A Risky Deal
Alexander pushed a roasted panel off his chest. He rolled to his side and clutched his stomach as he moaned in pain. Bones snapped continuously as Howie got up and bend his back backwards. Alpha spun around to loosen his arms. Aoife lay with his face planted on the floor.
“I can’t see!” Yuya yelled as his implants were fried in his eye sockets.
Yuya crawled around to feel the floor. His fingertips touched Aoife hair. Realizing that she wasn’t moving, he touched around her neck to feel a pulse. He was able to breathe as the pulse was strong. Aoife twitched and slowly got her face off the floor.
“Fuck, my nose!” she shouted and covered her nose.
Vyla got up and ran to her. She asked, “Are you alright?”
Aoife snapped, “No, I am not fucking alright! My nose is fucking bleeding!”
“Let me take a look,” Vyla said as Aoife uncovered her nose.
Blood was pouring out of the nose like a fountain. The nose even looked flattened. The area between her eyes was blacked as it was bruised. Aoife covered her face again as the pain radiated. She yelled, “Looks fucked, doesn’t it?!”
“I would see what I could do,” Vyla said as she looked around to see if anyone else survived.
Alexander got up and said, “Is everyone ok?”
David yelled, “Help Alex!”
Alexander ran up and David was pinned to the floor by a broken panel. David tried to get it off of him, but it would not budge. Alexander carefully lifted it and tossed it aside. He offered his hand and David grabbed it as he was pulled up from the floor.
General Floundo yelled as he woke up halfway in the floor. Hortor and Vyla rushed to help out their general. His legs were crushed by the cables and hardwires that got disconnected. Alexander ripped the tiles around the general. Vyla and Hortor lifted him up and dragged him to the door.
“General, we got to take a look at those legs,” Vyla said as she saw that his femurs looked disconnected. “Alex, where is the medical bay?”
Alexander pulled Aoife up, “Follow me guys.”
Howie helped Yuya get up as the crew headed to the medical bay. As they got there, the tools and medicine were scattered all over the floor. Tables got thrown through the windows and cabinets. Casters and Cobains inch around to make sure they don’t get pinched by the lying needles and scalpers. Seeing the bay a wreck, Alexander leaped to the back fearing that Colonel Chan’s life-support was pulled. Vyla followed him to check as well.
Alexander placed his hand on his chest as he was relieved that his colonel’s life-support was still running and the colonel was still alive. With all of the destruction happening during their trek on this ship, Colonel Chan was surprising still alive. Alexander thought, this must be luck for them.
“He’s still alive,” Alexander thought this could not be possible.
“Yeah, that is for sure,” Vyla agreed.
“We got to see if anyone else is still alive,” said Alexander.
Vyla returned to help mend Aoife’s nose. The marines fixed a table for General Floundo to lay down as they scanned his legs with an x-ray machine. Others took precaution as they cleaned the bay up so they could treat each other’s injuries.
Alexander and David sprint to the hanger. Warthogs and tanks flipped over. Hallways and walls burst into flames. Cobains rushed to put the fire out. Some other vehicles got blown up. Half of the ceiling collapsed. Most were wandering around with cuts and burns all over their limbs and faces. Alexander thought, could this be any worse?
He then ran to the engineering station and he was right. One of the reactors exploded. Wires and cables hung from the ceiling burning like tree branches. Charred bodies laid everywhere on each floor. The room temperature was over a hundred degrees. Only a few managed to escape the station just as it was destroyed. Only two reactors remained intact for the thrusters. Yet they glowed red indicating they were beginning to shut down due to power failure.
Tloc ran up to Alexander as he got out of the engineering and asked, “What do we do now?”
Alexander overwhelmed by the destruction of his ship. He covered his temples and panics. He paced for a bit and said, “We have to get the ship on a planet.”
Alpha hovered towards him, “I heard that we have to find a planet.”
“Of course Alpha,” said Alexander. “What is the closet star system?”
“I have just looked over the star map,” said Alpha. “We have just drifted to the outer rim of the Taya system. There are three planets that are habitable for us to land.”
“Which one is closest to us?” Alexander asked as he looked over the power panels on the wall.
“One planet in particular is 92,960,000 miles,” said Alpha. “We could make there in about twenty minutes, which would give us enough time to land before all power in the engines go off.”
“Alright, you and Boudicca lock the coordinates to this planet,” said Alexander. “I’ll go see what the hell is also going on.”
As Alexander began to return to the medical bay, his head raced as Cahan wanted to kill him because of a lie he was told. Alexander pleads him that Seiton tried to kill them with their technology. Yet, Cahan did not believe him nor knew who Seiton was. What kind of Spacers they were, he thought. How can they not know Seiton? Why was Cahan so stubborn? He wouldn’t even listen to Alexander. Why was this happening?
He got in the medical and found the place much cleaner than before. The tools and scraps were picked up. They got the tables snapped back on the floor. Vyla and the Aquamaids helped the marines mend their wounds. Aoife had a huge bandage wrapped around her head, covering her nose. Alexander could see plugs in her nose stained with blood. She had to breathe with her mouth open.
“Aoife, how are you holding up?” Alexander asked.
“Not so good,” Aoife said as she sounded like she was suffering from a severe cold. “I can’t breathe through my bloody nose without shit coming out.”
“But you will be ready for the next fight right?” he asked.
“I am not letting one fucking bloody nose get in my way,” she said. “Even if I sounded so fucked.”
Vyla came up to her after she helped the marines placed metal casts on General Floundo’s legs. She said, “Aoife, you have to keep that bandage on you for a while. I will change it when it needs to. But just to warn you, it may hurt.”
“No worry,” said Aoife. “I have been as much shit as Alex.”
Vyla nodded as she would remember that. She asked Alexander, “What now?”
Alexander said, “We are now in the Taya system. I had Alpha fly this ship to a nearby planet where we would land.”
“Is there a colony there?” she asked.
“There should be,” said Alexander. “If we are lucky, we might find a relay to get back home.”
“Alexander, may I have a word with you?” General Floundo called him from across the room.
Alexander reached for his call and asked, “What is it?”
General Floundo explained, “You are sending this crippled ship to a planet you don’t know. There may not be any colonies there. We would run out of supplies, which is a major problem for us Aquatics. We need to consume blood since it is our primary diet. Vyla took a look at the blood bank and there is only 10 quarts. Water is another issue. For 8 hours, we have to breathe through these apparatus with seawater. You got to find a way to either find more resources or conserve it.”
“I first need to get this ship on the ground,” said Alexander. “I hope there is a colony. If there isn’t, then I would have my men hunt for animals and collect blood for you. It is not the traditional way, but at least it is better than nothing. I will have them land near a seacoast and we can collect seawater there.”
“You’re right, it is better than nothing,” said General Floundo.
Alexander added, “Alpha would probably find a relay if this planet has one. I would have Yuya create a distress beacon if we have to.”
“Be careful, you might also attract Helbots or other enemies,” General Floundo warned.
“It is bad enough having both the Spacers and Helbots as enemies,” said Alexander.
Helen’s Bravery came upon the planet covered with rainforests and islands. Alexander looked through the window and this reminded him of Purelif before its surface was ravaged. They got into orbit and Alpha scanned around to find any sign of civilization. Yuya looked around to see if any Helbot or Spacer ship was nearby. At a piece of land that looked like Australia had the entire coastline covered what seemed to be cities. Alexander smiled believing they would finally get help.
The ship flew through the atmosphere and released a stream of smoke. There was a grass covered plateau at the east side of this tropical coastline. They landed safely on it just when the ship lost engine power. Alexander was now eager to get out of the ship and search for help. They need more supplies and new parts for the ship.
“We have landed, now let’s get on our warthogs and drive to the city,” said Alexander he headed out of the bridge.
“Alex with all due respects, we are not sure who city it is,” said Howie. “We might run into Arthros or pirates or Helbots.”
“Howie is right,” Yuya agreed. “We need to know who we are dealing with.”
“If that would be the case, we must have this ship secured,” said Alexander. “We need people to stay here and guard it while my team is gone.”
“I will be in charge with the security,” Hortor raised his hands.
“You would?” Alexander asked as his former bully wanted to help out.
Hortor said, “I need to help my men at any ways.”
“Excellent Hortor,” Alexander smiled.
He looked around to see who he would pick to be in his away team. “David, Vyla, and Howie, I would like you three to accompany me on this trip. Each of you has unique skills that would be very useful in case we run into any trouble.”
“Count me in!” Howie smiled. “If we get into another fight, I want to use my mini-gun!”
“I don’t want to start another fight,” said Alexander. “We are not driving into battle. We are going to negotiate and get more supplies. We might not to bring our battle suits, but bring firearms just in case.”
Alexander took his starsuit off and puts a pistol in the back of his pants. Howie puts the mini-gun in the trunk of the warthog. Vyla grabbed a couple of pistols and puts them on the sides of her waist. David puts on his robe and hid his staff.
They got on the warthog and Alexander drove them out of the hanger. Howie took out his binoculars and scoped on the city at the coast. Alexander found a gradual narrow slope and drove down. He hoped this wasn’t a Helbot base. They got down the plateau and drove through a ten foot tall corn field.
“Look at this,” said Vyla. “This obviously isn’t be planted by Helbots.
“There has to be farmers nearby who could help us,” said Alexander. “Let’s check this out.”
Once they were out of the field, Alexander found a pickup truck with a tanned farmer wearing a hay hat. The farmer was tossing loads of corn into the trunk. Alexander drove up to him. The farmer dropped his box of corn as he was startled.
“Who are you and what the hell are you doing in my cornfield?” the farmer shouted.
“Calm down,” Alexander raised his hands up. “We are not here to cause problems.”
“You soldiers have any idea where you are?” the farmer asked them as if they were a threat.
“To be honest we have no idea,” said Alexander. “We came to this planet in hopes of getting supplies.”
“You’re going to get nothing but trouble here!” the farmer shouted.
“We are not here to cause problems here,” said Alexander.
“That is not what Enrique the King would believe,” said the farmer.
“Who?” Alexander asked.
“How you cannot heard of him?” the farmer asked. “Enrique is the most powerful drug lord in the galaxy. He is so rich that he owns 10 star systems in this cluster. He not only owns this weed business, he owns others as well. Everybody from the World Republic is after him. You are in his home world after all. Anyone that isn’t part of his empire is going to get their asses beat.”
“Alex, ask Alpha if he found that relay or not,” Vyla said feeling creeped out that they were in the drug lord’s home.
Agreeing to Vyla, Alexander touched the ear phone, “Alpha, did you find a relay yet?”
“No I have not,” said Alpha. “But you are safe; this planet does not belong to the Helbots.”
“No this is still enemy territory,” said Alexander. “I’ll explain when I get back to the ship.”
He looked over his team, “We’re heading back to the ship now!”
Humming sounds blared throughout the jungle. Alexander looked up and two flying saucers hovered over the trees. These ships lowered down to the ground and armored soldiers slid off the ropes. A few were walking crustaceans carrying shotguns; others resembled dinosaurs lacking a tail. The rest of the group was humans in black leather wearing masks. They aimed their weapons at Alexander’s warthog.
“Athros and Komodos,” Howie mumbled. “Charming.”
An Arthro aimed his shotgun at Alexander, “Remove your weapons!”
Alexander was aiming his pistol at him, “We’re not here to fight!”
“Get out of the warthog and drop your weapons now!” the Arthro ordered.
“You have to do what he says,” said David.
“Fine, we’ll get out of the warthog and prove to you we are not here to fight,” Alexander said to the Arthro.
“Hurry up!” the Arthro gestured with the shotgun.
Alexander’s team got out of the warthog. Alexander showed them his pistol and placed it on the ground. His team did the same thing and raised their hands up.
“Now that we removed our weapons,” said Alexander. “We want to talk. We need to gain supplies from your leader.”
“We’re not going to negotiate that easily,” the Arthro snickered.
Then the Arthro’s communicator shaped like a clam buzzed on his belt. He grumbled knowing that could be his boss. He opened his communicator and answered, “Yes boss, what is it?”
“Who is interrupting my party?!” Enrique asked feeling irritated.
“We caught a marine and other three strangers that seemed to also be soldiers,” said the Arthro. “Want me to kill them?”
“No, bring them to me alive,” Enrique ordered.
“Yes sir,” the Arthro nodded.
The Arthro turned off his communicator and shouted, “You four in the ship now!”
The mercenaries got behind Alexander’s team with guns in their hands. Alexander kept his hands up. The ship hovered down until it touched the ground. His team got on board and sat at the back of the ship. The mercenaries aimed their guns at them. The Arthro looked at them and grunted. The ship took off and hovered over the jungle towards the coastline.
At the peak of a hill above the city was a three story mansion. The ship landed in front of the mansion and the mercenaries kicked Alexander’s team out. Then the ship took off leaving the groups to the mansion. The Arthro banged on the door and a Latino butler in a suit opened the door.
“Si, can I help you?” the butler asked.
“Enrique wants these intruders at his office immediately,” said the Arthro.
“Follow me,” said the butler.
They got inside the mansion and walked up the grand stairs. The butler took a peek of the great hall. It was dark and flooded with young women and men dancing and drinking. The music was blaring and a disco ball and spinning around.
The butler said, “We have to go to another hallway into his office.”
The mercenaries bumped Alexander’s team to move forward into a dark hall. There were men and women were kissing and flirting. They didn’t know those mercenaries passed by.
The butler opened a door and they were in Enrique’s office. As Alexander looked around, there were ivory statues of nude women at each corner. His chair was made of gold and his desk was tinted silver. Ferns were scattered over the ceiling. Artifacts from various star systems were puts on display.
The butler dragged four chairs into the office and the Arthro ordered Alexander’s team to sit down. Alexander turned to his left and that side of the office was a huge window with a sliding door to a pool. The pool had women splashing around, throwing balls around, and swimming. Other servants were offering drinks and food to other women who were sunbathing. The butler went outside and walked to the far side of the pool. There were a group of giant ferns orchid bushes surrounded a hot tub filled with naked women and a man.
When the butler told his master about the intruders, the man said that he would come back shortly and grabbed a golden bathrobe. The butler followed him back into the office and finally met Alexander’s team. The man appeared as a Spanish man in his late thirties. He grabbed a towel and rubbed it against his short black hair. When his hair was dried, he rubbed his five o'clock shadow as he walked around to inspect them. He ordered his butler sealed the window.
“So, you have dared to land on my planet uninvited and interrupt of my weekly fiestas,” said the man as he retreated to his chair.
“You must be Enrique the King,” said Alexander.
“I didn’t tell you to speak yet!” Enrique snapped and calmed down for a bit. “Now, as I was saying. You soldiers got the nerve to arrive on my planet. For what? Trying to take down this king of the Universe?”
No one answered. He snickered, “What makes you think coming to my home and ruining my afternoon?”
“We were not trying to,” said Alexander. “In fact, we are not here to arrest you.”
“What are you doing here then?” Enrique asked. “Your men seemed to be well equipped for a battle. Want do you want with me? Do you really want to have a fight with me?”
“No,” said Alexander.
“No?” Enrique thought this was not what he would hear from these soldiers. “What are you doing here then?”
“We have been attacked by the Helbots and my ship was severely damaged,” said Alexander. “We came to this planet in hopes of finding supplies, weapons, and more parts to repair the engines of my ship. None of us knew this was your planet and I’m sorry.”
Enrique looked at him for a more inspection. He said, “You are not really a human, are you? Yet, you reminded me of someone who bumped into me eleven years ago. Your hair and eyes, you totally remind me of that Albino man who called himself Fabocusa.”
Alexander raised his eyebrows as he heard the name of his father. Enrique paused, “You know him.”
“He is my father,” said Alexander. “We have been trying to find him as we got attacked by the Helbots. Why was he here?”
Enrique continued, “Well like what you did, he too interrupted my fiesta. He had no idea what planet this was. He came here because he apparently was looking for you. Damn, he looked crazy. I had my men hunt him down and yet he disappeared god knows where. He pissed me off because he burned off my treasure of harvest as he stole a few of my artifacts. God, I hated that man. And you remind me of him.”
Alexander said, “Well, I am not here to steal or arrest you. All I want is supplies and spare engines for my ship. I promise you that is all I want. Now, will you please let us go?”
“Not yet,” said Enrique. He puts his index finger on his lips while thinking. Then he asked, “What do you know of diamonds?”
“Excuse me?” Alexander asked. “What does that have to do with letting us go?”
Enrique explained, “As you got in my mansion, I was starting to have a perfect hour in my tub with two beautiful girls waiting for me. One girl in particular has been begging me for a month to get her a pound of hope diamonds. Do you know what those are?”
“Yes,” said Alexander. “Hope diamonds are the rarest types of diamonds. They are 46 carat deep blue because of the bondage of boron within the crystal structure and release red phosphorescence after being exposure to ultraviolet radiation.”
“Very good,” Enrique chuckled. “They are so rare; you can’t even buy them anywhere. There is one planet where these diamonds can be harvested. Now, I want these diamonds to make my women happy.”
“And you want us to get them for you?” Alexander asked.
“Si!” Enrique smiled. “But I can assure you, many who have tried to harvest them failed to their deaths. These diamonds are on Magmars, the most violent planet in the galaxy.”
“Why is it violent?” Alexander asked.
Enrique said, “I’ll give you a hint, it is 3,000 years old.”
He typed a few keys on his laser board on his desk and an image of the planet appeared. Magmars looked like a ball of molten rock the size of Saturn. The crust constantly breaks appear and lava overflows. Volcanoes spewed ash, smoke, and gasses into a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Meteors kept crashing into the surface leaving craters for the lava to flow in. Alexander understood why it was the most violent planet, because it was young.
Enrique said as he showed them this planet, “This planet is rich with hope diamonds. Getting to them is the hard part. Many people who I hired lost their lives as soon as they landed on the planet. You can walk on its’ surface, just watch where you step. One mistake and you will be roasted like a chicken.”
“How much do you need?” Alexander asked nervously.
“I just only 500 million pounds of these beautiful diamonds,” Enrique smiled.
Alexander’s jaw dropped thinking this crazy drug lord want his team to go into a hell planet and collect all those diamonds. Going to a planet where they would die. And if he refused, then they would not get the supplies they need to get Helen’s Bravery back into space.
Enrique said, “You harvest 500 million pounds of diamonds and you get the supplies you need.”
Alexander believed he had no choice. There was no other option to get those supplies. Enrique reached his hand for him, “Do we have a deal?”
Alexander hesitated and shook his hand, “Deal.”