Adi woke up, her head aching and pounding. The hulking giant beast man leered at her in the copter. Was she dead? Was this some messed up after life? She patted herself down, the plans were gone, as was her lasgun. Damn. Of course they would have stripped her clean. She was a goner for sure.
“Hey, where are you taking me? I don’t suppose there is any use trying to make a deal with you, is there?”
The creature’s face remained the same weird leer, no recognition seemed to enter the thing’s eyes. The person driving the copter remained silent. Was it Harris? Or did she imagine that? This could be her chance to take out the mastermind behind her people’s destruction. This could be it, the only chance to get so close to the villain of her generation.
But, they had removed her weapon, and her head pulsed in agony. She remembered being shot. It seemed ages ago. Her arms were painfully tied behind her back with thick cords. “Okay, you got me, so what now?”
“The silent treatment? Are you Harris, then? Kinda impressive that you came out here to Venus on my account.”
“The silence really gets to you doesn’t it? Must’ve been very lonely out here on your own.”
She heard the voice from the front of the small airborne vehicle. He didn’t turn around. She couldn’t verify for sure that it was him. It would seem strange that someone so important would come in person. But, she could have sworn she saw his face.
“Your father was once a friend of mine, many years ago.”
“You knew my father?”
“Sure. I knew a lot of folks in the early days when we just started to develop this place. I modified that lasgun to stun only. I didn’t want to kill you. Not yet anyhow. I would like to know, what exactly you know. Where the Blue Rim is hiding out, for starters. Or, how about how you survived out here, all by your lonesome. That is quite impressive.”
“So, you rescued me, to disarm me, and torture me?”
“It doesn’t have to be torture, does it? You gotta be lonely. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friendly chat, you know, for once?”
She couldn’t gauge whether he was serious or joking. His voice was muffled by the whirring noise of the machine and the wind whipping around them. She would never give up the rebel’s location. She would rather throw herself out of the copter and fall into eternity. The hulking man beast was blocking her path to the door with its crooked smile. Glassy eyes staring at her, not seeming to understand beyond its orders of watching her.
“While we are just chatting, friendly like, why don’t you tell me where we are going?”
“All in good time, Adi. We are almost there.” She felt the copter shudder to a still and land with a plume of dust rising to cover the windows. She squirmed attempting to free herself from the cords, feeling her skin painfully being scraped away in the process. The pilot got out of the copter, the door shutting behind him. Another man beast yanked the door near her open and roughly grabbed one of her arms, dragging her forcefully from the vehicle into a dusty area that served as some kind of landing pad.
The man she assumed was Harris walked in front of her with an escort of beasts with lasguns. Her beast man dragged her along while her boots scuffed a dust trail behind her. Her mind was trying to figure out where she was. If she could get free perhaps she could tell the others of this place.
“Bring her in, and shut the door.” The man said without turning around. The floor was made out of some sort of smooth laminate. It was smooth and white and a large machine was in the middle of the room with a chair in the middle of it. She dug her heels in.
“Come on, Adi. It is almost time for our little chat.” The man removed his helmet gently, handing it off to a person who seemed to come out of nowhere to take it for him. “Oh you don’t like my little chair. I just wanted you to be comfortable, and in a place where we wouldn’t need to argue or fight, or waste needless time. This handy device records thoughts, and thoughts don’t lie. Oh, they can at first, but after a while, the truth will out. You can’t run forever. I assure you, it is comfortable. And you won’t remember a thing. You will wake up refreshed and be on your way.”
“You are Harris. Why are you doing this?”
“The burden of keeping secrets and of people trying to undermine what I am trying to do here is getting tiresome. Don’t you see, that I am trying to do the best for everyone? Why can’t you appreciate that? That information you were going to smuggle out? Yeah, it just would have sabotaged everything. Set me back a long long way if your little group blows this facility up. Earth is on its way out, the future is here, but it is my future. The future I envisioned. I won’t let you ruin it for everyone else.”
Another man entered with a tray of tools for the machine. He left quickly but not before she caught a glimpse of his face. “Wait, what? That is Harris too? How can there be more than one of you?”
“Same technology as the beast men. All about cloning and technology. It is how and why I, Harris, can personally get you from the sky, all the while another Harris is still running things on Earth, and another Harris is running another laboratory far from here. You cannot stop us. There is, fortunately, only one of you.”
Was it all truly hopeless? Her head hurt, her arms were chafed and raw and bleeding on the white floor. She had to free her hands. She had to get out of here so she could warn the others.
She looked around the room, it was circular and there were several doors where the other Harris’s seemed to go. The beast men stayed by the door. She watched as the Harris in front of her loaded a syringe with a clear fluid, getting the straps on the chair like device ready.
She somersaulted backwards suddenly aiming for the lasgun in the hands of one of the beast men behind her. She knocked it out of his surprised hands as he grunted confused. His companion looked on moving slowly toward her.
Harris turned around pointing at her but she didn’t wait to her what he said. She had the lasgun in her mouth and and hopped out through the door which she opened by slamming her shoulder into it, running for the copter.
She used the lasgun to shoot the cords sizzling some of her skin in the process as she clenched her teeth in pain. The hulks were coming up behind her. She fired the lasgun at them both which slowed them down but did not stop them as they felt very little pain.
Luckily for Adi, they were pretty slow. She reached the copter first, yanking open the door and shutting it loudly. She locked the doors. Her com and beacons were removed from her jacket by Harris or his goons. How to get this thing started up without a key. She felt the hulks shaking the copter.
She opened the compartment below the main unit and carefully removed some wires, rewiring them and making new connections. She would need to hurry, she heard a crack in the glass and saw it form like a snowflake from her days on Earth. “Father I need your strength about now. Please, guide me to the Blue Rim.”
The copter powered up, lights a glow, and lifted off the ground. One of the creatures was hanging onto the tail and she spun it around to get him off. She noted the coordinates of this place in her mind, the only tool she had left.
She only had so much fuel she noted looking at the gauge, and she had to get away from here. Where were the others? How could she reach them now? She didn’t have her beacon, besides it alerted Harris to her location.
She might be all that was left of the resistance. But she had to hope. Her life had to have a purpose. She set off in a direction away, seeing other figures on the ground shaking their fists at her as she drifted further from the building.