Riddance of You
Riddance of You
by Sarah Clift
Captain Mikal Tannen smiled maniacally, as he looked around the bridge of Galexxy 9, savoring everything about it. He looked at Commander Hi'Streen Jex, and chuckled to himself.
Commander Jex rode around on his high horses, displaying for the entire universe his annoyingly vivid detail for perfection. He was what Captain Tanned referred, disdainfully, as 'a pure soul.' God, he hated Jex. Had the man ever done anything wrong? Hell, be probably swerved to miss smashing an insect beneath his large feet!
Oh, if only the silly 'little' man knew the truth. Commander Jex would have never stepped foot upon this ship, much less even think to. To Jex, Captain Tannen had to be the worst kind of 'monster' to ever roam the Earth. And Jex didn't even know Tannen's true 'sins'!
Funny, it seemed, that Captain Mikal Tannen had been placed with a crew so unlike him. They were practically of a different breed. He hated sitting day by day among these 'warped freaks.' They were so damn innocent. Tannen blamed that 'fault' on the ways of society.
Ever since the government had introduced strict laws on procreation, sometime around 2010, the weakest and most dangerous links had been basically bred out of human beings. Potential parents had to go through rigorous psychological tests to establish how 'pure' their offspring may be. Intense background checks were run for even the slightest offense against any other human. When a couple was given permission to bear children, they were awarded a Procreation License, and their future offspring were given special privaleges--the best of schools, jobs, even lives.
So one might wonder how Mikal Tannen IV came to be. An overlooked 'evilness' far back in his leineage had allowed him to enter this world. His great-great grandfather harbored the bad seed, though his child, and his child's children had somehow been spared.
Mikal Tannen's great-great grandfather was--and this fact is only known to the family, for it brings great shame--Adolf Hitler.
Marjorie Belle had had a brief and strange affair with Hitler during WWI, which resulted in pregnency. She was ashamed of what she had done, but it was something she had to do. Her one love was Mikal Tannen The First--from whom the family took it's name--and for her love she would have to sacrifice her body. Mikal was jewish, and Hitler secretly promised that as long as Marjorie pleasured him whenever he demanded it, Mikal would live. Understandably, Marjorie was relieved when she learned of Hitler's suicide. She went on to marry Mikal, and claimed him as the true father of Mikal Jr., for fear that someday the real father would be discovered, and all hell would break loose.
Captain Mikal Tannen silently reveled in his true heritage, as he sat watching his crew go about their duties. How he would love to tell them the truth!
'I am Mikal Hitler!' he thought, angrily, to himself. He hated denying that truth, but to admit so would mean his doom. He wouldn't sit where he was, on his way to Mars, with such knowledge made aware.
Of course, if this mission went anything like that of Excaliber 1, he would happily accept his doom as he greedily screamed, "Hail Hitler! Hail Mikal Hitler!"
Excaliber 1 had been a tragedy, a complete disaster. The great Captain Tera Sheffield-Jex had headed the trip with great enthusiasm. In 2025, the glorious ship Excaliber 1 had finally reached it's orbit around Mars. As they decended toward the atmosphere, all communications with Earth suddenly ceased.
New NASA didn't know for sure, but they believed that the ship suffered a severe breach in the main power core, causing such tremendous heat that the ship had been instantly vaporized. All aboard were awarded the Purple Heart and Medal of honor--given to their families--for their bravery. A national monument was built to honor their memories.
Now, in 2042, Galexxy 9, by far the greatest ship ever built by humankind, circled Mars, awaiting orders from New NASA.
Mikal snickered, and stood up. "Contact me in my quarters when our updated mission plan comes in." He stifled a hysterical laughter that threatened at the back of his throat. "I have some things I must review."
Captain Tannen--'Captain Hitler, damnit!'--walked quickly to his quarters, where he engaged the lock. He turned on his stereo and went to the replicator. "Computer, authentic sub-sandwich, with all my favorites. Also, coffee. Blacker than a new-born in Zimbabwai."
"Please rephrase, Captain Tannen," the computer answered.
"Damnit! I reprogrammed you to call me Captain Hitler!" Mikal screamed wildly, picking up a moon rock and hurling it across the room.
"Yes, Captain Tannen. You programmed me to refere to you as such, when you're alone," the computer said.
"Whuh?" Captain Tannen looked around angrily. Who would dare disturb his privacy? He caught movement toward the door, but the assailant was to face. He, possibly she, made it out the door and around the corner before Tannen coulf get a good look.
"I swear..." he began, then thought otherwise. "Computer?"
"Yes, Captain Hitler?" came the quick response.
Tannen smiled vaguely. Alone at last. "This crew must mysteriously disappear..." he mumbled.
"Captain Hitler? I sense NO hint of sarcasm in your statement. Please explain." the computer answered.
"Shut up, you piece of crap! Just make me my sub-sandwich and BLACK coffee. Is that clear enough?" Mikal screamed, tossing another rock across the room.
"Yes, Captain Hitler." The computer followed his instructions, and lunch appeared in the replicator. "As ordered."
"Go sit on a damn probe! Maybe it will cleanse your soul."
"My s..." Tannen hurled yet another rock, hitting the computer hard. "...ooooouuuullllll..." It fizzled out, and remained silent. Tannen laughed heartily.
Sitting down, Mikal stuffed half the sandwich in his mouth, and chased it with a long drink of coffee. 'Should have ordered whiskey,' he mused, as he switched on a screen.
"File 'Riddance', password 'hail Hitler.' NOW!" he barked. The backup computer started, displaying a picture of a beautiful woman in the middle of a disgusted scream.
Mikal sat back and watched, a look of complete rapture in his eyes.
"OUT! Out of my house, NOW!" screamed Jessilynn Tannen, pointing to the door emphatically. She had never been so disgusted or distraught in her life--aside from the ten years she'd wasted with a bastard like Mikal Tannen.
Mikal jumped up from the couch, and stomped toward her. "Shut up, woman! What in the hell are you blubbering about?"
"THIS!" Jessilynn screamed as she thrust a little book at her husband. Mikal recognized it as Tanni's journal. He always said it was a bad idea to give a nine year old a diary, and as he opened it up, his convictions were confirmed.
"God, I love you." it began in small, neat writing. "I love you so much. I want to be with you. Please take me out of this place. I want to die. It hurts too much being me. I love my mommy and my brother Jakob very very much. They are good to me.
"Jakob told me. Now I know I wasn't imagining it, like Daddy told me I was. I'm soooo afraid of Daddy. He hurts me so much. He isn't supposed to touch me in those places, I thought. He wasn't supposed to touch Jakob the same way he touches me.
"I love Jakob so much. Please God take us all away from Daddy. Or just make him stop hurting Mommy and Jakob. He is too young. It doesn't make sense. You can let him still hurt me if you have to, but make him stop hurting Mommy and Jakob, please.
"Daddy is bad. I once seen him around the corner chanting 'he'll hit her' or something that sounds like that. Wait. I know. 'Hail Hitler.' I know Daddy is related to Hitler. Hitler was a bad man. Maybe that's what make Daddy mean.
"My friend Jaymi says she was 'raped' by a man once. I didn't understand the word 'raped.' But then she told me what it meant, and I knew.
"God, please make Daddy stop raping me and Jakob. Please.
"I love you. Goodbye..."
Mikal closed the book, and gripped it so tightly that the spine bent and the pages began to fall out.
"Hitler!" Jessilynn shuttered. "I always knew that you were sick, but, Hitler? Now, get out before I have you locked up for the rest of your pathetic life!"
Mikal slapped Jessilynn hard across the face, sending her backwards and into the wall. "Shut up, bitch! You've poisoned her mind! You've turned her into a filthy liar!"
"GET OUT!" Jessilynn screamed, and sobbed. Her children... her precious children. They had been defiled by this horrible man. She should have seen it coming.
Mikal grabbed Jessilynn by the throat in his powerful hands, and began to shake her. She gasped for breath and began to choak.
'THE CHILDREN!' Jessilynn screamed silently. She knew she was dead no matter what, but what of the children? No one knew yet! Now they may never know!
The screen stopped, then went blank. Mikal smiled sickeningly, and thought unpleasantly that he was glad he'd had that video camera running. This was a memory he wanted to savor forever.
'Too bad the tape ran out before the whore was dead,' he thought to himself.
Oh well. She was dead. And so were the children. And the diary was destroyed, along with any other evidence. And an innocent man sat in prision from 2051 until 2055, the day he was executed.
"Captain," a voice disturbed his 'precious' moment.
"What is it, Jex?" Tannen demanded as he rose from his chair. "Computer, close and lock file 'Riddance'."
"New NASA has sent the updated mission plan," Commander Jex muttered. God, how he disliked Captain Tannen.
Captain Tannen appeared on the bridge. The new files were already loaded on the screen and Commander Jex was plotting their course to the martian planet. Tannen scanned the orders quickly, then barked his own.
"Take us down, Commander Jex."
Tannen watched the desent from a window, and marveled in what they werw about to accomplish. He would be the first man to walk on Mars. He would never been forgotten, just as... 'well, that first guy who walked on the moon.' What was his name? Mikal shrugged to himself, and continued to watch.
Suddenly, the planet began to darken to a strangly blood red color. Tannen could see fires sparking to life everywhere on the surface. He rubbed his eyes, but nothing changed.
A bright light suddenly assulted his eyes. Tannen stepped back and bumped into a chair. "Get us out of here, Jex!" he cried savagely, but the decent was not reversed.
"Damnit, Jex!" he screamed. "Don't you understand an order!" He spun around. That idiot, Jex, was going to get it now. Mikal had been waiting for the perfect moment, and it had finally presented itself. "You damn fool, get us..."
No Commander Jex. Where the hell could the meathead have gone at a time like this. "JEX!" the Captain screeched.
"What the hell?" he suddenly said, this time very quietly. He was alone on the bridge. They were all gone, his whole damn crew! Idiots they were, but stupid they were not. He needed them to get him out of this jam.
"Computer, locate Commander Jex."
"Commander Jex cannot be located. He has exitted the ship."
"Fool Computer! He can't exit the damn..."
"WARNING!" The alarms started to blink as the computer stated, matter-of-factly, "Ship is decending at a speed that will result in complete destruction of the ship. State instructions."
"Take us up to orbit!" Mikal screamed frantically.
"I'm sorry, Captain Mikal Davner Hitler, but that is impossible."
Mikal spun around. No one was there. "Where... Who are you?" he demanded.
"Your punishment." Simply stated.
"Whuh... what are you going to do to me?" Mikal stammered.
The voice chuckled. "The 'Riddance' of you."
Mikal screamed, and never stopped. He plunged through the floor of Galexxy 9, and straight down to the surface. He gasped for breath and writhed frantically as flames began to crisp his skin. He choaked on smoke, while his eyes began to bulge. His skin stretched and became so bloated that it was forced apart. The blood that poured from Mikal was black.
"Blacker than a new-born in Zimbabwai." the eerie voice said, chuckling evilly. "Ironic that what you say and do can come back and bite you in the ass."
The world went just as black as the voice described.
'Thank God for the end.' Mikal's last thought.
"Oh no. Not God." the voice sneered with pure hatred.
"Damnit, Jex!" Mikal screamed. "Don't you understand an order!" He spun around. That idiot, Jex, was going to get it now. Mikal had been waiting for the perfect moment, and it had finally presented itself. "You damn fool, get us..."
'WAIT! I've already done this!'
Captain Tera Sheffield-Jex smiled as reporters and New NASA agents surrounded her. They were utterly amazed. She hadn't aged a day since the dissapearence of Excaliber 1. Neither had her crew.
The reporters had so many questions. Tera had a hard time answering even some of them. But then one jumped out that just had to be answered.
"How is any of this possible?"
Tera smiled. "Mars isn't what we think it is... We couldn't land there and investigate, because we didn't meet the 'requirements.' When you believed our ship was destroyed, we were, in actuality, transported to another planet, called, believe it or not, Exodus. And so our journey began. There is other life out there, I can say that. They are guardians, you could say, created for the sole purpose of protecting, and judging us."
She glanced at the man standing next to her. Hi'Streen Jex nodded his approval at her explaination. She still saw the young, adventurous man in Hi'Streen that she had fallen in love with and married. Jex was now nineteen years older in body than Tera, and those nineteen years without her had been hard. But, Hi'Streen loved her just as much--if not more--as the day she had left.
"These guardians have watched over us since the dawn of time. We may choose what path we take, but when the day comes, there's no turning back. They are here to show us to that doorway. Captain Mikal Tannen chose his path, and in doing so, insured his 'afterlife'. We can rest assured that we will never again see the face that screams 'Hitler!'
"Mars is not important. We need not ever go there. Its reserved for the few who take a path unworthy of the good. Let them have their place." She pointed towords Mars. Then, spreading her arms out to caress the Earth, she said "And we will have ours."