Distant Vision

Set up: Alex takes a high orbit around Ramie’s planet in his FTL spacecraft. He prepares a force field around him as he rides on the surface of a transport that is called Lightning Bolt to the planet below. Details in the opening clarify the SF features. And how Alex ends up in the predicament he does.  

Excerpt: Alex of the Light Power

Riding his Lightning Bolt headlong through a Thermospheric Rift Alex surfed the  stellar winds near the world which was below him and was his destination. He felt his body shifting and moaning under the gravitational pressure of a large whirlpool of debris floating above the planet. It hit him without warning.

Pulling in, he contorted and tightened his body against the edge of the Bolt, and steered away from the expanding energy. The Bolt which was designed to disintegrate upon landing, hit the planet’s stratosphere hard. Alex lost his footing and damn near caused the force field surrounding him to collapse. But he managed to regain his position and push the field back on full. His objective was straight ahead.

He hit the planet's surface with a dizzying jolt as he tumbled across the ground. Trying to break the impact, he threw himself against a large dirty green object that lay just ahead of him. His body slammed into it hard and everything went black.

When he woke his head pounded and every inch of his skin stung with unfamiliar pain. Thinking clearly eluded him. He peered around through blurred eyes. A faint flash of memory surfaced in which he beheld the greatest of Powers, but vanished as quickly as it had risen.

He felt small and insignificant in the midst of the gritty noise and strange surroundings. An acrid smoke-like substance hung in the air above his head causing his throat to burn, and tall structures jutted up from a dank nightmare glow.

A putrid smelling man with a whiskered face stood nearby slouching against a granular wall as he stared blankly into the hot murky night.

Sensing despair torturing the air Alex’s heart swelled into an odd sadness. He had no idea where he was and for that matter, who he was. He moved in an attempt to stand but his body rolled and fell backward onto the trash-strewn pavement. Confusion filled his brain.

The man turned slightly and seemed to notice him at last. Grunting, Alex pushed to sit up. His ragged voice came out in a low rumble, “Where am I?”

“Why? Don’t you know? You’re in hell, boy.” The man sneered as he turned and staggered away.

Finally managing to get to his feet, Alex followed the foul-smelling man. “What do you mean--is Hell the name of this place?”

The man threw his head back and laughed, but kept on walking. Alex caught up with him. With a sudden burst of strength, he trapped the man’s arm in a demanding grip. “I would know what place this is.”

The man tried to wrestle free but Alex held him firm. He faltered as he watched Alex through wild eyes. “Y-You’re in the dregs of the city of angels, boy. Los Angeles. Humph, angels all right.” 

Alex loosened his grasp. The man jerked and started running aimlessly, mumbling something about angels not giving a damn.

Alex exhaled a sigh and rubbed his aching head as he peered through the haze. In the distance, gigantic letters fraught with colored light shone bright. Squinting, he used an innate ability he didn’t know he had until now and read the word, “Hollywood.”

He wandered around the littered streets in a state of forgetfulness, as the muggy night turned to a hazy morning. Restless, with an unknown emptiness in his belly he sank down against a wall and ate of meager findings.

Then he saw a thing that caused an unnatural excitement to give rise within him. Protruding out from one of the trash bins in which he hunted for discarded foodstuffs sat a narrow board with wheels on either end. Cracked as it was down the middle and discarded as useless.

Alex picked it from the trash and with a calm focus he didn’t remember having, he fixed it. He wasn’t at all sure how he did it, but as he ran his hand down the fractured board, he felt it tighten and smooth beneath his touch. He tested it out. Placed it on the sidewalk and moved it forward and back with his foot. It felt sturdy under his weight. He easily mastered the skill of riding the thing and could move about the streets with more freedom.

Anguish grew strong inside him and with it came a distressing foreign kind of uncertainty. He sensed and absorbed his surroundings, becoming part of the turmoil that existed here.

Yet something deeper told him this was not his home. Search as he may, the memory of his identity escaped him. “Not part of this place, I’m not part of this place,” he chanted repeatedly, more times than he could count.

Riding his newly found board swerving in and out between the others on the street, he heard tell of a location called “shelter” where one could find things like fresh food and sleeping quarters. He listened closely to the talk on the street, learning the vicinity of this shelter and went there. It truly contained fresh food and water and beds…


Soon Alex will meet Ramie. Even though he gets bits and pieces of his life before, it still takes a lot of story before he finally knows who he truly is. That's it for now.


© copyright Kaye Manro 2016

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