Stories

Underneath the Surface: A Science Fiction Story

by Danny B. , Grade 7, Bangkok THAILAND

The year is 2098, the Earth is damaged beyond repair though pollution, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes… Deadly viruses so deadly - it’s worse than a mix of all the worst viruses in deepest corners of hell.

“How did we humans react to this?” you must be asking. Well, we terraformed Mars by firing oxygen bombs at it and put nuclear powered heaters on both of its moons. Most of humans survived and went to Mars, emphasis on most. 15 years after that, all the cities have been made, and 5 years after that, our story begins…

My name is Jerry Sanders - a wimpy, pale, brown-haired Geologist with glorious green eyes. Since we have only been working on something other than a city for 5 years, this planet needs someone to map out the landscape so guess who it is? Me!

2118, March 31st: I was walking across the flat, red, Martian desert, with barely any trees on it, with brown pants, brown shoes, brown shirt, and a brown duster. As you can tell my favourite colour is blue. I was mapping out and taking pictures of the landscape, typing down notes with my iPhone 37. I was doing that for a few hours until I got tired and sat under the nearest tree, I was thirsty so I checked my water bottle and realised that I ran completely out of it. “God I’m thirsty, aaand I’m all out water! Guess I’ve got to get back home”.

 I took a few steps to go back to where I came from, but suddenly I heard a loud roar and the ground started rumbling and shaking. Cracks were forming around me and it was at that moment I realized that that day was my last… The ground collapsed from beneath me creating a large hole. I fell down the giant hole into a pile of sand in a huge cave and was miraculously not harmed.

I got up and dusted dust off my duster. I looked up at the sky and wondered how in hell’s middle name am I getting out of here?!

I saw two tunnels: one to my left and one to my right. I saw small circular footprints leading to the one on my left, so I walked that way. I walked down the tunnel and as I was walking I started noticing the strange patterns these footprints were in… it seems like whoever was making these footprints had 6 legs. The prints were circular. No human on Earth or Mars has circular feet. What was making these prints, and where am I going?! Thoughts and questions were flying all over my head. Suddenly I heard a quiet and distant high pitched shriek. I was terrified by it, but I kept going. I kept hearing these shrieks, each one louder than the last until I saw two glowing orange eyes in the darkness and seeing that stopped me right in my tracks.

I saw a creature emerge from the darkness. It was an insect like creature that had six legs, yellow exoskeleton, orange eyes, and large scissor-like mandibles. It was as large as a Pitbull.

“Oh h-hi…thing are you h-hungry, why don’t you go back to your family and eat your lunch?”

Six more of those creatures appeared right after I said that…

 “Oh look, your family is here! Well, that’s just perfect”

The creatures started growling at me and moved closer. I tried to reason with them: “Gentlemen, gentlemen, I think we can settle this like calm adults, how many problems friendship can solve may blow your mind!”

After I said that one of their heads blew up and I heard a voice from behind me: “Get your filthy appendages off of him!”

I looked back and saw a man with a black hoodie, a grey cloth around his mouth and nose, and a robotic right arm with smoke coming out of its index finger. One of the creatures charged at him at full speed but he just grabbed its head with his robotic arm and squeezed it until it popped, and flung its dead body across the cave.

Two more charged right at him so grabbed both of them and threw them into the air and he shot a red laser from his palm blowing both of them up.

He took out the last three by throwing a kinetic energy grenade at them which knocked them all out. He approached me and said:

 “Who are you and why are you here?”

“I’m Jerry Sanders and I just fell down here but the real question here is - who are YOU and what are YOU doing here?!”

“My name is Damian Rodgers and I am here to keep all of these creatures and monsters from getting to the surface. I know this is a lot to take in…”

“Actually I hoped that there would be aliens on Mars, but, how long have you been here?”

“Fifteen years”

“Fifteen years!?”

“Yeah, anyways, I’ve got to get you out of here. Judging by these newly formed tunnels a sand digger must’ve gone through here and caused a cave in. I guess that’s how you got down here?”

“Are sand diggers those things we saw earlier?”

“No, those are stone crawlers. Now follow me?”

“Then what is a sand digger? Hey wait, WAIT UP!” I caught up with him and followed him down the tunnel. I walked behind him until I smelled something bad and asked:

 “What is that smell?”

“Just ignore it”

“It smells like two hobos who hadn’t taken a shower for years vomiting in a trash can”

“Stop”

“It smells like a few skunks playing hide the rotten egg in a pile of human feces”

“Now you’re making ME sick, just stop talking”

“Ok”. I tried to ignore it but it just kept getting worse and worse. I saw another tunnel where the smell seemed to be coming from and went off the trail and into the tunnel. I walked down the tunnel until I heard a faint mumbling and stopped walking and asked myself:

 “Are those humans?”

I looked at the floor and saw human footprints in the red sand.

“They are!”

I ran forward until I saw a group of people with torn up clothes. They look terrified and starved. They were so skinny, I could see the outline of their ribcages. I asked them:

 “Who are you guys? Are you ok?”

One of them answered by screaming and running at me, pinning me to the floor.

“Why are you doing this!?”

It screamed even louder and I saw maggots and worms crawling inside of his mouth.

 “Aw, that’s just disgusting, ever heard of dental hygiene?”

I guess he didn’t like that. He held my mouth open and was about spit out one of the maggots in his mouth into mine. Damian came just time and punched him right in the face.

“What’s wrong with them?!” I yelled and Damian replied:

“I’ll tell you later!”

After he said that he shoved a grenade down the man’s throat and threw him into the group of people, blowing them all up. I let out a sigh of relief. But suddenly I heard the screams of other people and saw a huge crowd of people running towards me.

“Get back Jerry!”

“What?!”

“I said get back!”

Damian started shooting people with is robotic arm but one of them was running on all fours and was dodging all the bullets. It attempted to jump on Damian but he just grabbed its face and his arm started glowing red. The man was screaming until its head exploded. More people were charging at him but Damian kept beating them up left and right, until his arm transformed into a laser cannon and shot a red laser at the remaining people, killing all of them. Damian grabbed me and dragged me back to the original tunnel we were walking in and put me down. I was very confused at what happened… I asked Damian:

 “What was wrong with them?”

“A Darax Wasp must’ve laid eggs in their brains and when the eggs hatch, the larvae controls the host’s brain and makes them attack other people to put larvae in their brains. It usually goes through the mouth or nose. Any questions?”

“Yeah, how did you lose your arm?”

*sigh* “I didn’t actually come down here on purpose. I fell down here, like you, but you were somehow unharmed, but I was. A rock fell on my arm, breaking every single bone in it. I was stuck there for two days until I realised that no one was coming, so I grabbed my pocket knife, put a cloth in between my teeth and cut off my arm. I then I quickly grabbed the blowtorch in my pocket and cauterized the wound so It wouldn’t get infected or bleed out” “Dear…God!”

“Yeah…Then I made this arm with the metals I found in this cave… Look, we’re here”

We walked onto a wall with multiple holes in it and Damian said:

“Just go into one of the holes and climb them until you reach the surface” “Thanks man”

“Don’t mention it”

“No seriously, thanks”

“You’re welcome”

“Thank you so much”

“Just get the hell out of here!”

“OK”

I walked towards one of the holes until I heard a high pitched shriek and said: “That sounds familiar”

“Wait, what day is it today?”

“March 31st

 “Oh no, it’s stone crawler breeding season! Run!”

Hundreds of Stone crawlers were crawling out of the holes on the wall and were crawling towards us. We ran as fast as we could and Damian said:

“You can’t go that way now, we have to take another way!”

Damian was shooting at the swarm and killed a few stone crawlers but he ran out of ammo. We ran until we came across five different tunnels and Damian yelled out:

 “I got an idea!”

He pulled a small, rectangular, metal device with a red screen on it and had a button on it. He pressed the button and whispered something into it. The Stone Crawlers were getting closer and closer and I yelled:

“Whatever you are doing, hurry up!”

Damian stopped whispering. The red screen said 30 decibels. He put his finger on the red screen and it increased to 100 decibels. He pressed the button again and it replayed everything he said:

“Come at me you bug monsters, come and get me!”

He threw it into the fifth one and we ran into the first one. All the stone crawlers heard Damian’s voice and went into the fifth tunnel. I was worried if the stone crawlers realised it was a voice recorder and come after us so I asked Damian:

 “What if they realise it wasn’t us?”

“Don’t worry about it, they won’t be coming back.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“It was a voice recording grenade”

After he said that I heard a loud explosion. Damian said:

“Since we can’t go that way now we have to take a detour.”

We walked through the tunnel, went through other tunnels, and went through many twist and turns until we made to a mine cart on a track. Needless to say, I was really disappointed.

“Really Damian, an old timey mine cart?”

“Just get-” he was cut off by a loud and familiar roar, the one I heard before I fell down into this cave. Damian yelled out:

 “It’s a sand digger, get in the cart!”

“What’s a sand digger?!”

A giant worm the size of five school buses lined up end to end with a segmented yellow exoskeleton, 10 black lifeless eyes, and a circular mouth filled rotating razor sharp teeth busted out of the ground. All the thoughts in my head narrowed down to one three-letter word when I saw that… RUN! I got in the mine cart and Damian got in next to me. I realised how stupid that idea was and said:

“How are we supposed to get away from that thing in a flipping mine cart!?”

“It’s not just an old timey mine cart”

He pushed a red button on the cart and two rocket boosters came out of the back of the cart and blasted us forward at high speeds. The track lead to huge ravine. I thought we got away until the sand digger came out of the right wall and into the left, and from the left into the right. Damian took a magazine out of his arm and put a new one full of ammo in it and started shooting at it but the bullets couldn’t penetrate the hard exoskeleton. The Cart started slowing down and Damian screamed out:

“We running low on fuel, we need more!”

The track ahead split into two and Damian pulled a lever. The cart headed to the left track which leads to a large cave filled with giant colourful crystals. The cart kept slowing down and the sand digger was closer and closer. Damian exclaimed:

 “We have to get Darzanite to power the cart!”

“What is that?!”

“Just grab a red crystal!”

I did what he said. I reached out and tried a grab a Darzanite crystal but I forgot how fast we’re moving, how sharp the crystals were, and the fact that my hand is made of soft flesh. The crystal knocked me down to the floor of the cart. Pain shot through my body and blood gushed from the palm of my right hand. Damian looked at me in disappointment and muttered:

“Do I have to do everything myself?”

He reached for a crystal but it was too high up. His robotic arm slowly extended a few feet so he could easily reach it. He grabbed it, took out the old crystal, and shoved it in. Right when he did that the cart blasted forward with phenomenal speed. The Mine Cart made it out of the Gem Cave and into a large cavern. I was starting to get light headed from blood loss. I got up holding my still bleeding hand and looked both ways and uttered:

 “I thin- I think we lost it.”

And speak of the devil, right after I said that the sand digger appeared right in front of us. Damian immediately pressed a button on the cart firing two red lasers at it knocking it back into the ground. It reappeared right behind us and restarted the chase from the beginning. The worm had trouble keeping with us. It was always 10 meters away from us but if we stop it would definitely kill us. I felt pretty safe and victorious until I saw where the track was heading. It went straight up, 90 degrees, and we were heading straight for it. We went straight up and sand digger launched out of the ground and attempted to catch us. The sand digger got so close to us that felt its hot breath on my face but gravity suddenly remembered its job and the sand digger fell back down to the ground. The track became horizontal again and lead to the surface. I got out and stepped on the hot red sand and looked at the beautiful blue sky, splattered with white clouds. I cried out with glee:

“Yes! Thank yo-”

“Just don’t” “but-”

“Just go home, I have work to do”

“Ok, I’ll see you later”

“I hope not”

“Bye potato tomato unicorn monster…”

I passed out, probably from blood loss. I woke up with a piece of grey cloth tied tight around the wound on my right hand and Damian was nowhere to be found, nor the tunnel we came out of. I walked back towards the city until I saw it - large glass towers, flying cars, a loud buzzing noise, people walking down the street, a large ominous shadow, and- wait what?! A loud buzzing noise, ominous shadow? I looked behind me and saw a giant orange wasp the size of a pickup truck.

“Hi, how are ya?”

The wasp grabbed me by the duster with its mandibles and started flying in the other direction of the city. It carried me extremely high, so high that I reached the clouds. Mid-flight, I spotted another giant wasp and it seemed to be carrying a person. The wasp got closer and closer until I saw who it was -Damian Rodgers! Without the grey cloth around his mouth. I exclaimed: “Damian! What are doing here, and where is your mouth thingy?!”

“First question - not much and second question - wrapped around your hand moron.”

“Oh, but what are these things?”

“Darax wasps.”

“What! They’re gonna lay eggs in my brain!”

“Calm dow-”

“AAAHHH! IM GOING TO DIE!”

Damian slapped me in the face and yelled:

“I said calm down!”

The wasps started to go down. We entered a narrow hole and Damian silently said:

“I’ve never seen this place before.”

The small hole lead to giant circular cave the size of two football fields. The wasps gently put us on the ground and flew away. I saw one of the wasps went to a person was stuck to the wall with a yellow slimy substance and started vomiting eggs into his mouth. Gross, I thought, I guess that’s how they turn into zombies.

“Where are we Damian?”

“I have no idea.”

A deep voice that sounded like multiple people talking at once answered my question

“You’re in our nest.”

I looked behind me and stared in terror at what stood in front me. It was a giant, 6 story tall, humanoid with a brown exoskeleton, yellow eyes, claws, and eight spider-like legs. I felt like running but I was paralyzed with fear and it spoke again: “I’m the queen of all these creatures, I telepathically control them, I see what they see and hear what they hear, and you have been killing them all.”

It pointed at Damian.

“Now I’m going to kill you myself.”

It raised its fist and slammed it down at Damian but dodged it and started shooting at its face. The bullets just bounced off of its face and it yelled:

“ATTACK!”

A huge swarm of darax wasps were heading right at us and Damian pulled out a gun out of his pocket and handed it to me. He whispered:

“I can’t do this alone.”

“Finally!”

We were shooting the wasps left and right, shooting lasers, firing grenades until they were all dead. The Queen roared in anger.

“Useless flies!”

 It started running at us. Damian’s arm morphed into a cannon and shot the Queen, creating an enormous explosion. I screamed out:

 “We did it!”

We were cheering and we were dancing, and by we were dancing, I mean - I WAS DANCING! Our celebration was cut short when I heard:

“Do you really think you can kill me?”

The Queen emerged from the smoke, unharmed.

“My exoskeleton is completely indestructible, your pathetic artillery have no effect on me, and for that little stunt you pulled on me, I’m going to destroy your entire city!”

Wings sprouted out of its back and started flying up, breaking through the ceiling. Damian calmly said:

 “That is so cliché, destroying the city, really?”

“Damian, this is serious! I live there!”

“Not my problem.”

“But if you kill it you won’t have to stay here and kill all of these things”

“Let’s do this!”

Damian grabbed me, fire came out of the palm of his right and we flew out of the cave onto the queen’s back. Damian’s arm transformed into a cannon again and he said to me:

“I’ll use all the energy of the Darzanite crystal and fire it at the Queen.”

“Got it”

Damian was about to fire the laser but the Queen grabbed me and Damian and growled:

“You infuriating little vermin.”

It threw Damian into the air, its tongue extended and wrapped around him.  It pulled him into its mouth and swallowed him. After that it grabbed my right leg, snapped it backwards and threw me at the ground. Pain, pain, pain was all I could think about. I looked up at the Queen, laughing at my demise. I screamed:

 “Well, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!”

It got closer and closer and reached out to grab me, but suddenly it stopped and started screaming:

“AAAHHH! STSEN EERHT REHTO EHT NI STNEMTIURCER EROM NWAPS, NERHTERB YM NOPO LLAC I!”

Its stomach started to glow red, and fire came out of its eyes and mouth. I saw a figure shot out of its mouth and it fell right beside me. It was Damian! He had bruises and burns in multiple places on his body. The Queen’s hollow exoskeleton fell to the ground. Damian uttered:

 “It said it had an indestructible exoskeleton, b-but never said anything about indestructible organs.”

We both laid down on the sand, breathless.

“I guess you’re out of business Damian.”

“Well, what do I do now?”

“Well, there’s a lot you missed…”

                                                                 The End

(p.s. the Queen’s final words mean something)

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