In a galaxy not so far away, I stood in the command centre of the ‘Sinero’ (don’t ask i have no idea why we named it that either) and took in the sights I was privy to through the strong Plexiglas that stood between us and outer space.
The space station was the pride and joy of our defence corps; it has regularly been defined as the sturdiest structure in the world. We were probably the most elite force in the world but we didn’t even have a name; we just kinda called ourselves the defence corps. That was it, but we were feared and revered all over the world.
I stood in the control room manning operations as analysts and techies jabbed at their little systems checking that everything was in order. I expected an easy day, most days were easy days, we weren’t attacked much and the times we were, we were more than capable of neutralizing the threat.
Our job was simple: to defend our thriving community simply called ‘Human’. We were the first and last point of defence. The full weight of our job was felt every day, because if anything got past us, Human was doomed. So we took great pride in our duty, we were confident in our abilities and steely in our resolve.
I sipped from my cup of coffee and savoured the bitter taste as it went down my throat. The space station had the best coffee anywhere in the galaxy; no one could claim to have it this good.
Oh, manners! I never did introduce myself
My name is Commander Common Sense. I’m probably the first female to have achieved that rank and I carried it with great pride. I had over ten years of experience with the defence corps. Unlike most women that made it to higher ranks due to service in other sectors of the corps, I had done mine as a soldier. I had been on the battle field and faced monsters that would make the hairs on one’s head tingle. I was part of the crew that had once battled Greed and his minions as they tried to infiltrate our community. I had the battle scars to back my claim and therefore I was deserving of all the respect I got.
The room was a quiet buzz of activity; i knew some of it was simply because I was around as I was reputed as a bit of a ball-buster. I didn’t mind the title so much, as long as you did your job, odds were we would get along fine. I liked to think of myself as firm but fair, we were a unit that had a monumental task in defending Human and I understood what that meant more than most people.
I broke away from my reverie to face the person speaking; it was Snow, a young newbie. I liked his earnest face and honest eyes, I think I unnerved him a little as his voice always shook slightly whenever he spoke to me and he always seemed to stare at the scar beside my lip. I didn’t mind, it reminded everyone that i was a warrior and extremely competent at my job.
“Generals Reason and Logic relayed that they will be back on board soon, ETA fifteen minutes.”
“That’s alright,” I said, “Thanks Snow.”
His eyes widened a bit but went down immediately. I suspected he was surprised that i remembered his name. As a newbie, I guess he expected not to be reckoned with, but i had watched him and he was diligent and ready to work. He’ll go far.
Generals Logic and Reason were legends in our community. They were the warrior brothers that every warrior aspired to be. They had triumphed in countless battles, were brilliant tacticians and fierce fighters. They were the youngest duo to have made the rank of general and it showed in their personalities. They were restless and always battle hungry. They still embarked on missions together. I was older than they were but i recognized their prowess and i accepted them as superiors but they were humble men, they still deferred to me in a lot of matters and for that they had my further respect. Even this transmission was unnecessary but they did it anyway. We all got along well
They had gone out to investigate wreckage we had seen and ascertain if there were any clues as to what had attacked the ship. From the last transmission, they said that they had gathered nothing but that whatever had hit that ship was quite nasty indeed. I wasn’t too worried; there was nothing we couldn’t handle.
I turned again, this time I was being addressed by Seth Trundle
“Err, we have an unidentified object closing in on the ship…It’s about three thousand metres out”
Three thousand metres!
That shouldn’t be possible, our radar usually picked up unidentified objects at a range of five thousand meters.
“Let me see that.”
As he had mentioned, there was an object closing in on the ship, and fast. Was it a missile? But from who? The speed of the object was way too fast for anything I’d seen before.
“Can someone get me a visual of that thing?”
“On it commander” said Snow. This had grabbed the attention of the other techies and they began to gather to see what our ‘unidentified object’ was. We all stared at the screen as it came to life showing what looked like a red blur careening in our direction
“What the hell is that thing?” asked Hank
“Some sort of meteor perhaps?” said Trundle.
“Give the order to fire on it,” I said.
“You sure Commander?” asked Trundle. In reply i fixed him with a nasty gaze. He gulped and relayed my commands. Seconds later i saw a missile head towards the object
I smiled, “Well that should be that,” and then I turned away.
“Err Commander…” There was nervousness in Trundle’s voice that i didn’t quite like. I turned back to stare at the screen to see the object still racing towards the ship, it was less than a thousand meters out now.
“What the…Fire! Fire! Fire!”
A hail of missiles flew at the object hitting it but to no avail, it was still coming
“Zoom in on the damned thing!”
“Yes sir,” said Snow and he zoomed in.
“What is it Commander?” asked Snow, he sounded more unnerved than usual, i didn’t blame him, i never gasped.
I wanted to answer him, i really did, but what was i going to say? I myself couldn’t believe what i was looking at.
“What is that thing Commander?” asked Trundle this time
I was at a loss. I had to calm down, so i took a deep breath, focused on them and answered.
“That people, is Love”
There was a collective intake of breath. They all understood my bewilderment. Love was supposed to be the stuff of legend, a legendary monster that left destruction in its wake. It was unstoppable and incredible. It destroyed planets and sometimes entire galaxies. Never in my life had i ever encountered the creature, i had always imagined it to be a ghost story that you told new recruits to scare them, but there it was, a mere hundred meters from our front door. I had been there when we had been attacked by Infatuation and that had been a disaster, we had lost so many men that day, but due to the bravery and skill of the generals, we had prevailed. I had thought then that it was Love or more accurately that the stories of Love i had heard were an exaggeration of the powers of Infatuation, but Infatuation had been Blue and the legends had said that Love was Red, with huge Talons, a huge snout and a terror of a mouth. It didn’t have eyes they said, but always seemed to find where it was going.
This creature didn’t have eyes.
“What do we do Commander,” asked Snow in panic
“Brace for impact” was my reply. I sounded surprisingly calm. “Get in contact with the Generals and tell them we have a breach and they should get here as soon as they possibly can,” I also got on the communicator.
“All Units! This is Commander….”
The floor shook beneath me. The entire ship was shaking.
Love had arrived.
I recovered quicker than i thought i could and kept talking.
“All Units! This is Commander Common Sense and we have a breach. A monster is on board and I want all units suited up to engage it. Leave the hatch and first corridor and start by positioning yourselves from Section 1B onwards. Let’s nail this thing!” I could hear the boots marching as soldiers got into their gear. I hoped they would at least be able to slow down the monster till the Generals got back. I knew what it wanted: to destroy us all and take over Human. It was its modus operandi according to the legends, so i had to react accordingly.
“Trundle, get me eyes in all the key areas of the ship where the monster will be engaged”
Several screens came to life and i saw that the men were in position. I grabbed the microphone ready to give orders through the ship’s speakers. I could see the men in sector 1B, they were all tense as they waited
It was the sound of the door pounding
We waited, but nothing happened.
“You think it’s gone Commander?” asked Snow. He sounded scared.
I couldn’t answer him, but I’d be lying if i didn’t say i hoped he was right.
The door came down so suddenly that the men almost didn’t have time to react, but these were trained soldiers with amazing reflexes. They fired on the creature, but the speed of movement of the monster was so surprising and scary that i just stared transfixed. It tore off the first soldier’s torso before he could even move!
It went on to the next and the next as the lasers and rays and bullets did nothing to it. There was a trail of bodies and blood in less than 2 minutes of fighting.
I started directing soldiers as Love moved from sector to sector killing ever soldier it came across, the soldiers were no match, they didn’t have the speed or as it seemed the weaponry to take on the monster. We’re screwed, i thought as it moved to within a sector of the control room where we were. If this room went down that was the end, i couldn’t allow that, i couldn’t allow it to defeat us all and take Human.
“Did anyone call the Calvary?” said a voice over the intercom i recognized anywhere.
“Holy shit what the hell happened here?”
“Love happened” i answered
“You’re kidding, Commander Awesome”
“No time for jokes General Reason, just go kick its ass!”
I sighed…we were saved. The Generals were here, they would be able to handle Love. They probably didn’t believe it, but they were smart enough to see the carnage around them and assess the situation.
I watched as they went after the monster with their guns and their large blades. It looked like the Japanese Zambato, especially large blades that were used to fight huge creatures. Only the Generals could wield it and it took an amazing amount of power to do so.
“Look at all this blood,” Logic murmured to Reason.
“I know, let’s end this before it gets out of hand.”
“Like the time we faced Lust eh?” Logic’s mouth was in a grim line and i knew why, it had been a terrible day, worse than when attacked by Infatuation and Logic had been badly injured in that fight, it was the nastiest fight of his career. I could hear the growling of the monster and the cries of dying men, i didn’t want to watch as my heart tore a little as each was destroyed . Love was a vicious savage, it killed brutally and was without mercy, i really hoped Logic and Reason would put it down.
“Hey, you’re a big doggy aren’t you?” mocked Reason as they came into where the monster was. It was in sector 3c, only one corridor separated it from us. I knew Reason liked to joke when he was nervous, i couldn’t blame him, this monster was worth fearing. we all watched with bated breath from the control room.
“GO!” yelled Logic and he and Reason ran towards the monster shooting at it wildly. Their bullets pinged off having no effect
“I’ll take the front you take the back” said Logic. Reason silently obliged still shooting as he moved. Love swiped at Logic who jumped out of the way– so close! His gun was sliced cleanly in two!
Logic didn’t have time to register surprise as he brought out his large sword immediately parrying a consequent blow from Love. The creature moved so quickly, but Logic was up to the task, he wasn’t a respected General for nothing. He parried, thrust and dodged with alacrity and finesse. Reason continued to shoot at the monster. He had changed guns and was now using a laser taken from a fallen soldier; i could see that this was slightly more effective as the creature was finding it distracting as he fought Logic. At one time the creature clawed at its back where the laser was hitting it as reason had concentrated on one point. Logic wasted no time and jumped towards the monster, bringing his blade down in a bid to slice the monster in two
The Monster held up a hand and caught the blade with its talons. Logic’s eyes widened with shock as he’d put all his strength behind the strike. The monster seemed to grin.
Logic was in trouble.
He attempted to release the blade, but with a speed i thought was in impossible, Love threw away the blade and grabbed hold of Logic in midair. He gave a bone chilling roar in Logic’s face.
“Hey ugly! what the hell do you think you’re doing?” yelled Reason. To answer him Loved swiped at Logic and knocked his head clean off
The temperature in the room went down as everyone settled into a collective chill.
The monster threw what was left of Logic’s body at Reason’s feet.
“Oh shit,” murmured Snow.
The monster was looking at Reason, waiting it seemed for him to do something. Reason stared at his headless brother, i couldn’t see his eyes, but he was shaking. Was he crying?
He raised his head.
That was twice today, but the look in Reason’s eyes were intense enough to gasp over. It carried a hatred that was incomprehensible. With a guttural roar Reason launched at the monster, i wanted to tell him to wait, to assess the situation but i knew it was all for naught.
The fight that followed was the weirdest I’d ever witnessed.
The speed with which Reason attacked the monster was godlike, it was primal, honed with years of battle and instinct. The monster was equally fast, as i watched, they sometimes seemed like a blur, i couldn’t see much.
And then i saw the monster begin to falter.
Reason was hacking and slashing at the monster with such brutality and malice that i was scared, all the time screaming. I was certain he’d gone mad. The monster yelled in pain as the blade cut and cut and cut. Finally it staggered and with intense speed, Reason ran and impaled the monster through the middle.
There was silence.
Then there was a huge cheer in the control room. he had done it! He had defeated the greatest monster that ever lived. He drew his blade out, heaving from his exertions. I watched him with a glimmer of pride. He was truly a warrior. His head came up and he froze.
“No” he said.
I heard the room quiet down and i took my eyes off him to– Love?
The monster was up again and to my horror i saw the wounds inflicted on it healing and disappearing before my eyes.
“No” Reason said again and it was so quiet i was the only one who heard it, but he was right, this wasn’t fair, how could something have this much power? It wasn’t right. I knew Reason was tired, he was way past his limit, it was amazing that he’d even held out this long.
The monster walked slowly towards Reason and i saw Reason’s eyes harden
“No Reason” i said quietly “Please don’t do…run!”
And run he did…towards the monster.
He yelled as he aimed his blade. The monster started to run towards him too. It swiped and cleaved Reason in two.
I saw Reason’s eyes go blank; surprise and hatred were the last feelings of his life.
“Commander get a hold of yourself.” It was Trundle, he was shaking me. I hadn’t realized I’d been shouting, but then what was there to do? Our two greatest hopes had just been torn apart by a relentless monster who seemed to be able to regenerate.
There was nothing.
We were doomed.
That was the monster, it was now on our corridor. I cleared my throat.
Everyone stared at me, ready to listen to every word. I could see fear in some eyes, defiance in others and a weird sort of adoration in a few. “You’ve all been brave and i have had the pleasure of working with you for a couple of years. We have defeated monsters like Greed, Infatuation, lust and even depression. We have prevailed each time, but this time we face a monster unlike any other, a monster that if it attacks will change Human forever, all your loved ones, everything could be wiped out. So we must say no! We must take a stand! We must PREVAIL! ”
“I know I have been a bit of a bitch,” This elicited some nervous laughter, “And I’m sorry but I’d like to be selfish one more time” I took a deep breath “We will initiate operation Doomsday.”
All eyes stayed on me. Then one by one the techies got on their workstations and got to work. Some nodded at me grimly; Snow grasped my hand and squeezed it before getting to work. It was a tough call but they all agreed it was the right one.
Operation Doomsday would blow the space station with enough firepower to take out a planet. It was difficult to initiate which was why everyone had to work fast. This was our last stand, we were all going to die but Love was going down with us.
I jumped. Love was here, at our doorstep.
“Grab any weapon you can!” Everyone that wasn’t typing grabbed a weapon; I saw some with chairs, some with guns from the emergency supply. They gripped determinedly. I brought out my little blaster.
“AYE!” was the great roar that greeted me
“Almost done Commander,” said Snow, just the last sequence.
Love had just broken into the command centre.
The guys rushed him and my heart swelled with pride. These men could not fight, all they had was basic training but they fought for what they believed in. Heads rolled, limbs flailed, blood gushed but the brave little techies fought on. I fired relentlessly at the monster as he made his way towards Snow and I. I was the last line of defence, Snow behind me was about to finish up the last sequence for the bomb that would end us all
That was love.
“Eat this you filthy beast!” I cried as I fired my blaster at him. It had no effect and he brushed me aside ruthlessly. I floated in the air like a tossed handkerchief and hit a nearby console.
Bright spots filled my eyes as pain rocketed through my system. I looked up groggily to Snow’s scream as the creature carried him.
He had been unable to finish the sequence.
He looked at me with a sad smile.
“All that was left was the enter button,” he said and I watched, sick to my stomach as Love bit Snow’s head off.
“You bloody bastard!” I screamed at the monster. I jumped up and ran towards the console that Snow had been working on. Just a button, just one button and everything could be over, I’d be gone but all our family and friends would be okay, Love would be gone too. I ran faster than I ever had before I saw the dead bodies of all the techies, all the blood, their vacant eyes, all of which seemed to be telling me “Go on!” and smashed the enter button.
I felt myself being grabbed by the monster. It was painful but i could bear it, we would both be gone soon.
Love roared into my face and I could smell the rancid breath. Why wasn’t anything happening? I glanced at the screen and went slack-jawed. I saw a message staring at me:
“Are you sure you want to initiate the Doomsday Sequence? Yes. No.”
I went limp.
“No,” i murmured. Who’d designed this thing? I could kill the person
Then I laughed bitterly.
It was me.
Not designed it, but suggested that this message come up so that the sequence wasn’t initiated by mistake.
I stared at the eyeless, merciless monster
It had won, it was over. I felt my eyes burn with tears
I felt shame, regret and sadness.
I had failed.
I saw Love’s talons coming towards me at great speed.
And then there was darkness.
And that my friends, is how he became a mumu.