Chapter 1: 'ARRESTED.'
AIRCRAFT YZXG, 2056.
The last time she saw her mother, she was telling her and her younger sister a story. It lacked the enthusiasm and the happiness normal childhood stories used to have. Parents couldn’t afford to give their children that shield—the sweet bliss of ignorance. So, she told the truth. As they lay in a tiny, wooden bed beneath the ground, surrounded by mud, feces, and several other families, she told her girls about the ending of their old world.
What looked to be hundreds of stars, pushed their way beyond the horizon at the brink of dawn. Those stars turned out to be large, terrifying chunks of metal, powered by technology that humanity never got a chance to understand. She told them how they used powerful beams to reach out to her when she was a child, ripping her from the shaking arms of her parents, and into a pod so small, it felt like it lacked air. And then she spoke of what it felt like when she was taken from the atmosphere of the earth. How the world got smaller and smaller until it was a mere dot in the distance. She had no idea if her parents were taken too, or if they’d been left to die with the billions of others, as a bright light collided with the floating rock and tore it apart.
And then, she spoke of the several different aliens she’d seen. How they enslaved what was left of humanity, cursed them, and treated them like the dirt beneath their shoes. And when the night was at its peak, she told them the most important thing.
“Listen to me, Celeste, Avalon. These things are going to torture our kind in the most horrendous ways. So, you have to be able to fight back. To not be weak. So, no matter what, lean on each other and have each other’s blind side. Never leave one behind, because the galaxy is a long, gaping hole of stars. If you’re separated, you’ll never find each other again.”
She wanted to tell them more. To say that she loved them more than life itself. But before she could, the doors opened and two, large, reptilian aliens walked in.
It was the only thing they said in English. Their mother’s name. The girls were screaming as their mother was ripped from their embrace and taken to the unknown behind that door. To this day, they don’t know what happened to her, but her wild, ferocious yells of resistance, were pasted into their minds.
They would never forget her words, even now, twenty tears later. They would never forget her, nor the hatred they held in their heart for the creatures of the stars. This is why they are able to travel through the depths of the darkness, wondering it, with the fiery blaze of blood in their eyes.
“Are you sure this is gonna work, Avalon?”
She turned to her younger, light-brown sister. Her hair was tied in braids and her body was covered in a skin-tight suit like her own. Her scowl was deep, and her eyebrows were knotted. The risk bothered her; Avalon could see that. But she did nothing to ease her worries. Instead, she smirked at her.
“No, but do you have a better idea?”
Celeste scowled. “Don’t be an asshole.”
Avalon rolled her large, dark brown eyes. “Look, we’ve been studying this hellhole since we were kids. We know the route. All we need to do is be quiet and stealthy. We’ll find a ship for you to fly in no time. If anything, I should be the one questioning you. We are depending on your ability to fly a spaceship when you’ve never flown one before.”
It was her sister’s turn to be arrogant. “I’ve been studying that layout since I was nine. I can fly the damn ship, Avalon.”
“Then shut up and let’s get there. You know what happens if we get caught.”
Their bones chilled at the sound of reptilian monsters and quickly sidestepped into the shadows. They saw some of them, passing by with human flesh and bones between their claws. Blood was splattered across their rough, disgusting mouths, which told them that they’d just had dinner. These aliens must be high up in the system of this planet. Only officials got the joy of eating human meat. The thought of the consequences terrified the two women. But they sucked it up and kept walking.
After all, if it doesn’t happen now, it will happen later.
Thankfully, Avalon was right and they’d made it to the place they wanted to go. It looked to be a docking area, with a large glass, separating living creatures from the certain death of space. Avalon couldn’t help but stop for a moment, just to look at the beauty and the wonder of the galaxy.
“We’re almost there, Avalon. We’ll be exploring space soon, and then we’ll find a place to call home.”
Celeste’s assurance boosted her confidence as they snuck past the guards. For a while, they searched, until they found the perfect prize. The ship they’d been eyeing since they were little. Small enough for two captains—two escaped slaves who would do anything to escape this hell.
‘That’s it. Just a little further.’
They halted. Cold, merciless fear gripped their spines as they heard their numbers called. A reptilian saw them and was quick to draw his sword. It gleamed with neon energy, able to cut them clean through the bone.
“Celeste, get the ship running. I’ll hold him off.”
“Are you crazy?!”
“A plan always has a few surprise issues, this is one of them and we prepared for this too, so go!”
With great hesitance, her sister did what she asked and ran into the ship. The alien attempted to follow her, but Avalon was quick to stand in its way, holding up a strange metal object in her hands. She winced as the alien screamed, spouting something in their own language. Unlike Celeste, she didn’t care to try and understand them.
“Yeah, fuck you too!”
She pressed down on the trigger and a ray of fire blasted the alien, burning it to ash within seconds. The kick sent Avalon on her ass, but she laughed maniacally at the results.
“It worked! Celeste, I’m a fucking genius! I told you it would work!” She turned to her sister, but she had an alarmed look on her face. “The fuck is your problem?”
The blaring red light answered her, along with the several reptile aliens that followed the alarm.
“That’s my fucking problem, Einstein! That ugly bastard called its buddies! We’re screwed!”
Avalon shook her head and picked up its sword. “Get that ship online and do it now! I’ve got your back!”
“Avalon! Stop it, you’ll die!”
“We’re both dead if we do nothing. So do what I told you to do!”
She ignored her sister’s pleading and ran at the small swarm. Her heart was jumping with fear, but she refused to let it cripple her. She’d heard the screams of other humans, and seen the disregarded bones after they had their fill.
‘That won’t happen to Celeste. I’ll die before it does!’
She yelled and moved with an intense speed, cutting and burning all the monsters that got in her way. She felt the burn of their claws scraping at her stomach, back and thighs, but she rebuked the pain and kept fighting. The blood of her oppressors hit the floor and stained her skin. And there was a part of her that liked that. It was the loud sound of the ship beeping green that pulled her attention from the slaughter.
“I did it! Get over here!”
Avalon grinned, racing for the ship. But a slimy, strong taste wrapped itself around her legs, sending her to the ground. The fall caused her to drop her weapons, and the enemy immediately grabbed them.
“No! Hold on, I’m coming!”
“No!” Avalon knew that she was the better fighter. If she couldn’t make her way there... then that what just how it had to be. “Go!”
“I’m not leaving!”
The aliens were making a run for the ship. If Celeste didn’t ascend now, she’d be captured too. Flashes of her mother’s yells put Avalon over the edge. “Don’t make it all for nothing, Celeste. I said to go! That’s an order!”
Celeste shook her tear-stained face but shakily did as she asked. The doors shut with Celeste inside; her cries could no longer be heard as the ship teleported through the glass and autopiloted itself away. Avalon put a smile on her face, excited and relieved for her.
‘At least you got away, Celeste.’
But the pain returned as she was slammed into the ground, repeatedly until the blood gushed from her mouth. She looked up to see the reptilians, eager to pounce on the human who dared to do this. She gave them a bloody grin and pointed both her middle fingers in the air.
“Come on then, you ugly bitches! You think I’m done fighting, not a chance in hell! I’ll fight until I die!”
The alien who had her captured, lifted its claws up to tear into her and bring her the sweet release of death. But before either of them could make a move, another loud, taunting sound could be heard, but this time, it caused these aliens to scream in agony. Blood seeped from their skulls, causing them to run away in fear. She then heard gunshots, unified footsteps, and a loud, auto voice.
“Subject 237, Human Woman, Avalon O’Malley, twenty-one years of age. Under the broken law of 616, the council puts you under arrest for murder!”
Avalon’s vision was hazy, but she’d heard of this union before.
‘Why does the council want to arrest me? Why won’t they just kill me?’
Before she could voice these questions, her adrenaline checked out, and the poor woman fell unconscious.