Lasers flared as they whizzed by my space-time craft. I was in an intense battle with a bounty hunter. My ship had taken a few hits. My shields were raised but they could only withstand so much.
I fired a shot at the bounty hunter's ship but I only grazed it. �My eardrums nearly burst from the loud explosion when the bounty hunter fired on me again. My girlfriend and I were thrown to the floor. That last shot destroyed my shields. If my ship took just one more hit, it would be destroyed.
With only seconds remaining before he would blow us into oblivion, I had to�act fast. I quickly aimed my laser at the bounty hunter's cockpit. I fired a shot through the cockpitwindow and killed him. Cynthia hugged me so hard that my skin turned different colors.
"You did it, Fland. You beat him and it's a good thing too. I'm too pretty to die."
The bounty hunter had been hired by my people. I look human but I'm not.I'm a Space warrior from a planet that can't be pronounced in english.My people put a large price on my head. I was a prince on my planet and the people lived under the dictatorship of my father.
I tried to lead a rebellion to free my people but I was defeated and exiled from my planet.My people despise me because I'm not evil. I can be rude and a bit harsh at times but I'm basically good. My dark brown hair, square jaw and husky build made me look like a heavy. I've always been extremely brave and confident. I've believed that I could always succeed no matter what the circumstances.
Cynthia called me a busy-body because I always stuck my nose in other people's problems.She was a good girl but she was also a neat freak. She had to look perfect all the time. She was loyal, kind, and trustworthy but a bit vain. Her blond hair, dimples, and hour glass figure made her pleasing to look at.
After landing my ship on the Earth's surface in the thirty-first century, I activated the cloaking device. Cynthia and I climbed out of my ship and began to scouer the hilly surface. Suddenly I noticed something strange about the soil.
"Cynthia, this soil has been scorched very badly."
"You're right. It has."
As we continued walking, we came across some old oak trees. I touched one of the branches and it crumbled into dust.
"These trees are dead. They've been scorched too. Nothing can grow in this soil."
"Yes it can."
"Don't argue with me. I'm the intelligent alien. You're just a human. Vegetation can't grow in this soil. It's a scientific fact."
"It's a scientific farce. Look at the bottom of this hill."
I was stunned to see a crop of vegetables. Perfect growing vegetables. How could they grow in this soil? Upon getting closer to the crop, I smelled chemicals.
"Can you smell it? They use chemicals. It has a musty sort of smell. That's how they grow vegetation in this soil."
I picked a tomato and took a bite. I cringed from the bitter taste.
"It's awful. The chemicals have altered the taste of these vegetables."
Suddenly screams and the rumbling of footsteps echoed through the air. A group of people ran by.
"Quick, Cynthia, hide behind these rocks."
As we hid, I saw what appeared to be four androids chasing the humans. All four looked identical. Red, green, and blue lights flashed on their chests. They had human shaped heads� and eyes that looked like camera lenses. Their mouths were triangular. Cynthia was about to run toward the humans, but I grabbed her arm.
"Let go. I have to help them."
"There's nothing we can do."
Sadly, we were forced to see the humans get slaughtered by the androids. Then they stormed away. After Cynthia and I came out from behind the rocks, a man stepped out of a cave and called to us.
"Come here! Hurry!"
We went to him and he took us in the cave. We got in an elevator and started going underground.
"I'm Ed. Thank God we found you in time. Sunrise is only a few minutes away."
I was puzzled and intrigued by what he said.
"Why was it so important that you got to us before sunrise?"
"You don't know?"
"No. We're not from around here."
"Our ozone layer was destroyed. Anyone on the surface during daylight, will be scorched to death."
Ed appeared to be friendly and courteous. But he also appeared to be a warrior. He carried two guns, several grenades, and plastic explosives. Ed's crewcut and eye patch made him look tough. He was missing the pinky finger on his left hand. The foul smell that came from his body showed that he had trouble maintaining his hygiene.
As the elevator continued downward, I asked Ed a question.
"Why did those machines kill that group of people?"
"They were stealing vegetables from their crops."
Suddenly the elevator came to a stop. The doors opened and we stepped out. The entire underground city was made from steel. Computers and machinery were all around. After arriving in the underground city,I met and introduced myself to their leader. His name was Tony.
"This is my human girlfriend Cynthia." I said.
"You talk as if you're not human."
Tony looked puzzled as he scratched his curly black hair. Tony wasn't a good looking man. His large nose and rotten teeth made his appearance none too pleasing. But I soon learned that what he lacked in looks, he well made up for with courage and morals. He always watched his fellow soldiers backs. He was assertive and bound by duty.
"I'll fill you in on our situation, Fland. There are two races of people on this planet. We humans and the Manborg. Ninety years ago our ozone layer was destroyed. Our scientists took the brains, hearts, and lungs of humans and put them in android shells so they could survive on the surface during the day. They are the Manborg."
I got the feeling that this didn't turn out very well.
"The Manborg were created to repair the Ozone layer, but they turned against us."
As Tony paced around the small room, he explained further.
"The Manborg decided that they were superior to us. They then decided that we humans should perish for being inferior. Half of us they kill and the rest are used to make more Manborgs."
"Surely you have weapons to fight them with."
"The Manborg destroyed most of our weapons. They feel no pity or pain. They put tiny computers in their brains to wipe away emotions. This way they can't feel fear either."
"Something should be done about these evil machines."
"Thousands of people are imprisoned in their cities around the world. They're going to be made into Manborgs. The largest Manborg city is only twenty miles away, but we're powerless against them."
"You humans are stupid. If you're going to give up this easily, you deserve to perish."
"Fland, stop being so rude." Cynthia said.
She was right. I was being rude, but I had to concentrate on defeating the Manborg. I turned my attention back to Tony.
"I want to help. Is there an underground entrance to the nearest Manborg city?"
"Yes, there's one from the sewers, but it's always guarded by a Manborg."
"My laser gun will deal with it. Gather two of your men. We're going on a reconnaissance mission to the Manborg city."
When we went on our reconnaissance mission, we met the Manborg guard in the sewer.
I quickly shot the Manborg with my laser gun and sent blood and circuitry flying through the air.
"Quick. Up the manhole."
After entering the Manborg city, I was shocked to see grass painted floors and sky painted ceilings. On the walls were pictures of vicious animals and ruthless dictators that once lived on Earth. The Manborg apparently wanted to make their city look like Earth once did. As we moved quickly through the long, wide corridors, I heard beeping noises.
"Look. It's a computer with some disks." Cynthia said.
"This computer might be able to give us valuable information. I know very little about Earth computers but you're a specialist. Download as much information as you can on one of these disks."
After Cynthia downloaded the information, I put the disk in my sock.
"Okay. Now let's return to the underground city."
We began to leave when I heard the loud clanging of footsteps. Suddenly two Manborg guards jumped us. We were disarmed and taken to a large cell. After the two Manborgs slung us violently into the cell, they left us alone with one Manborg guard.
Advanced equipment filled the dark, damp cell. After walking all around the cell, Tony began whispering to me.
"What will we do now?"
"I have an idea."
I walked behind the Manborg and tapped him on the shoulder. He quickly pulled his gun on me.
"Take it easy. I only want to talk."
"I refuse to engage in a conversation with an inferior human."
"I'm not a human. I'm an alien from an advanced planet."
"You are still inferior."
"Do you want to put it to the test?"
"In the center of this cell is an intelligence seeker. I challenge you to an intelligence duel."
Cynthia quickly pulled me away from the Manborg guard.
"What's an intelligence duel?"
"The intelligence seeker will scan my brain as well as the Manborg's. After it determines our IQs, it will kill the one of us who is least intelligent."
Cynthia jerked me around so hard that the room began to spin.
"You can't do this. What if this Manborg is more intelligent than you? You'll die. I love you. I don't want to lose you."
"Shut up, Cynthia. I hate it when you get sentimental. I must take the risk. Now let me get on with it."
As cynthia threw her arms up and let out a loud sigh, I returned my attention back to the Manborg.
"Do you want to duel?"
We placed our heads in the helmet shaped brain scanners. Suddenly my limbs quivered violently from a piercing shock that ran through my body. I felt paralyzed. Could this Manborg actually be smarter than me? Was I going to be the one to die? For once I was actually scared.
Suddenly the Manborg fell to the floor dead. The shock was only a side effect of the intelligence seeker. I quickly got the key from the dead Manborg and unlocked the cell door.
"Come on. Let's go."
As we ran down the corridors, a Manborg spotted us. We ran the other way until we came to a room filled with crates. I quickly locked us in the room. The Manborg began pounding on the six inch metal door. I knew it wouldn't take long for him to knock it down.
I had to act fast. Suddenly I saw an electrical cable on one of the crates. I connected one end of the cable to the door and the other end to a high voltage electrical socket. The Manborg received a great shock and was killed.
After disconnecting the cable, I opened a couple of crates. One of them was filled with weapons. We collected five weapons and returned to the underground city.
After we returned, Cynthia loaded the disk in a computer.
"You were right. It does give valuable information. It tells where and when the Manborgs sleep."
"Where? I must know."
"They sleep in the northeast section of their city. Look. It shows the exact spot. Fifty percent of them sleep while the rest maintain the city."
This information was helpful, but to defeat the Manborg, I needed more.
"It tells the exact location of their super-computer and their main control room."
The bright smile that came across Cynthia's face showed promise.
�"It says that every Manborg on the planet can be shut down from the main control room. But first we must program the super-computer to unlock the main control room door. It also says that all Manborgs are equipped with self destruct systems and can be self destructed from their super-computer."
"Good. That's all I needed to know."
Perspiration formed on Tony's skin as he paced up and down the small room.
"What's on your mind, Tony?"
"There's one thing you haven't thought of. How are we going to make it through their city to get to these places? We'll be wiped out."
"If I can get the proper circuitry and electronics, I can build a matter transmitter. Can I have a pen and paper?"
I wrote down the parts I needed. But when I handed the list to Tony, he began flapping his arms angrily.
"You're a moron. Are you insane? You can't expect us to deliver five million dollars worth of equipment!"
"It's the only way to defeat the Manborg."
"I can find a better way."
"Then find a better way. You can't, can you? No. You're too stupid. Only I can defeat the Manborg."
Suddenly Cynthia intervened.
"Fland shouldn't be so rude, but I do think his way is best. Can you supply the parts?"
Three hours later I received the parts. After several more hours passed, I completed the matter transmitter.
"It's done. It can transport seven people. Tony, have four of your best men gather explosives and detonators. I will send you and your men to the Manborgs sleeping quarters."
"Will you and cynthia be transmitted to the super-computer?"
"Yes. While we self destruct the operating Manborgs, you will blow up the sleeping ones."
Tony and his men put explosives and detonators in their backpacks. I then gave each of the four men a laser gun and Tony a flame thrower. I quickly programmed the matter transmitter. We were immediately beamed to the Manborg city. As Tony and his men set and detonated the explosives, Cynthia operated the super-computer.
Suddenly Cynthia shook her head in distress and whacked the computer angrily.
"The computer is sending Manborg guards to deal with us. It's not going to be as easy as I thought to operate their self destruct systems. It will take some advanced calculations. Only someone who is a whiz at calculus can do it."
"I'm an excellent mathematician. Let me take a crack at it."
Using my knowledge of calculus, I typed in the appropriate calculations and self destructed the Manborgs.
"You did it, Fland. You beat them. Darn. My hair is a mess. I hope I have a comb."
Suddenly I heard the gentle clatter of footsteps. It was Tony. He was knelt over and gasping heavily from exhaustion.
"Fland, the Manborgs killed my men before they self destructed. I ran all the way here. We've won. Right?"
Cynthia's look of hope turned to a look of despair.
"We're in trouble. The computer is sending one hundred half made Manborgs after us. We can't self destruct them because they haven't yet been equipped with self destruct systems. What are we going to do?"
"Have you unlocked the main control room door?"
"The main control room isn't far from here. We have to get there fast or we're dead."
We ran frantically until we reached the main control room. But when we entered, all one hundred half made Manborgs were waiting for us with guns. Their wires and circuitry were exposed. As I saw blood flowing through their artificial veins, adrenaline flowed through me. Was this the end? It looked like there was no way out. After years of fighting evil, would it all end here?
I felt a light tap on my shoulder. It was Cynthia.
"It's been nice knowing you, Fland. I love you."
Suddenly I got an idea.
"I'm not dead yet."
I quickly grabbed Tony's flame thrower and shot the sprinkler. Water poured down into the Manborgs exposed circuits and shorted them out. I then shut down every Manborg on Earth. We immediately returned to the underground city. The humans began to celebrate our victory. Tony was dancing all around the room. But sadly I had bad news for him.
"Cynthia and I have to go."
"But you can't go. We need your help to survive."
"Nonsense. You will survive. Now that we've defeated the Manborg, you'll have their technology and crops for yourselves."
"Please stay. You've saved the human race. We want to show you our gratitude."
"Sorry, but somewhere in the universe evil is at work. I must fight the good fight and see that evil perishes."
After the sunset, Cynthia and I returned to my ship. We were off to another place and another time.