For centuries the people of this planet thought that they were the only people in the universe. They lived. They loved. They laughed. They played. However, their quiet existence was about to be interrupted.
On a quiet summer’s evening a young scientist, Dr. Jordan Ellis, is taking home his pretty lab assistant Laura Thompson.
“It’s nice of you to drive me home Dr. Ellis.”
“It’s the least I could do. I made you work late and you missed your ride. Oh! Please don’t call me Dr. Ellis. I prefer Jordan.”
“About the project that you’ve just started. What is the importance of it?”
“The government has me exploring other methods of fuel for transportation. I sent a satellite into space to capture solar radiation. What we’re working with now is the material that the probe captured. I hope to use the power from the sun to power cars, rockets and other methods of transportation.”
“What have you found about the radiation?”
“ So far the radiation that it came back with doesn’t seem to be harmful to plants or humans. That’s on the positive side. On the negative side it doesn’t act as propulsion for cars either.”
“Well everything exist for a reason. There must be a reason why that radiation exist.”
Suddenly a loud explosion rips through the air. The two are so startled by it that Jordan runs into a ditch on the side of the road. He stops the car and they get out. Jordan inspects the car while Laura looks around for the source of the noise.
“Well the car doesn’t look too bad.”
“But where did that noise come from?”
“That sounded like a sonic boom. Either something entered or escaped the atmosphere traveling faster then sound.”
Jordan looks around the horizon then suddenly points to the east.
“Look over there.”
“What is that? A shooting star?”
“I don’t know. Let’s follow it and find out.”
They get back into the car. Jordan maneuvers the car back onto the road. They head east, in the direction of the star. Their anticipation is high and they cover many miles in what seems like only seconds. They come upon a deserted field. They get out of the car and climb to the top of an embankment. When they look out on the field they see a huge round silver metal object. It sits there still and silent. It is clearly out of place and yet in a strange way it seems like it should be there.
Laura leans toward Jordan.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe it’s some sort of shuttle.”
“There’s an Army base not far from here. Maybe they’ll know.”
Just then they hear a rumbling behind them. They turn and see a cloud of dust coming down the road. They climb down the embankment. As they reach the road the dust settles and reveals a group of Army jeeps and tanks that have stopped not far from their car.
An officer gets out of the lead jeep. He has three stars on his helmet. He is obviously the man in charge as he starts shouting orders.
“Sgt. James! Move those tanks into position.”
Jordan approaches the man.
“Excuse me sir…”
“Just a minute. Lieutenant Overstreet! Get those men up on that ridge.”
“Excuse me Mister…”
“Sharp! GENERAL Sharp. What do you want sir? Do you live nearby?”
“No I work nearby. This is Miss Laura Thompson my assistant she lives near here. I’m Dr. Jordan Ellis. I was giving Miss Thompson a ride home when we saw the craft come down.”
“ You both saw it?”
“Well this could be a dangerous area. You better leave.”
“General I’m working with the government and I have a security clearance.”
The General gets a look of disgust, as he now seems to have a government official on site that may out rank him. He calls for the Sgt. and points to a deserted old log cabin.
“Sgt. James! Take Dr. Ellis and Miss Thompson to that cabin. I’ll phone headquarters to check on his security clearance and talk to them later.”
The minutes pass like hours. Jordan, Laura & Sgt. James exchanged small talk. Jordan hoped the Sgt. would reveal something about the ship. However, he was a good solider and revealed little about himself and nothing about the ship.
Finally the General arrived. He marched right up to the Sgt.. The Sgt. stood at attention and saluted the General. General Sharp returned the salute.
“At ease Sgt.! You can return to your unit. I want to talk to Dr. Ellis alone.”
As the Sgt. leaves the General pulls Dr. Ellis aside but motions for Laura to stay where she is.
“Well Dr. you do have security clearance.”
The General smiles as he says “But I can’t tell you anything unless I want to tell you. You have the lowest level of clearance.”
“Well General tell me whatever you can so I can help.”
The General smiled.
“I can’t tell you anything.”
“No! But I don’t mind if you help.”
“Can’t you tell me what that ship is of where it is from?”
“How can I help if you won’t tell me anything.”
“Not won’t Dr. I can’t cause your level won’t allow it.”
“General you need to tell me something. At least to let me get started.”
“I am going to give you some information. However, you can’t tell anyone. Not even Miss Thompson.”
“That ship is not from our planet. We aren’t even certain it’s from this solar system. It just showed up on radar and headed straight here. By the time we could gather any information together it landed.”
Dr. Ellis looked concerned as his mind processed this information.
“If they aren’t from this solar system, then they have either been traveling for years or…”
“Or they may have been traveling faster then the speed of sound.”
“That’s crazy. Nothing could travel that fast.”
Suddenly the General’s radio come to life.
“General Sharp! You need to get back here ASAP!”
“What is it Lieutenant?”
“There’s some activity coming from the craft.”
The General gets in his jeep and starts the engine. Dr. Ellis and Laura get in the back and they drive back to the embankment.
As they move across the bumpy terrain Laura moves closer to Jordan. She puts her hand on his shoulder and whispers to him.
“So what did he tell you?”
“I can’t tell you now cause I promised I wouldn’t. But I did get a lesson on who’s in charge here.”
They come to a stop in front of the Lieutenant. The General gets out and they exchange salutes.
“What’s going on here Lieutenant?”
“Like I said sir. There’s something going on with that ship.”
All eyes turn toward the spaceship and the see a tall cylinder is now extending from the top.
“What is that General?”
“It looks like a long range weapon.”
“Maybe it’s a communication device.”
The General gives Dr. Ellis a stern look. Then he notices the Lieutenant looking at the Dr. and wondering who this civilian is.
“Lieutenant Overstreet this is Dr. Ellis and that pretty young lady is his assistant Miss. Thompson. The Dr. was in the area and is helping us on an advisory level.”
Suddenly there is a humming noise and they all turn toward the ship. The cylinder is humming and starting to glow red. The louder the noise gets the brighter the cylinder gets.
General Sharp throws off his helmet and grabs his head. Laura looks at him and sees pain on his face. The others don’t immediately notice, as they are too busy looking at the glowing cylinder.
“What’s wrong General?”
“I suddenly have a splitting migraine.”
Just then the humming grows louder and the color of the cylinder has changed to a glowing white.
The General is now screaming in pain. He is joined by the Lieutenant. Both men fall to the ground. They lay there screaming. Holding their hands to their ears as if trying to stop hearing the hum. The louder the hum gets the louder they scream. Jordan then notices that wails and screams are coming from all around but not everyone is affected.
Then suddenly all the screams stop. The hum from the cylinder continues for a moment but then it stops. Jordan quickly checks the General while Laura checks the Lieutenant. The two officers stare blankly at them. Jordan and Laura are sad to admit that both men are dead.
Jordan hears the sound of a jeep. He looks up to see headlights on the horizon. Coming down the road is Sgt. James. The jeep comes to a halt behind the General’s and the Sgt. jumps out. He sees the two men lying still on the ground. He looks at Jordan.
“I’m afraid so.”
The Sarge kneels over his fallen friends. His face is battle hardened and shows no sign of emotion. However, Jordan notices a tear run down the right side of the Sarge’s face. This gives him an uneasy feeling. The Sarge stands.
“They were good soldiers as well as good people. Sharp came off hard and tough but he had to in order to get results. As hard as Sharp was so was Overstreet. But he had more compassion. They were the best commanding officers I ever had.”
“So what do we do now?”
The Sgt. looked Jordan straight in the eye.
“They killed everyone above the rank of Sgt.. We must attack.”
“You see this as an act of war?”
Sgt. James can’t believe the question he was just asked. He has a look of surprise as he responds.
“YES! I also take it personal that they killed two of my best friends.”
“No buts. You’re just here as a civilian advisor. I am now the ranking officer here and in command.”
As the Sgt. goes over to radio orders to the troops Laura talks to Jordan.
“Well that went well.”
“I know. I prefer the way the General told me who was in charge.”
The Sarge gets on the radio.
“This is Sgt. James of A company calling B company. Over!”
“This is B company Sgt.. Over!”
“To who am I speaking?”
“Corporeal Dent sir!”
“Well Corporeal get me your commanding officer.”
“As of a few minutes ago, I am the commanding officer.”
“Well I’m the C.O. here so on my signal both companies will fire at the ship. Now…FIRE!”
With the command given the Army lets loose a barrage of firepower on the ship. The occupants of the interplanetary craft opened up their gunports and fired lasers in defense. It was a long battle with neither side gaining any ground.
While all this was going on Dr. Ellis found pieces of metal that broke off the ship. He took them back to study in his lab. In his lab he makes a great discovery. He goes back and approaches Sgt. James with his discovery.
“What is it Dr. Ellis? I’m busy trying to save the planet.”
“I think you may be able to do that with these.”
He takes out of his pocket a small black rock and a piece of metal.
“How are those going to save us?”
“This rock was exposed to what I call radiation X. The only reaction that the rock, which is from our planet, had was that it turned black.”
“So how is that going to help?”
“By itself it won’t. I exposed this piece of metal from the ship to the rock that was full of radiation X. After that this metal, that before I could easily bend with just two fingers, suddenly became super strong. I couldn’t bend it at all.”
The Sarge picks up the metal and tries to bend it but can’t.
“Is this change permanent?”
“No it only last for ten minutes after each exposure.”
“So why would we want to make that ship or the people inside it stronger?”
“”It’s only for ten minutes and it may give them so much power so fast that they can’t handle it and they defeat themselves.”
“That’s a longshot Doc.”
“Have you got a better idea? Besides the battle is a stalemate. If we try this and it works you’ll get promoted and go down in history as the man who saved the world.”
“You mean you’ll go down in history.”
“You’re the one making the decisions. I’ll just be along for the ride.”
The Sgt. paces as he thinks this over. Finally he stops and looks at Jordan.
“Well nothing gets done by playing it safe. Have you got a plan?”
“I think so. Have any of them come out of the ship?”
“Yeah! Sometimes to fight or make quick repairs. We still don’t know what they look like. They wear a silver protective suit that covers them from head to toe.”
“OK! Here is my plan. I’ll make bullets out of this rock. You give them to your best sharpshooters. Tell them just to shoot them in the arms or legs. That way if one lives we can examine him.”
As fast as he can, Jordan heads back to the lab. There he makes the bullet shaped rocks and drives back. He gives them to the Sgt. and he distributes them to his sharpshooters.
“All right men when I give the signal everyone fire on the ship. Except those with the special bullets. Only they can shoot when the men inside come out. However, only shoot them in the arms or legs.”
There is a tense moment as they wait for the signal to fire.
Almost every solider with a rifle, machine gun, tank or any type of weapon fires upon the ship. However, a select few sit in place and wait. They don’t have to wait for long.
The door to the craft opens. Out steps a group of men in skintight silver suits. They raise their weapons and start firing. They hardly get off a shot when one of them drops his weapon and screams in pain. Some of the men in silver stop for a moment. They seem surprised as the man falls down in pain. You can tell this doesn’t happen often.
The man screams again. He has been holding his arm the whole time but lets go of his wounded arm and uses his one good arm to take off his helmet. For the first time Jordan and the others see what they look like. Jordan stares as if in a trance and whispers to himself.
“They look just like us.”
The man in silver starts rubbing his eyes as if they are burning. He stops and looks to a comrade for help. However, his friend in the spacesuit starts to glow red hot. The man inside starts to scream but is cut short as the heat from the other mans stare turns him to ashes.
The other men in silver back away, firing their weapons as they go. But it grows more intense as the chilling scene is repeated over and over. Men grabbing their arm or leg after being shot and setting anything they look at on fire.
Suddenly the shooting stops and the fires are dying out. None of the silver clad invaders are left alive. Sgt. James orders the men to move in on the ship. They begin their approach when the ship starts to hum. The door closes. The landing gear retracts. The ship rises and hovers in mid-air for a moment. It then flies straight up for about a mile. Then starts’ picking up speed till it is gone from sight.
Jordan, Laura and Sgt. James stand next to each other looking to the sky.
“Well Doc your idea did it. We won.”
“I told you God made that radiation X to exist for a reason.”
“Yes. He knew it would help us defeat them. But I wonder where they are from?”
In space we see the ship. It has left the atmosphere of the planet and is on its way out of the solar system. This is the last time the occupants of the ship will see this solar system with the blue sun. Yes it is a bright, blazing, blue colored sun.
Inside the ship is Captain Jackson Beck. He is communicating his report home on the latest mission.
“Captain Beck reporting star date 11 15 25. The mission is a failure. Science Officer Ross Peters and I are the sole survivors of the mission. We landed and waited for the planet officials to show. The Army arrived first. We singled out any high-ranking officers to communicate our message of friendship hoping it would be a story they would believe. That way we could make this a peaceful take over of the planet. We raised our communication pole to talk to them with telepathy. However, the telepathic waves were too strong for their brains and accidentally killed them. We wanted a peaceful take over but from there it was war. The enemy was holding it’s own in the battle till they brought out a secret weapon. They planted devices on us that made us become…well the best description is living lasers and we started destroying ourselves. After the landing party was destroyed the enemy started advancing on to destroy the ship. I didn’t want the ship in the hands of the enemy so we took off. Beck out!”
“It will take the message about a day to reach home Captain.”
“Good Mr. Ross. It will reach Earth before we do. Let’s head home.”
With the command given the ship picks up speed and in the blink of an eye it is gone.
Copyright 2005 Ricky L Phillips