I stared at the scene in front of me; five tall Cataii were cowering with Tobi pointing his handgun at them. He was nervous, I could just see the gun quivering slightly, but at least he had the safety off. His face looked calm though I’m pretty sure he was terrified. The soldier Cataii lay on the floor, dying, his blood oozing out of him.
“Alex, is that you?” the voice sounded again, drawing me back to the bed. Unbelievably my best friend Kobe was lying on the bed hooked up to several monitors, wearing a hospital-type gown. He didn’t look any different from when I had last seen him nearly a year ago.
“Erm, yeah, bud, lovely as it is to see you; what are you doing here?” I’m not sure whether I’m hallucinating. How the hell was my other best friend here of all places? Owww, a sharp shock bought me out of my thoughts. I glared at Tobi, who had punched me.
“We’re here to rescue you; we’re with the Resistance,” I told him with a grin, knowing I sounded corny. “Tobi, you get the other children free while I sort out Kobe.”
“No problem,” He told me as I took over watching the Aliens.
“You understand me, correct?” I asked them.
“We know your language,” a robotic voice spoke out.
“They speak via a translator on the computers,” Kobe informed me. I had completely forgotten him, so I rushed over, beginning to untie him from the restraints that held him down. I heard Tobi behind me, murmuring to the other children. I took a look at Kobe; he’d been my friend as long as Mac and Tobi. He’d also been my first crush. He was shorter than me with chocolate-brown hair and grey eyes. He had bags under his eyes and was pale; he looked thin too.
“Do you want to take a picture? It last’s long. I could even take my dress off for you,” Kobe joked, winking at me.
“Why would I want a picture of that,” I wrinkled my nose up at him as I undid the ‘belt’s’ around his legs. I quickly moved to his hands. “How are you?”
“Well, I’ve been experimented on and imprisoned for the last several months, so you tell me?” He returned as I pulled the restraints from the left hand.
“OK, so that was a stupid question,” I told him as he began untying his right hand. “How the hell did you end up here anyway?”
“Remember we spoke through the game we were playing, then you told you had to go?” He asked; I nodded as I stepped back, allowing him to get off the table. “Well, when you didn’t return, I got a bit worried, then your Mum told me you had gone away.”
“You spoke to my mum?” I asked, suddenly feeling the back of my throat burn. I thought I was going to cry.
“The same day I spoke to you, she was nervous. Told me to call my parents’ and escape into the countryside somewhere,” Kobe replied. “I thought your mum had gone off the deep end but did as she said. My parents scoffed at me, then the shit hit the fan quite literally.”
“But you managed to survive?” I was still shocked at seeing one of my closest friends in front of me.
“I managed to scavenge, moving from town to town until I met up with a group of other kids; we had heard stories of the Aliens taking children and teens to intern camps. Adults were either turned or killed, so we were on our own,” Kobe explained, staring off into space. “It must have been the summer when I was captured because it was a really warm day, but I don’t know how long I’ve been here.”
“It’s September 2031 now,” I told him. He looked absolutely gobsmacked, but we were distracted as Tobi called out a warning. One of the scientist Aliens, was reaching for the soldiers’ gun. Suddenly it was flying through the air and straight into Kobe’s outstretched hands. I stared at my friend, absolutely gobsmacked. “What the hell was that?”
“Yeah, erm, I’ve got telekinetic powers,” Kobe grinned at me shyly.
“How? Why?” I couldn’t seem to speak full sentences.
“They’ve been experimenting on us,” Kobe pointing to the Aliens.
“We have been trying to unlock human potential,” a mechanical voice rang out, and one of the aliens stepped forward. His/Its fur was a golden-ginger colour, different from the black-furred Aliens that surrounded them.
“While killing everyone,” I snapped back, my attention fully on the aliens.
“That is our commanders; I like to study and research,” the Alien replied defiantly. I could almost see something akin to compassion in the aliens’ eyes.
“Why couldn’t you escape the cages?” I looked back at Tobi with the others; three girls and two more boys.
“They had some kind of dampening field that stopped them escaping,” Tobi answered for Kobe.
“Right now, what do we do with them?” I looked from the Cataii to the survivors.
“We need to take the survivors with us, but I think we should lock them in the cages,” Tobi looked disgusted at the Alien creatures. He knew, as well as I, that if we left them locked up, we condemned them to death when the ship blew up.
“Right, we need to get into the Command room,” I told Kobe after being introduced to the other five. The youngest was eleven, which wasn’t too bad.
“Might as well just invade the mothership,” Kobe joked.
“Is there any way of locking the soldiers in the canteen? What about the other researchers?” I asked. Immediately Tobi cottoned on to what I was thinking.
“We might be able to seal them in, which prevents any unwanted guests,” Tobi nodded, going over to one of the computer terminals. I’m not sure about Alien facial impressions, but they looked astonished as Tobi took to the keyboard like a duck to water. He absolutely knew what he was doing. Between Kobe and I, we herded the Aliens into the cages. I turned to my friend and the survivor group, one of them had grabbed some trousers for the others to put on underneath the gowns.
“OK, Tobi and I have come here to do a job; in approximately two hours, this ‘ship’ is going to start harvesting the earth’s core. Then the world is buggered; all humans on it will die within a few days,” I told them. “Our main goal is to destroy the ship, which a second team is already working on; our goal is to get to the command room. I need you to listen to everything I say and respond when I tell you, all right?”
“Yes,” they all answered but looked nervous and scared.
“Kobe, can you handle that rifle?” I asked my friend.
“Looks pretty simple,” the boy returned, looking the gun over, which looked remarkably like one of our rifles.
“Right, that’s all done then,” Tobi stepped up to us, “They are locked in the canteen and research areas.”
I pulled up my ship map, immediately seeing that my team had managed to get the prisoners out.
“How’s the placement coming along?” I tapped my radio.
“Placement complete, we have moved to the secondary objective. Three enemies neutralised,” Finn replied. “How long until drill time?”
“We have two hours; survivors have been found. Moving to our Primary objective,” I returned to him. I looked at Tobi, who had his handgun ready, to the six survivors, all bare feet but wearing blue trousers and the hospital-like gown.
I slipped out of the lab, looking around, but the hallway seemed quiet. I thought I heard a noise from further up the corridor, but no one seemed to be coming. Pushing the door open again, I gave the others a thumbs up. Kobe came out behind me, followed by the other five survivors. Tobi came last. Moving along the corridor seemed eerie as there appeared to be no sound whatsoever except our light footfall. My focus was on the surroundings taking in the black shiny floor and silver walls with pipes running up and down. The hall was clearly brightly lit.
Consulting my map again, I looked around a corner, not seeing anyone. We edged out and were about halfway down the corridor when disaster struck. A sudden noise drew my attention back to the passage we had come from, but from the other side. Coming around the corner were two of the Cataii, but these were not scientists. I had a moment barely to think.
“Duck,” I yelled out, moving more central in the corridor. The Cataii stared at us, which gave me the advantage. I bought up the rifle and fired. In the small hallway, the noise was like thunder. One of the Cataii was immediately hit, the bullets reaching the vulnerable parts of the armour and went down. The second Catai had shots scored across his armour but missed anything that could have killed him. Blood leaked from somewhere on his leg as the Alien turned and hid back round the corner.
“We have to go,” Kobe shouted.
“Tobi, take them around the corner and get to the Command Room,” I told him just as a horrible screech emanated from above our heads, “Now!”
They all ran past me as I backed slowly down the corridor watching for the returning Alien. Shit! We’d been compromised.
“Finn, what’s your situation?” I spoked through the mike.
“Survivors in the ship ready to go. We can hear the alarms,” Finn answered me.
“Ran into a bit of a problem,” I returned, “If I tell you to go, you leave; I want no backchat.”
“We’re not leaving you or Tobi,” Noah replied.
“You’ll do as I bloody say,” I snarled. “Now I want you to blow engine one!”
“Yes, Boss,” came the answer. Then minutes later, a deep rumbling could be heard throughout the ship. Immediately all the lights dimmed, and a red light began flashing. Forgetting the Cataii soldier, I ran around the dead soldier, trying to catch up with my team. I found them outside the double doors to the Command Room.
“We have to move now,” I told Tobi, who had already pulled out the panel on the wall.
“Was that you?” Kobe asked as I checked over my weapons and remaining magazines.
“Yes, I just blew up one of the engines,” I told him.
“Almost there,” Tobi said. The corridor kept plunging into darkness as the red emergency lights came on and off. Tobi was working with a small pencil light between his lips.
“So much for the element of surprise,” I muttered to myself.
“What about the rest of the soldiers on the ship?” Kobe asked, holding the Alien rifle.
“They are contained for the moment, but if we don’t get into that Command room soon, we’re going to have a lot more Aliens breathing down our neck,” I told him.
“I’m working as fast as I can!” Tobi growled.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, buddy,” I returned apologetically.
“So, got yourself a boyfriend?” Kobe asked conversationally. I goggled at him; we’re in the middle of a life and death situation, and he’s asking about boyfriends.
“You’re seriously asking me that now?” I returned.
“Well, we have time until Tobi gets the door open,” he shrugged his shoulders. “I’m assuming as Tobi is here with you, then you must have Mac stashed away somewhere.”
“She’s back home, hidden somewhere,” I was not going to reveal too much in front of the others. I knew Kobe, but even he could have been compromised.
“I cannot believe that you survived this long; I thought you have been killed when you disappeared,” Kobe told me.
“Believe me, I thought you were the same,” I answered.
“There are two Cataii, one of them limping, coming along the corridor,” A small girl suggested point to the hallway we had come from.
“How do you know that?” I asked the strange girl.
“They gave Tori enhanced hearing,” Kobe answered for her.
“Tobi, where are you at?” I asked, watching the corner.
“Almost….there,” He said. The door hissed open. I swung around, entering the Command room with my gun up.
“No one make a move, or you will be killed,” I shouted out. I just had enough time to take note that the room was square. Opposite the door I had just entered was a large glass wall, or so it seemed, looking out onto space. Then I had no time to speak as one of the Aliens were firing on me. Pressure then pain erupted alongside my right side, but luckily I didn’t drop my gun. I heard the sound of an Alien rifle going off. I’d never forget a sound like that; then there was silence.
“Jesus, Lexi, you’ve been shot,” Tobi shouted.
“Get that door sealed, then we can work on the rest of the problem,” I breathed hard from the pain, opening my eyes, “Kobe round up the rest of the Aliens and take away their guns.”
“Yes, Boss,” I finally looked down; my top was shining with blood. The pain seemed to be emanating from the shoulder joint. Bugger, it hurt. I looked around to find Kobe had round up the Command Room people. There were two soldiers, three if you counted the dead one Kobe had killed using their own ‘heat guns’. Four Cataii was wearing grey overall’s. Two Humans! There were a man and woman who stood with the Cataii as though they belonged with them. Finally, a tall Cataii with a tailored blue uniform. There were gold bars around each bicep; he was darker furred than the rest, with a gold chain looped around his ear.
“I take it you are the Commander, do you understand me?”
“I understand you fine,” the mechanical voice replied.
“They speak their own language, but the computers translate them,” the man spoke up, repeating what Kobe had told us earlier.
“You are a traitor to the human race,” I spat.
“They are a dominant species,” he returned.
“Not if I have anything to do with it,” I answered him back, then turned to the Cataii Commander. “I am taking command of your vessel; I will destroy it with all of us on it if you give me any trouble.”
“I promise you will not give you any trouble,” the Commander promised. The pain in my shoulder throbbed again, so I settled into the Commander’s chair that looked directly onto the big screen. The chair was set above a pit where four people could sit on the computers, most likely controlling the ship from there.
“Tobi, go to work,” I told the boy who had secured the door against any intrusion, hopefully. He looked at me, concerned, before moving down the stairs to one of the consoles. They all appeared the same to me, but I was not a technical genius. Soon one of the survivors, an older girl, had joined him at the console. The pair were murmuring as Tobi began typing things on the keyboard. Abruptly I felt a warmth blossom on my right side where the wound was. I turned to find myself looking into the glowing blue eyes of a small boy. He looked young to me, possibly nine or ten. He had his hands on my injured side.
“What are you doing?”
“He’s healing you,” Kobe’s voice came from my other side. I could not turn away from the boy, though. “Wesley has enhanced healing skills.”
“Wow,” I replied. I looked down, seeing the ‘burn’ wound from the Alien rifle, seemingly knitting itself together. In less than a few minutes through the hole in my shirt, my skin was whole with no scarring whatsoever. I was utterly gobsmacked. I could not feel any pain or aches in my body; the boy had completely healed me. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he returned with a small smile.
“Now, Tobi, what’s going on?” I asked just as my radio crackled to life.
“Fort Walker to Alpha Team, do you read?” Mac’s voice could be heard.
“Am I glad to hear your voice,” I told the girl.
“Good, because we’re getting reports of smaller ships coming from the mothership. What happened?”
“The alarm was set off,” I returned.
“Can you put Sarah and the gang on, please?” Tobi asked politely. For the next several minutes Tobi and the other girl conversed with our people back home as they got into the system.
“Whose that with Tobi?” I asked Kobe, who was still stood on my left side.
“That’s Kaitlin; she’s a genius with computers like your Tobi. She’s also been watching the Aliens while we were in the cages,” the other boy explained.
“Awesome. Hopefully, they’ll be able to do what we came here to do.”
“She’s right handy, can make you see things with projection. Kept us all sane by imagining what home was like before the invasion,” Kobe said heavily.
“Sorry, Bro, if I had known, I would have had them come for you,” I told him, upset that we had not saved more at the time.
“It’s not your fault. I’m just surprised to see you in charge,” Kobe responded. Before I could react to him, Tobi let out an exclamation. On the screen, which looked out into space, the view changed to that of the Alien mothership. Here we could see the smaller vessels heading towards us. The screen now changed to a red target. I watched Tobi use a joystick to aim at the ship.
“We’re ready to go; cannons are on target,” Tobi spoke up, sounding like a military officer.
“Go ahead, Ensign,” I replied with a grin, “fire when ready,”
“Aye, aye, Captain,” He saluted me, turning back to the screen. He flicked open a port on the console and jabbed his finger down. A loud rumbling could be heard through the ship as the guns realigned then space was lit up. I’m not sure what type of cannons or weapons the Aliens used. They could be laser or a kind of railgun, but there were flashes of orange, yellow and red.
Several of their fighter vessels and troop carriers were destroyed by the relentless firing mechanism. Then, there were green flashes of light as the projectiles or lasers hit the shield. However, they passed through, hitting the mothership. It seemed like forever the weapons went on pounding the mothership. Suddenly a bright flash lit up, and the mothership exploded, the bit’s falling away into space. The survivors, Tobi and I, all cheered while the Cataii looked on. I could not tell whether they were upset because of their expression.
“You’ll pay for this,” the Commander spoke through the computers. I stood up, staring at him/it.
“My world will live because of that,” I returned coldly. Moments later, the shockwave hit us, making me stumble.
BOOM! An explosion rocked the ship for a second time.
“What the hell just happened?” I asked.
“The shockwave just took out our explosives on engine two,” Tobi reported. I think it was time to leave now.
“Cheyenne is reporting the ship above the US has stalled; we’re also getting a report that a ship in Russia has just crashed,” Mac’s voice came over my earphone.
“That’s fantastic news; the mothership has completely been destroyed,” I told her, looking at the wreckage out in space.
“We need to go now; the locks on the doors have gone. We’re about to have some company,” Tobi spoke suddenly.
“Kobe, I need you to give the other rifle to Kaitlin,” I told him, then clicked my radio, “Finn, Noah, warm up the engines we’re booking out of here. If we are not to you in ten minutes, leave and destroy the ship,”
“No problem,” the voice was subdued, but they would follow the orders.
“Let’s go,” I told Tobi just as I heard the sizzling of an Aliens’ gun. I had no time to react as I felt searing pain go through my leg. I looked around to find the Commander with what appeared to be a pistol-type weapon; I bought up my rifle and fired on full automatic. The Cataii Commander was thrown back into the wall where he died.
“Are you alright?” Tobi asked.
“Get Kobe and get the hell out of here; I’ll be right behind you,” I hissed as a voice broke my thoughts.
“Alex,” the voice was weak and small. I turned to look at Wesley, who appeared to be holding his stomach. He took away his hands to reveal a bloody mess. The laser, or whatever the hell they used, must have gone straight through him then hit my leg.
“Oh shit,” I said aloud.
“Wesley,” I heard Kobe yell out.
“Just go; I’ll bring him.” I grabbed his sleeve and ripped it, wadding the material up into a ball. I pushed it against his stomach, Wesley scrunched his face up with pain. “Mac, make sure you have a full medical unit on stand-by; we’ve got a couple of emergencies,”
“What ty-“ the radio hissed and fell silent. Oh, bugger, I thought.
“This is going to hurt,” I told the boy. He just nodded his head as I lifted him onto my shoulder. I needed at least one arm free to be able to fire the rifle. I felt warmth drizzle down my arm as I stood, a wave of dizziness attacking me. Well, shit, I’ve always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. I headed for the door, making it to the corridor without anyone stopping me. I smashed the panel, closing the door behind me. At least that will contain the Command Room Aliens from following us.
“How are you doing, Buddy?” I asked the kid on my shoulder.
“Hurts,” Wesley grunted out.
“I know, and I’m really sorry,” I returned as we limped down the corridor, going as fast as we could. I looked at my plans of the ship, plotting out the best route. I gritted my teeth, limping onwards, going through the hallways, which seemed to be endless to me until we reached the stairs. It had only been one floor, and I was puffing. We came upon the engineering deck, then finally we were back on the research deck, but we still weren’t in the clear yet. As we rounded a corner, we heard the noise of approaching people; it had to be the Aliens.
“Finn, Blow Engine three and four,” I told the boy, huffing through the radio. I fired off a warning shot as I noticed the shadows reach the corner of the corridor to our right.
“Got it, Tobi and Survivors have reached us. Do you want us to come back for you?” he asked.
“No, blow them. If I’m not there if five minutes, leave and blow the central engines,”
“No, you can’t do that,” Noah cried.
“I love you, but we have to finish the mission,” I returned, “Finn, make sure he doesn’t come back for me,”
“Aye, aye, boss,”
“Come on, Wesley, we’re going to make it,” I told the now unconscious boy on my shoulder. Two big booms followed as the engines were blown up. Only the main engine now kept the ship from losing all traction. I tried to make the boy more comfortable as I moved down the hallway; my leg was aching fiercely. I’m not sure where I got the strength to carry Wesley and keep going on, but we dashed through the corridors, just avoiding most of the Alien Soldiers until we reached the corridor that led back to the outer ring.
We had reached the T junction coming from the left, the hall down to the ship was on our left, but just as we got to the central area, the Aliens emerged in front of us, coming from the right of the T. I immediately fired down the hallway scattering the Aliens, but my leg gave out on me. I slid down the wall sitting on the polished floor with Wesley in my arms.
“Well, this has turned into a shit of a day,” I said to myself. The Aliens approached cautiously, but they did not fire. At the same time, a group emerged from the other side where we had come from. I remembered that scene from Aliens 2, where the soldier was stuck in the vent with a friend with the aliens approaching. She sacrificed herself.
“I love you, Noah,” I spoke over the radio, grabbing the pair of grenades I had bought with me. I flipped them over, yanking the pins out with my teeth. I launched them in opposite directions down the hallway.
“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, five Mississippi,” I counted before the explosion rocked the hallway. Fire and brimstone, hell is the only word to describe the blast as I hunched over Wesley feeling the heat searing my back.
“Alex!” I heard before I descended into sweet bliss.