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Red Chamber

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Blurb

All of humanity resides on Saturn’s rings known as Lustrous Utopia I, ruled by the diplomatic High

Priestess. The top quadrant of the planet is reserved for prisons, where Titan reigns as the most

dangerous of all. After being betrayed by his partner Darius, Lex finds himself sentenced to life on Titan

for a crime he didn’t commit. His family life destroyed, never to see his wife or his daughter Halo again.

Once you enter the Red Chamber...you will never escape.

I've been published in such publications as Suspense Magazine, Lycan Valley Press, The Fictional Cafe, Drunk Monkeys, Red Fez and others. I've currently self published three novels. I plan to release more shorts and novels. Honestly, I'm just a wisp of smoke gliding across the astral plane, purposely creating thoughtful stories to keep you up at night.

Red Chamber is created by Derrick R. Lafayette, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
I remembered the day I got here. I saw toxic rain descend on the oblong tunnel entrance. They called it the 'Red Chamber.' An air-locked passageway straight into hell, straight towards Titan. My stretched neck, clamped with rusted iron, body manacled, didn't stop me from looking back through the curved glass. I was able to make out the iridescent glow of the fat raindrops. They looked like miniature lightning bolts, with a dash of purple in its nucleus. Storming all over my soon-to-be-forgotten home, a rainbow array of colors illuminating from the bustling streets, houses, and skyscrapers. All I'd ever known, washed away before me, shadowed by the monstrous rain clouds above. I'll never return, and for a systematic man like myself, a routine man, you can understand the panic. It sparked a whisper into the cave of my heart, the monster's egg hatching in my soul. My job as an enforcer, my medals for serving in war, my ten-year-old daughter Halo, my life. The man I used to be, the body I occupied back in civilization. I drew a line in the proverbial sand, planted both magnetic boots on the walkway, I would not move. Let every other prisoner go on, the endless centipede of criminals in chains. I don't belong here, I thought. Until a platinum cattle prod was jammed into my ribcage. Fifty-thousand volts traversed my lungs, kissed my spine, and the ground caught my knees. "You think I like watching captives die on the Red Walk? The three hundred yard stretch it takes to reach Titan. Easily the most horrific compound in all of the top quadrant. Even Umbrage don't like going there, and we run the damn place. All those stories that leak to the press. Murder, cannibalism, corruption, you think we enjoy that? The reputation?" screamed Grey Mason, captain of the Umbrage, clutching the cattle prod in taut cowhide leather gloves. Grey was a man of fifty years old, with the strength of two twenty-year-olds. His entire uniform was tight, and he enjoyed the tension. It was a crimson colored body suit, hologram badge over the left pectoral, with mechanical holsters on both sides, and two small compartments in the back that contained the cattle prods. Atop his head was a mass of thick, wild, gray hair, and his right eye was a marble made of copper. "...looks like we got us a Silent Sandy, boys. I asked him a direct question, previous to a direct shock to his side. But he thinks he's strong enough to resist me." Grey twisted a ring around the cattle prod handle, upping the voltage to one-hundred thousand. I caught my breath, my knees gathered strength, and I stood. I placed my face right in his. I nearly forgot my depressing thoughts while staring in his copper eye. Another Umbrage with an easily forgettable face, skinny, seventy-five pounds soaking wet, no doubt his subordinate, stepped in-between us. His eyes were sunken, an air of desperation surrounding him. With a quick snap of my constrained neck, I rammed my forehead directly into the bridge of his nose. A lovely thin line of blood catapulted from his nostrils. Roaring applause soared throughout the Red Chamber, as the subordinate landed hard on his back. During this time the other inmates championed me. This is before they knew my past. Amazing how reputation and distance can transform you from a well-known citizen to a ghost. In the dire circumstance we found ourselves in, the inevitable march to imprisonment, everyone, new to captivity, scared, at that moment we loved each other. Zed, an Umbrage of no more than twenty-five years old, sergeant hologram badge on his chest, laid kind brown eyes on me, before spraying poison directly into my pupils. A waterfall of pain, meshed with a cherry red mist, invaded my eyes. It felt like small gremlins were stomping on my brain with razor-sharp cleats. A scream of agony escaped my mouth, but it was engulfed in a blaring alarm that sounded off. Circular holes materialized in the ceiling, dropping orbs of blue lights that began strobing wildly. Zed forcefully removed my cuffed hands from my burning eyes and sprayed a gray substance onto my face. "This will subdue the burning. Do me a favor, listen to what we say, especially him (Pointing to Grey)." The Umbrage I head-butted popped up off the ground, stumbling, his vision still blurry. He squinted, searching for his superior. Grey, distracted, noticed a sea of heads shifting violently further down the Red Path, near the entrance to Titan. He whipped out his service weapon, a gleaming, silver magnum, and cheered into the sky. "WE GOT A RUNNER!" A parting of shackled criminals made way for Grey to rush to the front. By the time he arrived, five other Umbrages had the three-hundred-pound prisoner on the ground. Three knees in his back, the massive convict managed to snap the rusted iron from his neck and the restraints on his body. Even with five on him, they struggled. Two of them sprayed the same cherry red mace that was used on me, no effect. This particular inmate was accustomed to pain; he was a known masochist in District 2. They called him Black Sword, and he ran a seedy b**m shop in the alleyways near the casinos. His specialty was forgetting the safe word when things became unsafe. His s****l taste for pain graduated to a taste for murder, snuff films, that kind of thing. District 2 is where a lot of strange, different crime occurs; it's easy to lose yourself in that ether of sin. The laws were a bit looser, women were too, and gambling ran all night. Black Sword's films became significant on the market, titled 'Pierced by a Swordsman.' Wasn't long till the Citadel caught wind. Plus, he wanted to get caught, get the attention. Splitting someone open, on eight-millimeter film, in a wave of ecstasy, just wasn't enough anymore. When the enforcers caught him, two women were found crucified upside down in his office, half a man's torso in his locked safe. Black Sword was sitting on the floor naked, slicing his inner thigh with a laser knife. Now, headed to Titan for fifteen years, on day one, they found his weakness. He wished that he remembered his safe word. That is until Grey created a hole between his hollow eyes. The bullet exited the back of his head. The five Umbrages struggled no more. "Remember that part about cannibalism?" Grey chuckled. "Well, this large piece of meat..." Black Sword's body twitched, all the Umbrages jumped back, Grey nonchalantly put another hole in him. "...Like I said. This large, dead, piece of meat I can guarantee will be in the complimentary meal you will be served during orientation. Hope you like your meatloaf extra black. We don't waste anything here at Titan. And aside from tonight, we will not feed you anymore on Titan. There's a genetically made animal that will be released within the space you are granted. You are to catch it and eat it if you're smart, you may even create a fire and learn to cook it. If you f**k with me, you BECOME the animal, just like him (Pointing the gun barrel down to Black Sword), to be eaten by your fellow scum. Do I like watching captives die on the Red Walk? Yes, yes I do."

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