An android assassin awakens after enduring a hundred years of torment inside a virtual hell created by the very tyrant he must kill. His name is Perseus. He seeks vengeance and the chance to fulfill his life's purpose. He is joined by allies from another world and another time, the descendants of those who fled to Mars during the tyrannical reign of Gabriella Romero, self-styled Mother of All Creation. Will Perseus and the Sons of Mars be able to stop her before she becomes too powerful to oppose?
Episode List can be found at this link:
Perseus blinked once. Twice. Three times. On his fourth blink, a white fluorescent tube flickered above him. With each flicker, he caught a glimpse of a concrete ceiling. He saw dead computer monitors set up around him. A rotten stench filled his nostrils. Something tickled his neck and the back of his head.
He felt a sharp pain at the back of his head, followed by a metallic click.
He drew a deep breath – except he couldn't. He had no sensation of his body from the neck down. He tried to sit up. Instead, he rolled his right cheek onto a cold, hard surface. He saw cockroaches – a whole colony of them crawling across a glowing blue ring on the table surface. They crawled up his face and into mouth and nostrils. Tiny legs tickled his cheeks. One crawled onto his left eye. He squeeze his eye shut and accidentally squished the cockroach. Hot juice flowed down his cheek. When he opened his left eye, yellow goop stuck to his eyelashes.
He tried to push himself off the table but his entire body felt paralyzed. Then he looked down and saw the metallic spine flapping against the table.
The spine was connected to his head.
The spine was all that remained of his body.
“Toad-Man!” His voice carried an electronic buzz.
As he thought some more about his situation, he concluded that Toad-Man couldn't be responsible for it. True, Toad-Man enjoyed being cruel, but he was too much of a moron to devise such a sophisticated and maliciously evil method of psychological torture. This could only be Gabriella's doing.
Perseus rolled his spine to pivot his head away from the wriggly cockroaches on the table. He accidentally rolled himself onto his face. He howled in frustration. “Gabriella, when I get outta here-”
A female voice coming from outside the chamber cut him off. “Warning. Primary reactor offline. Turning on emergency back-up generators. Shutting down non-critical systems.” The flickering lights went out completely. The glowing blue ring on the table turned dark.
“The hell is going on?” Perseus whispered.
In the corner of his eye, an emergency floodlight turned on above the exit. He clamped his eyes shut. He couldn't decide if this was real or if it was still part of the simulation. Maybe it was all part of Gabriella's plan to break him, to get him to talk. But if she wanted him to reveal his maker, the one who had sent him to assassinate her, why did she wait a hundred years to finally change tactics? It didn't add up.
A text message flashed before his eyes. Warning. You are running on emergency capacitors. You must plug into a primary power source before the capacitors completely discharge.
Perseus grimaced. “If this is real, then I don't have much time.” He tried again to roll his head so he could see more of the room. He undulated his spine, which clacked against the table, and his head rolled over the wriggling cockroaches.
“Shit!” He rolled over the edge and landed face-first on a squishy pile of garbage. There were even more cockroaches down here. He thought he heard a rat squeak. He felt nauseated to his gut despite his lack of a gut. A rat lunged at his face. With a cry, he swung his metallic spine around and smacked the rat across its head. It deftly scurried away.
A flash of anger overcame him. He roared, “Gabriella! I will find you. And if you're dead, I'm gonna drag you out of whatever hell God put you in. I got something far worse planned for you...”
When he received no response, he cringed at the fecklessness of his words. Laughing, he sang, “I got no arms. I got no legs. Not even a body.” He sang horribly, and he made up the melody. “Surrounded by cockroaches... and filthy rats! Ain't this life so grand and godly?”
He stared at the exit. There was no way he could pull the handle to open the door. A green battery icon flashed in the corner of his android vision. His capacitors were at ninety five percent charge. It was only a matter of time before his brain shut down. A hundred years of torment would finally come to an end. His life's purpose, to assassinate the tyrant, the self-styled Mother of All Creation, would go unfulfilled. And if she was already dead, what purpose did he have anyway?
He closed his eyes and awaited his end. “Just a few more hours,” he whispered. “Ah, just ignore the cockroaches. In the end, they won't matter.”
The cockroaches swarmed over his face, into his mouth, nose and ears. He clamped his jaw shut and listened to the cockroaches crunch between his teeth. He laughed. He would kill as many of these fuckers as he could before he died. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. He wished another rat would come at him. Maybe he could smack one hard enough to kill it. “What a way to end,” he croaked.
He heard a metallic clang, followed by a creak. He opened his eyes. The door had opened a crack. A tiny, filthy face peeked through the crack. She was bug-eyed and bucktoothed. Strands of her oily, black hair dangled over her dark eyes. She wore what looked like a brown potato sack, which had crudely cut holes for her arms and head.
He furrowed his brow. “What the fuh-?”
She screeched and ran away.
Red Eden: Sons of Mars is a standalone novella set in the same universe and timeline as my first novel, Red Eden: Homeworld Bound.
My first book can be downloaded for free at this link:
Red Eden: Homeworld Bound, both hard copy and e-book, can be purchased on Amazon at this link:
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Thank you so much for reading. Cheers!
Michael E. Vigil