Science Fiction, Short Fiction, The Fall Years

The Fall Years, Roswell: CHAPTER FOUR – THE DERELICT –

The Derelict loomed over them, in its scarred trench. And compared to humanity’s own spacecraft this thing dwarfed them. The Alpha team had set to work securing all possible exits from the craft. Despite the impact, the hull remained mostly intact and so far there were no signs of anything emerging. They didn’t want to take any chances and had deployed large, black, spiked energy pylons that looked noticeably alien in design and marking. And positioned in a circle, close to them were also high powered electro-magnetic turrets that would disintegrate anything that left the ship. In order to oversee things on the ground, the Secretary of Navy, James Forrestal had arrived not long after everything was in place. He had made it absolutely clear that no one was permitted to enter the craft until he gave the order. The last thing he wanted was Mortans to overrun them. And if survivors belonging to the craft still lived, he had no guarantee they would be friendly. Word had reached him that a survivor had been recovered from the other downed shipt. But one friendly xeno didn’t mean they all would be. 

“I have the right mind to use the bomb on this wreck. One less mess that way.”

The senior advisor that had joined him for this trip looked a little shaken by that statement. “Is that not a little excessive, sir? It would also require us to evacuate any civilians nearby.”

“We know the Soviet’s Deterrent overran Lazarus. Therefore, it’s not out of the question that the ship may have fallen to a similar fate. It doesn’t hurt to have all options on the table, and the last thing we need right now is a Deterrent outbreak on American soil. I considered us lucky to avoid the worst of it when things went awry in the Middle East and Eastern Europe…”

At that point, someone came on over the radio. “Sir, before we proceed. There’s someone that wants to help. I wanted them to rest and relocate but they were insistent.”

It didn’t take long for Forrestal to understand who Doctor Kate Underwood was referring to. A short distance away from base camp, a helicopter was heard making land. He left the tent and watched as the grey man in her care now approached him. The alien easily stood over him despite looking humanoid, the mandibles around their mouth and larger two fingered hands with opposable thumbs gave away some key differences. The Secretary and his advisor met them halfway.

“I guess the Doctor made progress on your ability to communicate with us. I am James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy for the United States of America. Any questions you may have about this operation go through me or my advisor here.”

The alien looked past him toward smouldering wreckage. “I can’t say this enough. Use what you have at your disposal and destroy it. Failing that, I know my way around the ship. I can destroy it from within.”

“Impressive, so you understand us.”

“Enough to make my point. The ship needs to be destroyed,” The alien said. “Has anything come out?”

Forrestal shook his head. “Nothing yet. We have strike teams in place ready to enter at a moment’s notice.”

“If anything survived the crash. They can’t be allowed to leave.”

“The president’s orders were to recover intelligence surrounding the incident on Lazarus and your ship. The data and technology onboard would be vital to the future of this planet.”

“James, if my people couldn’t stop them. What makes you think yours can?”

“I assure you, we have contingencies in place to keep the Mortan threat contained. And I hear you are just part of a preliminary force. The contents of that ship will help us prepare for the inevitable arrival of any allies you may have. But you seem more interested in sabotaging the vessel.”

The alien shook their head in frustration. “I don’t know at which stage this Deterrent as you call it is at. It’s already likely forming the foundation of a Convergent Mind. If that happens. You’ll face more than just feral monsters. A single seed can consume a planet. They will not stop. No matter how many you destroy they just keep coming back. You have to believe me. Our people – we didn’t fully understand what they were capable of… until… until it was too late.. And we lost. Why do you think we came this far seeking life!”

“I understand your concerns but that wreck is worth more to us than you could possibly realise. I want to at least try and recover something. Anything that can help us long term. You want us to destroy the craft, we will but first, let us secure any intel we can.”

The alien scratched at the back of their neck and cocked their head at the craft. “If you must insist on entering the ship. I know a few ways inside, the outside of the ship has hatches used by maintenance personnel to carry out outside work. Get me to one of those hatches and I can get your men inside.”

“And you won’t be going alone,” Commander Miller stated as the Welcome Wagon fell in behind him. “It would be unwise for us to send multiple squads, they would just be easy pickings for the Mortans. Send us in, we get the data and blow the ship to high heaven, how does that sound, sir?”

“Are you confident in your abilities Commander?

“This is what the Welcome Wagon has been preparing for, ever since we were assigned to Site 51. If we fail, you can go to Plan B. We all know the bomb is ready for deployment.”

The Secretary of Navy grimaced but looked over to the ruined vessel. “Fine, I’ll let the Welcome Wagon take the lead on this. But know this, you will be up against a force that decimated Lazarus. They won’t go easy on you… that’s if any of them are still alive of course. We can only hope the impact killed most of them. ”

“Then it’s settled, we’ll prepare for insertion, and our new friend here can tell us where to find one of these hatches.”

“Then you best not hang around, you’re dismissed, Commander.”

The Welcome Wagon departed to one of the nearby tents, hesitant to follow, James patted the alien on the back. “I promise you, we don’t bite. Besides, we need to leave a good impression, especially if more of you show up.”

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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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The Man Who Sold the World

The Man Who Sold the World

Can you guess what inspired me to write this short piece of fiction during three years at university? (serial to be announced)

I stand on uneven ground, the cracks of time show, but under shallow moonlight, I see the old world. Skyscrapers, tower blocks, a once bustling city of activity. It died a long time ago. Yet it feels like this happened only yesterday.

Weather the storm. Who said that again. I vaguely recall my old life; the only memory I have of it now… is Him. 

He stands beside me, prying at my mind, he is the curious, the innocent, and the megalomaniac all rolled into one single package. Yet despite this façade, I see a calm, resolute figure. We stare at each other briefly.

He should be dead, and so should I. I laugh and he joins. Our chorus rings out across a ruined metropolis. We soon fall silent.

I like to think I run away from him simply because he is the man who sold the world. There is this air of hostility between us, for am I the one born in that fire.  A fire that is still raw and burning in my mind.

What have I become? two centuries have passed and I am still no closer to that answer.

As if seeing my thoughts he says, “Regret, I am the match, and you are the regret. You are the light that blanketed this planet. Before the silence fell.”

The man who regrets. It seems fitting when I think about it.

“I am a man forged in atomic fire,” I answer.

“And you will burn for all of time,” he adds.

I merely nod, not wishing to speak further. He disappears from my vision, like a magician at the end of a magic act. Over two hundred years of suspension and the world still looks eerily like it was all those years ago. There are memories I can’t begin to suppress even if I’d rather forget. It is sad, I still see the timeless struggle as it was and as it is currently. I see us still locked in the cruel snare that one day will leave this world empty. All because I sold the world. All because I made the choice and caused the end of many a life. Finality. It will never come. For I know even now. I am not done.

I am the man who sold the world, and I have been reborn.

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Short Fiction

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “No Cliffhangers.”

Write a post about the topic of your choice, in whatever style you want, but make sure to end it with “…and all was well with the world.”

No Cliffhangers

In the end, atomic fire had savaged our world. We thought it was left bare, after our destructive nature brought darkness, disease, and despair to the Earth. A civilisation all but extinguished, it’s dying embers, nothing more than memories of a past life.

As we emerged from our sanctuary underground, we believed nothing would survive the nuclear apocalypse. We were wrong. The Earth hadn’t just survived our wrath, in its wake, life had found a way.

For beneath the cracks and wounds upon the Earth. A sea of green burst forth. We were stunned, as nature stood before us in defiance. Even in our absence. All was well with the world.

The Return of Life

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