The story below is a winner from our Fiction Fantastic Young Writers Contest, open to all youth in Lane County. For more information on this contest, including how to enter, visit here. Support this program with a donation.
You can purchase this story in the 2021 Winners Anthology, A New Story Rises here.
“Ace Hemisphere and the Horizon of Death” by Tyler Robinson, Camas Ridge Community Elementary School
Third Place, Elementary Level, 2021
Ace Hemisphere and the Horizon of Death
By Tyler Robinson
Camas Ridge Community Elementary School
People were gathering in town square on the planet of Piuo.
“What is that?” they all asked each other.
A huge spaceship made out of black steel, shaped like a sideways cube, was hovering hundreds of meters above the planet’s waters. You could see the wires and the sparks of electricity under the ship, making it look even more scary because the aliens of Piuo knew that it was real. The aliens of Piuo would have had nowhere to go, and no possible way to fight back, if it wasn’t for me.
I am Ace Hemisphere, and I live on the planet Piuo. I live on an island in the middle of the sea, this is the only land here on this planet. Therefore, I and the aliens who live on this planet made it into a community. These aliens are not really anything supernatural, they look exactly like you, humans. But I am a human. Living on a different planet, with aliens. Humans have advanced, made more powerful weapons, and we here on Piuo are just getting started.
I led the army down to the ocean. All of sudden, the ship stopped. Silence for a few moments, then a large loudspeaker said, “Get out of our way,” and then a few seconds later, “or die.” It did not give us a chance, because the ship just started plummeting down soldiers. The army of humans had swords and chainmail armor on, except for one. That one was leading the massive army of humans, and he wore black armor with bright orange lines shooting around everywhere on it. His sword was made out of pure magma. Suddenly, the human army charged.
They charged, so we did, too. Now it was an official sword-on-sword battle. I targeted the leader of the humans. I was the captain, so some came at me, some attacked others.
I had reached their captain.
I slid down to my knees as I got closer and slashed at his feet. He jumped, then stabbed down at me. I slid between his two feet and stabbed my sword into his back. He fell. But he wasn’t dead. He rose up, then I realized that I didn’t have a sword and he had the advantage. But I slid underneath him again, but this time I stopped in the middle of his feet and stood up swiftly. This made him jump backward and drop his two weapons. I got the magma sword and my sword, and I lifted up the magma sword and killed the captain with his own weapon.
The human army was advancing forward toward town square, they were winning. But now the captain was dead, and I had his magma sword. But right as I was about to charge and kill them, I saw some of the human soldiers dying, just falling. I had to get a closer look. I sprinted toward the mass of destruction. It looked like one of their own people was killing them. I kept sprinting and stabbing humans if they got too close. I was right. It was a human with no armor, but with a magma dagger. She was kicking, punching, and stabbing them all. I ran to her aid, and started helping her kill them off.
We kept beating them, until we heard the ship’s loudspeaker say, “I am very impressed.” It waited for a few seconds. “We will come back soon with more units and destroy your planet.” Then the ship turned around very slowly, and then it was gone.
“I am Audrey Smith,” said the girl.
While I was walking Audrey to my house, she continued. “Humans have been on those kinds of ships for around thirty years now. All humans hate this planet, Piuo. Nobody knows why, but they just don’t like it.”
“Well, why do you not hate Piuo?” I asked.
“Because I hate them,” she replied.
“Hate who? Humans?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “I know how to defeat them, the humans.”
“If you knew how, then why didn’t you just do it?” I asked stupidly.
She gave me a look as if she were trying to say, “Just don’t. I have a knife.” The rest of the way back was silent. Once we got to the house, I started making some soup for dinner. “So, how will you defeat the humans?” I asked.
“Me? No, We,” she corrected me.
“Well then, how will we defeat the humans?”
“There is the mother ship, also known as the LAOSH, the Large Association of Ships and Humans. There is the all-father of the LAOSH, who has the crystal. The crystal has no given name, but it gives invincibility to whoever wields it. You know that ship that attacked today? The mothership is fifty times larger than that. There are also hundreds more of the ships like the one that attacked today. All we need to do is steal the crystal, break it, which by the way, the crystal also powers all those ships, and then kill the all-father.”
“The question is,” I started with a mouthful of soup, “how do we get onto the ship?”
“Me.” Audrey said. “They can’t see who is coming in the ship, but I can give them a radio call at any time. When I give them a call saying to let me come up, there is a beam under the ship that lets me travel up. But not just me either. Anything can come through. So you and I will come. From there on, it will be a stealth mission.”
“Where will I sleep tonight?” Audrey asked.
“I have an extra pillow and a sleeping bag,” I said.
“Yeah, that’ll be comfy,” she said sarcastically.
“Get some sleep,” I said. “For tomorrow is a great day. Hopefully.”
“RISE AND SHINE!!!” yelled Audrey. “THEY’RE HERE!”
My eyes were still crunchy and dry from waking up, and the bags under them were real. My magma sword was lying alongside my bed. I grabbed it, ran outside, and it was almost as dark as night out there. The mothership was in the sky for sure, because I could see tiny rays of sunshine outside of the borders of the ship. And there wasn’t only one ship, there were around a few hundred of them surrounding the mothership.
“This is an attack plan they call ‘The Horizon of Death,’” Audrey said. Then she grabbed her radio and said into it, “Open up the hatch. I’m coming in.”
We ran outside toward the beam of light that was coming from the underbelly of the ship. We had our magma weapons equipped. The beam let us slowly levitate upward toward the ship. Finally, we were up and on the ship. There were two guards waiting for us at the top, and Audrey killed them both before I could even say hi to them.
“Okay, we go down this hall, right, another right, that will take us to the elevator, then we go to floor 12,” she said.
The hall was connected to multiple halls, so one of us would have to look down them, then whisper, “Clear.” And walk to the next one.
“All clear,” Audrey said in the last corridor. Right. There were no corridors down that tunnel. But at the end of the hallway there were two guards. They noticed us immediately and started running toward us with their spears. Once they got close, I kicked one in the stomach and while he was going backward I hit him on the head with the butt of my sword. Audrey just stabbed the guard that she was fighting in the arm and kicked them on the side of the head. The guards were hiding a ladder that went up to the elevator hallway. We climbed up the ladder and saw the elevator. There were a few corridors, like the first hallway, but we didn’t care if we were sneaky. All we knew was that we were close. So we just ran.
At the middle hallway there were some guards, and they started sprinting toward the main hallway. But Audrey and I were running faster. Two more corridors down there were some more guards.
“Come on!” I shouted toward Audrey.
“Just keep running!” she yelled.
Once we almost got to the elevator, when I was running I couldn’t hear the sound of Audrey’s feet. I looked behind me and the guards had captured her. I don’t know how I didn’t hear her screaming, but she was definitely yelling.
“Ace! Don’t look back! Just keep going! GO!” she yelled at the top of her lungs and kept on punching and stabbing them. I ran into the elevator and clicked the 12 button. Not going to lie, but the elevator music was pretty good. It was a pretty large elevator, luxurious and beautifully built. The walls and floor were made with polished birch wood it seemed like. Ding! I had hit the 12th floor. I pulled out my sword from the sheath on my back and was ready for a fight.
When the elevator doors opened, the first thing that I saw was that the room was vast. It was mostly dark, dark black, with lights on the floor leading to the middle of the room.
I started walking down the path of light slowly, ready for anything that awaited me. In the middle of the room there was a pedestal that had a small purple crystal inside of a glass jar. Surrounding it was a sandy-colored stone, with the texture of sharp stones. Large obsidian pillars pointing toward the purple crystal surrounded the whole room. It seemed like the whole room had a lower gravity, and it made me a little light-headed.
As I was approaching the crystal, I heard weird sounds, kind of like animal sounds. I saw a few small creatures flying around the large room, they were entirely black, and I could not tell their species. The crystal seemed to have its own personal gravitational pull attached to it, which made me almost fall toward it multiple times.
I had reached the part of the crystal where the odd stone appeared around it. The stone sounded like paper crunching underneath my feet as I walked on it. For sure, sounds were going crazy. The aura of the crystal made my mouth water because of its power. But all of a sudden I stopped my tracks. Why am I doing this? I asked myself in my head. Then I realized why I did very soon.
“Whom do we have here?” a voice from high above hissed. It was definitely a man, and his voice made me want to cry. As he descended downward toward the crystal, I could see that he was large. He had legs springing out below and above his arms. His silky movement was gruesome to the head. He slid down a thick string, kind of like a spider, but looked like titanium. When he was halfway from the ceiling to the ground, he jumped down to the sandstone-type rock and made a huge thump. Everything in the room, including me, jumped up three feet and fell back down to the ground. The impact was obliterating. The spider human lifted open the glass surrounding the purple crystal and put the gem in his right pocket.
“Pardon me,” the spider started. “I have not introduced myself. My name is Ore, and I am here to destroy you and your planet.”
I was too scared to speak. But I would have said, “Why? Why do you want to destroy my planet?” But I couldn’t.
Then, the fight began.
Ore spat out a large, silky string of metal in my direction. I was too scared to move, so I got metal spider silk all over me. Ore grappled onto the line that he had just made and started plummeting toward me. Luckily he stopped right before he got to me just to take a quick look before he killed me.
“Well, this was a quick one.” He raised up all of his hands, turned them to a fist, then he fell.
When the spider fell down, I took my sword and cut the metal texture silk and inspected Ore. Then I saw a magma dagger in the spider’s back, steaming. There was another fighter in the room. And I knew who it was. Audrey sprinted toward me yelling, “I only stunned him! Watch out!”
Immediately after she said this, Ore started to get up extremely quickly. Even before he got all the way up, he grabbed me with one of his hands and threw me against the nearest wall. The impact knocked the breath out of my lungs harshly. Audrey was very fast, and by the time I hit the wall she had already reached Ore. She jumped up and punched him in the face. My vision started to blur. No, this couldn’t be the end of me. I couldn’t just leave another vulnerable human to fight a large spider man. I forced myself to get up. Audrey kept distracting Ore, thankfully. Every bone and muscle ached with severe agony, my sight and hearing almost numb, but I got up. Avery helped by pushing Ore toward me. She knew my plan more than me. I fell to the ground, with not enough energy to stand up. I found myself crawling toward Audrey and Ore, but before I knew it, they were there with me. Again, I forced myself to stand up. But this time I stood up for longer. I knelt next to Ore, and stole the crystal from his pocket. Luckily he did not notice at all what I had done because he was so absorbed in fighting Audrey. Then Audrey stopped for me to do something. I whistled to get his attention, then I punched him. He giggled and punched me. I punched him harder. Then he laughed hysterically like he was actually laughing, then put on a frown and punched me with insane force. I crashed through the wall.
“Yoo hoo!” I yelled from the other room. “I’m not dead!” I was intimidated.
Ore turned around to Audrey and spat some silk to put her onto the ground. “Stay,” Ore said. And sprinted toward me.
The new room was very dark, with neon purple lights hanging from the ceiling. It had a maze of metal drawers with names on the outside and most likely files on the inside. Ore had jumped into the room by now and I had to stop admiring the room.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Ore said with pleasure. But little did Ore know, I had the crystal. I jumped up from behind him and kicked him into the next room. Which I then jumped into as well. This one was a parachute training course and the ship had modified the gravity of the room so that it was lower and you could intentionally fly. Now we were fighting in the air. We punched and kicked each other while flying, and few other humans were as well.
A loudspeaker started to talk. I could not hear it that well because I was only focused on one thing, and that was destroying Ore. The only thing I could hear from the message though, was that we were going to fall. And soon enough, the room turned sideways and gravity turned back on, and we were falling toward Piuo.
Ore realized that I had the crystal.
We fought in the air like flying monkeys in the sky, and we were constantly doing barrel rolls and it was hard to move with the wind in my ears making me bleed. Ore grabbed my leg and punched me, and then grabbed the crystal from my pocket. Then he kicked me far away from him. It knocked the breath out of me, and I could not breathe. I was stunned. My visions went blurry, and I could hear Ore laughing hard, and saying, “Yes! Ha ha! You can’t get me! I win!” The ground was near, and I couldn’t die like this. I tried to swim my way through the air to Ore, but there was no use. I tried and tried, but I could not get to him. Then, like in everyone’s tale, a miracle happened.
Audrey got over to us and used a grappling hook on Ore. Ore shot up into the air, and Audrey kicked his face and grabbed the crystal. She turned Ore on his belly and pushed him real hard upward, so there was no escaping for him. Then she grappled onto me, and pulled me up. “Hey, take this,” she almost yelled.
“Why? Why can’t we just hold it together?” I asked.
“The crystal can only grant invincibility to one person at a time,” Audrey said nobly. I waited. “No, this can’t be. We have to go together!” I complained.
“We can’t, Ace. I, I’m sorry.” She placed the crystal in my hand and pushed me down toward Piuo. It’s okay, she mouthed. I will always be with you.
I shed multiple tears into the air, but they were no use. There was no way she could go back. And then I hit the ground.
It was not much of a hard landing because I had invincibility, but it was still the saddest fall. I did not want to look back toward the ship, because I know I would see Audrey. Then, I looked at the crystal.
“Goodbye, Audrey,” I said. And crushed the crystal with my own hand. I heard the siren and blowing up of the large ships behind me, and I did not look back. Not ever, because I did not need to look back, because I needed to look forward instead.