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PostPosted: Tue Nov 8, '11, 1:13 am
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It has been a long time since I've published my last fanfic. Well, I've been writing some unfinished projects, but they are still far from completion. This one came out easily, and it represents a departure from my last works. I hope the results are satisfactory.

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Algol star was just a crimson line in the horizon, fighting the grues hidden in the heavens, sending the stars back to the mysterious recesses of the upper skies. There was a disjointed symphony played by birds, announcing the new day as if their lives depended on chirping louder than the others, in a fierce contest to honor the supreme entity coming back from its rest once more to wash its blessings over every living creature. The sea waves continued their unending cycle of slowly washing the sandy shores, like a global clock marking the unstoppable advance of time. Every wave looks like the previous, but they are never the same; some gently caress the bystander’s feet, some come with an overwhelming force, throwing him to the ground; some bring the end of his existence, swallowing his body and soul to the eternal rest in placid waters. The waves kept rolling over Scion beach, occasionally bringing shells to rest in the sand, only to be swallowed again by the vast ocean hours later. Some unlucky small shellfishes, who dared to travel further than their companions, found their final rest in the sand, a huge graveyard under the open sky, always blessed by the gentle sea breeze.

A blonde young woman, in a summer dress, disturbed the peace of the natural paradise very early in the morning. She was attracted by the beauty of the shells, looking for different colors and shapes, rainbow hues and perfect symmetry. The dreamy teenager had formed a collection of those small natural works of art, and occasionally she would craft a necklace, or a pair of earrings out of them. Besides that, the girl loved the gently breeze touching her skin and making her golden locks dance in the wind. She also loved the comfortable feel of the sand under her feet and the cold sparkles washing her feet from time to time. In her lovely loneliness, she was so much in touch with the natural landscape that one could say she was part of it. It felt like being in heaven.

However, that certain day, there was something that didn't blend with the nature, and its metallic creaks disturbed the animals, making small critters run out of its way. Even the birds felt threatened by the sudden invader, abandoning the tree branches that made them feel dangerously close to the artificial abomination. It didn't take more than a quick glance at the robot to notice that it was not there with good intentions; its eyes shone destruction, its brisk way of walking showed a determination to do something evil, its fixed stare on the helpless creature meant the target of its mean intentions had already been chosen.

The innocent young woman was examining the particular features of a shell she had just picked up from the sand when the metallic noise rung in her ears. Feeling as if her safe haven had been violated by a corrupt entity, the poor girl had no way of guessing how dangerous that sudden invasion was. When she turned to check the intruder, her eyes met a robot pointing a gun to her head. The blood ran out of her face, leaving her skin pale as the star that had already shown her face in the morning sky. Trembling, paralyzed with fear, the girl secretly thanked for having that unexpected reaction to the sudden menace; had her reaction being violent, she could have experienced a bullet smashing his temple and traveling through her brain, ripping tissues in a death trip, wasting all her hopes, wishes and dreams in a sigh.

Ordered to stay quiet, the poor girl obeyed instinctively the orders of the mad robot. She had seen androids like that patrolling large cities and airports, like Camineet or Scion, the port town she was visiting during her summer vacation, but they were never aggressive towards the people like that. Maybe she was about to become a nameless victim of the marvels of progress, a failed experiment that would produce a fatal victim, and that would be promptly erased from the records by convenient erasing and some financial compensation. Five thousand meseta or maybe ten for her life. It is easy to give a price to someone else’s life. However, with death whispering in her ears, the frightened woman had not the time to think about existential questions; she had to resort to the primal instinctive dilemma of fighting or running the immediate threat. It would be grand to fight and die a woman and a martyr, her name would be written in the storybooks, she would be venerated as holy, and her memory would remain. Alternatively, she could fight the open sea instead, and let her own strength and bravery determine if she was worthy to remain or if the majestic ocean would be her grave.

None of these heroic alternatives came to pass. The simple woman humbly complied with the mad robot’s requests and in a few minutes, she was being dragged to an unknown location. For someone who had been taken by force from a safe haven, a paradise on Palma, any destination would be like the hellish images of the artworks that exaggerated the idea of torment in the darkness void taught by the religions. Under an act of violence, all the beauty of the cloudless sky, green grass, sparse trees, small water ponds, colorful flowers, and animal from Scion countryside plains failed to impress the eyes of the frightened woman, as if she had become blind to them. The only things her senses allowed her to grasp were the cacophonic shrieks made by the robot joints, the sight of massive walls coming closer and closer, and, of course, an almost unbearable pain in her legs, for being pulled without any care. The constant friction of her bare skin in the irregular ground tore her delicate skin open, like a million of small razors being simultaneously rubbed against her skin, and then flesh. Occasionally she managed to follow the robotcop’s pace for a while, but he was walking so fast that, most of the time, she was just dragged.

The evil android was deaf to her screams, wails, moans, and pledges. It may be too much to expect some genuine compassion or empathy coming from a robot programmed to act as a cop. However, even with the limitations of artificial intelligence, it was possible to make the robot act more humanely, as they were supposed to do. The behavior of that certain robot was very peculiar and the innocent blonde started wondering why such a thing had to happen just with her. If life was not exactly fair, one had to be extremely unlucky to be the one chosen to be the victim of random evil acts. She felt like she bore the mark of the damned, making her the target of iniquities and wrongdoings. In times of tragedy, the human nature locks all the pleasant and good experiences and floods the active memory with past tragedies, maybe trying to provide the victim something to relate, or maybe some hint on how to survive. However, it was also a stressful experience, making the helpless teenager unfairly consider her life just an endless stream of failures and tragedies.

When the robot stopped, the girl didn’t have the time to feel relieved. They were standing by the entrance of a large pyramidal building. The shape of the building was as mysterious as its purpose, for no one seemed to be what was going on the once uninhabited plateau, mostly surrounded by a permanent pool of lava originated by a geological accident happened in forgotten ages of the past. Its sheer size and massiveness made the woman shiver; she felt diminished in front of such majestic manmade structure. Had it been a historical monument of a civilization long forgotten, or some miracle of modern engineering transforming steel and carbon into a functional work of art, she would be surprised in a good way. However, given the mystery surrounding the building construction and her nonsense arrest, the building only made her feel smaller, weaker, and subdued.

The pitch-black tunnels inside the building were terrifying, only a headlight in the robot’s forehead shed some reality into the otherwise illusory place. As a born-blind, man that can barely have an idea of how the world looks like, the nondescript tunnels may have held unthinkable horrors and life-threatening traps. Surely, it felt like entering one of those legendary Earth middle-age dungeons, where the most gruesome tortures were committed against the innocent people who dared to challenge the establishment, now known to be only a legend perpetuated by chronicles. What the poor woman didn’t guess right was that the tunnels were really part of a secret dungeon.

It didn’t take long until they were in front of a door with no key lock or handler. The robot waited by the door, and the woman was forced to wait with him. It took minutes, hours or days to something happen, and it felt like the clocks have stopped ticking forever and she would be always trapped in that time vault, waiting for something that was not meant to be. The only indication that the time was passing was that she started feeling pains in her limbs for staying at the same position for too long, adding more woes to the already wounded and frightened girl.

Finally, her wait came to an end. Someone opened the door from inside, and the robot resumed dragging the girl through the corridors. She gave a quick glance at the man who opened the door, but she could not see much under the hooded cloak he wore, except that he had an eye-less skeletal face and shining red dots on his nose. He also emitted a scaring hiss through his nose, and the woman felt relieved when the robot dragged her out of his reach. After passing by some steel doors tightly shut, the robot took the girl to one of the locked doors. The malefic android inserted his finger on the huge padlock hanging in front of the massive steel gate and, in seconds, it was opened. Then, he opened the large door, removed her handcuffs the girl and pushed her inside, locking the door behind her.

The helpless woman panicked. She had been thrown into a completely dark room, not knowing where she was, not knowing what to do, and not knowing what would come up next. She tried to protest, but her high-pitched screams seemed to reverberate only inside the black box or horrors she was in. She tried in vain to look for a secret exit, risking falling into a trap, and meeting a swift death. She needed something where she could deposit her hopes, but soon it became clear that there was nothing but her own faith or imagination she could resort to, just cold walls and blackness.

Her world had just crumbled under her feet. In a matter of hours, what had been a jolly happy day had become the worst of her nightmares. The situation was surreal and the woman felt like a great violence to have to accept what was happening to her. Why did her dreams have to remain always just faint sparks of her brain activity and her worst fears become reality? To be forcibly taken from the paradise and sent to a place of infinite suffering, sadness and terror? In the darkness, she cried. Voices, voices, wails of pain and fear, echoing in the darkness, back and forth, turning into indistinct mumbles, in perpetual hellish chorus. The fear and sorrow became imprinted permanently in the dungeon walls and corridors, filling the hearts and minds of every sane person that venture inside the forbidden tunnels.

Terror-stricken, the helpless woman started losing the sense of time. She couldn’t tell if it had been hours, days, or weeks since she had been thrown into the void of her forced solitude. Nothing could be heard, but the echoes of indistinct voices and the heavy footsteps of the patrolling robots. The room was left completely in the dark, making the prisoners lose the notion of day and night. Besides there were no scheduled activities; sometimes they would throw a sack of raw grains to eat through the small opening; sometimes the woman had to resort to the bugs and larva she randomly found inside the damp cell. They also flooded the cell with water whenever they felt like it. However, not rarely, the teenage girl would feel the breath of death on her face after several days of dehydration.

It didn’t take long for her to start losing sense of her own existence. Nothing but the pains and suffering reminded her of her humanity. However, it also could be just an illusion. Maybe the whole ordeal was just a lengthy nightmare about to be dissipated in the recesses of her mind as soon as Algol broke into the cerulean blue Palman skies once again. Maybe she had never been outside that torture chamber and the memories of her free and happy life was just byproduct of hallucinations, dreams, and wishful thinking. Nevertheless, it didn’t matter to someone whose life had been reduced to the old struggle for surviving.

The only events that broke that unending cycle of despair and suffering where so tragic that the woman hoped they would never happen, but they did. From time to time, the morbid peace and serenity inside the cell where she was entombed alive was disturbed by cries and moans of pain and fear traveling through the corridors so used to the hearing that kind of useless pleads for mercy or compassion. There were people being robbed from their lives and thrown into the same void as the woman was once thrown. There were some different cries too, the cries for help of those who had been selected to leave the cells, and who would never come back. Ultimately, there were the last words of those who bravely fought against the fate that awaited them, only to be mercilessly murdered by the magic-sealed door, which was the insurmountable obstacle between them and their lives, their freedom, their humanity once lost as soon as they had stepped into those hellish galleries.

Not sure why keep on living was worthy, or if it would be better to hasten the unavoidable process of surrendering to the useless grip on the concept of an existence, doomed to meet an abrupt end sooner or later inside that cell. The uncertainty about the survival of her conscience post-mortem was the source of her torments. Had she been sure that her spirit would carry on after her body gave her last sigh and her soul gave up that tortured heap of flesh and bones to regain once again the freedom she was meant to live in, she would have surrendered to the kiss of death and face the last voyage with a pleasant smile on her lips. Without that surety, it was a temerarious act to give up everything she ever had and everything she could have, for nothing. It was a devil-may-care attitude the naturally cautious young woman was not ready to take; no matter how bad the situation she was in looked to her eyes, there was still hope in her heart. That flame that keeps people pushing on indefinitely, waiting for better things to come blindly, ignoring all the warnings of the real world that giving up was the only logical choice. That was the only thing that kept her alive during all that time. Between nothingness and eternity, there is just one's faith, and the surety only comes when each one is making his last voyage.

One day, feeling so weak that nothing out of her shell mattered anymore, the woman heard some noise in the massive door. Maybe her time had come, the time for being the martyr of some occultist cult. The time to have a dagger traversing the soft tissues of her weak heart and to lose permanently the small sparks of conscience that insisted in fighting the deplorable state of her organism. Dying a tragic death while the delight and rejoicing of a group of fanatics seeing the blood pouring out of her chest would be the last impression she would take of this journey called life. Sacrificed for nothing; just some folly of a bunch of madmen. It was the end of her struggle against all the odds, and, though she had already resigned to her dreadful fate, her faint heart insisted in pounding faster on her chest.

The massive door creaked loudly and part of the thick layers of dust was sent dancing madly in the air with the current produced by the door’s movement, obfuscating the strong light coming from outside. Even so, the creature cowering back in the corner shrieked in terror, as the light she longed so much to see again felt like it was burning her retinas. Pain and shock made her mind wander, and she could barely understand what that group of a girl not much younger than her, a strong fighter, a tall and handsome man in a cloak and a big musk cat, all armed to the teeth were doing there. While she caught some disjointed words in the turmoil of her own feelings, the only thing her mouth answered through babblings, automatically, was “Lassic is going to sacrifice us! Aghhh!”

Between disturbing images and deliriums, her eyes were getting used to the light again, but she could only see shadows. The young girl had dimmed the intensity of her flashlight to protect her. Her ears gradually distinguished more words from the wails of pain and terror she had become used through all that time locked in her personal hell. Some words that started making sense to her talked about helping her, and the handsome man placed his right hand in her forehead mentioning something about cure. Despite of her decrepit state, her body plagued by sickness, her ragged and soiled clothes, her almost inhuman appearance, they showed compassion. When the group finally left, they said something about escaping, and then, the blackness and the silence dominated the cell again.

The woman stayed paralyzed for a few moments, trying to figure out whether it had been real of just another illusion produced by her feeble mind. Although her pains seemed to be lessened, it could be just the product of her imagination, for that strange dream had certainly left a deep impression on her mind. That brave flame called hope, who had survived all the ordeal, convinced her to make an herculean effort and check whether the door was opened or not. Partly crawling, partly dragging her body along the cell, she hit the massive steel door. So, it was true. It had to be true.

Feeling that if she stopped, she would never have strength enough to move from where she was again, she ventured outside her cell, crawling through the dark corridor. The fears that she would be discovered by the cops and murdered were still huge, but the fear that she had died and it was her spirit crawling aimlessly thinking she was still alive was greater. Besides, if she was not caught, she could return to her cell as if nothing had happened. Just to die shortly after by exhaustion, sickness or murdered. There is something on human nature that makes it easier to take the things to the last consequences when you had just started than start something from the scratch. Maybe it was her pride ringing for the last time inside her mind, asking her to do whatever it took to keep pushing forward, just to be able to say to herself that at least she had tried. It was a way to reassure her that she was still alive, still a human, in possession of her freewill.

That force made her keep crawling through the dark corridors. She expected her trip to be short, and end at the magically locked door, where the lives of many of her inmates had been terminated when they foolishly tried to escape from the horrors of that doomed prison. Although she used to consider that a waste, now she realized that they were brave, courageous, and died fighting for what was right. It mattered nothing for her to say she had outlived those faceless and nameless companions of tragedy if she just lowered her head to the injustice she was subjected to. It was just a burden, a mark of Cain; she would bear everywhere she went, showing that he was a woman of low character, thinking only about herself. Then, she would deserve to be thrown in a dark dungeon for ages, to atone for her sins, to realize that, no matter what the consequences are, one must always side with the truth and the justice.

However, on the other hand, being a martyr on purpose was not grand at all, just a way of cheating, a coward's shortcut to salvation. A genuine martyr is someone who died without ever thinking about martyrdom. For there were many people who were not courageous enough to face the difficulties that the life presented and believed that provoking their persecutors to execute them would turn them into martyrs, when it is just a carefully planned suicide. It is difficult to judge the acts based on the results when the intentions are gone forever. The most important thing was to be true to herself.

So, it was shocking to touch the once perpetually sealed doors and realize they were wide open. There was something of supernatural on those massive doors, that her hands felt hot to the touch of the once insurmountable obstacle between her and her life. A chorus of angels in pure white garments was singing freedom inside her head, and the overflow of emotions long suppressed almost made the weak heart come to a final stop. In a moment, the trees, the green grass of Scion plains, the soft white sand of the beach, the cerulean Palman sky, the light and heat of Algol star, and the cold waves of the sea continuously washing the land started existing again, as if the clock has been setting in motion after countless ages of quiescence. And, with them, there came back the memories of her loved ones, the pleasures of life, the hopes, the wishes, the dreams, and the long lost joy-de-vivre she used to have before that long nightmare started.

The anxiety dominated the girl, who crawled faster towards freedom. It didn’t matter how much her ordeal had lasted; days, weeks, months, or even years, as long as she could finally find the peace she longed so much during all that time. Those four warriors had given her strength to rebuild her life, hopes for a brighter future, and the realization that, no matter what, she had to fight for what was right. If fate or providence allowed her to emerge from that dreadful prison a victor, she would not waste the blessings of a new existence thinking only about her well-being and trying to satisfy her pleasures. She would come out as a new, renewed woman.

Feeling an aura of purity surrounding her, the woman reached the steps that would take her outside. The nightmare was so close to an end that she hesitated for the last time. If it took her some time to believe that her capture was not just a bad dream, it would take some time that her miraculous escape was not just a good dream. Maybe she was on the last stages of her life, and her mind was in a permanent delirium. Maybe she had already died and all the process she was undergoing was just her imperfect mind misunderstanding what really happens when someone passes away. Either case, why keep standing there in the darkness if she could feel the warmth of the Algol star washing her? Even if it was the imaginary Algol, why not to say farewell to the beautiful world she used to love before her conscience expired once and for all? There was no reason to be afraid anymore, she had just conquered her greatest foe inside herself.

As she climbed up the stairs that separated her from her freedom, the woman was stunned by Algol’s shining white light. Taking a deep breath of the clean air after so many time confined inside her cell made her lungs burn, as if they were about to burst. The shock was so strong that the woman staggered and lost her conscience. She had endured so much, and when she was finally free from all the terrors, she was dying. She was tied back to the overwhelming darkness through the whole eternity. She had lost and everything had just been a dream, there was no escape from her tragic fate.

Then, she sighed, and opened her eyes once more. The light was still there. She was back to the beautiful green world, where the birds chirped on the trees, the rainbows colored the skies, the gentle waves of the ocean caressed the feet of the dreamy walkers, the little masterpieces of nature could be collected by the shoreline in form of shells, the people loved each other, the human beings were free to live. Back to the paradise she had lost. And then she was free from the darkness. For all the eternity.
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