Karpein - By: Nick Tancula

Hearing a small voice some where, I woke up. An eerie greenish light shone through my eyelids as I struggled to open them. Reaching up to my face with my right hand, I tried to rub my eye with my index finger. As I attempted to bend the finger, I realized it had been cut off entirely. Setting my right arm on the cold steel floor beside me, I scraped off the discharge gluing them shut with my other hand. As soon as I opened my eyes, I shut them again as the greenish light coming from the walls and ceiling was brighter than expected.

Rolling onto my side, I turned my head to face the painted steel floor, hearing a strange sound seemingly coming from me as I completed the motion. At last, I opened my eyes. On the originally white floor, now a sickening yellow thanks to the light pouring from every crack and hole in the old hallway, I saw dried blood. It was then I noticed the slight pain in my back. As I turned to see what had happened, I noticed again the strange sound that came with the motion. It almost sounded like the sound made when the robots on those old 2D "fiction" movies moved.

I turned my head back to the floor, and once again, I heard the mechanical sound. Knowing I would find out what it was sooner or later, I looked behind me and at my back. To my surprise, I felt no resistance from the joint as I looked behind me. As I tried to get a better look at the hole the obvious bullet made as it punched through my clothing, my neck turned even further! I was looking straight behind me at the other wall! Being scared, I tried to turn my head back in front of me, and I managed to do so... In the opposite direction as before. I had turned my head all the way around.

Upon completion of the foreign movement, a low hum started coming from my chest. I sat upright and unbuttoned the top two buttons from my uniform shirt. I reached into my shirt and felt my chest. As I touched my right hand to my chest, I felt a warm metal covering my upper body. After removing my hand, I stood up ... And again, the machine like sound. Before I could think about it any further, I saw a movement from the corner of my eye. And then... I began to move. Only, I didn't start walking, and yet I did. My legs carried me to a door, and then, my arm reached out to the button for the door. Still puzzled, I went along with it, not resisting at all.

As my left hand pressed against the red button, the airlock door that separated the ship sectors opened. The ship had five major sectors, each separated by air tight doors like the one I had just opened. If something happened in one sector ... it was sealed of from the others so it didn't impose a danger to the whole ship. I did not know where I had gained this knowledge... This ship was not familiar to me.

As I walked into the new sector, I heard the door behind me close, but as it closed fully, I heard a hum, higher pitched than the one coming from my chest. A small voice said, "The door was sealed off and un openable from the inside." I looked around for the origin of the voice as my legs continued to carry me to some place I was unaware of, but I could not find the origin of the voice. My heavy boots clanked loudly upon the stainless steel plating the was the floor of this sector. Then, to my right, I heard a new voice, louder than the one before. As the speaker made himself known, I instantly recognized the orange uniform of the Jackson trooper.

The Jackson Klan was on board. The Jackson Klan, as they oddly called themselves, was a group of people who once inhabited Earth. At the time of their deportation, there was at least 500,000 of them. They were Capitalists who tried taking over the Communist United States. Earth had been peace a hundred years before that, so no war machines were made, no weapons at all.

The planet was entirely Communist and at peace amongst itself. Or so they thought. The Jackson Klan was once exiled off the planet to an asteroid mining colony. No one is sure how, but they took the colony over, and started making huge profits from the steel mills back on earth.

It was not known that the Jackson Klan had taken over the colony, so when they asked earth to send more supplies for buildings on the largest asteroid, aboard the next inbound Frigate, well, the supplies were sent without question. Somehow, with the supplies, and the help of Jackson himself, they managed to build the most powerful weapon ever created. The Electron Beam was able to destroy entire countries, burning all of the creations to the ground.

Sadly, the weapon worked as told, and Earth had to surrender to the Jackson Klan when the Electron Beam equipped frigate returned to Earth. Earth sent it's most qualified scientists and ex-military leaders on the Super Frigate Karpein away from earth, to come back again when they had a way to destroy the Jackson. Somehow, I knew this, yet I didn't remember it happening. All I knew was that the Jackson Klan was on the ship.

For some reason, I regained control of my legs, and I ran at top speed to the nearest room visible. Once inside the room, I looked out the window. Sure enough, the Jackson Frigate was out there, painted orange with the Jackson Klan insignia painted in yellow and black under the bridge. The Jackson had found the Karpein.

Then... I heard the voice again. As if the voice was reading my thoughts, it explained to me. "Yes, XC902 the Jackson Klan has found us." XC902... It sounded familiar. I unbuttoned my shirt to look at the metal plating on my chest, and sure enough, engraved in it, was XC902.

Suddenly, I began yelling and kicking a chair violently. "WHO ARE YOU!" I shouted at the unknown voice.

It responded,"I am your creator, XC902."

Enraged, I ran out of the room, my heavy boots clanking loudly upon the floor. I reached to my side and pulled out a pistol, I didn't know was there, and ran towards the three Jacksons who were now standing in the middle of the huge cargo hold. When they saw me, they opened fire on me with their modified assault rifles. I was hit in my chest and stomach, yet I ran on. I brought the pistol up to eye level, and fired a killing shot at the first Jackson. The bullet sped towards the orange helmet, and to my surprise, it pierced the armor. The Jackson fell to the ground and to two others looked down upon they're fallen comrade in shock.

I shot the second the same way, and he fell backwards, screaming and then suddenly silenced. The other stared at me, the pain of his lost comrades and rage evident in his movements. He fired a short bust of bullets at my head. I didn't feel pain. Instead of falling backward, I aimed and shot the remaining Jackson. He fell and I dropped to the floor as he did. My modified pistol skittered across the floor.

I reached up to my head with my left hand, and pulled a bullet from my forehead. None of the shots had gotten past the plating in my head. And suddenly, it all clicked. As my arm dropped to the floor and I rolled onto my back with the machine like sound, memories started to flow into my head. The Jackson shooting me in the back... Me looking up at the ceiling and the eerie green light. And then it all went blank. And then, I woke up as the scientist ran away.

The people on the Karpein had found a way to defeat the Jackson Klan for the final time. They had finally found a way to save earth and return it to peace.

I stood up, not tired at all. I began to walk back to the airlock door. Back to the bridge of the Karpein. There I would be re-equipped and be shuttled aboard the Jackson Frigate. There, I would take over the Jackson Frigate, and take away the threat to Earth.

The Karpein had found a way to save Earth. With cryogenic upgrades, and advanced weapons, they had created a way. They took one of the fallen men from the Jackson take over and brought him back to life, more powerful than before. Invincible to anything the Jackson could throw against him. And then I knew to who they had done this to. Me.


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