{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
CoffeeAndDonuts would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Static Translation

By CoffeeAndDonuts All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Scifi

The Boy and the World Ruined

“Run!”

His eyes snapped open; his breathing ragged and shallow.

Where am I?

He didn’t know what was happening. All around him he could hear screaming, the sounds of gunfire and explosions. The smell of smoke was everywhere, the harsh burnt taste sticking to the back of his throat.

He was standing in a strange capsule. Through the open door he could see bodies lying on the floor of what looked like an old, tiled bathroom, only it was partially collapsed. As he stepped out, someone grabbed his hand and yanked him away from the machine, IV wires ripping out of his skin in a spray of liquids and blood.

In a heartbeat it all came back to him. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, his parents had paid for him to be frozen in a cryogenics lab until they found a cure. It was some sort of weird experimental program at the time, only available to the most wealthy and affluent members of society. It also wasn't exactly legal.

At the time he thought it would be cool, just like in his favourite TV show Futurama. Now, awake in the distant future, he realised he was wrong.

He was dimly aware that he was moving, his numb limbs acting without conscious thought. A girl was pulling him through the rubble that had once been a storeroom. There was bodies here too, flung casually across the ground like toys at the whim of a temperamental child. The sight made him feel sick. The flashes of explosions and the orange glow from fires illuminated the scene in a strange haze.

They stumbled through a crumbling doorway, the girl pushing him sideways just as a bomb exploded to their left, the wave of energy and heat sending them sprawling onto the hard ground.

The girl rose lithely whilst he struggled to push himself up. He was weak, and his arms strained against the weight of his body. As he lifted his head, he saw for the first time what the world had become.

The barren ground was a rusty red colour; dusty and dry with deep cracks running through the earth like dark veins. The trees were thin, black needles reaching up into an unforgiving grey sky. He was sure it was daytime. The sky was illuminated by something behind the heavy clouds, but the light was feeble and strained, bathing the landscape in an inconsistent brightness.

Around him he could see ruins of what had once been a city, now a black skeleton silhouette against the constant flashes of bombs and the glow from fires.

“What happened…?” he whispered.

The girl pulled him up roughly and led him away from the remnants of the building.

“What’s going on?” he yelled as they ran past decaying skyscrapers and broken boulevards. There was barely anything left of the pavement and roads, the cement consumed by the red earth.

The girl said something in a language he couldn’t understand, the words strange but slightly familiar. A moment later, he heard a static noise in his ear and a monotone robotic voice said “They’re coming.”

Confused, he put a hand to his ear and felt a strange device.

Translating earpiece?

“Who’s coming?” he asked.

The girl seemed to understand, and gave him an incredulous look. Her incomprehensible language was translated roughly, static breaking up the sentences.

“…not know? …they must…done that to you…have power to destroy…manipulate memories...”

He was too curious to correct her assumption about his situation.

“Who?”

Static drowned out the translation, but he heard her say “Oomah.

Who?”

She glanced over her shoulder, her eyes wide and terrified. She didn't speak even though he could see there was something she wanted to tell him.

It was the first time he had seen her face and he was startled by how young she looked. She was around his age, maybe older, with dark red hair tucked into a dirty old cap. Her eyes were really dark, almost black, and it made him uncomfortable holding her gaze for too long.

They ran around a corner and he felt his stomach twist at the stench of charred flesh, horrified at the scene of death in front of him; a scene of mangled limbs and torsos.

The girls spoke, her words rushed. Again the earpiece translated fragments.

“They…came...our world...their technology destroyed…began…change things.”

He stumbled as a building to their left collapsed with a thunderous crash. He couldn’t breathe. There were mutilated bodies everywhere; women, children. Some were still twitching, the flesh of the bodies melted and disfigured; dripping off the bones.

The girl kept running, her strong grip on his hand the only thing keeping him going.

“…said…helping us…”

The static was making his ears hurt. His head was pounding. The reek of smoke and sulphur was overpowering.

“…genocide…hunt us…destroy us…”

The girl pulled him behind a pile of scrap metal just as a group of men in metallic masks marched past with large guns in their hands.

He began to speak when something silver whizzed past them and a sharp, intense pain shot up the side of his arm.

The girl screamed something that the earpiece translated as “…found us!” before leaping up and pulling the boy away from their hiding spot.

A moment later the scrap metal pile exploded, the shards flying in all directions. A sliver of steel cut her cheek and she gasped, putting a hand to her face.

The men in metallic masks were running towards them now and the girl grabbed his hand again, pulling him into a sprint. He tried to keep up, one hand clamped over his wound, trying to ignore the pain and ringing in his ears.

The girl skidded around a corner and into a narrow alleyway full of garbage, the boy right behind her. They came to a stop and she leaned against the remains of the building, her breath coming out in ragged gasps.

She turned to face the boy and froze. Her stance changed immediately and he felt the bottom of his stomach drop.

She pulled a heavy gun from her belt and pointed the laser right at his chest.

“What are you doing?” he cried, his right hand red and bloody from the wound on his left arm.

Then he noticed the cut on her cheek. Her blood was blue.

Oomah!” she cried.

This time, he heard the translation above the static in his earpiece.

Human!

The reality of her words sunk in. He felt ill. Humans were responsible for the war, the destruction of the planet, all the dead and dying around him.

He saw it before she did. A figure rose from behind the piles of garbage, a bulky device in his hand. The boy threw himself at the girl, pushing her over just as they heard a loud bang. Suddenly he felt a pain in his chest, so sharp it was like someone had stabbed him.

He fell to the ground with a grunt, the world fading around him even as he heard more gun shots and a man’s scream. Then she was beside him, her eyes wide in shock, horror and another emotion he was too tired to try to comprehend.

“Why?” she whispered. “…one of them! I would have killed you!”

He smiled grimly even as his vision started to darken and the pain slowly resided.

“I’m so…so sorry for what we have done to your world…to your people…”

As his eyes dulled and his breath stopped, the girl began to cry.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, CoffeeAndDonuts
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

Kaitlyn Bier: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

Chevonne Prinsloo: I loved this book.. I didn't want to stop reading it! just my kind of book... I really love how the plot of the story carries along. I hope there are more books to follow after this one! I like the way she describes how Rogue is feeling and the way she shows the emotions going through Rogu. I als...

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...

More Recommendations

Sara Grover: When I first started reading, it was a bit slow; though only because it was so information intense and fast-paced in trying to describe how this complex galactic corporation/government like entity controls known space. I would suggest maybe adding a preface to better educate the reader to help av...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

Dee: It’s been two years since Lilly lost her best friend to a vicious random shooting. Now, after a prestigious university extends her an offer of study, she has the chance to start afresh and leave all her demons behind. But the last thing she expects is to meet Elliot. He's a criminal. She's hasn'...

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.