Whisper — A first glimpse at the world of Eden’s Revenge
By G.S. Muse
Background: This is a short story I was inspired to write a few years ago. The idea was to write an homage to the Hunger Games, that would also introduce the world of my fictional novels and short stories. I thought of the scene of Katniss Everdeen sitting with President Snow, and I just thought “What if…?” Here is my story.
I looked out from the glass wall of my tower, admiring all that was laid before me. The sprawling metropolis of my empire stretched across the dust of the Red Planet. Domes of various sizes enclosed the interconnected megacities, thin barriers against the planet named for a Eurasian god of war. Rainforest domes stood off in the distance, containing ancient trees that stretched towards the skies. A wind blew through one of the domes, causing the giants to sway where they stood.
A sandstorm began to form on the horizon, off into the desert. Sandstorms were common on Mars. Attempts to terraform the planet had failed, and the intensified storms would now destroy almost anything that wasn’t within the walls of the many domes scattered across the planet. Yet within the domes, massive cities and deep jungles grew. Some with cities that were home to billions, and others that housed the Martian rainforests. These were enclosed ecosystems that housed some of the largest trees and some of the most brutal creatures anywhere in the Solar System.
The buzzer for my office rang.
“Come in.” I ordered
Two guards came into the room, strong young black men with skin as dark as a raven’s feathers. The proper images of rightful sons of the gods. Their eyes were wide with fear, a normal reaction for the newer guards in the Presidential service.
The young girl stood between them, no older than 14 years. She had unbraided natural hair that hung in thick curls down to her shoulders.
“What is your name?” I asked the girl
“Whisper” She responded, looking up at me with vibrant green eyes
“You may go.” I said, nodding at the guards
They each bowed slightly, and backed out of the room, almost too quickly for what was proper. Still, I was pleased to see that my subjects still had a healthy fear of their emperor.
The girl looked around. Several bookshelves lined the walls of my study, along with masks from various ancestral tribes, many of whom had been conquered or exterminated. A plush brown carpet lined most of the floor, except for the small bar area. Several armchairs were arranged around the room with a few coffee tables.
Yet with all of this detail, I noticed the girl’s gaze linger, tilting her head slightly at the sight of the ancient sword mounted on the wall, across from the window that overlooked the city. It meant she was smart, taking note of any threat that might be present in the environment with her. If only half my troops had such vision.
I turned towards the transparent wall once again as the men closed the door behind them, leaving the girl in the room.
“Please have a seat.” I said in a gentlemanly tone, gesturing towards a red armchair in the center of the room.
“Thank you Mr. President.” Came her response in a soft and gentle voice
I turned briefly to see her lower herself into the chair, before turning back to the sprawling scene in front of me.
“It’s amazing to think that centuries ago, our people left their ancestral homelands in Africa, fleeing persecution, and now we have our mighty empire on this world.” I smiled “The crown jewel of the gods.”
“Empires rise and fall.” Her words floated through the air like the song of a bird
She was bold, and apparently unafraid. It amused me. Perhaps that had been part of how she’d survived.
An alert came up on the glass wall.
“On screen.” I said, impatient
The scene of the sprawling cities before me was replaced by my top military advisor.
“What is it?” I demanded
The woman on the screen wore dark black armor, with the short hair of a warrior. A single scar ran down the left side of her face, maring otherwise attractive features.
“The war whips detected something off in the desert -”
I cut her off “I specifically ordered that no one interrupt me.”
She hesitated “It’s a pod sir, coming down in the region of the anomaly.”
I stopped momentarily, processing what had just been said.
“Thank you general.” I said
She nodded “I’ll take care of it sir.”
I waved a hand in front of the wall. The image of the general disappeared, replaced by the scene of the sprawling city once again.
“Empires rise and fall.” The words of the girl echoed in my mind.
The young girl was still in her red chair, her eyes locked with mine. There was no fear in those eyes. Either she was extremely brave, or extremely foolish.
I walked over to a cupboard on the other side of my office, above the bar.
“Can I offer you a drink?” I asked pulling a bottle of scotch and two glasses from the cupboard.
“Do you have any tea?” She asked
“Fresh out.” I said with regret “But I can have one of my servants fetch you some.”
“That’ll be fine.” She said, the edges of her lips rising into a slight smile
“Computer, connect me to the kitchen, audio only.” I ordered
“Yes, Mr. President.” The voice on the other end was quivering. I rolled my eyes. This was getting tiresome.
“Bring me a pot of your finest, and freshest jasmine tea.”
There was a hesitation.
“Is there a problem?” I demanded
“No sir! Right away sir!”
I waved my hand in the air, disconnecting the call.
I positioned my glass on a counter, and began twisting the cap on the scotch.
“I take it from your eyes, and your diminished complexion that you are part slave?” I asked
She folded her hands over her legs. “No my king, you are mistaken. I have never been a slave to anyone, nor have my fathers or my mothers.”
I laughed, she didn’t.
My hands were shaking as I poured the scotch, a large splash missing the glass and crashing onto the table.
I tried to ignore it, hoping she wouldn’t notice. The back of my neck grew warm.
“Then tell me your story. How did you come to find yourself in my office here today?”
She shrugged, grinning slightly. “What’s to tell?” She asked
I squinted in her direction “Ten thousand rebels and slaves were driven into the wilderness of the Martian rainforests — domes that stretch for hundreds of miles, and contain some of the most terrifying organisms this Solar System has ever known. … Ten thousand rebels and slaves, a thousand soldiers guarding the gates, and of all of them, including my elites, only you survived! How is that possible?”
Her grin grew wider, and her vibrant green eyes seemed to become brighter, and bolder.
I took a sip of my drink, hand shaking.
She rose from her chair.
“Have you ever heard the story of Alexander the Great?” She asked, walking towards the glass wall overlooking the sprawling metropolis outside
“A conqueror” I said “One of the first Eurasians to stretch his military arm into the continent of our ancestral homeland.”
She was looking out the window, standing where I had been only moments before, saying nothing.
The pause lasted for several brief moments before she once again broke the silence.
“Alexander of Greece, Cyrus of Persia, the Caesars of Rome, Mohammed of Arabia… Many men have conquered and created vast empires, empires which crumbled back to dust, along with their men.”
I clenched my jaw. She was wearing on my patience “I asked you how you survived the exile into the wilderness, I did not ask you for a history lesson.”
She turned her head slightly, looking at the empire in front of her, at MY empire. I hated the way she looked at it.
“I asked you a question!” I demanded “How did you survive? They say there was a beast, a monster in that forrest, worse than the apes, worse than the lions, or the ants! Did it not find you? How are you alive?”
She ran her fingers across the glass, passively tracing the outline of the scene before her.
“And what are men that they should call other creatures beasts or monsters?” She asked
I felt a splash on my hand. I was trembling, spilling the scotch.
“What are you?” I asked, voice shaking, uncontrollably, like my hand. I tried to squeeze the glass, to put it on the counter, while I composed myself, but it fell, slipping out of my fingers, and smashing onto the floor. I was helpless to stop it, as glass shattered, ringing across the green and white marble of the bar-side floor.
I paused, holding my breath, my heart racing in the moment. A few silent seconds ticked by.
“Oh how the mighty have fallen. How many kings have raised up their empires, only to return to dust, and to have their empires follow? Great thrones falling into the hands of foolish sons. Man is but dust, and his life a vapor in the wind. And yet man fails to remember his place, and like a beast his neck must be broken.”
She turned to me, her young face full of life, and as she did her smile grew, revealing canines stretching, extending from her gums.
Want to see what happens next?
Thank you for starting to read my short story. The full version is now available on Amazon. Click the link below and check it out!
For more of my work, be sure to check out my author profile on Amazon, and subscribe to me on Medium
Visit Amazon.com's G.S. Muse Page and shop for all G.S. Muse books. Check out pictures, bibliography, and biography of…
Also, check out my Star Trek Voyager short fan fiction, which takes place some 20 years after the show, with Seven of Nine as the captain, and Ensign Kim as the ship’s new doctor.