By Jacob M & Blake J
There are many stories about the legend Kurifa. Some say that he came from the center of the universe to save the galaxy from Traka. Others say that he came from the first planet, and that he’s older than time itself. But those are all wrong. He’s actually from the edge of the galaxy, grew up poor, and started saving the galaxy at age fifteen, when he made the stupidest decision of his life. There were also small stupid decisions along the way, but we’ll get into that later.
You may think I’m wrong, but I know I’m right.
Because I’m him.
Take it all in. You are about to read the true story of what happened. So take all those dumb (some are cool, though) legends, stories, or whatever, and throw them all away. Well, you can remember the cool ones if you want.
So, let’s start from the beginning.
I was born on the planet Greequa, in Death Sector. It’s actually called Sector B-81, but basically everyone who lives on the seven planets there stays there until death, since it’s probably the poorest Sector in the Galaxy.
So, you know, naturally growing up, all I could think of was getting up and just flying away.
It started when my parents told me that there were more than just these seven planets in the galaxy, and there were other Sectors, and even other Galaxies somewhere, faraway. I was four, so this was pretty big news to me. It was bad news, though, when I learned that the only people that made it away from Greequa were the richest people. And for being the poorest Sector, my parents were poorer than most, I was crushed.
So, after that, I always tried to work hard when it came to doing chores and stuff around the house, which was more like four walls with a sun roof the size of the whole roof.
I started a little garden at age eight, which I then started to sell some plants to people to make some extra money My parents already both worked two jobs, but I had an older sister named Sil.
Sil was eighteen at the time, and worked one job, but had to take me with her. She was actually completely fine with it, since we had a good relationship. And that all changed when I first found out about the wrath of Traka.
It was a bright, sunny day, even though it was the middle of winter. I was fifteen and was now working full-time at Sil’s job, which was restocking the local market. I would help her, and we would joke around and do some fun things.
At that moment, we had been carrying some heavy boxes to one market vendor, when the sky grew suddenly dark. I looked up and I saw it:
After that day, the name Death Sector had a whole new meaning. The number of people that died that day is probably around three million.
The Dreadnought, without warning, started shooting the seven planets in Death Sector. I immediately ran for cover, which happened to be nowhere, so I just kept running, and running, and running, until I couldn’t run anymore.
I collapsed in a small field, giant lasers hitting the ground all around me, when I finally thought of Sil. Then the dropship came.
It looked like the Dreadnought, but smaller. It was about ten feet above the ground, when I finally saw the Grintings.
They were horrid, disgusting beasts that were brown and had spikes down their backs, and large claws that freaked me out. The one I guessed that was the leader (and I guessed right) wore black armor and had a war hammer in one hand, and an assault rifle in the other. I started to lie down in the grass, trying to hide myself when one of the Grintings saw me and attacked me. I still have the scar on my left cheek to prove it.
I woke up, guessing I had been knocked unconscious, slung over the shoulder of the same Grinting that attacked me. I pretended to still be out, but I guessed I squirmed too much from the strong grip of the Grinting’s claws. It threw me to the ground, and I fell back into unconsciousness.
I woke up on the ground of what I guessed to be the dropship. Then my heart pounded with excitement when I realized I was probably in space. I stood up, and I saw a dozen more people, I thought they were thirty to fifty years old.
If this ever reaches other galaxies, you may be wondering about aliens. We dream about aliens just as much as the next one. You may have them, but we don’t, so that’s why the Grintings were so freaky to me.
So anyways, I was on this dropship, hopefully leaving Death Sector, heading off to some unknown fate. I tried to start a conversation with the other people aboard the dropship, but they just gave me a worried look and hid their faces.
So, after a day of cruising through space with no food or drink, I decided to do something, since I was crazy thirsty. I walked up to the front of the dropship, and opened a door, hoping to not see Grintings.
And hey, what do you know, I saw a Grinting.
It was alone in the cockpit, and I stole its blaster quickly and shot it several times. It left a gaping hole in the chest of the Grinting, and it looked down at its chest, then up then collapsed to the ground and disappeared with a puff of smoke.
When I got over the fact that I killed the Grinting, I realized the fact that I killed the Grinting. A living being. I took its life. It may have been evil, but that fact I killed it was equally as bad as the things it had done. Well, not as bad as invading Death Sector, but I still felt guilty.
There was no one else in the cockpit, armed with the small, yet powerful blaster, I looked through the window in the front. I saw a bright orange-red planet below me, but it didn’t look like we were going there.
I looked below the window, and I saw a little dashboard with complicated controls and a screen. The screen showed a greenish planet that read:
- CURRENT DESTINATION: SECTOR Q-97, PLANET 1, AKA WANJO. Wanjo. That's where we were headed. It also said that it was going to be a month-long trip in space, so I decided to land the dropship on the orange-red planet.
I started to figure out the controls and started making the dropship go down. I heard yelling in the back, so I slowed down the descent a little.
After a few minutes, we entered the planet's atmosphere, which I was not at all prepared for. The ship lurched, and the people yelled again. All of a sudden, flames appeared on the windshield, and the dropship dropped.
I screamed and was held to the door, since the ship was going down front-first. I knew I was going to die, along with these people, and then I thought of Greequa. My mom, my dad.
I ran away like a coward. Yes, I probably would’ve ran away no matter what, but I ran away, leaving Sil.
I was really confused at first, when I realized that none of the other people on the ship came out. I walked away from the ship, and I asked, “Why is this my death?”
One of the kids on the side of who I guessed to be the leader (and I was right, again) told me, “Stole a dropship. And the Boss pays big for tech like this. So we’ll kill you and steal it from you.” He spat.
It bothered me how easily he said that. “You know who made this?” I asked.
The boys looked at each other, and the leader said, “Where ya from, Death Sector?”
“H-How’d you know?” I was freaking out when I heard the dropship flying up. Then out of nowhere, two lasers came to the ship, blowing it up.
“What the heck? What’s happening?!” I yelled.
The leader sighed. “Alright, you probably had nice parents who liked to protect their kids. So, basically, like fifty years ago, or somethin’ like that, there was this guy, right? His name was Traka. He started by building the first Dreadnought. You probably saw one back at whatever planet you were just on. So this guy, Traka, killed everyone on his home planet. He takes the dead bodies, and turns them into Grintings, which probably captured you. No one knows how. So then, he goes and conquers planets, destroying all life on those planets, building up his army of Grintings. He then took over most of the galaxy, yada, yada, yada. You followin’?”
And then, it stopped. The dropship stopped dropping.
I fell onto the windshield, and I cried out in pain. I looked down, and the ship was a foot, more or less, from the ground. The ship flipped back, and I stood up and walked out the door.
The passengers stared angrily at me, and I ignored them. I opened up the side of the dropship, how the Grintings got out, and I saw five human teenagers, all boys, standing there. They were all dirty and covered in mud, soot, and other things. The one in the middle was holding what I guessed to be a stolen alien blaster, like mine but bigger, and he had a wicked grin on his face.
“Hey, kid, welcome to Bronik, also known as your death.”
So, apparently, I made a mistake when I crashed onto this orange-red planet named Bronik.
One of the kids swore under their breath, and the leader said, “There were others on the ship? Should’ve gotten them off. Anyone who tries to escape Bronik will die.” So, apparently I made a really big mistake coming here.
“I’m confused, what’s going on?” I asked, getting desperate.
“Not at all, but keep talking,” I was eager to see what happened next, but glad I now knew what Grintings were.
“So, after like, ten years of this, he gets overthrown by some of the free planets that were left. No one knows how they did, but basically what we think happened is that Traka, in his biggest Dreadnaught, was infiltrated by a handful of people and they blew it up, sacrificing themselves.
“So then, everyone thinks he’s dead, but he’s not. He escaped in time and came here, to Bronik. This was back in the olden days of Bronik, which we call O.D. So, back in O.D., this planet used to thrive. Then some unlucky guy found Traka’s escape pod. First thing Traka did to the guy was kill him. He didn’t thank him for opening his pod, or anything, he just killed him. So then Bronik fell to Traka. Years go by. This planet becomes a wasteland. You come to it, you don’t go out. Everyone learns quickly here. You don’t escape unless you win the Games. I won’t waste time explaining those. Basically, you try to fly away, but you get blown up by the Watchers.”
I was really, really, really confused. “Where is Traka in all of this?” I asked.
“Well, he made the Games, and started training the Watchers. And then remade his fleet. Everyone says that the Games were for his Grintings, to make more of them. Anyways, he stayed here for about thirty-five years. Then, about a week ago, he set off for your sector, Death Sector. Anyone still on those planets, they’re dead. You got lucky. And Traka said that if anyone gets him some tech, like the dropship before those idiots got blown up, you get paid. So that’s basically all you need to know about Bronik.”
It took a few minutes to wrap my head around it all, so then I asked one last question before I left this group of boys. “How did you stop the ship from crashing?”
“Oh! Yeah, I forgot that. The Boss himself, or Traka to you, gave me this when I found remnants of one of his old ships. It does this,” he said, holding up his little blaster thing. He pulled the trigger, and I was lifted up off the ground.
“What the - let me down!” I yelled.
The leader lifted me up higher, and I was launched up into the air, and the last thing I heard before I blacked out was the group of boys laughing, and one yelled, “See ya later!”