Science Fiction, Short Fiction, The Fall Years

The Fall Years, Roswell: CHAPTER ONE – SURVIVOR –

The Dauntless’ alarms blared in his ears as his bloodied fist met the door’s panel button. For Vadir Kor everything right after making first contact had been hell. Finding intelligent, compatible life on Earth was great. Finding the very scourge they had hoped to avoid in the shape of a unknown Nirimor variant proved unexpected. The ships self-destruct had been triggered at some point and then shut off by either one of the interfering forces. He had only minutes if that before the ship’s current trajectory saw it enter Earth’s outer atmosphere. His still smoking overclocked plasma rifle made a loud clang as he tossed it to one side. He hurried over to the ship’s main console and began preparing for take-off when one of his fellow crew members emerged from the shadow, coated in a black substance and clearly out of it. They waved their arms frantically in an attempt to get his attention.

“Ship lower-” the words barely escaped his lips as a creature clad in deep black and bearing a multitude of spiked tendrils burst from the shadows overwhelming the crew member in such a way that there would be very little of them left.

“Fire! Fire! FIRE!” Kor shouted pushing himself back into his chair. “No more delays!”

The plasma turrets on the underside of his dropship began their assault on the creature and while it stood its ground. It could not withstand the heat and explosive power forever. It’s body melted into a puddle and left Kor wondering if it would still be able to come back to life. His heart reached fever pitch as he heard more noise on top of his ship. 

“Tracking multiple hostiles on the hull,” the ship A.I said candidly. “They are intending to breach the structure.”

As if on cue the ships metal heaved and bent. “Don’t just tell me. Deal with them.” 

The ship obliged and the topside turrets did their part in melting whatever resided on the top of the dropship. Black congealed blood drifted down the front viewport as Kor fastened himself in and engaged the lift off procedure. It wasn’t long before he exited the hangar. And for the first time since the alert triggered his flight response, he relaxed and took in the view of the jewel below. He found salvation but it had come at a cost of everything behind him, the Dauntless began separating as it hit the atmosphere. Hull, debris and more spilled out into the abyss. An explosion close to his ship catapulted Kor towards the embrace of a foreign world. It took a few moments for the gyros to orientate the dropship and he soon sank into the chair. At least for the now the worst was behind him. 

He spent the first few minutes calculating the best landing area. Earth may have been large but it was also covered by Terrans. He didn’t quite like the idea of dropping into a major populated area. The risk to his life would be too great. In the end, he put his faith in the automated system. Once the calculation were complete he begin his journey to land on the world. Unsurprisingly, the people down below did not take too kindly to his attempt to land on their world. The ship’s lights turned red as it began automated combat manoeuvres. In response to the closing inbound missiles the ship dipped and returned fire, dispatching them easily enough. Something else soon grabbed his attention disturbed by the ships sudden descent. The clanking and grinding made him think some wires had loosened above him, but it was much worse, for out the corner of his eye, a tall black mass lowered itself from the hole in the ceiling. It must have been hiding among the tubes where it chose to rest. Its long claws scraped against the metal floor and the creature slivered toward him. Kor still had his plasma Kelcior pistol but in the time it would take for him to leave his chair. The foul Nirimor would be upon him. Without moving too much he keyed in commands for the ship to shift direction. The sudden tilt caught the creature by surprise and it fell toward him before hitting the glass screen. Realising the danger it was now in, bladed tendrils rose from its back and frantically attempted to strike Kor but each one narrowly missed his face Kor squirmed back and fired off a few plasma shots. This was enough to shatter the glass and send the Nirimor out of the ship and into the embrace of the world below. “Ship, lower the visor!”

The dropship’s metal screen slammed down into place and a series of holographic images created a rough idea of what was in front of him.

“Captain,” said the A.I communicating for the first time.

“Ship? what is it?”

“I had engaged auto evasion subroutines but by entering a manual order, I need to recalculate our entry.”

“Do what you have to do.”

“Understood. I will assume direct control from this point forward.”

The ship jerked up from its nosedive and took caution to evade the unabating inbound threat from the Terrans.

“I’ve marked the optimal landing area,” the ship A.I said. “It should be safe enough.”

“Any way we can open communications with the Terrans?”

“I’ve been attempting to. However, I am getting no response. I don’t think they understand my request.”

“Figured as much.”

The next few seconds were spent approaching the landing area as the onboard turrets continued to keep the missiles at bay. “Engage landing protocol.”

“But, Captain?”

“Do it.”

The final set of missiles came in close together and hit the dropship’s right side. Though the hull held, the ship shuddered violently as Kor took the controls and lifted the front of the ship up before it met with the ground. The sudden impact caused him to black out.

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