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Artemis 9: Part 14


By Arthur ArmstrongPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 5 min read
Artemis 9: Part 14
Photo by fauve othon on Unsplash

”Are you out of your mind?!” Alison shouted.

“According to four psychiatrists and a large team of medical personnel, yes, but I don’t think that applies here,” I suggested.

“Doesn’t apply?! You’ve struck a government official, stolen government property, and kidnapped a man!” Alison rebutted.

“Correction, they kidnapped us. I was merely rescuing us the only way I knew how,” I retorted as we arose from the ocean depths, “So, you’re welcome.”

Alison slumped into a crewman’s chair and stared at Astaria’s unconscious body, “Why didn’t you throw them overboard before we left?”

“Because they’re the only one between the three of us who may be able to fix the ship if it breaks,” I answered.

“What makes you think they’ll help us after what you did?” Alison asked, her face stern.

“I…have a feeling,” I replied, keeping my eyes to the horizon.

“A feeling? What? in your pants?” Alison besmirched.

“No,” I answered flatly, “in my heart.”

“We’re gonna die,” Alison concluded, and covered her face with her hand.

“Be not afraid,” I said with a smirk.

“Oh yeah, that’s real funny,” Alison said, exasperated.

“Must you always look on the darker side?” I asked.

“When you join the rest of us on Earth, maybe I’ll consider a lighter perspective,” Alison answered.

Astaria began to stir on the floor, groaning loudly and placing their hand on their head, “What happened?”

“You, my friend, were the unfortunate victim of the old ‘Atlantean torch to the back of the head,’ ” I said calmly, “It’s good to see you survived.”

Astaria looked up at me with their head in her hand, “Why?”

“Well, ya’ll did kidnap us at gunpoint, my sister is covered in bruises, and you’ve created an entirely new set of delusions that I now have to work through in therapy, thank you very much,” I said, as I flew us over swamp land, “Look, Alison! No hands!” I had removed my hand from the touchpad, and we hovered above the watery landscape.

“Look, I understand the circumstances weren’t ideal but-“

“Ideal?!” Alison interjected, “Those assholes dislocated my shoulder and bruised me worse than an overripe peach!”

“I’m sorry. Truly,” Astaria said remorsefully, “We had to show you both the truth about yourselves. We knew if we were to just show up and tell you, ‘Hey you’re Royal aliens’ you wouldn’t have believed us. We understand how extraordinary this all sounds and we get that Earth has not treated you as it should-“

“Yeah, no shit,” I grumbled.

“We’re going to make it right,” Astaria promised, “That’s why we’re here.”

“Yeah well, you need to work on your people skills,” Alison retorted.

“Fair enough,” Astaria agreed, “Can we go back now? I swear to you both, no ill shall ever befall you.”

Alison looked at me and thought, What do you think?

“Astaria” I said as I directed us further North, “I’m the crowned Prince of the Orion Star System, right?”

“Yes, your majesty, and its future King,” Astaria answered.

“Does that mean I get my own ship?” I asked.

Alison’s face dropped in exasperation again, Are you serious?

I have never been more serious about anything in my life.

“Yes, your majesty, I believe your Father has a ship waiting for you,” Astaria lied.

“No shit?” I exclaimed, as we now hovered over lush, green mountains.

Alison cleared her throat as the golden light from the sunset shimmered in her pale eyes, You really intend on going back for a ship that’s not even there?

Not really, considering I’ve got one already. I just want them to think they’re ahead. I can tell they’re lying.

Astaria lunged at me. I swiveled to avoid them but Astaria’s hand slammed down onto the control pad, causing the ship to plummet into the darkening forest below.

Alison screamed as we plunged violently toward the Earth’s surface. The sounds of snapping tree branches quickly overtook her cries. As we hit the ground, all three of us collapsed on the deck.

“Dammit! Now we’re shipwrecked in the middle of the woods!” Alison groaned.

“How often has that been said?” I wondered.

“Who cares? We gotta get out of this mess,” Astaria said.

“Hey!” I barked, “You were the one that fucked with control pad! I was doing just fine flying us home until you cocked it up!”

“You both have to go back to Atlantis!” Astaria commanded as they stood up.

Alison got to her feet, her knees bleeding through her dress, “We’re going home! You can’t just kidnap people!”

Astaria seemed affronted by Alison’s accusation, “We didn’t kidnap you!”

“Oh? What exactly do you call holding us at gunpoint and physically assaulting us until we agree to get into your dark SUVs? A holiday invitation?” I glared as I rose to my feet as well.

“None of it really matters now since we’re shipwrecked somewhere where there are numerous things that want to harm us. Particularly in the dark,” Astaria said.

“Oh, it fucking matters, asshole,” Alison said sternly, her finger pointed at Astaria, “If you bastards hadn’t kidnapped us, we’d be at home right now! Where we belong!”

“You don’t understand,” Astaria pleaded, “Atlantis is where you belong. The both of you.”

I looked deeply into Astaria’s eyes and, this time, I detected no lies.

How are they able to trick me?

What if they aren’t lying? What if this is the true reality?

I turn to her, There’s no way this is real.

“Can we all stop staring at each other and figure out a way out of this mess, please?” Astaria asked as they opened the ship’s hatch to the dark mountain forest.

“You got us into this,” Alison said to Astaria as she passed and started down the ramp.

“Yeah, I was flying us just fine until you swooped in and fucked it up,” I remarked to Astaria.

Astaria huffed and rolled their eyes.

Alison’s voice echoed in the darkness, “You bastard!”

Astaria and I rushed toward her voice to find her knelt beside the ship with something in her hands. As my eyes adjusted to the faint light from the ship’s open hatch, I could make out a mass protruding from beneath the ship.

“What is it?” Astaria asked.

“It’s a deer!” Alison shouted in anger.

“How the fuck did you manage to hit a deer with a spaceship?” I said crossing my arms at Astaria, “That’s what I want to know.”

“Well, what was it doing here?” Astaria deflected.

“It’s the woods, Astaria! It fucking lives here!” Alison shouted again. I could feel the pain in her voice.

“Well, maybe it’ll be alright,” Astaria suggested.

“Oh yeah, I’m sure this half of the deer will just pick up that other half of the deer,” I said, pointing to the second dark mass protruding from another part of the ship, “take a nap and be right as rain by morning.”

Alison burst into tears.

“You see what you’ve done?” I said to Astaria, “She’s upset.”

“What I did?” Astaria argued and pointed to the ship, “You stole that ship!”

“Correction, I ‘commandeered’ that ship,” I stated, “and you wrecked it. And you murdered an innocent deer in his own home in the process. I hope you’re happy with yourself.”

Astaria’s face clenched, “I’m not gonna argue about this anymore. We need to get to safety.”

“Well, you’re welcome to volunteer as a sacrifice for any dangerous wildlife we come across,” I jabbed.

Alison stood up silently and begin walking further into the woods.

Uh, where ya going, Sis?

There’s a light I must follow.

“Hey, if there’s one thing I know about where we are,” I called after her, “It’s don’t go following strange lights and sounds in the woods!”

I can’t seem to stop myself…


About the Creator

Arthur Armstrong

A being of duality, poetic irreverence, and maddening nonsense.

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