Fan Fiction

Futurama: Universe of Malice, Part 4
By Kenneth White

Chapter 4 - Genesis of Destruction

It was before the beginning of time itself. Thousands of years before the Big Bang that created the universe as it was known today. This is where life itself started, on one of the only planets that existed at the time. The planet was simply known as Eros by its inhabitants, of which there were two main races.

First, there was the immortal Rabbish. A Tall, green-haired race with pale blue skin that lead a simple life. They farmed their animals, grew their crops with simple technology. One of their most important duties, to them at least, was that they sent out creatures to live on other planets. Despite having a rather primitive technology, the Rabbish bought space pods from the other race in exchange of food, so that they may send their creatures to inhabit other worlds. On the odd occasion, one of their own would go with the animals to make sure they made it safely. But who was this other race that they bought the pods from?

The Merak. These yellow-scaled, hairless creatures would best be described as lizard-men. They were far more advanced technologically, and built grand cities in their territories on their side of the planet. Their prize discovery was a special metal that they called Metak. In its ore form, it was relatively soft. But once it had cooled from its molten state, it was the hardest substance known to any living being. Shaping had to be done while the metal was still hot, as if it cooled too much, there was no way to shape it again.

For hundreds of years, the planet was tranquil. But as the borders of the two races drew closer, trouble arose. Small skirmishes began to occur wherever the Merak got too close. They did more expanding than the Rabbish, and were more responsible for the fighting. At first, the Merak were confident that because of their superior technology, the Rabbish would be easily defeated. This was, however, not the case.

Due to their immortality, the Rabbish never died from old age. This meant that members of their race could develop their fighting skills over hundreds of years, while at most, a Merakian soldier would be able to fight for 40 years. The Rabbish weren't a fighting race, but they were accurate, fast and cunning; and fighting was also used in competition and to catch wild animals for food. The Merak didn't think that the sword would be mightier than the gun, but sometimes it was.

It was about the same time that the wars began when the Merak were developing artificial intelligence. They had robots that did their work for them, but as the years went on, the robots became more intelligent. Sick and jealous of the immortal Rabbish, the commander of the Merakian people commissioned to have military robotic units created. Within a week, an area of about 400 square kilometers had been completely eliminated of the Rabbish.

Deciding not to provoke things any further, the Rabbish people did nothing, hoping that the Merakians would be satisfied with the new land gain enough to leave them alone. Luckily, they were correct. This gave Rabbish scientists enough time to examine one of the broken robots they discovered after the battle. This was the first time they had come across the rare metal named Metak, as it was perfect for robots, despite being too heavy for the Merakian soldiers to wear as armour in the past. During this time of peace, the cunning Rabbish researchers came across a remarkable piece of evidence.

With various tests, the scientists discovered that Metak is in fact a compound made up of four different elements. If for some reason the substance in its ore form is separated into these elements, they become four different coloured crystals. This was discovered when a piece of ore in one of the testing labs was struck by lightning. Tests had shown that if an electrical charge was sent through the gems, different occurrences would happen.

The red gem would create a special shield that would prevent anything from exiting it. The blue gem would generate great heat. The green gem would act like sunlight. And the orange gem, would act like an energy storage device. While the gems were put through more tests, a frightening combination was found: a blue and red gem would make a destructive beam of purple energy that would destroy anything in its path. However, this still didn't destroy the metal, Metak. But with more testing, the Rabbish scientists hit their goal.

A combination of all four gems with a huge amount of electricity would, in theory, destroy the metal. The problem was, the electricity required wasn't easily accessible to the Rabbish people, with their primitive technology. The tests were themselves eating up any resources they had. The only way to get enough power was to wait for a lightning storm, and then harness the power by storing it in the orange gem.

The gems were built into a special staff, made of the very metal that the Merakians used. At one end was the orange gem, held into place by a Metak claw and surrounded by a glass orb. The other end comprised of the other three coloured gems in similar fashion. In the middle of the three gems, a small antenna stuck out from the middle of the staff. The plan was that the lightning would hit the antennae, charging up the orange gem. A button on the staff's handle was to be pressed when the energy was to be sent back. This would, in theory, blast the electricity through the other three gems, concentrating the energy into a beam, which would then destroy the metal. However, since only one of each gem existed, only one staff was made. The Rabbish weren't convinced that a single staff could take on an entire army of Merak.

This research had taken years to complete, and all the while, the Rabbish people were very curious as to why the Merak hadn't shown themselves. They hadn't dared go near them since the original slaughter, but all the same, they thought that their enemies would have at least shown up now and then. They were sceptical about the whole situation, and they had a right to be.

"....eared for docking."

Lieutenant Kroker startled awake. He had been asleep for several hours now. After listening to fellow officer Bill Raker's story about the monster they had recently narrowly escaped, he had gone to sleep. Lieutenant Raker apparently didn't know much more than a small piece of history about the spherical beast; nobody knew much at all. Anybody that had anything to do with it had, in most cases, died.

Kif shook his head and looked over at Raker in the pilot's seat. He was still asleep. Kif noticed a flashing light on the screen in front of him. He knew what this was and spoke: "Computer. Repeat message."

The console in front of him bleeped. A pleasant female voice replied, "Affirmative."

More bleeps sounded, and then a man's face appeared on the screen. The man was young and wore a DOOP uniform, but not one Kif was familiar with. Instead of being a dark red, it appeared to be black. He spoke: "This is DOOP Orbital Base OR29. Explorer Craft 7G12, you are cleared for docking."

Kif looked out the windscreen of the ship to see they were in the atmosphere of a small planet. The planet appeared to be mostly desert from what Kif could see. Hardly any large oceans or seas, and minimal cloud cover. He came to the conclusion that it must be Ghak.

What caught Kif's eyes though was a large orbital space station that the craft was heading towards. The DOOP insignia was seen on the side of it, but Kif didn't know there was an Orbital Base out this far into the galaxy. In any case, it was there, and their ship was being drawn towards it.

Kif analysed the control console and discovered that, as he had suspected, there was a docking program controlling the ship for them.

Raker then sat up and yawned. "Oh, I see that we're at the Ghak Orbital Station already. That was quicker than I thought."

"I didn't know DOOP had a station out this far."

"It's not a military based outpost. Mostly for scientific purposes. It's filled with eggheads, not soldiers. Besides, it's always good to have the odd unknown base in nowheresville."

Raker chuckled.

"It's kind of ironic, you know. I mean, the place has no strategic importance, it's surrounding a planet with no resources or military significance, yet because of that fact, it may just come in handy one day."

"Just like for us right now."

Raker nodded. "Indeed."

The small craft was now under a kilometre away from the station and getting closer. Ahead of them an opening appeared as a door slid up, revealing a docking bay within. Covering the new opening was a thin, transparent blue shimmer. This was the environmental atmospheric shield that prevented change in pressure and air when the door was open, but still allowed solid objects, such as ships, to pass through. Raker and Kif's ship was no exception, as it passed through the thin beam and landed safely. While the docking door behind them closed, their hatch opened, and the two officers climbed out of the craft. A helmeted young DOOP ensign greeted them.

Kif could now see what the uniform looked like. Only the top quarter of the uniform was black, which covered the shoulder area, while the rest was red, but made of a thinner, non-velour material. The black part pointed down in the middle of the uniform across the front, like an upside down triangular section of black that met at a point in the centre of the stomach, and the golden shoulder guards were a lot smaller than normal too. The small, skirt-like section below the belt, as well as the ivory gloves and boots remained unchanged.

The man saluted. "Welcome lieutenants, I'm Ensign Burton. Admiral French will see you if you care to walk this way."

Kif and Bill nodded and followed him.

As they walked Bill spoke to him: "Do you know if the Admiral received our message?"

"Yes," nodded Burton. "He is eager to talk to you both about it. He wants to hear the whole story."

It wasn't long until they reached the Admiral's office. Burton saluted and left, leaving the two lieutenants to enter. Stepping into the room, they saw a relatively large room. The back wall was almost nothing but a large window, which viewed the vast array of stars outside. The ceiling also contained a large glass skylight, through which the planet's surface could now be seen. Sitting at the desk and tapping on a small console was a grey-haired man wearing the semi-black DOOP uniform.

He looked up and smiled with a friendly grin, then motioned the officer's over. "Please, take a seat. I'm just finishing off an important piece of work."

As Kif and Raker took a seat, the Admiral pulled the final card into place on his computer to finish his game of solitaire. He pushed the small computer aside and smiled again in their direction.

"Well, here we have it. The only surviving crew of the Nimbus that was lost on Cimmerian."

"Yes, Admiral French," nodded Raker. "We were fortunate enough to have a small object to aide us in our escape."

The Admiral cocked an eyebrow. "Really?"

Raker reached into his pocket, pulling out the red gem that had saved them earlier. He placed it on the Admiral's desk and slid it over to him. French picked it up and examined it.

"What the hell is this thing?!"

"It's called the Ruby of Utopia," replied Raker. What Raker told the Admiral next was what he had told Kif aboard the Explorer Craft. "The gem was originally just a intergalactic myth to most people, and one that had fascinated me for some time. According to legend, this is one of four gems that were used to defeat a horde of indestructible mechanical enemies, billions of years ago. They were apparently built into a special staff forged from the same indestructible metal used by their tormentors. Only with the combined power of all four crystals could the metal be damaged."

"And how, pray tell, were these gems used to destroy the metal?"

"Apparently by a large electrical current. Not much more is known. The staff had all the crystals built into it and the electricity was, according to the story, somehow passed through them all."

Admiral French laughed. "You expect me to believe this cock and bull story?"

"Well, I think the gem speaks for itself, sir."

"Where did you get this rock?" French asked, sliding the gem back to Raker.

"I purchased it from a pawn shop dealer in the Gero quadrant recently. I couldn't believe it until I ran some tests myself. Once that part of the legend came true, it was a simple conclusion that the other part, aka the threat that destroyed Cimmerian, would also be a reality. When I heard about the destruction of Calorificus, I immediately signed up for the Black Spirit mining mission, wondering if the entity would pass by. Unfortunately, it passed a little TOO close."

The Admiral sighed. "Well, what exactly IS this threat? None of us got very accurate accounts of what happened."

"I suppose, it could be best described as a planet that eats other planets," said Kif.

"You're kidding, right?"

The two shook their heads.

"I'm afraid we're not," replied Raker. "And it fits into the legend. Apparently, somehow, a creature like this was built out of the very same indestructible metal that the machines were. I don't exactly know HOW this creature came about, but after what Kif and I went through, I think it's pretty clear that it does have a weakness to this jewel."

"Sorry," sighed the Admiral, "but I can't really believe that a bunch of strange pretty rocks can help destroy a machine like this."

He stood up and sighed again. "Well, in either case, Admiral Gordon has asked me to give you these and then escort you back to Earth Orbital DOOP Headquarters. Once you've had a rest, that is."

French picked up something from his desk and held them out. Kif and Bill both put out their hands, palm face up, while the Admiral dropped a small object in each of them. Kif and Bill couldn't believe what they saw.

"Rank buttons!" Kif whispered. Indeed, two small golden pins were sitting in each officer's hand.

The Admiral chuckled. "That's right. Congratulations Lieutenant Commander Bill Raker and Lieutenant Commander Kif Kroker."

The two newly promoted men smiled, but as they were about to pin on the objects, French stopped them. "Wait, don't put those on yet. We even have some new uniforms for you."

A female DOOP officer walked over carrying a set of uniforms like the ones everybody else was wearing there. The two took their new clothes, then saluted their superior.

"Thank you, sir!" they both said in unison.

The Admiral saluted back.

"Ensign Burton will direct you to your quarters where you can rest up. You'll leave for Earth Orbital Station at zero-eight-hundred hours GMT tomorrow. Dismissed."

The Lieutenant Commanders nodded and left the room.

As the door slid behind them, Burton approached them again. "If you'll walk this way, sirs."

As Kif and Bill followed the ensign, Bill spoke to Kif: "I'm sorry, I didn't convey my condolences on you losing your captain."

"You mean Zapp?" replied Kif before snorting. "He wasn't as great as the academy made him out to be."

"But he was the most decorated DOOP star ship captain ever."

"Two medals. Big deal. One for defeating the rampaging Killbots in the Octillion system, and the other for velour."

"Don't you mean VALOUR?"

Kif sighed and shook his head. "Nope. Velour."

Bill gave him a strange glance. "Sounds like you don't miss him at all?"

"Let me just say this: when your captain's idea of getting a job done is to send men to their deaths, it's hard to miss that captain. I'm lucky to have survived him, let alone that machine."

Ensign Burton stopped and opened one of the doors. "Lieutenant Commander Raker, these are your quarters for the moment."

Raker nodded and turned to Kif. "Talk to you later." He turned back to Burton. "Thanks, Ensign."

Raker disappeared into the room and the doors slid shut. Burton led Kif to the next doorway down the hallway.

"And here are your quarter's, Lieutenant Commander Kroker."

"Thank you," Kif replied with a nod. The Ensign bowed slightly and left.

Kif entered the room. It looked just like his quarters on the Nimbus. He sighed. "The Nimbus," he said to himself. "I'm going to miss that ship."

Kif placed the new uniform on the bed gently, then took the two rank button off of his collar. He then pinned the two solid gold circles on the collar of the new uniform, followed by the new one, which was a golden ring rather than completely gold. He then slipped off the old uniform and put on the new one. Walking over to a mirror, he glanced at himself in it. He managed a smile.

"Not too shabby," he chuckled to himself.

He looked at the golden letters that spelt 'doop' on the left breast of the uniform. For once he felt like a true officer of the Democratic Order of Planets.

"If only Zapp could see me now."

Kif's smile disappeared after he said this, and he looked out the window and sighed.

"Zapp." he stated simply, looking at the rotating stars outside. He didn't think he would, but he really was starting to miss the big blowhard. He almost smiled at the irony. For years he had wanted to get away from Zapp, yet now that Zapp was gone, he felt kind of empty inside. Kif lay down on the bed, sighed again and closed his eyes.

The Planet Express ship had hardly travelled very far at all before Baron Steinmann gave his next order. The crew all had guns trained on them and just sat still, with the exception of Leela, who was piloting the ship. Steinmann had order them to head for the famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

They were travelling at a relatively slow speed, so while they waited, Fry asked the obvious question: "What do you want with us?"

The Baron stopped leaning on the trident and turned towards the ginger-haired delivery boy. "Well, you are going to be working for us, so very well, I shall tell you."

Everybody turned towards him with interest, save for Leela, who just listened intently from where she was.

The Baron continued, "We are searching for several extremely rare objects that are all located somewhere in the universe. The problem is, we don't know exactly where. These objects happen to consist of four different coloured gems and part of a staff. We know the whereabouts of one of the gems, but that's all. The Robot Mafia owns that gem, but to get it off them, we need to get an item for them from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Any questions?"

Fry rose his hand.

Steinmann rolled his eyes. "This isn't bloody pre-school! Just ask the question!"

"Oh, okay. Why are you looking for only half of a staff, why not the whole thing?"

"Because," sneered the Baron, "I already have the first half right here." He held up the trident. The crew looked puzzled.

"So that giant salad fork is part of the staff?" asked Bender.

"Half of it is. The other half is merely an addition."

"Why do you want all these fancy stones and this staff?" asked Amy.

The Baron smiled. "To control a monster," he stated simply. While you have all been living your petty little lives here on Earth, a giant beast has awoken billions of light years away. A destroyer of planets and worlds, and the only way to stop it is to use these objects. Or should I say, the only way to CONTROL it is to use these objects?" He chuckled.

"Oh, I get it!" said Bender. "You're going to scare the monster into doing your bidding."

"Exactly. The monster knows that these objects can destroy it, so it should naturally be afraid of the one that controls them."

"Wait a minute!" said Fry. "How exactly can this so-called 'monster' be stopped by a bunch of fruity gems?"

"The monster is basically a planet that devours planets. It is made completely of an indestructible metal, and can therefore not be stopped. The exception to the rule lies in the four jewels. There is a red gem, a blue gem, an orange gem and a green gem. Each by themselves contain tremendous power when a surge of electricity travels through them, but when it travels through ALL of the gems, they create a powerful force of energy that not even the planet-eater can be protected from. The staff is made of the same metal, and is therefore the only thing that can withstand the power of the gems, at least for a while."

Leela snorted and called over her shoulder, "And how exactly do you know all this crap?!"

"It is all based purely on a legend, whose origins are unknown, and missing a bunch of facts, but has been proven through the existence of the monster. Just recently, two planets have fallen to this beast, and it's on its way to a third."

"So what are we supposed to do," Leela asked, "rush around the galaxy doing all your work for you?!"

"Exactly! And you're going to start with stealing the diamond-handled cane of the original Robot Mafia founder, HAL Capone, from the Victoria and Albert Museum."

"Ha! Fat chance!"

The Baron began to look angry. "Look! You're going to help us or you're going to get hurt!"

"We'll see who gets hurt!"

Leela spun around and, with her trademark battle cry, lunged at the Baron with a swift spear kick, sending him reeling through the air. However, before her feet could land, the bright beam of Marc's laser rifle hit her. She hit the floor at the same time as the Baron's trident, as the crew looked with shock at her motionless body. Fry began to rush forward, but stopped himself as soon as Marc and Andrew swung the weapons in his direction.

The Baron groaned and stood up. He spoke, rubbing the back of his head: "Don't worry, the gun was set to stun!" He turned to Marc swiftly. "Wasn't it?!"

Marc looked at his weapon with an unsure expression, then smiled back at his superior. "Yep," he nodded.

"Good", said the Baron, still wincing and rubbing his skull.

He looked at Leela's still torso before stooping to pick up the shiny trident. "We can get to the museum without her, as she's useless for the moment, but we'll need her later."

He turned to Andrew. "Take her to the ship's quarters and leave her there. And lock the door. We don't want her planning a sneak attack. In fact, I'll come with you. Marc can keep an eye on these people. Which of you can also fly the ship?"

Amy rose her arm.

"Good. Take care of it."

She silently got up and took the controls. Andrew picked up Leela and carried her out of the cockpit, with the Baron following. They took her into the crew's quarters, but were shocked to find somebody lying in one of the hammocks reading a magazine called 'Galaxy Breast' with an expression of pure laziness on his face.

As Andrew placed Leela on one of the beds, Steinmann approached the man. "Who the hell are you?!!"

The man didn't look up. He just licked a finger and turned one of the pages before speaking from behind a bushy grey moustache, "Scruffy, the janitor."

Steinmann didn't know what to think. "Well, don't you know what's going on?!"

Scruffy turned another page, his gaze still on his magazine. "Nope."

"Come with us. You're going to join the rest of your friends in the cockpit."

Scruffy turned another page. "Nope. I reckon I'll just stay here."

The Baron nodded at Andrew. Suddenly with a blur and a click, the barrel of Andrew's laser rifle was just inches from Scruffy's head.

"NOW!" order the Baron.

Scruffy paused half-way through a page flick, still looking only at the magazine in front of him. "Is that the sound of a 300-F laser rifle I hear beside my head?"

"Yes," replied the Baron with exasperation, "it is."

Scruffy's eyes moved slowly around, but still stayed only half open, as he looked at the Baron for a few seconds. They then moved back to the magazine and he sighed gruffly. "Okay, I'll go."

Scruffy got up slowly and ambled out the door.

The Baron turned to Andrew. "Let's check the room. Make sure there aren't any devices that could be used to escape or for weapons."

The two shuffled around the room. Andrew found a toolbox and some tools and picked them up. There wasn't much else around. However, Steinmann checked out the locker in the room and was greeted by something grabbing onto his face. Andrew pulled it off and dropped it on the ground. The small creature looked up at them. It was Nibbler.

"What the hell is that thing, Baron?" asked Andrew.

"Some ugly little rat thing, I don't know!"

Nibbler sniffed around and made his usual noises. When he saw Leela lying unconscious he began to jibber loudly.

Andrew protested, "Shut up!!"

Swinging his leg swiftly, the bulky thug's foot made contact with the centre of Nibbler's little face, sending the little black creature careening into the wall at the back of the room. After smacking into it with a high-pitched yelp and thudding to the ground, Nibbler grew angry and charged at his attackers. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't fast enough to dodge the swinging trident that the Baron wielded. Using an action that could best be described as a golf shot, the little annoyance was quickly silenced as it was struck my the edge of all three prongs and sent flying out the door. Just missing Scruffy's head, Nibbler flew through the cockpit past the others, making a crunchy squish as it hit the windscreen of the planet express ship, then falling to the ground lying there motionless. Three dark red stripes were clearly visible across his back.

Everybody looked shocked, except for Bender who just laughed. "Hahahahahaha!!!"

"Bender!!" Fry scolded.

"Sorry meatbag, but I really just don't like the little guy. And now, because he isn't here and he also hates Nibbler, to laugh for Hermes. Hahahahahahaha!!!"

After the crew heard the sound of a door being bolted shut, the Baron and Andrew returned from the ship's quarters.

The Baron pointed to Nibbler's body. "Find a place for that... thing, will you?"

Andrew smiled and picked Nibbler up by the stalk on his head.

"Hey robot!"

Bender looked up. "Yo!"

"Open your chest cavity door."

Bender shrugged and obeyed. Andrew drew back his arm and sent Nibbler flying towards Bender. With a dull clang, Nibbler disappeared into Bender's open chest and the door closed.

Bender made a little impressed noise. "Hey, that was a pretty good shot, pal!"

"Bender!" Fry interjected. "These people are hardly our friends!"

"I dunno," replied the robot, leaning back in his chair with a satisfied grin, "they don't seem that bad. Letting me steal, beating up Nibbler. It's all good so far!"

Amy turned around and spoke nervously: "Uhhhh... Mister Baron, sir. We're at the location you told us to go to: the Victoria and Albert Museum."

"Excellent," said the Baron with a sinister grin, "we arrived earlier than I thought. Land the ship in the nearest convenient spot. Andrew, take the Planet Express crew back to the ship's quarters. They can spend a few hours in there doing what they like, while we stay here and plan the break-in. Except for the robot, we could use you."

"All right!" yelled Bender. "So long, losers! I get to stay and plan with the big boys."

Andrew led the crew into their quarters and locked the door. In just a few hours, they would be breaking into England's most secure museum. Or, to be more accurate, the innocent Planet Express crew would be.

In deep space, a lush green planet was situated, inhabited by many intelligent life forms. The planet's name was Deobero. It was the fifth planet from its large sun.

On the surface, one of the life forms was busy outside his house. He was an almost human looking specimen, though he was slightly shorter and had a large forehead. He was muscular, though, and wore armour with large shoulder pads. His spiky black hair sprawled up and the expression on his face was a constant look of frustration. He struggled with what looked like a primitive non-motorised lawn mower on the long green grass outside his modest little home, in a modest little suburb. The birds sang in the trees and some kids played in a backyard in the street next door.

He mumbled as he forced the primitive tool to cut the lush green lawn, his voice very harsh and critical, "Blasted contraption! Is this how a TRUE warrior is supposed to spend his weekends?!"

As he pushed the lawnmower into the grass again with a gravely growl, a feminine voice called from the direction of his house, "Baldur, are you done with those lawns?!"

The voice belonged to an attractive blue-haired female who was calling from a window.

With an angry snort, Baldur turned towards her. "Yes!" he lied.

"Great! Then you can get started on these dishes. I have to go shopping and buy the baby another bottle. I should send you to do it, after all you are the one that broke it. But I know you can't be trusted shopping since your last incident...."

"That damn child was drinking MY juice!" Baldur mumbled to himself.

"So hurry up and get those dishes washed," the voice called again.

Baldur groaned gruffly and loudly. "Yes dear!"

A few moments later, he was seen at the sink wearing some bright-yellow rubber gloves and a pink apron over his armour. He grumbled as he scrubbed a plate with a small brush in the sink, the same look of frustration on his face.

The female poked her head from around an open door. "Okay, I'm leaving. Bye!"

She disappeared again, and Baldur watched her walk down the street. He grunted as he placed the plate on the neat pile of other clean ones and then started another.

"Bah! Blasted woman! Why does she make me, the greatest warrior in the universe, do common house chores?! It's just plain wrong!"

He slammed the plate on top of the pile, making the whole pile wobble and clatter. He grabbed another one.

"I mean, honestly! Stupid dishes! If there weren't any di--"

He cut himself off and an evil smirk came to his face. He laughed with a sinister smile.

"Yes! Of course! If there weren't any dishes..... I wouldn't have to wash them!!!"

He laughed again as he took off the gloves, gritting his teeth in an evil grin and stepping backwards five steps. He then opened his mouth aloud and laughed even louder and more malevolent as he threw the pink apron aside. Then, standing side on, facing the sink, he lifted his left arm up until it was horizontally facing the basin, his palm flat vertical with the fingers closed together and pointing up. The same evil smirk appeared on his face as a bright spark appeared just millimetres from his outstretched hand, glowing slightly and making a dull hum. Then the spark grew, until it was a ball of bright saffron energy about the size of a large orange. He chuckled to himself.

"Sorry, I left my purse behind, and--"

Baldur turned with shock to see the female looking at him, her hand perched above a small purse which sat on the bench near the door behind him. She looked shocked at first, but not as shocked as he did. His eyes were round and wide, his teeth clenched tight in a look of fear. He made little gasps from between his teeth of desperation, his arm and ball of energy still how they were before she had entered. Within only a few seconds though, her expression had changed to anger.

"Baldur! I can't leave you one second, can I?! You were going to blast those dishes, weren't you?!"

Baldur stammered as he withdrew his energy ball and lowered his arm, his expression still showing fear. The greatest fear a man can experience. Fear of his wife!

"No dear! I was, uh...... going to.... dry them. Yes, that's it."

"I'm sure!"

No sooner had Baldur's wife replied when the ground shook. After about ten seconds it stopped. She glowered at him again, but this time the fear had gone from his face. He knew he wasn't to blame for that.

He crossed his arms and spoke in confidence: "That wasn't me!"

"Really?! Then what was it!" She didn't seem convinced.

Baldur snorted.

"I don't know!" he said with confident arrogance, in his usual gruff tone. "Perhaps it came from outside?!"

The couple walked outside and surveyed the area.

"Well, I don't see anything!"

As soon as Baldur said that, his wife looked into the air and screamed. Birds in a nearby tree scattered, and then the ground rumbled a bit more. She looked up with her mouth open in awe while Baldur turned his attention to the sky also.

"What the.....?"

In the distance of the blue sky a large circular object could be seen. There were no clouds to mask the object. It was slowly getting closer, and with it being daytime, appeared like it was half there. Certain distinguishing features of the object were in a light grey, the same colour that a pale moon would be when seen in full daylight, while a majority of it was simply the same colour as the sky. It wasn't the object itself that was that colour, but rather it was far enough away that while that side of the planet was still in the daytime, the clear sky's particles prevented all of the object from being seen fully. In either case, though, It was closing, and would be at the planet in a matter of minutes.

Baldur, however, didn't seem too worried. Or at least he didn't act that way. He just stared at it with the same facial features, although his mouth was now a curious speck rather than a smug grin or gritted clench of teeth. His wife backed up, still clearly in shock.

She finally spoke: "Wha... What is that thing?"

Baldur replied with his typical self-centered pride, "I don't know! But it's a threat!"

His trademark smirk returned with a quiet sinister chuckle. "And it's finally a chance to act like the true warrior I am!"

He clenched his fists in a tight ball, then widened his stance, lowering himself into the ground slightly.

"Stand back!" he shouted.

She did.

Baldur yelled in what could be best described as a battle cry, as bright yellow flames of energy surrounded him, making a whirring sound and flickering. He then drew his arms up, placing them together at the wrists and facing them up towards the intruding distance object that was becoming clearer and clearer as it drew closer. His palms flattened out, with the fingers on his left hand facing left, and his right hand facing right. Within seconds, a spark appeared in the air near where his palms touched and grew in size, until it was about the size of a basketball. Then, in one fluid motion, he twisted his arms around to his side and allowed the ball to grow in size slightly. Finally, with a quick flick, a deafening yell and a burst of pure power, anger and force, he threw his hands forward towards the object. In a streak of light, the bright yellow beam rocketed towards its target, a long tail of constant energy streaming from Baldur's hands as he guided the blast.

After a few seconds, the nose of the blast connected, and a blinding flash and cloud of smoke prevented the object from being seen. Baldur breathed heavily as he looked up, waiting to see the result, his arms dangling lifelessly at his side. He soon gave them life again, standing up again and flexing them with a smug grin. He chuckled.

"There! That took care of that!"

His wife snorted. "Why is your answer to everything blasting it?!"

"Because it's fun," he stated simply.

The smile left his face though, as the dust cleared showing that the attempt to stop it had either done no damage at all or very little. He gasped in short breaths of disbelief and he stared up at it.


His wife crossed her arms and glared at him. "And it didn't even work!!!"

He stammered, "Why?!! Why didn't that stop it! It worked with the moon!!!"

"Yes it did, and remember how much trouble you got in for that?!"

Baldur crossed his arms in a huff, as if he'd forgot about the incoming object. "It was in my way when I was sunbathing!"

He paused and then mumbled, "Stupid eclipse!"

"I don't care! That's no reason to destroy it!"

"Well what would you have me do then, woman?! Wait for it to move or something?!" he replied with angry sarcasm.

"Why not?! Why do you have to blast things anyway?!"

He snorted again.

"Because it makes me feel powerful! There's nothing more satisfying than blasting something weaker than you!"

Suddenly from around the corner, a desperate looking man in rags ran up to the couple. He was carrying a bindle and spoke in fear and confusion: "Thank God I found somebody. You have to help me! Get me into some kind of shelter before that th--"

His plead was cut short as he was hit by an energy blast to the chest and went sailing into the distance screaming. He landed behind the house across the street with a dull thud. Baldur had slowly raised his left arm without even looking at the man and had shot him in the chest with a small blast.

After the thud was heard, his wife glared at him in pure rage.

"See, Achaia?" he stated simply. "Most satisfying!"

"Baldur!!! How many times have I told you not to blast the neighbours?!"

Baldur shrugged, showing no sign of guilt. "I don't know. How many neighbours have I blasted?"

She growled at him.

His jocular tone changed to a more serious one. "There's no time for that now. We have more serious concerns at hand"

He looked up towards the oncoming mammoth ball. The ground shook again, this time more violent. It knocked Achaia over and Baldur helped her up, sneering at the approaching orb.

"Get yourself and the boy somewhere safe! I'll deal with this thing!"

She nodded, not saying a word and ran inside just before another quake hit. She ran into a colourful room that contained a small, crying child. She picked him up and ran under a sturdy desk, cradling him.

"Don't worry, son. Your daddy's going to take care of that nasty thing"

Outside, a nasty wind had built up too. To hurricane proportions, actually. Baldur turned to see another dark-haired male member of his species flying into the sky, shooting small, but fast and numerous energy blasts. Energy attacks were the way of his race, although his wife was actually from a different species that didn't know how to use such techniques. There weren't many members of his species on this planet, only about five of them in total. Baldur continued to glance sideways at the man.

He snorted. "Fool!"

Baldur knew that such weak blasts wouldn't do anything. Hell, if his huge blast earlier had little to no effect, what would multiple, less powerful blasts do? He turned his attention back to the sky, the wind blowing his hair around like a rag doll and flicking bits of dirt and rock into his face. His eyes narrowed and a thoughtful sound echoed deep in his throat. A car behind him turned over from the gusts and rolled on its side across until it was pinned against the house across the street. That house was already beginning to lose its roof.

Suddenly from the sky, without warning, large uprooted tree hurled itself straight at Baldur. With amazing speed and skill, without even batting an eyelid, Baldur swiftly cast aside the object in a sweeping blur with his right arm, sending it behind him. He narrowed his eyes even more and growled deep in his throat.

By now the whole planet was shaking, and literally being torn apart. Baldur raised himself from the ground slowly in flight, his arms crossed in front of his chest.

"Enough of this foolishness!!"

Flames of yellow energy burst around him again, and he shot off into the air. When he was several thousand feet into the air he paused. The wind was even stronger here, but he was from a tough race, and could hold his ground easily.

"Perhaps my blast was weakened because of its distance. From this range, nothing could survive!"

Rather than the move he used earlier, this time Baldur drew his hands up and behind his head, then created a ball of energy. When it was about the size of a small car, he hurled it towards the silver orb, which was now in clear view. The ball made contact with the target in to time, in a massive explosion of light. But after the flash and smoke had cleared, all that was apparently was a large circular scorch mark.

Baldur growled in rage and defeat. "NO! I have to stop this thing!! There HAS to be a way!! I'm the greatest warrior in the universe!! I HAVE to stop it!"

Clenching his muscles, Baldur let loose and yelled out at the top of his lungs. After about ten seconds, he stopped, and simply floated there, silently. His gaze moved back down to the planet, where the destruction was now apparent. Various weapons from the town's military base were being fired into the air, but they appeared to be just as ineffective as he was. Several small round life pods could be seen blasting away from the planet. Some were getting hit by flying objects and being destroyed, while most seem to make it.

Baldur yelled down in their direction, "Cowards! Stand and fight like TRUE warriors!!"

His attention soon turned back to the invader, as he heard a sound and sensed movement. He just gazed in awe as the hole at the front of the gigantic sphere opened and the red beam shot down directly at him. With a growl of anger and fear, Baldur lashed his hands out to block the beam, only to find it go right through him, not hurting him in the least. He turned to see the planet below get surrounded by the red energy shield. Then, just like it did when it attacked the previous planets, the area of the red energy orb grew out from the planet's surface, creating a large bubble around the planet. Baldur stared in horror at the explosions at the edge of the now fully expanded ruby coloured energy ball.


He realised what the explosions were. They were the escaping pods, which had now failed to escape. They had hit the edges and exploded.

"Blast it! We'd be lucky if a SINGLE POD made it through that!!!"

His thoughts suddenly went back to his family. He hoped that they weren't in any of the destroyed pods, assuming they weren't still at home. He faced the silver monster again as he heard a second sound. As he watched, he then saw the following purple beam streak towards him.

"What now?!"

He prepared to defend himself again, but this time he sensed the power in this beam. He quickly moved aside from it, just before it could make contact. Following the violet streak with his eyes, he almost had a heart attack when he saw what it did to the planet. He screamed towards the source of the beam at the top of his lungs.


Launching himself without the calm rationale he usually displayed in a crisis, Baldur was acting on pure rage. As the planet behind him exploded to pieces, Baldur screamed towards the object that caused the destruction. The purple beam disappeared and Baldur increased his speed, raising his hands above his head again.


With all his remaining strength he launched a blast directly into its mouth. As the explosion happened, Baldur didn't have time to watch, as he sensed something approaching from below. He hardly had time to gasp or even fully turn before he was hit by a chunk of his home planet at amazing speed. There was nothing he could do to stop it dragging him into the awaiting mouth of the hungry metallic planetoid.


To be continued