The blistering sun hung in the sky. Heat rays beat violently against the sand. Searing wind gusted across the desert. Only sand stretched for miles. Sand and Cletus. Sweat and grit filled Cletus’s glorious mane. His head bobbed up and down as his camel trotted through the desert. Cletus wore only a white cloth around his groin. Sometimes, Cletus talked to his camel. Other times, he stopped to chat with corpses in desert pits. Cletus lost track of the last time he had spoken with another person.
In the distance, Cletus saw exactly what he needed. A large stone building stood in the sand. Cletus kicked the camel’s side and forced the animal to go as fast as possible. The camel grunted and spat. It pushed its limits. Pain built in his arms and legs as Cletus held on for the ride. Before sundown, Cletus stood before the rectangular building. Cletus shouted at the building, but no one came out to answer his calls. Pounding on the walls garnered no response either.
The building had no door. The immortal caveman climbed the walls. Cletus savagely used his disgusting, inch-long fingernails and even his teeth to cling to the stone surface as he struggled upward. The wall had no uniformity with stones and bricks sticking out in numerous directions. The chaos provided endless places to grasp the wall, but made the climb more challenging. On top of the building Cletus found no entrance, but instead a corpse.
“You’ve finally made it here, Cletus,” the corpse said as it turned around to face Cletus
The corpse had long, brown hair and a matching beard. Red light filled its right eye. Belts of what seemed to be shot gun shells crisscrossed the corpse’s chest. “I’ve come to kill you Cletus,” the zombie said. “You were given the great and powerful gifts of super intelligence and immortal life by Buddha. You are an abomination and threaten the Christian way of life. So, I, Jesus, have come to stop you before you can do any more harm.”
Cletus tried to talk. It took several attempts before his unused voice could finally produce any sounds. “Am I supposed to know who you are?” Cletus asked.
“I am Jesus Christ,” the zombie said. “I am the Messiah of the Christian people.”
Cletus slapped his dirty forehead and pushed sand and sweat into his hair. “I still have no idea who you are.”
“I am Jesus!” the zombie shouted. “I’m here now because I must destroy you to protect the future of the world.”
Zombie Jesus vomited a massive sword into his left hand. Wiping the rotten chunks of flesh from the blade, the corpse lunged at Cletus. Cletus rolled away from the zombie’s attack. Jesus ran at Cletus again. Zombie Jesus brought the blade over his head and came down with a heavy stroke. Cletus dodged again, barely avoiding the blade. Jesus’ sword struck the roof so hard the blade stuck into the smooth stone. Zombie Jesus tugged at the sword, but the blade would not come loose. With a crazed yell, he turned to Cletus and launched a massive laser beam out of his right eye. Cletus jumped through the air to escape the red beam almost completely unscathed except for a singed beard.
“Holy shit!” Cletus shouted. “Did you just shoot fire from your eyes? Are you some new god?”
“I told you,” Zombie Jesus said. “I am Jesus Christ. I am the body of God.”
Zombie Jesus shot another beam at Cletus. The caveman dodge the blast. Cletus had fought many gods and monsters, but none that could shoot jets of fire from their eyes. Cletus charged at Zombie Jesus, tackling the corpse off the building. As they descended, Jesus’ green-grey skin slipped off under the weight of Cletus’s grip. Cletus fell away from Jesus as the zombie’s flesh peeled completely off.
Cletus landed on his back, cursing loudly as he rolled through the sand. A few feet away, Zombie Jesus landed with a loud crash and an electric sizzle, throwing sand into the air.
Cletus dragged himself to his feet. Approaching Zombie Jesus, Cletus asked, “What the hell are you?”
Zombie Jesus stood on one leg. Jesus’ other foot hanged from his knee by a bundle of loose wires and flaps of rotting skin. Half the flesh on his face peeled away, revealing a metallic skeleton. Sparks and oil spurted from his wounds. He turned his glowing red eyes on Cletus.
Zombie Robot Jesus pulled a shotgun from his mouth. As he began to load the weapon with shells from the belt around his shoulder, Jesus said, “I already told you that I am Jesus Christ. In the future, after my second coming, the word has gone to Hell. Gay marriage, women making money, polyester, and people eating lobster are everywhere. Death, war, famine and disease plague the world. I believe this was caused by you. You and your descendants. I was modified, given the ability to fight against something like you and sent back in time to defeat you before your progeny can ruin the world.”
Zombie Robot Jesus hopped on his remaining leg toward Cletus. The caveman pulled a pin from his ear that sprang to the size of a baseball bat. Cletus raised his club in the air and screamed at the top of his lungs. He charged forward. Jesus aimed the shotgun at Cletus and pulled the trigger. Jesus pumped round after round at the caveman. Cletus ignored the horrible pain that racked his body with every spray of shotgun pellets. In seconds, Cletus slammed Zombie Jesus to the ground. Cletus’s club smashed into Jesus’ chest with a loud, metallic thunk. A steamy green fluid poured out of the gaping hole in the robot’s chest. The robotic zombie laughed as a loud beeping noise began to sound off from inside of his body. “That sound is my self-destruct sequence,” Zombie Robot Jesus smiled. “in less than a minute, I’m going to explode. You can’t possibly run far enough to survive it.”
Ignoring the blood pouring from the many holes in his body, Cletus stumbled over to Zombie Robot Jesus. Squaring himself up with the robot, Cletus drew his club up behind his right shoulder and brought it down and back up in a wide arc. Zombie Robot Jesus soared into the air. Seconds later a bright, blue explosion filled the sky.
Cletus struggled to drag himself back to his camel. He wanted to ignore his wounds and keep pushing forward. The caveman collapsed in the sand. His blood poured over the sand even after he lost consciousness.
A shadow swept over Cletus. The shadow’s owner grabbed the dying caveman by the shoulders and pulled Cletus away through the desert.
Pain and cold coursed through his body. Opening his eyes, Cletus discovered himself in a tank of bubbling, blue gel. A vast array of tubes and probes ran into his body through every imaginable orifice. Cletus remembered little, only that he had been sure he was dying. Cletus tore all the random intrusions from his body. He fought his way to the top of the tank. He found a small seam in the metal. Cletus struggled against the metal until he finally heard the low hiss of air decompressing. The lid of the tank slid open. Cletus burst out of the gel, flailing about and trying to scream, but could only gurgle against the gel still in his throat. Flinging himself over the tank’s side, Cletus vomited a pool of the blue gel onto the steel floors. Cletus crumpled onto the ground in a fit of coughing nakedness.
Once Cletus finished convulsing, he got to his feet and cautiously explored the area. Flashing lights covered the shiny, cold metal walls. Electric beeps echoed in the empty room. As Cletus passed a section of wall, the smooth metal opened and revealed a hallway. Cletus stepped into the hallway and ran. Down the corridor, he could hear strange noises. As Cletus rounded a corner, his eyes fell upon three disgusting creatures. They stood tall and slender with an extra joint in their legs. The beasts had cloven feet. Each hand sported four, ridiculously long fingers. The creatures hunched at their shoulders. Their necks extended forward at least two feet, ending in a lizard-like head. Metal plates attached to their grey bodies at random points.
One of the lizards noticed Cletus. The caveman turned and ran. The monsters chased Cletus through the metal halls. The creatures gained on him as he struggled to turn down another hallway. As the group of beasts stomped around the turn, one of them snatched at Cletus’s shoulder. Cletus grabbed the creature’s wrist and flipped it over his head. The thing dented the floor as it smashed into the ground. Cletus jumped at the one closest to him, latching onto its armor and biting its throat. Leaping off of that lizard, Cletus kicked the next one, crushing its chest plate. The kicked lizard flew across the hall.
Cletus gathered himself off the cold floor and continued running. He made turns at random and pushed harder when he heard the lizards restart their pursuit. Cletus kept running until he came to a window. The view made his heart stop pounding in his chest. From the window, Cletus could see Earth and the moon and all the stars. He stood in awe, staring as his home. Moments later, one of the aliens tackled him. Cletus’s head smacked the ground. The last thing he remembered was a flash of blinding white.
A soft glow filled his eyes as Cletus slowly woke. He sat in a small, empty room. As far as he could see the room lacked any way in or out. Cletus flew into a fit of rage and pounded against the metal walls, trying to break free. With a horrible scream, he rammed his head against a wall hard enough to tear his forehead open. Blood sprayed across the stainless metal room. Crimson ran down his face, matting his hair and beard.
Cletus slumped on the floor. To his side, a square in the wall slid open. A small, grey head with huge, black eyes poked out of the hole. The tiny alien glared at the caveman. Cletus reached out to grab the thing, but it spoke to him.
“Do not harm me,” the alien said. “I am the one that saved you after your battle with the cyborg on the planet’s surface. I brought you here to heal you. I can free you from this cell and return you to your planet. In return though, I must ask a favor from you.”
“You only brought me here to help you,” Cletus said. “Look where your selfishness got me.”
“As you can see, I am small and weak in comparison to the ones who control this ship,” the alien replied. “These creatures are a race known as the Mintakans. My planet is at war with them. This ship is believed to contain vital information about how to destroy the source of their near limitless power. If my people can destroy those structures, the Mintakans will be crippled. The information should be accessible from the bridge of this ship. I just need your brute strength to aid me in getting there.”
Cletus said, “Just get me the hell out of here, and I’ll do whatever you need,”
The alien disappeared into his tunnel. Cletus crawled into the small space and followed the alien. The tunnel led to a large room filled with mountains of demolished junk. Cletus waded through thick sludge that flooded the room as he followed the small alien. A robot rolled up next to Cletus. One large red orb tilted to look the caveman in the eye. Cletus crushed the tiny robot. The act of violence slightly lifted his spirits.
The small alien rummaged through several piles of trash, gathering a large bundle of assorted metal. The small alien assaulted Cletus with the junk collection, strapping metal bits to the caveman. Cletus watched out of curiosity. Soon the little alien had outfitted Cletus with rusted, beat-up armor identical to the Mintakans’. The small alien handed him what looked like the hilt of a sword with a thin antenna coming from the top rather than a blade. “What the hell is this?” Cletus asked.
“It’s a beam sword,” the alien said.
“It doesn’t look like a sword.”
“Press the button on the top.”
Cletus examined the handle. He found a small switch close to the cross guard. He flicked it to the side with his thumb. Instantly, a blazing blade of energy appeared.
“Can this cut through the metal walls?” Cletus asked.
“Quite easily,” the alien said.
“Good,” Cletus said with a sinister grin.
Cletus threw the small alien onto his shoulder and bolted for the nearest wall. He cut a hole in the metal and kept running. The tiny alien tugged at the hair on the sides of Cletus’s head to lead Cletus around. As the Mintakans attacked Cletus, he slaughtered them as quickly as possible before continuing to run away. Soon, the little alien brought Cletus to a halt in front of a massive door.
“This is a bridge,” the alien said. “Here I will be able to access the ship’s computer.”
Cletus stabbed the beam sword into the thick door and slowly cut out a hole large enough for him to climb through. Avoiding the molten metal that surrounded the edges of the opening, Cletus stepped into the bridge. Keyboards, monitors, and chairs covered the room. A large window opened to space at the front of the room. In the center, a massive chair sat atop a raised platform. Slowly, the chair spun around to face the intruders. A very large Mintakans clad in golden armor adorned with jewels sat in the chair.
“I’ve been waiting for you, ape,” the Mintakan said. “I am the commander of this vessel. You’ve proven to be a very annoying presence upon my ship. I see you’ve brought with you a Centaurian. It is unfortunate that you would ally yourself with my enemies. You monkey, with enough strength to stand against the great Mintakans, would be a useful tool.”
“Why are you on my planet?” Cletus asked as the small alien slipped off his back and into the shadows.
“The Mintakan civilization has survived for a great time. We dominate the universe,” the commander said. “We store energy in massive units the size of stars. Mintakans travel from planet to planet throughout the universe. Upon each planet, we slowly drain the planet of the energy it needs to sustain itself, turning it into a wasteland that cannot harbor life. We use the stored energy for all of our needs. We will build devices on your planet to harvest that energy. When your planet has been bled dry, it shall die just like its nearby sister.”
Cletus roared like a wild animal. Cletus attacked the commander. The alien defended himself with a staff, somehow blocking the beam sword with the metal pole. Cletus threw the beam sword away and pulled his magic staff from his ear. Cletus and the commander fought ferociously.
In the chaos, the tiny, grey alien climbed into the commander’s chair. With his three small fingers, the little alien accessed the commander’s chair, hacking into the ship’s computer. He spent several minutes punching out commands on the keypad while watching a small screen that had dropped down from the ceiling.
While the Centaurian searched for the information he desired, Cletus and the Mintakan commander continued to assault each other. Their skill and brute strength matched perfectly. The commander swiped at Cletus’s legs with the staff. Dodging the blow, Cletus luckily drove his staff into the commander’s chest. The commander collapsed to the ground. With a strained laugh, he pressed a sequence of buttons into a pad on his wrist.
“I may be dead, but that doesn’t matter,” the commander said. “I’ve activated the ship’s ion cannons. The weapons are powerful enough to obliterate your entire planet.”
The commander continued to laugh until the he regressed into a coughing mess. The coughing slowly faded to the commander struggling to breathe until he finally died. Cletus turned away from the Mintakan and looked at the small alien. A red glow filled the entire bridge.
“I have attempted to shut down the ion cannons,” the Centaurian said. “However, I am unable to do so. I have activated the ship’s self-destruct sequence in hopes that the ship will be destroyed before the cannon is fully charged.”
“Wouldn’t that still destroy Earth?” Cletus asked.
“I’m afraid that it would,” the alien replied. “That is why I’ve also set a course to a distant point in space and began powering up the ship’s warp drive. Hopefully, I will also be able to return you to the planet’s surface before the ship enters hyperspace.”
“Why would you do this for me?” Cletus asked. “Won’t you die if you stay on the ship?”
“Of course I will,” the alien said. “I have served my purpose though. I collected the intelligence and transmitted it to my leaders. I am no longer needed.”
Through the window in the bridge, the stars began to look as if they were moving away from the ship.
“The ship is about to make the jump into hyperspace,” the Centaurian said. “I’m sending you now, creature of Earth. Farewell.”
Light and electricity swirled around Cletus. Then, a blinding flash engulfed him. When the light cleared, Cletus sat naked and alone in a grassy field.