Chapter 12: An uplifting end


“Ah... why aren't I dead?” asked Justice.
“Very good question, my dear boy. It's because you've won! Oh, and because that was just a hologram blade.”
Celebratory game show music filled the dome as Justice was freed from the guillotine's restraints.
“So, 7 was actually the right answer?”
“Good lord, no. But this was never a test of your intelligence,” said the hologram as it changed before their eyes. Gone was the tall, gaunt representation of Alexander Vogel, replaced by a shorter man with softer features.
“Forgive me for the deception – My name is Christopher Charles and I most certainly am not the smartest men ever. You probably could have guessed that, what with my foolish mistake of placing the Trinity Key so close to a gravity suppressor. You see, I always put more importance on someone's heart than their mind. In choosing to be honest, at the presumed cost of your life, you've proven yourself worthy of this,” the hologram said as The Trinity Key orb floated over to Justice, landing softly in his hand.

The hologram looked solemnly across at them.
“I must tell you, there is quite a challenge ahead if you wish to claim the two other pieces of the key. A good heart in itself is not enough. I should know – I destroyed an entire planet. You'll find the real Alexander Vogel has crafted an extraordinary brain teaser for you on the water planet Atlantis to ensure you're of the right intelligence. If successful there, combine the two pieces of the key and you will be led to Rebecca Jorden and the third piece. But make sure you're well rested when you do so, for to earn that piece you'll have to display incredible physical ability.”
“Can you give us any hints?”
“I could... but look at the time,” he said, pointing at the count down clock, which showed there was only a few minutes until the next snow show.
“You're right, we better get out of here. Thanks for the key,” Jupiter said.
“Uh, just one more thing. Please don't tell the Alexander Vogel hologram about my little gravity blunder. No doubt he'll ask – that twat always did have to know everything.”

The four made their way back out into the warming sunshine of Super-Sunny-Happy-Bright-Fun Land, where Miller waited to greet them.
“So, did you find what you were looking for?” he asked as he helped them back into their safety harnesses and latched them onto the metal beam.
“Yes, we certainly did,” said Jupiter with a big grin.
“Excellent! It just goes to show - this planet has everything you could ever hope for.”
“That it does, Miller, that it does,” said Justice, still buzzing after his escape from death.
Miller stopped, confused. “Where are you all heading?”
“Back to my ship. We've got we came for?” Jupiter replied.
“But you... you can't leave.”
“Can we take him with us?” Google asked. “He can't be happy stuck here on a planet all by himself.”
Jupiter thought on it for a second. “I guess I could use a helper-bot. What do you say, Miller?”
“You think I would leave this beautiful slice of nirvana! Are you mad? I guess you haven't seen the sunsets here. There's two of them, you know.”
“I'm afraid we'll have to miss both – we need to get going right away.”
“But I can't allow that, sir. You really must see the sunsets,” said Miller, as he pulled a blaster on them. “Unless you want to end up like the others.”
“The others?”
“The ones in Fantabulous City that were indoors when the first gravity storm hit. They wanted to leave this world, too – so I made sure they got there, express all the way,” he said looking up at the skeleton rings that orbited the planet.

Before he had a chance to say anymore, Liberty and Justice fired a torrent of shots from their blasters, sending Miller's gun - and the arm it was attached to, flying.
Just as quickly, Miller drew another gun in his one remaining hand.
“Where is he getting all these guns from?” exclaimed Jupiter.
The robot took aim at Liberty and Justice, whose blasters were still powering back up after their recent efforts.
“Before you fire, there's one thing you should know,” Jupiter said as he stood in front of the brother-sister duo, blocking Miller's shot.
“What's that?”
“Ichi-bots aren't that much heavier than Ni-bots.”
“So?”
“How much do you think one of your arms weighs?”
A look of concern flashed up on Miller's face as the city started to rumble. Quickly, he dropped his gun and reached out for the metal bar, missing it by mere inches as he rose up into the sky.
“It really is a wonderful planet. No gravity is a delightful weight off your shoulders!” they heard him yell, before he became a distant dot on the horizon.

END OF PART ONE

3 Response to Chapter 12: An uplifting end

  1. Luke says:

    Yes I'm afraid Miller was always doomed. (He was named after arthur 'death of a salesman' miller. Why the obscure reference? I'm not sure – I hated studying that play! I guess it makes me feel literary. :p)

    Oh, and 'End of part one' means I'm taking a very short break from this – like an ad break. But instead of Denise Drysdale selling you beds, there'll be a short story, followed by more Into the Black.

  2. Dale says:

    Awesome. :) Arthur Miller's The Crucible isn't much better... (Also harboring the desire to appear literary.)

    You have so many clever bits in your writing - like the lost weight of the arm thing - I'm always impressed!

  3. Jimzip says:

    That was fun! I now see why it was good that they told the hologram the truth when it 'glitched', that's a really good test to see if they're honest ... but how sneaky!

    Yours un-literary-ly...

    Jimzip :D