Longevity Chapter 7: 2800
Longevity Chapter 7: 2800
I sat on the edge of my seat, well it's a throne, made of white marble, and edged in gold in what's called the Halls of Mars. It's not on Mars, actually on Venus, but that hardly matters at this stage. The Hall is giant and built into the side of a mountain, dug out like a giant ice cream scooper that came down from the sky and carved out a great bowl straight from the rock on the mountain’s side.
The opening was covered with stained glass. Heavy, thick stained glass, and it was reinforced to keep the Venusian atmosphere at bay, which it did a wonderful job of, even though you couldn't see out the window at all. Deep in the confines of the cave were vast works of iron and steel, and air conditioners that kept everything breathable as well as light and frosty, even though the temperatures outside would kill you in a heartbeat.
I liked the glass, but the throne had gotten to be a little too much lately. I might have to downgrade to the one made of wood with the lion's head carved into the back. That and a nice pillow or something. Something springy. Springy and nice.
The stained glass left the floor, and everyone else was covered in a twisted pattern of blue and orange squares all the time.
I should have that replaced. Then again, why mess with it just when I'm enjoying it?
I could call for one of my wives, or husbands. Of course, since I came to power, it's been mandatory for all planetary leaders to take up at least seventeen wives, and to have as many children as humanly possible. I think right now I'm up to a hundred and thirty-five, but I've lost count.
The problem with living this long is that eventually, everyone is in power. It wasn't long before just stayed in the same spot long enough. I became a council elder, and not long beyond that, a mere fifty years, I was the local high priest. It wasn't a terrible job. Among the first thought about getting the treatment, I'm perpetually older than almost everyone that I know. You'd think they'd oust me and tie me up and let me live on an asteroid somewhere just for being as dang strange as I am all the time. No one even likes my funny hat. Seriously, I should just quit and become a hermit living in the south of Los Angeles Proper.
There was a knock at my chamber door.
I turned and Bill, my butler I suppose, though that's only close to what he does come in, with two of my wives with him. Angela and Carmen laid into me about the statue of Venus. I thought they were here for something else.
I could hear them. The words were passing my ears. I could feel their hot breath and feel the tiny raindrops of spittle that were spewing forth as a fine mist. The words were there, pounding on my eardrums and I could not hear what they were. After a few moments, they came to a halt, apparently waiting for some kind of reply from me, and I didn't have one for them. They huffed and caught their breath. Their breasts heaved a little, but it didn't phase me.
I waited until they had stopped, and then I turned to them. I kissed Angela on the lips, hugged her, and told her I would think about it. Whatever it was. I'd heard her, which I hadn't, and I would take her advice as if it was from one of my closest advisers, which, of course, it was.
Carmen, I took them into my arms in a huge embrace and told her I loved her and that I treasured every hair on her head. I took off my hat, a fuzzy thing with a random number of horns on it, put it on her head and hugged her again before returning to my marble throne where I told them I would carefully consider everything they had said to me, whatever it was, then I posed in a very thoughtful position, and said "Hmm" a lot and closed my eyes occasionally and shook my head every once in a while, until that no longer seemed sincere, which it wasn't. Then I curled up, my feet tucked under me, and pretended to meditate on their complaints until they all eventually went away and I was left alone.
But then, I was never alone.
I saw them beside me.
They were always there.
They stood, seven feet tall, dark green bipedal life forms, totally smooth on their surface, and uniform.
They turned their faceless faces toward me, and I could feel their minds working their way into mine. They were giving me a chance to breathe and speak my mind, which they only did when they wanted something from me.
I could feel their questions in my mind.
Who were they?
"They are two of my wives?"
What do they want?
"I don't know. I couldn't hear them with you controlling my mind."
I fell to the ground.
Their thoughts bore into me, and it was hard to take after a couple of minutes.
When will you give the next order?
"Whenever you want, you're in control already, aren't you?"
My body fell, twitching.
I pushed up on my elbows, but they gave out.
One of them broke from the pressure of one of their minds alone as I pushed up again.
I let it lay face down on the ground.
They forced me to sit up.
We have work to do.
I already knew that, though.
Soon I was on my feet, and walking toward the hallway outside my chamber. They were invisible to everyone else, but each was in control of my next right and left steps.
They guided me into my shuttle, and I took the controls.
Soon I was airborne, lifting my little craft over the clouds of Venus.
Behind me, the two creatures sat in the rear seats. I could do nothing to turn my head and see them. Instead, I just piloted the little craft up over the city. Over the years we'd raised an enormous dome over it, and though the clouds surrounded us in a sickly sky all the time, the land beneath it was lush and beautiful and green. We rose closer and closer to the stained glass canopy that covered the capital and I pressed forward as I got closer and closer to it until we broke through, glass shattering all around me.
I zoomed up into the sky over Venus and sped through the clouds until I could see nothing else. I gunned it, swerved around, and then came through them and out over the open sky. I must be up really high.
"What do you want?"
We want everything.
"Why do you care?"
Because you do.
"Where are you from? Why do you want any of it?"
They were silent.
I pressed forward. It wasn't the first time they'd taken me on a trip like this.
Ahead of me, I could see the dawn coming up. Before long, I'd be in virtual darkness. Below me, any of my cities would be so far under the clouds that you'd never see the lights from them. Maybe a glimmer or a slight glow from them, but nothing like seeing a city from orbit on the Earth.
My comm opened up with a burst of static.
"Sir, is that you up there?"
I touched the controls like nothing was happening.
"Yep, just me, up for a brief flight."
"Very well, sir. You keep us informed if you need anything."
"I'll do that," I said and switched it off.
I burned through the clouds, which whipped around me and did a barrel roll before turning the ship towards space and flying out into the stars, where I saw them approaching for the first time.
There would be no warning.
They have arranged a series of battle cruisers, both from Earth and from Mars. They were here to wipe us out.
My little black ship went unnoticed, but the patrol ship behind me, who had recognized me earlier, was more clearly marked, and when they opened fire, he was their first target.
They swooped down. The earth ships were bulky, but full of fighters that whipped this way and that, and ran screaming down onto the planet to destroy my cities.
The Martian ships were more specialized. They weren't creatures of mars as they were the descendants of Human settlers like Venus was.
My home, at least now anyway.
The Martians had huge gas vacuum ships I’ve seen used out on the gas giants, and they were sucking up Venus's atmosphere. Then they waited for the fighters to fly in and bomb the city and take out my defense towers before the gunships rained down on them with death beams that finished them.
I could only watch.
I only had this flier. It wouldn't make it even back to Earth. I flew it over to the command ship, a long and dangerous vessel, covered in spikes and turrets, and landed it in the main hanger, right in the middle.
I watched as my little one-man flier was surrounded by army and navy troops. Guns up. Alert. Ready to kill.
I opened the hatch.