Knock. Knock. Knock, knock. Knock.
I was rudely awoken from my peaceful and dream-filled slumber by a series of strikes to the desk on which I was resting my head.
Yawning pretty unceremoniously, I lifted my head to take a look at what was causing me discomfort.
Of course, it was that exact same band of mildly troublesome kids. I didn’t remember their names because I just didn’t care enough, all I knew was that they bullied me from time to time, not that I was annoyed or sad about it - truth be told, I couldn’t be annoyed, or feel any emotions at all for that matter, even if I felt like I probably should. Of course, I saw other people around me laughing, crying, screaming, (mostly crying and screaming), and in other ways, showing ‘emotion’, whereas I just inherently lacked an ability to do so.
I sighed, not out of frustration, but simply because I was tired. I had stayed up the night before and just wanted to rest.
This all started way back in that accident, a plane crash, I think. Whenever I tried to recall the series of events that brought me here, it always seemed to change.
I had been told by the doctors that I was on board a plane, that much I remember, and I was with my parents, going to London or something along those lines.
Well, unfortunately enough, something caused the plane to crash, which killed my parents whilst I, arguably less unfortunately, had the misfortune of being spared. I still say misfortune because, though I remained mostly intact, my brain underwent serious damage, injuring my temporal lobe, more specifically, most of my limbic system was left malfunctioning, and as a result, I could no longer feel emotion.
A little after this, I was disowned by my remaining family members for some unknown reasons and was shipped off to this orphanage, where I sit and patiently endure the dunces who seem to dislike it when I’m resting, eating, studying, or doing literally anything at all - they just dislike the simple fact that I exist in the first place, I suppose.
I don’t remember what my life was before the accident, where I was from, where I lived, I also don’t remember my parents’ or family members’ names, not even my own name.
In the first few months of arriving at the orphanage, people used to address me as ‘boy’, or ‘kid’. Having no emotions, younger me didn’t care, but it seemed to cause confusion amongst my peers and fellow abandoned, lonely juveniles, as both were terms that encompassed a majority of the population of the orphanage, a little over half being ‘boys’, and probably over ninety percent being ‘kids’. Luckily for the other confused morons, I was generous enough to give myself a name to clarify who exactly I was, just a first name, however, I didn’t bother with a second name because I deemed it unnecessary.
I was emotionless, and metaphorically ‘empty’ inside, so I thought it was only appropriate to name myself based on that.
“My name is Hollow,” I told everyone on a relatively fine day, (it was overcast and rainy).
I remember it vividly.
They all sort of stared at me, like I was a complete idiot for calling myself ‘Hollow’, and proceeded, of course, to insult me to hell and back. I didn’t care, I never could. Instead, I put on my best fake smile and sat down again. The caretaker then questioned my logic in standing up in the middle of class and interrupting it with my extremely short, uninteresting and ultimately meaningless speech. I didn’t have an answer and faced a harsh punishment…
I was not provided with my lunch that day, and I was very slightly peckish until the evening.
I was probably the most average boy you’d ever meet, if you were judging by looks alone, that is. I possessed somewhat pale white skin, untidy and longish black hair that I saw no value in styling because nobody else liked me enough to care anyway, so the majority of it just kind of drooped over my face, making it difficult for me to see sometimes. I was of medium build and height. My only unusual qualities were my piercing silver eyes, of a very strange and weirdly unnatural shade, and obviously, my lack of emotion.
So, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, I had no friends and nothing to do with my free time, therefore, I basically just studied all the time, mainly science, but other subjects as well.
I got through whatever schooling we had without trying, which is also why I slept through class often and spent most nights studying, thinking, or performing a vast assortment of other non-sleep related activities.
That leads us here, as far as I remember, anyway.
“Ha, I bet this dumbass thinks he has it so much harder than the rest of us, sleeping in class, isn’t that right?” one of the kids jeered.
I looked at him, unamused, unimpressed, and still half-asleep until I was woken up properly when that same child forcefully shoved me off of my chair, after which I landed in an uncomfortable position on the cold floor.
His friends laughed as the leader of their maniacal gang, consisting of a grand total of five not particularly strong, middle-school-aged orphans, threw more insults at me.
“Fuckin’ nerd! This kid studies non-stop!”
“He doesn’t even react to us, he thinks he’s some tough shit!”
I stood back up now, still largely unaffected by the exchange, and tried to pull off an intimidating, dirty glare.
It didn’t seem to work, as the next second, I was sent sprawling across the floor by a solid punch to my lower jaw.
I stood up once more, slightly more affected now, having obtained a newly aching jaw, and decided it would make more sense for me to go back to my dorm and conform to the other kids’ expectations of me, by studying.
As I began the trek back to my dorm, I was grabbed by the back of my shirt, and once again, deposited on the floor.
My aching jaw was now accompanied by my back of similar condition, and my left arm, which had rammed, with quite some force, into a chair.
“You’re walking away from us? Think again, you dumbass nerd!”
The laughter continued. How inconvenient.
I stood up for the third time, and, thankfully, the leader didn’t immediately drop me to the floor.
I then delivered the hardest punch I could, knocking him back, and kicked his stomach with an equal amount of energy. This technique worked decently, as he collapsed onto his knees and started coughing.
I knew that the caretakers probably wouldn’t care, which was pretty ironic, considering that they were literally called ‘caretakers’, that’s the kind of trainwreck of a place this was, if the kids were to somehow kill themselves, out of stupidity, mental conditions or otherwise, nobody was there to miss them, and the government would most likely also be entirely indifferent.
I yawned just like before, still tired, while the rest of the group cursed me, supplying me with a variety of suggestions on ways I should die, and I walked back to my dorm to rest and hopefully study without interruptions.
That very same day, I saw a blinding blue light outside my window. That was also my very last day on Earth.
Whirr, buzz, clank.
A human, who was rather unfortunately attached to a solid, carbon-titanium alloy wall was rudely awoken from his not-so-peaceful, but still dream-filled slumber by the loud and relatively unpleasant racket generated by the four electromagnetic docking clamps on the underside of the Xi’vai-class, medium prison-transport barge which he was uncomfortably locked inside.
His ICD, or interspecies-communication device, sparked to life, glowing very softly. He had reached his destination, and he knew it very well.
“Prison transport barge, Xi’vai-class, has successfully docked on landing pad sixty-two of hyperprison Rezaiv, nineteenth Galactic Half-sector. Initiate cargo-unloading sequence,” echoed the on-board ship computer, which had been translated for the human by the ICD currently attached to the side of his head. It really was a handy piece of technology.
Yawning pretty unceremoniously, the human glanced around as the cargo-bay doors slowly opened, and was immediately almost blinded by the dazzling starlight which rushed in through them, which made sense, considering he had to travel across the entirety of the nineteenth Galactic Half-sector, which is a bit over four-point-three million light gret (around fifty-thousand lightyears) in distance when following along the Outer-rim, spending the last two gret, (approximately eight-point-four-six Earth-days), drowned in the almost pitch-black darkness of the mostly-empty cargo bay.
After the human’s restraints were removed, a blindfold was wrapped around his face. He was then dragged out of the cargo bay, tugged across one of the corridors of the prison, and dumped into a cell.
He removed the blindfold and stared around at the cell. It was entirely empty, gray, had a high-powered plasma door on one side which instantly vaporized all which dared make contact with it, encased in a vacuum wall, (an artificial wall created using a contained vacuum), no vents of a size which could be used to escape, or which could be useful in any way, and a tiny hatch which opened up to drop off the most depressing meal imaginable, nutrient-paste and water, at regular intervals.
This wasn’t just any prison. This was the hyperprison Rezaiv, one of the six ‘hyperprisons’ that existed in the galaxy, a Xi’vaixee-class supercruiser, heavily armored and considered to be inescapable, designed that way specifically for criminals of the highest caliber. This human here just so happened to be considered one of them apparently, not that he minded. He knew he was going to get out from the moment those somewhat odd-looking beings threw him into this place and so, he had not a single care in the galaxy, his plan was formed within the first two t’erg (roughly equal to seven Earth-minutes) spent in his sad excuse for a living space, leaving executing that same plan as his only current goal.
This prison wasn’t just any prison, but neither was this human just any human. He was a human that was known for pulling off impossible feats by the very limited number of beings that knew him personally and was considered a force to be reckoned with by the marginally larger quantity of beings that simply knew of him, though he was underestimated quite often regardless.
This was just going to be another story he would tell those guys over at Haven, for no reason, simply because he had nothing to do while glugging down what were certainly unhealthy quantities of certain beverages containing uncertain quantities of C2H5OH, also known as ethanol, a type of alcohol very commonly consumed in combination with a multitude of other ingredients by humans, despite the fact that it is injurious to their health. Just another tale to add to his repertoire of ‘Tales and stories which absolutely nobody takes interest in, though I tell them sometimes when the need arises’, an unimaginatively but aptly-named collection of true tales and stories which absolutely nobody took interest in, yet for some reason, were still told on occasion. He kept these logged on the computer system of every ship he ever took command of. He didn’t know why he did so, but he did nevertheless, it was just a strange habit of his.
That was beside the point - all he needed to do was to escape from this inescapable prison, an ‘impossible’ task, except he knew just how to do it.