Sanctuary, an Outer Space Station
At the Templar’ spacious hall, the statues of the gods and goddesses were standing tall. On my right, the statues of Exilon’s deities could be found and one of those statues depicts Sirius, the god of darkness. His body is that of a wild wolf, with long horns on the head. His claws and sharp canines symbolized death itself.
There’s also a sculpture of Polaris, the goddess of beauty, love and youth. According to the myth, her golden wings can create strong tornadoes and her enchanting and tender eyes can shake away all greediness.
Dorothello is the god of science and technology, art and creativeness. His form is that of a serpent, a gorgon. No matter who or what, all creatures that stared at his eyes will turn into a cold stone. His tears can cure any illness and bring the dead back into life.
Andros is the god of justice, creator of calamity. He is also known as the deity of the end. He’s a wicked merman who wields a lightning whip. I remember Nebula’s story to me when I was still a kid. She said, Andros will kill those who disobeyed his commandments. She also said that mortal blood can strengthen him and maintain his youth.
Lastly, Uranus is the god of bravery and war. He’s the twin brother of Andros but his form is that of a Tikbalang, a human horse. He loves wielding bow and arrows. Andros and him are opposite because Uranus’ heart is pure and good. His bow can only be seen by courageous and pure-hearted people. According to the myth, his arrow can destroy a whole planet.
On my left side stand the statues of Chrome planet’s deities. The one who stands out the most is Betelgeuse, god of kindness, deity of humanity and the creator of light. He’s a dragon with golden scales. He’s always been compared to Sirius because he’s the mortal enemy of the god of death.
There’s also Centurii, the god of harvest and joy. He takes the form of a phoenix – a bird of fire. The fire produced by his two wings can give nutrients to the soil of every planet. He’s also the overseer of all meteors, comets and stars in the whole galaxy.
Eureka is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. She’s the guardian of the good spirits. The myth said that the love between her and Uranus was the reason why the war of gods and goddesses occurred long time ago.
Icarus is the god of change. He’s a half kraken with an amazing agility to escape from any wormhole’s forceful pulling. His speed is as fast as Betelgeuse’s light. This is why he can manipulate the time. He’s the one who can see the past and future.
Ynamoreven is the goddess of loyalty, truth and forgiveness. She has eight sari hands and each one has a special talent.
“I know! I know! Isn’t this place so beautiful? Look at the breathtaking murals. Those are the images depicting our history. Emperor Lexus is there… also the valiant King Gramlet IV… and Janice de Arcilla.” Astronomiya excitedly pointed out those heroes’ images using her hand.
The Templar’s arts were unusual. The murals can move because the painters must have used digital animations. I can say that what technology can do is very amazing. The knights, the army composed of starships, the crusade that took place before, the periodicals which tackled science and technology – especially about Genetic Engineering, the barbarians who tried to conquer several planets… everything was drawn in fine details. All events which had happened to the Parthenon Galaxy had been painted on the Templar’s wide and tall walls.
“Wow! It’s so pretty!” Rigel exclaimed in amazement after he saw what’s above his head.
“That is only one example of the depiction of Parthenon Galaxy! Look closely at the clusters of stars.” Astronomiya said to the child who had his jaw dropping. She then gave him a wink.
The Templar’s ceiling is astounding because it has a diorama of the constellations, beautiful planets, meteors, cosmic dust, floating prismatic rocks and space stations. When watched closely, those things look like shiny dusts on the dark space.
On the Templar’s edge, I accidentally took a glimpse of the great depictions of my grandfather and father. They were being covered by their mobile suits. Well except for the faces which were protected by the glasses of the space helmet. They looked young on the moving photographs. The scene being played is their celebration of their victory against the pirates. The place was at the Cluster Clouds and it happened on the conclusion of the sixth galactic war. What they had accomplished is really worthy of being recorded in the history logs. All the people aboard of the aviator showed great joy while rejoicing. That time, I was yet to be born but this epic had been told to me for numerous times by my grandfather. Unfortunately, I had never taken his story seriously because I’m not fond of brutal things.
It’s like I’m proving how not all Tudors are heroic and brave in heart. Maybe I’m really a coward. Now I avoided gazing at their pictures. I feel ashamed. I feel like I’m being slapped by my shadows. As a grandson, a son, a Tudor, a prince… I’m an embarrassment.
Why am I not like them? Why?
We reached the Templar’s exit and then boarded the hoverboards which will bring us to our new abode. From above, we passed by the several huge buildings of the Sanctuary under the sky ducts. I looked up and saw the never-ending sky which are accompanied by white clouds. The force field created these fake images to cover the dark outer space. While flying, Astronomiya introduced the different buildings.
“That one is the Dorothelo castle, the Sanctuary’s hospital. Behind that castle is the tower of Eureka which serves as the public library. Next to the castle is the garden of Polaris.” Astronomiya referred to those buildings on the Sanctuary’s right side. That part is rich in ornamental plants.
“How did they make a castle out of that gigantic plant?” Titan pointed somewhere. Then he directed that question to Stellar.
“Hey, check out those vines, they can move!” Another demon child gaped in astonishment.
“Stop treating those things as if they are moving mannequins. Those are genetically engineered plants.” I spoke up to interject.
“What do you mean, big bro?” asked by Rigel. I didn’t reply to him because I hate their naivety. These things are no longer new to my eyes. Our garden in the palace and even the halls in our kingdom were abundant in this kind of plants.
“That one is the Betelgeuse’s castle, the holy place where we will dine together, also the one which will become the stage when there are festivals to be held. The passages enclosing that part will lead to the Emergency Citadel. By the way, that one is the circle of Ynamoreven, the place where the yearly Demon Children Games are held. Please be reminded that the next tournament will take place next month so you better start preparing.” Astronomiya introduced to us the buildings that could be found at the left part. Now that I think about it, it’s as if she’s not getting tired of talking. Maybe she’s the most talkative among the Pillars.
I scanned the left part and noticed that the buildings there look like floating mushrooms above the artificial lake. The artificial lake is designed like a water terrace. At the edge of the lake, there are many tall grasses. Also, it is being enclosed by wheat fields. When observed carefully, I think that all plants here were genetically engineered. Also, it was as if all the rice and wheat plants at the fields have golden grains, blessed to not whither for a very long period of time.
“What is that Emergency Citadel and the game you mentioned?” inquired by Rigel.
“Oh my little demon, before I answer that, I want to say first to all of you that all Pillar members must be addressed as Reverend while the head guardian must be called The Prime. You can call the other demon children as ‘brethren’. Is that clear?” She informed to the newcomers. All of the people here nodded to her, well, except me.
“Please answer my question.” She said.
“Clear, Reverend!” We chorused.
Another male Pillar handed Astronomiya a tablet. After that, she continued her explanation while showing a detailed holographic map of the Sanctuary. The said map suddenly popped out above her tablet.
“The Citadel is where we go in times of calamity. We will assemble there and count the people present to check who are not there. It is done so that the rescuers will be able to respond immediately to save those who are not there when the counting happens. Don’t worry much though, my beloved demons. The Sanctuary is the safest place in the whole Galaxy. There are more or less, a million surveillance cameras inside, outside and on the gate of this space station. Those surveillance cameras have flame detectors and smoke detectors that’s why I’m confident that no fire or any problem can hinder our generators, the energy source of the whole Sanctuary. Another thing, our waters and food provisions are tightly monitored and processed so there won’t be any problematic effects on our health. The Legions’ security service is very tight. There are two aviators outside the ten force fields of the Sanctuary. They will guard us against the pirates and terrorists that will try to invade us.” Astronomiya gave us a sweet smile while repeatedly batting her long eyelashes.
She turned off the tablet and gave it back to her attendant. “About the Demon Children Games, it is a prestigious tournament held every year. Every demon will be assigned to any of the four teams. Every team will compete with each other to win the traditional challenges that will be issued by us.”
“Is the tournament deadly?” Titan asked.
“No, little demon! Brutality is forbidden here.” She hastily denied. “Let’s continue the tour! That one is the palace of Sirius. The Pillar member’s offices and the demons’ rooms can be found there. Sometimes, it is called the auditorium. Behind that mountain is the cabin of Uranus or the residential place of the guards, the Legions. On the palace’s side, that is where you will reside.” Astronomiya pointed towards the edifices built on the perfectly arch-shaped mountain. The said mountain has water terraces that encircled a lake. There are also several bridges that connect every floating building. The bridges were made out of vines which I supposed were also from genetically engineered plants.
“Welcome, our brethren!” A warm greeting was given to us by the other demon children who had been here for long. That was after we reached the place where we will live. Like how we are in uniform, they appeared so disciplined. However, their faces contain no taint of emotion. They are staring straight. Their lips are still and unmoving after the greeting. It’s like they are statues in a formation. Probably, this is the result of receiving the Pillars and Legions’ iron hands.
“This is now your home, my beloved demons! If you noticed, your fellow demons who are women are not here. We decided to segregate you all according to gender so they are living in a separate residence.” She explained. “Isn’t this wonderful? The beds are made of fine materials and soft cottons which were even harvested from Planet Zega-Capslan.” Astronomiya acted boastfully while referring to the cheap beds and furniture inside the cabins.
The rooms here couldn’t even be compared to the smallest room of our palace. Fine, the rooms are somehow spacious and big, but it wouldn’t matter much since there are so many demon children. It’s also not fanciful enough. It’s simple because everything is painted white. No other color is present. It appears clean – but lifeless.
“There are surveillance cameras hovering on the ceilings that’s why we can tightly observe each of you, especially the newcomers. Any form of transgression will be caught through the recorded footage so that’s why I shall advice all of you…” Astronomiya breathed deeply before continuing her reminder. “Be obedient to our rules and regulations.”
None of Astronomiya’s words reached my mind because I can’t still believe what’s happening to me. It’s so fast. I couldn’t believe that a prince like me will sleep in a non-private room.
I am now a slave…
“The main responsibility of Pillars like us is to convert demons into obedient and good children. This is why there are one hundred rules for you to follow!”
WHAT? A hundred rules? Are these cultists out of their minds!?”
I feel so devastated because of what she said. Is this a new challenge for me?
How can I survive in this place?
“I won’t enumerate all the rules anymore. You can just ask the assigned demons who will guide you about it. You can also look for it at the tablet that will be distributed to you.” Reverend Astronomiya added.
A male Pillar member handed me a tablet. I pressed the red button then the rules mentioned by that woman popped out. I skimmed over the contents while she’s still talking. I was overwhelmed by the number of forbidden things in this place. This is not good. We’re having it worst than the convicts jailed at Planet Argonaut. Now, inside my heart and mind is the never fading annoyance towards what’s on the hologram of the tablet.
When I become Chrome’s king, I will stop donating to this place. Maybe I will also send some bombs and put an end to people’s beliefs about the spirits and deities! Useless gods and goddesses, only lightnings will escape revenge!
While Astronomiya is busily chirping about the Sanctuary’s traditions, my eyes darted to the last rule made by the Pillars.
Rule 100. A demon is vetoed to fall in love with another demon… Death is the only punishment to those demons that are found guilty of violating the 100th rule.
My world fell apart when I read that on the tablet. What will happen now? If the system here is like this, how will I start looking for my soulmate? Those gods and goddesses are really testing me. If so, then I won’t back down!
After a while, all attention was shifted away from Reverend Astronomiya when we heard three successive beeps. Silence. It was followed by a voice that can arouse the heart of all listeners.
“This report is brought to you by the most trusted news provider in the universe – The Parthenon’s Intergalactic Broadcasting Network.”
Suddenly, the television appeared and covered the big window of the cabin. Then the image of the newscaster also popped out. “A flash report, the sixth heir to the throne of Tudor dynasty, Prince Orion II of planet Chrome is currently missing. This morning, it has been confirmed by our station that he is nowhere to be found after we personally interviewed the Deputy Chief Spokesperson Carposius Meselannius. According to the spokesperson, the prince disappearance is very mysterious because no trace of any crime was found. We tried getting the side of the Department of Defense of Planet Chrome. Unfortunately, the Star Cops kept their silence. It’s still unconfirmed if the prince was kidnapped or if he ran away by himself.”
“Prince Orion II is known for being spoiled based on the scandal he made before. Probably this is the reason why the sovereign of planet Chrome, King Castor stated that this event is not that alarming. However, at the present, the search of the missing prince is ongoing.”
Shameless! This male reporter should have his tongue cut! I’ll remember your damn face! Together with Stellar, I’ll punish you severely when the chance presented itself!
“Right now, the palace is keeping its communication with Parthenon Galaxy’s different sectors. It declared that a huge reward will be given to whoever can locate the prince. I’m Herculanium Merzelese, the messenger of truth.” After saying his last line, the reporter’s face vanished together with the holographic television.
Sari – traditional Indian garb for women
Don’t be deceived. I don’t think the mobile suits mentioned above is referring to those GUNDAM mechas. I think it’s just a noun referring to some sort of space armor. 😛
Pillar – people who manage the Sanctuary (I know it’s awkward to say ‘male Pillar’ or ‘female Pillar’. Is female/male Pillar member better? )
By the way, feel free to comment the errors and suggestions below.