Jon Messenger: Purge of Prometheus

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Jon Messenger Purge of Prometheus
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    Purge of Prometheus
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Jon Messenger

Purge of Prometheus


Yen Xiao stood among the wreckage of the laboratory. Spikes of pain roared through his head as he wobbled unsteadily on his feet, his mind drained after his uncontrolled outburst of psychic energy. He clenched his eyes tightly shut, squeezing free tears from the corners of his eyes as he ran shaking hands through his long dark hair. Around him, the room lay in waste. Tables were overturned and twisted, pushed to the far walls from where Yen stood; the area around him stood clear of rubble, his own body clearly the epicenter of the destruction. Beakers lay smashed on the floor and noxious fumes flooded the room. Yen hardly noticed, his own pulse seeming to burn his veins as it coursed through his temples.

As he opened his eyes, Yen’s focus fell on the mangled corpse near his feet, the body illuminated by the large screen hanging on the wall; the one surviving piece of technology within the room flickered its blue image lazily throughout the decimated room. The face of the corpse was mangled, the once proud Terran features no longer recognizable amongst the dangling strips of muscle and tissue. Flesh was stripped from both arms where the Terran had attempted, unsuccessfully, to shield himself from the blast. The body had once belonged to the Terran geneticist Doctor Solomon, a man who Yen had been ordered to bring back alive.

Doctor Solomon was the lead scientist for the Terran Empire and had been responsible for controlled genetic mutations that had led to thousands of deaths on Alliance planets throughout known space. It was on his orders that the Terran Fleet invaded Interstellar Alliance space a few months before, resulting in the first major conflict between the two forces since the Taisa Accord nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. In retaliation, the Alliance sent their fleet on an invasion of their own, directly to the Terran home world: Earth. Using untested warp technology to bypass the Terran orbiting defenses, the Alliance landed their forces on the planet’s surface where, led by the psychic warrior Yen Xiao, they cut a swath through the surprised Terran defense forces. It had been during a conflict with one of Doctor Solomon’s genetic creations, a Terran modified with his own psychic powers, that Yen had pushed his own abilities beyond their capacity. Though he had killed the Terran psychic, Yen felt the control of his own powers slipping away until, finally confronted by the doctor, his energy lashed out on its own accord, destroying the lab and killing not just the doctor but Yen’s own squadron.

His power mostly spent now, Yen still struggled to maintain control. He clenched his hands into tight fists, reveling in the pain it caused as his fingernails scored deep cuts into his yellowed skin. The pain and endorphins his body released in response seemed to settle his mind and corral his mental focus. Nostrils flaring, he breathed deep the intermixed fumes of the laboratory and brought his visible shaking under control. He had failed his mission of bringing back the scientist alive, but he survived. Right now, that seemed to matter more to Yen than anything else.

The spikes along his spine bristled as he heard another noise in the room. Spinning, he glared at the Alliance soldiers entering the laboratory. They halted, alternating their surprise between the carnage of the room and Yen who stood unscathed but haggard in its center. The torn bodies of a dozen Alliance special operations soldiers littered the room, their remains tossed haphazardly amongst the broken tables and equipment along the room’s walls.

The first soldier into the room, identified as a Magistrate by the rank on his lapel, pulled his assault helmet free from his head. Yen didn’t recognize the Uligart soldier, but he wasn’t surprised. The assault had consisted of more than one million soldiers, who landed throughout Earth’s surface.

“What the hell happened here?” the Magistrate demanded, his privileged officer mannerisms apparent in his behavior.

His words ran like razors along Yen’s spine. The tone rang in disharmony to the silence of the room and sent more spikes of pain spreading through his mind. Yen tilted his head away as though physically struck.

“The good doctor,” he said, indicating the body on the floor, “must have set up a trap for us.” The lie rolled off his tongue fluidly. “When we entered, he set off an explosion that killed himself and all my men.”

“And you are somehow unscathed?” the Magistrate asked disparagingly.

Yen’s eyes shot open once more and he glared at the Uligart, who backed away in shock. “Do you have any idea who I am, you little pissant?” Yen demanded, his voice taking a dangerous edge. “I am Yen Xiao! I have crushed the Terran forces beneath me as I strode confidently through their meager ranks! And I should crush you beneath my heel for even insinuating wrongdoing on my part!”

The Magistrate cleared his through and stammered an apology. “Forgive me, sir. I was not aware of who you were. It was dark in the room when we arrived and we were overcome with…”

Yen interrupted him with a wave of his hand. His angry outburst had sent his powers spiraling away from his control once more, and he feared completely losing his grip on his energy once again. He breathed in a slow cadence in order to allow his body and mind time to relax, regardless of the rest of the Alliance soldiers watching him in silence. If his powers were so easily slipping away from him now, how long would he be able to maintain control before he endangered everyone around him? What if he lost control while onboard a ship? His powers had the ability to tear through the hull and suck his lifeless body into the vacuum of space. Yen shuddered at the thought before taking another deep breath.

“Forget about it, Magistrate,” Yen began softly. “Get your men together and prepare to evacuate the planet. Our mission here is already done.”

As the Magistrate began barking orders to his soldiers, the blue screen behind Yen flickered to life. The lazy blue glow was replaced by an oversized face of the recently deceased Doctor Solomon. The face stared into the destroyed room, a look of somber sobriety cast over the doctor’s features. As he spoke, his voice was amplified by hidden speakers along the walls.

“My name is Doctor David Solomon. If you are watching this video, it means that I am already dead.”

Yen flinched at the loud sound, but stood entranced as the video continued. The other Alliance soldiers slowly entered the room, drawn by the sound of the Terran’s voice.

“Five years ago,” the doctor continued, “I inherited the Terran Mutation Project which was created nearly one hundred years ago as a safeguard against invasion by the Interstellar Alliance. However, in all that time, the Alliance and the Empire have both stoically remained fastidious about the terms of the Taisa Accord. Both sides remained loyal to the non-invasion agreement and obeyed a no-fly zone through the approved Demilitarized Zone.

“Though both sides strictly obeyed the precepts of the Accord publicly, our spies sent back information to the Lords’ Senate that the Alliance planned military operations against Terran outposts. I was approached, following this discovery, to turn the Terran Mutation Project from a defensive to offensive weapon. My results were spectacular! My shining accomplishment with the Project came with the modification of the Seque, a domicile load-bearing creature native to a galaxy within Alliance occupied space.”

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