Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

For a person thrust into such bleak and hopeless beginnings David had done well for himself.

His parents, murdered by a slum gang when he was but a boy of five, and he himself taken into slavery, he had spent over a decade in their chains, toiling under their whips.

But remaining subservient he had persevered, secretly teaching himself to read at night by starlight, in the crumbling ruined library that served as both stable and slave quarters. Sometimes his eyes would tire and he would climb the east wall, right to the end of his neck chain, and from there stare up at the stars, and beneath them the distant blaze of lights that was the city of the privileged. There he dreamt of a life where children were educated about the wonders of the universe, and people achieved many great things.

It had taken him more than ten years of careful watching, before one night under the cover of cloud he finally managed to slip his chains and steal away. The walk to the city had taken longer than he had expected, as he slithered along alleyways and crept through shadows, but eventually he had found his way.

Then after scaling the high wall avoiding spotlights all the while, and landing feet first on a bustling sidewalk, it had not taken him long to find sympathetic ears amongst the citizenry and so quickly he was taken in, cleaned up, and fed well by the educated and technologically advanced people.

* * *

After eventual cyberintegration and a full two-year acclimatization and education program, he was given his own spacious apartment with all the latest amenities, and placed where he wanted to be most, the scientific workforce. He received employment as an intern at Starcorp’s interstellar exploration program where he assisted developers in the creation of, of all things, a new revolutionary spacesuit.

Apparently astronauts would now be able to float through vacuum, bask in deadly radiation; collide with meteors even, naked as jaybirds if they wished. Protected by the fractalchip-generated warp bubble and fed life support via tiny wormhole tendrils, it was believed that one might even dive beneath the surface of a star unscathed, although admittedly this had yet to be tested.

All of the workers in David’s division were extremely proud of their technological wonder that would certainly soon greatly advance manned space exploration. So no one, except perhaps the yet to be discovered missing new intern of humble beginnings, could understand why or how the prototype had been stolen from the lab that night.

* * *

As the morning sun rose over the heart of the slum the slave keeper, en route to inspect his herd, was greeted by two of his guards, dead with their skulls smashed in. He barely heard a whisper as David dropped on him from the top of the east wall, his old stargazing perch.

The slaver tried to fight back but it was of no use. Suddenly he looked into the face of the strange intruder with the shimmering colorful skin, and he remembered the escaped teen of years gone by. “You…” he managed as a shimmering fist came down and shattered his face. As his vision wavered he saw another one of his guards run up behind the escaped slave wielding an axe. Without hesitation the weapon swung down and there was a flash at the back of the interloper’s head accompanied by the sound of the blade chipping.

David laughed and turned on his new assailant. There would be much blood spilled today, much blood indeed.


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