It was cold. A lot colder than it should be this time of the year on Kel, but Seth seemed like the only one who knew. He laid flowers on her grave and sighed. Twenty years. Ever since her death he had become more aware of time, of death, of misfortune. Strange how time mattered when death was involved.
The Kelfeer had almost vanished as well. No one was killing them, for it was still against the law, but they weren’t moving anymore. No one been killed at least. Where were they all going? “I’m sorry I haven’t done anything.” He told the grave sadly.
He left the grave yard and moved around a building and found someone being hassled by the police. Annoyed, he stepped into the conversation.
“I didn’t do anything wrong!” the one being hassled insisted.
“You’re carrying a concealed weapon!” the policeman accused.
“I would too,” Seth commented.
“Mr. Glasgow,” the policeman addressed, surprised. “I’m sorry for the disturbance.”
“The only thing that’s disturbing is what’s not being done about the Kelfeer,” the Prophet of Life returned.
“You know, it’s against the law to-”
“It’s not against the law. It’s against the Way of Life,” he argued.
“Thank you!” the other man cried. “I’ve been trying to tell them that for the past four minutes!”
Seth began to walk away and the man followed. “Why are you following me?” Seth asked, annoyed.
“Because you’re Seth Glasgow, you’re my opposite!” he announced, and held out his hand, “I’m Spence Harrow, the World of Machine Prophet.”
“Nice to meet you,” Seth agreed, shaking his hand. “Now go away.”
“Nonsense,” Spence argued. “I’m here because it’s a good place to hide. I messed up on my last job so I needed something to do while I laid low for a bit.”
“What do you mean ‘messed up’?”
“I’m an assassin,” he stated point blank. “My attack’s guard saw who I was. What?” he inquired to the strange look in his gaze. “Don’t believe me?”
“What’s an assassin?” Seth asked.
Spence stopped, and stared at Seth. “Seriously? You’re like two hundred and you don’t know?” Seth just stared at him. “An assassin is, well … I don’t think I want to tell you.”
“Because you’re so innocent!” he cried, ashamed that he had put his job so bluntly. “Mother of the first inventor! If I had known you still were a kid I would have lied!”
“Hey!” Seth argued, offended.
“I can’t believe you’ve been sheltered this long!” Spence cried. “How precious!” He hugged him.
“Get off of me!” Seth shouted, pushing him away.
“All in good fun,” Spence shielded, “Good fun.”
“Spencer Harrow!” someone cried angrily.
“Shh,” he whispered to Seth. “She doesn’t know I’m a prophet.” He spun around and called out to her. “My sweet Venus! How fairs your wicked tongue?”
“Much better if it didn’t have to deal with scum like you,” Venus argued. “Stop harassing people. You’re here to lay low, not cause a scene!”
“But if I cause a scene then I’ll be remembered!” he called running to hug her. She stopped him with a swift blow to the stomach. “That’s cold,” he complained, trying not to double over. “After I swore to never leave you behind.”
“Go die in a hole,” she ordered, but there was a smile to her eyes that suggested she didn’t mean it. “So you are?”
“Seth,” he introduced, extending his hand.
“Seth,” she echoed. “Spence, change your name to Seth.”
“Heh, heh,” Spence laughed uneasily. Then he stopped joking and looked out over the graveyard and passed the trees. “Humming?” he asked curiously. Odd. Of all the places to hear humming, even though it was more of a vibration in the air, why was it here? He usually heard it when he was really weak, but now … something bad was about to happen.
“Humming?” Seth and Venus asked.
“You don’t hear it?” Spence asked, pointedly at Seth.
“Never have, never will,” Venus mentioned, she turned to Seth to explain her answer. “He always does this if he ever gets wounded really bad. There was this one time when he lost a lot of blood, he was complaining so much about this humming crap, that we had to land on a Way of Life planet and retreat to the middle of nowhere. Hell he went into a coma before we got there. Scared the hell out of me, if you can imagine. For the longest time I thought he was crazy, then I just decided it was because he hit head or something.” She frowned. But he wasn’t hurt this time, so why was he mentioning it?
“What’s passed that forest?” Spence asked.
“A deserted area. No one goes out there anymore because the Kelfeer inhabit the area,” Seth replied.
“The Kelfeer …” Spence looked horrified. “We can’t let them leave.” He ran back to the policemen. “Get as many people as you can and leave Kel!”
“Piss off, you fool,” the one from before shot at him.
“If you don’t leave you’ll die,” Spence stated and ran to Venus. “We’re leaving,” he grabbed her hand, and began pulling her down the street.
“Spence, what are you …”
“Please,” he begged. “It’s not safe here. Seth, come with us.”
Seth followed more from curiosity, then anything else. “Why are you leaving?”
“We’re–as in you, me, and Venus–are leaving because—”
A spider class ship roared close over their heads, scouting the area. Seth and Venus stared up in amazement. Wasn’t that against regulations? It moved in closer to the ground as if double checking their identities. The other ships roared into the air, covering the horizon. Spence stared, horrified. He was too late!
He grabbed Seth’s collar, forcefully making him move. “Come on!” The three ran for the ship Spence had arrived in. Seth looked up at the avian. Elizabeth’s father had designed it. “No daydreaming!” Spence ordered pushing both inside.
Seth followed Spence to the cockpit.
Spence sat down in the pilot’s seat, and got the ship off the ground. “Come on, my Raven, don’t fail me yet!” he begged, stroking the ship’s console. “Come on, come on.” They broke atmosphere, and they gasped at the sight before them.
Thousands of ships, all surrounding one colony ship hovering in the emptiness near Kel’s moon. Seth could barely move. How had they grown to so many? How had they become so great?
Spence cursed under his breath. “They’re jamming Jump! What the hell!? That’s my invention you bastards!” he screamed, even though they couldn’t hear. “Venus, how’s the engine?”
“Dead in Space,” she replied. “We’ve been placed in a game of asteroids!”