The Caged Bird Sings
Dean Redder sat on top of his office desk and waited patiently for the medical doctor to arrive. He rested his hands in his lap and tried to concentrate on his breathing for a while. His whole body was in a heap of pain from the fight he had had with the human hybrid. His skin felt like it was going to melt right off his chest. Blood was still oozing from his sides and drenching his belly. His shattered leg felt like there was an invisible spike sticking out of it. He was in very bad shape.
“I am still amazed you actually fought with the human! It was quite a battle to behold, what with all the fists flying and the screaming. I thought the hybrid was going to win there for a second,” said Professor Denvil jokingly. “I thought I might have to jump in there and help you out.” He was standing at the far end of the dark room. His hands were working feverishly to put the animal mutating formula into a thick cylindrical tube; no doubt to use later for the gassing of the whole earth. When the tube was filled to the brim, he closed it off and placed it into a metal briefcase at his side. He pulled out a key and locked it. When he was done he turned to face the Dean.
Dean Redder met his gaze and growled. His harsh voice echoed against the far walls. “If I hadn’t fought with the human hybrid, Professor Denvil, you would be dead right now. He would have crushed you into little pieces for laying a hand on Evila. I don’t think I need to remind you that his initial attack was meant for you. I stepped in and stopped it from happening.”
“Of course you did, Dean” said the Professor as he picked up the metal briefcase. He wasn’t going to argue. “And I am grateful that you jumped in when you did. Heaven knows I was defenseless standing by the academy student… thank you… thank you.” Sarcasm colored his words.
“Don’t you dare get smart with me, Denvil,” barked the Dean. “I can tell when you’re getting sarcastic, and I won’t refrain from jumping off this table and giving you a licking like I did that human, you ungrateful little jerk! You’re pathetic and selfish… just like everyone else around me!”
Professor Denvil smiled at the sudden outburst of anger. He wasn’t scared of the Dean and his ridiculous threats. He knew he could take the man down if worst came to worst. He pushed the insubordinate thought from his mind. “Of course I am pathetic and selfish, and who isn’t in this academy nowadays? It’s an ‘eat or be eaten’ universe be-yond these dark walls. It’s all about the strong surviving, and the weak failing. Which is one lesson the human race is going to learn really soon.”
The Dean stared at him for a minute, and then chuckled, “I suppose you’re correct, Professor. The human race won’t know how to survive once the gas is in play on their worthless planet. Is everything ready for the extermination? Is the formula okay, and will it work again, like it did the other times?”
“Yes, the formula is okay. It should work fine.” Professor Denvil set the metal briefcase on the table beside the Dean. He patted it softly as if it were some kind of pet. He continued. “All I have to do is take this baby and place her in the vaporizing machine on Deck -Z-, and bam! The quarantine shields go up around the hairless monkey’s planet, completely sealing them off from the rest of the universe. Then the mutating gas will be expelled from the external air vents outside of the ship, and if everything goes well, it should fill their pathetic little atmosphere with the animal altering spray. It’s simple really. Nothing should go wrong. The humans will be dead, just, like, that!” He snapped his fingers.
“Good, I don’t want any mess ups,” said the Dean. His whole body was throbbing now, “The humans must die. No one can find out… no one!”
Professor Denvil picked up the briefcase with the formula in it. He started walking toward the door. He called back to the Dean as he went. “No one will know I’ll make sure of that. In a few hours there will be nothing left of them….” Professor Denvil stopped and thought for a minute. He smiled real big as a new idea came to mind, “May-be we should have the whole space academy watch this historic event unfold. I am sure there will be some people who will want to see it all happen. The students will regard you as a hero, as the one who got rid of the human vermin; that is, if you play your cards right! Doing it secretly could prove a great risk to your re-election.”
“And what about the rest of the academy, Professor? Did you consider them in this crazy plan of yours? What would they say about this whole ordeal?” asked the Dean. “There are more opinions on this ship than there are stars in the universe, and I hate the activists! They always get in the way!”
Professor Denvil got to the door and turned. “Don’t worry about them, Dean. The activists will say what they have always said, and it won’t matter one little bit. The people who disagree with us are the minority in this ethical controversy. In the end their opinion will be as smoke which rises for a second and then disappears into nothingness… we’ll make history! You’ll see, that’s what we’re doing here, we’re making history. And at the end of it all you will be known as a hero; as the man that got rid of the humonic plagues!”
The Dean laughed devilishly at his reasoning, and clever wordplay. “I think I will make an announcement…” He paused and thought about it. “Yeah, I think I will. I want the whole space academy to know about the things that plague us. I want them to see the end of the human race.” He looked over to the professor. He wanted his approval in the matter. “Do you really think it’s a good idea?”
“Oh, yes, sir, I believe it’s the best idea you have ever had,” said Professor Denvil with a smirk. He couldn’t care less that the Dean had taken his suggestion and turned it into his own. He had gotten used to being walked on in this profession. It was something that couldn’t be avoided. “I’ll rig up the formula on -Z- Deck, and when everything’s ready to go, I’ll give you the go ahead. All you have to do in this ordeal is press a button and win the heart of the public!”
“Wonderful, Professor, I’ll be looking forward to pressing the extermination button personally. Just make sure everything is ready. Now go. No more delays. I want everything to be on time!” said the Dean with haste. He wanted the professor to be gone already so he could get started with the specifics of the conference he was going to hold in front of the school. Everything had to be perfect if he was going to eliminate the human race in front of the whole space academy.
Professor Denvil turned and left the room.
Dean Redder sat in darkness for a while thinking about what he should say during the broadcast to the entire academy. He reached over and grabbed his digital note pad off his desk. He turned the thing on and waited for it to warm up. When it was ready, He pulled out the writing wand and set to work on his speech. He was in the middle of his last paragraph when the door to his office slid open, and the medical doctor walked in.
Dean Redder looked up and smiled. He was trying to be as amiable as possible. He wanted to make himself looked more and more like the victim in this whole ordeal. Sympathy was an emotion that there race loved to dish out, and Dean Redder was always open to receiving as much of it as possible, “How nice of you to join me, doctor. I hope I haven’t troubled you in any way. I know we all want to be at home with our families when we have the chance. I didn’t mean to pull you away.”
“No, you haven’t troubled me at all, Dean, I am fine. I get calls like these at least once or twice in a month. Although, I never thought I would get a call from you, about fighting injuries, was it? I didn’t know you where a boxing man,” said the doctor with a smile. He was trying to be good natured about the whole things.
The Dean shifted his position on the desk. He leaned back and held his leg out so the doctor could examine it. “Yeah, well what can you do?” HHhe grimaced and held his side. “I must say I am hurting pretty bad. I need you to fix me up quickly, doctor. I’ll be addressing the student body and faculty pretty soon, and I want to look my best.”
“Oh, really?” said the doctor with surprise. “I didn’t know we were going to have an academic conference today. I must have missed the memo on my clip board this morn-ing. I had to teach a hard headed student how to install a robotic arm on a dummy of a Tenatian man. If you ask me I think we should stick to organically growing limbs for war victims in our society. Robotic parts look to barbaric and rough, but some people like the look for some reason.” The doctor looked up, “What’s the conference all about? Nothing bad, I hope.”
“Oh no, it’s not bad at all. I didn’t post this meeting on the cyber board for good reason. This is going to be an emergency conference. I want to talk to the whole academy about something special… something that will captivate their attention!”
The doctor stopped what he was doing for a minute. He seemed more intrigued now. “Something special, huh? What might that be, Dean?”
“Oh, nothing really, just the final extinction of the human race!” said the Dean bluntly. There was no sympathy in his voice. The doctor looked surprised at this new bit of information. For a minute he didn’t say a word. He was trying to see if he had heard the Dean correctly, “you want to kill off the humans?”
“Why would you do that, Sir? We haven’t even completed our research on them yet. What have the humans done to us? Is there justifiable cause in this matter? What threat do they pose to our happiness?”
“A very big threat, doctor!” the Dean straightened up and took off his shirt. Blood and gore were now running and drying onto his skin. He looked awful, “If we don’t get rid of them now, they will own the galaxy in the future. I have talked to some very reliable sources lately. I have seen some very convincing evidence.”
The doctor looked puzzled as he set his medical bag down on the table next to the Dean. He opened it. “What sources are these?”
“Scientific sources, doctor. It’s all confirmed data from Decks -C- and -Y-. The humans are evolving into something strange and scary. We have to stop them before it gets worse; we have to stop them now.”
The doctor shook his head. He was flabbergasted. He had never really heard about human evolution getting out of hand. It almost sounded scary, “Well, indeed we do, if you say it’s as bad as that! I had no idea the humans were changing so quickly. I truly thought they would be our one hope for survival in the future. All the metical tabloids seemed to think it, but now it appears we are doomed. Who else can take their place in our re-search? What other species can meet our need?”
“We’re not doomed yet,” said the Dean triumphantly. He could tell that his words were tricking the doctor, “I’ll find a way to solve our little problems. I’ll make sure everything is under control for our future. We won’t have to use the humans anymore, you’ll see, doctor. There is a better way than us mixing with the hairless monkeys, wouldn’t you agree?”
The doctor looked like he wanted to say something controversial, but he refrained. “Okay, whatever you say.” He didn’t ask any more questions about the subject at hand; instead he just went to work repairing the Dean’s body.
* * *
Tony’s world was twirling wildly around him like a broken merry-go-round. Thick darkness covered his eyes and mind as he slipped further into his turbulent dreams and thoughts. He could feel himself falling now… falling into nothingness… as if some-one had dropped him into a black hole. He fell, and fell, for what seemed like hours. He tried to reach out for something, anything, but found nothing to hold on to.
Tony was now living in a universe with no stability, with no firm constant, with no rules or basis. The only thing that existed was him and the pit that drug him down to what seemed like an endless hell. He called out to the silence over and over, but nothing happened. He looked frantically into the abyss beyond his fingertips. He lost all direction; he couldn’t tell which way was up and which way was down. A hundred thoughts and emotions ran through him; each one as cold as ice.
Would there be anyone to catch him at the end of his eternal plummet? Would he ever see the light of another day again? Would he ever break free from his nightmares that haunted him? Would he ever see Evila’s beautiful face smiling back at him? All these thoughts ran through his head like a mighty wind.
“Evila, are you there?” yelled Tony. “Are you listening… can you help me?”
Nothing was heard but silence.
Tony was going to call out again when he suddenly came to a stop. His back smashed into the ground with a loud boom. He let out a yell and thrashed around on the floor like a fish out of water. After a second he realized he was not injured. Panic shot through him; he stopped and came to his feet. He searched the dusky air around him for any signs of life. Nothing appeared from the gloom. There were no objects to define his new surroundings. It was all black.
“Hello?” Tony stepped forward. He stuck his hands out and combed his fingers through the air. “Is anyone there? Evila, can you hear me?”
For a while there were no responses; then there came a voice, it sounded like his own, only it wasn’t an echo it was different. “Do you ever feel like you were destined for something more… for something greater? Do you ever think maybe the universe has chosen you to complete a grand mission?”
Tony was confused. “Who is this?”
“Do you ever look at the stars and think, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Why can’t life be different, why can’t life be fair?”
“What’s going on? Who are you?” yelled Tony.
“I am you, Tony,” said the voice plainly, “well, not you presently. I am the future you. I am the ‘you’ the universe has chosen to lead.”
“Show yourself! Let me see you!”
There was silence for a second, and then a bright light came on over Tony’s head. It cast a big circle on the ground around him. He squinted his eyes and looked around at his new environment. It almost looked like he was stuck inside some kind of warehouse. There was so much open space. It was frightening
“Here I come, Tony; are you ready for me?” asked the voice. “Are you ready to see the future of the human race? Are you ready to face your destiny?”
Tony could hear him just outside of the circle. He sounded close. “I am ready for you… show yourself to me. That is if you really are the future me!”
Two neon blue eyes appeared from the darkness in front of him. They hovered at the edge of the bight circle like two round orbs. Tony watched closely as they blinked and followed his movements. His breathing became still as his future self stepped into the light and stood before him. Tony was awestruck at what he saw. The voice had been correct; it was his future self who had spoken to him. Only his future self looked different; he looked more powerful and frightening.
Tony stepped back a bit. “What happened to you?” He paused and corrected himself. “What happened to us?”
“Nothing bad happened to us,” said the future Tony as he took a step forward. “As a matter-of-fact, we are far better off than when we were humans. Evila has changed us into something amazing. The future you, who is me, is smarter and faster than any-thing in the known galaxy. We have special abilities that weren’t here before. This is how the ultimate design is going to be! This is how the human race will be forever. We will own everything! We are the power!”
Tony felt a little incredulous about this. “How did you get so powerful, and what happened to your hair and eyes? Why are you this way?”
“You are not done transforming yet, Tony; I wouldn’t expect you to understand the whys and the whats about our evolution. There is still a whole lot more to come. You just have to give these things time. Humans have more genetic traits to offer the Tenatian race than you think; we offer them variety. We offer them a second chance at survival, and we are the future, whether you believe it or not.”
“Can I still be with Evila? Where is she? Where am I?” asked Tony.
The future Tony laughed. “I’ll let you ask her those questions for yourself. She is here inside of you now; she is coming to rescue you. Evila heard your cries for help. Just promise me one thing.”
“What’s that?” asked Tony.
The future Tony looked at him now with intense eyes. Tony could feel what he was going to tell him was something important. Something that he needed to know for the future. He listened carefully.
“Don’t you dare let Evila go. She is everything to us, and she loves us. You keep her safe at all costs.” He pointed to his hearts. “If she dies, Tony, we die, and so does the future of the human race. You understand me?”
Tony’s jaw hung open in surprise. “Why would we die, and what’s going to happen to Evila? How do you know these things?”
“We are a part of her, Tony, we are her soul mates. Her blood has given us new life. Don’t let her die. Promise me you won’t let her die.”
“I promise you” said Tony firmly, “nothing will happen to her.”
The future Tony smiled. “Good, I believe you. The road ahead will be long and hard, but if you prove faithful, we get everything.” He turned and was going to leave when Tony call out to him.
“Where are you going?”
“I am going back into your subconscious until it’s time to come out in full bloom….which will probably be really soon; I mean, you’re changing pretty quickly. You’re even changing as we speak.”
Tony looked down at his arms and legs. He could feel a funny tingling sensation take place in his limbs. He looked back over to the future him. “So, I guess I’ll be seeing you real soon then, huh? That is if you’re going to be coming out of me!”
The future Tony laughed and walked into the darkness. In moments he was gone and Tony was alone again with his thoughts. He looked down at his hands and feet with wonder. The tingling sensation had not left. What’s happening to me, thought Tony as he looked up again. His eyes panned the darkness around him. Where am I?
“I think I can answer that question” said a voice softly from behind.
Tony turned around. “Who’s there?”
“It’s me Tony, Evila!”
Tony watched as two bright green eyes appeared at the edge of the circle. They were slightly slanted and half closed.
“Is that really you, Evila?” asked Tony. He took a step forward. Evila walked out of the darkness and into the light. Her perfectly angled features smiled brilliantly at him. She lifted her hands and pulled her sparkling green hair back into a ponytail. To Tony, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, as if heaven had opened its doors and allowed an angel to rescue him from the hell that crowded in on him.
“Do you know where we are?”
Evila looked thoughtfully at the blackness for a minute. Then she looked back over to him and laughed, “Well Tony, I believe we are in the back of your mind, and if you ask me it’s pretty boring back here. It’s a shame you humans never learned how to use all this space. Your brains practically goes to waste as you get older.” Evila looked around and laughed, “I mean you could probably fly several space cruisers through here and still have room for a planet.”
“So, you’re saying that I am in my own head right now?”
“I think you humans call this unconscious state of mind a ‘coma’.”
“A coma?” said Tony with surprise. He looked around at the blackness again. Everything looked and felt so real. It didn’t seem like a dream. It didn’t feel like he was in his head, and yet it wasn’t weird to think about.
“Yeah, this is the back of your mind Tony. The real you is laying on a cot in a gassing chamber. I came into your head to pull you out of this stupor.”
Tony looked surprised. “Really? Are you sure I am not dead?”
Evila walked over to him and took his hands. She looked into his lovely green eyes, “I am pretty sure you’re not dead Tony, but we are going to die if you don’t wake up, so you have to wake up. You have to come out of this coma.”
At that moment, Tony felt fear run through him. He didn’t want to die. “How do I wake up Evila, what do I do? I don’t know how to navigate my brain! I don’t even know how I got inside my brain in the first place.”
Evila giggled softly. Tony looked cute when he was freaking out about dying, “It’s okay, there’s no need to panic. I remember how I got in here and I can direct you out, but you have to follow my lead. Okay?”
Tony nodded his head yes.
“Okay, close your eyes,” whispered Evila softly, “and try to concentrate on my voice, think about nothing else but my voice.”
Tony closed his eyes and waited. After a second he could feel Evila’s fingers against his temples. She started to whisper something into the air. She started to sing softly and rhythmically. Her strange melody began to echo around the quiet darkness in his head. It got gradually louder and louder until it stopped. Tony felt at peace; he felt calm and collected, and then he felt Evila’s soft lips against his own. She was embracing him tightly now. Her slender hands gripped lightly the muscles of his back. Tony had never experienced something like this before. He had never felt this way before about anyone or anything. She was kissing him with all the tenderness of her hearts. She was kissing him and he was kissing her!
Tony opened his eyes slowly. He was no longer in some dark corner of his mind, oh no, Evila had saved him from that. He was in the gassing chamber now, lying on his back looking up at the ceiling. The image of Evila’s sweet, green lips, pressing up against his, still lingered softly in his mind. His whole soul sang out with a joy that he had never experienced before in this life. His whole soul felt like it was on fire.
“Are you okay, Tone’i?”
Tony turned and looked at Evila with longing eyes. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his lift, and she was his. He smiled really big; his caged hearts felt like melting when he saw her, “I am now, thanks to you Evila…thanks to you I think I am going to be alright!”
She smiled and looked away. “Okay… good.”
“Did you…” Tony paused and thought for a second. He didn’t quite know how to word the thoughts in his head. He didn’t want to ruin the moment they had just had with something stupid. “Did you really kiss me back there? Was that real? Did that happen? What’s going on?”
Evila looked back at him and blushed. She wasn’t use to being this close to someone and sharing her feelings. She wasn’t used to talking about it. “Yes, I did, Tone’i, but I didn’t kiss you physically. I kissed you subconsciously; I figured it would bring you back into the real world. And apparently it did.”
“And so it did,” Tony said with a smile. “Your race kisses like our race?”
Evila giggled her glorious giggle, “No, the Tenatian race has a different way of showing affection for the one they love, although some of my people do kiss like your species do. It’s a way of showing your wild side.” She paused and remembered the way Clivo’a had kissed Rie in the elevator. At the time it felt awkward, but now it wasn’t so bad, “I merely used the human way of showing affection because I knew you could relate to it. I used to watch your behavioral patterns in my cloning class back on -C- Deck. You are interesting creatures. You use a lot of passion and aggression when you guys show love and mate. It was very educational and entertaining.”
“Did you like it?” asked Tony awkwardly.
Evila smiled at the question. She didn’t know quite how to answer it. “Ah… Yes, it was enjoyable, thank you!”
“How do you guys kiss?” asked Tony tactfully. His hearts were beating funny again. his whole soul longed to be with her forever, “I mean the Tenatians, how do they show their affection for one another?”
Evila shook her head and smacked his exposed stomach with her hand. Tony grimaced as pain shot through his chest and mind. His skin was still bruised from the fight he had had with the Dean.
“I don’t think we have time for a Tenatian kissing session, Tone’i, but when we do have time, I‘ll show you how it’s done. I think you’ll enjoy it more than the human way of showing affection. I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.”
Tony laughed at this. “I am sure I will.” He sat up slowly and stretched his limbs. His whole back was still throbbing with pain and heat. Blood was seeping from the open wound in his back. It was pooling on the steel cot.
Evila frowned when she saw the ugly cuts and holes. Each one looked as nasty as the next one. She sat next to Tony and rested a hand on his back and tried to examine him. She had learned a thing or to in the pre-medical class she had taken about injuries. She began to rub the damaged areas. “Are you going to be all right? Does anything hurt on the inside? Did that ruthless tyrant puncture any of your vital organs?”
“Everything hurts on me!” said Tony with a chuckle, “I don’t know if he punctured anything important.”
“Be serious with me, are you okay?”
Tony looked over to her and shook his head, “Yes, I believe I’m okay, but where are we now? What happened to the Dean? What is this room?”
“The Dean sent us here after you passed out. He’s going to gas us!”
Tony looked surprised. He turned and looked at the steel door to his left. It was closed tightly. “When is he going to gas us?”
“In a few minutes.”
Tony turned to her. He looked surprised, “In a few minutes! Wow, he certainly likes to get things done. Is there anyway we can escape? Can we stop him?”
Evila didn’t answer the questions; instead she was staring straight into Tony’s wide eyes with concern and confusion. She reached up and grabbed his face and pulled it close to hers. She started whispering to herself as she examined his retinas. Tony could feel her hot breath as it escaped her lips.
“What’s going on… what do you see?” asked Tony, “is there something in my eyes? What is it?”
“You’re changing again, Tony. Do you feel different?” asked Evila. “Do you feel something taking place in your body yet?”
“What?! What do you mean I am changing again?”
“Your eyes have turned fluorescent blue.”
Tony stood up and gripped his head. His thoughts where booming with the words that his future self had told him, “It’s happening!”
“What’s happening?” asked Evila as she stood up. “What are you talking about?”
“I am changing into something—”
Tony couldn’t finish his sentence before pain shot through his body. He toppled over onto the ground and started screaming. His veins felt like they were on fire. His brain felt like it was going to pop. He started to change again; he started to evolve into what he was supposed to become in the first place. His muscles expanded slightly and his hair began to take on a bluish hue. His skin became a lighter shade of green. He could feel a strange electrical energy flow into him. Sparks started jumping from his fingertips. The lights in the small cell began to flicker and shudder with protest as if the ship had passed through a cosmic rain. It was as if the ambient particles of the universe where entering his being all at once.
Evila watched awestruck as Tony stopped writhing on the ground. He was breathing heavily. She bent over and watched as the wounds in his back disappeared completely. His body was repairing the damage that had been done to it. Something was happening that she couldn’t explain.
“Tone’i, are you okay? What happened?”
Tony looked over to her and then back down at himself, “I think I just changed into something different. I can feel that I have.”
“The wounds are gone on your back!”
Tony turned his head and tried to look at his back. He lifted a hand and felt where the puncture marks had been. Nothing was there now. His body had completely healed itself. He stood up, “I am all better now, but why?”
“Let me see,” Evila walked over to him and examined his body. She checked the texture of his skin and smiled, “You still look like one of us, but… you’re different! You have different properties! It’s amazing, I can actually feel static electricity radiating from you. You’re practically charged up.”
Evila walked in front of him and grabbed his hand and squeezed it firmly. Cool blue electricity started pouring out of Tony’s fingertips. The strange lightning slowly danced up her green arm and caused her hair to stick up. She laughed as it tickled her senses and encompassed her frame.
-It felt warm and bubbly-
Tony smiled at her reaction. “What’s going on? Do you know why I have changed? Do you know why it’s doing this?”
Evila let go of his hand and looked at her fingertips. Lightning was now skipping between them rapidly. Then, as if someone had flipped an “off” switch, it dissipated into nothingness. She observed it all with wonder. “That was very interesting.”
“What was interesting?” asked Tony.
“The electricity didn’t hurt me at all. It’s as if the current had a mind of its own. It felt weird, it felt… good, as if someone had taken a burden off my shoulders. ”She looked over to him. “I think the human genetics are coming out now. If I get the chance I need to run some tests on you.” She paused. She had to remind herself that Tone’i wasn’t a human any more, “That is if you will let me do that.”
Tony nodded his head enthusiastically. “I’ll do anything to understand myself a little bit better. This is all strange and new to me. I have never been another species before.” He was staring at his hands now.
Evila was going to say something when there came a loud knock at the steel door. They both turned and looked over to the circular window. There was a man looking into the gassing chamber at them. He looked completely high and delusional.
“Well, I have orders to gas you now. Sorry about this,” said the man politely. “No hard feelings, it’s just business as usual.”
Evila ran to the door. “You can’t do this. We are innocent. It’s the Dean who should be in here, not us. He’s the one killing people!”
“I have heard that a million times, miss,” said the man. “The only one who is a killer here is you and your strange-looking boyfriend over there.”
Evila looked over to Tony. The human hybrid did look a little different than the rest of their advanced race. She turned back to the window and frowned, “You don’t understand, you’ll be making a big mistake if you kill us now. That man over there,” said Evila as she pointed to Tony, “is really a human I changed into one of us. The Dean doesn’t want you to know we can use the humans to save our race. We don’t have to fear the extinction. There is a solution.”
The man on the other side of the window looked surprised. He gazed at Tony and studied him carefully. His thoughts began to churn wildly as if someone had hit an on switch in the back of his mind. The haunting words that Jue Kaki had said came flooding back to his memory like water from a broken dam. He stepped back from the window and started mumbling to himself frantically. He looked scared and crazy all at once. Every-thing was coming together now.
Evila saw the weird behavior and wondered.
“Do you understand me? Do you believe me? Do you already know about the human hybrid? Who told you?”
The man looked over to her. He yelled, “You must die. I can’t let this plague out. Oh no, not on this intergalactic ship. I can’t let the humans take over the universe. I won’t let it happen. I will stop this from happening. I will avenge Jue Kaki’s death. She was right, she was right about everything,” He was bordering on hysterical.
He ran over to the gassing button and placed his hand on it.
“Stop!” yelled Evila, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you acting crazy? You can’t kill us, we’re innocent!”
The man gazed at her long and hard. He looked completely disturbed. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with me, little miss. I know too much, that’s what’s wrong with me. I know that you guys must die. I know the humans can’t win. I won’t let it happen. I know it won’t happen, not with me here!”
Tony walked over and stood by Evila. He looked at the man. “Hey, calm down and think about what you’re doing here. You can’t kill us! We have done nothing wrong, we’re innocent. Give us a chance to explain.”
“Yeah, right,” said the man. “I can’t let you guys live. Sorry about this. You must die; it’s for the good of the Tenatian race.” He pressed the button and started laughing hysterically. His voice began to fluctuate as he did so. His fingers were trembling now with excitement as he gripped his head.
Evila and Tony looked up at the vents in the high ceiling. They started spraying death gas into the room rapidly. They looked back over to the window.
“You can’t do this. Stop the gas now! You crazy idiot!” yelled Tony as he balled his fingers in to a tight fist. Rage was beginning to well up inside of him. He wanted the moron on the other side of the glass to listen to him. He wanted him to be reasonable.
“It’s useless Tone’i, we’re trapped!” said Evila “The Dean has won!” She lifted a hand and covered her mouth. She started to crouch down and get on the ground. The gas began to slowly sink and spread around the room. Tony stayed standing.
“Listen here you little imp, you better open this door or I am going to beat you to a pulp. You hear me?” Tony gritted his teeth and slammed his fist against the hard steel door in front of him. It made a horrible noise as it bent outward with protest. The man on the other side jumped and screamed.
“Open the door!”
“No!” yelled the man, “you must die!”
Tony felt another serge of anger rush over him. Electricity started jumping from his knuckles and fingers. He hit the door again, this time with a little more force them before. The steel cried and buckled outward.
“Stop!” exclaimed the man, “You’re destroying the door!”
“That’s not the only thing I am going to destroy!” yelled Tony as he took another swing. The door cracked slightly. The steel was beginning to give under the stress. Tony lost sight of the frantic man as the death gas gathered around his head. He could feel its choking hold grip his throat like a pair of pliers. His mind started to get hazy and his eyes began to water.
Tony stepped back and shook his head violently. He could hear Evila on the ground coughing. She was struggling to get air.
“Evila, hang in there. I am going to get us out of here,” said Tony as his speech began to slur. He took a few more steps back into the room. His world was beginning to twirl and spin. He felt like throwing up at that minute. He was literally in a world of mind numbing fog with only one way out.
I have one last chance at this, he thought. He steadied himself, and then he bolted straight for the door with a yell. He leaned his shoulder into the tackle as he made contact with the steel. The whole thing cracked loudly and busted off its hinges like a firecracker. Tony landed hard on the hallway floor and started to cough uncontrollably. Death gas started pouring out from the chamber. A siren sounded on the roof and red lights started flashing all over the place.
Instantly, the ship’s emergency leak system activated and started sucking the deadly gas from the -X- lab. Tony took in a breath of the fresh air and tried to push him-self up off the ground. He had to get to Evila before it was too late. He had to see if she was all right. He crawled forward for a second and then passed out onto the ground. In the distance the sirens still sang out in protest.
-Tony’s breathing was going in and out, in and out-
Tony could hear the words of his future self echoing in his mind, “Don’t you let her die. Don’t you let her die. Don’t you let her die….”