CYMA RIZWAAN KHAN
PUBLISHED BY Cyma Rizwaan Khan
Copyright © Text Cyma Rizwaan Khan 2014
Copyright © Cover design Cyma Rizwaan Khan 2014
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
© 2014 CYMA RIZWAAN KHAN
This story is about the planet Zyron which is part of the Milky Way Galaxy.
INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD
PROLOGUE- ANZOFT, PRESENT DAY
CHAPTER 1- THE BURNING CITY
CHAPTER 2- THE TRAP
CHAPTER 3- THE CONFESSION
CHAPTER 4- THE EXTRADITION
CHAPTER 5- THE NAME OF SCIENCE
CHAPTER 6- BLACK WALLS
CHAPTER 7- THE RESISTANCE
CHAPTER 8- “THE EXPERIMENT”
CHAPTER 9- DEAD ENDS PART I
CHAPTER 10- THE STHAKO
CHAPTER 11- DEAD ENDS PART II
CHAPTER 12- DEAL WITH THE DEVIL PART I
CHAPTER 13- THE DEAL WITH THE DEVIL PART II
CHAPTER 14- PRISON BREAK
CHAPTER 15- HOPE AND DESPERATION
CHAPTER 16- THE LONG WAY BACK
CHAPTER 17- THE THREAT
CHAPTER 18- THE ARMY
CHAPTER 19- THE MISSION
CHAPTER 20- KRYPTONITE
CHAPTER 21- DELUDED
CHAPTER 22- THE KING IS DEAD
CHAPTER 23- REPURCUSSIONS
CHAPTER 24- THE END
EPILOGUE- WIN WIN
INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD
The Four Species
Anzoftians, Zyre, Citizens and Khaltars are all separate species. They might look the same, but all of them possess different DNA. Anzoftians are able to survive heat, while Khaltars are less intelligent and more primal. Zyres have the ability to take on new information. Citizens, the most intelligent species of them all, don’t have many special abilities but they cannot deal with heat or cold, and are the opposite of Anzoftians who can survive even in extreme temperatures.
The History of Zyron
Zyron is the moderate planet. No extreme temperatures, and many native animal and plant species that make this planet more colorful than the rest. Some five hundred years ago, Zyron was on the brink of destruction. Inhabitants of Planet Keeyla from the distant galaxy of Andromeda waged war against the humans, and launched plasma missiles, razing much of the planet to the ground. In the midst of this disaster, Zyron got a message from the Khaltars, the natives of the planet Eth, saying they wanted to help. It was only with the help of Eth’s forces and their advanced weapons technology that Zyron was able to fight back. But even with the Khaltar’s help, Zyron still faced extinction from a virus that Keeyla inhabitants were known to have spread during the course of the war. So, when their ships left Zyron, the Khaltars stayed to rid the planet of the ugly virus and became rulers in the process.
But the effects of the war were long lasting.
In the next hundred years or so, the Khaltars went to war with Anzoftians and came back triumphant, having added Anzoft to their regime. So then, the Khaltars became rulers of five planets: Eth, Leka, Anzoft, Zyron, and Gulum. One consequence of the Khaltars rule was the further division of Zyron into two subgroups: The Zyres and the Citizens. These two were always separate species coexisting on Zyron but the Zyre had always thought of themselves as a superior specie and they treated the Citizens with contempt. As a result, the Zyre were rich, and the only ones allowed respectable posts in the governments, and the Citizens had no choice but to become slaves to them. Over time, the Zyre started abusing that power, and Commander Krole of the Khaltars, who is Captain of the Regime today, is one of the worst rulers the Citizens have had to suffer.
So now these three species live in a world where most cancers are treatable with a simple medicine dose, but where the Citizens are not allowed to come into politics and they aren’t allowed to hold high-ranking jobs. But the appearance of a Resistance group, led by Jace Dyer, has changed things for the better. Jace is against the slavery that the Zyre have imposed on the Citizens and he’s the only one standing up for their rights. Perhaps the real reason the Zyre haven’t obliterated this group is because of the upcoming election. They fear if they kill Dyer and do anything drastic, they might make him a hero and that’s the last thing they want. Dyer’s people are loyal to him, but their loyalty is about to be tested because Dyer is hiding a secret.
The History of Anzoft
The people of Anzoft have always survived extreme temperatures on their planet. Their planet is a desert planet, with one moon where days are extremely hot and the nights are extremely cold. Anzoftians in general are a peaceful people and don’t like disharmony. This is probably why Khaltars have been ruling them for so long. They are the next most intelligent being in the galaxy (after Zyronians) and they have some of the best science and space centers on the planet but Khaltar interference keeps them from getting true freedom.
The History of Khaltar Planets
Khaltar planets include Eth, the main planet and Leka and Gulum. Khaltars planets are prone to earthquakes and rough weather. Rain and dark days are something everyone on these planets has gotten used to. The Khaltars like Zyron for its colorful nature and its moderate atmosphere. Eth has two moons while Leka and Gulum both have three moons each.
ANZOFT, PRESENT DAY
The traveler made his way across the sandy dunes. He was already unable to speak from the extreme thirst and the scorching sun beating down on his head wasn’t helping. His long robes were sticking to his body from the humidity. There was no escape in sight. The terrain looked endless as far as he could see and there was no sign of a house or some kind of oasis. Just when he was about to give up, he heard the sound of a shuttlecraft approaching. The craft hovered in the air above the traveler, as if taking in his details and the traveler said nothing, on the verge of collapsing.
Finally, the shuttlecraft made a landing on the ground next to the traveler and the doors went up. Out stepped a man in a fortified brown uniform, and the traveler knew they were from the military, and that they were here to help. The man helped the traveler to the shuttlecraft and soon they were making their way towards the home ship.
The man who had helped the traveler get into the craft also helped him get a drink of water. The traveler wiped his face once he was done and was thankful for the air-conditioned interior of the craft. “How did you know I was here?” he asked the pilot.
“We saw your heat signature,” the pilot said. Her hair was collected in a braid and it was dark and thick, going over her shoulder. “We might have missed you entirely if we hadn’t strayed from our destination.”
“Well, I’m glad,” the traveler said.
“Is this your first time on Anzoft?” she asked.
“I’ve been here before,” the traveler said, remembering. “Plenty of times.”
“Who would you like to see?” the pilot asked. “I can place a call. Ask them to get you.”
“I want to see Professor Sykes,” the traveler said.
The pilot was quiet at first and the traveler knew why. “No one ever sees Professor Sykes,” she said. “Not even us.”
“She will have to see me.”
“What should I say your name is?” the pilot said, picking up the shuttle phone.
The assistant in the science labs took Alex to see Sykes when she was bent over a microscope. When she saw him she dropped everything. “I never thought I’d see you again,” she said.
“You know I’d cross deserts to see you,” Alex said.
“And you actually have,” Sykes grinned. “My staff told me they found you roaming in the terrain. Earthlings are not designed for the Anzoft heat. You could have died out there.”
“My shuttle ran into some problems,” Alex told her. “And I would gladly die on a quest to see you.”
“You’re sixty years old for goodness sake,” Sykes said. “Act like it.”
“You’re only a couple of years younger, but you always act older than me.”
“Why did you come here, Alex?” Sykes said. “Khaltars aren’t too fond of Earthlings. You know that.”
“And you know why,” Alex said. “Because Earthlings refuse to be his minions. That’s what sticks in Captain Krole’s craw.”
“Commander for you maybe,” Alex said. “I can’t stand that self-serving bastard.”
“Keep it down, will you?”
“Sykes,” Alex said. “I’ve come here to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“The Khaltars,” he said. “They’re planning something.”
“They’re always planning something.”
“This time, it has to do with your specie’s survival.”
“What do you mean?”
“Did you know Eth’s sun is dying?”
Sykes stared blankly at him. “You can confirm it if you want,” Alex said. “We intercepted one of their transmissions at CERN, the place I work for. They were talking about taking down Anzoft.”
“They already rule us, what more could they want?”
“They want to make Anzoftians extinct before their star dies completely and their three planets become worthless.”
“Alex, stop speculating.”
“You think I’d risk getting killed if it was just speculation?” Alex said. “I came here because I feel indebted to Anzoftians. They helped me when I was in need, helped my spacecraft. We owe our lives to the people of this planet.”
“Even if it is true,” Sykes said. “What do you think we can do?”
“Don’t say that,” Alex said. “Sykes, you’re stronger than that! You can’t let these people win!”
“You know Anzoftians aren’t exactly the confrontational kind.”
“Sykes I’m telling you your species could be dead!”
“Look, I’ll see what I can do.”
The doors burst open, and Alex saw the black and silver uniforms of the men who belonged to the Khaltar army. Not the brown-toned outfits of the Anzoftians like the ones who had rescued him. One of them came behind Sykes and dragged her towards someone who looked like their higher official. Another guard did the same to Alex. One of the men pressed a button on his device and the whole conversation Alex had with Sykes was played back. The official stood in front of Alex. “I am charging the two of you with treason,” he said. “In any other circumstances, I would have deported you, but now I realize you’re a threat to our government and should be eradicated immediately.”
“Anzoftians are good people,” Alex said. “They don’t deserve rulers like you. One of these days, someone is going to show you your place and you’re not going to like it.”
Even when the guards dragged them both in front of their firing squad, all Alex could feel was the hurt, for Sykes. He had only meant to help her, like she had helped him in the past, he had only meant to return a favor. And now, as he watched her being blindfolded, she had a smile on her face, but he knew she might be doing it for his benefit. They blindfolded him too, pushed them down on their knees and Alex heard them preparing the weapons, and his hand reached out for Sykes and found it, and she held on to his fingers, sweaty as they were from the heat. Just when he thought he found a bit of peace, he heard someone counting.
And then Alex couldn’t hear anything under the drowning noise of the bullets that seemed to be going everywhere until one of them hit his chest and then there was nothing to see…
THE BURNING CITY
Ancient Disaster Site,
Of all the places in Region-One Lane liked this one the best.
It wasn’t the beauty of this place that spoke to him but the fact that it was the one place that had somehow captured the essence of destruction and preserved it, where you could see the world for what it really was, none of that fake, plastic drivel that adorned the entire planet. He had never seen Zyron in all its glory, he was born centuries after the destruction took place and the Khaltars made it home, but now, he could imagine the way it must have been before all that happened. And that’s what was amazing about the disaster site, the old street maps and crumbled structures notwithstanding, there was a beauty in that kind of devastation, in being razed to the ground so you can come back up again and that’s what this place represented—that tiny moment, a fragment of that illusion called time that should have been unnoticeable, considering the way things worked in this galaxy, but which became frozen for centuries instead so people like Lane could come here and stop focusing on those steadily passing present moments, and so they could live in a time-free zone for however long their lives would allow.
He made his way through the debris, shattered homes and office structures that must have seemed impenetrable once and the cracked-paint walls that must have given some semblance of safety. As a kid, this was the place he used to visit when he wanted take off the mask of reality that people were always forcing him to wear. Over here, he wasn’t Laison Volze, he wasn’t trapped in the one life that had been granted to him by the gods or whatever it was that people were into these days, he could be anyone. He could be a detective from old-school novels like the ones he read in the Earth Library, or he could be the magical hero of a fantasy land, the only living hope of a dying world. He even lied to his brother about coming here, and always felt like he was doing something wrong because he knew normal people didn’t just abandon reality as easily as he did. He knew no one would understand why this place meant so much to him. Destruction brings rebirth, he read that line somewhere, or maybe he hadn’t, maybe he’d created it himself, like the millions of other objects inside his head, it was hard to tell anymore.
If all those fiction authors were to be believed, destruction brought resurgence, metamorphosis. It could also bring mutation, but what was the point of life if not to be born again and take a few risks?
When the dark clouds in the sky started looking like the warning sign for a storm, Lane started to head back. This place, it was vast like the galaxy, and had the same infinite quality about it. Even now there were days when Lane would discover something he’d never seen before, and that was exciting to him, the prospect of unearthing an unknown, getting to know the secrets of this ghost-land and there were very few things in life that appealed to him that way. Of course his always wanting to be here might have had something to do with the fact that in this place he never felt like a grown-up. He could be Peter Pan all he wanted, he could be friends with fairies and have the ability to fly and no one would judge him for it.
His phone beeped, as though reminding him of the real world that existed beyond these old relics, and Lane pressed the button on the device over his ear to take the call.
“Lane, where are you?”
“I’m out with friends, Connor. Why? What’s wrong?”
“Your friends have been calling me,” Connor said. “They have no idea where you are.”
“I’ll be home in a while, we’ll talk then.”
He pressed the button again to drop the call a
Sadly though, his real life was calling and it was time to go back.
Connor set the phone aside and put on the special vision glasses. He glanced in the distance at a girl standing amidst the crowd. The glasses gave him a clearer view of Mekha who was now holding a snub-nosed revolver in her hand, the same one Connor had acquired for her two days back. Wearing a tank top that clung to her skin from the sweat pouring off her body, she stood unnoticed in the middle of the crowd, waiting for the right moment. There was a tap on the car window that distracted Connor and he had to take off the glasses in order to see who it was. Some homeless guy in tattered clothing stood beyond the rolled up glass, his wrinkled, dirty hand tainting the windows. It was obvious what the man wanted, and any other day Connor would have helped him, but now he just gestured to the man to go away. But instead of leaving, the man just stood there staring down at him, and there was judgment in his eyes, as though he knew exactly what Connor was doing and didn’t approve of it.
“You and the rest of the world pal,” Connor muttered to himself and put the glasses back on. But this time, no matter how much he looked he couldn’t find her. He scanned the crowd, thinking she might have found a better location, but there was no sign of her anywhere. Connor didn’t give up. The glasses would find her soon enough, but before he could go any further there was another rap on the window, this time on the passenger side, and Connor took the glasses off again, annoyed, hoping to rip a hole through anyone who had bothered him this time.