Hello and welcome back to Peace, Love, and Comics! Sector 43 is a short story series by myself and if you clicked on this, then hopefully you’ve read the first two parts. In the first two parts of my story, our heroes Miles and Melissa discovered they were stranded in a different universe. A strange man in a purple suit named Mystic Man revealed himself at the end of Part 2. Today, we’ll learn a bit more about Sector 43 and their motives. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do like it, please share it.
“Sector 43, this is Captain Victor Santana with my co-pilot, Juan Martinez.”
“Sector 43, this is Captain Angela Jones, requesting portal access.”
“Sector 43, this is Mohammed Hassan requesting portal access with my partner, Deandre Yondell.”
“Sector 43, do you copy?”
“Do you read me? Sector 43?”
An intern sat as his desk on a Tuesday. Worst day of the week if you ask him. It felt long, just like every day, but there were still three long, grueling days to look forward too. Coffee didn’t help. Packing his favorite lunch didn’t help. Nothing helped. Well, money would have helped. Unpaid internship. ‘Do it for the experience’ is what his friends told him. ‘You’re too young to worry about money anyways’ is what his mom told him. School was draining him, and he had no social life. Nothing helped.
“Sector 43, this is Captain Trey Lowers, do you copy?”
The intern twitched a bit. Today was his first day in radio command. There wasn’t any money but seeing the inside of this room was pretty great. All the colors, the holograms on the tables, tablets the size of his apartment, and a view no one could beat. He took a moment to take in the view.
Outside, he saw what everyone saw. Monumental skyscrapers, flying cars, and sky-trains that traveled at near lightspeed. And below, a city. A city filled with knowledge and wealth. And above that city, were men. Men who were in the same room as the intern. They were standing by the windows of radio command. The windows were just big tablets. The men typed furiously as displays changed in front of them. For a second, the intern caught a glance of what they were working on.
Each display seemed to be some sort of camera feed. The men were cycling through them incredibly fast. They were watching the people in the city. The intern watched too. One lady was eating lunch. Another was on the phone, laughing without a care in the world. The last woman they looked at was yelling at what appeared to be her supervisor.
The intern could hardly hear what the woman was saying. But the person she was yelling at appeared to be her boss. She was quitting. She threw her arms in the air and yelled something that everyone in radio command heard.
“I’ll show you. I’ll start my own company, asshole!”
Her voice was beautiful. Powerful, but beautiful. The men tapped the window a couple of times. The image of the woman was stopped instantly.
“Who’s turn is it to do the paperwork?”
“Yours. I bought lunch the other day.”
The man stepped away from the window and left the room. Another man stepped in to take his place. It was a cycle they had down to a science.
What a city, the intern thought.
The intern had read about what this great city used to look like only a decade or so ago. Had a different name too.
Houston. It sounded weird in his head. Saint Aquinas sounded much better. Rolled off the tongue. Gave the city a sort of class.
“Do you copy, Sector 43?”
The intern snapped back into reality and looked over at his supervisor.
“Do I answer it?” he asked.
His supervisor didn’t say a word. The intern started to wonder when his lunch break was today. He also started to wonder if he had a test coming up in his astronomy class. Would this help with that? Would a job at the world’s most advanced scientific research facility help him with his test? Sounded like a silly question in his head, but he wasn’t sure. He was sure about wanting to go on break, however.
His supervisor finally moved. Still didn’t say a word. He pointed to a button next to a large display. The intern didn’t know what he was looking at. The display looked to be some sort of map. On the map, there appeared to be—portals? Space stations? He wasn’t sure. His supervisor continued to point at the button.
“Press it,” he finally said sternly.
“Sector 43, I’m not receiving audio. Radio is working fine and says my signal is coming through loud and clear. This is Captain Trey Low—”
The intern pressed the button. And the radio feed instantly ended.
But why? Why would they cut off communication to their astronauts? Everyone wanted to be one. They were heroes. Heroes who traversed the galaxy, only to never come back. Every time an astronaut went into space from this great city, they never returned. Sometimes, Sector 43 would say the astronauts chose to stay in space. Say they chose to be true patriots and dedicate their lives to the cause. But that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes, they had families. Sometimes, the families had questions. Sector 43 didn’t always provide answers.
The intern stopped caring about his lunch. He began to wonder about Trey Lowers. He wondered about who he was before he was a famous astronaut for the Sector. Did he have a family? Kids? He began typing and looked up the astronaut. The computer asked for his credentials, which he had received only for the day that he was in radio command, and he gave them. It then gave two options. It gave the “research” option or the “real” option. The intern squinted at the computer. He didn’t know what any of this meant. He clicked the research option.
Everything about Trey Lowers popped up. His high school baseball stats, his social media profile, and any stories about him from his hometown. Standard stuff. So then, the intern exited out and hit the real option instead. Stories of his death ran, along with some videos of an “accident” he had been in. Each video appeared to be some sort of ship exploding over Earth. All the dates on the articles were pre-dated too. Before the intern could click on an article, his computer shut off. Only his though. His supervisor was standing in front of him, his eyes narrowed, and sweat sitting on the top of his bald head.
“You’re fired,” he said. “If you speak a word of this to anyone, we will know. The Sector does too much important work for it to be ruined by brats like you. Pack your things.”
The intern couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t surprised he was getting fired, but what in the hell was on that computer? He couldn’t ponder it too long. Security had come to escort him out of the building. As he walked towards the door, the intern heard another call. And as he exited the room, it faded, just like his call with Trey Lowers did.
“Sector 43, this is Captain Amanda Stanton, do you copy?”
“Is anyone there? Sector 43?”
I hope you enjoyed this part. Lots going on with Sector 43 and in part 4, we’ll get back to Miles and Melissa. Can Mystic Man help them, or will they be stranded forever? Only two parts of the story left, and I promise it’s about to get crazy. Thank you for reading and make sure to follow me on Twitter @peacelovecomics Until next time!