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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

It was meant to be like Idiocracy and a pig sty. And Snospis Eht.

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Pickup

Submitted: June 08, 2019

Reads: 6

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Submitted: June 08, 2019



Though the survivors were a little glad that they managed to withstand Vannikon's massacre, many of them were irritated by the cold rain that pelted against their skin. They started to panic when they found that some of them melted or burst as the rain's water came into contact with the volatile cells of their alien bodies.

Arasenwejo flicked his fear-torches on and turned them upwards: they formed two emerald pillars of light that stood against the raindrops' onslaught. He then yelled to the other survivors, "Follow me!"

Though they disliked him for his insistence to keep several clones for himself, they gathered around him as they sought to avoid the rain as soon as possible. While many of those aliens followed the Igarin director, some turned back towards the burning train to follow Murentir and gather scrap to cover their heads. In spite of the wounds on his back, Hâjogana moved ahead of them to tear up some pieces of metal as though they were sheets of paper.

"If you need to keep yourselves dry, hurry up and take them!" the half-Imdegab urged.

Each of those aliens took a piece of torn metal to cover his head and hurried back to Arasenwejo's dual beacons. Hâjogana held up his piece high as he limped towards his friend, and Murentir tried to help him move forward: but no matter how much the half-Imdegab tried to advance, the fear torches' light grew more distant.

"Thanks for helping me, Murentir," Hâjogana smiled. "But I think you should sit on my back, so we can get to a shelter sooner."

After some trundling against the fierce winds and rain, the Lurilso spotted the mouth of a cave gaping to their left.

"The Bandits' Cave!" he cried. "We can take shelter there and you can rest from your wounds, while I fetch us some supplies if there are any."

As he wanted to keep himself dry as soon as possible, Hâjogana faced the cave and squatted his legs: by then the pain of his wounds was not as severe as it was moments ago. "You're as light as a sheep, so you should hold firmly unto my shoulders," the bulky lad instructed. "I'm going to jump unto the cave, so hang on tight!"

Though the Lurilso tucked his legs around the half-Imdegab's thick chest, they trembled from the cold of the rain soaking on his shoulders. As if that was not enough to bother the latter, his entire body rumbled with fear from the sheer height of the gap to the cave. Had his large friend not propped him back up, he would have slipped and fell behind — or worse — off the monorail.

"Come on, Murentir," Hâjogana complained. "Unless you want to be thrown around like a sports ball and break some bones, cling unto my back, won't you?" With much fear in his heart the Lurilso nodded and closed his eyes.

The half-Imdegab took a deep breath, and went a few steps behind. "I will jump forth on the count to three."

The frightened Lurilso shivered and quaked even more, but Hâjogana tried not to mind about it.

"One ... two ... "

The bulky lad started to run forward towards the gap.

" ... three!"

As soon as his legs reached the threshold they sprang forth, and forward over the canopy. Moments later, they landed into the cave with a great thud: by now all Hâjogana could hear was the softened pitter-patter of the drops and Murentir's panicked breaths behind him.

"You may let go of my shoulders, boy."

The Lurilso was overwhelmed with dread. "But it is still safe, or would I fall off?" he asked.

"We're not even at the edge of the cave."


Now Murentir was able to rest his heart, as his legs were once more on firm ground without the bothersome rain. He and Hâjogana then scavenged the cave for supplies: the former plucked some sticks and strands from the damaged décor, and the latter ripped a mechanical arm and used it like a blade to smash the other dormant automatons into usable pieces. One of them, having the shape of an anthropomorphic peacock, shrieked and raised its claws at him, but he quickly stabbed its face and disassembled it into blades.

Drawn by the foe's noise, Murentir ran towards the bulky lad with a short energy blade in his hand. "Are you alright?" he asked.

"That's just a piece of junk."

Having finished their salvaging, the two gathered their scraps and placed them into a pile. Murentir used his energy blade again to set the pile ablaze to keep themselves warm against the cold.

"Keep yourself warm, big guy," the orange companion saluted. "I'm going out to hunt something to eat."

"But the jungles are too dangerous for anyone going outside the rails," Hâjogana objected. "Rebel bands, rogue droids, or feral clones that bite one's head off within a blink — it's better to wait for the search teams to pick us up instead."

"But what if they won't come by then?" Murentir asked back. "An Imdegab such as you might easily starve, so it's best to get some decent beast to be cut into tasty meat — unless if you'd fancy roasting spiders with grass." He then flipped his energy blade and ignited it again for a third time.

"I'm used to waiting for a long time for a meal or two, thank you very much," the hulking lad waved his thick hand. "I'll be contacting some rescue team in a while."

"Whatever you would say," the orange Lurilso shrugged. "I'm going anyways."

Murentir went off into the cave, using his energy blade as his torch. Meanwhile, Hâjogana took a mobile transmitter from another of his pockets and dialled a series of numbers.

"It's H?jegun Banerri Pilusarri here," he spoke. "I am located here in Bandit's Cave. Mark your coordinates and wait for Murentir, please."

From his transmitter, another voice spurted upon hearing the Lurilso's name. "Seriously? How could you think a slave like him would even befriend you? That would be against company protocol!"

"Never mind about that, just pick us up already!" At that point, he ended his transmission and laid it by his side.


Hâjogana sat near the campfire with his scarred back against the cold winds to keep its flames from being put out. With almost nothing to do besides watching the nigh-endless jungles or playing with firebrands, he dozed off to sleep. When he woke up some time later, he saw several men in black armour standing around him, with his Lurilso friend searching around the damaged automata. Some of them appeared to be half humanoid and half machine, unevenly divided here and there as though they had been mangled by some wild beast.

"Get yourself up, Moneybeard," one of them ordered. "We're going to send you to Vannikon's excuse of a headquarters."

The half-Imdegab yawned. "I thought Sentinels aren't supposed to speak like that," he muttered. "Besides, may I have some cold water and some chips?"

The unamused troops escorted him and Murentir into a dark-plated helicopter that glided over the forest's canopy-sea. In a few minutes, the vehicle landed on a platform assembled from crude metallic plates, and the group hurried into a tunnel to avoid the chilling rain. It led them into a hall built from milky marble and an assortment of precious minerals, one that was grander, larger, and cleaner than that of Amberroof Station, that in its ornateness it looked fit for a noble. Along the hall's sides, statues of Kuelgon gods and Vozonid wights stood in neat pairs atop pale pedestals, next to vine-ridden braziers burning with fragrant spices and incense.

Over a staircase, a wheeled automaton stopped and turned towards Hâjogana and his group. "Welcome, visitors, to the palace of the Governor of West Luril, specifically within the Hippogryph Hall of Silver Streams," it greeted. "Follow me, to the office of the accursed Governor himself."

The half-Imdegab crossed his arms. "But can I get myself dry, first?" he asked. "I may have a word with my employer about all that I've been through, but I also want to make myself presentable and clean."

The wheeled automaton glared back at Hâjogana's unamused face. "Og, or 'nay'," it answered, its voice broken by electric crackles. "You still need to follow me in your intact condition."

After the stocky lad and his followers went up the staircase, the automaton turned to their right. They traversed into a corridor covered with torn red and green wallpaper: as they advanced further the lights over them flickered or burst.

With only the automaton's markings to guide them in the overwhelming darkness, the Sentinels around Hâjogana and his remaining bodyguards uncovered miniature lamps from their pockets. At every two steps or three, they stumbled upon some damaged chairs and tables strewn along the corridor. Their noses also caught the strong stench of ash, guano, and rotten meat.

"For a Governor such as him," Murentir wondered, as he plucked an arm from a wrecked chandelier, "why wouldn't he and his servants bother to clean his palace up?" Shortly after he finished igniting that arm's bulb with his pistol, he was startled by the sight of a shrivelled skeleton. Its faded green robes had long been tattered, and under its split ribcage the trace of a blaster's shot left a darkened sunburst.

"Konjor bosses like him consider killing clones and servants to be a sport, and they used their hobby to vent their anger against their other subordinates," Hâjogana answered. "I would personally like to be a Governor myself to stop all of this."

The glow emanating from the group's instruments attracted swarms of moths and bats that harassed them, so the half-Imdegab repelled those pests by slashing with his fear-torch's light to scatter their screeching shapes. As he used his torch to light his way in the corridor it revealed a door surrounded by two gryphon statues in a state of disrepair; the one on the left was dissected into half, and the other left a faint trail of smoke from where its lofty head once stood. His sharp ears heard a sequence of thuds behind the headless statue, accompanied by a series of muffled curses in what sounded like coarse Kuelgonnek.

That same torch of his also drove the automaton into a state of panic, causing it to hastily slam its body towards the door. Ignoring the others' objections, Hâjogana stepped forward and shoved the automaton aside and opened the door: the room where he and his companions set foot was a round office with a high ceiling and nine black columns along the outer edge overlooking the misty Lurillim jungles. Though it was filled with splendid luxury furniture, each of it was marred to some degree: the tattered couches were stained with sweat and alcohol, the vases broken by some projectile or two, and nearly every image had its respective face reduced to a charred spot. Not even Vannikon's portraits of himself, nor the broken idols sitting in his shrine-corner, were exempt from his clumsy target practice.

And there he was in the middle, the Governor himself: a bulbous blue man slouching on his seat, guzzling on so much gem-studded goblets of expensive wine and rambling about his failures. As the group knelt before his presence, in his somnolent fury he lazily blasted an upside-down Vozonid flag taped to a wall, burning a hole and making a charred crater at its golden gryphon's face.

"Ratirminoz the Mortal shall crumble to dust for all that Lord Vastanom would care, BÂH!" he bellowed, blasting another laser round at the scarlet banner. "The Gryphon Lord of only Ten Stellar Systems shall drink poison to his oblivion!"

Murentir and the Sentinels knelt before the Governor, and Hâjogana followed suit. As the half-Imdegab rose up with the others, he shook his head. "Now, Governor," he complained and crossed his arms, "after the bloodbath that I've gone through, where's the promotion that you called me for?"

Vannikon croaked with laughter, his face poring with cavities with each breath and gasp. "Promotion?" he snorted. "Why, I selected you among all the other candidates because you're more 'human' than the rest. You're also more determined to fight your way to your prize, while the rest only cared for 'normal', brainless procedures fit for a Malendor drone."

"Perhaps you should have just sent me directly to your palace, instead of assigning me to a train filled with criminals, killer clones, and toxic gas." Hâjogana complained. "Again, I am here for my promotion, so can you give it to me now?"

The irritated Governor roared again, swelling his cavernous face once more into a distorted parody of itself. While Murentir stepped back from its sheer noise, the Sentinels who accompanied him did not move an inch.

"Have it then, petulant one!" Vannikon yelled, throwing a digital tablet at his face. After his outburst subsided, he dipped a rust-ridden pocket knife upon each of the half-Imdegab's shoulders. "I hereby appoint you as Vice-Governor of West Luril, starting from tomorrow onwards. And make sure you do things my way, or I will make you act in another of my snuff films!"

Hâjogana bowed his head and smiled. "I will do what I can, Governor, to ensure your realm will work as intended," he answered, and then he stood in attention. "All the wealth of the Galaxy shall be ours, Governor."

Vannikon got himself up. He tore out a computer that sat on his table and tossed it towards the Vozonid flag. "AND ALL THE WEALTH OF THIS PATHETIC GALAXY IS OURS, HÂJOGANA!" the Governor yelled; he guzzled another bottle of his favourite acidic beer, and in his drunkenness he tossed his bottle into the Lurillim jungle behind him, melting an unfortunate tree's leaves or two. "Better that you would have been killed off with the other rejects: now this episode is ruined by your survival!"

The disappointed half-Imdegab shrugged. "Without me, Governor, who else would you call to stop everything in your province from falling back into julkoqil chaos?"

The Governor sank his face into his hand. "Sentinels, bring him to his office and residence," he ordered. "Tomorrow, he shall be donned in fine robes."

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