Michael (origins part 3), p.1
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       Michael (Origins Part 3), p.1
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           W Bradley
Michael (Origins Part 3)
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  By W Bradley

  Copyright 2012 W Bradley

  I have always considered myself a pretty smart guy but never could I have predicted the events of the day I was abducted.

  I had been lying in an abandoned canteen with Delta company surrounding me. Major Peters leant over my leg and removed some chunks of metal with a pair of tweezers. Bloody shrapnel. An IED had exploded by a car as we came up the street outside. Luckily none of us had been close enough to the blast for any serious injuries but it still hurt a hell load.

  I did my best to show no pain as the Major dug deeper.

  “Not gonna bother with anaesthetic then, Peters?” I muttered through gritted teeth.

  “Nah.” He replied bluntly. Then grinned at me. “Thought you were meant to be the tough one, mate?”

  “Sod that. I’m the brains. You be the brawn. Hurry the hell up! I’d never hear the end of it if I passed out in front of Jackson...” I mumbled so Jackson couldn’t hear.

  “I heard that.” Came a voice over my shoulder. “Wuss.”

  I laughed which caused Peters to jab more flesh than he meant to. I pursed my lips and closed my eyes tightly. I could hear our radio guy reporting the situation back to base and I tried to listen to the conversation to take my mind off the pain. But the sound was faint and only seemed to be getting fainter. Was he walking away?

  Suddenly it was silent and I could only feel a throbbing in my leg; no more shooting pains from Peters fishing around. I opened my eyes to a blinding light. A flash bang grenade? No, I didn’t hear the bang. I tried to sit up and rub my eyes but I was bound by something and my arms and legs wouldn’t move. I tried to listen for any tiny sound but either Delta company were silent, or they were gone.

  “Do not worry, you are safe. We are fixing your wound.” Came a sudden, sharp voice through the light. “You are Michael of Earth?”

  “Of Earth?” I questioned. It was a weird way of phrasing it. Was I still in the same place? Where was Delta company?

  “Yes. Earth. I am from elsewhere.” Said the voice. I didn’t feel safe. I felt confused. I didn’t know this person and therefore I should have given him no information bar my name, rank, service number and date of birth but something made me forget such training and loosened my tongue.

  “Where am I?”

  “You are a mile under the Atlantic ocean.”

  “OK what is this? A joke?”

  “No joke. You are healed now. Stand.” I stood and the moment my head left the brightness, I could feel my leg had indeed been repaired. I looked down at it, saw the holes in my combats where the shrapnel had entered, but the punctures in my skin had all gone. I stared for a moment before I became aware of my surroundings. This definitely was not the place I had been lying.

  “Where is my team?”

  “Where you left them.”

  “You mean where you left them. I didn’t come here by my own free will.” I was becoming slightly angry now, regardless of the healing miracle he had apparently performed on me.

  “You would not have come if I had asked. I merely seek your help, Michael of Earth.”

  “Sod you!” And I drew my sidearm quicker than he could react. Or did he have no need to react? Pointing the pistol between his eyes I had a proper view of the man for the first time. He was average in height, fair skinned and had short black hair, much like mine. But his eyes… His eyes were pea-sized, glassy, pale pink and eyelid-less. This shook me up but I wouldn’t show it. I forced a steely look and kept eye-contact.

  “That will not work.” Said the man-thing pointing to my gun, “There is no oxygen. I am sorry; I seem to have implied at some point that we are asking for your help. No, we need your help so you will give it to us.”

  “And if I refuse?”

  “It will not matter.”

  “I do refuse.”

  “Then you will spend our journey imprisoned, human.” With this he lifted his arm. For what purpose I cared not and I pulled the trigger. I heard the hammer strike the bullet’s primer but no noise, no recoil and no utterance of pain ensued.

  No oxygen… He wasn’t lying. Damn.

  I turned to run but directly behind was a solid grey wall and when I looked back to the ‘man’ there was only an empty space. In fact, the platform I had been lying on minutes ago had gone too. I now stood in a completely featureless room, approximately 3 metres in width, breadth and height.

  I sat against one of the walls facing where the man had been. I had placed my gun on the floor pointing in that direction as to not lose my sense of direction while I had checked every millimetre of the walls and floor for any hint of a possible escape. I had found nothing to help me, so there I sat, thinking. I had nothing on me besides the clothes on my back, the gun, a knife and a striker for sparking a fire. I tried the knife on the wall but it was made of much stronger stuff than the steel blade. The gun and the striker were useless thanks to the lack of oxygen. What was I breathing? That route of thought was pointless. I am neither a biologist nor a chemist.

  So I decided to stick to what I know: Survival, offence and defence. Defence seemed futile judging by the technology which had vanished the contents of this room. A good offence then and survival would take care of itself. That was the theory anyway.

  I needed a weapon. I had the knife but attacks using that would be very transparent; I wanted something I could use at a distance. I disassembled my sidearm, took my shoelaces from my boots and laid the pieces out before me, analysing them. After a time I decided a simple design would be most likely effective; it was unlikely I would get more than one attempt to use a weapon before I was stripped of everything and left here to die. So I set to work creating a slingshot.

  There was no way of telling the time in this place. My watch had stopped working, assumedly when I was brought here. I estimated I had been there a day, though it may have been two or even three. It wasn’t only the constant light levels which made it difficult though, it was the fact I had not been hungry, thirsty or tired since my arrival. I could only assume it was something to do with the gas I was breathing.

  Regardless of the cause and the result, I felt a decent amount of time had passed, enough time to warrant a visit; to see if I had calmed down or if I was now willing to cooperate but then again, maybe he really didn’t need my cooperation as he had said. The point is I hadn’t been visited and it had been a long time. I had made and tested a few slingshots, finally settling on the use of the one with the greatest accuracy. I practiced with this non-stop, finding I did not tire even a little as I repeatedly hurled case-less bullets at my knife which acted as a target. I quickly became skilful enough to hit the tip of my blade without fail, so I practiced throwing the knife and striking it from the air with my shots. I was soon very good at that too. I was ready.

  So I waited. For how long, again I don’t know. Weeks? Months? It could have been either. I felt I should have gone insane by now but perhaps my resolve kept me going. Then again, maybe whatever took my hunger away ensured my brain chemistry remained as it should be.

  More immeasurable time passed but I remained facing the room’s centre, still standing, ready to strike as I had been for what felt like at least several months now.

  Then I saw something. Or I thought I had. Maybe my mind had begun to crack finally? No. There it was again: a faded paleness against the grey of the wall. Then again, slightly more visible now. It came in pulses, each pulse more opaque than the last until eventually I could make out an image: There were two people… No. One human and the man-thing. They were fighting, it seemed. The human was losing. I carefully watched as each image appeared; I would have to time a shot perfectly and estimate as best I could where the man-thing would be. Th
e flash of an image and the thing had his hands on the human’s throat. Another flash and the human caught the thing with a right hook, its head and body shifted to the left of the image’s frame with the force of the blow. This was my chance. I put all my concentration and strength into hurling the bullet through the pulsing image. I timed it correctly and the bullet went through but the scene vanished before I could see if I had found my target. A few seconds dragged by before the image came back, revealing the human crouched over the man-thing ready to plunge some sort of metal rod into his eye socket.

  “No!” I found myself screaming at the human and I launched myself into the picture. To my surprise I landed hard on the thing’s arm causing him to yelp strangely. I shoved the human off him, drew my knife and held it to the thing’s throat. There was no time to celebrate my sudden freedom after so many months alone.

  “Who are you?” I spat. I had had a lot of time to order the questions I would throw at him.

  “Frylre.” He replied in an almost bored voice which irritated me further.

  “What are you?”

  “A Saerg.”

  “What are you doing with us?” I looked across at the other human who seemed happy to allow my taking over of the situation. I felt more anger build inside; why was he answering so quickly? I had almost wanted to force the thing to answer my questions.

  “Tests.” The man-thing answered.

  “What tests? What do we have that you don’t?”

  “That is why we test. To find out.”

  “Why do you need to know?”

  The thing sighed. “Your species is to be used in a war against my own. My species want to know why.”

  I stared into his tiny, glassy eyes before speaking again. “Take us back.” I demanded, pressing the knife into his throat.

  “It is too late. My species know you will soon be on your way. If you don’t arrive they will find and kill you.”

  “On my way to what destination?”

  “Our solar system, ‘Thrace.’”

  “I thought we were under the Atlantic?”

  “We are.”

  At this point the other man sitting off to my side spoke. “It’s a space ship. He told me earlier. This bastard has abducted us… -No!” He shouted suddenly, snapping my attention back to my adversary. He had somehow brought a hand up to my knife without my noticing and pushed it aside with unbelievable strength. He was quick too, but not quick enough as I span the blade around and into his side. He yelped again and fell limp. I finished him off.

  I spent the next minute or so cleaning my blade, organising myself and looking over my surroundings before I spoke to the other man.

  “You OK?” I asked, still looking around the room.

  “Fine thanks. Despite the fact I am quite far removed from my comfort zone. I’m not hurt at least.” He was quite a weedy looking man with long messy hair.

  “Good. What should I call you?”

  “Jim. You?”

  “Michael. Know a way out of here?”

  “I… Maybe. I don’t think he knew I could see but he placed his hand here just before you appeared.”

  “Worth a try.” I said and I placed a hand on the A5 sized rectangle Jim had indicated. Nothing happened. I didn’t expect it to. “Any more ideas?” I asked.

  “Try his hand?”

  I did. Nothing.

  We spent what felt like hours attempting to find the exit. During this time I discovered that Jim had attacked the man-thing and he had fallen onto a console of sorts. It was at this time that I had pulsated as an image in the centre of the room, much the same as I had experienced from the other side. We had also discovered the right side of said console was used for controlling the destination for transport and an area in the middle was used to create the pulsating portal. More interestingly though was the left of the console. This brought up text and images in the air before us. The writing was a language of symbols unknown to either of us but there was no doubting the list format. Two lists were before us: One of names, mine and Jim’s included and one of symbols we couldn’t begin to translate. Perhaps notes on each of the people in the list.

  As I stared at the first name in the list a peculiar thing happened; something was fed into my mind. It came as a motionless picture at first but as I concentrated on it, it became a video playing back in my thoughts, almost like a memory. But this was not a memory of mine. I saw a man, standing over a woman’s corpse set against a strange landscape unlike any I’d seen before. I recognised the woman with a jolt of inexplicable sadness: My sister. There was another woman there too, with a pleased look on her face. This sickened me. Pleased over my sister’s death? Leyla wouldn’t harm anyone.

  “Leyla.” I said aloud, snapping myself from the strange trance. Somehow I knew the scene had not already happened, but I also knew that it would happen. I knew it would happen. Something in the transmission to my brain had told me that. I looked back at the first name in the list.

  ‘Jarl.’

  There was no decision making process. I would find Jarl and the woman and kill them.

  I looked back to the list of names and concentrated on each one individually until I recognised the woman. Her name was Dia. The rest of the list revealed two other names of people who would attack and kill me if I couldn’t stop it. Kain was one and Daniel was the other. They could wait.

  Jarl and Dia were first.

  I helped Jim through the pulsing portal to a location of his choice: A school. I didn’t ask why. The look in his eyes told me he was having the same thoughts as I was. There was no goodbye, just a nod of resolute understanding.

  I changed the portal’s location and stepped through. I was first hit by the close, dry heat in the air. Then a searing hot pain shot up my leg from my ankle. I staggered a few steps, then the world blackened and I passed out.

  I would wake up a few days later in a Kenyan hospital.

 
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