A large, hexagonal opening in the ground; a spiral staircase leading downwards, indefinitely. It’s well illuminated.
XO: “Ping it! How deep’s this hole?”
Alicia: “The hole’s about six miles deep.”
Alicia’s so fucking hot — it’s been over a year; I could use a piece of that.
“Why don’t you take a piece?”
That voice did not sound human —
heard it in my right ear this time.
Did anyone else hear that voice?
As we descend the staircase; floor after floor of gardens. Each floor of vegetation has its own light source, extending as far as the eyes can see. With every step I descend, voices getting louder and louder — not just women’s voices, but men’s too:
“You’re not welcome here! “
“I’ll take your soul!”
“You’ll not be allowed to leave if you continue descending!”
“Don’t you know where you are?”
“It’s not too late!”
“Tell Kite it’s not worth your paycheck!”
“He’s gonna get you ALL killed!”
“All he cares about is money!”
“No bonus is worth this!”
“You could make it look like an accident! Who would know?”
Captain Kite: “What in God’s name is eating all this food?”
I can see the fear in other men’s faces — I’m not the only one hearing these voices.
Even the XO looks apprehensive. The XO takes Captain Kite to the side, a loud whisper. The XO tries to keep the conversation private, but cannot. The acoustics, and my external-microphone pegged at maximum prevent that.
XO: “Captain, we’ve done our job. We’ve made the initial discovery, the planet’s yours. More than enough data to make this planet ‘Type A’ at auction; you’ve hit the mother load!
Plant the flag. Let the military and survey teams do the rest.”
Captain Kite: ”I want the surveyor’s percentage! We’ve come this far. If we discover sentient life, the price could triple at auction. Don’t want to give away that large a chunk of change for a fucking 1 mile walk. This planet could be worth a trillion if we find pods. Maybe more? 25% of a trillion for 1 mile? Fuck that. That’s Bill-Gates-kinda money — I aint losing it.
Plus it’ll take years to get a survey team here! No, this planet’s worth going the extra mile. This planet’s worth a little risk. I got bills to pay now. If we find PODS, this will be the most valuable planet in the galaxy!”
XO: “Let’s turn around. I’m getting a bad feeling about this place.”
Captain Kite: “Father was right about you; you’re a coward.”
XO: “I’m not a coward; some of us have lives worth living.”
That hurt. They stare at each other intensely in silence. They’re about to come to blows.
The XO’s the first to speak. XO: “I’m fucking telling you there’s something not right about this place! Don’t you feel it? Don’t you fucking hear it? You’ve never called me a coward. Where did that come from?
I know you’re hearing the voices, too!”
Captain Kite: “We will keep going; I don’t hear anything.”
Captain Kite is a liar.
XO: “You’re my older brother; I love you. Call me a coward again; I’ll kill you.”
They’re shouting at each other. Two biological brothers, captain and XO; I don’t see the family resemblance.
I keep looking at Alicia; she’s right in front of me. DAMN she has a fine ass. Following Alice down the rabbit hole? I know a HOLE I’d like to dive into right now.
“Just take it.” A deep, woman’s voice this time, slowly.
“Look at these guys around you. All temps. None of them would care, if you killed Captain Kite and his brother.” A teenage girl’s voice, sounds like she’s giggling.
“They’re marching you guys to certain death, and for what?
An extra 100 grand for you? Fuck hazard pay! Big fucking deal.” That voice sounded like Norm from Cheers — sounds like he’s getting ready to form the teamsters.
The two of them are about to become some of the richest men in The Empire — in a year, I’ll be out of money.
“That’s not right! What are they gonna do with all that money anyway?” That sounds like that former President’s voice.
“Technically, if the three of them were to die; you’d be in charge.’’
Sounds like a male college professor — with a German accent.
ME a captain? Once I’m captain, I could determine everyone’s pay. I could divide everyone’s pay equally; that’s fair, right?
“As captain you’d deserve a little more.” Many voices say this.
Ya, you’re right, a LITTLE more. This is a democracy! All in favor of killing these three pompous, blue blood, elitist, rich assholes; pissing on their corpses; then splitting the proceeds from the sale of this ROCK, say aye.
“Aye!” A chorus of voices — loud as Seahawks Stadium erupts.
All that believe property is an individual right, and should not be subject to vote, say nay.
Silence. All I hear is our steps, as we descend the long staircase.
“Did I mention: All who are dead don’t get a vote? The man with the gun counts the votes; certifies the election; then, gets to distribute the spoils.” That definitely was that former President’s voice.
I’m an out of work security guard, hired as a ‘temp’. One of four people with a gun. The other three that are armed: The FEARLESS and GREEDY Captain Kite goes first. The COWARDLY and ENVIOUS younger brother XO follows.
Fine-ass Alicia, wanting to show she’s just as tough as the guys, PROUDLY is right there leading too. She’s one of them, not one of us ‘temps’. And then me, staring at their backs.
What are the voices saying to them? Still, we descend.
Read more Lotus.