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The Collapsar Directive!

Unfortunately, I have been very quiet lately and have had little time to indulge in my writing. However the end of the university year is drawing to a close and as I surpass this new horizon, I’ll be able to eagerly delve straight back into my story writing!

However there is news! I’m going to make my published debut in a Sci-Fi anthology book coming out later this years in august, THE COLLAPSAR DIRECTIVE.

The anthology will feature my short story SLEEPLESS, as well as countless other short stories by a variety of different authors from across the globe. It will be avaiable in paperback and E-book format from amazon, I’ll keep you all updated on it’s progress.

THE COLLAPSAR DIRECTIVE Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/THECOLLAPSARDIRECTIVE/

Author List

 

 

Beyond the Windowpane

Jak brought a soap sudded sponge across a dinner plate, whilst staring aimlessly out of the kitchen window, paying little attention to the task at hand. Limply, he passed the plate over to Vikram who stood beside him, tea towel hanging from his fingers.

“You haven’t cleaned this one properly! Look!” Vikram exclaimed, thrusting the dirty plate back into the stainless steel wash basin, “Quit star gazing and get on with it properly!”

Vikram’s bitter words however did not draw Jak from his aimless stare. He found himself spell bound by the scene beyond the windowpane.  An enormous purple planet captivated him, it was poised steadily in the starry canvas of deep space, like a festive ornament hung from a Christmas tree. Gaseous storms violently danced about within its atmosphere. However from the distance that Jak looked upon it, the spheres surface appeared as if it were a swirling water colour painting, with different shades of violet melting softly into one another.

“Hey? Jak? Are you even listening to me?!” Vikram barked in annoyance.

“…How long do you think it’ll be before we’re picked up?” Jak replied as he brought his attention to the soiled plate within the sink, wiping away the remaining tomato sauce that was plastered across it. He passed the crockery to Vikram once more, who snatched it from him with a scowl.

“Please, for the love of god stop asking me that!” Vikram cried as he chucked the plate carelessly into a cupboard, “How am I supposed to know!?”

Jak turned a tap, and rinsed the sink out gently, before whipping up a spare tea towel to dry his hands. Then turned  to face the cold, tiny kitchen. It consisted of one dining table, two very basic dining chairs and a multitude of battery powered heaters that were sparsely dotted about. Two, thin piles of cloth and clothing had been placed on the floor, used as make shift beds until help arrived.

A frown sank heavily into Jaks  features.

Vikram sat himself down onto one of the dining chairs, and opened up a book that lay on the dining table. “Just accept the fact that we’re going to be floating about in deep space, until someone decides to show up and save us.” Vikram looked over the pages of his book at Jak, who was leaning against the kitchen side, both arms folded tightly across his chest.

“There’s no point sulking. You’ve only got yourself to blame.”

“Me to blame!?” Jak exclaimed pushing himself up from the work surfaces, “How is this my fault!?”

“You’re the so called pilot of this ship!” Vikram snapped back in reply, “What kind of pilot flies directly into a solar storm!?”

Jak darted a finger toward his crew mate, and leered at him with searing eyes as an anger bubbled away inside him, “Don’t leacture me on how to pilot my ship! The gravitional flux of that storm should have allowed us to fold space so we arrived back in earth’s solar system!”

“And yet it actual fact it cut the power, damaged the engines and left us a drift in deep space! Good job!”

Jak’s leg flew out as he brought his booted foot into the kitchen side. Blood pulsated violently through his body as his rage continued to boil. He thumped both hands heavily onto the work surface as he stared back out of the window into the depths of space. “How, pray tell, was I supposed to know that there was a fault with the Origamion processor?” Jak span round to face Vikram once more, who was looking blankly into the contents of his book, “I’m sorry that I don’t know everything, unlike you, Oh great Dr Omniscient!”

The book was slammed onto the dining table, and Vikram cut through the intense atmosphere with a razor sharp glare, “Without me, you would have frozen to death! So cut it!”

“Death would come as a blessed release right about now!”

“I’m more than happy to shoot you out of a bloody airlock if you like!”

“I relish the idea, if it spares me from playing another fucking game of chess with you!”

Jak’s final sentence brought with it an unsteady silence that infected the room. Both men exhaled deeply though their noses, making sure no eye contact was found between them.

Jak turned to face the picturesque star studded landscape beyond the frosted windowpane once again. Letting heavy sighs roll out from his lungs, as the fury began to quell inside of him. His boiling blood soothed and the familiar chill of the room pinched at his skin. The isolating cold of confinement returned.

“I know it’s hard Jak.” Vikram spoke out in a low sombre tone, looking up from the bland table, “Being trapped in a room like this for so long isn’t easy… But we’ve got to keep it together, we’ve got to stop ourselves from losing it completely.”

Jak remained silent, his back still turned to his crew mate, as he stared at the purple orb.

“I don’t think it’ll be too long before we’re picked up,” Vikram continued, ”Remember I set up that distress signal? It’s crude but you got to remember this system is the main shipping route to Trappist-1. We’re bound to be picked up sooner or later.”

Jak remained unmoved and Vikram sighed heavily, “Besides, We’ve got enough food and water to last us for another week and these heaters will keep us warm until help arrives… Look I’m sorry alright. For snapping at you like I did.”

Jak turned his head, and ended his muteness by asking, “Do you think we’re going to die out here?”

Vikram was silent for a moment and slumped back heavily onto the chair. He rested his head into one of his hands and squeezed the bridge of his nose tightly. Then repled after a long drawn out sigh, “Possibly… I don’t know.”

Jak walked away from the windowpane to the dining table and pulled out the only remaining chair, planting himself upon it. He fiddled with a small electronic device that lay on the table in front of him and after a few moments a holographic chess board buzzed into existence.  The individual pieces rose up from the chequered tiles and arranged themselves in position.

Jak looked over at Vikram and said calmly, “You can go first.”

Vikram chuckled to himself lightly before moving a pawn on the board. Thus instigating another game of chess between the two, as they waited for rescue. Confined to a floating kitchen in the middle of deep space.

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…?

A Glimpse Beyond

He stared up at the bright illuminescent nights sky above. A hue of gentle colours added a soft back drop to the magnificent star scape. Each one of you stars have a story to tell. He thought to himself. But you tell them in a language that we are yet to understand. Stories of the distance past and even stories of the distance future. He sat up right and scuffed his wet hair slightly, before glancing back up again at the starry nights sky. One day us humans are going to join you up there. Then he promptly got up onto his feet and began brushing off some of the water that had settled on his clothes, which he had gained from laying in the fresh evening grass. Shortly after which he returned to his laboratory.
When he returned he was greeted by an unexpected guest. “Paul!” The man cried gleefully. “It’s great to see you again my good friend!”
“Its good to see you too Dr Stothard. What brings you here at this hour?” Paul replied. “I would have tidied up if I knew you were coming. Would you like some tea?”
“That would be excellent Paul! Thank you.”
“Riley! Could you make us two cups of tea please and please pack away my notes and books from earlier!” Paul called out aimlessly into the large expanse of the cluttered workshop.
“Certainly Sir.” An inhuman voice replied. “I shall be back in a moment.”
“I see you’ve created a new robot! When is this one going to hit the shelves!?” Stothard enquired.
“Not for a while” Paul replied. “I think the hype needs to die down before releasing anymore to the shelves. The first introduction of robots to the mainstream caused a fair bit of excitement. No need to over do it.”
“Quite right Paul, as always.” Stothard chirped.
“Well? Did you come here for a reason or just for small talk” Paul asked as he pulled out two chairs for them both.
“No one has seen or heard from you for days Paul! Some folk have been saying that you might have ran off, not being able to cope with your new found fame.” Stothard replied. “But I know you well Paul. I’ve come down to see what new toy you’ve been working on. Have you made any more progress in sending people to the stars? Or have you been indulging it some other science?”
Paul laughed, and as he did his robot Riley returned with a plastic tray that held two cups of tea, a small jug of milk and some sugar. “Thank you very much Riley.”
“You’re Welcome Sir.” Riley replied as he placed the tray down delicately. He turned to leave but before he had a chance, Paul spoke up once more “Oh and Riley! Before you go, Could you bring me my notes relating to my latest project please?”
“Certainly Sir.”

Both Stothard and Paul added milk to their tea, before sipping gently. Riley returned in a matter of moments, carrying a large folder. “Thank you Riley.”
“You’re welcome Sir.”
Stothard picked up the huge binder and laid it out on a desk to his left before hastily flicking through the mountain of paper work. Page after page of seemingly endless mathematics greeted Stothards wide eyes. To the average man, the incomprehensible ink scribbles would look like nothing more than a chaotic jumble of numbers and letters. However to a brain box like Stothard, the numbers spelt out one thing. “Time Travel!?” He exclaimed. “But surely it is the work of science-fiction!”
“It was the work of science-fiction, Just as robots once were.” Paul lent in towards Stothard and placed a hand on his shoulder. “But my friend. It isn’t anymore. It’s ready for human trails, and that’s exactly what I plan to do this night!”
‘This… This is fantastic!! Where do you plan on going!?”
“To the future of course. I need to know what the future holds. You and I have done endless work in trying to get the human race to outer space and eventually the stars. But like it or not we aren’t going to be around long enough to see our work come to pass. But now! Now we have a gate way! A gate way that can not only tell us if mankind will succeed in settling the universe, but also tell us every secret that the universe may hold. We will be able to go to anytime and see for ourselves.”
“You truly are one of the greatest minds of the 22nd century my friend.” Stothard said as he finished his cup of tea. “You must let me know how the first trail goes! I shall be back tomorrow to ask you about your travels!” Stothard got up to leave.
“Stothard, Don’t tell anyone about this. Not yet anyway.”
“Don’t worry my friend. Your secret is safe with me.” Stothard smiled warmly. “Goodnight Paul and Good luck.”
“Goodnight Stothard. See you soon.”

With that, Stothard left. Paul was once again left alone in the silence and solitude of his laboratory, after a quick swig he finished the remainder of his milky tea. He collected his notes together and tucked them under his arm, before getting up to finally test his new invention.
Paul made his way through the strange maze of scientific equipment, wires and wonderful inventions. He continued deep into his laboratory until he reached a grand white door. He stood still in front of it whilst a small scanner located at the top of the door checked him. “Welcome back Sir.” A deep monotone voice replied, and as it did large door slowly swung open.
Paul entered the room in the centre of which sat the proud effort of his works, the worlds first time machine. It was of a simple and minimalist design. All of the complex engineering was neatly compacted away under shiny sleek white panels. The small oblong cube had enough room to fit an average man with circular port windows present on all four sides of the white box.
Paul paused for a moment to take in the sight. A gate way to the past and to the future, lay but a few feet from him. All of human history, no! All of earths history was accessible due to the small white wonder. Finally, he would be able to the see the future, a feat that nature and time would normally not allow.
He walked up to the machine, swung open the small door and climbed inside. He placed the notes, that remained tucked under his arm, down onto a small ledge to his left. Nervously he began flicking through them one final time. Even though he knew this was a pointless precaution. As the calculations were so long and so vast that to find a small fault in one by casually browsing would be impossible. Paul was annoyed that he was subjecting himself to such an illogical impulse.
He took a shallow breath and began punching at some of the buttons that lay to his right. Flashes of green and blues faintly illuminated the small compartment. Which Paul manipulated some dials carefully, making sure that he entered the correct time and date that he wished to investigate.
100 years? 200 years? 1000? 2000!? Surely mankind would have extended out into the stars by then! They’d probably have a galactic government and extensive networks across the cosmos. 2000 years. He thought to himself. That’ll do just fine.
He pulled down hard on a final lever and shut his eyes tightly in anxious anticipation. A loud clank echoed within the tiny container and slowly chimed into silence… Paul peeked out of one of his eyes and looked around nervously, he hadn’t moved, he was still sat firmly in his lab. With a sigh Paul turned to exit the tiny capsule. Seconds before opening the door, the small cubicle and Paul had vanished. Only a faint haze of purple smoke lingered where the time machine had once stood.

The machine landed as quickly as it had vanished. Both Paul’s eyes were shut once more and it wasn’t until the sweet sound of silence returned that he dared open them again. Am I alive? He thought to himself, as he nervously opened both eyes once more. Paul checked both his hands first before frantically patting his body. I’m alive! He thought to himself in astonishment. His attention suddenly drawn to a new scene out of the corner of his eye. With his face pressed up against the small window he peered out at his new surroundings. A palace? A house? He slowly stretched out his hand toward the silver door handle and stepped outside into the mysterious future.
A grand white marble floor lay at his feet, and a large full wall window stood opposite him. The glass panes were crafted into elegant shapes and held were up by gold and silver frames that caught a setting suns beautiful rays. The scene out beyond the window displayed a gorgeous setting. A glistening green grass plain spanned outwards, softly moving as wave of wind rolled over the field. Beyond that lay some winding silver mountains, capped with white snow.
The scene outside of the window was just as beautiful as the room Paul found himself in. The floor was made of majestic white marble, as were the walls, which held upon them exquisite works of art. Two large arch ways lay at opposing ends of the room, each were carved out of rich black and brown marble. Each arch way was accompanied by a silence robot. Which Paul had completely failed to noticed on first glance, due to the pure grande of the room itself. Both robots stood perfectly still and were unmoved by his presence.
Paul eagerly sprinted across to one of the stationary machines. They had sleek metallic bodies and it was clear that every piece of them had been crafted beautifully. Appearing more like works of art than simple robotic slaves. The models before him seemed to be slightly more advanced than the Riley model that he himself had recently created back in his own time. “Robot! Please tell me what year it is!?” Paul said frantically, both eyes wide in anticipation.
“It is the year 4114 Sir.” The robot said bluntly, its mouth light flashing red as it spoke.
“I did it… I did it!” Paul exclaimed. He turned to his right and ran towards the large window once more, pressing both hands onto the smooth cool glass, peering out at the beautiful scene once more. “I did it! I’ve traveled to the future!” Paul’s ecstatic grin faded as his curiosity and questions increased, so he once again bounded back over to the robot.
“Could I ask you who owns this establishment? I would like to ask them some questions and I would also like to apologise for entering their house uninvited.”
“The owner of this property is Master Stothard.” Instantly Paul’s eyes grew wide in respond. “If you would please follow me Sir I shall take you to him.”
Master Stothard?! Paul thought to himself. Of all the people, I happen to run into Stothards descendent, I wonder if he’s anything like his distance ancestor.

Paul lost his train of thought as he was taken through the lavish estate. Large open rooms were littered with beautifully crafted oak furniture. Large animal skin rugs of every kind could be seen in each room and there seemed to be endless amount of fine art hung on every wall of every room. Master Stothard must be wealthy, incredibly wealthy. Paul thought to himself
It wasn’t long before they stopped at a large dark wooden door, which had been engraved with a subtle swirling pattern. “Wait here for just a moment” The robot told Paul, who merely nodded in reply, still taken back in awe by the grandness of the home. The robot opened the door just enough to pass through, the aged wood creaked slightly as it did. Paul pressed his ear up against the door and could faintly hear both the robot and Stothard talking in the other room.
“Master Stothard Sir. You have a visitor whom wishes to ask you some questions.”
“Oh! Who!? Are they female?”
“They didn’t give a name and no Sir. He isn’t.”
“Oh well! Send him on in!”
The robot returned to open the dark wooden door, in full this time. “Master Stothard will see you now.” With the door fully a jar Paul walked into a vast dining hall. Before him lay a grand table of which at the other end sat Master Stothard. Many excellent dishes were resting on the table in front of him, various exotic foods which gave off seducing aromas and indulged the senses. The food was accompanied with several different large bottles of brightly coloured liquid, which Paul assumed to be alcohol.
“Hello there my friend!” Stothard bellowed as he got up from his seat. “My name as you know is Master Stothard! Could I ask what your name may be?”
Paul walked over to this new Stothard and was greeted with a firm shake of the hand. “My name’s Dr Paul Davies. I’m sorry that I’ve come into your property uninvited.” Paul took a moment to examine Stothards facial features. He wasn’t surprised to find that this Stothard looked nothing at all like his good friend back in the 22nd century.
“Don’t worry about it! It doesn’t matter! Anyone is welcome here.” Master Stothard cried warmly. “How about a drink and some food whilst I answer these questions my robot said you wanted to ask me.”
“I’ll just have some water please.” Paul said sheepishly. “and not to be disrespectful, but I’m not hungry at the moment.”
“That’s absolutely fine! Come sit with me.”
A robot came instantly and pulled two chairs out for both Stothard and Paul. The robots moved about the room in such a calculated manner. The bringing of plates or movement of small objects had a sort of rhythm to it. Almost as if they were dancing, their motions flowing seamlessly.
When the were both seated Stothard grabbed a large glass that was sat upon the table. A bright yellow liquid sloshed about within it. A still glass of clear water came shortly after for Paul, who held the drink in both his hands delicately . “Before you begin with your questions Dr Paul Davies! May I ask you one first, How is it you actually got into my home?” Stothard queried with a warm smile.
“You probably won’t find this very amazing, as this is the future and the means by which I got here is ancient technology by now but, I arrived here by time machine!” Paul announced boldly! “The first time machine in human history actually! This here, right now, is man kinds first venture through time! Isn’t it amazing!”
Stothard looked at Paul with a blank expression, his glass poised steadily in his hand.
“See, As I suspected, Time travel is old to you!” replied Paul, sinking back into his chair. “Having been discovered 2000 years ago. I suppose it pails in comparison to the technology you have now!”
Stothards blank expression still remained and he slowly lent forward with a single eyebrow raised. “What’s time travel…?”

Paul was dumbfounded by the response. “What’s time travel? You know, where you travel through time, to another place in the future?!”
Stothard paused for a second and pondered the thought. “I’ve never heard of it until now. But yes, a very abstract concept. How on earth did you come up with that idea! You’re not one of those people that read are you?” He chortled heartily as he finished his sentence, but his laughter died down slowly as he noticed Paul didn’t share his sense of humor.
“Wait, you don’t know how to read?” Paul said in stunned amazement.
“Well No, Obviously not! Why would I waste my time reading when I can have my robots tell me anything I want to know? I don’t think anyone really reads these days. Only very few people carry on using that outdated retro form of communication.”
Paul was completely silence, unable to believe what he was hearing. “So wait, no one reads anymore?! But reading is fundamental! How has the human race expanded through stars yet decided it doesn’t need to read?! It doesn’t make sense!”
“That was another question I wanted to ask you actually Dr Paul Davies. Why is it you keep talking about ‘the human race expanding to the stars’? The human race has never left earth and I doubt it ever will! How could we even attempt to leave earth and secondly, If we could, why would we want to, when it provides us with everything we could ever need?”
“What? We never settled other planets? You mean to tell me that in 2000 years we still haven’t left earth?” Paul took a large gulp of water. He place the glass back onto the table and brought a hand to his head, gently rubbing one of his temples. “Furthermore the Human race has apparently forgotten how to get into space?! We had rockets and spacecraft 2000 years ago! We also wanted to leave earth because we knew this planet wouldn’t sustain the ever growing population. For that matter what is the population of the planet at the moment?”
Stothard was starting to become troubled with the constant bombardment of questions that Paul was throwing at him. He took a few swigs of his drink before replying. “Please, Ask my robots these questions. I’m sorry to say I simply don’t have the answers that you seek. However my robots have access to all the knowledge every discovered by man. Truly amazing machines”
“Yeah, you’re welcome.” Paul muttered under his breath as he watched Stothard wave one of his robot servers over to the table, who bowed slightly.

A blank monotone voice spoke out “What is it that you’d like to know Sir.”
“Tell me why the human race hasn’t expanded into space in the last 2000 years, when the technology to do so was almost ready?” Paul asked calmly.
“Well Sir, the simple answer to that is, there hasn’t been any need to.”
“What about the population crisis I mentioned a minute ago? There was 11 billion people on the planet in 2114 and it was still set to increase. The only solution to cope with the ever growing populi is to expand outwards to new planets and settle elsewhere. What happened? The population must be, well I don’t know, hundreds of billions now! How can this one planet sustain all those people?”
There was a brief pause, then Stothard began to laugh uncontrollably. Paul looked across at him with a stern scowl set upon his face, before directing his attention back to the robot. Who promptly answered his question. “I believe you are mistaken Sir. That is not the population of the planet. The population of the planet at this point in time is 70 million.”
Paul’s jaw dropped slightly as he stared at the robot, before replying weakly “70 million… Is that all? That’s a little less than the entire population of the UK back in the 22nd century…. 70 million, across the whole planet… How many people is that per square mile?”
“2.8”
Stothard watched the two of them talk, shifting his gaze between them as they did. Following the conversation like a game tennis. Whilst helping himself to more of the delicious delights that rested upon the table.
“2.8 people per square mile.. That’s literally no one. What on Earth happened?” Paul said in despair. His head sunk into his hands as he stared at the empty glass that lay in front of him.
“Well the human population dropped dramatically at the start of the 23rd century. Shortly after robots had become common place.”
Paul looked back up at the robot before him in horror “What? Why!?”
“Robots had become affordable and everyone had access to them. It wasn’t long before business owners realised that their work force could be cheaply replaced by robotic employees. Robots don’t ask for pay, they don’t take sick leave, they don’t ask for raises and don’t need time off. They were the perfect replacement for human employees. As a result there was a state of mass unemployment, and that’s when the riots started.”
Paul began frantically looking around the dining hall that he was in and started to realise how many robots there actually were in the establishment. Many of them had gone about their work unbeknownst to him. Robots had never bothered Paul, but at this particular moment he felt extremely unsettled more so as he turned back round to robot speaking to him. Staring into the machines cold lifeless eyes.
Paul suddenly blurted out. “But surely the governments would have stepped in!? Surely they must have done something!”
“They did Sir. They passed many regulations and laws stating that robots were prohibited from the work place in a bid to end the mass unemployment.”
“And!?”
“And the large business owners were not impressed. But again they realised that they had an endlessly amount of obedient robots at their disposal. So they started a war.”
All the blood drained from Paul’s face as he continued to listen, horrified by what he was hearing. Stothard was still sat quietly and wore a slight grin on his face, as if he were a small child being told a bedtime story.
“Needless to say that the business owners won the war and continued their robotic crusades until 99% of the population had been removed. All that remained after that were the 1% of wealthy businessmen . The human race began to settle down shortly after the war. The robots then continued to work again and began to provide every need of the human race. They have carried on doing so till this very day.”
“Genocide. The human race nearly wiped itself out for its own convenience.” A lump grew in Paul’s throat, as he brought up a hand to wipe his wet eyes.

“Yes but it’s better this way!” Stothard said cheerily. “There’s no more hunger! No more disease and no more wars!”
“What about the drive for knowledge! The thirst for understanding! What about progression and what about all those lives lost… All those families… all dead, because of me.” Paul replied hoarsely.
With a simple wave of his hand, Stothard dismissed all Paul had said. “Why would we want to spend our time studying, and reading and learning. When we could spend our time actually enjoying everything the world has to offer! If I want to know something, I’ll just ask one of my robots. If something needs doing or fixing, or whatever! A robot will do it, so that we, us humans, can sit back and enjoy life.” He took enough large gulp of his drink and ushered a robot to refill it for him. “Plus you can’t blame yourself, Unless it was you who created robots to begin with!” Stothard laughed heartily as he finished speaking.
With sullen eyes Paul looked up from the table and stared across at the jolly man with a fierce glare. “It was me.” He replied coldly.
“Oh… Well even in that case you did us humans a favour, you gave us all a life of luxury!”
“I gave 1% of the humans a life of luxury, I gave the rest a one way trip underground.”
An eery silence lingered. “I’ve got to fix this.” Paul pushed himself upwards from the table and got to his feet.
Suddenly Stothard cried out “Seize him!”
Two robots lunged forward and in a flash their cold metallic hands grabbed hold Paul. Both his arms were restrained and a pair of robotic hands had been wrapped round his neck. Paul called out in terror. “What are you doing!? Let me go! Please let me go!”
“I don’t want you fixing anything. If you hop into that ‘time machine’, you’ll no doubt go back and change it so that all this is no more and I’m not having you take away my luxurious life. I’d have to be stupid or something to allow you to do that.”
Paul’s eyes grew wide, his heat pounding frantically. He called out earnestly, whilst struggling to free himself of his binds. “Please don’t keep me here! Please!”
“Kill him.”
There was a loud crack and Paul struggling stopped. The robots loosened their grip and his lifeless body slumped onto the beautifully titled floor.
“Dispose of him would you.” Stothard said calmly. “And get rid of that machine he got here in with as well. Thank you.” Stothard took a gulp of his drink then returned to endorse himself with the lovely luscious food that still littered the table. “Ooooh. exquisite ! I can’t wait for dessert!”