POWER IS PRICELESS
Dedication: To all
those that wanted to see me write a terribly mean story against someone who
probably didn't deserve it. I just want everyone to remember, however, that
this loophole, unlike most, was created before it became a noose...
buzzed about each other, seeking freedom in this carbon-oxygen based
atmosphere. Some were acting like foremen, others like builders, and the rest
like building blocks.
Now, you. There. And you, On top of him. You should be at a 45 degree
**T. G. Taft**
woke the next morning to a bright and shiny day in Furanose. The birds were
humming, the hummingbirds singing; all was in perfect harmony with nature.
All, that is, except for the planet Earth.
voice was one of Bronson's many friends, Marlin Exeter. He carried with him a
portable viewing set. On the tube was a real picture of a dragon. Bronson
stared at the set, his emotions changing from passive to emotional as he
realized that what he was watching was real. "Where did that come
watched painfully as the dragon breathed a huge flame and scorched his palace
at Paradise. He winced as the huge reptile stepped on the ashes and twisted
they're are litterally hundreds of them, and they're multiplying faster than
we can count."
what the heck are they?"
it's... the Plague."
looked at his friend. Somehow he knew that he was not lying: That somehow, the
Plague had once again returned. "Where's Madison?"
he's missing. He went to try and save his hometown from a dragon and hasn't
returned. He's presumed dead. I'm sorry. He said he was sick when he woke
up... But, Bronson! There's no time to lose. We must flee!"
gone." Bronson closed his eyes in reverence for his dead friend.
"Where could we flee?"
Have the A-51's attack them."
have, Bronson. They're hide is impervious to lasers of any kind. They have
destroyed Alarius and Ranier. Only Furanose and the Domain remain... we must
camera on Marlin's TV changed positions. Bronson and Marlin became involved as
it depicted a set of eight teenagers on a picnic. A nearby dragon slowly
walked over to them and separated the boys from the girls. Picking up the four
boys in his right hand, he made them watch as he squished the girls beneath
his left foot. The boys squinched as they saw the blood ooze from between his
scaly toes. The dragon, smiling at his work, then took the boys and threw them
against a nearby rocky hill. Their bodies dissassembled on impact.
turned his attention back onto other matters. "All of Ranier and Alarius
are destroyed?" Bronson was dumbfounded: All his hopes, all his
but one small part of Alarius: The City of Remembrance; apparently the Plague
cannot get to it."
quickly thought for a moment. "Then that would be the safest place,
wouldn't it? Prepare transportation." Bronson didn't want to leave Earth.
He hated space compared to the lush beauty of his home. Too bad he would never
see it again.
It wouldn't! Space would be the safest place!"
a loudspeaker came blasting through the halls. "There is no more
transportation to the starships. Repeat. All shuttles have been used, and none
are coming back."
TV suddenly pictured another view. This one showed the house of a small
village house in South Furanose. A beautiful lady came running out, carrying a
tiny baby at her breast. A dragon turned and saw them moving. It ran away from
what it was doing, squished the tiny shack, and continued after the mother.
Finding her hiding beneath a tree, it yanked the birch out of the ground and
threw the twig into a nearby river. Then he picked up the lady and placed her
and her child in its mouth. Bronson closed his eyes as he saw the huge monster
bring its teeth together and saw the flesh slobber out its gums...
more ideas?" Repeated Bronson. With a twist of his ring, he, and Exeter,
reappeared in the City of Remembrance. Bronson was happy when he learned that
the City of Remembrance still existed. He had heard of its ancient history,
and hoped it would have some answers.
**T. G. Taft**
The time was 9:52 PM, May 22, 26 BP (1967
anno domini). A small baby had just been born in Seattle's St. John's
Hospital. Named Michael Jay Ozino, he would live to see the world tumble; to
see human nature in strife as never before. Ozino would live to see the worst
event in all of the human race's history besides the Fall itself: And come
away the Victor.
Michael grew up in an average upper-middle
class family living just on the outskirts of Seattle, Washington. He was very
intelligent, ranked first in his class, and continued his education at the
University of Washington. He majored in psychology, and from the start it was
evident that he was above a normal college student. He became involved, at the
age of twenty one, in an international search program which was to find worthy
people and develop them to become the astronauts aboard the NASA "Red
World" mission. The Red World mission was to send a group of six people
to Mars, in hopes of winning a race that the United States was involved in
with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Ozino was one of the six accepted. The
others included three from the U.S.: Patricia D. Phumos from Tallahassee,
Florida; Steven H. Excho from Salt Lake City, Utah; and Christopher I. Ranet
from Detroit, Michigan. One was picked from Cambridge Bay, Canada; her name
was Felicia O. Wisdym; the remaining was born in Uruapan, Mexico: His name was
Miguel P. Aven.
The group hastily embarked on a three year
training mission; during that time many relationships developed. The most
obvious of these was the marriage of Ozino to Wisdym; however, there were many
others. Ranet and Ozino became the closest of friends; Phumos and Wisdym also
became very close. Excho, who typified the clown in the group, was friendly to
all and was generally accepted. Aven, however, was the craftiest; the men
trusted him 1ittle, and Phumos preferred to be with the others. Wisdym was
Operation Red World began on February 17, 1
BP. It was a hastily thrown together project, and, once it had began, many
things began to go wrong. The Russian Project, "Red meets Red," had
begun only a month before, and, according to United States experts, would be
passed by Red World on the second week. They were wrong. Two of the seven
engines aboard Red World went out on the very first day. Still undaunted, the
group continued to Mars.
The mission was to take a total of six
months: Two and three quarters getting there, the same amount returning; and
two weeks surveying the land. However, during the seventh and eight weeks more
engines blew out. With only half of their original power left, Red World
looked hopeless to beat the Russians. And it did not.
The Russian landing on Mars was heralded as
the greatest human event since the famous Apollo missions. Red World, at the
time of Red meets Red's historic landing, was still ten weeks behind her.
NASA, noticing that it had been beaten, finally took the well being of the
astronauts into account and called off the mission. Red World made a complete
turn back for Earth; its mission incomplete. Ozino, as head of the mission,
blamed himself; Wisdym tried desperately to control him but could not. If only
Ozino knew that Red World's failure was one of the greatest things to ever
happen to the human race.
Red meets Red, after its three weeks of
surveying Mars, returned to orbit and began to face Earth once again. Its
engines, which, though slower than Red World's, were all in place, and they
had no trouble with manueverability. Perhaps getting a little too vain, Red
meets Red did a loop around Red World to show off. Red World continued its
slow passage home.
After another eight months of travelling a
seemingly endless void, Red World recieved a strange NASA signal at 0200
hours. Now only four days from home, the signal depicted horror for each and
every one of them.
"Red World. Repeat. Red World.
Emergency, Code Purple. Earth in danger. Dragons bearing across the Atlantic
Ocean. This is not a joke. Dragons exist on Earth. Scientist can deduct only
one thing: They are a species which had laid dormant on Mars for centuries,
and, once put into our atmosphere by the Russians, began to grow. Guys, I hate
to tell you this, but... (click)... the dragons are going to destroy the
human... (click)... race..."
**T. G. Taft**
Caretaker calmly smiled as he reread what he had scribbled out. He didn't
usually venture away from the waterfall, but he felt that now was a time when
he had to. This essay that he was writing would come in handy later, as other
generations can learn about the first plague. The second plague will be
he was interrupted by a gentleman. The caretaker did not bother to even turn
around. "Hello, Destoyer." He said.
Colt Randolf took offense at this statement. "Why do you address me
it not you who brought the Plague upon the Earth the second time?"
I don't know anything about it."
caretaker took the papers that he had assembled thus far and threw them at
Bronson had finished, he looked solemnly at Fred. "If you mean Atlantis,
I did not know about this."
course you didn't. But then you weren't careful either, were you? You see,
Bronson, the Plague is the evil in this Universe. The good is the Power. The
Plague cannot be destroyed without the Power. And the Power no longer exists
in this Universe. Translated: You have destroyed most of the human race,
including Richard's, Adena's, Iffley's, and your peoples and nations. Because
of your lust for power, you have killed. Whether or not you intended to is
Not me! I didn't do it on purpose! Besides, a simple restoration spell will
cure all, won't it Marlin?"
looked down. "Our magic is useless against the Plague. As he said,
Bronson, the Plague is the evil. Only the Power can stop it."
joined Marlin in his down-look. "I'm sorry. But what could I have done
could have not been so powerful Bronson. But don't worry about it. It's only
the lives of 3.5 billion people."
looked at a poster that was hanging against a wall in the City. It had a big
picture of his smiling face on it. Drawn across it was a blood-stained V.
**T. G. Taft**
dragon quietly burned up Bob XXII. It mumbled to itself. "Thanks,
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|