Friday, May 1, 2015

X Meets Y Again

This week's Flash Fiction Challenge is to create a mash-up of two different things, using a Random Number Generator.   The RNG gods are smiling on me today; I have the honor of presenting Terminator meets Lord of the Flies (but not in the literal sense -- I created my own characters and setting).

The Horrific Things One Sometimes Encounters While On an Island Paradise

   Zach's parents were taking him on a cruise to the Bahamas to celebrate his grades and his 14th birthday.  He couldn't wait.
   The cruise started off well enough with buffets and pools with waterslides.  He even met Leslie, the prettiest girl he'd ever known.  She asked him to come to the teen club with her.
   Zach and Leslie had a blast at the exclusive youth club, chatting and watching other kids play video games.
   That's when things went horribly wrong.
   "Hey, guys," the cruise staff member said.  "I just wanted to give you a heads up -- you might feel the ship rock a little.  There's an unexpected storm outside.  But don't worry!  We've got everything under control!"
   The teens shrugged, then went about their playtime.  The boat started rocking more and more violently.  Leslie and Zach held on to each other, terrified of what would happen next as they crouched against the wall.  Everything went dark, and that's when the panic really began.  The ship was rolling around, tossing everything around (except the furniture, which was thoughtfully bolted down).
   The next thing Zach remembered was waking up on a beach.  He looked around and found Leslie draped over the broken remains of a chair.
   She started coughing and spitting sea water.  He ran to help her.
   "Hey!  Are you OK?"
   "I think," she rasped between wheezes.  "What happened?"
   "A storm hit us.  Hard.  The last thing I remember," Zach said as he helped her steady herself," is the ship rocking back and forth.  Stuff was flying everywhere, and everyone was tumbling all over the place.  There was a lot of blood."
   "OHMYGOD," Leslie gasped.  "Where are my parents?!? Where are your parents?!?"
   "I don't know," Zach admitted.  "You're the only other person I've seen since I woke up on this beach."
   "Where are we, anyway?  What is this place?"
   "I don't know.  Let's see if there's anyone else."
   Days passed.  Weeks passed.  They continued on their search, eating whatever tropical fruit they could find, and catching water in enormous banana leaves to drink.
   In mid-afternoon one day, Zach suddenly took off running.
   "I think I see someone," he called back.  Leslie matched his pace, and the two quickly arrived upon a makeshift encampment comprised of broken pieces from the ship.
   As they looked for signs of life, two barrel-chested teen boys stepped in front of them, like underaged bouncers at an oddly themed night club.
   "Whoa!  Where did you two come from," Zach asked.
   "We didn't see either of you on the island -- where did you come from," asked the guard with a bright shock of red hair.
   "I'm Zach, and she's Leslie.  We came from the other end of the mountain," Zach replied, pointing.
   "Oh, of course," the boy said.  "We have been searching for survivors, but we haven't covered the entire island yet.  There hasn't been any sign of civilization, either.  No buildings, no roads, nothing."
   He leered at Leslie.  "We also didn't know if there were any female survivors anywhere."
   Leslie moved closer to Zach.
   "Brock will be pleased," the other said with a sardonic grin.  "We'll take you to him."
   The two guards took Zach and Leslie by the arms and let them further into the camp.
   They entered a large tepee made of large metal scraps with an enormous piece of carpet for a door.  Salvaged sofas and tables were arranged throughout, and a tall, brawny boy stood in the center, wearing an ill-fitting bellhop's jacket over his bare chest.  The guards announced Zach and Leslie's names.
   "I'm glad we found more survivors," Brock said, oozing with charm.  "The only people who survived that storm, that we've seen at least, were in the teen club tower.  It seems the structure protected us while the rest of the ship was destroyed.
   "The boys and I have constructed this place to shelter us.  You are more than welcome to stay here.  The boys are staying in the small tepees you passed on the way here."
   He looked Leslie up and down.
   "You can stay with me tonight," Brock said to the trembling ingenue.  "I could really use some female company."
   Zach puffed his chest out, placing himself between Brock and Leslie.
   "I don't think she wants to do that."
   "don't remember offering that as a choice," Brock sneered.  A dark pall came over his face as he stood toe-to-toe with Zach.
   As Leslie backed away toward the door, the guards grabbed her.
   "What's wrong, Leslie?  Do you think you're too good for us," Brock oozed.
   "Let go of me!"
   One of the guards put a hand over her mouth, whispering for her to relax as she struggled to get away.
   Zach pushed Brock away, then charged toward the guards.
   "One step closer and we kill her, right here."
   One of the guards kissed her cheek, sneering arrogantly at Zach.
   "Hey, I know you're all eager to get to know Leslie," Zach said, "but I found her first.  I'm willing to share her, after tonight."
   Leslie looked at Zach with total surprise.
   "All I'm asking for is tonight.  If I hadn't saved her, she wouldn't even be here."
   After a moment, Brock reluctantly nodded, and the guards released Leslie.
   "You can sleep in the mud hut, but after tonight, she's mine," Brock sneered.
   Leslie sighed with relief, and took Zach's hand as they slowly walked toward the door.
   "One more thing," Brock said.
   The two froze, nervously awaiting Zach's next words.
   "We want a show.  You have to keep the doors and windows open so we can see everything that's going on.  There isn't any porn out here, and my guys are getting a little stir-crazy."
   Leslie and Zach exchanged looks of apprehension, but he knew there would be no way around it.  Leslie, nodded, then lowered her eyes.
   "It's a deal," Zach said.
   The guards showed them to the hut, and they eagerly sat down on the first comfortable sofa they had seen since the ship capsized.
   "Leslie," Zach said with sincerity in his eyes. "I know this isn't exactly what you would have wanted, but I promise I'll take care of you.  I won't let them hurt you."
   The boys started gathering outside.  Zach looked out and counted, there were about 12 of them, all armed and lecherous.  He had no hope of fighting them.  He and Leslie would have to escape after the rest of the camp was asleep.
   "I've never done this," she whispered.
   "It's OK, I haven't either."
   He smiled shyly, then gently pulled Leslie in for a kiss.  She wrapped her arms around him and pressed her body against his.  The vulgar audience cheered, then started yelling explicit instructions, which Zach completely ignored.
   "Just focus on me.  I'll get us out of here tonight," Zach whispered.  "In the meantime, I'll try not to hurt you."
   Leslie nodded, then slowly took off her clothes.  More cheers.  She kept her eyes on Zach, who disrobed quickly, then held Leslie close.  He kissed her passionately and lowered her down to the couch, ignoring the crude onlookers.  For now, nothing else in the world existed.  It was just Zach and Leslie; everything else fell away.
   Zach tried as much as he could to keep his promise to be gentle as he made love to her.  It was over entirely too soon.
   Zach spooned Leslie, whispering his plans of escape as he kissed her neck.  "I know this is scary, but I promise I'll get us out of here."
   Leslie nodded.
   Her quiet sobs eventually gave way to slumber.  Zach stayed awake, strategizing a way to get out.  A different set of guards watched the camp by night.
   Zach crept up behind one guard as the other walked the perimeter.  He threw him to the ground, grabbed a huge rock and bashed the guard's head in, blood spattering in all directions.
   The other guard was making his way back.  Zach hid behind a tree, holding the rock with both hands.  The guard saw the feet of his friend lying supine on the ground.
   "Hey, wake up!"
   The guard moved closer to his friend, trying to wake him.  It wasn't long before he saw what remained of the head.  Zach prepared to deliver the same fate met by the other guard.
   What Zach didn't bargain for was a fallen tree branch lying in the darkness, waiting to be tripped over.  Which he did.
   Zach fell head first toward the ground, hitting his head on the rock.  He blacked out.
   He opened his eyes to see the boys gathered around Leslie.  She was naked and tied to a tree, muffled sobs barely escaping her gagged mouth.  Tears streamed down her face as her eyes met Zach, silently begging him for help.
   He struggled against the cords that bound his hands and feet.  He, too, was gagged.  The boys noticed him squirming, and started mocking him.  He watched in helpless despair as Brock approached Leslie and pinched her nipples, licking her face as he looked at Zach with perverse glee.
   Suddenly, an explosive blast pierced through the camp.  Brock stood in front of Leslie, protecting his new toy.  Zach looked up to see the tree Leslie was tied to was knocked down, as Brock lay a in bloody mess.
   Zach looked up to see a man with a huge shotgun -- wait, that couldn't be a man, he thought; pieces of flesh were peeled back to reveal a metal skeleton.  The boys ran toward the intruder in vain attempts to stop him.  Spears that pierced his skin halted as they hit the metal beneath.  The intruder staked the offending camp members.  Another boy ran at him with a knife.  The robot reached through the boy's chest and pulled out his still-beating heart, seconds before his lifeless body collapsed.
   Zach closed his eyes and prepared himself for his own certain death.
   A tap on his shoulder caused him to jolt and turn around.  It was Leslie, wearing Brock's jacket over her otherwise naked body.  She cut through the rope, freeing him.
   "Come on, Zach," she whispered.  "Let's GO!"
  "Did they hurt you," Zach whispered.
   "No, but they were about to," she replied.
   He took her hand and they ran as fast as they could, away from the living nightmares.
   They crashed right into another robot disguised as a human.  It stood unfazed as Zach and Leslie both stumbled back, falling to the ground.  He extended his hands to help them up.
   "Come with me if you want to live."
   The good robot lifted his gun toward the killer robot and fired.  The other robot was knocked off his feet, artificial flesh melting off metal skeleton.  The good robot took them to a mountain with a very narrow pathway to the top, and a clear view of any intruders.  A large boulder provided a hiding place, should the need arise.
   That night they set up camp.  The good robot explained everything.  It and the other robot are called "Terminators," created by a company in the future called "Skynet."  Terminators are used to enslave mankind as artificial intelligence takes over the planet.
   What everyone thought was a storm was actually a rupture in the fabric of space and time, caused by the other Terminator, a "Z" series model.  Its mission was to kill Zach and Leslie, because their child would grow up to lead mankind's revolution against the machines, and be the savior of all humanity.
   The good Terminator, a "T-800" model, followed the Z series in the same rift, so as to not draw attention.  It told had scanned Leslie's body and determined she had already been impregnated.
   The T-800 would build a boat to get Zach and Leslie to safety the next day, and he assured the two he would keep guard overnight.
   Zach and Leslie kissed, and made love for the second time before they fell asleep in each other's arms.
   The next morning, they woke up to the sounds of the T-800 assembling a boat on the beach below.  They couldn't wait to get back to civilization and away from the nightmares.  It wasn't long before the boat was finished.
   Before they left the island, Leslie needed to use the bathroom.
   "I'll go with you," Zach said.  He didn't want to risk her and the baby getting hurt.
   As they returned to the boat and the T-800, they could tell something wasn't right.  They emerged from the foliage to see a few dead bodies strewn around on the beach, and the T-800's head severed from his body.  Apparently, there were other survivors from last night's attack.
   The daytime guards and two other boys surrounded Zach and Leslie.
   "You thought you were going to leave us, didn't you?"  The redheaded guard sneered.
   The other boys were circling Leslie like hyenas with a weak gazelle.
   A bullet pierced the redhead's skull.  He fell to the ground.
   The T-800's body was still moving, and still determined to carry out its mission to protect Zach and Leslie.  Just then, the Z model emerged, ready to collect his bounty.
   Zach punched one of the boys encircling Leslie as the others stood in confusion and shock.  He took her by the hand, and they ran back to the mountain, leaving behind a cacophony of terrified screams.
   They held each other, trembling and crying at the mountain top.
   "I promised I would get us out of here, and I will do everything I can to uphold that promise, Leslie," Zach assured as he stroked her hair.  "I love you, Leslie."
   "I love you too, Zach," Leslie said, then kissed him, holding on for dear life.
   Their intimate moment was over just as soon as it began.  Zach could sense something coming.
   He motioned for Leslie to crouch down as he looked over the edge.  The Z model's hands had morphed into hooks, and he was climbing up the side of the mountain.  Zach moved to the other side of the boulder, using all his adrenaline-fueled strength to protect his new family.
   He pushed it off the side, and watched it knock the Z model off the mountain, then crush it on the ground below.  Zach looked at Leslie with relief.  He couldn't believe it was over.  Now, they could finally leave.
   Leslie's eyes fixed on his with equal parts love and eagerness for the life they would share.  Her expression quickly changed to complete terror.  Zach opened his mouth, about to ask what it was, before he felt a presence behind him.
   It was the Terminator.  It had liquefied itself on the way down, and survived being flattened by the boulder.  Leslie screamed in horror as its hand morphed into an icepick and ran through Zach's chest.
   Leslie pulled something out of her pocket the T-800 gave to her the night before.
   "Your priority is to protect the child growing inside you," it had told her.  "The fate of mankind is in your hands."
   Leslie's hands shook as she realized what the token was.  The polyurethane-encased red button on the top was a detonator.
   She looked at Zach, who was fighting for his life.  The killing machine had him in its grip, and would soon take Leslie's life and that of her child, if she didn't act fast.
   Looking into the eyes of her first love, Leslie whispered, "I love you, Zach.  I'll never forget you."
   Zach understood.  A tear ran down his cheek as he silently said goodbye.
   Leslie pushed the button, shoved the device into Zach's mouth and pushed him and the Terminator off the cliff.  The mountain shook as he and the Terminator exploded in mid-air.  Leslie dodged the flaming projectile that flew toward her head.
   Fire spread quickly through the trees, too quickly for her to stop it.  It would be a matter of time before the entire island was engulfed.  She climbed down the mountain to see what remained of the boat.  Miraculously, it was intact.
   Rowing away from the island inferno, Leslie knew this was just the beginning of a war that was soon to come.

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