25th December 2031
“Mac, are you ready to go? The car is ready,” Sarah called into my office. I saved the document I was working on and closed the laptop down. I grabbed my bookbag with several important documents in it and my coat before I met Sarah out in the main hall. In the last few months, she had taken to being my Personal Assistant when not working with the Science geeks.
It had been three months since that fateful day when the Alien ships were destroyed. We had lost all contact with the team on board, and I had feared the worse.
My mind went back to that day as I remembered the panic I felt. It had been all-consuming, but I knew I had a job to do, especially in front of everyone in the Op’s room.
“Tobi, Alex, come in,” I spoke into the communication device and got nothing but static. I turned to the operators. “Have we got anything from them?”
“Nope, we’ve lost all communication from the ship, Ma’am,” Danica, our European Operator, spoke. Talia’s team had taken over from midday, though she had been here since 6am, controlling Tobi’s team for him. I tried not to panic in front of Control Team B or Sarah and her team.
“I’ve got a report of a ship diving off the coast of New Zealand,” Chantana Duanta of the Indo-Pacific Div. told Talia and me. That would bring us up to three ships that have so far gone down.
“Sergeant Stokes is on the line for you,” Jerry Cooper spoke up.
“Sergeant, this is Lieutenant Commander Callaghan speaking,” I told him. For some reason, Alex had chosen Naval ranks, so I become Lt-Commander.
“I’ve told your boy about our ships, but are you getting the report from the rest of the world?” He asked.
“Yes, that’s at least three ships. I expect to hear from Europe and Africa soon,” I reported.
“Any news from our team up there?” I could hear the emotion in Stokes’s voice.
“We’ve lost all communication with them, we know they destroyed the mothership, but that is everything we know for now.”
“OK, keep us updated with what you can. Mackenzie, don’t worry, they will be fine,” Sergeant Stokes suggested. It was almost ten minutes later when suddenly the Operations Room lit up as Noah’s voice came through the comms.
“I’m coming in hard and fast; we have multiple injured and one dead,” Noah’s voice cracked with emotion.
“Who is it?” I was almost afraid to ask.
“Mac, Mac, are you there?” I came out of the memory to stare at Sarah, who was in front of me. We had reached the Mech Bay, where a couple of armoured cars were. The new Military commanders had sent them for us.
“Whose our Security for today?” I asked curiously. I had not had time to run over the details of which recon groups would be accompanying us out.
“Alpha and Foxtrot, Ma’am,” Sarah returned.
“You know you don’t have to call me Ma’am,” I said, exasperated. During the recent government meetings, Sarah had been coming with me as my PA and Chief scientist.
“I know, but it annoys you,” she told me, grinning, reminding me of my brother.
“You remind me of Tobi, sometimes,” I smiled back, but it faltered at the thought of my brother. I shook my head, trying to get him out of my mind. “Let’s go then.”
I was shown into the second vehicle, a Foxhound, painted grey and black camo colours for urban deployment. Inside there were two of Alpha Recon team with Sarah and me. Tucker and Harué nodded at me as we settled in the chairs opposite the two Recon members. Even now, nearly four months since the Alien spaceships had been destroyed, we had to be careful. Not because of the Aliens, but the Zombies or whatever you called them were still out there.
I wished for the days when I could hang out with the girls again, just talking about nothing but boys and clothes. Although I admit, sometimes that got boring.
“Lieutenant-Commander, are you ready to go?” I heard Noah’s voice.
“Ready when you are, Mister Greyson.” I remember when Alex had told me we would start using ranks within the Recon groups and the ‘Command’ structure. Again, why he chose Naval rank’s, I’ll never know. I tried to take my thoughts away from Alex as I looked out the small window onto the countryside. We had left the main compound of the Mountain and were now travelling through the Yorkshire countryside. Alongside the two armoured vehicles was a river flowing along merrily, totally oblivious to the chaos of our world.
It took nearly thirty minutes to get to the site on the outskirts of a town. We passed through a couple of checkpoints that had been set up by what’s left of the military. Though tonight was one of celebration, all precaution’s had to be taken to make sure none of the ‘zombies’ got in. Instead of the main town, we had been directed to the government base that had been set up.
After the Aliens were destroyed, the government moved up north because many big cities were infested. They also used older teens now because there were so few adults. Which is how I remained as Lieutenant-Commander of Fort Walker instead of some adult taking it over.
“Lieutenant-Commander Callaghan,” one of the soldiers greeted me as I stepped from the vehicle into the fading sunlight. “The Prime Minister wanted me to show you to her office.”
“Thank you, Sergeant,” I turned around to look at Noah, “Have the Recon groups relax, Mister Greyson; we’ll be going to the celebrations soon,”
“Yes, Ma’am,” he saluted me with a cheeky grin. Finally, after four months, he was getting his humour back.
“This way,” the soldier indicated. I followed him through the building they were using, an old Manor house which was rather opulent—white beams everywhere with artwork and statues, much like the roman style. Soldiers and scientists walked around the building, which was now the government headquarters for the United Kingdom. Finally, I was led to a set of double doors. My escort knocked, then waited for the yell of ‘enter’ to come.
He pushed open the door to a large study with bookshelves on either side and large reinforced windows looking out onto the gardens. Veronica Hayes, the temporary Prime Minister, was stood behind the desk. A tall black woman, she had been a junior minister when the crisis had begun.
“Thank you, Sergeant. Tea?” She asked me.
“No, thank you,” We had been meeting for two months, every time I turned her down, but she still kept asking.
“Still wearing your piece,” the woman nodded at the weapon I had on my thigh.
“You never can be too careful; we had two Saboteurs in the Mountain we never knew about until it was almost too late,” I replied, trying not to think about little Georgie.
“I just wanted to thank you before we went to the celebration’s for your work the last four months getting a semblance of a government together,” Veronica said.
“Thank my team, I would have been floundering without them,”
“Yes, our people are what make us who we are,” Veronica sighed, “Any more on a possible vaccine or anti-dote?”
“Sarah and her team have been working on it, trying to reverse engineer the research we were able to salvage. I’m ninety per cent sure she will build a vaccine, but not an anti-dote,” I replied, “Unfortunately, those that were infected are lost to us.”
“You sound so world-weary, and your only fifteen.”
“I’ve lost too many people, I’m sad about those we have lost, but I would rather protect the future,”
“Truer words were never spoken,” she quoted from some books. “Let’s go; we should be out celebrating the new life and remembering old friends,”
“Old friends,” I muttered, thoughts of those lost to us over the last year and a bit. I feel like I’m thirty, not fifteen, the number of people that had been lost since the invasion. Veronica led me back out to the vehicles, where a third vehicle met us. All three vehicles now travelled into the town, where I watched people celebrating outside their homes. This whole town was defended, and many government people who had moved here had set up with their families.
“Have you communicated with the other community hubs?” Sarah asked, referring to the other defended towns like this.
“Yes, I spoke to them yesterday. They are all excited to hear the Prime Minister speak tonight,” I gave her a false smile as we pulled up to the theatre that had been set up to hold the party. On the stage, Veronica was standing near the podium that had cameras aimed at it. I moved up to the higher ground to look upon the Prime Minister, who was now approaching the podium. Once she appeared ready, a stage-hand just behind the cameras held up his hand, counting down to zero, where Veronica smiled into the camera.
“Hello everyone around the United Kingdom. Four months ago, a brave group of souls travelled into space and destroyed the Alien invasion before they could destroy our planet. That day will be known as Liberation Day. But tonight, we celebrate those Heroes: Alexander Walker, Tobias Callaghan, Finn Harris and Noah Greyson-“
“Some heroes, we nearly got our butt’s kicked,” a voice behind me spoke.
“Finally deigned to bring your sorry butt here,” I told with a laugh. Noah pushed the wheelchair with the boy in it. Beside him, his ever-present shadow Wesley.
“I couldn’t let you take all the glory,” he responded.
“But we must remember the Fallen-“ Veronica continued. I held up my drink to Alex; the scars of his burnt face tugged his mouth down.
“To Finn, may he rest in peace,” Alex said.
“Welcome to a brave new world,” Tobi spoke from Alex’s other side.
There is one further chapter after this, due to be released in a week