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Zanzibar – Part 43

December 11, 2016

Zanzibar – Part 43

by Lori Carlson

Hemi lifted his head. He expected to be back in the Village with Rodney, but as he looked around, he was definitely not in the Village. He found himself inside a circular room with lava raining down the walls and a strange green crystal pulsating in the center of the room. Was he back in the Caverns? Was this the… but before he could even think the thought, a voice nearly deafened him.

“Welcome to my temple.”

Hemi rose from the floor and dusted off his robe. He couldn’t see anyone.”Who are you?” he asked as he turned in a circle. “Where are you?”

“I am the Architect and I am everywhere,” the voice said.

Hemi arched a brow. “So you are the madman responsible for all of this… whatever this is.”

“Do not be belligerent, young Hemi. I created all of this for Humanity. A paradise for your species.”

“You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, Mr. Architect, but Earth suited me and my friends just fine before you dragged us here.”

“Oh, really? Tell me one day of happiness you and your gang of friends felt before coming through my vortex.”

The voice fell silent as Hemi stood there trying to think of a happy memory. There’d been none at home. Every day had been torturous. His dad was a drunk and beat him and his mom nearly every day. And his mom was no better. She enabled him. He’d only been mildly content with his friends. They shared similar childhoods. Daily beatings, run-offs in the middle of the night, even… He thought of Comet and the sexual abuse she’d suffered from an uncle who was supposed to have been her protector. He shuddered.

“Well? I’m waiting.”

“I was only happy with the Motorhead gang.”

“And they are all here with you.”

“Yeah, but we are scattered all over this screwed-up world you created.”

The voice sighed. “That was never my intention and it is not my doing.”

“Then whose doing is it?”

“The Curator’s.”

Hemi scoffed. “Oh yeah, that little furry weasel with the big ego.”

“Do not judge him so harshly, Hemi. He was here when I created this place. It was only natural that I should promote him to caretaker. I had, after all, stolen his world.”

“Here? How? If you created this place, how did you steal it from him? You speak gibberish.”

The voice sighed again, this time so loudly that the ground beneath Hemi’s feet shook. “Long ago, when I first discovered this world, there were no signs of life here. Well, none that I detected as intelligent. So I manipulated the elements here and created the Village. It was my greatest achievement. Perfection. I’d seen how broken and destructive you Earthlings were toward your planet. I wanted a place to bring some of you. To give you a better life. My intentions were noble.”

“Yeah, well… the Village is beautiful. I’ll admit that, but how did that furry guy gain control?”

“He’d been on the small moon, mining alone. I wiped out his entire family in the space I’d created the Village. It was an honest mistake. I didn’t know they were advanced being with thoughts, feelings, and lives of their own. I took them for simple-minded animals.”

Hemi shook his head. Even he knew that simple animals still had feelings. He’d found enough abandoned dogs in his life to know that. “You may be smart in some ways, but you are incredibly stupid in others.”

“Enough with your belligerence!” the Architect bellowed. A hard whiff of air struck Hemi and knocked him to the floor.

Hemi picked himself back up from the floor and rubbed his backside. “Hey! That’s not fair. If you can’t take criticism, then you are not a superior lifeform. You’re just a bully and I don’t like bullies.”

“I apologize, young Hemi. I am just not accustomed to being questioned. I’ve led a solitary existence.”

“Yeah and you aren’t gaining any friends this way.”

“I think I like you. You tell it like it is.”

“Er, thanks. I think,” Hemi said with a tinge of humility. “So about this furry guy?”

“Oh yes. Him. When he returned from the small moon, he was furious, and rightly so. He attempted to destroy my creation. So we struck a bargain. He could be caretaker of my new world and set some rules, but he would no longer destroy the Village. I never imagined he would become such a tyrant. Banishment here to the small moon was his idea.”

Hemi scratched his head. “So I am back at the Caverns?”

“Yes, inside my Temple. The only place the Curator has no real control. Although he thinks he does.”

“And the Settlement? Did he create it or did you? And is it too punishment?”

The voice laughed. “Neither of us. That was some of the Villagers’ doing. They wanted a place away where they could be completely free. Eventually the Curator made himself a god among those people too.”

“The Great Black Head. I heard Rodney talk about that.”

“Yes. A silly name for such a tiny creature.”

“Can you explain one more thing to me?” Hemi asked.

“Anything.”

“Why are you destroying this place?”

The voice sighed. “I was afraid you would ask me that. The Curator is out of control. My perfect world is no more. I am too despondent to continue here.”

“Oh, I get it. You are depressed, so you are taking it out on us.”

“No, not like that. You will all go back to your Earth. It is merely the Curator that I wish to destroy.”

“What if we don’t want to go back?”

“I’ve listened to all of you, Hemi. You’ve expressed your desire to return home. I don’t want to keep you here against your will any longer.”

“Maybe we don’t want to go now. There’s nothing back home for any of my gang.”

“I… I hadn’t heard that in your hearts.” The voice fell silent again.

Hemi waited for a better explanation. He turned around in a circle, searching for the voice. “Are you still there?”

“Yes. I was listening to everyone’s thoughts. It takes a few moments to process.”

“What did you hear?”

“Fear. Lots of fear.”

“Because you are destroying our new home. Geez. Is it true? If we pray to the Curator, will you stop the destruction?”

“What? Where did you hear that nonsense from?”

“The Curator. Can’t you hear his thoughts too?”

“Sadly, no. His brain is far too simple for me to process.”

“Oh great! So that little furry weasel can think up things and you can’t stop him.”

“I am afraid so. And apparently I gave him too much power.”

“So what are we going to do about him?”

“We? There is no we in this process, young Hemi. I am going to destroy him.”

“By destroying this entire place? Great plan.”

“I have no other alternatives.”

“Can’t you just trap him and displace him somewhere?”

“Hmmm… I hadn’t thought about that.” The voice paused for a long moment. “Perhaps I could use all of your help after all. At least those of you here on the small moon. He has no real control here.”

“Great. Now let me out of this place and I can tell Miss Simone.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Hemi. Only Comet can open the door.”

“What? Is she even here?”

“She is. Better start banging,” the voice said as it faded away.


This is now a round-robin between Keith Channing and I.

If you missed a chapter, click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16,Part 17, Part 18,Part 19,Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42

or Jump ahead to Part 44

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10 Comments
  1. Ooh. Unexpected twists abound. I’m going to go away and think, now…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Zanzibar – Part 48 | Promptly Written
  2. Zanzibar – Part 47 | Promptly Written
  3. Zanzibar – Part 46 | Promptly Written
  4. Zanzibar – Part 45 | Promptly Written
  5. Zanzibar – Part 44 | Promptly Written
  6. Zanzibar – Part 42 | Promptly Written

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