I am a bearers, otherwise known as glorified deliveryman who operates within lawless and uninhabited zones all over the universe. My main area of operation is V5142119, a planet on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. It’s a dusty planet littered with countless monoliths rich in bauxite ore, the main source of aluminum, one of the key materials in making a space ship.
My customers consists mostly of ship manufacturers, who often order in bulk.
In one of my supply runs, I came across a large chasm beneath a monolith. Chasms weren’t unique in the planet, but this one caught my eye. Its fissures were too smooth and sharp to be naturally occurring. I tried to determine its depth by dropping a rock. Minutes passed, no sound managed to climb back to the top. I was disappointed but I decided to let it go. I had a job to do. I turned around and headed towards another monolith when all of a sudden my scanner began to beep erratically. I took it out and laughed. The scanner was sensing tons of bauxite ore at the bottom of pit. I knew then that I had to know what lies beneath.
Since the chasm was too small for the ship, I opted to use my hover board. After I fastened the head light, I began my descent. It took me almost two hours before I finally caught sight of the bottom, after covering a distance of ten kilometers per hour. There was nothing but pitch black, my scanner however disagreed. I took an area scan of the cavern in order to generate a map. When the data came back, I was surprised. The cavern wasn’t natural at all. The generated map looked like a labyrinth that was made by something or someone. I began to feel nervous ,I had no idea what lies beyond. The prospect of hauling tons of bauxite ore however, chased my doubts to the back of my mind. I carried on and walk towards my goal.
The walk wasn’t long, after about thirty minutes of black, I saw a small glimmer of light before me. Immediately I turned off my headlight and I approached the light source carefully. I took a peek behind a large rock, I couldn’t help but let my jaw fall to the ground. Before me wasn’t just a huge chunk of bauxite ore, no, it was a metropolis. There is a city beneath this desolate planet. Beneath the dust and rocks was an isolated city that thrive without the galaxy’s knowledge.
I was frozen in awe. I never realized that there was something approach me until I found a gun pointed to my head. I was in trouble, I did the best thing I could. I fainted.
When I came to, I realized I was in an infirmary of some sorts. Leaning on the nightstand beside my bed was my hover board. My other equipment was also laid up on the table. I was lost, before I fainted those creatures clearly had the intention of hurting me. Before I could get lost in speculation however, a humanoid creature opened the door. When it realized I was awake, a small smile graced her face. She began to asked me how I was feeling, just like what an average nurse, and for the nth time that day I was speechless. The nurse must have noticed my discomfort because she grabbed my hand. Surprised, I instinctively pulled my hand away. When realization came to me, fear started to creep back in my head but the nurse did nothing but laugh.
The nurse apologized for her actions, she was just excited to see a stranger in the city. It was apparently a rare occurrence for their people to receive guests. When I entered the chasm, I tripped their alarms. When they saw my intrusion, they were as surprised as I was to see another species sprawling around the chasm. A nervous laugh would escape me from time to time as I tried to get my bearings, at the end of her story, she asked me if I had any other questions for her.
There was only one question that came to me, “How is it possible for a metropolis to exist beneath a dead planet?” She looked at me funny and told me that it was not dead at all. The metropolis lives because the planet is alive and well. If the planet were to be dead, the metropolis in the planet would cease to exist.
I did not understand her at all. The planet was clearly dead on the surface. I voiced out my doubts, she didn’t argue at all. She did open the curtains and told me to take a look at the city. In an amused voice she asked me if the scene I was looking was that of a dead city. All I did was silently shake my head as an answer.
My mind kept on bugging me. There has to be an energy source somewhere, something of this magnitude cannot just simply exist out of nowhere, so I asked her if I could look around the city. There was no hesitation in her voice when she agreed to my request.
The city was bustling with life. Ships were flying all over the place. Cars were bustling all around and the inhabitants were going about their life just like any other life forms. It was amazing but still something inside me didn’t sit well with it. The place was beautiful but there was no balance. For life to exist it must consume the energy of another, this place didn’t seem to adhere to that rule. I was perplexed, everything here seemed impossible.
As we were walking down the streets I tried to find out more about their city, I asked her how they came to this planet, without looking at me she told me that they are nomads. The way she worded reply bothered me but I thought little of it as I pushed my speculations behind in order to enjoy the city lights around me. Finally we reached what looked like a plaza. She introduced the place to me as the heart of their people. She told me that this is what keeps them alive, and the city going. What I saw sent chills down my spine. She told me this was a machine that sucked the life force of the planet and process it in order to generate the energy the metropolis needed to stay alive. Suddenly her words came crashing back to me. She said that they are nomads, not were, are. They’re still moving. Unlike other nomads however, they leave nothing alive. In their wake are planets devastated by a parasitic civilization. I felt sick when the realization that this planet may have been alive before came to me. This couldn’t continue, so I bolted.
I activated my hover board and flew away at maximum speed trying to find an exit. It didn’t take long before a handful of ships appeared behind me. They demanded that I surrender before they decide to take drastic measures. I refused, I tried to out maneuver them as I searched for the exit. Finally, I saw the rock that I had peeked through moments before I fainted. Without any hesitation, I zoomed across the cavern praying that I’d be able to escape. The galaxy needed to know of their existence or else more planets would meet the same fate as the V5142119.
I failed. The moment I flew past the rock a force field slammed against me. I was knocked off my hover board. I was at their mercy. I saw the nurse who had taken care of me alight from one of the ships that were chasing me. She apologized for their rough treatment, I had to be stopped because their existence must not be made known. If the galaxy were to know, it would spell doom for their own kind. Countless men, women, and children would perish if they were to leave me alone. I was disgusted. In order to survive their kind sucked an entire planet’s life force. The inhabitants would have remained ignorant, they never stood a chance. The nurse gave me a sad smile.
She told me that she hasn’t been entirely honest with me. She wasn’t just a nurse, she was their leader. As the matriarch she needed to ensure that their kind survived. Even if she were to appear as a villain in my mind, in the eyes of her people she was their salvation. She told me that it was her responsibility to ensure that they’re kind’s tomorrow is secure. I could not believe her words, I knew I had to escape, but my chances were small. The matriarch knew this, so she made me an offer. My life for my silence. I will be allowed to leave, if I were to swear never to venture inside the chasm once again, and also not to a single soul.
I was skeptical. They had no guarantee that I would stay true to the agreement. I asked them if there was any catch, she said there was none. I knew something was up, but I had to prioritize my freedom. I agreed, but with the intent of giving them away the moment I get to the nearest space station.
They lowered their guns. I was given my hover board back. I quickly turned it on and flew as far as it could take me towards my ship on the surface. When I reached the top, I did not look back. I headed straight to the station in order to report the atrocities I have discovered.
I thought I had succeeded. It never occurred to me that the matriarch was aware of my thoughts. When I brought the authorities to the chasm, it was gone. Scans yielded no results, My anger and frustrations got the best of me. I ran towards my ship and proceeded to fire at the ground in an effort to reveal the city below us. The authorities however saw this as a psychotic break. I was gunned down and sentenced to a correctional facility. None of them believed in me. They thought I was crazy. They gave me a shrink.