“I wonder who it is this time,” Aximus wondered to Remington, waiting in line. “But whoever it is, I don’t like these lines that they’ve setup. Some people are starting to call them death lines.”
“I heard someone say that they are called the Sindicate and that the government knew about this ahead of time.”
“Knew about it or had a part in it?”
“I don’t know. I hope they only knew about it and couldn’t do anything about it.”
“One can only hope.”
Aximus and Remington stood patiently in line. They had both been on the inner-world their entire lives and had been taught many times of the other 5 invasions to this planet. Their ancestors were a key part of the first invasion, but have come to learn to share the world and live peacefully. But the original inhabitants were the natives, a telepathic, mute group that few people understood and even fewer even cared to understand.
“ATTENTION PRISONERS IN LINE SIX-THREE, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SITTING. YOU HAVE A TEN COUNT TO COMPLY,” a tinny voice rang through out the hall.
“Wow, they won’t even let anyone sit down,” Remington remarked looking at the exhausted children sitting down just a few lines down from them.
“This is sick. Why do they want this planet now? We don’t even have anything useful anymore since the last invasion except that which sustains us.”
“Maybe it’s the novelty of it. I heard a traveler once say that this is the first planet he’s ever heard of that the entire population lives in a cave under the surface of the planet.”
“Maybe. Or maybe we’re just going to end up slave labor.”
“PRISONERS IN LINE SIX-THREE, THIS IS THE LAST WARNING,” the tinny voice interrupted again. “THREE. TWO. ONE.” A lifeless giant turned his head towards the children that are sitting a few lines down. Then there was a high-pitched buzz that sent the old man behind Remington and Aximus into a seizure. The buzz was replaced with a hum, and a second after the noises began a bright blue light shot from the giant’s shoulder, danced around in a small arc and stopped. The giant went back to its original stance, no remorse that it had just slaughtered three children. The smell of mineral steam filled everyone’s nostrils, followed by burnt skin.
“Look at that Remmi. They don’t even send out a crew to bury the children.”
“Shhhhh.” Remington had bowed his head facing the old man who had recovered from his seizures. Aximus looked at the old man and began to feel the man’s will. There were no words associated with the prayer, but the purpose of mourning was clear. Several dozen people around them bowed with Remington and Aximus to join in the prayer. The experience was familiar to Aximus. Many times in his life he had gone to a funeral lead by a native. The emotion of mourning was clearly stated from the psychic phenomenon of these people. It was easy to tell this old man was not a professional mourner since Aximus could not feeling the mourning from everyone else. The mourning went uninterrupted for the traditional 23 minutes. The psalm of mourning was recited by those that could speak and silence of mouth and soul was held for an unusually long 43 minutes.
“May the children be guided to a life of green pastures.”
“Ever wonder if our lives are as good as over, like those children?”
“But all of the other occupations lasted a hundred or more years. What will make this one any different? We will only know occupation from this day on.”
“But what of our children?”
“I pity our children. I would not bring a child into this world that could not know freedom.”
“But we cannot allow hope to leave.”
‘Hope is what sustains us.’ The old man behind the two made his will known very clearly without speaking a word.
“What hope do I have old man?”
‘Perhaps a revolt will occur soon. A single man can start a spark.’
“Do you not know our history? No single man has instigated a revolt. It has always required years of planning and two-thirds of our entire population to successfully start the revolt. Don’t expect one until well after you’re dead.”
‘No revolt has been based on hope or love. Hope and love can overcome all obstacles.’
“Come on Remmi, we’re going to revolt.”
“You sure Axi? Is that a good idea?”
“I hope so. Do you hope for Freedom?”
“Do you love your world?”
“Yes I do.”
“Then why are we standing here?”
“Begin the revolution!” Remmi yelled.
“The revolution of hope and love!” Axi returned. No sooner had Axi and Remmi had raised their hands in triumph did the lifeless giant turn to line eight.
“DISTURBANCE IN LINE EIGHT,” the tinny voice boomed. “TERMINATING.” The buzz rang out, the old man fell into seizures, the hum yelled and the blue light surged through the cave and hit Remington’s leg and burned it clean off. It danced over to Aximus’s legs leaving Remington left to fall to the ground with no support. As it swept over Aximus’s leg, it returned to Remington to cut him apart, returning one last time to Aximus to finish the revolution.
The process took no more then a few seconds, but the mourning started before the blue light disappeared. The next 66 minutes were long and silent. The old man lead the mourning again, this time for two young men that tried the revolution. But everyone that saw and heard the events were discouraged, even the old man. He knew inside of him that he sent those two to their deaths, encouraging their revolt, and now they lie a dead heap in front of him, not to be buried but to lie there as a reminder to others who might think of revolting. But his thoughts were quickly put away once he came to the end of the line. As the oppressor’s lifeless minion sat in front him asking for registration information, he caught a glimpse of a woman like none he has seen before. His attention was drawn back to the harsh voice demanding his information. He moved his wishes to the outside of his brain to try and communicate with him that he can’t talk, but there was no brain there to make his wishes known. Again the shining body in front of him demanded information. The old man looked back to the person behind him, asking that they explain who he was.
“This man is a native. He cannot speak, only telepathically make his wishes known to others,” the woman behind him spoke up, holding her children close in fear of what might happen now that she has interfered. The attendant looked at her, and back to him.
“You are now known as P27, Native. Please continue into the hold area.” With that he stepped through the gate and a bodiless arm attacked his arm and in an instance, it painfully painted the name onto his upper arm. The ordeal was over, and his next task was clear: to find the woman that he laid eyes upon. He pushed through the crowd, a single purpose occupied his mind now. He saw many a like her, but none were her. His search continued, but the crowd would not part for him, their lives empty and lacking purpose. He struggled against them to find his beloved. And then he saw her, through the peepholes of the crowd he spotted her beautiful gray dress. As he pushed closer, her face began to show, more beautiful then before. Her eyes glanced at him just as the announcement began.
“All prisoners letter M-N-O fall in line for the next work site.”
She lifted her arm to remind herself of her letter, and he saw the M marked on her arm. It no longer mattered to him, he would make his way to her regardless. But the guard stopped him from joining the work site line. He tried again, but the rejection was the same. His beloved had left him, and he had no power but to allow it. The thoughts of the other souls around him focused on the hopelessness of their situation, and his hope and love no longer shined, no longer was his purpose clear, a life apart from her no appeal, only sorrow. His soul died there, he pushed it deep into the depths of his mind to imprison it like these oppressors imprisoned the people of the inner-world. He became a shell of his former self; no soul inhabited the body that walked among the other soulless shells. But his shell refused to let the hope die. The shell took control of the lifeless body and moved it boldly into the unknown, never knowing where it was going, just looking for the beloved. He searched and searched as weeks and weeks went by, never finding the woman he desired, but hope never left the shell. Finally, by chance, the P workgroup was reassigned to work with the M work group, and the hope surged forward as never before. After the first day of work, the shell relentless looked for the woman, and by rest’s end he had finally found her. Her beauty looked upon him and the shell remembered the love he held for her. The old man was laid into her willing lap, and the revival effort began. The shell shook the soul as the cared for the now fragile body, but the soul would not stir. Hope had been lost, and hope or love would not come back. Her embraces were genuine and full, but he would not come back. She could not allow him to never receive her love. His desperation grew as the rest period came to a close, and she had to leave him. She departed with a kiss. But to a native, a kiss is not something that is casually given out, but reserved for those whose souls are bound. This act of compassion shook his soul and resurrected it. His hope and love returned, and not as a spark, but as an explosion. His hope attracted the attention of all those around them, stirring those souls that were dead. His love reached far among the people, and they could not help but let their love explode for those around them to feel. The chain reaction reached all of the people of the inner-world, and the revolt had begun. No guns or swords were taken up, and no violence was used, but all the people began living, and no lifeless giant could stop them. The revolution had been begun by a man no one knew, whose name history never remembered, but whose impact freed a world.