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Miranda is a lover and writer of science fiction, short stories, and poetry.

SpaceOpera: Planet Urbana

Planet Urbana & Family

Yesterday was her last straw. She had enough! Enough was enough! The 19-year old sat in her hiding place on her knees peeking out of the window. This hiding place was an abandoned building at the lowest level on the planet. Planet Urbana was the most populated planet in the solar system, and it rained every single night. The days were short and the nights were long, cold, and scary. People heard only stories and legends about life on the upper levels. What and where was the upper levels?" thought Sybil. "When my parents brought me here I thought this was it! What are upper levels?" Although at times when Sybil looked up at the busy skies populated by aircraft traffic, she did see millions of stairs and a silver lined transparent elevator. The stairs & elevator led to the upper levels, but she never saw it before. She could barely see the people ascending on the elevator from where she hid. And the only ones that had access to the upper levels were Air Traffic Control Officers, Riot Control Robots, and famous diplomats.

This all brought her to another thought. Yesterday was the last straw and why?! Because she was alone. Sybil was all alone. Again. Her roommate in this abandoned building was a lost robot she called, "Toughie." Toughie was an older model version of domesticate family robots. And his human family got rid of him because their 5 year old son was too emotionally attached. Sybil and Toughie lived in this abandoned building for 2 years. Sybil replayed in her mind, "Those years were good, scary, and suspenseful all at the same time. So many crazy things happened here. But this was home. This was home." And this place can only be home if Sybil had company. Her parents never saw this place because they were traveling planetary researchers who only came to research the crystal mines on Urbana's lower levels. Sybil's dad Hather have some special connection to the future. Whenever he had a feeling about something he spoke in riddles. Her beautiful mom Marimba was very intelligent but showed little or no emotion in public. She only talked about research, which gave her purpose. Marimba was only affectionate with dad. Sybil often worried if her mom regretted having her. But her dad's praises and affections toward Sybil put her at ease.

Her parents were kidnapped by the Urbana Thugs as soon as they left the Air Traffic Station. The thugs just left Sybil standing on the platform as she watched helplessly as her parents were being dragged screaming and fighting into an unmarked spacecraft. All spacecrafts had space company logos. But not this one. It was old, dingy, and gray. One of the men in the group had to be at least 8 feet tall, wearing black shades, a black overcoat, platform black boots, and a huge transparent blaster gun. His skin was green and leathery and when he yelled out, "Don't move or scream child!" Sybil had to cover her ears. The blaring sounds coming from his voice was too overbearing.

Heather-LEE's Abduction

A few days after the incident, Sybil was distraught and was taken in by and old women named Heather-LEE. For many months Heather-LEE shared so much information and taught Sybil everything she needed to know about this crazy world. Sybil talked about the kidnapping of her parents and the green tall man. The old woman told Sybil that the people of Urbana always said that the criminals needed the Leatherheads to make victims temporarily deaf and often served as decoys to trap people. The old woman was kidnapped 6 months later. She wanted Sybil to hide in the garden when she heard the Thugs and Leatherheads banging on the windows and knocking down her door. Heather-Lee did not put up a fight. She surrendered gracefully. That same day Sybil left Heather-Lee's beautiful and comfortable sanctuary just in case the thugs came back.

Robot Toughie

Sybil hugged her flimsy white jacket and zipped it up as she remembered yesterday afternoon. She stood up and pulled the blinders down over the window. She paced the empty room as it slowly grew darker. Soon it will be night. Sybil reasoned as she whispered to herself, "Toughie was having what the people on Urbana called a "Glitchie glitch!" He would start talking to me and was not able to complete a sentence without that horrible static sound. Toughie was functioning fine and all of a sudden just a few days ago he started to display malfunctions here and there. Poor friend, I will miss you."

It was obvious Toughie forgot the way back home, or maybe the Urbana thugs caught up to the robot and sold it's parts. Even if Toughie was an old model, robot parts were worth something on Urbana. Urbana criminals can simply make a profit from anything they sold. Sybil had to avoid them at all cost. No one on Urbana had friends. Anyone that migrated here from other worlds had to make it on their own as they watched the people around them get pick off one-by-one. It never meant certain death to the Urbana criminals. All they wanted when they kidnapped people was to have them work in the Urbana mines for crystals. Crystals were the main profitable and rich natural resource on this planet.

And there was that little glimmer of hope.....

Many nights Sybil heard whispering voices from her neighbors outside of the abandoned building. They would whisper about people who escaped this trash heap they called a planet!...…. a world! Where did they go? How did anyone escape from this planet? The voices whispered about people who escaped the lower levels of Urbana and was never seen or heard from again. They outsmarted the Riot Control Robots. The R.C.R. were highly intelligent, extremely quick, and were believed to kill anyone who tried to get away.

Sybil sat in the corner of the room away from the window. It was not home anymore. "First my parents, then Heather-LEE, now Toughie. I gotta get out of here."

Sybil can here her father's voice and remembered his instructions. Hather's intuition led him to say to his daughter, "If anything should happen to your mother and I, you must escape. You must leave and return home. You can fly a spacecraft Sybil. Just leave and don't wait for us."

Sybil's mom smirked and hushed her husband. "Don't say that. The diplomats on Urbana need our expertise on the rare crystals. They will never let anything happen to us."

Hather looked doubtful. He sighed before the spacecraft landed on the ruthless planet, "I hope you are right."

Sybil stood up and walked into the other room where her and Toughie would play word games and draw space traveling ships. Picking up the drawings she smiled and whispered, "In this place we had good times. No one ever looked for us in here. Our days were happy ones." Even if Toughie was a robot, Sybil sometimes thought she saw the robot display some kind of emotion. As a sigh escaped her she said,"Toughie was happy." She was determined to do as her father instructed. She knew some how she had to escape, and she had a plan.

The Last Night

Sybil boldly took a step outside of the building onto the dark, cold, and damp street. She left the abandoned building without a doubt in her mind and knowing for sure she will never return. The place served as a safe haven for 2 years. She cooked, slept, bathed, and washed her clothes there. She wept there, was happy, and made a new friend there. Sybil and Toughie would talk about how they would look for her parents. But she had to shake her head a few times at her boldness. This time there was no turning back. She possessed two important tools on her person. Sybil's days without Toughie were only made constructive somehow as she devised her plan and tried to test it out. But she could not risk anyone hearing the sound of destruction so she could only test her tools in her mind. She had to go on theory and based on the knowledge Toughie gave her.

"Here goes something. Either my life or death", she thought to herself.

The R.C.R. were everywhere on the streets like every night. And there were never any riots on Urbana. Never recorded in history and never witnessed by Sybil. So why would this planet need riot control robots? They never tackled street thugs and Leatherheads. What purpose did they serve then? She saw two of them walk across the street. They had long transparent bodies, enormous gorilla heads, no nose, no mouth, no ears, and hard large robotic feet. R.C.R. had transparent blasters to their side always held in their crystal plated fingers and large metallic hands. And every single R.C.R. possessed a Crystal Stair Key which was attached to their leg.

Their metallic eyes suddenly locked onto Sybil's motion.

Sybil was determined to make her time on this forsaken world come to an end. She strolled swiftly and cautiously across the street and walked to the Crystal Staircase Elevator. She waved to them and one approached her, and she said, "I'm lost. Do you know where the drinking place is?" The robot retorted, "You are in a classified space. It is not for you and you must walk away immediately from this place." Sybil pointed up to the sky and the two robots looked up. Sybil then snatched and tore the Crystal Stair key from the robot's leg. She then took her flame blaster and shot it at both robots. They engulfed in flames. Their crystal brute bodies feel to the Urbana ground and wiggled and struggled. Sybil pressed the flame throwing blaster again and again and again onto the dying robots. Other robots within the vicinity turned and marched toward the disastrous attack.

Sybil's heart dropped as she now knew if she lived she would become a fugitive. She did not care and turned to press the Crystal Stair Key into the Elevator and pressed the control button. She breathed heavily as she looked up and watched the elevator come down. Destroy them, every last one of them! Her mind yelled out vengeance as she turned to see the marching robots. She then took the homemade crystal grenade from her undercoat and threw it at them and threw one grenade after another. Civilian inhabitants in hiding were now creeping out of their homes and looking out their windows to witness the horror and destruction of the robots. The small army of R.C.R's helplessly fired back but were engulfed in flames. Tonight a myth was exposed. The R.C.R's were either not as the inhabitants describe them to be or they underestimated her.

She did it! She destroyed nearly half of the marching riot guards of the lower levels of Urbana she imagined, but knew and heard more on their way. Alarms and sirens from everywhere blared in the streets. Sybil turned and got onto the elevator as the doors slid open. She quickly boarded the elevator. Quickly the transparent doors slid close. As the elevator rose from level to level she looked down at the destruction she created...………….and smiled.

To Be Continued...…..

© 2019 Miranda Blanks

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