*SONG* “Fields of Gold” by Sting
The stars aligned, and voices called from
The stars…calling names through dreams…
The Summons, this is the Hour, this is the Time…
The Hour Glass has formed.
There is no turning back now, only forward.
And the Star Elder’s voice asked one question
In dreams. “Will you open your eyes, or not?”
By his command, and by the Light, the Gift
There is no choice but to follow.
I have no idea what I’m doing. The words
Come and I write them down. Believe it, don’t
Believe it, either way the mind will move
The pen to paper…for these stories to come
Now…For the Hour Glass…
The Box twists and turns full of moving
Lines and lights…and words and feelings
And moving picture images. Movies in the mind.
Write them down and see what they are…
Ready or not…Rainbow beams cascade
Showering down, forming a Golden Circle
Of Light Familiar.
“Hello again.” She says standing there smiling,
An ethereal beauty with long wavy creamy gold
Hair and burning, sparkling ice blue eyes that
Are undeniable. Ceres smiles then sits down
At a chair set waiting. She adjusts her
Flashing red dress, a royal elegant red…then
Tosses her hair over her shoulders. “We will
Start a familiar way this time. But from now
On it will be different, I assure you.” She
Turned to nod for him to come.
A fit perfect looking young man appeared
Fast to sit in the chair beside her; my left.
He had wavy creamy colored hair, very
Pale skin…much like another pale stranger
I knew; Varence, Apollo, you remember.
But this younger looking man was bright
Eyed sincere and innocent looking. “Hello.”
He said as he quickly sat down.
“Bill, this is Valerius.” Ceres said introducing
Him. “He will be our…new assistant narrator.
Don’t worry, he is very well mannered.”
“He looks it.” I had to say.
Valerius smiled humbly. He sat holding THAT
Book. He seemed afraid to open it. “You know
My thoughts as they said you would.” He
Said somewhat shyly.
“It’s the pen and paper, not me.”
“We have to start fast.” Ceres nodded to him.
“Time is precious now. Go on, Valerius. Begin.”
He held the book awkwardly in his lap. “Do
You know what this is? It’s called the
Hour Glass. There aren’t many of them. We
Use them to see…what will be…It’s a
Window through time, it can see anything. But
It only shows you what you need to…No
Matter what you ask.”
“It’s very impartial that way.” Ceres explained.
“A time portal?”
“Well more just a window.” She said. “A
“And it can see anything at all?”
“Only what you need to see.” Valerius said,
He had a very calm innocent voice; unlike
Any of the others here. “Sometimes it shows
You words, as it did before…And other times
It literally shows you the actual events…
But when you see it, you feel it as well.
It is very complex, yet clear. When it shows
You a window…It’s not an opinion, it shows
You exactly how it feels.”
“It’s more efficient that way.” Ceres said.
“So, this is something I have to do? What
About free will? What about Destiny?”
“Destiny is not about free will, Bill.” Ceres
Explained kindly, her voice so soft and
Relaxing. “If the stars say you have a
Destiny…It’s meant to be…Fighting it
Will only make your life harder. Destiny
Isn’t about choice…It’s not about what
You want to do…It’s about what you’re
Meant to do. When one accepts this…
The Universe provides the proper support…
Or lack of…until the path is taken right.”
“People won’t like to hear that.”
“What you need to hear isn’t always what
You want either.” Ceres said firmly. “If it
Were that simple there would be paradise
Everywhere…Do you understand?”
“I think so.”
“Valerius…” Ceres nodded for him to start.
“Before we begin,” Valerius smiled a bit shyly.
“I would just like to say…It’s very nice
To meet you.”
This young guy was far too nice! “It’s nice
To meet you too.”
Valerius hesitated a moment trying to decide
How best to proceed. Then he moved his chair
Closer to me, so close that he could be on
My left. Then Ceres did the same on
My right, and before I knew it we were all
3 sitting side by side…
Valerius held the book in front of me. “Now
This is going to come fast…” He opened it then,
And the inside pages seemed to glow
Like it was alive!
The lines, the lights…a moving, living story
With feelings! And the Hour Glass had
The power over the mind this way.
See, think, feel…Write it down and see what
Comes…This is what needs to be told now.
The light became brighter and brighter…
And now the story…Once again…to a lost age…
Back to a ship journeying deep in space…
The Adam Ship…
An all-purpose drilling and mining ship
For processing fuel for their slavemasters
Of the Dark Empire. A ship of men,
Handsome, perfectly bred blond men of
The conquered human world, the SAVA…
A ship bred specifically to be a single
Sex environment…for maximum work
Performance, for study, research,
And experimentation. It was perfect…
And destined for a perfect, if not
He stood carefully hovering over the
Table covered with seedling flats
Examining very closely the new
Sprouts shooting up from their cubicle
One inch squares. He appeared to be about
35, very fit and handsome of prime age.
He had dirty blond wavy hair and golden
Colored eyes and a chiseled face that had
This kind, handsome quality. He was different
Than the others, but hid it well; or rather his
Friends helped hide it for him. Jansen was
Very, very quiet these days as he adjusted
To his new position in the greenhouses
With his friends…After being moved from
The lower levels where he previously cared
For the marmet livestock…
The marmet pens were a small rabbit-like
Rodent bred at the far lower end of the
Ship. They were bred for meat, protein
Sources for the crew and meat-stock food
For the Lion Men. He had been reprimanded
For growing too attached to the stock and
Sparing some for pets. While this was not
A violation of ship’s law, it had attracted
The attention of bullying senior officers
Who, out of sheer cruelty, fed his pets
To the Lion Men to serve a lesson to
Discipline signs of caring as weakness. It
Was a common practice for senior officers, who
Were older to do this…as a form of
A hazing sport…to crush younger
Crewmen’s weaknesses and simply to keep
Them afraid of command. There was no
Reason to it, just sport.
He was trying to get used to the greenhouses,
At least the air was fresh. But he intensely
Missed his lost little marmet pets. He never
Understood the cruel nature of superior
Officers…So many of their laws seemed
Directed towards intimidation rather than
Justice. “How long do we grow these
Seedlings for again?”
“Six weeks.” His friend beside him said. Janeth
Was extremely work orientated. Very calm,
Very polite…sometimes seeming cold; he wasn’t
Cold it was just his programming. “Six weeks
Then we move them out to larger grow
Flats. Then we start a new crop of seedlings.”
“Exciting. It’s too exciting.” Jansen teased.
“These plants are just too wild.”
“I’m sorry you lost your pets.” Janeth
Said to him, trying to be kind. “But you
Had to know they would do it. They don’t
Want us caring too much about anything.”
“Why?” Jansen asked.
“They must see it as a weakness I
Suppose.” Janeth answered as he leaned
Beside him studying the seedlings. He
Also had similar wavy blond hair,
But his facial features were sharper…
And his eyes were a greener color. All
Of the men were similar, it was their
Personalities which made them unique.
Just then, Jonath entered, another close
Friend of theirs. But Jonath was much
Taller and broadly built. Very unusual
For a member of the science crew. But
His heart was kind…and it was,
Obvious that he cared more for Jansen than
He could admit. “Ah the thrill of
The greenhouse! How interesting…Life will
“Does it have to be that way?” Jansen
Asked his friends, from a deep sincerity
Within himself; all deep feelings
Were suppressed usually, but somehow
Jansen was different. “Can’t you feel it?
There’s something wrong with this life…
“You had that dream again.” Janeth
Paused to ask carefully.
“You better be careful,” Jonath
Told him, “If medical personnel hear about
“I don’t care.” Jansen said.
“Yes, you do.” Janeth said sharply.
“Just be careful.” He patted Jansen’s hand.
“Did you hear?” Jonath interrupted. “They
Discovered a new planet. Rich with
Life…amazing readings heard. It
Should be interesting.”
Janeth grimaced. “And who knows, maybe
“Something is going to happen soon,”
Jansen said softly. “You can feel it.”
“You scare me when you talk like that.”
The tall Jonath said. “What are you talking
“A new planet…?” Jansen wondered aloud.
“I don’t know…something.”
“Would you focus on what you’re doing?” Janeth
Snapped, urging Jansen not to pinch the
Seedlings into the flats so hard. “What has
Gotten into you? It’s those dreams again…
Those drawings…You’ve been this way ever
Since Jeren threw your marmets to
Those Lion Men…And that Light thing…you should
See Chief Medical Officer Abel about this.
Or you’ll be quarantined for reprocessing.”
Jonath frowned at Janeth’s words. “What is
He talking about?” He asked his friend,
They never told him about this. “What
Dreams, what drawings, what Light?
Are you two keeping secrets again?”
“You were busy in the arcade entertaining
Yourself with those lounge boys.” Janeth
Snapped. “We weren’t keeping secrets.”
“It’s nothing.” Jansen shyly said avoiding
Jonath’s stare. “A few weeks ago…I saw
This…Light. And I’ve been having these
Strange dreams about this planet ever
“And drawing these strange designs on
Everything.” Janeth laughed.
“How come you never told me this?”
Jonath scowled a bit wounded. “You never
Tell me anything!”
“I do so.” Jansen again shyly said.
“No. No you don’t.” Jonath returned fast.
“I want to know these things. The
Three of us should not have secrets. We’ve
Been friends for years.”
“It’s nothing.” Jansen said shaking his
Head… “I don’t want to talk about it.”
He wiped his hands on some rags then
Turned ready to leave. “The shift is almost
Over. I want to get to the training room
Early so we can go for a swim later
On the Star decks and relax before bed.”
He left quietly then for the monitors
To fill out data cards on the seedling flats.
After he left Jonath turned angrily to
Janeth. “What’s with him?”
Janeth paused. He hated these interruptions
When he was thinking about his work. But
Janeth’s mind was programmed that way…
Highly focused…work, work, work. He looked
Up at Jonath and sighed. “You haven’t
Told him yet, have you?”
Jonath scowled harder. “Told him what?
Answer my questions…What Light? What
Drawings? He never showed me—“
Janeth cut him off. “How you feel about
Him, you big box head.”
But Jonath only played dumb with a
Deep etched frown on his face, his brow.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I mean.” Janeth stared
At him sternly.
“No I don’t.” Jonath said standing there
Crossing and flexing his big arms. “He
Won’t talk to me.”
“Stop talking about yourself so much,” Janeth
Laughed. “Who wants to talk to anyone
Who talks about himself so much…” He
Teased. “Look at me,” he mimicked his
Tall built friend, “I can lift 300 kelos…
I’m so big and strong. I can arm wrestle
A miner…ha, ha, ha.”
“I don’t say that.” Jonath frowned. “I just
Want him to know…”
“What? That you’re a big box head?” Janeth
“He won’t talk to me.” Jonath said looking
Down sadly. “We’re friends…”
Then Janeth frowned. “Who are talking
To, one of the big box head miners?” He
Laughed. “You want more. I know you do.”
Jonath struggled to think to say the words
That Janeth tagged him with. He wasn’t
Fooling them. “No, I—“
“Jonath, you have to tell him.” Janeth
Said staring him straight in the eyes.
“I’ve been watching this for years now.
Tell him…or something is going to happen
To ruin everything.” He wiped his hands
On some rags then gestured for them to
Leave. “Come on let’s go fill out those
Data cards and get to last meal then
Training so we can relax by the pool
Tonight on the Star Deck. If these seedlings
Have to hear anymore of your babbling
They will wither and die.”
“HA!” Jonath laughed with his head down.
Janeth had seen through his biggest
Secret…He had feelings for his friend. Now
He was terrified.
The three of them ate last meal with
The rest of the crew in a tightly packed
Huge dull gray cafeteria looking-like room. It
Was tightly packed with chairs and tables…
And the deafening chatter
And laughter of more crew than they were
Used to…Previously, the three of them
Had been stationed on the far lower
End of the ship attending the marmet pens
And lower greenhouses. But when Jansen
Was reassigned for keeping pets…They all
Petitioned for reassignment. They always
Stuck together these days, for years…ever
Since they became graduate science crew.
Friends did this on the Adam ship
As a sort of means of keeping family
Units…or else it was very lonely.
But they were not used to the denser
Numbers of crewmen at this end of the
Ship. With a crew of 10,000…there were
So many faces, it was difficult to know
Everyone…And with rotating shifts, it was
Entirely possible to spend your entire
Life on the ship and not see and meet
After last meal they trained, again in
A very busy gym full of crew. Here, there
Was a wide range of types of crew…
The bigger bully security officers, the
Senior miners, the leaner, frail looking
Technicians and science teams…and
Lastly, and more importantly if not
Fearfully…the senior officers of
Command…who oversaw all things of
The entire ship…
It was here they encountered more brutal
Types of crewmen. Men that delighted
In intimidation and hazing sports of
Weaker crew members. Their society
Peer pressure was pretty typical…The
Strong dominate and survive…The weak
Serve the strong…and entertain the strong.
Which could mean anything from verbal
Or physical abuse, or in some cases assault;
This included all forms of carnal themes.
Different areas of the ship held
Different types of men…And this was
One of the worst sections.
And it was here to note, that if not for
Jonath and his unusual massive size, he
Really should have been a miner…It was
Almost some miraculous mistake in
Embryonic chamber development made him
Science crew…or else he might have been
Programmed to be raised with the biggest
Brutes and bullies of this ship. For if not
For Jonath, then Jansen and Janeth would
Have been easy targets as toys for any
Manner of play on the ship. Yes, it was
A strange little miracle.
After a rigorous workout in the busy
Crew gym…the three friends showered then
Went to the high Star Deck of the ship…
The leisure deck…graced with a large swimming
Pool and artificial lighting to simulate a sun
For tanning…An average working day had no
Sun for the Adams…so artificial sunlight
Before bed was not unnatural at all.
They had visited the Star Deck pool many
Times before…but always under different shifts
This was the first for them to visit the deck
With it being so busy…Especially so full of
Security crew, and miners…and the senior
Officers. Jonath immediately didn’t like it
They found the quietest, emptiest corner
They could and retreated to rest on lounge
Recliners at the far end of the pool; not their
Favorite spot, but it was less crowded so that was
Best. Everyone was dressed in similar square-cut
Boxer-like swimsuits…with men of various
Physical forms of fitness everywhere. The miners,
Security and Jonath were bigger muscled by
Far…and the most intimidating. But Jonath took
Great delight in towering over his friends
As if he owned them, to protect them…A
Silent way of keeping away other crew, and telling
Them to back off.
Most of the crew all looked the same, they
Were all good-looking to some degree. Some
More than others. Bodies were always admired,
And feared…but faces caught the most
Jonath eyed the entire pool like a watch-
Dog to see who was checking them out. To
See who was checking Jansen out…They all
Were…Immediately, he was defensive.
Directly across from them, in the most
Comfortable loungers…lay stretched out like
Kings were the senior officers. Everyone on the
Ship knew them, or knew of them…
The Commander…a king, greedy to please…
His First Officer, Hollis, the most renowned
Wildest, wicked playboy of the ship…well
Known for…knowing as many of the crew
Intimately very well…and the cocky Second
Officer Cain…one of the nastiest men
As Jansen and Janeth relaxed on their
Recliners to take in the artificial sunlight,
Jonath quickly noticed the senior officers
Hollis and Cain staring right at them and
Whispering. “I do NOT like the way
They are looking over at us.” Jonath growled.
“I do NOT like that First Officer Hollis,
NOT at all…That one is trash on
Two legs. I swear that trash only
Thinks with his—“
“Stop staring at them!” Janeth whispered
Hard, “Or they will get angry.”
But Jonath only grew more impatient,
Angrier, possessive. “Look at him, look at
His cocky face. That trash—“
“Will you just relax.” Janeth groaned. “Honestly
What did you think was going to happen here?”
“What do you mean?” Jonath asked with a
Janeth sighed. “This part of the ship?” He
Suggested. “It’s known for its…atmosphere.
The games they play. This isn’t a kind place
Like we are used to on the lower decks…They
Play rough and hard here.” He rolled his
Eyes at Jansen. “If you hadn’t rejected our
Previous senior officers’ advances…we
Would still be in the rear of the ship…
Where it was quieter…You would have still
Had your pets. But no, you had to be the
Good boy and reject him. You should have
Just let him—“
“So, this is my fault?” Jansen spat, shocked
That Janeth hadn’t said something before.
“Because I wouldn’t—“
“Well, it’s not mine!” Janeth argued. “See
Where being so sweet gets you?”
“You told me I did the right thing!” Jansen
That was before we were sent to this den
Of hormonal delinquents.” Janeth pouted.
“I had all my micro splicing techniques
Refined for mass reproduction…and now I have
To start all over again with those greenhouse
Seedlings…and that idiot Maburn’s policies of
Germinating to follow and fix. They are all a
Bunch of morons up here!”
“You’re blaming me NOW?” Jansen said
Sitting up defeated, hurt by his friend’s words.
“Well now you’re going to get nailed. “Janeth
Laughed. “Why do you think he reassigned you
Up here…to teach you a lesson…”
“Wait, wait, wait now.” Jonath said holding
Up his hand. “No one’s blaming anyone. And
I’m not going to let anything happen. Why
Don’t the two of you relax.”
“You heard, he said it’s my fault!” Jansen spat.
“Janeth doesn’t know what he’s saying,”
Jonath said playfully trying to calm him
Down. “He’s obsessed with his work. You know
Him. He’s just mad over learning a new routine.
He’s just stubborn and anal retentive.”
“Hey!” Janeth spat. “Watch it you big box
Muscle head. I cover your tail with work.”
Jonath just shook his head and turned to
Focus on calming Jansen down, that’s all
He cared about. “Nothing is going to happen
To us here. Don’t worry, alright. I’m here
“Oh, I feel safe completely now.” Janeth
Laughed. “The box head has a plan.”
“Just be quiet, and lay there and dream
About plants, alright?” Jonath urged like
A stern older brother. “Quit picking on him.”
Janeth sarcastically pointed to Jonath’s head.
“The muscles in your head aren’t working
Right…look around. They’re degenerates here!”
Jonath scowled hard then turned again
To Jansen kindly. “Ignore him. You’re fine.
We’re fine. I won’t let anything happen to
You…ever…I promise. Now, please,” he
Said with a softer expression, “Talk to me
Will you…Tell me about your dreams…
These drawings…What is this Light he
Was talking about?”
Across from them on the other side
Of the pool, the senior officers were
In fact eyeing the new crew at the pool…
Hollis, and his bittersweet-competitive
Sidekick Second Officer Cain were trading
Lewd comments on the three new “boys.”
Hollis sat up grinning wickedly stroking
His chin, flexing his shoulders. “I see
Something I really like.”
“Ah, there is something I’ve never heard
Before.” Cain laughed as he laid back,
Crossed his legs and shut his eyes to enjoy
The artificial tanning light. “Do I have to
Ask…or are you going to describe it to me.”
Hollis nodded at the three directly across
From them, then spread his legs wide sitting
Further up to lean his elbows on them to
Stare harder. “The one in the middle.”
“Yes?” Cain chuckled.
Hollis turned sarcastically to Cain. “Make
Me a bet. Go on, challenge me. I will
Take on anything you say.”
“What for?” Cain laughed as he stroked
His straight short hair back. “You’re going
To get him anyway.”
“Dare me something.” Hollis taunted. “Come
On make it fun. You want me to make
Him cry, scream, beg…what?”
“Beg?” Cain laughed louder. “No one begs
For you. You’ve had every man in the room…
On the deck…in the front of the ship!”
“So, begging it is then?” Hollis grinned devilishly.
Cain laughed, smiled and quickly sat up.
“You really want to bet? For what?”
“Name it.” Hollis said eyeing Jansen with determination.
“I need something fun to do.”
Cain thought for a moment. “Fine…
Here it is…First,” he said holding up his
Finger… “If you lose…in any way…you
Take my extra shifts for a week…And
I want you on your knees…FOR REAL
No joke…kissing my ass on the bridge
In front of the Commander. Then kissing
My boots. THEN, bowing like some little
Cowering marmet bitch before me in front
Hollis sneered at him. “Seriously? You’re that
Sure of yourself? You want me kissing
Your ass, your boots and bowing?”
“Yes.” Cain nodded evilly.
“Ok fine.” Hollis grinned. “Challenge me.”
“The Games are tomorrow night.” Cain
Described with a wild look. “The Commander
Wants a good show this week. Blood. The
Crewmen thrown to the Lion Men will die…
It should be a huge rush for everyone…”
“Go on…” Hollis said.
Cain sat up to eye Jansen alongside Hollis. “You
Get that pretty boy you like to BEG for
You to stop…Make him cry, make him
Bleed…You nail him so bad that everyone
Sees a new side of you. Make them afraid
Of you walking in the room…I want to
See him crying so hard by the end of
The Games…They’ll think he was thrown
To the Lion Men…Bring me his bloody
Shorts…And I will kiss your ass all
Day long…I want to see just how far
You’re willing to go.”
Hollis laughed and threw back his head. “You
Want me to bring you his bloody shorts?”
“Yes.” Cain grinned. “I want to see everyone
See that sweet face crying by the end of
The Games…And you smiling because you
Did it to him.”
Hollis laughed like it was nothing. “You are
Twisted.” He giggled. “Deal.”
“I’ll even be so kind,” Cain said standing
Up and flexing his narrow frame. “I will
Set it up for you.”
Back across the pool…
Janeth noticed first… “Cain, the Second Officer
Is coming over here.”
They froze as they watched the sinister looking
Senior officer strut over to them with a
Peculiar formal expression. Jonath was the
First to stand and flex and face Cain.
With a somewhat polite defiance. “Sir…”
“My you are big for science crew.” Cain
Said of Jonath impressed. “How did you
Not become mining crew with that height
“Luck.” Jonath only said.
“Crewmen,” Cain began. “We need special
Aid for the Games tomorrow night…”
“How, sir?” Janeth weakly responded.
“Report to the Deck of the Lion Men
Tomorrow at 6…” Cain explained. “The
Wardens will be there. They will tell
You what to do. Do not say anything
“Yes, sir.” They each responded without
Hesitating, but secretly wondered to
Themselves what the Second Officer was
“Something strange is going on.” Jonath
Whispered hard to them, mocking Cain’s
Smile. “No I do not like this.”
“You’re just thinking too much…” Janeth said.
It was the ship’s weekly event…The Pit Games.
THE FIGHTS…Where large numbers of
The crew gathered at a square sunken
Stadium at the bottom of the ship, below
The Deck of the Lion Men…It was here
They found their entertainment in blood sports.
It typically opened with wrestling matches
Between rival mining teams. Big grunting
Muscled miners brawled until they were bloody
And unconscious…And then, lastly, as a grand
Finale…Lion Men were chosen to fight each other
In savage pair matches…sometimes to the
It was always a mystery how they got the
Lion Men to fight each other so brutally, so
Ferociously…to the death…
It was a mystery the three friends were about
To find out very closely about…
And it would change one of their lives
Jansen, Jonath and Janeth arrived at
The Warden’s station, where a hefty built
Iron faced officer greeted them with a broken
Grin. His hair was nearly shaved off, but he
Kept a beard…The man looked cold, cruel
And mindless; few had manners here. He
Led the three of them down a dark back
Hall to the pits…A private entrance for
Wardens and security officers only.
He took them to a large steel room with
Big square cells with thick bars that
Held four very angry looking Lion Men.
They were dressed in loin cloths only, they
Didn’t growl or make a sound, they only
Stared with heated anger as they stood
Trapped in the prison cells.
The Warden led the three of them inside
Then pointed to a table in the center of the
Room with mysterious closed
Metal boxes on it. “Everything you
Will need is there. A medical officer will be
In shortly to show you what to do. You
Will assist him…” He grumbled staring
At the Lion Men with disgust. “Stay here…
I will return for you at the end of
The Games.” He left abruptly and bolted
The thick door shut.
Janeth went over to the table and
Examined the boxes as his friends joined
Him. Then he curiously opened one of
The heavy boxes to find it full of vials and
Syringes. He grabbed one of the vials and
Read it and gasped. “Testenox?”
“What is it?” Jonath asked.
“Is that what I think it is?” Jansen asked.
“This is a powerful growth steroid the miners
Use for training,” Janeth explained. “It
Elevates testosterone levels to insane levels.”
“Why is that here?” Jonath asked.
Janeth looked at the Lion Men with shock.
“This is how they get them to fight…
To make them angry…”
Suddenly the door made loud unlocking
Sounds then opened…Then in walked a
Medical officer…4 huge security guards
And the First Officer, Hollis…who had a
Very mysterious sly, wicked smile on his face.
The medical officer walked over to the table
And began prepping the table by laying out
A cloth…then syringes and vials from the
Boxes on the table. No introduction of
Names were exchanged, the entire mood
Quickly became very grim.
The medical officer pointed to Janeth and
Jansen, then handed them syringes. “Fill
These with 400 cuads each of the Testenox.”
Janeth’s eyes widened as he looked at Jansen
Then back to the officer. “You’re not
Serious? That dose is—“
“Do as I tell you.” The medical officer ordered
As he began filling syringes himself. He then
Pointed to Jonath. “You…go with the guard
Through the door to the arena and watch
And manage as they are let out.”
Immediately a guard escorted Jonath through
The only open doorway that led out to the arena.
Then Janeth and Jansen assisted the medical
Officer and filled all the syringes. Once
Finished he nodded to the Lion Men’s cells… “Now
Each of you go with a guard to each cell
And empty two syringes into each one of
“WHAT?” Janeth exclaimed. “That dose is—“
“Do it!” The officer ordered.
They each quietly complied. The guards allowed
No hesitation…It was done cold and fast. The
Scene was just cruel. Jansen moved
The slowest and nervously as the
Guard led him to a Lion Man’s cell at the
Far corner…This cell held the oldest looking
Of the Lion Men…Scarred, his ears were torn,
He only had one eye…This one had seen many
Fights. He went to the cell and locked
Eyes with the great lion…that towered over
Him at 9 feet tall…The Lion Man stared at
Jansen strangely…with a confused looking,
Human-like pale blue eye.
There was silent moment, an exchange
Between Jansen and the Great Lion Man…
Unspoken words. A telepathy? Complete emotions
Bound and shared in feelings that only said…
I am so sorry…But the Lion Man knew, he had
Done this before. But he had never met a human
So, sensitive. He immediately liked this human
Very much. It even appeared that he smiled
The guard grew impatient with Jansen. Then
Grabbed a rod that allowed them to stab the
Syringes into the Lion Man without getting
Too close. The guard forced him to give the
Injection fast and hard. “There, DONE.” The
Guard said angrily. “Was that so hard kid?”
He groaned then turned to his fellow guards.
“Why are so many assistants needed here,
Are they stupid or something?” They
Once the injections were done, Janeth and
Jansen were ordered to stand back as
The guard went to a control panel on the
Wall then started pressing buttons…Doors
Slid open in the Lion Men’s cells. Then the
Guards used these shock sticks of high
Voltage to force them into dark hallways
In the cells that led out to the arena.
After the last Lion Man disappeared, amid
An angry wild chorus of deafening roars
And growls…The medical officer pointed
To Janeth. “You with me.” He handed him
A gun filled with darts. “These are filled
With Cynedex…if one of the lions gets
Out of control or gets past the gate,
Shoot them. One dart will kill them
Instantly. Now come with me…” He led him
Down the dark corridor that Jonath left
Through…then Jansen was left alone with
The First Officer Hollis…
Jansen looked at the First Officer who
Smiled at him strangely…playfully? No,
Dangerously. Then he turned and saw
A small view window to the arena and
Went to it…There he peered out and
Watched in horror as the Lion Men entered
The arena… “There’s a crewman out there!”
He gasped…then watched in horror as
The Lion Men surrounded the terrified man.
“What’s he doing out there?”
“He stole rations.” Hollis said coldly.
“So, you’re throwing him to the Lion Men?”
Jansen shook…He had never seen the
Games, never wanted to…but heard the stories.
“They’ll kill him!”
“No, they’ll probably play with him first…”
Hollis laughed… “Mangle him…claw him up…
Rape him…Then kill him…Maybe eat him.”
Jansen turned to the window…The images
Were indescribable…the blood…The Lion Men
Descended on the man, clawed at him…then
Fought each other to see who would have
The first piece…Fast shadowy movements…
Screams from the man, screams from
The crowd above…As the crew watched
All shouted… “Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!”
Jansen’s eyes went so wide the window
Appeared to shrink and the dark scene
Seemed far away…a tunnel vision of some
Cruel hell of blood and torture. He shook.
Hollis touched his shoulder, then Jansen
Jumped away from him and the window.
“Are you nervous?” Hollis asked very calmly.
Jansen quickly studied him…saw the secrets
Behind the mask on his face, that fake
Concerned smile…This was a game, a set up…
Hollis stood like stone and smiled like he
Didn’t care. “Take off your uniform. Strip.”
Jansen heard the words, the command from
Hollis’s mouth but…there was something else.
That Light inside his head came alive and
Found a voice. He held a strong face kindly
To the First Officer. “You’re not here…”
“What?” Hollis scowled.
“You’re not here.” Jansen said with wonder.
“Your spirit…It’s not here. It hid away
Inside you a long time ago.”
“What are talking about?” Hollis
Jansen then was in his mind, his heart…
A shelled-sealed shut vault hidden deep
Inside the man. He hid it away as a boy
A long time ago…When he…Then Jansen
Saw the memory…felt it…The cries, the
Screams…The terror. Hollis had been
Beaten so badly he shut down YEARS
Ago…and something else took over…This
Dark version the crew knew…He had
Become what he needed to survive…A monster.
“The Commander…He raped you when
You were 16.” Jansen said slowly,
Afraid…with dread and grief and sorrow
For him. “Over and over…in front of
All the officers…for his amusement. That’s
Why you are his favorite. That’s why
You’re the First Officer…You were his
“SHUT UP!” Hollis exploded.
“It destroyed you.” Jansen said sadly.
“My God, that’s how you got this way.”
“SHUT UP!” Hollis exploded. He shook,
He clenched his fists. He shoved Jansen
Against the wall hard and got right in
His face. “How…How…How…” He stammered.
“How could you know that?”
“No one ever talks on this ship.” Jansen
Said. “I mean, they talk…But they talk
About nothing…They talk about things
That mean nothing…So nothing ever changes.
But you…No one ever talks to you. They
Never really talk to you. Because no
One here really cares about anything.”
Hollis fought to hold himself together. He
Was shattering to pieces from inside out.
“But you’re different? You care, do you?”
“I listen.” Jansen said kindly, he truly
Felt for Hollis then…The man had been
So desperately hurt and hiding his whole
Life… “I care. I won’t hurt you. I
Will listen if you want me to?”
Hollis choked, then broke…then stumbled
Back and the tears poured down his face. “Why
Did you have to say that to me?” He cried
And stared at the ceiling. “I was fine
Until you said that to me.” He fell to his
Knees and cried and cried. “I can’t think
Jansen knelt on the floor with him. “I’ll be here
For you if you want.”
“They’re going to know…” Hollis cried.
“No one’s going to know anything.” Jansen
There were long strange, strained, painful
Moments…of Hollis crying…against the roars
Of the crowd and the Lion Men in the arena.
It was quite a show.
“No one ever…talked to me like you before.”
Hollis cried. Then suddenly he grabbed Jansen
And held him tight like a lost little boy and
Cried. “Please…don’t leave me all alone. I’ll
Do anything you want. Just please don’t leave
Me all alone.”
“I will be there,” Jansen told him, “Any time
You need me.”
The book glowed…The images faded…
“So that’s how he started…how they started…
This bond, this…love they had.” I said to her.
Ceres was intensely moved…Her instincts
Had been powerfully right about Hollis…and
Jansen. They were special. “What could they
Think…The eyes and ears out there…That
What, it’s always about passion? Attraction?
In some sense it is, of course…
But in most…what it’s really about
Is that everyone really needs to find that
One thing that truly will bring their
Soul to peace…to quiet the storms that
“That’s what this is about…Not excuses
Or blame…but finding that special
Something that will bring the soul to peace…”