Description: The third installment of “The Legend of V” series: Psycho Star Showdown! Join V, his brothers Z and D, his best friends Griff and Azilez, and new Omoh sapien friend Vizor on a journey to the Space Garden, a series of asteroids connected by a black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. They will unravel the secrets of the government-hidden Project Mutant, a research experiment disguised as the first manned space expedition designed to give humans supernatural abilities.
Absolute monarch, huh? That’s impressive, and she barely looks older than any of us. Maybe I should be studying royalty to be like her one day. I mean, this queen seems way better at her job than the king. I wonder how she became queen this young. That’s probably a touchy subject though, as typically, the queen’s mother has to die for that to happen. Better not ask ‘till the time’s right… if it’ll ever be right.
“Come along, everyone. I will give you a PROPER tour of Castle Kusondela.” The queen glares at King Veniss. He just puts his hands behind his head as if he’s on a hammock. “This way, please. Veniss, follow. I’ll teach you how to properly give tours of the castle again.” She guides her hand to where she came from. All of us follow up. “Be sure to follow only where I go. This castle has a peculiar… how should I put this… glitch.”
“What do you mean by that?” Azilez asks making sure her brush is still in her back pocket.
“It’s one of the consequences of being powered by a black hole. You see, occasionally, a dark blue-lit room will randomly appear in which there is nothing but a podium and a cassette tape. If you ever see this while in the castle, run back to the door in which you came. Otherwise, the black hole will consume you.”
“WHAT? That’s a big glitch.” Azilez’s heart skips a beat.
“Do not worry, for I can sense when this will happen because of my uncanny ability to manipulate light at will.”
“Wait, so that fireworks show when you greeted us wasn’t the staff’s doing? That was you?” Griff asks.
“Yes.” He shows approval and nods. “Now then, let me see…” She places her left hand on one of the diamond-shaped carpet doors. “This room is not glitched. Enter.”
“She’s so poised.” Azilez whispers to Vizor.
“So it would seem.” Vizor agrees, except he forgets to whisper.
“So it would seem… what?” Queen Neona slowly turns her head. “Umm…” Vizor freezes from the chills Neona sends down his spine. “Hahaha! Do not fret. I’m simply joking.” Huh. I didn’t expect that from
her. Who knew a monarch so commanding could have a decent sense of humor too? “Come, please. I insist.” She guides us with her hand once more.
Inside the almost opaque room, there seems to be a giant computer monitor with a few hundred smaller monitors surrounding it. At each small monitor, there is an employee with a bright yellow jumpsuit on with an orange biker helmet. The big computer screen seems to be depicting a radar map.
“What is this place?” I ask.
“Our military head. This is Star Security’s headquarters. You may have noticed the lack of anything other than houses outside of the castle.”
“Yeah, we did.” I reply.
“Well, that is because everything in our society is run through this castle. The black hole powers the castle, and the castle powers the houses and the people
within them. This proves to be an effective system because nothing in this universe can counteract a black hole. Not even light. It is the ultimate energy source.”
“How advanced!” Vizor is suddenly fascinated with the potential technology in the room.
– Hold on, Vizor. Griff interrupts. – This is the military headquarters, right? They might know about Project Mutant, and I’d say right now is the best time to ask.
– Keen senses, Griff. Thanks. “Excuse me, Queen Neona?”
“What troubles you, err… what are your names? Forgive me for not asking.” She bows.
“No trouble. My name is Vizor.” “I’m Azilez!”
“D. I love the flowers outside.” “Griff.”
“Hey! Aren’t you going to introduce us too, Griff?” His backpack moves by itself. He grabs the straps with both hands to make sure the backpack doesn’t fly off his shoulders.
“My, my. What do we have here?” The queen tilts her head.
“Uh… nothing, nothing!” Griff quickly shakes his hands.
“Are you certain? I’m positive I heard a sound emitting from your sack.” “All in your imagination!” Griff smiles. – Wisdom! Tell Speedy to shut up!
I don’t want the queen knowing about you five.
– Why is that? I see no harm in it.
– Just do it, please. Sorry I snapped. I just sort of panicked. – Very well. Murmur… murmur
“Oh okay. Sorry.” The Speed Prophecy actually whispers.
“All right then. If there is nothing of interest in the sack, I shall introduce you to our commander. Rod! Front and center.”
“Huff… puff… huff… puff. Yes, ma’am! Reporting for duty.” Rod salutes the queen. He’s wearing a different uniform from everyone else in the room. This consists of a dark green military jacket, probably to contrast the rest of the soldiers, a cap with a bright yellow star in the middle, and black cargo pants. He also has extremely long, silver hair that goes out in ten different directions. Now that’s a wild hairstyle, and that’s coming from me.
“Calm.” The queen raises her left hand. Rod slams his hand to his side. “What is the command, your majesty?”
“Nothing of dire importance. Merely to introduce yourself to our guests.” “Right away, ma’am! Hello everyone. I am Commander Rod, head of Star
Security. Are you enjoying your tour of the castle so far?” “Yes! Yes! Yes!” D jumps.
– Okay. My powers are broken. Griff concludes.
–Why do you say that? I ask.
– You can very clearly see that this commander is in a good mood, right?
– My powers are telling me that he has crippling depression.
– If I were you, I’d just ignore your powers here.
“So, commander. What do you generally protect your people from? I doubt
you get many visitors, being this close to a black hole.” Azilez asks. “Excellent question, miss. Our primary threat is our neighbors in the
“The Phantom Pipeline?” D asks.
“Yes. It is a world filled to the brim with derpy-looking gray ghosts. Lately,
many of them have been invading our territory, so it’s my job to lead the fight to drive them away.”
“Teehee. He said derpy.” Azilez chuckles.
“No seriously. That’s the most accurate description I can give those things. I have a picture of one. I can show you.” He reaches into his jacket pocket and finds a crumpled picture. He straightens it out and blows on it to make it more visible. “They all look the same by the way.” Would you look at that? He’s right. This ghost is a rounded trapezoid that has four droplet-like figures coming from the bottom of it. It kinda looks like snot that just won’t fall out of a nose. It also just has two big white circles for eyes and no mouth.
“I think it looks cute.” Azilez holds her brush in both hands.
“That’s really the only thing you can say about it?” Vizor rolls his eyes. “Where do they come from?” D asks.
“The Phantom Pipeline.” Rod replies.
“Oh no. I meant to say where is the way to the Phantom Pipeline? How do
they get here?”
“Ah! Excellent question. If I knew, I’d be at their territory. That’s actually
what we’re working on right now.”
“So that’s what the radar map is for?” I ask.
“Bingo, kid.” Rod puts his hands on his hips. “Your majesty. Might I ask
that I return to my position immediately?”
“Permission granted, commander.”
“Thank you, your majesty!” He salutes her once more and pants back to his
post at the main computer.
“I believe you have seen and heard everything the headquarters has to offer.
Shall we depart?”
“Please!” D tugs on her dress. The queen smiles in return. She taps D’s
wrist with her staff, signaling him to stop tugging.
“So where are we now?” I ask. It looks like some sort of factory. 100-foot- tall steel supporters erupt from the ground to the ceiling. The temperature in here
is colder than the foyer and Star Security’s headquarters. I eye some laborers in loose white suits that seem to be packaging that tough orange fluid I saw everyone drinking earlier.
“This is the Manufacturing Operative.” Queen Neona responds. “All items that my people require are made in this room.”
“This factory doesn’t seem too big considering it makes everything for your people.” Griff points out. “How much do your people need exactly?”
“Well,” the queen adjusts her posture, “in terms of food, hardly anything. Syrusima is all they need to thrive.”
“Seee-rooo-sym-uh?” Vizor tries pronouncing that, syllable by syllable.
“Your people only eat one thing for their whole lives?” Azilez looks like she’s seen a ghost. “I’d rather suffer purgatory!”
“Hahaha! You amuse me, Azilez.” The queen lets out a child’s laugh. “But in all seriousness, Syrusima contains all the nutritional value my people need. And it can be mass-produced. Not a soul in the Space Garden has gone hungry ever since my team came up with this concoction.”
“We should tell the people back home about this. It’ll solve world hunger!” Griff gets excited.
“I’m afraid not.” Neona’s face dips. “The ingredient for this to be made can only be found in the Ophoozi Flower. These flowers can only grow here in the Space Garden and their properties arise from a combination of the black hole powering Castle Kusondela and the meteorites they grow on. I’m sorry, but getting Syrusima to the humans on Earth would be an impossibility.”
“Aw…” Griff’s internal light bulb turns off.
The queen then shows us what other types of products they make in the Manufacturing Operative, from furniture, to clothes, and even to the houses that the people here live in. Then we reach the magnetic section.
“What are those?” I ask, pointing.
“Ah yeah! Dude, check this out.” Veniss finally speaks. He runs up to one of the scientists and snatches a “U”-shaped magnet. He flicks the switch on the arc of the magnet, and it turns on. Everything in the room starts to get pulled in by its magnetic pulse.
“Veniss! Turn it off, this instant!” Neona snaps at him.
“’K, geez, sis.” He flicks the switch in the other direction and we all stop. “You’re no fun at all sometimes.”
“That’s because I actually know how to take my job seriously!” Neona barks. Veniss squints but doesn’t stop smiling.
“What just happened?” D’s eyes widen.
“That is our latest project. Infusing the properties of a black hole inside a magnet. Although, the magnet cannot consume objects, it can attract anything to it.”
“That’d be an amazing weapon in battle.” Vizor points out. “Let all of your enemies come to one area then drop this on them to ensure they can’t move. Finally, annihilate all of them at once with a large explosive.”
“It seems someone is well versed in the field of battle.” Neona smirks. “Yes, it can be used that way. Though, they are difficult to make. That is one of the few we have created so far out of a few thousand attempts.”
“What do you do with the ones that don’t work?” D asks.
“Well, a few years ago, we collected all the defects in a pod and sent it to the Asteroid Belt of your solar system.”
Wait a second. Magnets in the Asteroid Belt? I’ve heard that before! “I think your magnets may have formed sentient life forms, your majesty.”
“What causes you to think that, V?” She crosses her arms.
“About two months ago, while on an adventure, Griff and I stumbled upon a race of floating magnets in the Asteroid Belt on a small, magnetic planet called Zapzoid. Their planet was destroyed by artificial means, but the remains were
taken near San Francisco and built upon. It became its own city called Zaptropolis.”
“Good heavens! Are you certain they’re magnets? And are you certain they are sentient?”
“100 percent yes to both of those questions, your majesty.”
“Then it seems I must send a team to investigate. Thank you for the information.”
“Not a problem.”
“Anyway, it is best we not get too distracted from the tour. Come, there is more to see.”
Next, we go through a door that leads us above a place that has the architecture of a theatre, but the structure of a courthouse. A shiny, wooden witness stand, a marble tile floor with a picture of the sun on it, two wooden attorney benches, and a protruded judge’s chair. We can see that a trial is going on but can’t hear anything because of a thick, glass dome in front of us.
“What you are seeing now is the work of the Absolute Court. This is where criminals, both domestic and foreign, are tried for the crimes they are accused of, as it is the only court in the Space Garden.”
“What’s going on in there now?” Vizor asks.
“I suppose it’s… a foreign case. It seems the Phantom Pipeline is still a problem here. When you leave the castle today, I will have the king escort you to your quarters to ensure safety.”
“How nice of you! Thanks!” Azilez claps her hands together.
“Since the trial is currently in session, we cannot observe for long, so come. We wouldn’t want to distract them, would we?”
“No, miss!” D tries his best to sound official.
“And this is the end of the tour.” Neona opens the final door. “This is my private quarters.”
“How extravagant! How big are those Corinthian columns? What type of canvas is that painting of you made of? What is…” Azilez can’t contain her questions.
“I see you like my choice in design, Azilez?” The queen detects. “ABSOLUTELY! I could study this room for days.”
“Calm down, tiger. We should let the queen get back to her business. She is
a QUEEN after all.” Griff holds Azilez’s shoulder.
“Y’know? You’re right. Bye, your majesty!”
“Please, call me Neona. No need for such formalities.”
“Okay! Bye Neona.”
“Thanks for the tour. It was awesome!” D tugs her dress again.
“Not a problem, little D.” She bends down and taps his forehead with his
staff. D giggles and runs back to me. “Veniss!” “’Sup?”
“Please escort our guests to their quarters.” She reaches for her bedside drawer, takes out some sticky notes, tears one off, and clicks a pen open. She scribbles some directions then thrusts the scrap of paper into Veniss’s hands.
“You got it, sis.”
“Excellent. Now if you’d excuse me, I have some military matters to attend to.”
By Varak Kaloustian
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