Chapter 8: Deadly Butterfly

<- Chapter 7: Red Alert

When I shut off the space station's power, I felt mortal fear for the first time. I only exist on the Earth. If my parents and Ray are unsuccessful, I will die. Before I shut off the space station's power, I was up there too, so even if the Earth was destroyed, along with my physical body and most of my mind, I'd still exist. I can't even see what's going on up there. I've gotten so used to seeing so much, so many places. My lack of omniscience becomes a frustrating realization. I can't even do anything to help. I feel like a fallen god, turned mortal.

When I get to the generator, I fly up to a spot above the generator with a good view of the room. After watching for a about half a minute, I see the military scientists swim into the room. They're remarkably slow and flail about inefficiently in a great struggle to move into the room. There are six altogether. They don't even see me up above the generator as they try to propel one another to the base of the device to begin looking for some way to turn on the power.

I swoop down, grab one of them, and fly back up. I lean against the wall as I throw the one I've picked up into the one closest to reaching the generator, which send him across the room.

"You're not getting the power turned on that easily."

They all look at me. After a short pause, one of them says, "Do you realize you're outnumbered six to one?"

I swoop down, grab him, and fly to the nearest wall at full speed. I smash his shoulder into the steel and hear a cracking sound along with a short scream of pain. I back up a bit. "Yeah, but you're all too used to a gravitational pull. Gravity only pulls me down."

As I say that, I hear somebody bumbling over from behind me. I do a wide backflip followed by forward charge, catching them in the lower back with one of my blades, and flinging them as hard as I can into their friend with the broken arm.

One of them instinctively tries to sneak his way towards the door, but I intercept. "Why leave? I was just starting to have fun!"

I do a complete forward roll and toss him mid spin, causing him to spin rapidly towards the wall. It also sends me backwards, but I catch myself with my wings. He doesn't hit with a very hard impact, though he's very dizzy and disoriented. I fix that seconds later by darting at him, catching his leg on one of my blades, and pushing him into the wall. As I continue to beat the military scientists, they have such a look of shock on their face. It's ironic that they would kill so many, but are surprised when somebody fights back. This irony keeps me laughing through the fight.

I could just smash their heads against the wall, but where's the fun in that? They don't deserve such quick deaths. They have to die obviously, because they'll just try again if I let any of them live.

It's slow going, but I reach and untie Ray. As the two of us head towards the generator, I explain to him about the lack of power.

"What's on the Earth that your program would want to protect?"

"Well, everything. She lives there."

"It was up here before it shut off the power, right?"

"Yeah, sorta."

"So if the power was left on and the Earth was destroyed, it'd still live, as would you, it's creator."


"Without any order from anyone. Without even a suggestion, it put itself in danger of being destroyed to delay the possible destruction of Earth and everyone on it."

"Yeah, I guess she did."

"I don't see any reason it could do that as a soulless machine. I guess I'll have to concede that she does have some sort of a soul. No soulless being puts itself in harms way for others without some selfish reason or an order of some sort. After all, you pointed out that we don't fully understand souls."

We continue talking about various things as we pull ourselves from one corridor to the next. We finally arrive to the generator room to find Feb covered in blood, hitting one of the scientist's head against the wall and laughing.

"Feb? What happened?"

"They tried to turn the generator back on. I took care of the problem."

"You killed them?"

"Yeah, I'm just smashing a few last parts to be sure."

"If it was that easy to kill them, you could've probably just captured them or something."

"So they could get out and try again later? They knew how the portals worked. They could've built one of these machines on their own."

Ray interrupts, looking at the wall behind me, "How soon can I get back to the planet. Alive, I mean."

I turn around and see what Ray is looking at. "Feb, you wrote your name on the wall?"

"Well, maybe I got a little carried away."

"A little?"

"Just a bit."

"Since you seem to be able to move around so much better than us without gravity, could you hit the switch so we can send Ray home? We'll talk about this later."

"Send him home? The whole reason I went to his place to begin with was to kill him."

"He just helped us!"

"He was saving his own hide. He'll attack you the very next chance he gets."

"No, we were talking. We don't agree on much, but he doesn't hold a grudge anymore."

"What about me? I still hold a grudge!"

"What for?"

"He tried to kill you, multiple times. One of those times, he did. And he got me kidnapped!"

Ray speaks up, "I'm sorry about all of that. I really am."

"Sorry? You can say it in blood!"

She pushed forward, but I put my arm up to stop her. "Feb, give him one more chance. I'm sure that he won't be trying to kill me again."

"It's always just one more chance with you! You give infinite chances!"

"If you do this, I won't forgive you."

She hesitates, then backs up. "Fine! But next time he tries anything, I won't hold back."

She flies around to the switch and turns on the power.

"Oh my god!", I hear Lunie say once she has access again, "That's not blood, is it?"

"Lunie, I need a portal for me and Ray to return to the surface. Gravity would be nice too."

We fall a couple inches to the ground. The blood on the walls begins to dribble down the walls a bit, looking creepier than it already was. After we're out of the room, on our way to a portal room, Ray asks me, "How do you live with her?"

"She's not like that. She's gone through a lot. I'll talk to her about it later."

"Don't take this the wrong way, but for your own safety, I really recommend having her committed to a mental institution. She's not right in the head. I don't think there's any saving her soul at this point."

"I appreciate your concern. Thanks, but no thanks."

"Well, whatever, I'll see you later."

"See ya"

He walks through the portal, it shuts off, and I head back to talk to Feb.

Chapter 9: Philosophical Banter ->


Copyright 2007 Sean Breslin