The Gulag’s – Chapter 4Author: Jon Martin | Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 |
Karina, Chane, Thurston, Grant, and Newman all plodded along the Gulag’s docks. They had walked for what seemed like hours but they didn’t feel any closer to their destination. This port was for the biggest of ships to dock at, usually a tram would pick up passengers because of the long distance.
They could see where the dock ended, it was miles away and at the end of the dock there was a door. The door was pitch black, unlike the reflective shiny metal the dock was made of. As the four walked they said nothing, Karina could only stare up at the hulking mass that was the Gulag. She watched it as they walked and she swore she saw things moving on it’s hull, small things, weird bio-mechanical things. Her eyes could see their data-trails.
Thurston turned to Karina as they walked.
“You saw them too, didn’t you?” Thurston asked. Karina nodded.
“We have similar eyes, but yours are newer.” Thurston said, he continued walking towards the Gulag. Newman brushed past Karina as he made his way to the front of the pack.
“We’ve walked approximately 3 miles, we still have 17 miles to go until we reach the end of the dock.” Thurston said, patting Newman on the head. No one reacted, they walked in silence. Chane gasped.
“What the fuck is that?” Chane pointed up, Karina tried to focus her eyes. Floating fifty feet above them was a dark object. It was another mangled human, except something was different… it looked like it’s fingers and arms were still moving. Karina’s eyes clicked and began to refocus, her stomach lurched. It was alive, she could see it’s internal organs.
“How is that possible? It’s a vaccuum out here, it should be dead.. whatever it is..” Grant said.
The group all stopped to gawk at the body, even Newman, who tilted his head in confusion, then ran to hide behind Thurston. Thurston seemed more troubled than the rest of the crew, perhaps the realization of the seriousness of this situation was just hitting him, Karina couldn’t tell. Thurston seemed to shield his emotions from her biode’s, it was getting frustrating, she didn’t understand why he was hiding something so trivial to her. Emotions were just response to stimuli, nothing more, nothing less.
“It looks like some fucked up nazi experiment…” Grant said, turning away from the body.
“It’s alive but it looks like it’s dying” Thurston said.
“Shouldn’t it’s blood be boiling, it should have died a long time ago from being out in space, right?” Chane asked.
“I don’t know what that thing is… let’s just continue on”. With that, Thurston turned and continued down the dock.
Newman barked and ran to catch up. Karina watched Thurston walk away, she turned to Chane. Chane had his pistol out and was aiming at the creature floating above them. Karina didn’t have time to say anything before she heard the shots being fired.
A horrifying scream erupted from the creature. Thurston and Newman turned.
“What are you doing?!” Thurston yelled. Grant, Karina, and Chane watched as the creature convulsed, then died.
“Why would you waste our bullets on that?! You idiot!” Thurston said, stomping towards them.
“I wanted to see what would happen.” Chane said.
“Let’s just go.” Karina said, they all looked at her.
“Fine.” Thurston responded, he turned and walked away, Karina followed, and they all continued on, acting as if the incident with the creature hadn’t happened.
Grant’s face was buried in his NAVI-C, it used to show the schematics of the OverEinder II but now it just showed nothing but error messages. Grant swiped his index finger across the screen and accessed remote connections. The Navi scanned the surroundings, one connection detected. Grant gasped, he tapped on the connection, the Navi loaded for a moment, then Grant was greeted by the smiling face of a beautiful woman.
“Welcome to the Gulag, my name is Demetria, I am will be your A.I. guide during your tour through the Gulag facilities.”
The group stopped and turned toward Grant.
“Amazing! That is still functional?! Thurston exclaimed. They crowded around Grant to see the screen as the A.I. continued.
“You are our special guests today, we are sending a tram to pick you up immediately.”
It was true, in the distance Karina could see a bright blue blur approaching them. The A.I. continued.
“The Gulag is the most advanced and successful space-based prison system in all of the universe. We at the Gulag pride ourselves in inmate rehabilitation and guarantee that by the time a prisoner is released, he is not a threat to society. This is accomplished many ways and as this tour continues, we will show you how we achieve our outstanding results.”
A dark blue tram screamed to a stop next to the group. It almost looked gothic, it was covered in strange face-like patterns. They were perfect-looking patterns, unlike any that Karina had ever seen before. Her eyes tried to calculate their symmetries but it was impossible.
A large part of the tram slid open, revealing six chairs.
Karina, Grant, Thurston, and Chane all looked at each other.
“Do we just go?” Grant asked.
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea..” Karina said, Thurston nodded.
“It would probably be best if we just walked, we have no idea where this tram goes and it’s just another variable we don’t need to deal with. We have three goals, getting to the Gulag, getting inside the Gulag, then finding food and water. We can probably accomplish these goals if we just walk but if we take this tram we have no idea where we will end up. For all we know the tram will skid off into space, leaving us stranded to die in that little box.” Thurston said, looking around the group as he talked. Chane stepped toward Thurston.
“Maybe the tram leads to a place with food, it’s supposed to be a tour and for some reason it’s still operational, so maybe that area of the ship is Ok. Who knows, maybe they didn’t devolve into crazy cannibals, maybe everything is fine in the Gulag, maybe it’s a utopia, you never know…” Chane said.
“That’s some real wishful thinking” Thurston said.
“I vote to ignore the tram and continue walking, there is too much left to the unknown if we step on that tram.” Thurston said. Karina nodded.
“What does everyone else think?” Thurston asked. Chane shook his head. Grant was about to say something but his NAVI spoke up again.
“May I ask why our visitors refuse to board the tram?” asked the NAVI.
Grant looked up at the Thurston. Thurston shrugged.
“We don’t know if it’s safe to get on the tram.” Chane said matter-of-factly. The Navi was silent for a moment, Karina looked at Grant but Grant wouldn’t look at her, he must have still been mad about her being part-biode. No, he didn’t care she was part-biode, he cared she had neglected to mention it, which was a crazy thing to get mad about, it was her business and it was not like she was his, or that he owned her, so her feelings were her own.
“The tram is safe, we only seek to provide the-”
“Ok, cut the shit, this prison has been missing for 25 years, we have no idea what the fuck happened inside, don’t act like things are all bright and cheery, they aren’t, and don’t bullshit us. Where does this tram go.” Chane said, yelling at Grant’s PDA. It was silent again, it seemed to take time for the A.I. to think, which wasn’t usual, it might have meant that it was not functioning at full capacity. Grant looked down as the PDA began buzzing.
“As I am only the tour A.I. I do not know the events that take place in the ship other than the tour facilities. It is outside the permissions of my programming to check what has happened, however, I can assure you that the tour facility is intact and there are food and refreshments waiting for our happy visitors.” The NAVI said.
“What kind of refreshments?” Chane asked.
“Our state-of-the-art food preparation station can pre pare any meal you desire, we also have bottled water and many types of alcohol, please come along with us and view the most advanced prison in the universe!”
A hokey theme song began to play and the NAVI lost it’s connection. Grant looked up.
“This changes things.” Thurston said, he knelt down and picked up Newman.
“This is our best chance, lets get in now.” Thurston said, jumping into the tram. Small lights illuminated the interior, it was plain, just a box with chairs and a large window to see outside.
“How did you change your mind so fast? It could be lying.” Chane said.
“I don’t think it’s lying and I think you should all get in before this leaves with just me and my dog.”
That statement sent them all into a panic. Karina, Chane, and Grant all jumped in just as the tram door closed tighly behind them. Then the tram was gone, headed towards the Gulag.
- The Gulag’s – Chapter 3
- The Gulag’s – Chapter 2
- The Gulag’s – Chapter 1
- GANTZ – Chapter 314
- Zach Galifianakis on SNL