John’s SciFi Space Short Story
Prison guards lined the walkway as Cain disembarked from his spaceship. He glanced left and right, checking out the firepower the guards possessed. They could annihilate him in an instant. With nothing better planned, he strode forward as if he knew exactly where his destination lay.
A large fortified building dominated the end of the path from the landing pad. What looked like a high-ranking officer waited at the building’s entrance, standing in an ‘at-ease’ stance, patiently waiting for him. Two guards flanked him.
When Cain stood before him, staring into his eyes as if he belonged there, the officer said, “Follow me.” He turned and marched away, expecting Cain to go with him.
With no choice but to obey his order, Cain began walking, increasing his pace to catch up to him. The two guards filed in behind him as if to prevent his escape or divert from their path. They entered an elevator and descended several levels, exiting into a corridor lined with coal black walls and ceiling. The surfaces absorbed the lighting strung along the route with no reflection.
After walking 100 m, they mounted an open-air vehicle, the officer in front and Cain behind him with a guard flanking either side. Again, he felt imprisoned, incarcerated, but let his feelings slide. His parasitic presence boasted his confidence, presenting an aura of arrogance for anyone spying on him. The vehicle accelerated to an indeterminate speed, and they coasted for 15 minutes until it slowed to a stop at a terminal where they all alighted from it. No one had talked since the word spoken by the officer, increasing Cain’s nervousness, but his internal guest seemed unconcerned by the silence. They used another elevator to ascend. When the doors opened, they stood on the surface again and the officer ushered them into a single-story office complex and to an anteroom.
“Wait here,” the officer said. He left, followed by the guards.
Cain inspected his surroundings while he waited. The room was bare except for four chairs lining the walls. When he checked them, he realized they had bolted them to the floor. Theft must be a problem, he thought. Unlike the corridor they traversed earlier, it was white. Bright illumination shone throughout, almost glaring as if they intended visual discomfort. Two doors provided exits from the room — the one Cain entered by and the closed one in front of him. As there was nothing of interest within the chamber, he headed to the closest chair and sat, waiting for whatever fate lay ahead.
After an interminable period, the door opened. A tall, fit and well-built man walked through in an immaculately black uniform. Medals across his chest and bars complementing his lapels completed his outfit. Cain thought they designated a captain’s rank, but wasn’t sure. He stood, unsure whether to move forward or wait for the captain to speak and instruct him. He waited.
The captain stopped four paces beyond the doorway and directed his focus on him. “Walk this way.” He turned and returned through it.
Cain followed him to discover a vast office almost as large as the room he had occupied. At the far end, a person sat at an enormous black marble desk, the person’s head down, busy giving his/her attention to whatever he/she was doing. The captain continued walking until he stood two paces from the front of the desk and stopped, standing at attention. Cain did likewise, except for standing at attention. He now realized the person was a general and female, although it was difficult to discern from his location.
After several minutes, the general finished whatever her task was and looked up at the captain.
“Unscheduled incoming prisoner guardian escorted to you as directed.” The captain stared straight ahead.
“Return to your duties.”
The captain saluted and, marching to a desk that Cain now noticed at the office’s entrance. He sat and returned to his tasks.
The general turned her attention to Cain and stared at him. She had steel eyes, both in color and demeanor. He found it hard to gaze back at her, but persisted. She had attractive features, despite being middle-aged, older than himself. He preferred younger women. She had short, cropped black hair.
With nothing to prompt him about what he should do, Cain continued to stare at her and waited for her to speak.
“Why are you here? Where is this prisoner, Moloch?”
Fear gripped him as he fought for words to utter, but Moloch overpowered him. “I have the prisoner confined. The authorities instructed me to bring him here for incarceration. It is not my problem that you were unaware of his transportation arrangements.”
“Confined is a rather loose term. Confinement in what, and where?”
It was obvious to Cain that he aroused her suspicions. He needed to warn her, but couldn’t. The creature prevented him from speaking for himself. He wanted to alert her to run, to call her guards, to destroy him before the events at the arena recurred.
But before he could shout a warning, she said, “Your face looks familiar. Have we met?”
“We have not met before today,” Moloch replied in Cain’s voice. “You must confine this creature.”
“Isn’t it obvious? I must be on my way. Time is money.”
The general gave a pencil line smile, unamused. “Oh, we will incarcerate it, and at once.” She looked past him. “Guards!”
“What are you doing?” Cain asked.
“I am imprisoning you until I get credible answers. And it won’t be anywhere near any of my other prisoners.”
“No!” Cain’s resident shouted. “You will not chain me.”
Cain suddenly lapsed into a fit like the one in the arena. He raised his arms and blue light flickered from his fingertips, but the energy extinguished as fast as it emerged. Whatever Moloch was attempting was being blocked.
The general gave a wry smile. “Just as I suspected. Welcome to Hades, Moloch. I hope you have a pleasant stay.” She nodded to the guards behind Cain. “Place demon restraints on him and taking away.”
To be continued…