By Alex C. McDonald
Phantom 500 – Episode 18
By Alex C. McDonald
Copyright 2015 Alex C. McDonald
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“Well, hello, Enoch. Would you mind telling me what the hell is going on here?” said Captain James Riker. Having been whisked away by some kind of esoteric being from a relaxing vacation on the beach right into the middle of his worst nightmare, Riker wasn’t feeling very pleasant.
“Straight to the point,” said Enoch smiling. “James you are hiding the key to the most powerful machine ever created in the whole universe.”
“How do you know?” said Riker.
“Well, I am the hologram that beamed off it, James,” said Enoch.
“No, what I mean is, how do you know it’s the most powerful machine in the whole universe? The universe is huge, have you been to every corner of it?” said Riker.
“Yes,” replied Enoch.
“Oh,” said Riker. “Who are you?” Enoch smiled gently and sat down amongst the Martian hieroglyphics.
“I can see we are going to have to start at the beginning again. Those Starfleet memory wiping machines have really done a good job on you,” said Enoch.
“What memory wiping machine?” said Riker.
“As I said James, this is not the first time we have met. In fact the reason why I brought you back here is so I could ‘jog’ your memory. We’ve discussed a lot about this. In fact I was the one that told you to go to Europa and retrieve my key before Starfleet, or even worse the Lycans, had figured out where I had buried it,” said Enoch.
“So you’re saying you planted some seed in my head that made me leave Starfleet and begin a merchant business, importing Europa water to Earth so that I could eventually discover your cube?” said Riker.
“No, I told you directly to go and get it. However, you were ranting about it to the Admiralty and anyone that would listen. So they wiped your memory. Turns out there were some shreds of my message left in your mind, which attracted you to Europa,” said Enoch.
“So Starfleet knew about the cube?” said Riker.
“They knew about the Creation Particle, but could not figure it out. Why do you think they confiscated all of the Europa Water? They were hoping to discover Metatron’s Cube and unlock the Creation Particle and harness its power,” said Enoch.
“So where is this machine?” said Riker.
“Just down this corridor. It’s what you were ordered to defend,” said Enoch. “The Admiralty knew the Lycans wanted it.”
“But it didn’t work, the Admiralty of Starfleet couldn’t get the machine to work,” said Riker.
“No, but you told them where the missing piece was. They embarked on tons of mining expeditions, sonar radars and much more. They even started a bogus corporation known as the Europa Mining Corporation in the vain hope they could eventually uncover the missing piece to the machine,” said Enoch.
“Well they were pretty close. If they’d paid the miners what they wanted they would have dug it up,” said Riker.
“Maybe, but the Universe has a mysterious way of doing things and I think it allowed you to discover it that day,” said Enoch.
“By the Universe, you mean God right?” said Riker smirking, feeling as if he was in some kind of Sunday school.
“Sure, some people have called it God, but I like to call it the ‘Universe’, because that word really encompasses what ‘God’ really is. For me, calling it ‘God’ makes me feel like God is someone like you or me with a body that you can go up to and shake their hand, but it’s not. This entity that we so often refer to as ‘God’ flows through all matter and all anti-matter. It binds everything, experiences everything and helps to create everything. It is everything and all. You, me, the walls, animals, oceans, stars, cars, computers and anything else you can think of. It is God or as I like to call it, the Universe,” said Enoch.
“So, you’re saying I am not me, but I am the Universe,” said Riker.
“No, you are you, but the universe is within you,” said Enoch.
“Right,” said Riker, looking a little confused.
“And I found a way to create another Universe,” said Enoch.
“Wait a minute. You? You are the one that made this Creation Particle Machine?” said Riker.
“I am a Martian Scientist of the Grand High Martian Empire,” said Enoch.
“You are? You mean you were,” said Riker, Enoch smiled.
“Oh yes, I forget. My deed that I am about to carry out to my beloved Mars,” said Enoch.
“James Riker, I am talking to you from the distant past right now. I am currently standing in my laboratory on Mars thousands of years ago,” said Enoch.
“Yes, there are many things that I can do with the Creation Particle. Manipulating time is one of them,” said Enoch.
“But you’re so tall. There was a Lycan General called Uynannah, who told me that I am, I mean, humans are Martians. Why then the height difference?” said Riker.
“Oh, yes, you are partly Martian. The interbreeding with Earth’s humanoid species resulted in some differences now, which is why you are all so much shorter,” said Enoch.
“So if you’re standing on Mars right now, what the hell happened here?” said Riker.
“I blow it up,” said Enoch.
“You? You destroy the whole planet! Why?” said Riker.
“I have looked into your history, James. Have you ever heard of people being accused of ‘playing God’,” said Enoch.
“Yes,” replied Riker.
“Well that is exactly what is happening on Mars in my day. We literally are God’s to the rest of the Universe and do as we darn well please,” said Enoch.
“And that is a bad thing?” said Riker.
“I cannot describe the horrific atrocities that have happened under Martian rule. No one can touch us. The problem with Martians is we are inherently conquerors and we have literally conquered the entire universe. So what do conquerors do when they have conquered everything there is to conquer?” said Enoch.
“I don’t know. I guess create problems?” said Riker.
“Exactly. We are literally destroying the Universe. Whole civilizations are being wiped out, planets and stars destroyed. Black holes created,” said Enoch. “Power tends to corrupt.”
“And absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said Riker, Enoch smiled.
“A quote from Lord Acton. You know your history, James,” said Enoch.
“And you too also seem to know ours quite well,” said Riker.
“Well, I looked into it extensively to ensure the Martian race survive after my action,” said Enoch. Riker sat down next to Enoch and drunk the end of his coffee that he had been holding.
“Why are we here?” said Riker. Enoch almost fell off his chair laughing.
“Don’t start that, James. Asking those questions is what got us Martians in this trouble in the first place,” said Enoch.
“So why not just destroy this Creation Particle? Surely it would save a lot of lives,” said Riker.
“You don’t think I and many others have already tried? It turns out you can create a copy of God, but you cannot destroy it,” said Enoch.
“So you want me to just keep this cube hidden?” said Riker.
“Basically yes,” said Enoch. “Don’t let the Lycan’s get it.”
“You guys didn’t much like the Lycans either, hey?” said Riker.
“Well they were a mistake,” said Enoch.
“No, you didn’t,” said Riker, standing up and looking at him accusingly.
“No, no, no, not me. My colleague, Sathariel,” said Enoch. “He is the embodiment of what the phrase ‘playing God’ is.”
“So a Martian created the Lycans? Why?” said Riker.
“To breed an army,” said Enoch. “Every Lycan female gives birth to approximately one hundred babies in her lifetime. About 2 or 3 of them are what you and I would call intelligent beings. The others are more like drones. They become the soldiers who you have come across so often. The ones that are just used as ‘cannon fodder’ during battle.”
“And your friend created this?” said Riker incredulously.
“Not my friend. My colleague or I guess the better term is ‘rival’,” said Enoch.
“Sathariel is his name?” said Riker.
“Yes, on the Lycans home world, Sathariel is God,” said Enoch. “It was exactly what he wanted. To be God.”
“So why me?” said Riker. “Am I some kind of ‘chosen one’?” Enoch burst out laughing again.
“Oh you Earthlings, you crack me up. You’ve watched too many movies, James. Honestly, I just chose you because you looked like a good leader, I didn’t look to deeply into it. Perhaps, though, perhaps you are a ‘chosen one’ of some sort. The Universe does work in mysterious ways. But now I am afraid our time is up.” Enoch stood and looked down on James.
“But wait, I still have so many more questions. Life, the universe, everything. Like why are we here? And what happens when we die?” said Riker. Enoch smiled and bent down, putting his hand on Riker’s shoulder.
“All I can say is that you don’t want to know the answers to all of those questions. It takes the fun out of life,” said Enoch. Enoch then placed his smooth hand over Riker’s eyes and closed his eyes for Riker.
“Wait, Enoch, wait. How do I unlock Metatron’s Cube?” said Riker, but then he suddenly felt all warm and fuzzy inside as if he was being swept away by a current of soft bed sheets.
“Phi,” said a voice.
“Phi?” replied Riker.
“Yes, Mr. Riker, Phi Board Shorts. I hope they are okay? They are a cheap brand of clothing. I just quickly went down to the local market and picked up a pair for you.”
“What?” replied Riker, opening his eyes. He was blinded by the bright sun and had to use his arms to cover the light coming through.
“Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Riker, were you sleeping? Did I wake you?” said the waitress. Riker’s eyes eventually recovered and he found himself back on the deck chair on the Caribbean beach. He quickly jumped to his feet feeling frightened at suddenly being back on the beach. “Mr. Riker are you okay?”
“What?” said Riker feeling panicky. When his feet touched the soft white sand of the beach he began to calm down. “It was just a dream, just a dream. Was it?”
“Maybe I made that Margarita a little strong?” said the waitress.
“Haha, yeah, maybe. I think I just had the worst nightmare ever,” said Riker a little hysterical.
“Okay, then,” said the waitress. “How about I just leave these board shorts here and you can maybe go for a swim to cool off a little.”
“Oh yeah, sure. No problem, leave them there,” said Riker. The waitress then nodded and went to turn. “Wait! Did you say something earlier when I was waking up?”
“Um, I don’t think so. I said I bought you some board shorts from the market,” said the waitress.
“No, it was something else,” said Riker clicking his fingers trying to remember. “Ah, yes, free or fee or something.”
“Um, Phi?” said the waitress.
“Yeah, that’s it. What is that?” said Riker.
“The brand of the board shorts. I hope that’s okay, it’s kind of a cheap brand and I know Mr. Starov is very particular with his clothing. He only likes the most expensive brand names.”
“The brand?” said Riker looking down at the shorts and noticing the logo ‘Phi’ on them. “Oh, the brand.”
“Maybe you should stick with beer, Mr. Riker,” said the waitress who turned around and walked back to the beach house. However, Riker wasn’t convinced with the waitresses answer, so he picked up his smartphone and was about to begin researching what ‘Phi’ was, but he saw a huge amount of missed phone calls.
“What? Sixteen missed calls from Sergei,” said Riker, he quickly forgot about ‘Phi’ and pressed to call Sergei back. The call was soon answered and Sergei’s image popped up on Riker’s screen. He was looking extremely stressed and agitated.
“Oh thanks for finally getting back to me! Where have you been?” said Sergei.
“I was just taking a quick nap,” said Riker.
“Oh were you? So I’m guessing you haven’t seen the news then?” said Sergei.
“What news?” said Riker.
“The news about Starfleet putting a ban on the mining of Europa Water, the news about Starfleet putting a ban on the sale of Europa Water and the news about Starfleet putting a ban on the consumption of Europa Water!” screamed Sergei.
“Woah, woah, woah! Calm down. They can’t do that,” said Riker.
“They can and they have. Governments down here on Earth are supporting them and have all passed swift laws. They raided my house!” said Sergei.
“Why?” said Riker.
“Because Starfleet is claiming that Europa Water is the reason for the ongoing Lycan attacks and until they can discover the root of the problem, Europa Water is an outlawed substance,” said Sergei.
“This is outrageous,” said Riker.
“I know and that’s not the worst part,” said Sergei. “We ruined, James, ruined.”
“Ruined? How?” said Riker.
“I mortgaged myself way to high thinking this was a sure thing and the banks are calling me asking for immediate payment, we’re going bankrupt. You’re going to lose your ship,” said Sergei.
“I beg your pardon?” said Riker.
“It’s part of the collateral that I used for the loan. The Phantom 500 is going to be repossessed,” said Sergei.
“They can’t! I won’t let them, that’s my goddamn ship!” screamed Riker. “I need to get to Houston immediately, we can fight this.”
“James, calm down. Look I’m sorry, but there is no way you’re getting to the International Space Station. Starfleet has shut down any transport off Earth for anyone, but Starfleet personal. They are saying a huge Lycan attack is close to certain. The whole planet is on red alert,” said Sergei.
“What can we do?” said Riker.
“Well, I suggest you start looking at things seriously. Get any and all of your money into a safe account as there are talks of freezing money associated with Europa Water,” said Sergei.
“This is scandalous, Sergei. We’ve got to fight!” said Riker.
“Don’t fight it with guns, James. Phone your lawyer and your accountant that is where the battle is going to take place. Mine are already working on it,” said Sergei.
“They’re taking my ship, Sergei!” said Riker. “I’m a Captain and nobody takes my ship.”
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About the author
Alex C. McDonald is a writer of fantasy, apocalyptic horror and science fiction.
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Phantom 500 – Episode 1
Phantom 500 – Episode 2
Phantom 500 – Episode 3
Phantom 500 – Episode 4
Phantom 500 – Episode 5
Phantom 500 Anthology – Episode 1-5
Phantom 500 – Episode 6
Phantom 500 – Episode 7
Phantom 500 – Episode 8
Phantom 500 – Episode 9
Phantom 500-Episode 10
Phantom 500 – Episode 11
Phantom 500 – Episode 12
Phantom 500 – Episode 13
Phantom 500 – Episode 14
Phantom 500 – Episode 15
Phantom 500 – Episode 16
Phantom 500 – Episode 17
Phantom 500 – Episode 18
Captain James Riker has just experienced a series of bizarre and horrific events. Reliving the bloody Red Battle on Mars was terrifying enough, but when everyone except him froze in time, Riker was left to finish the battle all by himself. With nothing moving he is shocked to find the being who helped him on Europa against the Lycans waiting for him in the South Corridor of the Mars Starfleet base.