Posted By: Frensa Geran<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 9 July 2003, 5:19 AM
"Go forth, find your way through a street of criminals. The end of the road provides your answers..." Marla closed the book again, looking forward at a long cobblestone road, covered in hay.
"This colony is a bit behind on technology." She said to herself with a smile.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY YOU LITTLE SHE-DEVIL!" A smelly tall man said, stumbling up to her from a shop across from her, beer in hand.
"No - nothing." She said in a whisper, grabbing her cloak and throwing it over her head, walking away.
"You just keep your beliefs of Nolly to yourself, ya'hear!?" He said as she walked away.
Already this place was getting to her. Chickens ran freely outside stores, old ladies with crooked teeth smiled at her from their store windows, offering terrible looking candies.
It was obvious why the Covenant left this place alone. This was the only refuge for Humanity, but also a refuge for the criminals that race lived with. But still she never forgot why she was here.
She walked along the dusty road, when suddenly from the sky a small purple orb came slowly down to the surface, heading straight for her.
She tried to run, but it simply went faster. The people around only stared, some smiling and laughing. Storeowners ignored her completely.
"HELP!" She screamed to a fat man who owned the beef jerky store.
He chuckled, his fat jiggling with every cackle. He shook his head as best he could without a neck, and she continued on.
Then she tripped. A small dog was running across the street, the owner on the other side screamed with horror.
"Fluffy!" She screamed, obviously with no teeth.
"You evil little girl, I should..." She began, before running away.
Marla looked behind her; an Elite was standing next to his purple orb ship, laughing with the rest of the crowd. It was the same Elite who checked her coming in.
"Marla dear, how nice to see you. I'm a bit sad you don't want to see me." He said with a fake sad expression.
Marla got up, looking at her ankle; it was bleeding. "What did you do that for, you could have killed me!"
Ignoring her, he stepped forward with a small version of a plasma pistol, and pointed it at the ankle. "No, get away from me!" She hollered.
He grabbed her ankle before she could move and fired the device, sending out a white light towards the wound. Like magic it healed. "You must throw away that book your Father gave you, along with your ideas that we are a savage race. I only want to help." He said menacingly, throwing a piece of paper at her feet as he walked away.
"Mail my dear. Covenant Express." The ship launched up without a sound, and disappeared from view.
Marla grabbed the letter and opened it:
I have received your letter, though the Covenant ripped it a bit. Responding to your worries, I must tell you not to. Do not fear that you have failed me, I couldn't be more proud of you. If you do not find the Savior, return home immediately, as I have missed you dearly.
I do bring bad news. Your Mother has taken ill, I fear it will only be time before she is executed by the Covenant. As you know, they kill all ill-taken Humans to preserve supplies. They'll be doing a check of our house block in a week. Please return by then.
I leave you now to find Hope. Find Him. A lot is riding on this Marla, and I do hope you succeed. Our survival as a race is on a brink of destruction.
A Loving Father,
Marla closed the letter, a tear riding down her cheek. But a renewed zeal overtook her heart, and quickly she got up, threw the cloak over her head, and began to run.
She kept running, passing store after store, each one as rickety and old as the next. She suddenly stopped to realize where she was. The end of the road, she had found it. No stores lied beyond her, but only the wilderness. The answers should be here.
She looked around hard to find the next clue, while opening up the book:
"The end of the road will provide you answers, look to the sky. The suns point to salvation. Reach the edge of the river, but deep in the water, Gods Rest Peaceful."
Smiling, she looked at the sky, two reds suns, one directly on top of the other, were pointing east through a dusty unused road. For the first time she was scared, scared to move on. Her Mother Ill while herself lost in a sea of evil and mystery.
"Finding your path can be difficult. But the rewards, oh how plentiful. May ye not fear evil nor mystery."
Marla turned around at the sound of a voice, finding an old man. He was smiling with a few teeth missing, his head bald and dirty. Robes of red and white downed him. He was holding a walking stick in his right and, beating the ground with it.
"Oh, I didn't believe Mark, but here you are Marla, as the prophecy proclaimed."
Marla had a puzzled look on her face, "How do you know my Father?"
The Old Man walked towards her and sat on a stump of an old tree, resting his feet, "Your Father, just like you, with that same book came here about 20 years ago. Searching for the 'Salvation of Humanity' as he called it. I was his partner. The names Rolls, Jack Rolls." He said stretching out his hand.
Marla shook it nervously and looked towards her book. "When you first spoke to me, you read a passage from page..."
"...2, yes I know. I made a personal copy of the book when your Father left. Your Mother was pregnant with you, and he said you would come looking for God. Humanity's God."
"Why - why would he send me here, when he already looked?" Marla replied.
Jack chuckled happily, "There's more to finding him than simply your eyes. It takes the right time, right people. Prophecies, one's not in that book have inscribed that you, Marla, you are the right people."
Marla was amazed, putting her hands to her head and rubbing her temples, taking in the information.
"So, you're saying..."
"You know what I'm saying Marla. Go through the old dusty road. It will not be an easy road, the journey is long and arduous, and you will be completely alone, save the cat you are hiding under your cloak." He said, pushing a bulge on Marla's stomach, hearing a cat's scream.
"Go Marla. Humanity is counting on you..."
To Be Continued...