The star date was starting its next millennium. The Galran race was on the cusp of yet another new year. Their world hadn’t iced over, nor had it heated up, neither had it hurtled itself towards the strong gravitational pulls of the planets around it as it was fabled to do so many centuries ago. The well of Quintessence that made their life force was increasing infinitesimally, instead of depleting. Technology was evolving. Life on the planet was better than it had ever been before. Daibazaal was, as it always had been, walking forward.
However Yorak, Crown Prince and Saviour of Light to the throne to the Galran Kingdom found himself at a standstill.
He could still remember sitting in the observatory he frequented in the palace he called his home, thick tombs of space and star related books on the table next to him, peering in to the telescope protruding out from the highest tower on the eve of the new year. He loved coming here staring at the once beautiful blood red sky outside.
An ominous blue cloud had ripped through the ever present atmosphere, creating fissures of thunder crashing along the skies. Lightning fizzled like a strobe light show. It hurt his eyes, but he couldn’t stop looking at the beauty of it. The entire kingdom was standing on the raised platform roads outside, their gazes fixated on what he was looking at. It was so beautiful. And just like everyone else. Yorak knew that this was the end. Their planet was being destroyed.
The clock struck midnight, marking the start to another millennia. But the once ephemeral chimes that woke the city to the new year seemed less beautiful now. The new millennium year was supposed to be blissful. It was supposed to bring a new life to those who wished for it. Technology and businesses were supposed to boom, life was supposed to be better.
But this fateful day was the worst day of Yorak’s life.
Daibazaal was a peaceful planet. Their sustenance of Quintessence came from the very earth they took care of made it so they didn’t want for anything else. It left their planet without worry for any intergalactic invasions. Those who ventured rarely left after witnessing the beauty of the planet. However, the Galran’s were very invested in intergalactic travel, But space soldiers were few and far apart.
The king, his father, with the help of the prince, had used the budding technology to create Sentries; robotic soldiers that could withstand anything, even deep space. With these sentry soldiers, the Galran's thought they were safe from the weather, from the abnormality in the sky. They were wrong.
They were much too late to the game. With the blue cloud came a monstrous demon with a harrowing breath that brought a virus to the Galran's, a virus with devastation in its mind. The extra-terrestrial epidemic had swept through the small world within days, causing pandemonium. Lightning filled clouds covered their once clear red skies, black tar like acid rain fell from the skies in torrential rivulets. The air thickened, making it harder to breath.
It had started off so small. An anomaly, a case of freak weather that was not all that uncommon to Daibazaal. But it escalated quicker than they had imagined possible, turning into something uncontrollable. The sufferers started off with small cases of influenza, but then suddenly, without warning, they would heat up to such an antagonising state they would melt from the inside out. Bodies were dropping like the black rain that fell from the darkened skies. And all the Galran’s could do was watch in horror and fear.
The remaining world leaders had spoken with the king and sent out a decree for a planet-wide evacuation. Masses of the remaining population were sent into ships and space vehicles, forced to other worlds as a haven. The rule was simple, if you showed any signs of illness, you’d be shipped right back to die. It was cruel, but essential. It was for the growth and preservation of a new Galra, a new humanity.
But the monstrous space beast had learned, the clouds thickened, lightning roared and rain fell harder. It was impossible for the Galran’s to retreat from their primitive planet to the stellar age of space. They were stuck, stranded on a dying planet they once called home.
No longer a haven. Yorak looked forward to being frozen.
Prince Yorak watched in awe as the place he once called home drifted from his view. Daibazaal, the large planet that held all of their God’s creations within itself was disappearing, getting smaller and smaller, leaving only darkness in its wake.
A prince leaving the place he called his home, leaving his family, his friends, his very culture, all so he could survive and continue on the Galran line. His gaze turned from the porthole window of the large bunker ship he was sitting in. Small lights were inlaid into the wall, creating an eerie dimness, showing some of the passengers and hiding many others. Everyone here was a palace worker or an important dignitary, but right now, they were all one in the same.
The metal seats were freezing and hard, the straps across his chest holding him into place were too tight and cutting into his skin. But Yorak wasn't afraid…he was ready to embark on this adventure, however scary it may be. He had dreamed of this ever since he had been a little cub. And he couldn't wait to go out there and see the universe. Protect it from the same fate that had fallen on his home planet.
He was going to make his mother proud and be the beacon of light, the Saviour, he was going to be the alpha Galran like his father had wanted him to be. He was going to go out into the new world and show that he was worthy, that he was not just some mere prince, but a Galran of standing, someone to be revered, to be followed. He was going to go out there and learn the cultures of the planets, he was going to befriend the locals and he was going to start a coalition to save his planet, and his people.
He looked around the bunker ship. There were hundreds of young Galran’s seated to the metal, strapped in just as tightly as he was. They were some of the last of their kind, the chosen few out to find a new place to call home. There was no turning back now. The scent of polished metal was revoltingly new to Yorak, the iron like smell made his stomach turn. Other than the sound of the ship and the laboured breathing of those who were afraid, there was no sound. No one spoke. Only one thought running through their minds.
They would never see their home again.
Space…was a silent place indeed.
Memories of his parents erupted in his mind. His mother, the Queen who used to care for him, his father who used to tell him stories when he was afraid. He had left them behind. Would they remember him when he finally returned to a new age? Would they have survived so long?
Yorak felt the young girl sitting next to him shiver. He remembered her as one of the students in his sisters classes. Axca was always such a beautiful and lovely teacher to the young cubs. She had come to the sickness so quickly, trying to save her children, no one had seen it coming.
Yorak's heart ached at the memory of his lovely sister, of just how much she would tease him for his smaller stature, his native ways, his fighting skills. She was the sibling he would miss the most.
Looking down at the little cub, he noticed she reminded him of his sister. He suddenly felt a duty to take care of her. She was still shivering fiercely in her seat. Was she scared? Yorak wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, hoping to give her some hapless solace. Poor thing looked only to be around six years old, having to go through such an ordeal at such a young age. Looking around, Yorak noticed that most of the people that inhabited the bunker were young children. The young were the slowest to get sick, the last to die when the disease hit.
“I'm scared, your majesty,” She muttered, burying herself into Yorak’s arm.
“Everything will be okay,” Yorak leaned his cheek into the young girl’s hair, patting her soothingly on her back, the same way Axca would do for him whenever father went away for his expeditions. Could Yorak really believe such a thing he was telling her? Would everything be okay? There was no telling what the other planets would be like. He didn’t have any information on other worlders other than the stories his mother used to tell him and the books he read through. But he knew how to keep a child from worry. “Tell me your name?”
“Lucinda, my prince,” She muttered, grasping onto Yorak’s arm as if he were her only sanctuary. “Please, don't leave me like mama and papa did.”
Yorak’s heart broke. She thought her parents had abandoned her. In some way, they had. He tightened his grip on the young girl and shook his head, whispering into her hair. “I’ll protect you. I won't let anything happen to you.”
A screeching siren erupted through the room followed by flashing red lights. Yorak’s attention turned to the metal frame at the far end of the bunker. He held his hands to his ears, wanting to block out the cries of the siren. Most of the passengers' attentions turned to the doorway, fear and confusion gripping them. What was going to happen?
A sentry stepped through the door, dressed completely in new age black armour, holding a large gun to his side. His armour spanned over his body, clipping at the elbows and knees and layering at the neck, hard enough to withstand an explosion, but flexible enough for ease in movement. His face was covered by a black helmet like mask; the glass of his helmet was tinted black. He held his gun in front of him and Yorak’s heart stopped.
The sentry was pointing the gun at him.
Yorak’s throat dried up, tears stinging his eyes. What was going on?
“Your majesty, please bring the child and follow me,” His voice was gruff and full of authority. Yorak turned to look at the young girl sitting next to him. She was shivering a lot more now, beads of sweat trickling from her brow as she buried herself deeper into her chair.
The heat of the sentry’s gun was pointed at the little girl, but Yorak didn't allow it, instead he held his arm in front of the girl, making the sentry point the gun at him again. “Leave her alone.”
“She is infected.” He stated.
With those words, the bunker erupted into chaos, loud screams and gasps echoed against the metal. The once suave dictators and presidents, mayors and royals were whining like little children, trying to claw away from the young girl, the tightness of the straps cutting into them, preventing them from moving much.
“She’s afraid,” Yorak reasoned. They couldn't blame an illness on a fearing child.
The sentry didn’t listen however. He took hold of the young girls arm and unstrapped her from the belts. Yorak yanked at his own straps, wanting to help the young child. He promised he would protect her! A second sentry came from the doorway, looking exactly like the sentry before them. He grasped tightly at Yorak’s hand and unstrapped the prince from his seat. Yorak held back a wince as the sentry yanked him up from his seat and took him and the young girl through the sealed doorways.
This room they entered was a technological geeks dream. There were buttons and wires of all kinds and screens almost everywhere. There was a walkway leading from the doorway and around a large circular platform that stood in the very centre of the room. Six tall tubes rose from the ground and cut off at the middle, reaching up to the ceiling. Wires of all sizes protruded from the top and the bottom of the tube, lacing around like snakes under the metal walkway.
The man held the young shivering girl up and placed her inside a tube. The glass slid over and seamlessly fell into place with a quiet whoosh, locking the girl inside. Fear made Yorak feel sick. The man’s grasp on his arm tightened. He thumped his fists into the sentry’s arms, hoping to get away. Seeing that was futile, he reached for a knife he kept in his boot and slammed it right into the sentry’s chest. The sentry didn’t even flinch, just let out a few sparks from where he had been stabbed. The sentry wrapped a tight arm around Yorak’s waist and hoisted him up. Yorak struggled, thrashing his arms and legs, screaming at the sentry to stop as he put him into a large tube. The thick glass slid down, caging him in.
“I am your crown prince, I demand to be released!” Yorak pounded against the unbreakable glass, hoping desperately that there would be some sort of permeable nook, a crack, anything. But to no avail.
His heart sunk to his stomach, the palms of his hands raw red from beating onto the glass as he heard a clang and looked up to the sound. Some sort of smoke drifted in from one of the tubes coating Yorak’s skin with a glittery sheen. What was this? The glitter was absorbed into his skin almost immediately. The plumes of smoke appeared again and again until his body felt heavy. Beads of sweat moistened his skin. Yorak suddenly felt very lightheaded. What had they just given him?
He turned to the other tube in the room. Lucinda looked so frightened. He wanted desperately to help the young girl. But Yorak was getting so sleepy. He held his hand to the glass, watching as the young girl did the same. She had dropped down to the ground, unable to take the glittering medication.
“Don’t worry,” Yorak thought weakly to her. He hoped that Lucinda could hear him, but he didn’t get a reply. His own eyes were half lidded and he could barely see. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
His eyes closed and all he could see was darkness.
The incessant sound of a distant beeping roused Yorak from his less than peaceful slumber. There was a slight strain on his neck from the cylindrical thick glass that was his prison. Yorak sighed, groggily opening his eyes and soon wishing that he hadn’t.
The entire room was blinding white, making Yorak squint at the brightness. The walls were metallic white and close to his prison. He sat up; wanting to stretch out, but there was only so much that he could stretch, only so far that he could go.
Where am I?
The container was different than the one before. It wasn’t complete glass; the bottom was bordered with white metal with holes for pipes and wires. Before him was a large window where more guards and scientist sat peering at their computers and other gadgetry. They had moved him.
“What is going on?” Yorak pounded his fists against the glass, hoping to gain their attention. They didn’t look Galran, their skin was a pale stony brown in colour, eyes beaded and yellow, similar to his own. They were all bulky, with large arms and thick trunk like legs. Yorak had remembered seeing pictures of their kind from the libraries in Daibazaal; they were Balmerans!
Stupid Balmerans it seemed. They wouldn’t have put Yorak in a glass container if they knew just what he was capable of.
But the Balmerans paid no heed to him; instead, they stood up to greet an old man who walked into the room from the back. Yorak pressed his hands on the glass not able to hear them clearly. It was as if he was underwater, the voices were there, just…not clear. That glittery powder must have done something to him. The man seemed to be yelling at them, something Yorak couldn’t fully fathom, all he was getting was snippets, but the man was pointing in his direction. Yorak sighed, sitting back down, wishing he could stretch his legs.
How long had he been out for? He didn’t know.
The wall slid open and a large and hulking Balmeran wearing a glass mask walked over to him.
“Where am I?” Yorak asked him. The bulky and stone coloured man gazed up at him, hearing his question and walked over to the tube. Yorak’s mind was suddenly filled with his thoughts. Of animalistic creation, a giant whale like creature that was humongous in size, larger than the planet he had called his home. A monster that swam through space without the need of a ship, and how it travelled through the expanse of thee universe, destroying everything with its gaping maw like they had destroyed Daibazaal.
Yorak sucked in a breath when his thoughts returned to him. The Balmeran had let him see what the future would hold. His final thought thrummed into Yorak’s mind. “Please…help us.”
The Balmeran pressed his gloved finger against the glass and Yorak could see a small screen pop up on it. There was a picture of him followed by inverted writing and numbers, there was a red pulsing figure spinning in a circle next to the writing. Were these his statistics? The Balmeran nodded to him, but his eyes peered back to the people standing, watching. He needed Yorak to play along; they didn’t know his powers and his potentials.
“Galran, you are a prisoner here.” He continued to project his thoughts to Yorak’s mind. “There’s something about you we don’t understand,”
Yorak’s eyes widened. They were going to experiment on him?
“Have you always been this warm?” The Balmeran asked, flicking his fingers on the glass and turning the screen around to show Yorak the internal temperature.
“Is that bad?”
The Balmeran relocated the screen back. “With the outbreak and annihilation of Daibazaal Prime, we cannot risk the epidemic getting out,” I will do all I can to make sure you are safe, dear prince.
Yorak's heart stopped, as did everything else around him. No, this couldn't be true. This...this couldn't be true! “An-annihilation? Daibazaal…has been annihilated?”
The Balmeran nodded. “I’m afraid so.”
“What about Lucinda?” Yorak asked, his thoughts returning to the little girl. His brain felt fuzzy, how long had he been cooped up in this place for?
The Balmeran looked away. “You’ve been asleep for two thousand years.” He didn’t say anything else, leaving Yorak alone with a shiver of disdain. Two thousand years? It had been two thousand years?
Was Lucinda alright? Was she infected? Were his parents okay? Had they escaped? Had Daibazaal really been...annihilated? Was there really no place Yorak could call his home anymore? Was he even a prince any more?
Lost in his thoughts, he didn't notice the door to the room sliding open and two white suited Balmeran guards walked through the doorway. They stood in front of the Balmeran and he was forced to return to his post.
“What the hell is going on?” Yorak yelled, grief stricken. Yet his current priority was to get out of this prison.
The old willowy off-world alien stood before him. He wasn’t Balmeran, but Yorak couldn’t place where he had seen this man from. He was obviously the captain of the vessel with the way he was yelling at the scientists before. His face covered by a mask with a glass visor. Yorak was usually good at reading people’s body expressions. But this man was abnormally still, not…right. The visor covered the top half of his face, but his mouth, there were large black slits from the edges of his lips that ran to the centre of his cheeks.
“We cannot risk our ship or our planet with your kind, Galran,” His voice was somewhat distorted, but the way he said that made Yorak feel even worse than he already was.
“What have you done with Lucinda?” Yorak asked. If this man was the head honcho of the space ship, he’d know where she was. At least Yorak could save her! She may be the last Galran left.
The man let out a ‘tut’, shaking his head. “She was infected, so we sent her back.”
“What?” Yorak was astounded. Sure it had been two thousand years since he last saw the girl. But, that couldn’t be possible. Lucinda hadn’t even felt warm, she was just a scared girl who had lost her parents...and who was sent back alone to a dying planet to be killed by the destructive weather. She was so young. She couldn’t possibly look after herself while she was ill.
Yorak thudded his fists at the glass tube in anger. “She was a child! How could you send her back to that?”
“It happened such a long time ago, she’s most likely dead,” The man narrowed his gaze at Yorak. “You should be more worried of yourself,”
Yorak paused at that. “Am I…infected?”
The man motioned for the two guards. “You, my prince, are different. Something I can’t have frolicking about in New Haven.” He leaned closer to Yorak, reaching his gloved hand to the glass and a sadistic smirk rose to his face. “Dispose of him,”
He rapped his knuckles against the glass and turned, swiftly making his way out of the he room. The others followed quickly behind. White smoke came in plumes from the wires around the tube coating around Yorak and making him feel sleepy once again. His eyes barely open, he felt the ground below him started to shake violently. The white floor split in six sections from underneath him, showing the inky darkness of deep space.
His tired gaze lifted up to the man, who was waving goodbye to him from behind the thick glass. Yorak held his breath as he was sucked out into space.