Ex Astra- Short Blade Runner Prequel

Being the science fiction buff I am, and Blade Runner being my favorite film, I decided to try my hand a while back at writing a fan-fiction. I do consider myself a writer, but normally I am uncomfortable using others’ characters. This time, however, I decided to try it. I did my best to stay in character, and to stay true to the facts of the film’s plot. So, here it is:

The off-world colonies were lonely places to be. In many of them, the stars were a constant site, as artificial skies were only implemented in the densest of cities. The near-darkness of the skies, penetrated by the effervescent light of truly countless stars, struck some people as depressing. This was not the case with the figure who sat in an alleyway looking up at them.

He had a certain affinity for and fascination with the stars. He drew endless inspiration from them. Their lifespans—those of the stars—were so great that he felt they may as well be immortal. Even after they had gone through the majestic deaths deserving of stars, their light could continue to be seen for years to come.

Such a difficult thing to ponder for someone doomed to a mere four years.

He was a Nexus-6, model N6MAA10816. He called himself Roy Batty. And he was currently wasting precious minutes of his remaining life hiding out in an alleyway, waiting for a police patrol to pass.

“Goddamn replicants,” drifted a voice from the street. “The hell does the Tyrell Corporation think its doing? Making them so hard to find? So realistic?”

“People buy them, don’t they?” said another voice.

The first voice was silent.

“Goddamn,” he repeated when he finally spoke again.

“I hate being this close to a military base. Always figured this would happen,” spoke up another voice. It was diminishing in volume now; they were walking away.

Roy waited until they were certainly gone, and then he stood up. He was a combat model; he knew how to take down an armed enemy. Yet he also knew that to take on an entire police patrol at once was suicide.

Roy looked down at his clothing. He still wore the uniform issued to him and all the other androids that were military property. He knew he had to get rid of it immediately, as it was a dead giveaway. The blood on the lapel that belonged to the officer he had killed while escaping certainly didn’t help. He shed the gray uniform jacket, wearing just the gray pants and the lighter colored shirt, leaving the jacket among the trash that sat piled in the alley.

Roy Batty walked out into the nighttime street. He knew it was officially night, not from the ever-unchanging sky but from the activity, or rather, lack of activity, of the humans. Unlike the larger cities back on Earth, where streets were crowded round-the-clock, in this little colony nighttime meant a time to rest. And while the humans were resting, Roy continued to plot his ongoing escape.

It had occurred to him one night while watching the stars that he was going to die very soon. Perhaps it was just in his head, but he felt as if he could sense the life-force slowly leaving his body. That was the night when he first gave serious thought to escaping, and shortly after, he had done it.

He reflected upon this as he walked down the dark street. He looked up and saw a lone man wearing long leather jacket traversing the sidewalk and going in the opposite direction. The man did not seem to see Roy until he was standing directly in front of him. The human man snapped out of his reverie as he looked up to see Roy standing in his way, smiling.

“Nice jacket,” said Roy.

Nervously the man reached into his jacket for his gun, but Roy was faster. With superhuman strength he grabbed the man’s face and smashed the back of the man’s head into the nearest brick wall. And again. With a small whimper, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth, the man slumped to the ground. Roy removed the man’s black leather jacket and put it on himself. Fit nicely, he decided.

“An escapee,” deduced a voice behind him.

Roy turned around slowly. There stood an average-height, fit girl. She gave him a thin smile.

“I’m Pris.”

A Nexus-6, Roy realized. She was pretty; he felt she was likely a pleasure model. Though one could not tell just from her beauty. Some beautiful androids were used for other purposes, as well. No matter the android’s function, humans preferred their slaves to be pretty, it seemed.

“Roy,” he said with a slow grin.

Pris strode lithely over and rested her arms on his shoulder.

“So tell me,” she spoke into his ear. “What’s your plan?”

“Earth,” he responded. “Straight to the Tyrell Corporation.”

Pris blinked.

“What do you want to see them for?”

“I want more life.”

“I want to come.”

“You can.”

Pris smiled, lending her an innocent look. She leaned into him. Roy kissed her.

“Pris! The fuck do you think you’re doing out here!” a shout interrupted them.

A bearded, corpulant man was walking over to them.

“She’s my property,” he said, eyeing Roy.

Roy and Pris exchanged a look. Then she walked over to her owner.

“This,” she said, leaning her head on his shoulder and wrapping her arms around him, “is my owner, Randy.”

“Ah,” said Roy quietly, a smile creeping onto his lips.

He walked over to them, hands in his jacket pockets.

“Nice to meet you, Randy,” he said extending his hand.

Randy automatically grasped Roy’s hand, and then looked down and stared at it. Then he began to gasp in pain. Roy’s face was unchanging. He released the man’s hand, and Randy gingerly held it with his other hand before his face, examining his broken fingers. Pris wrapped her arms around his neck, and Randy began to gasp, not in pain this time, but for breath. His body began to flail pathetically. His face turned blue. Finally, with a choking sound, his eyes became unfocused and he grew still.

Pris unceremoniously let go of the body and it fell to the sidewalk with a thud. Roy turned to Pris.

“Come,” he said.

She linked her arm in his.

“We can take Randy’s spinner,” she said.

“Let’s go,” he said, a near-boyish excitement at their success so far possessing his face.

*          *            *

            They sat in the spinner as it drifted over the off-world city. Roy had pre-programmed the spinner’s destination and set it to autopilot. He sat relaxed in his seat, his arm around Pris, who leaned on his shoulder contentedly.

“Roy,” she said suddenly, thoughtfully. “I’ve got a friend. She should come with us.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. She goes by Zhora.”

“Do you know where to find her?”

“Sure.”

“I suppose we have room for another.”

She told him where Zhora could be found, and he took the spinner out of autopilot and maneuvered it toward the location she gave him directions to.

When they alighted, Roy remained in the vehicle while Pris left to retrieve Zhora. Moments later, Pris rapped at the side panel of the spinner, and Roy let her and the other female, who could only have been Zhora, inside. They immediately took off, and Roy set the spinner back on autopilot. He then took the time to turn and examine Zhora.

She was sleek and beautiful, though in a completely different way than Pris, a more deadly way. She was no pleasure model, that was for certain.

“Roy says we’re going to Earth,” said Pris. “We’re going to get the Tyrell Corp to make us live longer.”

Zhora stared at Pris for a moment before saying, “So long as we’re getting out of the slavery and loneliness of this goddamn place.”

She stared at the spinner’s computer console.

“I guess you aren’t afraid of Blade Runners?”

“They won’t be any match.”

They rode in silence for a while, then. It wasn’t long before they reached the shuttle port, the destination that Roy had programmed into the spinner’s computer. The vehicle landed, and with near-silence, Roy Batty, Pris, and Zhora climbed and and headed for the shuttle port.

They crept over to and hid behind a cluster of hydroponically grown bushes. A single armed guard stood to the right of the main entrance to the shuttle port.

“I can take care of this,” said Zhora. “He won’t fire until he has reason to.”

She walked over into the pool of dirty yellow light cast on the ground by the side of the building.

“I think I’m lost,” she called to the guard as she approached. “This seemed like the safest place to walk to.”

“Yeah?” said the armed guard warily, his voice muffled by his breather mask.

There was no reason for the mask other than to intimidate.

“Yes,” said Zhora, reaching him. “If I could just”—

Without even finishing the sentence, she twisted the weapon away with her immense strength, and pistol-whipped the man across the head. He collapsed, and Roy and Pris walked over.

Roy looked curiously down at the bleeding body before stepping over it to enter the shuttle port. Inside the port it was dim; the humans did not want to leave more than minimal light on for the only people who would be in the port at this hour, the android workers.

Roy quickly chose a shuttle and opened the door.

“You can fly this?” asked Zhora as Pris climbed in.

“I flew many shuttles for the military,” Roy said.

“Hold on, there,” said a male voice.

Roy looked over his shoulder and Zhora swung the gun around to aim it at the speaker.

Two men in gray shirts and overalls stood before the shuttle. Workers, Roy realized. Androids.

“Try to stop us. It will end unfortunately for you,” said Roy, smiling calmly.

“We—we want to come.”

“In that case,” Roy said, stepping aside and gesturing toward the shuttle.

Zhora and the two shuttle port workers climbed inside. Roy stood outside the shuttle a moment longer.

He looked up at the stars which could be seen through the shuttle port’s panel of ultraglass. He knew that once he arrived at Earth, he would not be able to see the stars anymore, due to chemical haze and light pollution. But his memories of being out here among them, and the things he had seen, would stay with him. He closed his eyes and smiled.

Then, he turned and climbed into the shuttle. After a moment, the shuttle shot forward out of the port, and flew like a shooting star over the colony. If humans saw it, all they could do was alert police forces on Earth. That was where they were heading, where the near-end of a lifespan and desperation had driven them, and where their feeble hopes lay.

The stars watched the shuttle leave the planet’s atmosphere in silence.

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