’re a monster that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life and have some fun once in a while. Do you ever have any fun, Mr. Monster? If not, why do you think that is?”

“Yes, well,” the Monster says after a moment of thought, “it isn’t all that fun for me I guess. I’m out here in the cold all alone all the time standing guard. Mostly nobody ever comes here, and it is really cold as I say, and dark and a little spooky, too.  I mean, it’s a Void after all. I do kinda miss having somebody to talk to. Well, except for the…my Masters...I mean…and all they ever say is “Keep guarding! Get back out there! If it’s that cold, wear a jacket!” and stuff like that. They don’t even notice when it’s my birthday.”

“See,” Zarkor says, “your masters are exploiting your good nature! I wouldn’t put up with that if I were you. If all this good stuff was spread around you wouldn’t have these problems because even your masters would be nicer guys."

There is another pause in the conversation. “Well, I put up with all this because I always figured it would be hard for me to find another job if I just up and quit. I mean, I’m not exactly pleasant to look at.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Zarkor says. “Say, until we find the good stuff, why don’t you join with us? We’d give you a job, wouldn’t we Zerak. You could come live where we live. We have a whole planet to ourselves!  What say?”

The Monster is silent for a while, evidently thinking over Zarkor’s offer.

Cloney, meanwhile, gets up from his corner and drifts over to Zarkor and Zerak.  Staring at the Viewscreen, he says, “Mr. Monster, I wish you would come live with us like Zarkor says. Your looks aren’t so bad. You would probably have fun living with us! It’s a real big planet we live on and its got lands and oceans and mountains and skies and everything! We could be friends together and play together and have a real nice time!” Cloney glances at Zerak and Zarkor. “I get a little lonely myself sometimes, being new and all and not knowing much. We could teach each other! Please come home with us Mr. Monster, I know you’d like it there! Ever watch Galacto-Vision? There’s a lot of good shows on, especially Saturday morinings! You like cartoons?”

"Galacto-Vision? Cartoons? I don't know these things. I guess I have been missing out on a lot of stuff living here in this empty chilly Void." The monster looks cautiously around. It says in a hushed voice, “If I let you in and you find all this good stuff, I’ll get some of it, too, right?”

“Sure!” Zarkor says. “We’ll all benefit! You’ll have a lot better life than you do here in this middle of nowhere! Our planet’s real nice and warm with lots of sunshine, and the good stuff will make it even better! It’ll be a paradise!”

“Tell you what I’ll do,” says the Monster, whispering now. “I’ll go way over there and turn my back. You can sneak in, but don’t tell anyone I let you. Say you injured me with your Death Ray or something. I’ll pretend I’m hurt. But I warn you, my Masters are hard fellows. They’re not easily dealt with. All I can say is, be prepared for anything! Good luck.”

With that, the Monster drifts out of view, leaving our intrepid heroes free to journey onward toward the unknown.

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