For this weeks #WednesdayReads, we return to the Mid-31st century C.E. and join Medlow Staur in another adventure! Following shortly after “The Last Corpse on the Left“, Medlow Staur is finally back in the Milky Way galaxy, but he’s about to receive a home coming he’d rather do without.
At the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy
Mid-31st century C.E.
I finally got off of Hrodahk 5 thanks to the Elohim. The data stick I gave them was enough to get them to fix my ship; so I could get back to the Milky Way. Getting back to my home galaxy was worth the beat down that Spring Heeled Jack gave me. I didn’t know what he was up to, honestly I didn’t care. Of course with my luck being how it is, I get all healed up and then I get a surprise visit from another beat down.
My robot, Six, decided that he wanted to accompany me back to the Way. He took care of everything while I lay down in a portable med bay. It looks like a long, inflatable pool and releases medicines and other healing chemicals either intravenously or in a liquid state, almost like taking a bath.
Just as we came out of hyperspace near Starbase Zero, we received a multiband transmission that a solar storm was expected and all ships either needed to find a bay or take a hike. Thankfully it was a slow day so we were able to get a berth. Solar storms are no joke here. Starbase Zero is on a planet in a trinary star system. A solar storm from one sun is bad, but from three suns at the same time? You better find shelter or meet your maker.
Just to be on the safe side, I dressed in an olive green flight suit with tall black boots. Both were designed to protect from low level amounts of radiation while flying through certain areas of space. Of course, in this situation, it’s not much more protective than normal clothing, but as the old saying goes, something is way better than nothing.
So I strap on my gun belt and go down the ramp, with Six in tow, when he puts his hand on my shoulder. I’m about to ask him what he’s doing when I feel a massive electrical jolt and I’m down for the count.
Next thing I know I’m lying on a concrete floor, beaten and bloodied. They must have been amateurs. If I had to gauge the pain level I was in, I’d say it was a four. I’m dragged to my feet and thrown in a chair. These guys are not only amateurs, they’re sloppy too. Only a fool puts Medlow Staur in a chair and doesn’t restrain him!
I look around to see the goons I’m about to take to the other side when I freeze. Oh man, it was bad. I swallowed and wished I was anywhere else. I spent a good chunk of my life running away from Quinthos and it seemed to have finally caught up with me.
“Hey Medlow, what’s the matter? You should be happy to see us. We’re the past come back to haunt you.”
It was Cred Tonker, my old squad leader from the Humanity First Youth Squad. It was pretty much like a coed Hitler Youth, only they wanted to exterminate extraterrestrials instead of Jews. Next to him stood Myngo Lein, the “Butcher of Aliens”, who told stories of his heroism in the Third War of Oppression. Problem is, that war happened twenty plus years before he was born.
The rest of the goons were all male and nameless. All of them were dressed up in their battle gear. Iron gray cargo trousers with an iron gray jacket. Black boots, t-shirt and beret. All accessories like their pistol belt, suspenders, pouches and other gear were black.
“What do you want, Cred?” I snarl. As scared as I was inside I couldn’t afford to show them that I was. These guys were bullies, through and through. Showing you’re scared only gives the bully more power. All the years of insults, torment and other abuses I suffered at their hands brought back a lot of bad memories. I wanted to crack so bad, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of seeing me fall.
“We’ve come back to take you home, Medlow. Big things are happening and we want you to be the centerpiece of our celebration. We’re back on our feet and we’ll be taking the fight to the alien scum that’s been kicking humanity around,” he answered.
I rolled my eyes and didn’t care if he saw me do it. The same biznop lies about how aliens were stealing our jobs, raping our women and dealing drugs. Quinthos was a paradise until we ruined it and drove the aliens offworld with our psychotic biznop. We decided we were better than anyone else, decided that aliens were inferior and tried to exterminate them. All in the name of an imaginary god and a psychotic doctrine of worship of wealth, a false ideal of masculinity, controlling women’s lives and demonizing the poor. It was like a cult!
Walking over towards me, Cred put his hand on my shoulder and said,
“We’ve got a supply of rifles like no other we’ve ever had! Powerful enough to melt a boulder. And guess who is going to be the boulder?”
“Your boy toy, Myngo?” I ask.
I knew for years that Cred and Myngo were lovers even though homosexuality was strictly forbidden. Because it was forbidden they had to put on a show for the nameless goons. They beat me down harder and harder and then picked me up and threw me back into the chair. I glanced at Myngo and saw what looked like regret on his face.
Myngo was once my lover. We came out to each other, although he didn’t approve of me liking women too. He kept telling me to pick a side so many times, I ended it with him. I lost any lingering feelings or respect I had for him when I saw him sexually assaulting a younger squad member. I reported him and they locked me up in the brig and let him go without even a slap on the wrist.
They said he was only hazing the kid and that hazing is condoned and encouraged by our god. They said if you can’t deal with the hazing, that you were weak and unworthy to serve in our god’s army. I hated all that stuff. The lies, the indoctrination, the intolerance and the encouragement of bullying and other abuse.
Since my brain wasn’t being pounded anymore, I realized I needed to know where I was so I could come up with an escape plan.
“So anyone going to tell me where on Quinthos I am?”
Looking at Cred and Myngo, I realized they looked nervous. So we weren’t on Quinthos after all.
“So we’re not on Quinthos? You came for me and didn’t have a plan in place after you grabbed me? Guess you bunch of dolts thought your made up god would provide everything for you, huh?”
Myngo ordered the nameless goons out of the room and shut the door.
“So why’d you boot them out of here? You miss my kisses Myngo? Maybe you’re afraid they’ll see how much fun you’re having and they’ll want to kiss me too?” I asked him.
Myngo looked really uncomfortable. Cred put his arm around Myngo and held him close. Then Cred looked at me and said,
“Listen, Medlow, we both like you. Myngo’s still in love with you. Why don’t you come back with us? Just renounce your sins and ask to be let back into the flock.”
“My sins?! My sins?! Are you freaking kidding me?! I’ve done nothing but turn my back on you bunch of fascist morons! That’s nothing compared to the number of sins you two glargholes have committed over the years! How much abuse, rapes and murders have you both committed?! Don’t even tell me I’m a sinner! I never believed in your biznop Gospel of Prosperity and Human Superiority!” I yell at them.
Now my yelling is making both guys uncomfortable. I hear Myngo whisper to Cred that he told the guys to go to the other side of the floor we were on. He said that they should be far enough away that they wouldn’t be able to hear anything, especially if things got loud. Cred whispers back he doesn’t care, they can’t afford to be caught again.
I’m about to get up and walk out when Six comes crashing through the doorway, knocking down both the door and the frame around it. By the smell either Cred or Myngo crapped themselves. Probably both.
“Fear not humans! I care not for whom with you fulfill your primitive mating urges. I have; no wait a second. That came out wrong. I care not for whom you fulfill your primitive mating urges with! That’s it, that’s the stuff! Should I come back in and do that again?”
“Why don’t you get the flink out and never come back you traitor piece of scrap,” I yell.
“Sorry boss, but I was built and programmed to betray you,” Six says. Seeing the anger on my face, he pats me on the shoulder and goes, “But wait, there’s more!”
He turned towards Cred and Myngo and raised his arms. His hands and forearms morphed into blades and began dripping a crimson liquid. Without turning his head away from the two fascists he said,
“I’ve become very fond of you, Medlow. Not like that, though. I don’t have genitals. Or a sex drive. Or a…”
“Get to the point,” I said.
“The Arahu spider of the Quinthosian highlands produces a deadly venom that causes paralysis in warm blooded creatures. As the paralysis kicks in, the venom then convinces the body’s immune system that the blood is an invader and needs to be destroyed. There is no antidote and you die painfully over several weeks. These blades are coated in that venom.”
Six turned his head towards me and told me to run. He began slashing at Cred and Myngo as they screamed into their radios for back up. I got out of the chair and ran out the door. Laying on the ground in the hallway were my gats. On top of them was a small business card. It was blank but had a message button to press.
I was about to press the button when I heard footsteps running down the hall. I ducked into the nearest room and shut the door. I heard shouting and weapons fire. I saw a ladder on the wall leading towards an air duct. It was big enough for me to fit into, so I climbed up the ladder, opened the hatch and climbed inside. I tried to move as fast as I could away from the room I had been imprisoned in. After about ten minutes of going nowhere I stopped.
I decided to check out the business card. Pressing the button a holographic text message appeared in the air above the card.
“You are still in Starbase Zero,” the text read, “You are in one of the furthermost buildings near where the radiation shields are the weakest. You are going to need to get to the utility conduit in the second sub-basement. Follow it to get into the main complex where the shields are the strongest.”
Then an instruction appeared asking me to place the card in the palm of my hand. A second or two later a needle jabbed my palm and my head started to swim. Then I felt better and my mind cleared and I knew the exact layout of the building. It felt like I had worked there my entire life.
I had heard about devices like this before. They were used to deliver knowledge to a person in an emergency situation. It could immediately teach someone skills such as CPR, stardrive engine repair or other things. The knowledge only lasts for a short amount of time, usually only about three hours.
Now knowing where I was, I made my way towards a hallway that led towards the stairs to the basement.
Moving stealthily around the building I made my way to the sub-basement. Finding all the doors to the stairwells locked and chained, I searched for an elevator. Seeing as how there were no elevators, I decided against blasting the locks off of the doors. I was still pretty beat up and didn’t want to alert my enemies to my position. I saw another air duct that led into the second sub-basement. Climbing down to the next floor, I made my way towards a vent that I could use as an exit.
It was about eight feet off the ground, so unfortunately, I’d have to drop. As I got to the vent I heard voices. Peeking through the slats I saw two goons armed with heavy blaster rifles. The one with the goatee said,
“Can you flinking believe it? There’s a rumor that just came over the radio. It said Cred and Myngo got killed by that bot! Now that skirt that came with us is in charge!”
The one with the giant sideburns next to him said,
“She’s such a loser. Letting her husband play around with any woman in sight but she won’t give me any. I told her, her husband ain’t giving her what I’ll give her and she beat the shit out of me! You think that bitch would jump at the chance to get my jock.”
Before they could say anything else there was the sound of pounding boots heading towards us. I heard a voice call out to the two sexist goons.
“You two, come with us, we’re heading back up to the main office so we can track down the traitor.”
I knew that voice! It was Niranda Kanalratte, the only woman to join the Quinthosian armed forces. She was as tough and as mean as they come. She was also arrogant, mean spirited, petty and shallow. Three figures; Niranda and two corporals, went past the goons and I watched the two goons turn and follow in formation. Knowing if they got to the main office, they could activate all kinds of sensors and track me down easily.
What’s Medlow’s next move going to be? Find out next week!
The Last Corpse on the Left ©2017
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names and persons in this eBook are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses or places, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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