Lasers flared as they whizzed by my space-time
craft. I was in an intense battle with a bounty
hunter. My ship had taken a few hits. My shields
were raised but they could only withstand so much.
I fired a shot at the bounty hunter's ship but
I only grazed it.
My eardrums nearly burst from the loud
explosion when the bounty hunter fired on me
again. My girlfriend and I were thrown to the
floor. That last shot destroyed my shields. If
my ship took just one more hit, it would be
With only seconds remaining before he would
blow us into oblivion, I had to act fast. I
quickly aimed my ship's laser at the bounty
hunter's cockpit. I fired a shot through the cock-
pit window and killed him.
Cynthia hugged me so hard that my skin turmed
"You did it, Fland. You beat him and it's a
good thing too. I'm too pretty to die."
The bounty hunter had been hired by my people.
I look human but I'm not. I'm a Space Warrior
from a planet that can't be pronounced in english.
My people put a large price on my head. I was a
prince on my planet and the people lived under
the dictatorship of my father.
I tried to lead a rebellion to free my people
but I was defeated and exiled from my planet. My
people despise me because I'm not evil. I can
be rude and a bit harsh at times but I'm
My dark brown hair, square jaw and husky
build makes me look like a heavy. I've always
been extremely brave and confident. I've
believed that I could succeed no matter what the
Cynthia called me a busy-body because I always
stuck my nose in other people's problems. She was
a good girl but was also a neat freak. She had to
look perfect all the time. She was loyal, kind,
and trustworthy but a bit vain. Her blond hair,
dimples, and hour-glass figure made her pleasing
to look at.
After landing my ship on the Earth's surface
in the thirty-first century, I activated its
cloaking device. Cynthia and I climbed out of my
ship and began to scouer the hilly surface.
Suddenly I noticed something strange about the
"Cynthia, this soil has been scorched very
"You're right. It has."
As we continued walking, we came across some
old oak trees. I touched one of the branches, and
it crumbled into dust.
"These trees are dead. They've been scorched
too. Nothing can grow in this soil."
"Yes it can."
"Don't argue with me. I'm the intelligent
alien. You're just a human. Vegetation can't grow
in this soil. It's a scientific fact."
"It's a scientific farce. Look at the bottom
of this hill."
I was stunned to see a crop of vegetables.
Perfect growing vegetables. How could they grow
in this soil?
Upon getting closer to the crop, I smelled
"Can you smell it? They use chemicals. It has
a musty sort of smell. That's how they grow
vegetation in this soil."
I picked a tomato and took a bite. I cringed
from the bitter taste.
"It's awful. The chemicals have altered the
taste of these vegetables."
Suddenly screams and the rumbling of footsteps
echoed through the air. A group of people ran by.
"Quick, Cynthia, hide behind these rocks."
As we hid, I saw what appeared to be four
androids chasing the humans. All four looked
identical. They were black, tall, and menacing.
Red, green, and blue lights flashed on their
chests. They had human shaped heads and eyes
that looked like camera lenses. Their mouths
Cynthia was about to run toward the humans,
but I grabbed her arm.
"Let go. I have to help them."
"There's nothing we can do."
Sadly, we were forced to see the humans get
slaughtered by the androids. They then stormed
away. After Cynthia and I came out from behind
the rocks, a man stepped out of a cave and
called to us.
"Come here! Hurry!"
We went to him and he took us in the cave. We
got in an elevator and started going under-
"I'm Ed. Thank God I got to you in time.
Sunrise is only a few minutes away."
I was puzzled and intrigued by what he said.
"Why was it so important that you got to us
"You don't know?"
"No. We're not from around here."
"Our ozone layer was destroyed. Anyone on the
surface during daylight will be scorched to
Ed appeared to be friendly and courteous. But
he also appeared to be a warrior. He carried two
guns, several grenades, and plastic explosives.
Ed's crewcut and eye patch made him look
tough. He was missing the pinky finger on his
left hand. The foul smell that came from his
body showed that he had trouble maintaining his
As the elevator continued downward, I asked Ed
"Why did those machines kill that group of
"They were stealing vegetables from their
Suddenly the elevator came to a stop. The
doors opened and we stepped out. The entire
underground city was made from steel. Computers
and machinery were all around.
After arriving in the underground city, I met
and introduced myself to their leader. His name
"This is my human girlfriend Cynthia." I said.
"You talk as if you're not human."
Tony looked puzzled as he scratched his curly
black hair. Tony wasn't a good looking man. His
large nose and rotten teeth made his appearance
none too pleasing. But I soon learned that what
he lacked in looks, he well made up for with
courage and morals. He always watched his
fellow soldiers backs. He was assertive and
bound by duty.
"I'll fill you in on our situation, Fland.
There are two races of people on this planet. We
humans and the Manborg. Ninety years ago our
ozone layer was destroyed. Our scientists took
the brains, hearts, and lungs of humans and put
them in android shells so they could survive on
the surface during the day. They are the
I got the feeling that this didn't turn out
"They were created to repair the ozone layer
but they turned against us."
As Tony paced around the small room, he
"The Manborg decided that they were superior
to us. They then decided that we humans should
perish for being inferior. Half of us they kill
and the rest are used to make more Manborgs."
"Surely you have weapons to fight them with."
"The Manborg destroyed most of our weapons.
They feel no pity or pain. They put tiny
computers in their brains to wipe out emotions.
This way they can't feel fear either."
"Something should be done about these evil
"Thousands of people are imprisoned in their
cities around the world. They're going to be
made into Manborgs. The largest Manborg city is
only twenty miles away, but we're powerless
"You people are stupid. If you're going to
give up this easily, you deserve to perish."
"Fland, stop being so rude." Cynthia said.
She was right. I was being rude, but I had to
concentrate on defeating the Manborg. I turned
my attention back to Tony.
"I want to help. Is there an underground
entrance to the nearest Manborg city?"
"Yes, there's one from the sewers, but it's
always guarded by a Manborg."
"My laser gun will deal with it. Gather two of
your best men. We're going on a reconnaissance
mission to the Manborg city."
When we went on our reconnaissance mission, we
met the Manborg guard in the sewer.
I quickly shot the Manborg with my laser gun
and sent blood and circuitry flying through the
"Quick. Up the Manhole."
After entering the Manborg city, I was shocked
to see grass painted floors and sky painted
ceilings. On the walls were pictures of vicious
animals and ruthless dictators that once lived
on Earth. The Manborg apparently wanted to make
their city look like Earth once did.
As we moved quickly through the long, wide
corridors, I heard beeping noises.
"Look. It's a computer with some disks."
"This computer might be able to give us
valuable information. I know very little about
Earth computers but you're a specialist.
Download as much information as you can on one
of these disks."
After Cynthia downloaded the information, I
put the disk in my sock.
"Okay. Now let's return to the underground
We began to leave when I heard the loud
clanging of footsteps. Suddenly two Manborg
guards jumped us. We were disarmed and taken to a
large cell. After the two Manborgs slung us
violently in the cell, they left us alone with
one Manborg guard.
Advanced equipment filled the dark, damp cell.
After walking around the cell, Tony began
whispering to me.
"What will we do now?"
"I have an idea."
I walked behind the Manborg and tapped him on
the shoulder. He quickly pulled his gun on me.
"Take it easy. I only want to talk."
"I refuse to engage in a conversation with an
"I'm not a human. I'm an alien from an
"You are still inferior."
"Do you want to put it to the test?"
"In the center of this cell is an intelligence
seeker. I challenge you to an intelligence duel."
Cynthia quickly pulled me away from the
"What's an intelligence duel?"
"The intelligence seeker will scan my brain
as well as the Manborg's. After it determines
our IQs, it will kill the one of us who is least
Cynthia jerked me around so hard that the
room began to spin.
"You can't do this. What if this Manborg is
more intelligent than you? You'll die. I love
you. I don't want to lose you."
"Shut up, Cynthia. I hate it when you get
sentimental. I must take the risk. Now let me
get on with it."
As Cynthia threw her arms up and let out a
loud sigh, I returned my attention back to the
"Do you want to duel?"
We placed our heads in the helmet shaped
brain scanners. Suddenly my limbs quivered
violently from a piercing shock that ran through
my body. I felt paralyzed. Could this Manborg
actually be smarter than me? Was I going to be
the one to die? For once I was actually scared.
Suddenly the Manborg fell to the floor, dead.
The shock was only a side effect of the
intelligence seeker. I quickly got the key
from the dead Manborg and unlocked the cell door.
"Come on. Let's go."
As we ran down the corridors, A Manborg
spotted us. We ran the other way until we came
to a room filled with crates. I quickly locked
us in the room. The Manborg began pounding on
the six inch thick metal door. I knew it
wouldn't take long for him to knock it down.
I had to act fast. Suddenly I saw an
electrical cable. I connected one end of the
cable to the door and the other end to a high
voltage electrical socket. The manborg
received a great shock and was killed.
After disconnecting the cable, I opened a
couple of crates. One of them was filled with
weapons. We collected five weapons and returned
to the underground city.
After we returned, Cynthia loaded the disk in
"You were right. It does give valuable
information. It tells where the Manborg's sleep."
"Where? I must know."
"They sleep in the northeast section of their
city. Look. It shows the exact spot. Fifty
percent of them sleep while the rest maintain
This information was helpful, but to defeat
the Manborg, I needed more.
"It tells the exact location of their super-
computer and their main control room."
The bright smile that came across Cynthia's
face showed promise.
"It says that every Manborg on the planet
can be shut down from the main control room. But
first we must use the super-computer to deactivate a force field to gain
entry. It also says thar all Manborgs are
equipped with self-destruct systems and can be
self-destructed from their super-computer."
"Good. That's all I needed to know."
Perspiration formed on Tony's skin as he paced
up and down the small room.
"What's on your mind, Tony?"
"There's one thing you haven't thought of. How
are we going to make it through their city to get
to these places? We'll be wiped out."
"If I can get the proper circuitry and
electronics, I can build a matter transmitter.
Can I have a pen and paper?"
I wrote down the parts I needed. But when I
handed the list to Tony, he began flapping his
"You're a moron. Are you insane? You can't
expect us to deliver five million dollars worth
"It's the only way to defeat the Manborg."
"I can find a better way."
"Then find a better way. You can't can you?
You're too stupid. Only I can defeat the
Suddenly Cynthia intervened.
"Fland shouldn't be so rude, but I do think his
way is best. Can you supply the parts?"
Three hours later I received the parts. After
several more hours passed, I completed the matter
"It's done. It can transport seven people.
Tony, have four of your best men gather
explosives and detonators. I will send you and
your men to the Manborgs sleeping quarters."
"Will you and Cynthia be transported to the
"Yes. While we self-destruct the operating
Manborgs, you will blow up the sleeping ones."
Tony and his men put explosives and
detonators in their backpacks. I gave each of the
four men a laser gun and Tony a flame thrower.
I quickly programmed the matter transmitter.
We were immediately beamed to the Manborg city.
As Tony and his men set and detonated the
explosives, Cynthia operated the super-computer.
Suddenly Cynthia shook her head in distress
and whacked the computer angrily.
"The computer is sending Manborg guards to
deal with us. It's not going to be as easy as I
thought to operate their self-destruct systems.
It will take some advanced calculations. Only
someone who is a whiz at calculus can do it."
"I'm an excellent mathematician. Let me take a
crack at it."
Using my knowledge of calculus, I typed in the
appropriate calculations and self-destructed the
"You did it, Fland. You beat them. Darn, my
hair is a mess. I hope I have a comb."
Suddenly I heard the gentle clatter of
footsteps. It was Tony. He was knelt over and
gasping heavily from exhaustion.
"Fland, the Manborgs killed my men before
they self-destructed. I ran all the way here.
We've won. Right?"
Cynthia's look of hope turned to a look of
"We're in trouble. The computer is sending one
hundred half-made Manborgs to deal with us. We
can't self-destruct them because they haven't yet
been equipped with self-destruct systems. What
are we going to do?"
"Have you deactivated the main control room's
"The main control room isn't far from here. We
have to get there fast or we're dead."
We ran frantically until we reached the main
control room. But when we entered, all one
hundred half-made Manborgs were waiting for us
with guns. Their wires and circuitry were
As blood flowed through their artificial
veins, adrenaline flowed through me. Was this
the end? It looked like there was no way out.
After years of fighting evil, would it all end
I felt a light tap on my shoulder. It was
"It's been nice knowing you, Fland. I love
Suddenly I got an idea.
"I'm not dead yet."
I quickly grabbed Tony's flame thrower and
shot the sprinkler. Water poured down into the
Manborgs exposed circuits and shorted them out.
I then shut down every Manborg on Earth.
We immediately returned to the underground
city. The humans began to celebrate our victory.
Tony was dancing all around the room. But sadly
I had bad news for him.
"Cynthia and I have to go."
"But you can't go. We need your help to
"Nonsense. You will survive. Now that we've
defeated the Manborg, you'll have their
technology and crops for yourselves."
"Please stay. You've saved the human race. We
want to show you our gratitude."
"Sorry, but somewhere in the universe evil is
at work. I must fight the good fight and see that
After the sunset, Cynthia and I returned to
my ship. We were off to another place and
Copyright © 2003 Randy Johnson