Planet of Slaves

January 9, 2017

When Phillip returned to the table with a full pitcher, Jack tried his best to relax and absorb what Phillip had promised would be a long tale. The fire crackled sending shadows dancing over the deep brown hues of the tavern.





Phillip sat down seeming wearier than Jack was used to seeing him. Then again, this wasn’t the Phillip he’d known, since he wasn’t on his own planet. The Stalwart took a deep breath than said, “While I poured the ale I was thinking whether you wanted to hear the whole tale or just the abridged version. Also, before we start, could you tell me what you plan to do.”


Jack rubbed his temples. “Honestly, I’d just assume grab Ty and leave this place to all of you. No offence, but your world hasn’t treated us well, although I suppose it is better than the last one.”


“If that’s the case, then the shorter version should work.”


“Good, but tell, me I am curious and learning more might help me to stop Vile Darken on other worlds.”


Phillip signed. “That’s just it, Jack, we never stopped Darken on this world.”


“Then what are all of you doing?”


Phillip lost eye contact with him and gazed down at his ale. “You aren’t going to like it.”




“Just tell me, Brownhurst.”


Phillip looked up. “This easiest way to describe it, is we have become indentured servants.”


“What, to who?”


“Vile and the races of Xemmoni he’s allied himself with, which at least here, are the Caradon, Darcarre, and the Glooms. Sometimes, the Nexus and Rippers are involved.”


“So, what… you work for the Xemmoni? What do you do for them?”


“It’s not that cut and dry Jack, but about twenty percent of the products created on this world are used by his armies elsewhere. As long as we agree to this deal, he has agreed to spare this world his wrath.”


“At the cost of arming his warriors to take over other worlds like mine.” Jack raised his voice. “I should beat the shit out of you on principle. And what do you Stalwarts do here, train his troops?”





“No,” Phillip said without much enthusiasm. “We’re allowed to continue our status, but may only attack the Xemmoni races and individuals who oppose Vile.”


“So, you’re his police force fighting the competition. I can’t believe this crap. How could everyone agree with all this?”


“Most aren’t aware. Certainly, few normal folks, but even the majority of Stalwarts have had their memories compromised. I’m one of the exceptions, which is more of a curse than a blessing most days.”


“And this was done how?”


“I’m sure you are familiar with Vile experimenting on the various worlds, he tries things, they work or not. He keeps with some of the things which work, unless his attention moves in a new direction. This spell is planet wide. Everyone is a good little worker unless there’s a conflict and then everyone from Stalwart to little old lady puts down what they are doing to crush any anomalies.”


“One of the Splinter Darcarre showed up in Boston. I almost felt sorry for the poor guy when a few hundred people tore him to pieces.”


Jack glared at the incarnation of his best friend. “It seems like you’re worse than a lost cause. If your planet was wiped clean at least you wouldn’t be helping Vile’s empire.”


“Actually, that might not be true. Vile uses resources from the worlds he totally controls. Everything from armies of flesh and death to the trees and soil. At least this way the people are allowed to live.”


“Yes, so you can all help his war machine for decades to come.” He pushed his empty glass away. “I think I’m going to be sick.”


Phillip’s cell began to buzz. The Stalwart looked down. “Oh shit, they found her Jack.”


“Are they bringing her back here?”


“I wish, no, she fought like a Darcarre. They are bringing her to the Darcarre nest to determine whether she’s loyal to the cause and not a Splinter. When they discover the truth, they will…”


“They will what?”


“They’ll probably kill her Jack.”


“Son of a bitch.”





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