Note: this is a work of fiction, with all the usual stuff about copyright and permission. It’s also a work in progress and a way to develop my knowledge of the english language. So feel free to correct, debate, laugh, ask about it in the comments. Help appreciated.
You may find the index here.
I was beheaded. Then my body was burned to ashes and the ashes tossed to the wind. That was the penalty used for the traitors of the kingdom, no matter if they were from Zeranta or from Earth. I always wondered about afterlife, if any, but I found that my version of Hell was too much alike my former experiences.
I was jailed again. In the dungeon of a castle. Behind bronze bars, with little food and water. The real problem in my Hell was about drugs. None was available and my need for that stuff was incredible. They named it godblood, it was a good choice. Without it my mind start to wander between my past and my worst nightmares, most part of the day I couldn’t really say if I was awake or not.
After three days I resurrect from my Hell. No more hallucinations, no more shakings, what I was left was the biggest headache in human history. That night they got me out from my cell, King Harkoon wanted to see my ghost.
“You survived godblood. Excellent.”
He didn’t look so happy about that. No man in that room was happy at all.
“You were right, too. Now we have a civil war at hand, my own son became an usurper and almost every day some of my loyal servants joins his ranks. My aides and the Omniplan told me that you’re the only weapon that can even the odds, without you we will clash and there will be a massacre.”
Harkoon rose from his chair and came closer to me.
“So it’s up to you. What’s your price? From the chronicles we know that people from Earth is like us, everybody has a price. What do you want?”
That man wasn’t stupid at all. He knew that once exposed to the sunlight I will became a risk for his own security. So I played the ace from my deck of cards.
“I want to go home. Can Omniplan fix that? Gimme a way to come back home and I will fight this battle for you.”
The king smiled. A moment later an hologram appeared, that thing wasn’t limited to its lab.
“This is possible. The next energy anomaly will take place thirty-nine days, five hours, eleven minutes from now. If you choose to fight for King Harkoon I will tell you exactly where the anomaly will show up.”
“C’mon tin can, if you’re so good at that why you don’t tell to the King the right place for the last anomaly? I mean, the one that get me here.”
“The last anomaly took place in five different places at once.”
“Five places, right? So you’re telling me that it was impossible to dispatch five groups of soldiers?”
The hologram disappeared.
“Let me guess, your friend here is a bit… inconstant when it comes to be loyal to the throne?”
I was having a bit of fun, it was good to be important after being jailed that way.
“The Omniplan is loyal to humankind. That will be its answer. It helps us in many ways but it’s not by my side or by any other side. You can trust it for having the right information about the place. Everybody who access to one of its laboratories can have the same information, no matter where his loyalty stands.”
“You build a castle around every lab, that’s my guess. That for controlling such a resource, isn’t it? How many labs?”
“We know of five laboratories. Four are placed inside castles, the fifth is lost somewhere in the Desert of Steel. Why are you asking about that? Surely you have your own Omniplan on Earth.”
“Not quite. Just another question, how many of this castles are under your control? One or two?”
“Two. There’s another castle of mine in the East, near the sea. Why are you so curious?”
“It’s about the map I saw inside the lab, the one inside Halkan’s castle. You know about what your son is doing because you see it in that map, right?”
“You can see where everybody is on that map. Except for the ghosts, of course.”
That was it, the last piece of the puzzle.
“Am I a ghost?”
“Yes, every Terran is. “
“There are a number of ghost from Zeranta too, right? Enough to keep Omniplan worried about. People that cannot be traced. People like Keller and Kellan.”
“Yes. We don’t know how much they are. But they are a different problem, something that must be solved after this war. Will you fight for me?”
“Yes, I will. I have a debt to pay with your son.”
Later, after being dismissed from the King’s presence, I’ve got some time to put things together. No doubt at all that the old king couldn’t be trusted, the same for his son and, for what I knew then, for every single living being on Zeranta.
My choice to get back home was good only if I managed to stay alive until then. Not an easy task in a world controlled by a computer, not even with a good looking ghost at your side. I was still thinking about Kellan when I got asleep that night.