adventure

Stare into the Light – Revision

“I flew down the flights of stairs as fast as I could, tripping down a few of them as I frantically raced for the door. Doing my best to keep my eyes shielded from the yellow artificial glow that surrounded me. As I reached the door, I flung it open and gently came to a halt outside, breathing in the cool night time air.”

I gave one of my older stories a quick polish the other day, as I cringed when I read it back to myself. So  if you’d like to give my old story some love I’ve added a link below where you can find it! —> Stare into the Light

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Fowl Play Part 3: Flight

 

This is the final part of a 3 part story that I’ve written. If you haven’t read to the first two parts, I shall post links to them below. Hope you enjoy the story!

Fowl Play

Part 1: Run – https://jscarrottblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/fowl-play-part-1-run/

Part 2: Breath – https://jscarrottblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/fowl-play-part-2-breathe/

Fowl Play Part 3: Flight

By J.A Scarrott

Vauhn crashed in a heap onto the cold corridor floor. The jungle-fowl that was latched onto his flesh, let out an ear splitting hiss, beating it’s large grey wings in a frightful display.

Lizelle, Kayla and Logan all instinctively shifted backwards, as the Jungle-fowl squat furiously towards them, However they were violently shoved forward by Roland who shouted “Move! Go!”

They all clumsily piled out of the laboratory and into the corridor. Each of them doing their best to avoid tripping over Vauhn’s lifeless body. The small, blood hungry bird stayed situated on Vauhn, it continued to hiss as the students stumbled past.

“This way to the lift! Quickly!” Roland cried as he dashed down the corridor, slamming his finger on the small call button. They all stood anxiously waiting as the internal mechanics of the lift began to emit a low hum.

Kayla’s stood by the lift with the others, waiting, staring. The hum from the lift began to fade out, as did the rest of the world around her, as she stared at the bird before her. It pecked away at Vauhn’s raw flesh, ripping tendons, and veins violently out of the Vauhn’s slumped body.

Her friend was unrecognisable now. Vauhn’s once handsome face reduced to a pile of ribboned meat, which the jungle-fowl helped itself to. Despite the sorrow that swelled up within her, she couldn’t look away. That was her friend, 5 minutes ago he was living, breathing, talking and now, he was gone. Thin ray of golden light appeared to shine upon Vauhn’s body, she followed the beam with her eyes and was led to an open window that stood on the far end of the corridor.. An open window!? She thought to herself in dismay.

Immediately her senses were brought violently back to life. “We can’t go down yet!” Kayla called out to the others, spinning round as she did so. She pointed down the corridor, “You see that window? It’s open. If we leave it, then that chicken could escape!”

Liz and Logan looked at one another in worry, before turning their attention to Teah and Roland who stood behind them, ready to dive into the open, empty lift. “It’s not a chicken” Roland said coldly, “Besides, that Jungle-fowl seems too interested in eating, to want to escape. Why do you think it hasn’t come for us. It’s preoccupied.”

Kayla brushed through Liz and Logan, who both remained fixated on the small bird, and violently grabbed the cuff of Roland’s shirt before bringing her hand across his cheek, leaving a sore red hand print. “That’s our friend down there, show some respect. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone else, especially on the outside, to die. So I’m shutting that window!”

“We’re with you Kayla.” Logan told her, placing a hand upon her shoulder.

Kayla stared at Roland with heavy eyes, before turning to face the jungle-fowl that sat between them and the open window.

Nervously the three of them began to edge forward. “If there’s any sign of trouble or danger-”

“We’ll let you know, Don’t worry.” Logan replied, cutting her off mid sentence.

Kayla put her hand out when they were only a few meters from Vauhn’s body, signalling Liz and Logan to stop. The Jungle-fowl looked up at the three for a moment, before continuing to tear at the Vauhn’s back muscles.

She bent her knees slightly as she began to silently edge her way round, shifting her focus periodically between the Jungle-fowl and the open window. Her heart beat hard against her rib cage. Each step she took she placed delicately and with the utmost care, as to cause minimum noise or disturbance to the small, carnivorous bird. The fowl looked up at Kayla several times as she shuffled round, but was ultimately more interested in the feast that lay beneath it’s razor like talons.

Kayla let out a small sigh of relief as she finally made her way round to the window. She was greeted by a fresh breeze which poured in from outside the building. For a brief moment she was made to forget all that had happened that day and memories of laying on green park grass with Carole, Vauhn, Jason, Lizelle and Logan, between lectures, were brought to the forefront of her mind. The cool draft also made her aware of how accustomed her nose was to the thick stench of blood, which hung heavy within the university building.

Kayla opened her eyes, after drawing her first breath of fresh air, and glanced down at the multitude of response vehicles scattered in the car park below. Yellow ambulances stood next to white and blue police vans. Response personnel dashed about the scene, helping the lucky few who had managed to escape the building with their lives. She took one last breath of fresh air, before reaching for the window handle pulling it firmly towards herself. As window closed, a loud sudden click echoed through the corridor.

Kayla flinched then froze for a moment, wide eyed. Slowly turned her head to look at the fowl situated behind her. It began to let out a low throaty clucking noise. Logan and Lizelle stared helplessly across at their stranded friend.

However to all of their surprise the fowl didn’t move, it simply turned to face the open door that lead into the I.T suite of Roland’s and Teah’s laboratory. Kayla’s heart dropped and her stomach twisted as two more menacing, grey Jungle-fowls emerged through the doorway. They were brutist and stood taller than the bird already present, they towered over it as they approached Vauhn’s mutilated body.

The birds exchanged a series of clucks and screeches, jerking their heads in a bazaar fashion as they did so. All of the students stood as still like white statues as they watched. Fear gripped them ever tighter, paralysing in a suffocating stranglehold.

The two larger birds looked at Vauhn’s dead body, before looking up to the students that surrounded them. They were fresh meat, and unspoiled.

The two brutish fowls fixed their stare upon Liz, Logan, Teah and Roland, moving forward slowly. One of the fowls leapt across to the other side of the corridor, in an attempt to outflank the small group of students. Who were all backing up slowly, being careful not to make any sudden movements.

Suddenly Kayla shouted “Hey, come and get me! Come and get me!”

The Fowls snapped round instantly, their attention drawn to the rapid movements of Kayla’s arms, as she waved them about in an exaggerated manner. The Jungle-fowls altered their direction and began moving towards Kayla, who was still stood at the window.

“Get the lift down! Get out! Go!” She cried, panicking frantically as the grey birds crept ever closer, their beady eyes fixated on a new prey.

“Kayla! No don’t do this!”

“Go!” Kayla shrieked, forcing a couple of tears to roll out from her watering eyes.

But then something unexpected and unexplainable happened. The two advancing jungle-fowls stopped in their tracks. Kayla watched in bemusement as all three of the grey birds, including the one poised over Vauhn’s body, began to jerk their heads in an odd chaotic fashion. Letting out an array of bellowing howls and squawking in a hellish fashion. Within moments, they had all quickly dashed through the open door and scuttled away into Roland’s lab.

Liz and Logan looked upon the scene, stunned. Kayla looked over at them, sharing the same look of confusion. As she glanced at them, she noticed a very subtle movement of Roland’s arm, seemingly slipping something, small and black, from hand into his lab coat pocket.

“The door!” Liz shouted out loudly.

Kayla was brought back into focus and heavily slammed the door to the lab shut. She clung to the glossy metallic door handle, panting out heavy sighs now that the ordeal was over and they were safe… For now.

Kayla looked down at her shoes, as a pool of red slowly spread across the floor. She dared not look at Vauhn, not in that state. She thrust a hand out towards Teah and Roland. “Coat.” She demanded quietly, still facing the white door.

Teah looked to Roland, confused and anxious. Her arms hanging awkwardly limp by her sides.

“Coat!” Kayla yelled viciously, turning her head this time revealing a fierce expression. Teah jumped slightly, before hastily removing her lab coat. She offer it to Kayla who snatched it angrily from her hands.

She spread the white lab coat across, what was left of, Vauhn’s body. Covering him in a white, makeshift, shroud. A thick sadness bubble up within, hanging heavily deep within her chest like fresh wet tar. Kayla closed both eyes softly and tapped her head, shoulders and chest in succession whilst uttering a silent prayer.

Roland pressed the small lift button once again and it’s door spread open.

Logan made his way over to Kayla who stood quietly, staring at Vauhn’s shrouded body. She turned as Logan brought his arm around her. No words were needed, the silence spoke for everyone.

One by one, they made their way into lift. Kayla took one last look at Vauhn, the white lab coat that lay upon him was slowing turning a deep red. She closed her eyes before moving into the small lift, then pressed the button for the ground floor. The two lift doors drew to a close.

The gentle hum returned as the lift made it’s way down to the ground floor. They watched the number on the control panel change as they descended. A computerised female voice came from a small speaker situated above the lifts control panel, “Ground Floor.”

“Before we exit this lift, can I just ask, Why did the birds flee..?” Lizelle asked, “Kayla didn’t really do much in the way of scaring them.”

Kayla narrowed her eyes into a glare which she subtly aimed at Roland, who stood beside her in the lift. Remembering the small black item that Roland had slipped into his pocket moments after the jungle-fowls had fled.

Roland replied “They must have been called by another Fowl. We’re lucky we all got out of that mess.”

Kayla grit her teeth in frustration. I don’t know what you’re hiding, but I’m going to find out.

She didn’t have the time to say anything however, as the lift doors opened before she had chance. Each of them cowered slightly, in fear of sudden attack. To their relief the doors revealed an empty corridor. Logan stepped out first, glancing to his left, then right, as he made his way into the corridor. On their right stood the bottom of the stairwell, that ran parallel with the lift shaft up the side of the building. To their left ran the rest of corridor, littered with doors, which fed into different meeting rooms and study areas. At the end of the corridor stood a large window.

“It’s clear.” Logan said, turning to face the 4 that remained huddled away within the confines of the lift. Cautiously they made their way out and joined Logan in the corridor. Liz took off her spectacles, breathing on the lenses to fog them up, before wiping them on her t-shirt. She stopped after one lens, as faint scuttling could be heard coming from their right. Liz turned, wide eyed, and stared at the base of the spiral stairway. Not only was the sound increasing, but a set of spine shaking shrieks echoed down the stairwell and throughout the four walls of the narrow corridor.

Lizelle’s heart began to thumb furiously within her chest. “They’re coming… They’re coming!”

They all turned on their heels and ran. Racing their way down the corridor, distancing themselves from the mouth of the stairway and the oncoming danger. 4 of the 5 made a sharp right turn down another corridor, however Logan noticed something just beyond the far window.

“Wait! This way!” He yelled to the others, who all came to an uneasy hault. “There’s people from the fire service on the other side of that window!” Logan pointed with an outstretched hand. “Come on!”

He ran to the glass pane, unwilling to wait for the rest of them to make a decision. However they all followed shortly after him in pursuit.

When Teah, Roland, Kayla and Lizelle reached the large window, a service woman had already been made aware of their presence. The soul shaking shrills increased, echoing within the corridor.

“Open the top latch of the window, We’ll get you out. Stay calm.” The service woman said in a relaxed manner.

Teah and Kayla were at the back of the group, keeping an ever watchful eye upon the stairwell. At the same time, Logan opened the top latch of the window providing a small space which they could all squeeze through to safety, a cool breeze poured in. Lizelle was the first to climb through, the service woman, who stood on the other side of the clear window, took hold of both her arms, pulling her out of the building and onto the soft green grass that lay outside. The fresh midday air filled her lungs, purifying her senses of the thick stench of dried blood that clung to her clothes.

“Hurry… Hurry…” Kayla whispered to herself under her breath, blood pumping ever more furiously as the threat drew closer, still out of sight but definitely not out of mind.

Logan was next and, like Liz, he was quickly pulled through the small opening and brought into the safe, outside world. He was escorted off along with Lizelle to a team of paramedics who were situated in the buildings car park.

“Who’s next?” The service woman asked, but as she did a set of Jungle-Fowls materialised from the stairwell. Instantly they dashed full force down the corridor, blood curling screams bellowed from their throats.

“Shut the window! Shut it!” Kayla cried out, leaping backwards to slam the small opening. Barging Roland out of her way as she did so. The second that the window was shut, the fowls were upon them.

Kayla just managed to ducked out of the way of a bird that swooped down, dodging a pair of blade like talons. The Jungle-fowl collided heavily into the large window pane, the service woman that was out on the other side flinched as a large crack raced across the glass.

Teah, Roland and Kayla did their best to weave their way through the volley of lethal attacks that the fowls threw at them. Roland and Kayla managed to scrap their way through with only a handful of lashes on their arms and legs. Teah was not so fortunate, as she succumb to a set of slashing claws.

Roland and Kayla sped off regardless, not able to spare a second of compassion or sadness, else they too would be subject to the vicious claws of the Jungle-fowls. They bolted into the corridor they had initially tried to flee down before, which was now situated on their left. 2 fowls writhed their way round the tight turn, to find the corridor empty.

In the split second that they had been out of sight of the birds, Roland had managed to find refuge within a small supply cupboard, and had dragged Kayla harshly in with him. The small room barely had enough space to contain the two of them, it was littered with brooms, mops and buckets, cleaning fluids and other miscellaneous items.

The two tried to keep steady and remain on their feet in the tiny, dark cupboard. Grabbing hold onto one another and propping their hands against the walls, trying their best to avoid any items that may be hanging freely, in an effort to keep noise to a minimum.

They remained in complete silence within the cupboard and the two listened for sounds beyond the door. The corridor seemed to be as still as they were.

‘At least it was quick,’ Kayla thought to herself, ‘Rest in peace Teah.’

Kayla’s attention turned to the man who stood close to her in the darkness. The grip she had on him tightened and she pulled herself closer to him angrily. “I know you’ve got something. Tell me what it is!” She said in a harsh, hush voice.

Kayla jumped slightly as Roland clasped his hand heavily over her mouth. Muffling her cries of disapproval.

“Be quiet!” Roland hissed, he shook Kayla’s head slightly as he tightened his grip. Her muffling stopped, and in the moment of silence she could hear faint noises coming from the corridor. The quiet clattering of claws, pacing slowly up and down the hallway, sent a chill into Kayla’s bones. Her blood cooled as the footsteps trailed off and the bliss safe sound of silence set in once more.

She pulled Roland’s hand from her mouth and lent in again. “I don’t know what game you’re playing. But I’m onto you.”

Just as Kayla had finished talking, a phone began vibrating. She looked down to see Roland’s white lab coat pocket light up.

Roland withdrew the small device, the soft white light it emitted highlighted their faces softly within the darkness. The phone screen read “Teah Nicole.”

“She’s alive?” Kayla whispered lowly.

Roland didn’t reply, he brought the phone up to his ear and answered the call in a hush tone.

“Okay, Okay. We’re in the supply cupboard a few door down from you. Okay, Alright.”

With that Roland ended the short call and slipped the small mobile back into his deep lab coat pockets. “She’s in one of the classrooms near us. Two doors down. She managed to slip in unnoticed and killed the chicken that attacked her.” Roland told Kayla, “She said the corridor is clear at this moment, so now is our chance to move. Go.”

Kayla carefully edged the door to the cupboard open. A thin strip of light seeped through and stretched across her face. The band of light increased as Kayla continued to push the door open.

The two of them crept out into the hall way, and closed the cupboard behind them. The door clicked as it shut and their eyes snapped around the corridor wildly. Searching for any sign of danger.

Roland pointed with his finger to one of the classrooms and mouth the silently, “This one.” They edged their way over and wormed into the classroom, remaining as quiet as possible. Sure enough, Teah was sitting inside, blood stains covering her blue t-shirt. A headless chicken slumped on the floor beside her.
Teah flinched as they entered the room. “Oh, you scared me.” She yelped, before getting up to greet them, wiping her trembling, bloodied hands on her black trousers.

“How did you escape!?” Kayla exclaimed, still trying her best to remain as quiet as possible.

“I just got lucky I guess.” Teah replied, as she plunged her shaky hands into her jean pockets.

“You alright? You look shook up.”

“I’ll be fine.”

Roland looked at Teah and gave a simple nod of the head. She returned the gesture with a weak smile.

“We’re nearly out of here, The reception isn’t far from this classroom!” Kayla said, opening the door slightly to peer in the hallway. She turned back round to the other two, bringing the door to a close once again.

“No point hanging around. Let’s get this over with.” Roland replied dully, ushering Teah towards the door. “Lead the way Kayla.”

Kayla couldn’t help the glare that set across her face. However the expression melted away as Teah approached her, the poor girl’s eyes drooped and her hand were still visibly shaking within her pockets, despite her efforts to hide them.

“We’re nearly out of here.” She said to her reassuringly. “We’re nearly out. You’ll be home before you know it.”

Teah nodded her head limping, her eyes still staring at the floor. “Go.”

Kayla pushed the door open, and peered round to inspect the hallway, which still remained empty. “Follow me.” She mouthed silently, as she slipped out of the classroom. They were swift, yet silent and weaved their way to the double doors that lead into the main reception.

Kayla hesitates as she approached the two doors. She took a short breath before flinging them open. They walked slowly into the reception room. Before them sat an arrangement of tables and chairs, beyond that was the large curved reception desk and standing to it’s left, stood the two clear glass doors. Their bid for freedom.

Teah, Kayla and Roland walked across the quiet reception area, the room was unnervingly still. Kayla shifted her gaze constantly, looking for any slight hint of movement.

Teah didn’t share the same alertness or self control, and found herself sprinting towards the double glass doors.

“Teah wait!” Kayla exclaimed.

Just as Teah flung a door open, 3 fowls leapt from behind the large reception desk, letting out a loud terrifying screeched as they did so, landing between them and splitting the group in half. Isolating Kayla and Roland from reaching Teah or the door.

“Clever girls…” Roland said to himself quietly.

They all froze in place, being careful not to make any sudden movements. The 3 birds eyed up the prey that stood before them, they too were being mindful of their movements, waiting for the perfect time to strike.

Over by the door, Teah stood as still as she could. Trying her best to stop the shakes that ran through her body. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a group of service personnel standing at the bottom of the grassy bank, that led up to the reception doors. It wasn’t long before they themselves became aware of Teah, and started to shuffle up the parkway towards her.

As they approached she subtly stuck out her hand up and gave a slight shake of the head. Signalling them to stop their approach. The service group caught wind of her signals, and crouched down, remaining several meters away from the reception entrance.

Teah shifted her gaze to the room once more, only her eyes moved as her head remained perfectly still.

The three birds began to shift their attention from Roland and Kayla, who stood on one side of them, and Teah, who was planted on the other.

One by one the Jungle-fowls all turned to face Teah, sensing her fear through her shaking body and the beat of sweat ran from Teah’s brow.

“Oi! Chickens, come get some!” Kayla shouted, waving her arms about in a frantic fashion. She began to back up slowly. Roland looked at her in bewilderment, then across to Teah, as he was slowly pushed backwards by Kayla.

“Teah, get out! Go! We’ll distract them. Close the door!”

The moment that Kayla had finished her sentence, Roland brought his fist down heavily onto the back of her head. She collapsed in a heap on the floor, a painful throb pulsated within her skull. She looked upwards at Roland who towered above her, he slid a hand into his flowing, lab coat pocket, withdrawing a small black object.

The 3 Jungle-fowls that stood poised a short distance away from them cowered in fear, as they laid their eyes upon the small item, taking a few cautious backward steps. Roland drew a deep breath, readying himself to blow into the small device.

Just as Roland brought his lips to the whistle, Kayla threw a firm kick into the side of his knee. Roland cried out in pain as his leg buckled, he fell to his knees, dropping the small whistle in the process.

As Roland hit the floor, Kayla cried out “Teah! Go! Close the door, please!”

Teah hesitated at the door for a split second, however in her state of anxiousness and fear that fraction of a second felt like a full drawn out minute. The scene before her was still like a painting  as her mind screamed a hundred thoughts at once. Then suddenly it came to silence.

Teah flung herself out of door, but left it open behind her.

Kayla’s heart dropped, as did her jaw as she watched helplessly, heaped on the floor. Roland lunged forward and swept up the whistle in one swift motion, before Kayla had even the slightest chance to react.

With the whistle firmly in hand, he brought to the device to his lips, his cheeks ballooned as he blew into the small black rectangle. No noise could be heard by human ears, but the 3 Jungle-fowls that stood before them hissed loudly in irritation, turned on their heels and fled. Running straight out of the open door and into the vast expansive world.

Kayla lay frozen in place on the floor, staring at the open door. A cold numbness ran throughout her body, as her heart thumped slow, heavy beats. “What have you done…?” Kayla whispered weakly.

“I’ll tell you what we’ve done, we’ve created a new world Kayla.” Roland replied, standing tall above her. His dark wild eyes were set upon open entrance to the reception.

Kayla clambered up onto her unsteady feet, the pain in the back of her head was starting to slowly subside.

“The United Kingdom will now have it’s first true predator. These birds are now the Apex of this island.” Roland said calmly, his long black hair lapped about his face gently as a chilled breeze rolled in through the open door.

“You’re fucking crazy. I expected something like this off you, but not Teah.” Kayla replied as she shook her weary head.

“That is surprising, I suppose it details how dense you are. You met her in the computer lab on the 3rd floor didn’t you?”

Kayla cocked her head slightly in bemusement.

“Don’t you find that a little odd? Considering our lab in on the 2nd floor? You bumped into her shortly after she released the little beauties from their cages up on the 4th. Idiot.” Roland scoffed, as he began to walk to the reception exit.

Kayla stood in place, her arms limping hanging by her sides as she watched Roland slowly walk away from her. Thoughts of Jason, Carole and Vauhn raced through her mind, flashes of their fear and of their deaths burnt brightly.

“Why? Why do this?”

Roland stopped in his tracks and turned back round to face her. “The ideas of great minds are comprehensible to the minds of lesser people, like you and your friends. For so long this country has been docile and weak, nothing challenged the humans that resided upon it except themselves. But Teah and I have added a new player to the game. The whole eco-system is going to be shaken up. Humans aren’t going to be the number one predator here for very long.” Roland rubbed his hands together in delight, a twisted demented smiled swirled across his face. He threw out his hands widely, his crystal white lab coat bellowed calmly in the breeze, and announced proudly “We’re playing god Kayla and we’re holding all the cards!”

Then suddenly his eyes widened in shock. Kayla flinched and stood a cautious step backward.

A small set of white razor sharp fangs materialised above Roland’s shoulder, in a flash the teeth sank into the soft flesh of his neck. In one swift jerk, his jugular was torn straight out. A stream of red dashed upward, showering the ceiling in hot blood. He sank to his knees, wobbled slightly before falling flat on his face. Blood poured out of his neck into a pool on the floor.

Kayla stood a step back as the wash of red spread across the floor, almost enveloping her shoes. She snapped her gaze upwards after jumping backwards, and saw a grey Jungle fowl staring at her. A large vein clasped between it’s teeth. It’s black beady eyes shifted from Kayla to the door, and moments later it was gone.

Kayla stood alone in the reception room in almost complete silence. The soft sound of the outdoor breeze beckoned to her. She walked calmly towards the reception doors, warm sunlight poured across her face. She filled her lungs with fresh air. It’s over… She thought to herself, It’s finally over.

 

The small island of the United Kingdom was never quite the same. The set of Jungle-fowls that escaped from the building quickly bred with the general domestic chicken population. All across the land rural farmers were waking up to find their livestock slaughtered in the fields and each of them was to suffer a similar fate.

Quiet walks in the woods no longer brought the same relaxing feeling they once did, instead a feeling of dread, fear and anxiety brewed within. Fearful of the eyes that may be watching and dreading the fate they brought with them.

Teah was arrested swiftly after the initial incident, on multiple man slaughter charges and all the victims of her honorific crimes finally found peace as their family put them to rest, 6 feet under the ground. Safe from all of the horrors that now prowled the surface of the new, dread filled world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A World Within

A row of LED’s flashed gently and a faint hum could be heard coming from the technical equipment around them, but apart from that the room was silent. Agata squeezed a small silver pouch that she held in both of her hands. She brought the small packet up to her mouth and sipped at the flavoured water contained within it. A blob of droplets joined together and slipped from the small packet and past her mouth.
“God dammit!” she grumbled as she floated gently upwards to catch the water, which was moving away from her towards the ceiling. “I’ll never get used to drinking in zero gravity Fraser. Never. I can repair a spacecraft, I can pilot one and I can even land the damn thing. But I can’t get to grips with this stuff! Erugh!”
“There is a certain knack to it. You’ve either got it, or you ain’t” Fraser replied mockingly with a smirk. He tossed a walnut into the air and glided towards it before chomping down on small piece of food, with little effort.
Agata frowned. “Show off.” she mumbled. “Soon we’ll be back on earth and once again be subject to gravity and it’s full beautiful effects. So we can drink and eat like civilised people.”
Fraser chuckled heartily “You don’t half make me laugh sometimes. How long do you think it’ll be before we reach earth exactly.”
“Just under 24 hours I reckon. As soon as we get to Jupiter we can use its gravitational pull as a sling shot and be back home in no time.” She replied with a smile.

In less than a moment, her smile had vanished from her face. An alarm rang out around the cabin, and a control room was washed in a deep red light. Agata instantly swung herself towards her piloting console and clambered into a seat. Instantly she began hammering at the buttons, she turned her head and yelled at Fraser who was still floating blissfully in the middle of the cockpit.
“We’ve got company! An unknown ship is coming straight for us from the stern! Get strapped in!” Agata held in a button on her command console and called the ships last crew member. “Gaio. We’re under attack! Get up here now!” A faint female voice replied instantly through the small speaker. “I’m on my way commander!”
“They’ve locked onto us! Incoming fire!” Fraser reported urgently.
“Where the hell did they come from!?” Gaio voice called out anxiously, as she swung into the room with the others. She too glided her way to last piloting seat in the control room.
“It doesn’t matter now, Make sure you’re all strapped in, I’m taking evasive maneuvers.”
Agata tugged harshly at the straps that kept her tightly secured to her pilots seat. Ensuring she was locked in properly and didn’t end up floating off in spaces zero gravity. She lunged forward for the manual controls, and pulled them hard to her right. The craft veered violently starboard.
The three of them sunk harshly into their binds as the heavy hull of ship swung to one side. Agata groaned slightly in discomfort as the straps dug into her skin, yet remaining completely focused on the controls and the situation at hand.
All of a sudden the craft shook tremendously, as one of the attacking spacecrafts weapons found its target, narrowly hitting the stern of the ship.
Agata yelled out to her crew mate “Fraser! We need a visual on that ship ASAP!”
“I’m working on it, there’s magnetic interferences messing up some of the scanners.” He replied as he desperately punched at multiple keys that lay before him, in hope that the distorted visuals displayed some form of coherent picture.
“That would be because we’re fast approaching Jupiter.” Agata replied sternly “Gaio! Can’t you counter act it?”
Gaio was frantically working as fast as she physically could in the low gravity environment. Throwing out her lightly muscled limbs towards different dials and buttons that littered her own control console.
“Give me a moment!” Gaio shouted in reply. “I’m going as fast as I can!” She fiddled with the controls and slowly turned a dial, increasing their own spacecrafts artificial electromagnetic field. “Try now, the two fields should have cancelled each other out by some measure.”
The chaotic static that ran ablaze on Frasers screen suddenly seized and a clear picture appeared in it’s place. “We’ve back online!” Fraser announced in excitement. “I’ve got a visual the attacking ship. …It’s an Amodeian Rebel vessel.”
“Disgusting Pirates. They must of heard of our cargo!”
“They’re preparing to fire again!”
Agata took evasive action once more. Causing the sleek craft to swerve downwards, creeping ever closer to the mighty gas giant that lay to their starboard side. “Make sure you keep most of the interference at bay. I’m going to stay as close as I can to the planet.” Agata called out.
“Make sure you’re careful! If we get swept up by Jupiter’s raging gas storms we’re finished!” Gaio replied in dismay. Whilst still working vigorously with the controls in front of her. “We’ll be torn to pieces by the pressure. There’s a reason humans used to use this planet as a form of garbage disposal!”
“Don’t you think I know that Gaio!” Agata growled.
Another strike collided heavily with the hull of the spacecraft, and a loud noise rang out as some of the re-enforced metal buckled under the blast.
“These guy’s aren’t giving up!”
“They’re fast approaching our Port side!” Fraser exclaimed as he continued to monitor the scene taking place outside in deep space. The large Amodeian vessel was baring down on them, Two of its propulsion engines turned slightly and spewed high pressured gas out into space. Causing it to swerve sidewards swiftly towards Agata’s craft. Moving in for the kill.
It was an terrifying spectacle to behold. A variety of modified weapons adorned the hull of the large ship. Jet black solar panels covered most of the exterior and a bright red metallic trim ran between them, giving the war machine a venomous appearance. Additionally two sharp blood red fins stood atop of the two propulsion engines at the back of the ship. Black and red, the typical colours of the Amodeian rebel faction.
Agata’s spacecraft sped onwards through the empty vacuum, staying parallel to the giant gas planet Jupiter. The dark Amodeian vessel was in quick pursuit, carefully aiming it’s many weapons towards the defenceless cruiser.
“How we looking Fraser…?” Agata asked calmly.
“We’re doing okay.” He replied. “We’re dealing with Jupiter’s pressure and magnetic field well. But the damaged we’ve sustained has weakened the structure of the ship slightly”
“That’s good to hear. This ship was designed to withstand intense pressures. Hopefully we can hold out.” Agata flicked some switches at to the left of her manual flight controls. “Plus, with any luck we can use the planets gravity to-” She was cut off suddenly by Fraser frantically shouting.
“Pull up! Pull up! They’ve dived beneath us and they’re locking on their weapons again!”
The captain leaned back hard in her chair, pulling on down on the controls as she it. The craft shot upwards from the pursuing Amodeian ship that had sneaked below them.
“They’re trying to force us into Jupiter’s halo ring.”
Agata was silent for a second as she thought about the options that lay open to them. “We can’t fly directly into the ring above us. We’ll be caught up in the debris. Then most likely be shot by a flash blast.”
“But a flash blast will only stun the ship, not destroy it…” Gaio said, confused by Agata’s prediction.
“They’re not trying to destroy us, if they were they would have done it by now. They’re trying to seize our cargo and as you both know we can’t let it fall into enemy hands. Especially not the Amodeians….” Agata thought to herself for a moment “I say we dive directly into Jupiter.”
Agata’s rash comment was met with an uneasy silence, as the two other crew tried to process the notion that she had just suggested.
“But that’s certain death…” Gaio murmured quietly, looking down blanking at her console.
“Not necessarily, this ship can withstand intense pressures. If we dive in for just a moment, we will be completely hidden from sight. We can also ride the storm, even if it’s only for a moment, we’ll end up well out of view of that ship, plus there is no way that they will follow us in there. The Amodeian’s ships are brilliant, but they’re fragile. They’ll crumble if they get any closer to the planet.” She took a slow breath before finishing “and even if we are destroyed… at least our shipment won’t fall into their hands.”
The crew took a brief moment to reflect on what had been said, before the ship shook heavily once again.
“We haven’t got time to think about it this!” Agata cried out urgently.
“Do it!” Gaio cried out.
Agata pulled hard on the controls a final time and directed the craft straight into the gaseous storms of Jupiter. In an instant, they were completely engulfed and vanished beneath the thick raging winds.
The ship span out of control as Jupiter’s furious tempest threw them about violently. The craft itself groaned loudly as the weakened hull began to strain and slowly crumple beneath the intense pressures.
Agata tried her best to reach the manual controls again, but the sheer G forces being exerted upon all of them made that an impossible task. Nether the less, she shouted out as loud as she possibly could to her crew, trying to ensure she was heard above the tremendous noise of the horrific storm outside. “Hold on guys! We’re going to get out of this! Were goin-” She was jolted forward viciously as the craft stuck with even more violent unforgiving turbulence and jolted in an unsuspecting manner. Her head collided head against the glass computer monitors in front of her and smashed one of the screen. Agata then lost all consciousness. The Gaio and Fraser quickly followed, one by one they turned white, as the G-forces dragged all the blood in their bodies from their heads. They lay their motionless, as the small craft vanished further into the eternal red, brown and orange storms of Jupiter.

She drew a sharp but deep breath and slowly lifted her sore head off of the broken monitor. Whilst bringing her hand up to her forehead, dabbing gently. Fresh warm blood trickled down her delicate fingers.
After several slower breaths she noticed something extremely peculiar and somewhat alien to her. “…Gravity” She whispered to herself in amazement. It had be a long while since she had felt the weight of her arms and body. She froze for a moment in awe, before reaching for the latch of her seat restraints. Once the three straps had been removed she stood up on both feet.
It had been so long since she had felt the amazing universal force. Agata began lifting her arms up and down, fully appreciating the feeling of weight on her body. Finally finishing up with a jump. God it feels good not floating. She thought to herself, but after the astonishment had settled a troubling question rested in forefront of her mind… How can there be gravity… Where are we..?
She immediately observed the rest of the room, and found that only Gaio still remained seated… Fraser was no where to be seen. She sprinted across to Gaio who was still unconscious. Agata lay both hands upon her and shook gently.
“Gaio.. Pssst… Gaio Wake up…” After placing two fingers on the unconscious woman’s neck, Agata quickly found that by some miracle that she was also still alive! Then, an unsettling creaking noise came from behind them.
Agata jumped round in an instant, grabbing the nearest hard metal object that she could find, that happened to be a piece of debris from the hull. Her heart began pounding as she heard heavy footsteps approaching towards the main door that led from the cockpit to the rest of the craft. The footsteps stopped just before reaching the entrance to the cabin. A muffled voice called out “Agata…? Are you awake?”
The makeshift weapon was still poised steadily in Agatas firm hands, she slowly replied back “Fraser…?”
The man slowly walked in, clad head to toe in a bulky protective suit. “You’re going to need to get yours on as well, I’ve managed to get a few readings and the pressure out side of the craft is extremely high compared to the pressure within here. We also sustained significant damaged from the attack and crash landing… so this craft isn’t going to hold out for much longer. Hurry!” Frazer said urgently. “I’ll stay and try to get Gaio awake.”
In a instance, Agata had belted out of the doorway and down the long corridor. Which was of a typical circular design with a small flat floor section cut into the bottom, so crew could still to be able to walk down it whilst on planets with gravity.
She reached the third door down and darted left. Inside stood two suits. Both were bulky, but designed to provide basic protection whilst exploring different planets. They were completely air tight, provided a stable supply of oxygen and pressure resistance.
Agata clambered inside one of the metallic and plastic, blue exo-suits. Both feet automatically strapped in and the rest of the suit began to shrink down. Parts of it folded and morphed as it minimised itself to fit Agatas body more comfortably. The final part of the protective suit flung over her head. A large solid reinforced glass dome quickly drew from the back of the suit and connected into a narrow rim at the front, protecting Agatas head within a large clear sphere. She inhaled deeply as the oxygen supply kicked in, the crisp clean air raced through her lungs as she inhaled deeply. Agata relished the moment.
The hull of the craft began grunting once again. She looked upwards and saw some of the metal work above her started to morph more out of shape. “Oh no…”
Once more she sprinted back down the narrow corridor as fast as she possibly could, even though the heavy suit bore down on her. Agata burst back into the cockpit to find Fraser, who was still desperately trying to awaken their fellow team mate, Gaio.
“Wake up! You need to get a suit! Gaio!” Fraser shook her limp body vigorously. She murmured softly.
“Quick Fraser get her to a suit! The Ship’s about to collapse!”
“Gaio! Please!”
The hull finally gave way and all hell broke loose. The dense pressure from the outside of the craft suddenly rushed into the low pressured compartment. In a single instant Gaio was crushed to death beneath the sudden force, she exploded into a sickeningly vibrant display of deep red. A splatter of crimson raced across Frazers dome visor.
Both himself and Agata were thrown backwards and collided heavily with the tall metal wall on the opposite side of the room.
The two of them grunted as they struggled to wrestled with the intense forces that were baring down upon them.
“It should subside in a minute Fraser! When the pressure in here, is the same as the pressure on the outside!” Agata grunted loudly, making sure that she could be heard above the infernal commotion of objects colliding with one another and items being crushed.
Before too long the racket slowly subsided as the pressure within the craft reached an equilibrium and the force that had pinned Agata and Fraser down began to ease off.
Agata got back onto both feet. Using every inch of weakened muscle , for despite the pressure settling down it didn’t make it any less dense and she quickly found that moving about in the new environment was like wading through an invisible lead soup.
She offered an outstretched hand to Fraser, and pulled him upright. Fraser thanked her quietly, his voice muffled by the suit. Although the words fell on dead ears. Agatas attention was brought to the streak of blood that ran across Frasers visor.
She turned round to face the rest of the room, which had become unrecognisable. Everything had been twisted, upturned and distorted into strange angles. With great sorrow she knew that somewhere within the chaos before her was one of her crew, and one of her friends… The only remnants of which was the odd piece of flesh and the red stain that painted the abstract scene.
Fraser whispered quietly behind her “Gaio…” With both eyes closed he said a faint pray for their friend.
Agata watched on somberly and gently nodded her head when he had finished the small tribute. “Right.” Fraser said determinedly “Let’s find out what the hell is going.”
Agata turned round once more and inspected the dented hull that stretched up above her. She noticed a crack in the steel work and, with an outstretched hand, began to pull hard on the broken piece of brittle metal.
Her Exo-suit provided her with a bit of extra mechanical strength and within moments she had torn a gap just about wide enough for them both to squeeze through. Agata proceeded to go first, continuing to bend the sheet as she stepped out into the unknown world that they had somehow landed upon.

Copper coloured sand littered the ground and stretched out as far as the eye could see . Strangely shaped jagged rocks protruded from the auburn desert in bizarre angles and the entire environment was brightly lit with a crisp light, which reflected off of the stony landscape in a blinding manner.
Agata squinted her eyes trying to find the source of the light, to only make a more harrowing discovering.
“What the hell…” Fraser said in astonishment as he too stepped out onto the dusty alien world. “Where is this place?”
“Look up.” Agata replied, her view fixated towards the heavens.
With a look of bemusement Fraser turned his attention upwards. High above them was what appeared to be a solid layer of stormy clouds that made up the entire atmosphere. Vibrant stripes of red, brown and purple raced across the sky and ran all the way down to the horizon. The multi-coloured celestial sphere above them was visibly moving, albeit not very quickly. Each of the stripes were gently flowing and fluctuating next to one another.
“But… But that…” Fraser stammered, unable to get the words out as he stumbled slightly in amazement.
Agata turned her head to look back across as her friend who remained stunned in silence. “I know. Fraser. I think we’re inside Jupiter.”
The thought was incomprehensible, yet Agata couldn’t fathom how they could be anywhere else.
“But how!?” Fraser exclaimed in dismay. “Jupiter doesn’t have a surface!? It’s a made entirely of gas! It’s a gas giant for crying out loud! M-Made of gas! How can this be!?”
Agata thought to herself for a moment, before looking back up at the raging gaseous storms that sat high above them. Agata then replied “I don’t know for sure. But the best guess I have is that this place we’re on now is in the centre of a giant storm. Similar to how an eye of the storm is calm, except this storm is on an colossus scale.”
“It’s unbelievable…” Fraser said to himself quietly. The two stood silently and watched the incredible Jupitan sky above them.
“Come on then” Agata snapped suddenly. “Let’s go and explore!”
Fraser looked at her dumbfounded, “Shouldn’t we work on finding a way off this place first, before sight seeing?” he suggested in a sarcastic tone.
“We haven’t got a hope in hell of getting out of here.” Agata noted bluntly. “We haven’t even got a spacecraft that’s in one piece and even if we did, We were nearly torn completely apart on the way in. There would be little chance of us piercing through the storms that surround us a second time and survive.”
A glum look came over Fraser face as he came to terms with the reality of the situation.
“But this planet has surprised us. We didn’t think that ‘this’ was possible.” Agata spread out her arms to encompass the terrain around them. “So who knows. We don’t know what we might find on this planet. Come on.” After finishing her sentence Agata began to put one foot in front of the other. Fraser followed and they slowly started their journey.
The two of them proceeded to investigate the bizarre landscape that they found themselves in. The heavy suits and dense air pressure made navigating troublesome. Not to mention that the prolonged weightlessness that they had be subjected to navigating deep space had severely weakened their muscles. Which caused the struggle to be ever more greater.
The large metallic feet of the exo-suits sank in a layer of soft undisturbed sand with every step. Agata gazed up at the giant rocks that extended out from the ground. The harsh and unforgiving Jupitan winds had slowly sculpted the abstract shapes over seemingly thousands of years. There was a light haze around them as the slowly increasing winds swept up the coarse sand into the air. Yet they were still able to see, way above them, the ever present Jupitan sky. The thick mighty gaseous storms that imprisoned the planet and blocked out the rich universe beyond.
However one thing still puzzled Agata. Light was always present on Jupiter, yet there appeared to be no visible light source. The suns rays wouldn’t be able to pierce the outer layer of gas, so how they were both able to still see was a mystery. I’m going to be dead soon anyway. She thought to herself. No point in stressing over it.
Two hours had passed and both Agata and Fraser began to tire, Agata more so. Despite how much time had passed, there seemed to be no difference in the level of light. The winds began picking up and a brooding sandstorm grew more relentless. Fraser looked up at the horizon and saw a strange faint hazy outline. “Agata. Look!” Fraser raised his arm out towards the odd distance object. “That doesn’t look like the rest of the stone pillars around here!”
Agata gazed over at the unfocused outline. “Let’s go check it out!” she shouted, ensuring that Fraser was able to hear her over the now intense winds that raced hissed past them. Fighting strong against the increasing storm, the two of them slugged onwards. Working their way up a steady sanding incline that led to the elusive object.
As they approached the strange rock, the two of them began to inspect it. The structure towered above them and Agata ran gauntlets of the Exo-suit along the large wall of stone. then to her surprise she found an opening. “It’s some sort of cave!” She cried “Let’s can take shelter inside till this ghastly storm dies off.”

Light was particularly absence inside the cave and Agata stumbled in blindly, with Fraser following close behind her. A bright ray of a light beamed from the chest piece of their exo-suits as they examined their new surroundings. They were stood in a large open space, surrounded by tall walls of stone that extended a meter or so above them. Agata turned to investigate the other side of the peculiar room. To find a square gap ,that reached up from the floor, in the centre of the wall opposing her.
She called out to Fraser “Look at that…”
Fraser span round to look upon the wall as well.
“I think this place was built…” Agata said slowly as she stepped closer nervously. “This cave is too square to occur naturally and this opening here, it looks like it’s carved out of the rock… ”
As she passed through the opening she was met with another large room. After a brief glimpse over the new area, something caught her eye. Agata turned to her left and shone the light from her chest piece up onto the wall in front of her.
A plethora of pictures spanned the wall. Bizarre, abstracted shapes protruded softly out of the wall. Non-humanoid figures danced across the stone. Each depictions had been chiseled out of the rock and stood slightly embossed. Agata stood back, shocked by the discovery, to try and see the entire length of the image before her.
Fraser eventually made his way into the same room and noticed the pictures as well. “Jesus. What do you think they are?”
Agata shook her head gently. “I couldn’t begin to tell you. But I think this place was built by a race of Jupitans… ”
“If that’s the case… Where are they all?” Fraser questioned softly. He stepped forward and a loud crack echoed round the still room. The sudden noise startled them both.
“What was that!?” Agata exclaimed as she span round quickly, nearly falling over as she did so.
“I think I stepped on something…” Fraser knelt down and brushed away some of the sand that blanketed the floor. When he stood back up again, he held a piece of broken bone in his left hand.
A cold shiver ran down Agatas spine. She watched as Fraser dropped the unknown bone fragment. The two of them scurried out of the primitive building as fast as they could. When they stumbled back outside they found that the storm had died down. The air was clear once again, just as it had been when they first stepped out into the vast desert, and now a new spectacle caught their eye.
“Oh my goodness.” Agata exclaimed. “There’s loads of them.” More of the simplistic stone buildings surrounded them and in the ever visible crisp Jupitan light, it was easy to see that the structures were not a product of nature.
However just off set, about a mile or so into the distance, stood a marvelous structure unlike the stone huts that lay scattered about the desert. It bore much resemblance to a cathedral found on earth. However the connection was purely a coincidental one. Two grand columns stood tall, made out of a light yellow brick. Several long spikes adorned the top of both columns. Between them lay what appeared to be an entrance to the mysterious building.
“Who knew this planet held so many unimaginable wonders.” Agata whispered quietly to herself. “It’s a shame that no one else will ever know that all this stuff is here…”
“We’ve got several hours of oxygen left.” Fraser said reassuringly, as he breathed heavily. Exhausted from the days trek. “We’ve probably got enough time to check that out before we…” His sentence trailed off.
Agata smiled weakly at him through her visor. Appreciative of the fact he was trying to keep their spirits up. They set off in silence, in hopes of reaching the temple that sat in the soft sand far ahead.
The small structures that stood around them seemed to stretch on eternally into the distance and the two great towers ahead only seemed to get closer ever so slightly. The day had been long, the planets gravity was a heavy burden that dragged on them both. But they continued to slug onwards regardless, and after a grooling 40 minute slog, they arrived before the steps that lead deep into the beautiful alien structure that stood before them.

The two of them climbed the stone steps, and made there way into the building. The roof above them had large squares segments carved out, which flooded the room with the mysterious light of Jupiter. Just as they had found in the small house like structure before, large artistic carvings were etched out of the walls around them. However, perhaps the most peculiar feature of all stood at the far end of the oblong room. A small lonely pedestal.
Without saying a word the two explorers approached it. Drawn in by their natural curiosity and as they approached closer they began to notice that something lay upon the rock plinth.
“What the hell is that?” Fraser said in a low tone, as he picked up a small fragment off the platform. He held the jet black object very delicately in his gauntlets, as to ensure he did not damage the frail material. “This looks like the remains of a solar panel” he said, puzzled. He turned his head to see Agata bending down to take a closer look at the pile.
“I know exactly what this is. It’s an old space probe.”
“A space probe?”
“Yeah, mankind threw loads of them out into space back in the early 21st century.”
“How’d you reckon this one ended up here?”
“Do you remember what Gaio said earlier. Before we crashed? Humans used to use Jupiter as a place to dispense of rubbish. More often than not once a probe had fulfilled its purpose they’d fly it into Jupiter thinking the storms would quickly dispose of it. Clearly this fella here got through, just as we did, and the local Jupitians must have found it…” Agata paused. “That still troubles me…. Where are they all?”
Fraser looked across into Agatas crystal blue eyes. “I have no – ” He lost his train of thought as he focused on a picture set on the wall behind Agata.
“What? What is it?” She asked in earnest.
Fraser ran over to the wall and inspected the pictures. “Tell me that ‘that’ doesn’t look like the space probe right here…”
Agata approached the wall and turned her head on its side as she puzzled over the picture. “Now that you mention it… Yeah, It does. I looks like its coming from sky. Like some sort of angel. I suppose these are the local Jupitans…”
The two of them began inspecting all of the small details of the pictures that surrounded them in the temple, they quickly understood that the pictures flowed in a line round the temple walls, and together, they depicted a story. Slowly they came to understand what the pictures were detailing.
The spaceprobe had been driven into Jupiters thick atmosphere and managed to break through the gas barrier. It fell down to the ground like an angel descending from the heavens. The Jupitians found this strange deity and believed it to be a sign from their creator. They had been experiencing poor harvests at the time and many were dying of starvation. The space probe was Gods hand, extending out to them from a world beyond theirs, from the realms of the Gods!
But suddenly more Jupitans unexpectedly started to die. Even more so than before and the spaceprobe was quickly accused of being a ravage demon that had come to inflict its wrath upon them all. They tried to appease the vengeful beast, by building it a temple, by offering it food and riches. But nothing quelled the malicious monster and the entire Jupitan race vanished. Only the demon remained, set alone in his temple.
“An infection…” Agata whispered. “The Probe must have carried bacteria from earth… and infected them all… It was us. We killed them.”
After coming to an understanding of what had happened, Agata glumly left the alien temple. Fraser turned and followed her back outside to the ghostly desert.
“Only an hour of oxygen left.” Agata said as she sunk down onto the ground.
Fraser pressed his lips together and tried to think up a reply, but found he couldn’t and squinted back up at the grand temple instead.
“We’re such a cancerous life form.” Agata grumbled. “No matter where we go, no matter what we do. We always end up killing something. We’re a bloody infection in the galaxy.”
“Agata, Don’t say that. That probe was most likely sent here in order to try avoid infecting undiscovered life. It’s just sods law that; one, Jupiter has actually has a surface within it and; two, that the surface was populated.” Fraser reassured her.
“Doesn’t matter anyway.” She replied. “We’re going to be dead too soon and add to this graveyard.”
“Hey.” Fraser replied sternly. “Don’t talk like that! It’s like you said earlier! This planet has surprised us. There could still be life here. We’ve got nothing to lose if we keep searching. Perhaps this is like an ancient race or something? Like the Egyptians or the Sumerians back on Earth. Come. Let’s keep moving.” He stretched out a hand towards Agata, who sighed heavily before grasping it and being pulled back onto her feet.
“So what’s the plan now Bear Gyrlls.”
Fraser chuckle slightly, and turned his head to scale the horizon briefly. Then the two of them headed off away from the hollow temple and the ancient barren graveyard. Venturing off once more, into the seemingly empty deserts of Jupiter.

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” – The Dalai Lama.

To be continued…?