The Rogue Speaks:
Jenny started this! Don't blame me! She did it! She gave us a prompt on Saturday that buried itself in my brain and won't let go! Kind of like one of those parasites in the water in third world countries. Now before you start with the holistic cures, let me tell you that this thing will certainly run its course, and next week I will be back to my pedantic babble that you are used to getting from me on Alphabe-Thursday. So just bear with me here. In fact, and if you've a mind to, start adding to the story in your comments, just as JJ and Doug have done, and before you know it, according to JJ, we'll have ourselves a genuine sci-fi novel that would make a publisher proud.
If you missed the first installment, just go to my Saturday Centus, The Surface, and catch up. Don't be confused by the fact that the date says Monday. I have always been a little impetuous, and really didn't plan this very well.
THE SURFACE, PART TWO:
It was then Selah realized that the compound was probably surrounded by Mole Nards, whose only goal in life was to mate with the women of Gornad, thereby strengthening their race and assuring its existence far into the future.
Occasionally a Mole Nard managed to slip through the protective barrier of the underground silos, but was quickly dispatched by the Eunuchs who guarded the women’s cubicles..
Selah, aware of the life that was already moving inside her, realized that the Mole Nards could never plant their gruesome seed in her body. The Guardians, in all their wisdom, had genetically redefined certain chemicals in the bodies of the women of Gornad that not only sealed the cervix with an impenetrable barrier, but had created a pheromone that repelled the males of any known specie, other than their own.
While suppressed by lack of sunlight that adversely affected their cranii, Mole Nards had quickly learned that the Eunuchs were powerless against Ovites, the female Eunuchs of their specie. The rape of Gornad was surely at hand.
A noise in the corridor just outside her door caused Selah to jump in alarm. Surely the invaders had not penetrated the fortress that quickly. She listened again and heard a weak cry. Quietly she opened her door, and peeked out.
Lying in the hallway was Scott, his clothes filthy, and his face flushed. Blisters were appearing on his forehead right before her eyes.
She ran toward him and he held up his hand. "Stop! Selah, don't touch me! I'm hot! Go back inside and close the door! Then call for the medics, and tell them to wear hazmat suits!"
After summoning the medics, Selah stood silently by her door, listening for them to come and take Scott to the Hot Room to be decontaminated. Just beyond the walls of the silos, she could hear, faintly, the steady approach of what she now realized were not Mole Nards at all, but Wok drones. The scritch scratch of their long, sharp fingers was becoming louder every minute. “What new weapons have they created this time?” Selah wondered.
She suddenly realized that she had heard no alarms warning of an impending attack. Where were The Guardians?
Selah tried to remember the last time an alarm was sounded, but she could not. Had one been heard when she was an infant in her mother’s arms? She barely remembered the faces of her mother and father. It was so long ago—over twenty years now that they left her in the care of the nursery staff, never to return.
Those creatures whose true names she did not know, those Woks, had actually penetrated the walls of the silos, using some strange, bizarre weapon of their own invention. The Woks, given that name because of their unusual mode of transportation on The Surface, resembling an ancient cooking vessel, had killed thousands below all those years ago, before the Guardians were able to neutralize their weapons, and drive them back into the bowels of the earth. Her parents had been among the dead, as were the parents of Scott, now the parent of her unborn child.
Almost as soon as they could walk, Selah and Scott had become close companions. They sought each other out in the play area every day, and even developed their own language, much like twins. Scott was quick to comfort Selah when she took a tumble, and seemed to always be able to change her tears into smiles.
The years Selah had spent in the care of the nursery staff had, for the most part, been pleasant, and it was not until she began her schooling that she realized there were children in her class whom she did not know. These children were cared for by only two people, their parents, who had managed to escape the Woks’ slaughter. Soon Selah discovered that there were several hundred of these two-parent children living in her sector, and she was as strange to them as they were to her. They were curious as to why Selah had so many people caring for her, while they had only two. For some reason unknown to her, she always felt a great sadness when, at the end of the school session, she saw a child being led away by only two people, its parents, while she was herded along with many others by the nursery staff.
Selah and Scott were as close as siblings, and remained so until they grew into their teen years. They watched as their friends began paring off with members of the opposite sex, and felt obliged to do so as well. They were drawn back to each other, however, and by the time they had reached the status of adults, they knew that the only paring they ever cared to know was with the other. It was then that the unknown sadness she had felt began to vanish and she became happy beyond belief.
All of these thoughts and memories were racing through Selah’s mind as she stood helpless in the center of her space. Suddenly she became aware of a voice that began speaking inside her own head. It was telling her that the magnetic locking device had been activated until further notice. It was telling her to not be afraid, that she was safe.
“Of course!” she cried. “The Guardians! The Guardians are speaking telepathically! That’s their alarm system! They have realigned the quarks and leptons imbedded in their own brains to communicate with us so the enemy will not know we are prepared!”
Selah had no idea just how long she had been standing silently her room, but she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of the Woks trying to dig their way into the compound. Whatever plan The Guardians executed to prevent the invasion had hopefully been successful.
The artificial sunlight had begun to fade into dusk when she heard the sound of the magnetic lock releasing. The door flew open suddenly, and there stood Scott in the archway. He had a certain pallor about him but he looked quite normal, except for the absence of his usual smile.
She embraced him tearfully, but as he hugged her in return, she felt a certain lack of warmth, an actual coldness about him. Considering his ordeal, she reasoned, that was to be expected.
To be continued...