The sun was shining brightly, and the breeze was blowing through the air. The grass was tall, and the trees were green. I had never seen anything this vivid before, or real. Sure back home, we all experienced it in a simulator. Earth was the hub of all the universe. The Master had set up his kingdom there over a 1,000 years ago.
250 years later after setting up the kingdom on Earth, the rest of the universe was introduced to it as the hub of his kingdom. People from Earth were allowed to leave. My grandparents were the first. It’s because of all this that human life began to be extended.
My name is Cain Williams. I was born over 100 years ago, and I look like what my grandfather says he looked like when he was 17. When I was 20 I had my first vision, and after that I was sent for further testing, and that’s where I had seen Earth for the first time. Most families leave Earth understanding they would never return, so my grandfather was excited when he learned I might be on my way to Earth. He told me stories of how beautiful it was. That they left to see the vastness and beauty of the universe, but that so far, nothing held a candle to Earth. Whatever that meant.
After leaving my home planet of Croth, I would be subjected to six months of sub space flight. That’s when this vision began. It was beyond what they showed us in our training for meeting the Supreme Being, he expected things a certain way, and while his generosity and love had been felt throughout the universe, some planets remained untouched by this. That’s why he wants prophets like me. To see these planets and to help him bring truth to the universe.
That’s why it was so strange that this vision, was so vivid and on Earth. What was my calling there. Most of us who get picked to go there to meet The Master, only stay for a few years, before we set off to spread his origin to the rest of the verse.
I wasn’t on Earth yet, so that’s weird why this vision was so vivid. Then it happened. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in sub-light travel, but an immediate stop is not a good thing. I was rudely awaken from the vision and violently thrown across the room. I hit the wall hard. That’s when my door opened and guards came rushing in. I’m kind of a big deal, and you hear about the raids on ships holding prophets all the time.
All I was thinking was, “Why didn’t I forsee this?”
The guards searched my room with me in it. “Are you hurt?” The leader if the squad asked.
I shook my head in the normal way to say no. I had the wind knocked out of me. He reached his hand out and I saw that it was Lt. Col. Howard of the Unified Universal Army. He had been assigned to protect me. I reached up for his hand.
“We need to move now to the lifeboats.” Howard said. “There’s a relay station not too far from here. They’ll be able to reach us.”
“What happened?” I asked, as he pulled me up.
“We’ve been boarded by the resistance.” He motioned for his squad to clear the hallway. I grabbed my bag, that contained my few possessions. Howard stopped me and handed me his side arm. “You may need this.” I had seen weapons before, but I never held one. Weapons are forbidden unless you’re in the military. “It’s easy. Just point and pull. It’s a single shot per pull. If the resistance takes you, put it to your head. They don’t take too kindly to our prophets.”
I took the pistol from his hand. The members of his squad stepped into the hallway. They motioned for us to follow. They pointed their rifles down the hallway and we followed. We could hear the screams of the others on the ship. This was a transport ship, not a cargo ship. This was for people moving from planet to planet in the royal galactic system, which made up about 75% of the known universe. These are people who are workers and business people. I traveled in luxury because of my status, and now I’m being escorted off as some sort of dignitary. What kind of creatures have we become?
We continued down the hallways until we reached the bay where the escape pods are. I thought it was kind of odd that we would head here. “Why are we here?” I asked.
“Because there are a bunch of space stations controlled by the Kingdom. There’s one not to far from our current location. We can reach it by jettison pod.” He motioned for me to get inside one. I got in and moved towards the back and strapped myself in. Howard got in after me. “Alright boys, launch us.” Howard told his men.
The door to the pod slammed shut and the next thing I knew, we had been ejected from the ship. The pistol I had put in the seat next to me had started to float, weightlessly. For as advanced as the ships were, they still hadn’t figured out how to get gravity to work on a jettison pod.
“Why did we not wait for other people to board the pod with us?” I asked. I wanted to know.
Howard lifted his gun and pointed it at me. “It’s because you’re a high-value target. The resistance is going to pay a lot for you.”
I reached for the pistol, but it was just out of my reach.
“Did you really think I would give you a loaded weapon? One shot through the hull of this pod, and we’d both be dead. They aren’t reinforced like the cruisers.”
“Why does the resistance want me dead?” I asked.
“Mr. Williams, they don’t want you dead. They want you for their propaganda machine. Out of every one of those so called prophets they took, it wasn’t to kill them. They were trying to convince them to join the resistance against the Kingdom.”
“Why a prophet?”
“Prophets are capable of much more than just foresight according to the resistance. They’re capable of inspiring. They want you to inspire freedom through the universe. It’s a shame your predecessors were all too committed to the Kingdom. A falsified idea. Honestly, I don’t believe you guys can really see the future. It’s all parlor tricks.”
“So you don’t believe in the Master?” I asked.
Howard sighed, “I don’t believe he came to save the Earth, much less the universe.”
“So this cause, that you support, is the rebellion.”
“I don’t support it. I support the idea of a free universe. Other planets are resisting, while others are rebelling.”
“We bring people the truth.” I replied.
“Truth isn’t relative to just one person. Sure you can have a universal truth, but he isn’t it. Universal truth is that we exist, and gravity, and then we die. There’s no one in charge of my life.” Howard pulled out of his pocket a small air gun.
“What is that?” I asked.
“It’s a small air compressed gun. Powerful enough to reach you, not powerful enough to breach the hull.” He fired it, and I was pierced by a dart. It all went black.
I awoke in a bed. I could tell there was gravity, but it was much heavier. So it wasn’t artificial. You can always tell artificial gravity because it’s not quite right. We were on a bigger planet. Perhaps maybe a moon that was bigger than Croth.
I also noticed that I wasn’t in a jail cell. At least it didn’t look that way, and I had my belongings.
I got out of the bed I had been in. This is when I noticed that I had an old fashioned needle in my arm. Needles hadn’t been needed since the cure to a short lifespan was introduced. I pulled it out of my arm, the strange thing is I thought it would hurt. It really didn’t. It was a strange sensation. I went to walk, and it was like a calf trying to walk. I really had no footing. I wondered how long I had been asleep. I moved towards my bag.
I took an inventory of what was there. Mostly everything was there. Well, anything that wasn’t technology. I suppose they scrubbed me of that so that, the Kingdom could not find me. It was all standard-issue stuff, easily replaceable. It was when I had finished this inventory that the door opened.
In walked Howard. “Oh good. You’re awake.” He said in a gruff voice.
“Why am I being kept captive?” I asked as I put on a jacket.
“You’re not. You’re a guest here now. We’re on Titan. Just in orbit around Saturn. You’re close to Earth.” He said.
“Why take me so close to where I was going anyway?” I asked. The station was unusually cold.
“There’s someone who wants to meet you.” Howard said.
Howard left the room, and so I followed him. I wondered if I was a guest, or given the illusion of being a guest. I mean, who really knocks someone out, then allows them to walk around freely.
Howard kept speaking about how the station we were on is a colony, and that it’s so cold because we’re so far away from the closest star in the system, known as the Sun. The station is also shielded to prevent the burning of the methane when ships leave. Special shields were developed for this purpose for the ships.
Howard stopped at the end of the hallway. “Now, you will refer to her, as ‘Your Highness’ and only be spoken to when she speaks to you.” He said. I felt weird because he seemed out of character for someone who only cared about money.
“I take it she’s the one who signed the credits to you?” I asked.
“Gold is always worth more, my boy.” Howard said.
The doors swung open, and that’s when I saw her. Long brown beautiful hair, and the body of a goddess. She was a little shorter than I was, and her robes flowed to the ground. She dressed very richly like people from my class did.
She approached me, and it was as if she was floating above the floor. There was grace to the way she moved. She stopped at me. I had met a few dignitaries before, so I knew what was custom, or proper behavior right here. I took a bow and held out my hand. She grabbed my hand and led me to the table in the center of the room, where her maidens had set out food. She pulled out a seat for me. I stood standing until she took her seat.
When I sat, she took a sip of her wine. “So tell me, what makes you so special, Prophet of Croth.”
I took a deep breath. “Nothing really. I don’t see why the Kingdom puts so much emphasis on my social status. I just have clear visions.”
She sat her glass down. “So you don’t have sole allegiance to the Kingdom then.”
“If this is a privileged conversation, my answer would be this: My allegiance is to truth. Truth is what sets us free. Mr. Howard over there, if that’s his real name, has only revealed that he only believes in 3 truths. I suppose that’s all you need really. I would suggest there are more truths out there.”
She seemed to have found this information satisfying to her, and she motioned for Howard to leave the room. “I see.” She said.
We sat in silence for a few moments. “Go ahead and eat something. It’s been weeks since you’ve eaten.”
I grabbed some of the food. I assume this was food from Earth, as it’s food I had never seen before in my life. “Thank you. So are you from Earth?”
She nodded her head. “Yes, my father was a prominent leader and given his own kingdom on the Earth. When we opposed the Master, he took his resources and sent me here. He is out recruiting other planets to the rebellion. We have also discovered a small resistance of planets, and systems that rejected the Master when he came to them.”
“I’m familiar with those rumors.” I took a bite of some meat. “I’m not sure there’s more worlds that are habitable that aren’t on our books. We’re discovering new ones all the time and heading there when the Master commands us too.”
“Then what I am about to show you will be hard for you to accept. You’ve given an answer about seeking the truth. You aren’t the first prophet I’ve shown this to, but you are the first to claim to be open minded for the truth.”
“What are you going to show me?” I asked. She stood and walked towards me. She took off her robes. I tried to not look at her but she was stunningly beautiful.“Don’t be shy, Prophet Williams.” She said. “I too, have similar powers to yours.” She stood behind me and started to run her fingers through my hair. I closed my eyes, and her hands worked their way down to the side of my head. “This may feel a little weird.” She gripped the side of my head, and that’s when it happened. Her hair began to float up towards the ceiling, and a strange light emerged from my eyes. That’s when I saw it all. I thought the visions I had were real. That’s when I realized that my vision of Earth had been sub planted by the Princess and Howard. This was amazing. I saw all that was, all that could have been, all that ever will be. I guess it was over bearing for the Princess, because we both collapsed after it.
I awoke to her putting her robes back on. “That process usually kills the prophets.”
I threw up. After doing so I wiped my mouth off with a cloth. “I can see why.”
“You and I are linked forever now. In a shared experience.” She said as she sat down again.
Whatever it was, it was beautiful, exhausting and intimate. I felt like she knew me better than anyone else. We knew each other’s dark secrets, and I could tell she was telling the truth. That there was something wrong with the Master’s Kingdom.
“What is that you want me to do?” It was a stupid question to ask aloud. I already knew the answer.
“I need you to help me bring down his kingdom for freedom. You’ve been trained in self-defense. I need you to train in the offense. That’s why Col. Howard is here. We spent a lot of money on him.”
The doors the room opened. Col. Howard stepped in. “You ready for your training?”