60. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part VII   2 comments

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 60: The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part VII: The Heart of Deimos

Sundance stood near the back door of the StarTango and slammed his fist against the wall. “Dammit! NO!” He was so frustrated with himself that all he wanted to do was throw things around the ship. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything that he could throw, so he was content to hit the wall again. He knew that he was frightening Astralyn and Caretaker Benjamin, but at the moment, he didn’t care. He needed some sort of release. A good primal scream would have done the trick, but he decided to rein it in. Screaming won’t help Timmy, he reasoned.

“We’ll get him back, Sundance,” Astralyn said, attempting to comfort. She entered the ship and stood behind him, wanting to reach out to him. She knew the best thing would be to give him his space. “We always do. This will be no different.”

“We had better do it soon,” Caretaker Benjamin said, looking at his watch.

“How so?” Sundance turned to the Caretaker and looked at him with pain in his eyes.

Caretaker Benjamin knew that he needed to word his next statement carefully otherwise Sundance might snap and shoot the messenger. “Your friend has the ability to resurrect mechanical components. He told us this when we were looking for you. If Caretaker Dave and his fringe group are right, the engines are really there to power a battle machine capable of destroying everything on the surface of Deimos. They need a powerful enough power source to succeed.”

“Timmy.” Sundance calmed himself and directed his focus on Timmy. “We need to get him back before they use him as a battery. To be quite honest, I’m not looking forward to going back in there. We didn’t exactly make a lot of friends.”

“Just as long as we don’t draw any unneeded attention to ourselves, we should be fine,” Caretaker Benjamin said.

“Clearly, you haven’t traveled with Sundance,” Astralyn joked. She ignored the glare that Sundance was giving her and smirked. Caretaker Benjamin didn’t understand what had just happened.


Two Caretakers carried Timmy on their shoulders down the labyrinthine hallways of the engine facility. His body weighed heavily because he was unconscious. He had put up quite a fight back on the StarTango. Three Caretakers jumped him while another in the distance shot him with a tranquilizer dart. While making a few stops, the two Caretakers that were lucky enough to escort Timmy from the ship finally found the chamber where they brought Sundance. They immediately dropped him on the torture table and strapped him down. When they were done with the task, they made room for Caretaker Dave to come in and inspect their work.

“Thank you, gentlemen,” Caretaker Dave said. He removed the hood from his robe and exposed himself to be an old man who looked ravaged by time. He grinned happily as he knelt down beside Timmy. He touched Timmy’s face lightly, like he was caressing a baby. “Wake up, son.” When Timmy didn’t wake up, he gave him a hard slap. This elicited the response he desired. “There you are. Wake up.”

Timmy’s eyes slowly opened. The first thing he saw was Caretaker Dave’s smiling face. He then tried to sit up, but found himself restrained. He struggled against his bindings in a futile effort. When he exhausted himself, he relaxed his body and turned to look at Caretaker Dave.

“Who are you?” he asked. “Where am I?”

“You are under my care, dear boy,” Caretaker Dave answered. “Caretaker Steve, could you bring this boy some water? He looks thirsty.” He placed his hands behind his back and pulled out the small music box. He placed it in the middle of his right hand and showed it to Timmy. “I need something from you, dear boy.”

“Anything to get you to stop calling me ‘dear boy’,” Timmy muttered. “I’m a grown ass man.”

“As you wish.”

Caretaker Steve returned with a glass of water. Caretaker Joe, the other Caretaker that brought Timmy in sat him up so that he could drink. Timmy looked at the glass and then at Caretaker Dave. The leader of the Caretakers saw this and smiled.

“The water isn’t drugged if that is what you are implying,” Caretaker Dave said. “We’ve already given you enough drugs to drop an elephant.” He nodded his head and Caretaker Steve fed Timmy the water. Once Timmy had taken his fill of water, they laid him back down on the table. “Now back to business. I need you to touch this music box here.”

“Why should I do anything you say?” Timmy asked defiantly. “You drugged me. You kidnapped me. You tied me down. Why should I care?”

Caretaker Dave’s jovial smile turned grim. “Because I have your friend. If you ever want to see him alive, you had better reconsider.”

Timmy sighed. The rescue attempt must have failed, he thought. He didn’t want any harm to fall on Sundance or Astralyn if he had her, too. He had no way of knowing what they’d do to them. He nodded his head and consented to Caretaker Dave’s will.

“Good.” Caretaker Dave unlocked one of Timmy’s hands and placed the music box inside. At first, nothing happened. The small lead box just sat there. Timmy felt relieved. Just as he thought that he was home free, the music box churned to life, slowly at first, but then it picked up the tempo. It played beautiful tinny music, a song heard on Old Earth ages ago.

The glee on Caretaker Dave’s face was unmistakeable. He gazed down at Timmy as he leaned over and kissed Timmy on the forehead. “I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, dear boy.”

“That’s touching,” Timmy said. “But where are my friends?”

Caretaker Dave took the music box from Timmy’s hand. “Take him to the Heart Room and begin preparations for Stage One.” He took one last look at Timmy before he left the room. The Caretakers Steve and Joe unchained Timmy and led him up the stairs out of the room.

Timmy tried his best to fight back, but feeling hadn’t returned to his legs. The drugs he was given were still playing tricks with his coordination. He simply allowed himself to be dragged to the next room. He prayed that Sundance and Astralyn were alright. He hoped that they weren’t really captured and would work their way to him.

They finally arrived at the Heart Room. This was a dimly lit room that had wires and conduits welded into the walls, all leading to a metallic chair that sat in the middle of the room. The Caretakers brought Timmy to this chair. They immediately strapped his hands to the orbs that sat on the end of the armrests. They, then, strapped his feet to the floor.

Caretaker Dave entered the room to behold the sight he had envisioned for years. “Finally, the Heart of Deimos has returned to us! He will usher in the new golden age of prosperity!” Caretaker Dave turned to Steve and Joe and smiled. He grabbed them by the shoulders and hugged them. “We are no longer Caretakers! We are Liberators of Deimos and we will liberate the surface from the filth that has been allowed to grow! To your stations!”

The three Caretakers left the chamber and shut the door behind them. Timmy wasn’t sure how long he had sat there before he heard the first whirring of an engine coming to life. It was long before a second one started, then a third, then several at once. Timmy let a tear fall from his eye. Deimos was going to be destroyed and there was nothing he could do to stop it.


Posted September 3, 2012 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

2 responses to “60. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part VII

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  1. Hurry, Sundance! Timmy’s down the well! or something… 😛

  2. Come on Sundance get moving – Timmy needs YOU! ^__^

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