I awoke on silky smooth bed sheets, and wondered how I had come to be in such a paradise. Then I remembered.
The memory of reaching out to the spaceship and the never-ending void of the blackness hit me like a bullet train.
I. Was. In. A. Spaceship!
I leapt up to survey my surroundings. Luckily enough I was in some sort of cell, and Leon, Grayson, Malik, and Mac were lying around on other beds.
I looked at myself. I was still silver, and eager to get out. I figured that between me, Leon and Grayson we could carry Malik and Mac.
Before the others woke up, I began pushing some of the other buttons. I knew that the first one activated/deactivated the silver surfer-ness, and the second one enabled me to fly (I had figured that out on the way to the spaceship after pushing it and falling). But there were still the other seven to experiment with.
I pushed the third button and I couldn’t find any difference. “Oh, well I’ll try that one again later,” I told myself. It actually enabled me to walk through walls, but I didn’t know that then.
After pushing the fourth button a few times, it also wielded few results. It turned alien force-fields on and off (little did I know that then), but I hope I caused some disruption.
I decided to skip the fifth for now and push the sixth. I couldn’t feel any difference in me after pushing it, so I looked around me. I then looked down and saw, well, didn’t see anything. I was invisible! This was so cool!
I pushed the seventh, and nothing happened, so I looked to the one I had skipped. I didn’t know then, but it would help later on when
The fifth, as soon as I pushed it, the air around me turned red and everything within 2 metres of me was incinerated. I was now glad that I had gone down the other end of the cell so I wouldn’t be disruptive to the others. I soon pushed it again and turned the heat thing off. I stopped experimenting after that, so I just sat and waited for the others to awake.
After the others were awake, I proposed my plan to escape. Malik and Mac told us that there were girls from their group in another cell, but I tried to smash a hole in the wall anyway, and ended up hurting my knuckles. Even though I was invincible, it seemed that I couldn’t break through this wall.
We soon gave up and sat around, wondering what we were in for. Some of us caught up with our friends, and all the latest happenings on the island, and some others started thinking about our current predicament and how to escape from it.
After a while we were escorted to a small chamber. There was so much hustle-bustle that I didn’t even get to see the escort very well, but I think they looked rather other-worldish and alien-like. The girls were also being herded into the room from the opposite side.
After a quick reunion, we were seated in front of a great computer. On its display a movie had started rolling, so we sat quietly and watched.
“IN THE BEGINNING,” It boomed. “THERE WAS EARTH. EARTH WAS A SIMPLE PLACE, INHABITED BY CREATURES LIVING IN HARMONY, UNTIL ALONG CAME THE HUMAN RACE.
“THE HUMAN RACE DESTROYED MOST OF WHAT WAS GOOD AND BUILT HULKING GREAT STRUCTURES, DESTROYED THE ECO SYSTEMS, AND FOUGHT THE NATURAL BALANCE OF THE PLANET.
“IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING TERRIBLE. PRETTY SOON THE PLANET WAS DYING, MUCH BEFORE ITS TIME.
“AS THE HUMAN RACE EVOLVED, SO DID ITS GREED AND WAYS OF DESTROYING THE PLANET. BUT THERE WERE ALSO SOME GOOD HUMANS. THEY SET UP ECO-HAVENS, WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES FOR MOTHER NATURE’S CHILDREN.
“ONE OF THESE WAS SET UP BY A GROUP OF EXPLORERS FROM HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND ON THIS ISLAND HERE, MATAINUI. AS THE POLLUTION GOT WORSE, THE HUMAN RACE GRADUALLY DIED OUT, AND NOW, IN THE YEAR 3059, THE SPECIES ARE ALL BUT EXTINCT. WE ARE FRIENDS TO THE GALAXY, AND COULD NOT SIMPLY SIT BY AND WATCH THE PLANET DIE. SO WE INTERVENED, AND SET UP PROTECTIVE SHIELDS AROUND THE MOST SUSTAINABLE HAVENS ON EARTH. MATAINUI WAS ONE OF THESE”
It finished talking, and a bunch of symbols flashed up, and I interpreted them as being some sort of end credits. Another feature soon started rolling, narrated by the same booming voice as the last.
“A BRIEF HISTORY OF MATAINUI,” it boomed at us.
“EVEN BEFORE MATAINUI WAS DISCOVERED BY MAN, THEIR POLLUTION REACHED IT BY WAY OF SEA, KILLING OFF NATIVE BIRD, ANIMAL AND SEA LIFE. WHEN A GROUP OF EXPLORERS FROM FAIRFIELD INTERMEDIATE, HAMILTON DISCOVERED IT IN 2009,” (everyone gasped at that) “IT WAS NOT LONG BEFORE THEY HAD EXPLORED THE WHOLE ISLAND AND DECIDED TO SET UP A SUSTAINABLE COLONY.
“THE ‘TRIBES’ WERE SET UP IN DIFFERENT AREAS. SOME LIVED IN THE TUNNELS AND CAVES THAT DOTTED THE ISLAND. SOME LIVED ON THE BEACHES AND OTHERS IN THE TREES. ONE VILLAGE SPECIALISED IN FARMING AROUND THE LAND, AND CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, WHILE OTHERS SPECIALISED IN RESTORING NATURAL HABITATS. SOME EVEN ADVENTURED INTO THE SCIENCE OF CLONING EXTINCT ANIMALS.” Another gasp at that. “THEY BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE WHAT OTHERS HAD DESTROYED.
“THEY MADE INTERNATIONAL NEWS HEADLINES ALL OVER THE WORLD. OTHERS MIGRATED FROM COUNTRIES TO FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE, BUT MANY WERE TURNED AWAY AS THEY COULD NOT RISK BRINGING UNSUSTAINABILTY AND BAD LIVING HABITS INTO THE GREAT COMMUNITY THAT WAS MATAINUI.
“AFTER A WHILE, IN THE AGE OF THEIR DESCENDANTS, AS ALL GOOD THINGS DO, SOMETHING WENT WRONG. THE FIRST SIGNS OF UNSUSTAINABILTY APPEARED. THE OTHER TRIBES DISCOVERED THAT ONE OF THE TRIBES HAD BEEN DUMPING RUBBISH IN HIDDEN PITS, AND IMPORTING STUFF FROM THE MAINLAND. THE OTHER TRIBES WERE SO USED TO BEING ECO FRIENDLY THAT THE IDEA OF DUMPING RUBBISH IN A NATURAL CREVASSE AND IMPORTING COMMERCIALLY MADE PRODUCTS WAS ABHORRENT TO THEM, AND THEY ALL DECIDED THAT NO PUNISHMENT WAS EXTREME ENOUGH TO BRING JUSTICE TO THE LAND, SO IN THE NIGHT THEY CREPT INTO THE VILLAGE AND KILLED ALL ITS MEMBERS. THAT WAS ONLY THE FIRST OF THE DARK SPLODGES ON MATAINUI’S RECORD.
“A LOT LATER ON, POLLUTION GREW SO GREAT ON EARTH THAT THE INHABITANTS OF MATAINUI WERE UNDER GREAT STRESS TO PROTECT THEIR BELOVED OWN. THE HUMAN RACE, AND INADVERTEDLY, ALL THE OTHER SPECIES ON EARTH WERE DYING. THE POLLUTION WAS POISONING EVERY LIVING THING IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
“WE GREATER BEINGS WERE WATCHING FROM OUTER SPACE, SPYING ON THE UNAWARE HUMAN BEINGS. AT THE POINT THAT RICH HUMANS EVACUATED THE PLANET IN FAVOUR OF ANOTHER ONE, AND SOME OTHERS MOVED UNDERGROUND TO ‘SAFE’ HAVENS KITTED OUT WITH HYDRO POWER FROM THE POLLUTED STREAMS UNDER THERE AND SUPPLIES TO LAST A NUMBER OF YEARS.
“WE SET UP PROTECTIVE SPHERES AROUND SOME HABITATS THAT WERE NOT BEYOND REPAIR AND DESERVED TO SURVIVE. MATAINUI WAS ONE. OTHERS INCLUDED SOME SECLUDED SPOTS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH POLE, AND CERTAIN UNINHABITED POINTS IN THE DESERTS OF NORTH AFRICA AND THE PLAINS OF NORTHERN ASIA. THERE ARE SOME OTHERS, REMOTE PLACES UNTOUCHED BY MAN THAT WE ALSO SET UP SPHERES AROUND.
“THE SPHERES ARE THE REASON WHY YOU CANNOT SEE THE STARS AT NIGHT, AND THE DARK ROLLING CLOUDS OF POLLUTION STOP ABOUT 200 METRES OFFSHORE.”
More strange symbols rolled up, and an alien walked in as the screen went blank again. He was dark skinned, his skin looking almost hippo-like textured. He was big and had strange tentacle-like things where his seven legs and three arms would’ve been. He wore a simple garment made of white cloth; it flowed over his large body like a silk blanket over a large rock.
He spoke in a smooth, yet commanding voice that was like music to my ears. He was talking about us being released, but as I looked around, I realised that only us silver surfers could hear him and also understand. We somehow came to an agreement that we were to be released on top of the big mountain I the South-west (?) corner of the island.
* * *
As we were beamed down, we found ourselves in a Machu Picchu-like set up. It was like being sent back in time, only we were in the future. I soon remembered about Josiah and Sam, so I flew over to the little mountain as fast as I could to get him and our stuff so we could make it back to the big Mayan/Aztec city before dark.
I arrived and knew something was different straight away. I couldn’t see anybody. I searched around the campsite, before taking a peep inside the tent. Josiah was laying limply, his chest rising and falling as he slept peacefully. He had a large hammer next to him, resembling Thor’s Hammer, which I had seen in a cartoon once. I thought about cartoons and sighed. That world was long gone, and I wondered if I would ever see another animated figure get up to crazy things ever again. I got over it quickly though, and leant over him and shook. I shook him slow at first, but he wasn’t waking, so I shook him violently.
He woke with a start, a rather large start. He grabbed the hammer and tried to hit me, but I managed to get it through to him that it was me, and not some intruder person.
I asked where Sam was and he replied by saying “He wasn’t here when I woke up, and there was his faceprint and some footprints in the mud over there.” He pointed to a stand of trees about ten metres away. I was secretly glad inside because it meant I didn’t have to carry TWO people back across the island. I tried not to let it show on my face though, and helped Josiah grab up all our stuff and told him he could fill me in on everything on the way back to the city. He told me that he had woken up and Sam had been gone, so he looked around and found the marks. Sam had left all of his stuff, including the skull, so I still had a rather large load. After he had looked for Sam, Josiah had gone and done some exploring in the cave that we had found our cool stuff in. Instead of looking in the bit of the cave where we had found the chests, he dived into the black stuff and had found another chest. He had taken ages to get it to the top, taking several tries, because it was so heavy. When he had opened it, he had found THOR’S HAMMER!!!
At first he couldn’t lift it, but then he had put on the amulet underneath it. It had given him the strength to lift the hammer, and smash anything in his way with it.
After telling me all that, he fell asleep.
* * *
He awoke to me shaking him again to tell him we were almost there. I was glad that he hadn’t tried to hit me with the hammer again, as it would’ve been a bit awkward considering we were 100 metres in the air. It was fast approaching dark. We were approaching through a narrow crack in the roof of one of the temples, and I had to yell to make Grayson move out of the way so we could land. He asked what happened to Sam, and I explained. He didn’t say anything, but busied himself by going through all the stuff we had now. When I asked Grayson where the others were, he just pointed and said “Uhhh” in a grunt-like fashion. When I found the others, I asked them what was up with Grayson. They just said he had wanted to camp somewhere else for the night, not in a big scary temple place, but they had come here for the night anyway. Shrugging that info aside, I set up my bed for the night and went out scouting for food with the rest of our new group. It was a while before we came across anything. Mac yelled “Come look at this, I found something.”
It was only a small bush with a few shrivelled-up berries on it, but we kept looking around that area to see if there were any more fruitful bushes. I said this pun out loud, but no-one seemed to understand it.
After another five or ten minutes of searching, we found another bush hiding underneath an ugly and twisted tree, so we picked some berries and took them back to the temple.
After we had eaten them, we immediately felt full and contented. They made us drowsy. So drowsy, that most of us fell where we stood.