Trapped by a vicious self-appointed Queen, the entire slave population of the moon colony was imprisoned next to fusion drive exhaust ports.
When the fusion drives ignited to lift the colony off for the moons of Saturn, they’d all be turned to ash.
In all this, some of the imprisoned still held out hope.
Because they could hear voices in their minds telling them not to be afraid, that rescue was coming.
Their guards outside only heard their Queen’s broadcast.
The question was whether that unseen rebel rescue could free all these prisoners in time. Thousands of prisoners, hundreds of cells. Dozens of different locations.
And now the countdown began – as broadcast through every space in the colony…
Moon Rebels – New Fiction Writing – C. C. Brower & S. H. Marpel
Queen Malia had assembled all the Royals of her city and all the other city’s Royals that could fit into her large throne room. Standing room only.
She had large monitors set up so that everyone in that room could see what her plans were. The cameras were on the locked rooms next to the fusion drive exhausts. And also showed those exhausts.
Her speech was carefully crafted to educate all Royals as to their new place in society, and what was expected of them. For once they left the moon, it would be a streamlined population that arrived at their next port of call.
Her list of do’s and don’ts was long and she was enjoying their discomfort from having to stand in their uncomfortable formal wear in the crowded space.
Yet no one would dare to try leaving.
That was the point of this.
The monitors showed the miserable former citizens of ‘Cagga and other cities as they realized their status as slaves – where a single “sovereign” could order their mass death with no repeal.
Queen Malia was the absolute law, now.
When the counter first started at the bottom of the screen, few people noted, as it was in blue.
At 15 minutes, it turned red, and more people noted.
At 10 minutes it started flashing, and counting down the seconds as well.
The hubbub in the room became noticeable.
Queen Malia was not amused with the interruption. She pause, scowling and the room quieted.
At 5 minutes, the cameras on the fusion drive exhausts showed their exhaust start to fire, and some thought they could hear rumbling outside that room.
Shortly after that, the camera’s on the locked rooms were filled with increasing amounts of static, until nothing could be seen.
At 3 minutes, there was a push toward the back to leave.
Armed guards appeared to block everyone’s exit.
All that was left was to watch the screens in horror.
Yet the Queen was still calmly rattling through her new restrictions and decorum resolutions. As if nothing was happening at all.
At 2 minutes, the shouting began. Calls for her to abort the takeoff were louder than anything she could say, even through her hidden microphone.
An assistant brought her own tablet to the Queen to show her what the other Royals were seeing.
Any orders given by her at this time were too late.
So Queen Malia did the next best thing – she walked up to her throne and buckled herself in for the actual liftoff.
The final seconds counted down.
The clock on the monitors disappeared.
The static cleared up.
And the prisoners were gone.
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