Jun 23 2331
Hello, my name is 75814032-38-2312-Gorpa-532614. I may well be the only one in this slave pit who knows what that means. First here is my serial number, then my slave batch, then the year my batch was made, then the planet I am on, and then the slave pit I am in. The only reason that I know this is because my friend in record keeping taught me to read Goruz. As for what I am, the guards call me “humin” though I honestly have no idea what that means. My whole batch was created using pre-given genetic material. We aren’t clones, but we all have the same “parents” is that is what they should be called.
I still don’t know why I chose to write this journal. So far my life has been nothing but monotony. I am just another slave, working in just another slave pit, building just another fighter, for just another war. My friend from record keeping points out that pessimism won’t get me anywhere, but where is there to go. He is the lucky one. He was created as a research slave. He looks like me, but his brain was enhances for greater mental capacity. That is why he is in the administration building and I am on the 29th level of the pit breathing toxic fumes while I weld together mass drivers. He told me that when the Empire came out with new and better models for the science slaves he and his whole group were reassigned to the more simple tasks of administering slave pits. We only meet when he is doing a survey of the area to make sure that all of the machinery works. Apart from that he has told me nothing about his job and what he does. I can only assume it is better than mine. Oh, his name is 243-MK18-2298, though everyone here is known by the last two digits of their serial number.
The slave pit I am in is very ordered. There are fifty levels. On the bottom level the metals that we use are mined. As the levels progress upward the metals are melted, casted, and welded until the finished product appears at the top. In this case the finished products are space cannons. 43 told me that while space cannons were outdated, the empire still used them on patrol fighters for their cheapness. I am on level 29 so I am doing the basic welding of the cannon’s outside. My only possessions are a welder and one set of clothes. Also on this level are 100 other slaves like myself and two guards. Their names are Kor’ta and Tri’tar. They are about as stupid as they are evil. They know that there will always be more slavelings, so they are dispensable. Also they feel resentment because it is us keeping them off the front line of battle. Their way is dealing with their anger usually involves tossing a slaveling off the edge of our platform down to the bottom on the pit. The only person they can’t do this to is 43 because he is too valuable to the empire. I avoid this by keeping my head down and working as I have done for the past 19 years.
Jun 28 2331
Yesterday an alarm sounded and all of the guards rushed to the surface. That is a big deal in our uneventful lives. After 20 minutes the guards returned and it was business as usual. That day a group of five guards ran a thorough inspection of our level before continuing to the next one. Later 43 told me that a nation called the Terran Alliance had just declared war on our masters. I had never heard of them before, but at the time anyone was better than out current masters. That got me thinking something that I had never really thought about before. Did I want to help our masters?
My answer was obviously “no”. This was mainly because I didn’t want to be thrown over the edge of the pit by Kor’ta or Tri’tar. That meant that I had to help these Terrans in any way I could. The only question was how.
Jun 29 2331
I finally found a way to help the Terrans. The models of the space cannons that are sent up to my level are just the firing tube and another shell around it. My job is to weld the firing mechanism to the cannons that are sent to me. My plan is to use my welder to melt the side of the firing tube a bit. This will cause the metal to drip down and form a bump at the bottom of the tube. This will cause the cannon to jam. Every day I see 200 cannons pass under my nose. Today I was able to sabotage half of them without the guards knowing. I don’t think the Drengin inspect the finished products, so for now I am safe. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of elation at my actions. For the first time in my life I was doing something useful.
Jul 1 2331
When 43 made his next inspection he brought me some news. Apparently some slaves in slave pit 436611 had attempted a revolt. They had used the pistols their pit was producing to kill their guards and take over the facility. The planetary governor had assigned troops to take the facility back. That gave me a new idea. I told 6 other welders what my plan was that night. We would sneak up behind the guards and then while one of us covered the guard’s mouths with his shirt to stop him from screaming, the other two would stab their welders through the guard’s eyes. There were 6 of us, so we had just enough for the plan to succeed. We chose to move in three days while I made other arrangements.
Jul 2 2331
I spoke to 43 about my plan. At first he didn’t believe me. After I convinced him that I actually planned to do it, he tried to talk me out of it. He told me that the revolt of the factory he told me about was just put down when Drengin atmospheric fighters leveled the building on top, and it was then filled in, burying the slaves inside. I put the image out of my head. He had no love of the Drengin either so I finally made a deal with him. If I managed to take most of the pit, he would send out a signal about a toxic spill and then lock down the facility. With any luck, the Drengin would assume that everyone in the facility was dead, and they would simply build another one without giving ours a second thought.
We will make out move tomorrow.
Jul 4 2331
I am relieved to be writing right now. Here is a rundown of what happened yesterday:
Five minutes before we were supposed to wake up me and my friends got up and found our welders. Kor’ta was on watch, but he was drowsing. Things turned out easier than expected. We had killed both before they had the chance to call for help. Now according to the plan me and 18 took their rifles while 14 and 26 took their side arms and guarded the ladder leading to our level. The rest of us proceeded to the level below us. Those guards weren’t expecting us either. We use our welders of them to, in the hopes of keeping things quiet until we had to fire. We still woke a few people on that level and had them take the dead guards weapons and follow us. It was surprising how enthusiastic they were. They hadn’t even known about any plan until we woke them, but after seeing the dead guards, they immediately chose to help. We ended up clearing all of the levels below ours in a matter of minutes. None of the guards were actually awake, and reveille sounded just after we had killed the guards on the bottom level. By the time we got back to level 29 we had 42 men armed with rifles and 42 armed with pistols. Also we had pretty much the rest of the slaves from the cleared levels, all waiting for a gun. It was then that I decided to signal 43. I fired my rifle once, and then had two others fire in unison. That was the signal for 43 to shut down the facility and send out the report of the toxic waste before destroying the communications grid. I could only hope that he succeeded. The rest of us climbed up the stairs, killing all the guards we met. There was no need for secrecy now. Either the planetary government had just quarantined our pit, or they were sending bombers in to bury us alive. Either way the only thing to do was push up. It was only on level 8 that we finally wet some resistance. Five guards were sent down to investigate the gunfire. They killed anyone who tried to climb the ladder on to their level. Our revolt would have ended there if it weren’t’ for the workers on that level who engaged the guards hand to hand giving us time to climb up the ladder and subdue them. By the time we had killed all of those guards we had lost 8 armed men and 16 of the slaves on that level. Finally we reached the top building. All slave pits have a building on top where the food, raw materials, and finished products are stored. It is also where the communications, commander’s quarters, and other vital installations are. Around it is a barbed wire fence with a gate so trucks cane come in to pick up and drop off supplies. When I climbed out of the pit for the first time in my life I found myself in a storage room. It was filled with food and metal ore. I assume that by the end of the day it would be filled with space cannons. We moved through the building encountering little resistance. There were a couple Drengin troops outside of the ops room. They were trying to force the door open. When they were dead, 43 came out with a few other startles looking slaves from record keeping. It seemed apparent that 43 had forgotten to tell them the plan. I continued down the hallway to a locked door. It was solid metal, and we weren’t able to force it open. We assumed it was the base commander. We didn’t know what to do, until someone had a brilliant idea. 20 men secured the top building and 20 more waited outside the door, while the others returned to their jobs. We then built one space cannon. Out pit doesn’t manufacture the ammunition for the cannons, but we found some stored away in the armory. We then brought the cannon up to the door and fired. The cannon easily pierced the door, killing two Drengin troops. Then it was just charging in and killing the remaining shell-shocked Drengin troops.
By the time we were done it was late at night. We left 50 men in the top building, and the rest of us returned to out levels and immediately fell asleep.
At the time we felt invincible. If only we knew what was coming.
End of Part 1