Some information before we begin...
What follows is a little story I did a couple of years back. The main character, Purge, was created waaaay before that; 1993 to be exact. He was part of this big, sprawling science fiction epic that I had thought up. He was the resident omnipotent powerful bad guy/weirdo. If you're stumped, think of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But after taking the story out to the people, it was decided that it would be shelved (read: they didn't like it). But then I became obsessed, um, engaged, with "Daye and Dave." But that's another story, literally.
After bugging my friends to death about the trials and tribulations of that world, one suggested (actually in a evil tone) that I write something new.
So I did, and this is the result. I pulled Purge out from obscurity, dusted him off, and away he went. Enjoy.
Purge was resting on a cot in an empty room, staring at the gray ceiling. He wasn't thinking about anything in particular, just getting lost in the many miniscule lines darting around the walls. He suddenly heard a high-pitched screech in his mind. No one around could hear it but Purge. It was the signal to come before Macho, high commander of the Lagamorfians.
"I'm coming, your furry eminence," Purge mumbled as he got up. The door slid open, and Purge headed to the throne room. He dreaded what Macho was going to ask him to do. Last time, Purge had to single-handedly alter time so the Lagamorfians would discover a certain galaxy as foretold in the Scrolls by their god, the Great Lop. Just another job for the Lagamorfians' slave.
Purge's race of immortal beings lived a seemingly normal existence until the Lagamorfians revealed their furry, bunny-like selves. After discovering a genetic flaw in their immortality, the Lagamorfians proceeded to destroy everyone and their planet. Their reason for genocide? Purge's planet blocked the system's sun during a Lagamorfian day. However, the Lagamorfians did spare Purge's life. They liked his lack of authority and decided to use him as their assassin.
Purge soon entered in the throne room. He wore a black jumpsuit which didn't hide his thinness very well. His ponytail fluttered as the giant doors closed behind him. Black circle- rimmed sunglasses hid his glowing red eyes. He wore them because his eyes were sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of Lagos' sun. Macho sat on the other side in a giant throne. He wore a military uniform with shades of crimson and black laced throughout. His light blue furry face was stone cold. Purge didn't like this, but, then again, Macho never cracked a cute smile. Purge always called the high commander Macho because he never figured out how to pronounce his real name.
"Purge," Macho said, echoing throughout the room, "I have a little job for you."
"Please don't let it be another time-travel thing, Macho," Purge said. "I hate altering the space-time continuum, especially for your furry glory. Wears me out on top of that."
"Oh, no, Purge. This is something much better." Macho grinned evilly.
"Well, what is it, oh long-eared one?"
"There is a planet that has been...annoying me for some time now. I want you to go and eliminate everything on the planet except the bunnies. They will then regain what is rightfully theirs."
"I assume you're going to give me the powers to destroy this planet."
A ray of some kind shot down from the ceiling and engulfed Purge. He could feel the power seeping through his veins. But there was a catch: Purge couldn't do anything except what his mission dictated. If he attempted escape, he would feel enough pain to kill a human three times over.
"So, uh, what's this planet that's buggin' you?" Purge asked.
"Earth," Macho said.
Purge smiled. "Nice choice, oh floppy one. Earthlings are a bunch of simpletons. But I've only been there once, so maybe they've had a change of heart."
"I am glad you approve of my choice. Now, go. And do not return until you have wiped out Earth's entire population."
"I'll be back before you know it, Macho," Purge said.
"And Purge," Macho said, "stop calling me Macho. You know I despise that."
"I know," Purge grinned. "That's why I do it. And besides, I can't pronounce your real name without breaking my vocal chords."
With that, Purge used his newfound powers and disappeared, leaving Macho alone.
"Foolish creature," Macho said to himself. "He is lucky I have not killed him yet. But, no matter. Soon the galaxy will be my play toy. The Scrolls have foretold of this event. By destroying the humans, the Lagamorfians will be one step closer to becoming the supreme race!"
Just then, the main doors rumbled open, and Macho's trusted advisor, Scrawny (that's what Purge called him) entered.
"Yes, what is it?" Macho asked.
"Sir," Scrawny said, "reports have come in from Phantasma."
"What does Wolfie have to say?"
"He...he's having some difficulty penetrating the outer atmosphere. He says each attempt fails."
Macho growled and ripped the left arm from his throne. "No! Tell him to keep trying. I will not give up on this race. They gave us our intelligence, and I want their powers for my own doing!"
"I will relay the message to him, sir," Scrawny said. He bowed and left the room.
"If Wolfie fails, I will send Purge to Phantasma," Macho said, throwing the chair arm across the room. "Perhaps he will have better luck."
Purge appeared almost instantaneously on Earth during the mid-1990s, ending up in a rural town in Europe (he was never good at figuring the right time to arrive). Purge made a cigarette appear in his hand and lit it. As he smoked (which was more than illusion, since the nicotine couldn't kill him), he planned out his method of attack. Should he just wipe them all out with a snap of his fingers? No, he thought, too easy. Then he'd be back bowing to Macho. Purge decided to take this assignment nice and slow. He figured he could take in the sights while laying waste to everything. He heard Earth wasn't that bad-looking at this point in the space-time continuum.
And so it began.
In the span of five Earth years, Purge walked all around the globe, systematically killing every living thing he came into contact with. All he had to do was just walk past them, and they died. Sometimes he looked at them or pointed at them to kill them. He killed people in their homes, on the streets and sidewalks, working on fields, working in office buildings, everywhere. He even walked on water to get to those on ships and boats. Purge left the vegetation alone so the bunnies wouldn't panic. He also killed every form of wildlife, including the elusive cockroaches.
No one could stop Purge, because no one ever saw him. He became invisible, so it looked like a massive plague was spreading across the world. Scientists were baffled, and the population panicked, believing Judgment Day had arrived.
When Purge was traveling through Australia, Macho made an unexpected appearance. A holographic image materialized in front of Purge.
"How goes the destruction of Earth, Purge?" Macho said. To Macho, Purge had been gone for about three days.
Purge, surprised, replied, "Well, um, Macho, it's taking a while to get around this planet. Give me more time, Long-Ears. I'll lay waste to Earth soon enough."
"I hope so, Purge," Macho said. "If you're doing this just to stay away from me longer..."
"Now why would I do a thing like that?" Purge asked. "I would never prolong your missions. If you want this done right, then I do it on my own time."
"Very well. Continue on your quest. I will contact you when you have killed everything."
"I'm counting down the humans till your return."
Macho just glared and disappeared.
"Asshole," Purge sneered. "God, I love Earth's language."
The smell of rotten flesh soon filled Earth's air, but Purge didn't care. He had often smelled it before. What made this time any different? Just as he was ordered, he let the bunnies live. Bunnies never ate meat before, but since there was so much of it lying around, they decided to try it. Surprisingly, the bunnies liked it. Purge watched with some discomfort as a bunny ate the flesh of a dead, shriveled child.
It was late November as he made his way to the United States, having killed just about everyone on the planet. He was in a small city and saw someone walking around. Purge decided to go up and kill this human in person. He figured that this was the last of the humans, so he wanted this one to count. He materialized and headed toward the person. A cold wind blew as snow flurries fell from the gray sky.
Purge grabbed the person s shoulder and said, "Excuse me, but I need to talk to you."
The person turned around, revealing a young woman with short brown hair, blue eyes, and pale white skin. She looked like she hadn't slept or eaten in days.
"Yeah, what do you want?" the girl asked with a weak voice.
"My name is Purge, and you, my charming lady, are the last living human on this pathetic planet."
She looked at him funny. "How do you know I'm the last one? Are you one of those fucking psychics? I know people have been dropping left and right, but...oh, god. You mean I'm it?" The girl then realized something. "My parents! Holy shit! No, no, they can't be gone. They...they can't be. They were all I had left. Oh, shit..."
"Holy shit?" Purge asked. "Since when is shit holy? Must be one of your profane Earth sayings."
"You're...you're not from around here, are you?" the girl asked after calming down.
"Actually, no. I'm not even from this planet."
"Oh, really. I guess they were right about those Martians, but you don't have a big head and green skin."
Purge looked at her in a funny way. "You know, you're an arrogant female, but I find you strangely attractive."
Purge felt weird inside. For some reason, all he could think about was her, something he hadn't felt in a long time. At the same time he felt a giant ego creep into his subconscious.
"Well, that's nice of you," she said hurriedly, "but I need to go now. Got to get to my folks' house..." She started running down the street, but Purge materialized in front of her. Startled, she stumbled to a halt.
"Listen, you," Purge said. "I've destroyed everything on this world. All that's living is you, me, and the bunnies."
"Get the hell away from me," she said as she tried to run away.
Purge grabbed her arm. "I don't think you understand. You can't possibly survive on this world without becoming a savage. A pretty girl like you shouldn't be eating carrion. Bad for your complexion." Purge let go of her arm, stopped for a couple of seconds, then continued. "I tell you what. Since you've earned a nice place in my heart, I'm going to spare your life."
"Oh, gee, thanks. It's not like I'm going to live forever and shit."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm dead `cause I've got AIDS. Do you know what that is, looney-boy?"
"It's a disease that breaks down my immune system. I've caught so many other fatal diseases, I don't have long before I croak."
Purge wasn't fazed by this news. "You know, I can cure you, and you can live normally again."
She looked at Purge, and with all of her strength, slapped him in the face, causing him to lose his balance and fall down. "You bastard! You killed the only people I ever loved and you have the fucking nerve to cure me?"
Purge got up with as much dignity as he could. "So I killed your parents. You're still alive, aren't you? Isn't your life more important?" She gave him a dirty look even though tears were streaming down her face. Purge didn't want to get slapped again, so he said, "How about this, then. You can come back with me, and we can live together. Be partners for all eternity."
"How stupid are you? How can you expect me to go with you when you've destroyed everything that was dear to me?"
Purge then grabbed her closer. "I know I'm a little rude right now, but in time you'll discover the real me."
"You don't know the meaning of 'no,' do you?"
"Does it look I know? Listen, you haven't even told me your name, and it seems a shame for me not to know it."
"Rachel," she said. "It's Rachel."
"What an elegant name," Purge said, kissing her hand.
"Listen, asshole," Rachel said, jerking her hand away, "let me tell you something. I haven't been with a man since...since my husband died, and I'm not going to break my promise now, especially with a dickweed like you."
"Your husband must have been quite a human for you to make that kind of an oath."
"He was. He was the greatest guy God ever created."
"How did he die?"
"You had to ask, didn't you?" More tears flowed from her eyes. "He...he died in the crossfire during a bank robbery. He was going to get some extra money for...a romantic dinner...oh, god."
Purge looked concerned, but he didn't care. So her husband got shot. Lots of people get shot.
"That's sad and everything," Purge said, "but I think I can make you forget him real quick. It's time to move on with your life, and I'm the guy to help."
Rachel spat in Purge's face. "You're nothing but a selfish, murdering bastard. All you think about is your own fucking ego."
Rachel felt weak and collapsed onto the street curb. Purge sat down beside her.
"So I'm full of myself," Purge said. "I think that's one of my better qualities."
"You've...you've never felt pain, have you?" Rachel asked softly.
"I can't feel pain. I'm immortal."
"Some excuse," she said, trying to keep some of the tears welled up. "Well, pain is not the greatest feeling in the world, let me tell you."
Silence followed. Purge began staring at the snow flurries. He was intrigued, since this was the second time he had seen snow in his life. Purge just loved watching it fall peacefully from the sky. He thought it was the only sane thing on this planet.
"So why in the hell did you destroy the entire human race?" Rachel asked.
"I was ordered to," Purge said.
Rachel laughed for a bit, but it began to hurt. "That's the dumbest excuse I've ever heard! You, of all people, with your death powers, were ordered to wipe out Earth's population?"
"So what's wrong with that?"
"Ever heard of uprising? Rebellion? The Revolutionary War? The Rebel Alliance against the Empire?"
"What? You mean you know about the Galactic Empire?"
"Yeah, it was in a movie by George Lucas."
"I met Vader once. Great person if you don't piss him off."
Rachel was really confused. "You know, I would think you'd have the balls to kill your leader."
"I owe my existence to Macho and the Lagamorfians."
"I don't believe this," Rachel said.
"The Lagamorfians destroyed my people. For some reason, they had a soft spot for me and now I'm their slave. They only give me my 'death powers' when I'm going on a mission.
"How...how could they kill a bunch of immortal freaks?"
"Believe me, I've wondered that myself. But the Lagamorfians did it, and thanks to them, I'm the last of my kind."
"You're such a prick, you know that? With these...powers of yours, you can't even fight back against the ones who wiped out your race.
"Listen, Rachel, if they could kill my people, then they could kill me just as easily. That's why I'm being their faithful servant. Keeps me alive longer. And since I've got these powers, I can do this for you."
Purge waved his hand toward the street, and Rachel's parents materialized. Rachel was shocked.
"What the hell is this?" she asked. "I...I thought they were dead."
"It's not an illusion," Purge said. "I brought them back from the dead. Go ahead, say something to them."
"Mom?" Rachel asked as she slowly got up. "Dad? Can you hear me? It's me, Rachel."
Her mother ran to hug her. Rachel's father joined the embrace.
"Oh, honey," her mother sobbed. "Are you all right? You don't look so good. Are you taking your pills? Are you getting enough sleep?"
"I'm doing fine, Mom," Rachel said. "I...I just can't believe you're here."
"We can't believe it, either," Rachel's father said. "One minute we re heading toward a bright light, the next minute we re here."
Purge sat on the curb and smiled. He knew this display would make Rachel change her mind about being immortal.
"I...I never thought I'd say good-bye to you guys," Rachel said with a quivering voice as she let go of her parents.
"You don't have to say good-bye, Rachel," Purge said. "If you join me, you can make them live forever."
Rachel looked at her parents, then Purge. "No," she said, sniffing. "This isn't right. They died, and that's that. Bringing them back is just wrong. People...don't live...forever."
Purge sighed. "And I wanted so much for you to agree with me. Must've lost my touch."
With that, Purge killed Rachel's parents again. The two fell to the street.
Rachel sat down next to Purge. "Look, I don't want to live anymore. I've lived my life the only way I could, and now it's time for me to die and move on to the next stage, seeing's how there's nothing left, thanks to you."
Purge lowered his head and waved his left hand toward Rachel. Her eyes rolled back and she fell into Purge's lap. Rachel was dead, and now all human life on Earth was wiped out. Suddenly, a holographic image of Macho materialized in front of Purge. "The Great Lop will be eternally grateful for your deeds. Congratulations, Purge. I knew you could do it, my boy."
Purge placed Rachel on the sidewalk and got up. Purge looked at Macho and smiled. "You're right. For the first time, you're absolutely right."
Purge lifted his hand and killed Macho on the other side of the galaxy, just like the millions he killed before. Tears streamed from his crimson eyes.
"I can't believe it," Purge said, almost to the point of laughing. "I just killed that bastard, and I'm not dead! Macho played me like an idiot! What the hell took me so long?" After laughing hysterically for a few seconds, Purge looked down at Rachel. "Thank you, my sweet. You have shed a whole new light on my existence." He picked her up and kissed her passionately on the lips. "I shall never forget you, Rachel."
At that moment, Purge knew his life wouldn't be the same. With his newly acquired powers, no one was going to push him around anymore. Not the Lagamorfians, not a living soul. Purge was pissed off at the universe, and it was time for him to become a bigger asshole.
Purge just smiled. This was going to be so much fun.
This story and art is copyright (c) 1999 Michael Fortuna. Any unauthorized use (copying, distributing, rewrites, mutilations) of this story will result in pain. Lots of pain. You have been warned.
Some information before you leave...
What you just read wasn't the original version (isn't that the case with every story?). It had more of a fantasy twist to it, and Purge was more powerful. You see, when I was taking a science fiction class at UF, I showed this tale to the professor as a possible story to turn in for a grade. He wanted me to explain how things happened, which I didn't. So instead of fixing it, he kindly asked me to write something else.
So I did.
I wrote a sci-fi story involving a smuggler being hunted. I even brought Purge into the story. He's basically the same way he is in this version of "purge your souls."
Don't forget to give your love to Carolyn Fortuna, my sister and the one who supplied these lovely pictures. She's amazing with a pencil (and she helped me fix this story), and I am forever in her debt.
And that's all you need to know. For now.