Lexx 5

Lexx 5.09

Death Star - Part 1

Starring: Brian Downey, Xenia Seeberg,

Nigel Bennett, Eva Habermann

Guest starring:

Jackqueline McKenzie as Astrologer,

Ron Rifkin as Theologian,

Laura Harris as Rasa

The Little Lexx flew through a star-filled space. It approached a planet.

A boy walked on the street. He carried a school backpack on his back and he was in hurry to go home. He had a worried face. He looked up in the sky to look at an extremely bright blue star. It was day, the sun was setting down, but the star could be seen big and clear.

He continued his walk through the garden at the center of the city, on his way home from school. It was very late afternoon. One of those moments, when the clouds in the sky become yellow-pink and you just can't stop looking up. The sky wasn't dark yet, but still Genera could be seen. She stood there making the view of the colorful sky both more beautiful and scary. Angel always felt strange, when he looked at her. He hurried.

He was now on the path of love. This place had a lot of trees and bushes, so it was a natural cover for couples, which wanted to enjoy some privacy. But this night there were no lovers. The path was deserted. Angel felt depressed. The benches on the path were always busy, especially on a beautiful afternoon like this, but now they were empty. Angel knew this was connected to the star.

Right at the end of the path a dirty, old, smelly man jumped in front of Angel, waving some kind of sign in his hands, shouting. Angel startled back.

- The world is coming to an end! The day, when all people shall be judged is near! – The man shouted.

Angel walked around him in a hurry.

Angel entered his house and closed the door. He saw his mother watching TV. A man on the screen was speaking something, that Angel didn't pay attention to:

- … The situation is getting more and more worrying. Something strange really is happening! The floods across the country can't be stopped. The people are wondering, where all this water comes from. Hundreds of homes have been ruined and thousands were killed so far and, I repeat, the floods aren't stopping…

Angel lighted the lamp in the hall to undress. His mother saw him.

- Go and buy something for us to eat – she coldly commanded him.

- What about the magic word? – He jocularly asked her.

- Don't waste my time! – She shouted. – Go and buy food now!

- I'm not wasting your time, you aren't doing anything – he answered. – And why didn't you buy food and cook yourself for that matter?

She turned at him from her sofa and looked him with fury in her eyes. She looked extremely mad. Angel sighed and put his clothes back on. The TV kept going. Now it was showing a female in a TV-studio, reading the news:

- Unfortunately, it's not only the weather, that changes so suddenly and unexpected. People around the world are getting more and more tensed for some reason. Psychologists are amazed that the stress level across the world keeps running off the roof and their only explanation is that the light from the bright blue star prevents people from sleeping at night and that's causing their unease. Astrologer Ross Brand blames Genera for more. The mysterious star appeared in the sky 4 nights ago…

Angel had stopped and listened to the TV. His mother noticed he was still there and shouted:

- Get on with it, Angel! Sometimes I wonder why I gave you that name, since you don't deserve it at all!

Angel got angry too and left, to avoid the fight. The TV showed a male astrologer, speaking:

- It is really strange. We never saw that coming. We know our sky. Astrologers have studied it for more than 26 centuries. This star can't just appear like that. Not so bright at least and not so sudden. I believe its unexplained appearance is strongly related to the disasters on our planet right now.

Angel walked out of the house and crossed the yard. Night had fallen already. But it wasn't dark. Everything was lighted in blue. Angel looked at the sky. It wasn't the moon shining, it was the star.

Stan gazed at the screen, looking at the planet in disbelief.

- Is that the hospital, which will help Xev? – He asked.

- I just love you, when you make those hilarious comments – 790 smiled. – In fact, I always love you, tommy!

- Why did you call me Tommy? – Stan asked.

- Tommy's short for tomato, gorgeous. Calling you "my gripe, loveable, adorable, beautiful tomato blossom" is too long and will bore you – 790 explained, filled with warm feelings.

Stan looked aside with an unhappy face.

- Anyway, forget it! So is this the hospital?

- As you can see, my gripe, lo… tommy, it's a planet. The hospital, which Yasen told us about must be somewhere on it.

- Where?

- I'm searching for it right now, but it's difficult. There are a lot of signals coming from the planet and they're confusing me. But it won't take long.

- We don't have long! – Stan raised his tember. He began walking around nervously.

- Stanley, – 790 said, - did I tell you it's a type 13 planet in its last stage?

- Yes, you mentioned it several times – Stan replied.

- And I mentioned type 13 planets in their last stages were dangerous, because they could collapse any moment or get you killed in another horrific way?

- Yes, 790, I remember Earth! Although I don't think it destroyed itself, it had help! – Stan reproached the robot.

- I was badly programmed then – 790 found an excuse. – But you know I won't do anything to hurt you now, because I love you, don't you, Tommy?

- Stan, – Xev began. She just now appeared from behind him, - I appreciate what you're doing for me, but I don't want to risk your life. The last time you did that for me, you almost married a fairy king.

- Out of the question, Xev. You and Kai did the same for me, remember? You are my friend, and I'm ready to risk for the sake of you.

Xev smiled.

- Thank you. But still that's unexpected. You have never willingly risked your precious life for anything.

- Well, now I'm doing it for you, ok? – Stan said. He really was worried. He feared there was a reason, why the future Ray didn't tell him about Xev's destiny.

Xev just smiled, touched by Stan's determination, and looked at the screen.

The blue light softened and it got darker. Angel looked at the sky. A cloud had covered Genera. Even through the diaper of the dark cloud, the star managed to shine and enlighten the ghostly city.

Angel walked towards the store with his look up in the sky. He didn't notice the man in front of him, with whom he jostled.

- Sorry, I didn't see you – Angel excused himself.

- No problem, kid.

Angel moved on, but the man grabbed his arm.

- What? – Angel asked.

- Listen, kid, do you have any money?

- No, why?

- Well, I thought you were going to the store, and one goes there with money, doesn't one?

- I don't – Angel replied and tried to break free, but that only made the man hold him stronger.

- Give me the money, calmly – he said, taking a knife out of his sleeve. – Don't do anything stupid, and I won't hurt you.

Angel got scared. His hand automatically took the money out of his pocket and handed it to the man. The thief took it, pushed him and ran away. Angel fell from the push and groaned. An old woman saw him.

- Are you ok, young man? – She asked, walking towards him.

- No. I just got robbed – he answered.

- Well, big deal. Be happy that you're alive! – The old woman said and walked away.

In other context, such words could be normal, but Angel didn't feel them right. They sounded creepy.

Angel returned home and looked at his mother. She still gazed at the TV with an empty look. The female newsreader was on again.

- … So with the wish for us all to get calm and peaceful again, we say goodbye to you.

The screen turned black and the names of the reporters were written.

- I'm back – Angel said.

His mother didn't turn to him.

- Where's the food?

- There isn't any.

Now she not only turned and looked at him, but rose up.

- Why not? – Her voice trembled with anger.

- I was robbed – Angel answered with guilt in his voice.

- Get out! – His mother shouted.

Angel startled back.

- Get out and don't come back in my house!

He stood and couldn't move.

- Leave! – she took a glass from the table and threw it at him. It burst in the door. Angel wasn't hit. He opened the door and ran out.

- And now the weather report – a voice was heard from the TV. The mother turned back towards it and watched. The new weather girl was on again. She was dressed in blue and had a beautiful white hair.

- Well, I'm not going to lie to you – she said. – The weather is bad. Here – she pointed somewhere on the map behind her – there, there and everywhere. And it doesn't look like it's gonna be alright soon. – Suddenly her face changed completely, from an innocent smile to an evil, gloating one. – In fact, it's gonna worsen very soon. For all of you!

Karina disappeared from the screen. The sports news began. The mother sat back in the sofa and burst in tears.

Stan and Xev walked towards the butterflies. 790 shouted from the bridge:

- You don't have to go, tommy!

- Just feed us the exact coordinates as soon as you can! – Stan shouted back.

- You promised to always take me with you! – The robot kept whining.

- And how many promises have you broken before? Besides you'll find the exact location onboard faster – Stan reproached.

Just before they got on the butterflies, someone pulled Xev's hand.

- Where are you going? – Ray asked.

Xev thought for a moment.

- Out… For a walk?

- Yeah, we're going for a walk – Stan answered.

- Where? – Ray sounded like he wasn't going to give up easily.

- Well… Down on the planet – Stan answered.

- Take me with you – Ray said.

- It's not a good idea, it's dangerous – Stan denied.

- Yeah. It really is. Trust me, I'm half cluster lizard. If I say it's dangerous and not preferable to explore a place, then you should listen to me – she friendly explained.

- But… When are you coming back?

- Soon. Soon. As soon as we can – Stan answered unsure.

- I'll come with you – Ray insisted.

- No, you'll stay here! – Xev insisted more. – Don't worry. I might bring you a present, when I come back. Or Stan will.

Ray understood he was not going to win the fight so he just watched them entering the butterflies, which wrapped their passengers, closed their glasses and left off.

Angel walked alone through the dark streets. The hour was still not too late, but there was noone outside. That made him feel lonely, but also safe.

He walked on one of the city's main streets. There were different buildings at its both sides – office-buildings, bars, stores. One of the office-buildings had its windows broken. Angel stumbled into a part of a desk, which had been thrown through the window and stepped on broken glasses.

Angel heard a noise. The streets were not all empty. Out of a bar came two men, who were fighting. One of them broke a bottle into the other one's head, who replied him, by sticking his knee in the first one's stomach. Angel increased his speed to avoid them. Running on the street, he didn't hear the breaking of a window above his head. It was caused by a thrown lamp, followed by screams – a family was arguing about something. The lamp hit Angel's head. He fell unconscious.

The two butterflies exited Little Lexx's airlock. Stan pushed a button and 790's face appeared on the small screen just in front of his head. Xev saw him from the other butterfly and did the same.

- Come back, Stan! I miss you already! – The robot cried.

- What happened to Tommy? – Stan asked ironically.

- I'm fed up of it. I'd like to call you with your real name now, it's even more beautiful. Beautiful like you!

- 790, did you find the exact location of the hospital? – Xev asked impatiently.

- Fortunately, no! Don't forget, that your hope is almost impossible to come true. Say goodbye to life already, space whore!

- 790, watch your language! – Stan shouted. – Do your best to locate that hospital, and keep in mind, that if Xev dies, you die too! – After that, Stan pushed the same button and the screen went black.

Ray sat on the side, watching the scene.

- Why can't he understand, that I don't care about my life, when he's in danger? – 790 asked Ray.

- Apparently he doesn't care about his life, when Xev's in danger – The teenager answered.

Xev pushed another button and her face appeared on Stan's screen.

- You didn't have to be so rude to 790. – She said. – He could be your only friend in a few hours.

- Don't say that, Xev, stop it! We are going to find a way to bring you back to life… I mean, save you! Prevent you from dying. You're not dead yet!

Stan's mistake made Xev's face darken. She pushed the same button and ended the conversation.

The butterflies entered the planet's atmosphere. There was a very strong wind. The butterflies flew along with it. Stan and Xev had almost no control.

- Stan? – Xev shouted. She could barely hear her voice from the wind. – The wind is too strong! I can't fly the butterfly.

- Just keep pointing it down, Xev, the wind shouldn't be that strong down there!

The two butterflies continued their fight with the atmospheric conditions.

Angel woke up. It was dawn. The sky was covered in dark gray clouds and small white dusts were flying around. Angel made a puzzled face. He stretched his arm and one of the snowflakes fell on his hand. It wasn't cold. Angel looked closer to it. They weren't snowflakes, they were ashes.

- Do you need another proof, boy? – Angel heard a voice. He turned and saw the same tramp from last night. – Nights are lighted like days, ashes rain from the sky, the people go ruder and madder every day… What better signs would one want? Our end is near!

Angel started walking away, but the man followed him.

- We're being punished for our sins. Everyone will get, what he deserves now!

- Please, leave me alone – Angel said to the man.

- Boy, don't you understand? The end is coming.

- Ok, I got it, now please, go away.

- No, I want to offer you something – the man spoke with excitement.

- I don't want anything, go away, please!

- Here! – The tramp ran in front of Angel and stood in his way. He showed him a pill in his hand. – This will solve our problems. Let's take it together.

- I don't want your drugs.

Angel pushed the junkie away and ran.

Stan and Xev got lower and finally took control of the butterflies. They flew through the dark clouds.

- Wow! – Stan exclaimed.

- Yeah – Xev supported him.

- Anyway, we made it, let's contact 790 now.

- Stan, I think we should go back – Xev sounded worried.

- What? After we made it this far? Why, Xev?

- Stan, something's wrong with this planet, I feel it.

- What? How can you feel it? Xev, you're sounding ridiculous!

Xev got silent. She disappeared from Stan's screen.

- Xev! – He said – I didn't mean to insult you now. Xev?

Suddenly Prince appeared on his screen.

- Hello, Stanley – he greeted.

Stan made round eyes from the shock.

- Yes, Stanley, this is me. I don't have much time, so listen to me carefully – Prince said.

- No! I won't listen to you! Every time I listen to you, I get in trouble! Just go away! I don't want to see you ever again! – Stan shouted in horror.

- This time, Stanley, I mean you good. Now listen. Do not go to that planet, Stanley. If you go there, you will endanger yours and Xev's lives. Do not go there.

- What? Xev is that you, trying to fool me?

- No, Stanley, this is me. Now contact Xev, turn your moth back and head back to your bug ship.

- Ha! Gotcha! I'm not in a moth. I'm in a butterfly! – Stan gloated. But after he thought for a moment, he figured, that if this was Xev, she wouldn't make such mistake. – Prince, this is really you! – He shouted terrified.

Prince began speaking, but Stan couldn't hear anything.

- Prince?

His image faded and Xev showed herself on the screen again.

- Stan, what happened? Why did you cancel the connection – she asked worried.

Confused, Stan began moving his lips, without speaking, because he didn't know what to say. Finally his face changed from confused to terrified again and he shouted:

- Look! Ahead!

Xev looked away from the screen and saw the land beneath her. It was all burning in flames. Big black smoke was going upwards.

- Fire! From here to the end of the horizon! – Stan shouted again.

Xev looked around. Really, the land was burning everywhere, the whole area, that she could see, as the black smoke covered the rest of the land, was in flames.

- Stan, I told you, let's go away – Xev said. – This place is messed up!

Stan thought for a moment. But then he remembered all those times he listened to Prince and the results.

- Just fly forward – he said.

The ashes rained from the sky and covered everything in white-gray, while the orange light of the fires colored the sky. The streets began to fill themselves with people running and shouting in panic. Angel had sat in a corner, leaned against the wall, watching in fear. Even now, during the day and through the thick dark clouds, the blue star made its presence clear, by painting a small area in the sky in blue.

Suddenly Ray noticed a group of several people walking in a hurry on the street, but not in panic like the others. The one in front of them was the astrologist from the TV.

- Hurry, we're getting closer. We'll be safe there, at least until we figure out what to do – he said.

- Where are you going? – Angel asked them.

They noticed him and looked at him, but chose to ignore him and accelerated their walk.

- Please, take me with you, I'm afraid to stay alone on the street – Angel insisted.

- Perhaps he's also not influenced – a woman whispered to the astrologist.

- We can't take any risks – he refused.

- He's just a boy – the woman insisted.

She broke away from the group and approached the boy.

- What's your name?

- Angel.

The woman made a surprised face. She quickly stretched her hand to him to help him get up. Angel took the invitation and followed her and the group. A man from the rear part of the group looked at Ray in amazement. The astrologist saw them too, shook his head negatively and walked on.

Stan and Xev approached a city.

- Stan? – Xev said from Stan's screen. – I don't feel good.

- Be patient, Xev, a little more. You'll soon be cured.

- I don't think so, Stanley, this planet won't cure me, it smells of death.

- Xev, stop saying those things! You sound ridiculous! Let's just find that hospital and we'll go away as soon as they fix you. And who knows, fires of this magnitude could be normal here.

- Stan, we don't have much time – Xev said with a weaker voice.

- Just a little longer, Xev, we don't need much – Stan tried to calm her down.

- Stan? – Xev said with a weaker voice.

Her butterfly suddenly changed course towards the ground. The screen showed her fainting and then 790 replaced her.

- Xev? Xev?! – Stan shouted.

- I've just uploaded the coordinates of the hospital to your butterflies, my bravest love! – 790 said. – Would you like to chat with me a little while you travel?

- No, 790, go away! Xev lost consciousness!

- Hm – 790 said with an uninterested tone and disappeared.

The screen remained black. Stan pushed some buttons and shouted Xev's name one more time, but she still didn't appear. He didn't see her crash, but that's the only thing that could have happened. They were now in the city suburb, where the fire hadn't yet reached. Stan saw smoke from one of the one-floor buildings. He headed that way to check if Xev had crashed there.

- So who are you? – Angel asked.

The group all looked at him with angry looks. Only the woman, that took him looked at him with compassion.

- We're astrologers. We… - she tried to explain.

- On the need to know baseless – the leader interrupted her. – If you wanna play a savior, you'll keep your mouth shut.

- What's wrong in helping someone? – Angel asked.

The astrologist stopped, went to him and slapped him.

- You will also keep your mouth shut! – he shouted.

- You're out of control – the woman pulled him by the shirt away from Angel.

- You are endangering our survival by bringing outsiders into the plan!

The man didn't waste his breath in explaining himself – he hit her in the face so hard, that she fell on the ground. The same moment a shot was heard. Blood spilled from the leader's forehead and his corpse fell on the woman. A girl behind Angel held a smoking gun. The woman pushed the corpse away from her and stood up.

- It got to him – the girl said.

- Yes – the woman answered. – We have to keep moving. There's not much time before the end of the world.

- I'm bored to death – Ray announced walking onto the bridge.

- So why don't you throw yourself from the bridge to find death faster? – 790 proposed.

- Hm. Robot humor. – he answered, keeping equal intonation. – Why is that star so bright? – Ray pointed at the blue star near the planet on the screen.

- Suns are usually bright. Unlike you – 790 explained shortly.

- It's too small for a sun.

- You're too small for my stud to waste time with you around and yet there you are.

- What do you mean waste his time with me?

- I mean letting you breathe his air and not discarding you in space.

- If he did that to people just for breathing, you should be glad you don't have a nose. I bet you'd be the first to go – the boy wouldn't quit.

- No. He loves me – 790 opposed.

- And yet he keeps insulting and using you. I'd say he's in love with Xev.

- She's just a slut! He wants her for sex. It's me he wants for real love.

- Whatever – Ray finally did the inevitable – quit. – Hey! – he pointed at the screen. – That blue star's not where it was.

- Hm. – 790 said. – You're right. Perhaps I should look into it.

- You do that. I'm going down on the planet – Ray announced.

- Whatever. Don't expect my tommy to come to your rescue once he comes back and knows you're down.

- I'll take a small trip. Will be back before them.

- No hurry – 790 calmed him.

Stan landed his butterfly on the top of the building, where Xev crashed. It had a flat cement roof and Xev' butterfly had made a hole in it and continued down in the building's structure. Stan exited the butterfly and looked in the hole. It was dark, but he could see the crashed butterfly. He looked around himself and saw stairs leading down. He headed that way.

- Will you tell me your plan? – Angel asked the woman, while they were walking on the polluted with paper and broken stuff street.

- The chaos around us is caused by that blue star up there – she pointed at the sky. However there was too much ash to see anything beyond the sky.

While they walked in the middle of the street among crashed cars and sheets of paper scattered all around a man from the sidewalk ran to them with a mad shout. The girl with the gun coldly shot him in the head and the group didn't interrupt its walk.

- How can a star influence people so badly? – Angel asked.

- We don't know. The physicists went nuts and died before they could solve it. It's only a few of us, who aren't affected yet. The theologians however believe it's our apocalypse. According to the ancient texts they study, our planet was supposed to come to an end a long time ago and we have outlived our usefulness in gods' plan. This star is finally bringing us the peace we deserve.

They passed a group of fighting men. They all had blood all over them. One of them had bitten another one and the other was trying to rip the first one's arm off. The first one let go and fell with a chunk of meat in his mouth, which sprinkled blood all around them.

- I thought you were an astrologer – Angel said. – You believe in that stuff?

- I am a woman of astrological science and I can't ignore any possibility. I work with that assumption too in order to prove it wrong.

- You can't prove it wrong, because it's not – a man from their group approached them, the one who gave Angel the amazed look.

- Genera has waves, emissions, elements we have never seen before. That could be responsible for altering peoples' brain chemistry and causing their aggressive behavior – she explained.

- And its gravity could be causing the floods – Angel added.

- Yes – the woman confirmed. – You are a smart kid.

- That doesn't explain several things – the man continued. – The fires in the fields around the city, why some people are affected and some not, how did the star came to be.

The woman thought for a moment. Meanwhile Angel turned left to notice an old woman shouting in horror. She was hitting her hair with her hands to get rid of the ashes falling on her white hair. She was extremely afraid of them and didn't notice anyone else around her in her fight with the small white dots.

- I'm sure if we had time and resources, we'd reach to a logical conclusion – the woman said.

- What are we going to do until then? – Angel asked.

- We're heading to Ancta Maria Hospital. We'll barricade ourselves there – the woman explained.

- Until the madness passes?

- I believe the star will continue on its way – she continued – but if the theologians are right, it's come to kill us all. So the madness won't pass. We have to save ourselves.

- Although there's not much hope – the man added. – If we're right, then we're doomed and nothing we do can stop it.

- At least we'll be save in there.

Two men in uniforms were shouting at each other, each one hiding behind a tree on the sidewalk. The girl with the gun shot the closer one. The other one saw her and pointed his gun at her, but she shot him too, before he could endanger anybody in their group.

- How can we keep the madness from affecting us in the hospital? – Angel kept asking.

- You're a pesky little kid, you know that? – the man said to him, putting his hand on his shoulder. – You also have a special name. Perhaps you are the one.

- The one what? – he asked.

- The ancient texts talk about a chosen one, who'll be the last from the whole world to survive. He will not be affected by the Apocalypse and he'll play a part in a much larger plan. As a reward he'll meet the Gods themselves and he'll know their plan before he dies.

- What plan could be larger than the world? – Angel asked in misunderstanding.

- It is not ours to ask – the theologian answered.

- Nor does an ancient mumble-jumble matter – the astrologer said. – We're here.

They were standing in front of a beautifully architectured building with an inscription above its main entrance: "Ancta Maria Hospital".

- Ray! – 790 appeared on Ray's butterfly's screen. – You have to get Stan off the planet! It's dangerous for him!

- They knew that, when they went, 790, that's why Xev didn't take me.

- She should have! And she should have left Stanley Manly here, so he could blow that planet up! – 790 reproached Xev, although she wasn't around to hear him.

- What's the matter, 790? – Ray asked in vexation.

- I was wrong, when I said this was a type 13 planet in its last stage of development! – The robot answered worried.

- That's good then, we have a lot of time – Ray smiled.

- No! It's beyond its last stage! I should have thought of it earlier! How could they develop such an advanced cure otherwise?! You have to rescue Stanley, Ray!

- But if it is beyond the last stage, then it won't be imploded. It was saved.

- No, you infantile youngster! – 790 lost his temper. – A type 13 planet is never saved! It was imprinted on the electronic memory of every robot on the Cluster, that type 13 planets are dangerous and are better off being purged by the Divine Order and their protein added to the bank, than being joined to the League, but type 13 planets beyond their last stages were especially dangerous! All ships serving the League should abandon the vicinites of such planets immediately after establishing their status quo!

- But why?

- I don't know! – 790 shouted. – I was supposed to be a simple robot on the Cluster, operating the Lusticon and taking care of the prisoners, they didn't give me that much else! Expansionist robots had more information, but they were all cleansed 4000 years ago!

- 790, calm down – Ray tried speaking slowly and calmly.

- No, Ray, I can't calm down! Save my man immediately! Bring him back here now!

- Ok, 790, I'll go search for him.

- Thank you! – 790 said with a gentle tone. Ray knit his brows. No insults, no witty remarks, just a kind thank you. He didn't know the robot well enough to be surprised enough, but still he found that pretty strange. – Apparently they've landed on the hospital roof, although I can't get a lock on one of the butterflies. Please hurry, Ray!

790 ended the transmission and disappeared from the screen, while Ray's butterfly entered the hurricane, black-clouded atmosphere. Lightenings and thunders flashed the foggy upper part when the butterfly penetrated it.

Stan went down some stairs in a dark stairway. A door on the platform he reached had the number 3 on it. He tried to open it, but it was locked.

- Xev! – he shouted and knocked heavily on the door. There was no answer.

Stanley kicked the door hard and it opened. He saw the fallen butterfly and a man in dirty clothes dragging Xev's body out of it.

- Hey! – Stan shouted.

- Mine! – The man shouted back. – Mine!

Stan knitted his brows. He went closer to them. The man dropped Xev's legs, which he used to pull her and waved a knife at Stanley.

- Mine!! – he shouted. There was a mad fury in his voice. His face showed disorientation, he wasn't sure what he was doing.

- Look, pal – Stan tried to explain with a friendly voice. – This is Xev. She is a friend of mine.

- Mine! – He answered with the same intonation.

- Well, she could become your friend too, yeah, but we need to save her first. We need to drag her upstairs to my butterfly, so we can go to Ancta Maria Hospital. There we'll save her and we'll be friends, ok?

- MINE! – The man attacked Stanley and tried to stab him.

Stan managed to get away from the knife, but the man didn't give up. He waved the knife at Stan again and attacked him again. Stan ran.

Ray landed on the rooftop near Stan's butterfly.

- This is the hospital? – he asked the robot on the screen.

- Yes. Do you see Stan, my man?

- No, only one of the butterflies and a hole in the roof.

- Oh, NO! – The robot shouted in despair. – Find him, find him! Why, oh, why did I let him endanger himself on a type 13 planet!

- I'll find him, 790, I'll make sure they're ok – Ray promised.

- Please hurry, Ray! The star has stopped moving and has begun getting brighter. I fear the worst!

- Which is what, 790?

- That my man will die of course! What could be worse than that?!

- Yeah, but how, 790, how is the star significant? – Ray asked.

- I've never seen or heard of anything like it, I don't know how! Just find him and get him out of there before it's too late! – 790 almost cried.

Ray pushed a button and his butterfly screen went black. His belts untied him and the glass cover of the butterfly opened itself.

- I'll go exploring – the girl with the gun said to the group, while a few people were barricading the entrance. – Lock the doors and wait for me here.

- She's tough – Angel whispered to the woman.

- Yes, but she'll clear the hospital from any madmen, who might prevent us from doing what we came here to do – she answered.

Shots were heard shortly after she left.

- I fear she's getting influenced too – the theologian said. – We might need to dispose of her once she's back.

- I agree. Meanwhile let's go to the room – the woman said.

- What room? – Angel asked.

- This is no ordinary hospital, Angel. This was used in the third world war as a rocket launchery.

- What? A hospital? – the boy asked in shock.

- Yeah, those bastards played humanitarian, so they never bombed our hospitals. That's why we hid our most dangerous rockets here, where they'd never get it – the theologian explained. – Those swines!

- A theologian shouldn't speak like that – Angel noticed.

- One is forgiven if he's a fanatic – he defended himself.

- I think the star is affecting all of you – Angel said.

- Yes – the astrologer agreed. – We should hurry and aim the rockets at the star while we still can. – She took Angel's hand and went towards the elevators.

- Rasa said to wait for her here – another man from the group insisted.

- We have no time, we have to do it now – she replied.

Suddenly someone banged on the front doors. Roars and other bangs could be heard after that. Angel hugged the woman and the group jumped away from the doors. Mad people could be seen outside. Their eyes, filled with fury and desire to kill, glowed red. The group watched in fear and did nothing, while Angel and the woman stepped closer to the elevators.

- They are becoming mindless creatures from the Abyss – the theologian said. – Everything in the ancient texts is becoming true.

Suddenly a bowl was heard falling on the main stairs to the hallway. It was stained with blood and made loud metalic noise as it hit each stair. The group watched its descent. Silhouettes could be seen moving behind the plastic doors at the second floor. The astrologer pushed the button for the elevator and the group of people stayed motionless, watching the horror around them. The roars and bangs from the outside have stopped, but now they could hear smacking from the second floor – someone was eating.

- Be very, very quiet – the theologian said to the frightened people.

A few moments of waiting under pressure passed. More smacking and dragging steps could be heard from behind the plastic doors at the end of the stairway to the second floor.

- They are coming! They are gonna kill us all!! – a woman from the group suddenly shouted. She drew a knife out of her jacket and stabbed the nearest one in the group.

That caused all the group to start shouting in panic and running around. The silhouettes from behind the 2nd floor doors stopped whatever they were doing and suddenly the doors slammed open. Lots of mad men, looking like zombies in white overalls, stained with blood, rushed down the stairs towards the panicked people, roaring. The astrologer and Angel went inside the elevator and descended, while the zombies attacked the helpless men and women from the group, biting their necks. The zombies from outside finally broke the doors and hundreds of them rushed in. Zombies attacked zombies and humans alike and blood sprinkled everywhere.

Stanley kicked another door and ran inside a storage room, stocked with medicines and supplies. There was no other exit, apart from the entrance. He turned back, but his attacked was already there with the knife in his hand.

- MINE! – he shouted.

- Leave me alone – Stan cried. – Xeev!

The man approached him and roared. He raised the knife and pushed Stanley to the wall, where he would stab him. Just as he was ready to stick the knife in Stan's chest, a shot was heard and the dirty man collapsed. Stan sighed and looked at the door, where he saw a sweet young girl with a smoking gun.

The elevator reached its destination and stopped. The astrologer pushed the door opened and they got out in a dark room. She pushed a switch on the wall and after a short heat up the lamps lighted the room. Several computers on the table were also turned on and a large electronic map on the opposite wall. There were no windows, since the room was underground.

- This was a command center during the war – she explained. – I used to work here.

She sat on a computer and started typing.

- I thought we dismantled all our weapons after the end of the war – Angel said.

- Come on, Angel, do you seriously believe we'd give up our defenses? Plus our government always hoped for retaliation against the enemy, we never knew when a new war could start.

- That's stupid – Angel said.

The woman stopped typing and looked at Angel.

- You're right. Anyway, we have more important work. Sit here and type what I tell you.

The woman stood up and moved to another computer and Angel sat on the already prepared computer. Suddenly a thump was heard and a sound of wood being rived, followed by another thump, but less loud. It came from the elevator. Angel and the astrologer looked in each other's eyes. Since Angel was closer to the elevator, he stood up and opened the elevator door. A man had fallen from the first floor in the elevator shaft and had rived the elevator's upper part. He was lying unconscious on his face.

- Close the door, Angel – she said. – We have work to do.

Angel let the elevator door shut itself.

Ray looked from the rooftop at the city. Fires from behind him, burning the fields around the city lighted everything in orange. Ashes were still falling down from the sky and had made Ray's hair white. There was noone on the streets nearby, just scattered papers and crashed cars and buses. And corpses. However cries and moans could be heard from distant places. Ray knit his brows and looked around with a sad look and hands in his pockets. He went back to the butterfly, pushed the button at its side and the screen appeared. He pressed a button and 790 appeared on the screen.

- You found him! – 790 shouted.

- No, 790, I haven't begun searching yet – Ray said.

- Don't waste any more time, Ray! The danger is real, save my man!

- I don't think I'm equipped for a mission like this, 790. I might need weapons.

- Of course you'll need weapons! Didn't you take any when you left?! – 790 reproached him.

- Little Lexx has hidden weapons? I never saw a weapon onboard, 790, where are they?

- You live in a prison! Of course there'd be weapons there!

- Ok, I'll come back and search for some – Ray decided and got inside the butterfly.

- NO! – 790 shouted, as if someone was trying to kill him. – There's no time! Find Stanley now and bring him back as fast as you can, please! We can't waste a minute, the planet could end right now! I'm already detecting that 81 of the life the planet originally had, has been extinguished! I can't let my man in the statistics, Ray, help him!

- This place looks like the aftermath of a nuclear war, robot head, I can't just walk around shouting Stan's name.

- It's risky, Ray, but you have an interest in helping Stanley too – 790 spoke with a business tone. – Stanley is the only one, who has the key to the Little Lexx. Without him you'll be stuck near the planet and most likely be caught in whatever will destroy the planet, so if Stan stays there, you stay there.

Ray made an unhappy face.

- Face it, you miserable midget, you need Stan to survive and you need to find him now, before it's too late – 790 added.

- Just when I thought you started to behave normally.

- I only show that extreme politeness towards others, when my man is in grave danger. Now stop making it about yourself, GO AND SAVE HIM!

After saying that 790 disappeared. The screen got back inside the butterfly. Ray thought for a moment, then headed for the stairway. Suddenly woman's shouts were heard from the street. Ray froze, thought for a moment and ran to the edge of the roof to see. Three men in dirty clothes were chasing a woman, who shouted desperately for help. They had already ripped her shirt and one of her breasts was out.

- Hey! – Ray shouted from the roof. – Leave her alone!

The three men and the woman stopped. The men looked at Ray with mad red eyes, which Ray couldn't notice from the height, roared fearsomely at Ray and ran towards the hospital entrance, growling.

- Are you ok, lady? – Ray shouted at the woman from the roof.

She wasn't any different either. For a moment she looked at him with a dull face, then she roared and shouted madly, after which she ran towards the hospital entrance too.

Ray breathed heavily and fast. He watched in shock and disbelief.

- Stan! – He shouted and ran towards the stairs.

Angel lifted his head from the keyboard.

- Did you hear this? – He asked.

- What? – The woman asked back.

- Something – Angel turned to the elevator door. – I think he moved.

- Don't be silly, Angel, anyone, who fell from that altitude, would be killed on the instant they hit the floor.

Angel went silent for a moment, not doing anything, listening for other possible noises, but none were heard. He went on typing.

Stan and the girl with the gun walked in the hospital's corridors. Orange light came from the windows, but it was not sunlight. The girl led the way. Suddenly she stopped, turned to one of the rooms and shot someone inside. A groan and a falling body were heard. Stan gave her a strange look, but followed her immediately after she continued walking, without even looking at the room she shot in.

- So, who are you? – Stan asked.

- Rasa – she gave him a short answer.

They walked a few moments without saying anything.

- You from around here? – Stan kept asking.

She suddenly stopped and put the gun in his face, which made Stan's eyes round.

- This is important why?! – she asked him with anger in her voice.

- I… Didn't mean to insult you! – Stanley squealed.

Rasa screwed up her eyes at Stanley and continued walking. Stan gave her another strange look and looked behind him. It was clear, but still he felt better with someone with a gun on his side, despite his feeling that he should run away right now.

- Listen – he began.

Rasa clicked her tongue in vexation.

- I need your help.

- Everyone does – she answered annoyed and shot another zombie on their way. The zombie collapsed on the corridor, she stepped on him and moved on, while Stanley carefully went around the body, careful not to touch it.

- I came here with someone, but she fell down and was injured. She's also heavily poisoned and we can't cure her. We were told this is the only hospital, where they can cure her – Stan explained.

Rasa stopped. She turned around and shot. Stanley shouted for a moment, but then heard another zombie falling dead behind him.

- Perhaps I look like someone, who cares! My bad! – She turned him down.

Stan knit his brows.

- Listen, it's serious! She's gonna die soon!

- Everyone is gonna die very soon! If you wanna live a couple of minutes longer, stick with me! If not, go your own way! I don't give a damn! – She explained briefly.

She continued walking with determination, smoke still coming out of her gun. Stan ran after her.

- I can't find my way!

- I heard it again – Angel said.

- We're almost ready! Click on the red square and type C3U7NT – the woman said.

- I think he's alive – Angel stood up from the computer.

- Do as I say, boy! – she shouted.

Angel looked at her in amazement. Her eyes were bloodshot.

Ray went down the same stairway Stan did. He found the half-opened door with the number 3. He pushed it further and he saw Xev's butterfly, still smoking from the crash and covered in ashes and dust. However there was noone around it.

- Stan? Xev? – Ray said loudly, but not too loudly, because he was afraid to be heard from the zombies.

Someone dragging their foot on the stairway could be heard. Ray startled and turned back in the instant. The door had gone back to half-opened and Ray couldn't see who dragged their foot outside.

Xev woke up. She was being dragged by someone, rudely. She pushed his arm away and stood up, leaning against the wall. She saw the theologian, with bloodshot eyes and blood stains all over his clothes.

- Don't worry – he said. – I'll help you.

Xev sighed and fainted. The theologian caught her before she fell. He looked at her and fling aside a tuft of her hair. He looked at her face for a moment. He growled, then knit his brows and continued dragging her.

- Click on the red square and type in C3U7NT! – The woman shouted madly at Angel. – This will launch the rockets to the star! DO IT NOW!

- Please, calm down – Angel said to her and took a desk-lamp from the desk on the wall.

Someone hitting the elevator door was heard, this time loud and clear.

- He's alive! – Angel pointed the lamp at the elevator door, ready to hit the zombie with it.

- TYPE! NOW! – this sounded more like a roar, then like a shout.

Angel put his chair on the elevator door and did what she asked. A voice from speakers on the walls could be heard:

- Rocket launching in 3… 2… 1… Rockets launched.

Several zombies walked on a street in the city. Suddenly the ground beneath them fell apart, they fell with it. Some distance below there was a metal coverage, on which the zombies splashed. The coverage slowly opened itself and four rockets were launched from the opening in the ground.

Stan looked through the window and saw 4 bright dots ascending in the sky.

- You see that? – He asked Rasa.

- No! – She shouted, shooting at a group of zombies.

Ray tore one of the 4 butterfly wings and took it in his hand. It was big, hard and heavy and it was almost torn from the butterfly from the crash. Ray used it to open the door to the stairway from distance.

- Xev?

Suddenly the door was pushed from a zombie, leading three others – the three men and the woman from the street. They roared in an ugly fashion and walked fast towards Ray, who ran back, jumping over the crashed butterfly.

The Astrologer growled at Angel, who still held his desk-lamp.

- I did what you asked, I launched the rockets! Please calm down now! – He was speaking to her.

- You are an annoying little kid!! – She reproached him. – You slowed down over your stupid fantasies!

- I swear, I heard noises from inside the elevator! The fallen zombie could be alive – Angel spoke silently and apologetically, but still holding the desk-lamp.

- NO! – She roared and pushed a monitor on the ground. It made a few electrical buzzes before it died.

- It is possible, let me check the elevator. You don't know what this star emits and if it doesn't somehow bring the dead back to life!

- NO! – She took a keyboard and threw it at Angel. He used the desk-lamp to protect himself.

Meanwhile a silhouette appeared in the elevator's window. A zombie pushed the door and walked in the room. The woman jumped on the table, ready to attack the zombie. They both roared, while Angel leaned against the wall, sitting on the desk, bringing papers and office tools down, holding his desk-lamp.

Ray tried to run through the same other exit Stanley used, but more zombies appeared on it, they wore white overalls with blood stains. Ray hit one of them with the butterfly wing and kicked back another one, but they were too many. He ran back and leaned on the wall, next to a window, which threw a dull cryptic orange light on the crashed butterfly and lighted the dust and the ashes in the air. Ray leaned against the wall, holding the butterfly wing, as a tear poured out of his eye.

Little Lexx'es screen showed the 4 rockets flying towards the blue star.

- NOO! – 790 shouted.

The rockets approached the star and exploded, before they could reach it. The explosion produced a fire cloud, which also engulfed some of the star. As the cloud disintegrated the star produced a thick, strong beam, which flew down and hit the planet.

It was night, in another city. Zombies walked the streets and some of them were attacking others. A thick blue beam fell down from the sky and shattered the ground. It produced a large blue, smoky hit-wave, which swept everything on its way – raised down buildings, killed zombies, vaporizing their skin and meat, sweeping their skeletons out of arrangement, leaving nothing but a blue-smoking bare ground behind. The beam didn't stopp and the hit-wave, as if powered by the beam, went on, demolishing bigger territory in a circle around the beam, going faster and stronger.

TO BE CONTINUED…

03.07.2007 - 05.03.2008