The dream is always the same. I’m in a village with a family, and I’m happy… so very happy. Until the Shocktroopers show up and pull me screaming from my home. I see my wife bleeding on the floor of our hut as they start for my son. I struggle, so one of them hits me with his shock baton…everything goes to black.
I wake up, and the dream takes a second to fade before I remember a far more pressing issue…
How are my Juice levels?
I check the meters on my armor. Thank the Gods,still five percent left before I’m empty. As I unlatch the straps keeping me secured to the wall I look around. Most of my unit is either still asleep or on patrol. I pull up the time, and I’ve still got a bit before sunrise.
As I make my way over to the Juicing Bays I pass some of the night shift heading back towards their racks, and they nod their shiny black domed helmets at me as I nod in reply.
At the Juicing Bay the Hogashin Juice Master chuckled “ehhh Trooper couldn’t wait for a fill up huh?” he remarked as he clamped the hose into the port on the back of my helmet. I felt the satisfying feeling of my helmet filling up.
After heading down the black rock halls to briefing I was sent out on perimeter patrol with five other Troopers, and as we headed outside the gates of the Dark Citadel the early morning sun beat down on the scraggly terrain between the tower and the river separating Baron Dracktholme’s domain from the Inari Grasslands.
Ninety-four percent Juice levels.
We walked for about an hour without incident before a call came in. A Platoon of Troopers had a run in with Prince Algor on the outskirts of Barrwood Forrest, and the Prince had commandeered one of their fighters. We all drew our Blaster Rifles as the Commander turned his scanner on we could hear the soft ping of the scan going out and then the fast beeping of an incoming fighter. In the distance the sound of a Fighter going full speed could be heard, and it wasn’t long before we saw it barreling quickly towards us.
Eighty-six percent Juice Levels.
All six of us fired at the incoming Fighter with blaster bolts streaking through the sky as Prince Algor expertly zigged and zagged around our shots. I slowed down and let the Juice flow through me a second before squeezing my trigger… SUCCESS I landed a shot right in the back power supply of the fighter as it spiraled out of the sky. I felt great about myself for about one second, until I realized it was going to land right where we were standing. I managed to jump aside as the ship crashed with an explosion where we had been seconds before.
Shake the fog away. Quick scan still at eighty-four percent.
The smoking wreckage of the fighter smoldered next to me as I saw the bodies of the others sprawled around…well what was left of them of that is. No sign of the Slime Prince, but one would assume he got splattered by the force of the explosion. I picked up the Commander’s scanner as I prepared to call in to base that I had finally gotten the legendary Prince Algor. My mind wandered to the mass of Juice I’d be rewarded with for killing the Slime. I checked my levels again.
Eighty-one point seven percent Juice levels. The excitement must have sped up the intake process.
As I was about to click my radio on I heard a sound behind me, and I tuned around just in time to see Prince Algor swinging his sword at me. The force of the blow knocked my helmet clean off my body.
I tried to catch it in my hands as the Juice spilled everywhere on the ground beneath me. The startling realization that the Juice in my system would be burned through in about five minutes crushed me with sadness. I collapsed to the ground as I saw Prince Algor walking away with his Slime friend in tow. I laid on the ground trying to suck the last of the Juice out of the dirt, and as my head finally cleared from the crippling addiction of the chemical that had been pumped into my body by Baron Dracktholm I remembered my family. Suddenly the dreams made sense..they weren’t dreams, but memories of the life I had before I was kidnapped. My wife, my son…both dead, killed by these poor souls that had the same thing happen to them at some point. My sadness at dying was now replaced with a burning hatred of Baron Dracktholme,and as my organs stopped working with the lack of Juice to keep them alive my thoughts turned to my family.
I’d finally be seeing them again soon.
The world slowly faded to black as the sweet release of death took me.