DAY 13

The Control Room by Edgar Bajaña
Zebulon escorted Archimedes on a transport vehicle from the hibernation chambers to the control room. The transport vehicle reminded her of a roller coaster cart except that it was wider and had eight seat, instead of four. It was built to help people traverse the length of the great starship, a space ship that was at least two miles long. Zebulon drove the cart through a tunnel filled with lights. After making it through that part, they headed into a transparent tunnel that actually traveled outside the ship. From this vantage point, they were under the stars of the universe and could see the a large part of the starship. The ship was completely white with antennea sticking out of it. On the hull, she saw the name of the ship, she saw, "S.S Christopher Columbus." It was here when Archimedes asked Zebulon to stop the cart. "Can you stop here?" She asked, "I just want to take one good look before we go back inside. Please stop. I will go on. I just want to admire this amazing view." She pointed at the galaxy in the distance, "Look at it. For so long, all I saw was the storm. Finally, I can see way beyond the storm." Zebulon did as she said and he slowed down the cart. He dared not stop the car completely. As long as he keep moving, the Captain's jealous nature would not be alarmed. He looked around and asked, "Is this the view that you want to see? Is this enough?" Zebulon kept looking around quickly, but was ready to go. "Are you ready," he asked. "We should keep going." She didn't answer him. She just wanted a moment to enjoy the cosmic vista before her. It felt like she were at the edge of an infinite universe. She titled her head up and peered outside the tube. For a moment, she felt as if she were floating in a never ending darkness. It was as if she were underwater, deep inside the ocean. As the cart moved slowly, Archimedes and Zebulon both sat next to each other, looking into the farther reaches of space. Zebulon enjoyed the way Archimedes's breath was taken by the view. He stared at her sweet face and watched her eyes gleam with stars. He loved the way her eyes looked out here, while they were still alone.

"Where are we going?" She asked. "To the control tower." He responded. "No. I mean. Where are we going?" From what she had seen already, she knew that the ship wasn't close to the New World. "It doesn't matter." Zebulon made the cart go faster. "We should be going, now. The Captain is waiting in the control tower for you. I don't want to keep him waiting." "What is wrong with you? Do you do everything that that the Captain says?" Zebulon looked around and caught a camera on the outside of the ship pointed at them. He knew the Captain was watching them. He should have never slowed down the cart. He felt only a little relieved when he realized that the Captain could not hear them. "Are you going to tell me what the Captain has over you, that you act like a robot." "I'm not." "I've seen you without a mask and I know that you are human." He felt comforted by her words, but he could not let his guard down. "The Captain controls the ship and we do as he says. As far as I have known him, he knows all. I frel that I'm not even suppose to talk to you." "Why." "Because, he will most likely kill me before we even reach the New World. I promised my father that I would do anything to make it to the New World. I told him that I would get there for him." Zebulon made the cart go faster. He remember the moment that they had before, but he could not open up his heart to her. "Come on, we have to go." Zebulon and Archimeded took off in the cart, duct back into the ship and headed toward the control tower. She asked him a couple more questions. But, he never said a word to her for the rest of the ride. They made it to the station and stepped out of the cart. They took an elevator up to the control room. The elevator moved in a way, where the passengers could not tell what was up and what was down. It moved freely thorough various shafts and passages, until it stopped. Finally, Zebulon had brough Archimedes to the Captain. The door to the control room slid open and there he was, The Captain.

The Captain was waiting for his beloved by a large control panel of glowing lights. The Captain wore a white suit and he smiled as soon as he saw her face. Archimedes felt a revolting feeling in her stomach when she saw him. Shebhated him. She had not seen him, since they last saw each other on earth. But, the same feelings for him remained. "My dear what took you so long? I have missed you so much. There is Di much that we have to do." The Captain waited for her to walk over to him. But, she just stood there. she was no one's dog. Zebulon stayed at attention and a couple steps behind her. He waited for the Captain's next command like a good obedient dog. Archimedes walked over to the Captain and he embraced her so tightly that she could hardly breathe. He wanted to kiss her passionately, but she was not ready. So, she gave him her cheek instead. The Captain laughed about it. He was just testing her, to see if she had changed. He hoped that she would change her attitude towards him. He had given her so much. The Captain looked over at Zebulon and gave him an order. "Zebulon. Thank you for bringing her to me. Your job is done, you may go." Zebulon did not move. "Now Zebulon. You may go now." Zebulon interjected, "I'm not completely done Captain. I still have to dispose of the bodies in the hibernation chamber and I also have to clean up the corridor." "Don't worry about that. I had several of the robots take care of that. Your job is done." "What about the other guards. They were about to..." "...You don't have to worry about them or that.I saw everything that they did. I sent some robots after them. They will take care of them." The Captain stared at Archimedes. "They will never bother my love again. I took care of them, Zebulon." Zebulon turned around and stepped back into the elevator. Before the elevator doors slid closed, Archimedes took one last look at him. She wanted Zebulon to fight for her. But, he didn't and she did not know why. The Captain noticed Archimedes' look of longing. But, he dismissed it. Zebulon wasn't a threat to him and the power that he held. The elevators doors closed and Zebulon was gone. "At last, we're alone, my dear Archimedes. I've waited such a long time to be with you again."

She looked around the control room and noticed robots and droids constantly working at the illuminated controls panels. "So, I'm here. Herbert. What is it that you want." The way Archimedes said his name was disappointing to him. There was no love in her tone. However, he knew that he could change her mind, if he needed. If he wanted too, he could wipe her memory and just take advantage of her physical body. However, that was not the woman who he fell in love with. It was Archimedes' strong will that he loved. She was perfect for him. On the starship, he was a king and she would be his queen. That was the plan. "So, I'm here Herbert. What is it that you want?" She asked again. "Yes. Thank God. We are together again. I wanted to show you how much you mean to me. All this, the ship, the launch, the New World is for you. It is because of you that I am here. It is because if you that I am whole. You will be the queen of the New World and I will be the king." "What about my son? Is he alright?" "Your son?" The Captain almost forgot about the boy. He thought she would fall in line as he told her about of his plan for the New World. He scoffed at her for asking a silly question like that. But, he answered her. "Your son...he lived a wonderful life, with luxuries that people on earth only dreamed about. Everything that I promised to you, I delivered." "You said, lived? Is he not alive anymore? What happened to him. Please tell me what happened to my son." "Archimedes, it has been sometime since we last saw each other. It was at your apartment when we met. I think that's right." "Yes it is. Tell me what happened to him." "After you began conditioning for this voyage, I had your son placed in another home. In fact, he was quite happy about it." For a moment, Archimedes thought she heard his voice. The Captain continued. "It has been a long time since we left earth. During that time, Timothy grew up, went to school, made friends. Went to more school. Throughout his life we made sure that he did well in school, so that he could secure the best type of jobs. And he got one, a good paying one, right after high school." Archimedes swore that she heard her son's laugh.

"After the storm hit the planet, you know that there was only a hard life waiting for people . People don't last long on the surface, if they're not connected. So we fixed him up with a job and.." "How do you know this Herbert? For all I know, this story is just a fabrication." The Caprain smiled. God, he loved her rambunctiousnes. "That's true. But, I came prepared to show you that I'm not lying to you, not one bit." The Captain pointed to one of the large screens just outside the windows of the control room. The entire control room was surrounded by a screen that wrapped 360 degrees around it. The windows of the control room peered onto this screen. "Here my dear, look over here." A single life sparked to life. Archimedes saw an image of her son, Timothy, on the immense screen. It was a portrait of her son. She quickly went over to the window of the control room to take a closer. As she befan to run through the dark control room, the robots and machines continued working the controls of the ship, without pause. "Timothy?" She called to him. "Mom!" "Hi baby, are you okay?" Archimedes asked the boy. Then, she looked back at the Captain, "I though you said he was dead." Then she looked back at Timothy. "It's not really him, Archimedes. It's memory that was recorded along time ago. I saved it for you because I know how much you love him." Archimedes felt The Captain's cold hand on her shoulder. "How can I explain this to you..." "Just tell me the truth, Herbert." The Captaim continued in. "After you stepped out of Timothy's life to join me on this voyage, another woman took your place and stepped into Timothy's life. She took your place, as his mother." "How?" "The remarkable thing was that, she looked just like you. We didn't need any cosmetic surgery to make her fit the part. And for the tour of money I was paying her, she would have done anything." "Maybe you should have brought her. Instead of me."

"No one can ever replace you, Archimedes. Afterward. Everything sort of fell into place, as if this was always how it was meant to go." "How can you think like thid. That wasn't the right thing to do. You animal." "An animal? I'm quite far from that. I gave your son everything. In the end, he was a boy who became a man and lived a full life." "But, I'm his real mother. Only I could really live him." The Captain scoffed at that idea too. "I don't think that he even noticed the difference between his real mother and that woman. And I have proof." "How?" "The woman who took your place had a chip planted in her. With this chip, we were able to record every interaction that she had with your son. If she made your son laugh, then we caught it. Everything was recorded and stored in this chip inside her head." "Your a monster." "You may think so now. But, I like to think of myself, as evolved. Sort of like what the Russians called Homo-cosmica." "How long has it been, Herbert? How long have been out here in space." "It's been about three hundred years, my darling, since we left the moon. Of course, you don't remember, but we are still on course to reach the New World. It's just taken a little longer than what we had initially thought. You understand how things are here in space." "What am I suspose to do now?" "My dear Archimedes. You and I will keep the human race alive in the New World." Every time the Captain called her, my dear, she felt sick. However, a part of her didn't believe everything that came out of Captain's mouth. She felt sick and lost. She needed an anchor to ground in this world. She thought about Zebulon and the feeling that she had had before with him. Then, she thought about the revenge she would take upon the Captain for separating her from her son. Zebulon was the key.

ALSO BY EDGAR A. BAJAÑA DARK ROAD Before John Pierce became a hero to the world, he was a scrawny 15-year-old kid trapped inside the trunk of a speeding car heading down a Dark Road. EVE DREAMS AN UGLY BOY Ivan, a deformed tattoo artist, becomes obsessed with Evelyn who he sees only once on the train. Ivan must have her, no matter whose dreams he must destroy along the way. VICTORIA VICTORIA Actress. Psycho. Killer. Victoria Stern is a woman with a shadowy past drenched in blood, pursued by two private investigators, named Colossus and the Hound. Available  at Thank you for choosing to read this short story. Send comments, suggestions or feedback to:


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