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CONTAGION - Book Four.

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Chapter Three.

Casey was twelve years old coming on thirteen, and soon to be married on or just after her thirteenth birthday, she was born to Jamie’s second wife ginning, and had inherited both of her parent’s genes in the fullest of the meaning. She was a formidable child, wild by nature and a lover of weapons, much like both Jamie and Ginning. She was also a master marks woman and had killed her first hybrid animal at the age of seven.

Jamie had one day found one of the bio-genetic cat’s kittens, which had been abandoned by its mother, simply because it had been the runt and had an injured paw.

On rescuing the cat, he had given it to his daughter Casey, to try and teach her responsibility, she had fallen in love with the animal, and nursed it and mothered the creature, and now it would not leave her side.

As the months past, it like all hybrids grew at a remarkable rate, and became an awe-inspiring sight, been a direct offspring from the huge cats which saved Jamie’s life, this male kitten became a reflection of its father, and was standing at just under five meters in height and was almost six meters in length, and was still not fully grown

In truth if you were to see it in the wild, you would basically shit yourself from fear, as these were usually pack hunters, and where there was one, you could expect more. In addition, it had two huge canine teeth which extended from its upper jaw, and were just under a meter long, and the diameter of a heavily build humans upper arm.

Casey could be seen riding on its huge neck and treating it without an ounce of fear. The huge creature regarded her as a mother and thought of itself as a human, or Casey as a weird looking cat. One day Casey had been visiting a relative and had left the confines of the caves, and even the security of the bio-magnetic fields, when she was confronted by a group of human survivors. They were wild hill folk who had lived their entire lives in the high mountain ranges and were used to survival and walking on snow. The twelve men surrounded young Casey and intended to attack her.

She quickly pulled out her hand gun a Desert Eagle and had killed two of the intruders before they had realised what had happened. As the others rushed her and snatched away her gun, she was struck and sent sprawling into the snow. Her little pet took a dim view of its mother been treated in such a way and dropped from the ridge which it had been standing on and roared in anger.

Three of the men froze in instant fear, wetting themselves and fainting. The remaining tried to escape and defend themselves, the cat pounced and ripped them apart in seconds. When the remaining three who fainted awoke, they were faced by the child sitting on the cat’s neck, standing before them and she took them prisoner.

Since the successful episode of Casey rearing the hybrid cat, others had set out to acquire hybrid wolf pups, and bring them up as members of the family. Now there were eleven fully grown wolves, seven juveniles and twenty-two pups as part of the family. When the cats had first come into contact with the humans, it was soon realised that they had inherited telepathic abilities, as were some of the wolves.

Since Jamie had acquired his new powers, he had set about teaching the animals how to communicate with the hybrid humans. The bears were still a considerable problem, however the greatest threat by far, now came from the insects. Since the giant ants had joined forces, it had alleviated some of the risk, however there were still other unsolved problems facing the colony of humans.

There was a nest of huge hornets, who were the size of a small pony, and incredibly manoeuvrable and hostile. As their nests usually held some millions in number, they were best avoided at all times.

Thanks to Elaine the Portland Institute had developed a bio-magnetic barrier, which enveloped an object and formed a force field, allowing air through, but little else. Depending on the size of the unit, it could protect a human as a portable unit, to been so large that it could encase a small town. It was a collection of these very units that had saved The Portland Foundation, parts of London and the UK.

A person could enter or exit, simply by encasing each unit into what can best be described as bubble cells, as the humans approached one cell, it conjoined with the next cell to it, much like bubbles and partly opened allowing passage only when the entry point was sealed. It had another unexpected advantage, it gave a greenhouse type affect, and magnified what little heat there was, this in turn prevented snow and frost from forming, and presented suitable ground in which to grow crops.

Watering was easy, as the humans from the colony had channels piping underground and tapped water from there thermal reservoir, by the time it was pumped to ground level it had cooled and because it was kept within the bio-magnetic cells, it never froze, enabling the residence to grow their own much needed food.

Casey had been friends with Simon Lewis since they could both walk, having grown up together, he also had a liking for weapons and his father, one of Alex’s offspring had acquired him a wolf pup. Simon’s father was an intimidating sight, as like his father, he stood just over three meters in height and weighed over four hundred pounds. Simon although he was only thirteen he was already fully grown, and had inherited his parent’s memories at birth.

Casey on the other hand was human in every way, and like her mother she was just under five foot in height. It kind of looked strange to see the two together, the disparity in their height made others laugh. However, Simon had fallen in love almost the first time they held hands, and little to nothing could have separated them or prevented them from eventually marrying.

The preparations for the wedding was well under way, and two days after Ginning’s birthday, they married in accordance to the Hillbilly’s manner. 13 years seemed a crazy age for them to become wed, until you consider that life on the mountains even before the asteroid had hit, was far from easy.

Families were constantly under war, from outsiders trying to steal their legally owned land or acquire the gold which was found in their mountains. It was a hard life and farming those lands with fourteen-hour days of hard toil, all wood for heating had to be hand cut, by felling trees, and for a time there was no indoor plumbing or electricity.

They fought hard to keep their land, and the fact that gold was found upon some of the mountains was a bonus. What they did not agree with, was outsiders who had not the legal right, nor owned the right to enter their lands, rape and kill their kin, and steal what was not there’s.

As a result, replenishing their population became a matter of survival, and as soon as a girl was able to have a child, she was married. In the early years some of the younger girls died in giving birth, but those who survived in time adapted, and their bodies evolved over time, permitting them to give birth at such a young age.

Now it was Ginning’s turn, and she longed to become the wife of her lover and friend, and aside the disparity of their size, they were truly a well suited couple. Thanks to the nanobots which Elaine had administered to the initial settlers, all new-born children had inherited nanobots of their own from their mothers, and as they were self-replicating, they kept the humans fit and healthy.

The Tuemillow’s had acquired new intelligence, and had developed seven asteroids, by hollowing them out and installing state of the art surveillance equipment. Once they had been set on a collision course with the earth, they were left to acquire whatever Intel they could, until they became intercepted by the Mars teams, and were harvested for their materials. It was not until the first of the five was harvested that the humans realised there was advanced surveillance equipment within them.

Fortunately, the Tuemillow’s made one fatal mistake, rather than send them all at once, they sent them as each one became available. This mercifully gave the humans time to intercept each asteroid which was approximately twenty-three hours apart. Seth on becoming aware of their actions had the equipment back engineered and turned against them.

This in turn caused a problem for Elaine as it now painted a different picture, and she was unsure just how much Intel the units had acquired and sent back to their controllers. Thirteen days later, five battle globes left in fast succession and headed for earth. Unfortunately, the Mars sensors had spotted the globes, but because they were travelling in tandem and so close to each other, to form one gigantic force field. The sensors only registered it as one huge unit.

On arrival the first globe became intercepted, by the orbital limpet mines which had been modified, and had A.I. miniature computers installed. They attached themselves to the globe, and when activated sliced it like a huge blue print in three dimensions. Instantly all occupants were killed either by vacuum or from the intense heat of the plasma rays. However, the equipment, especially the interstellar crafts survived and were harvested by the Mars colony.

Unfortunately, four battle globes passed the earth defences with ease, and as soon as they reached low orbit, they dispatched their load. One of the invading crafts consisting with 24 million Tuemillow’s, settled in Mexico. One in the UK, One in the USA, and one in Canada.

Within three days another hundred and twenty-seven Battle globes had arrived, and had by sheer number over whelmed the earth defensives. They each circled the earth and chose designated landing zones.

The earth’s inhabitant would have been massacred if it had not been for the hybrids, and for Elaine, Jamie and Anastasia. The Tuemillow’s totalled was simply over whelming, Elaine however had until then created two point four million ordinary cloned technicians, and one point six million specialised warriors, what Elaine so fondly called her invisible warriors.

They were not strictly human either, as their parental genes had mostly derived from a certain breed of octopus and chameleons, and a smaller percentage human. The resulting hybrid was an impressive and very versatile weapon, which could change its structure or form to mimic what so ever it desired and could blend into the back ground so accurately that it became invisible to the human eye.

Like the ordinary hybrid technicians, they were also born with the inherent memory of the parental genes, which translated to each new-born hybrid already having the equivalent of a PHD at birth. They in turn were kept in growth tubes until they were almost juvenile, and then released to become functioning members of the community, and all babies born by mothers were treated as ordinary intelligent children and rapidly grew into adulthood.

The UK had a proportional number of hybrids, as did the USA, China however had exceeded Elaine’s by over fifty-two percent. By sheer volume of surviving scientists, and their already highly advanced infrastructure, China had once again proved how superior they were at science and war.

There was however one ace in Elaine’s hand, ever since Jamie had formed an alliance with the giant hybrid ants, they had grown in numbers at an incredible rate, and by the time of the invasion they numbered over twenty-five million.

They were intelligent, and fast, and each one could carry a small car as if it weighed almost nothing. They were an impressive army and had the added advantage of burrowing deep underground, all were compliant or subject to their queen, and would sacrifice their lives without hesitation. The queen in turn was subject to Jamie and Elaine.

The galactic Commander and Chief settled his battle station in Alberta Canada, each battle station covered twenty-three miles in diameter and held the entire invading army for its section, including equipment, weaponry, munitions and partly food and medical.

By the very structure of their society the invaders were encouraged to acquire spoils of war, and that meant almost anything which was harvestable. Organics, that is humans and flesh was not usually eaten, but was collected and fed into huge harvesters to form an organic compost to grow their own foods.

Metals of all kinds were smelted and made into weapons or used for construction, as was bricks, rocks etc., which was used to create material to lay the foundations for their homes. They did however need water to give birth, as they were aquatic by nature. This was one of the reasons the commander and chief chose Canada, because of their vast lakes and extensive coastal lands.

However, Intel had told the commanders that the main resistance was to come from Alberta, and unfortunately for Red Deer it was there that the gigantic battle station landed. There was one unexpected shock awaiting the aliens, as when they had gathered their intelligence it had been what was supposed to be mid-summer, and although there was a so-called ice age in process, during that time of the year due to the earth latitude, it was not as cold as it was during the winter months.

There Intel had told them to expect temperatures to be no lower than minus eight, when they arrived in early winter, it was already minus 35, and dropping rapidly.

The creatures and insects had all adapted, with the animals developing large webbed feet that could disperse the snow and take their weight, much as a Snow Leopards does when it lives in the high mountain ranges, the insects in turn lived very happily underground and fed off the hybrid rodents and wild life. A mouse was now the size of a cat, as for rats, they made a tasty meal, but were a formidable fighter, and were the size of a large beaver.

Red Deer basically ceased to exist and any remaining residence were slaughtered, fortunately most of the survivors had joined forces with Elaine and dispersed to satellite colonies or gone to Bear Ridge Mountain. Their bloodlines were much needed as Elaine was aware, they needed to prevent interbreeding. In addition, they were fed and taught new skills, given an injection of nanobots and taught how to fight. It was basically a small sacrifice to become breeding machines, they realised the earth needed to survive, and that meant clones or babies.

There were however the inevitable few who refused to move and wanted to fight it out, refusing to join with the colonies and thinking they could survive. When the aliens arrived, they quickly learnt their choice of action was a drastic and fatal mistake. The aliens had devastated the surrounding country side and stripped it bare to the bed rock. They swarmed the land like a plague of hungry locus and stripped everything away, their greatest problem came in accessing the lakes, they were under fifteen feet of solid ice, and their bodies were unable to cope with such low temperatures.

For seventeen days the aliens pressed outwards over powering all resistance, on the 18th day they faced an unexpected surprise. Jamie had been observing them from a distance, and had gathered an army of ants, they had tunnelled underground and came up in part behind the advancing army, while another group laid ambush from the rear to the front. Suddenly the ground gave way, and throughout the advancing army, the ants emerged, and from the front line came over a thousand flying ands which dived upon the unsuspecting aliens, lifting them from the ground and dropping them, killing them outright.

Within one hour over five million alien troops had been destroyed forcing the aliens to return to their battle station. No sooner had the ants appeared that they disappeared underground, carrying their victims with them, weapons included. Later that day the weapons were delivered to Jamie and his colony and dispersed for their own protection.

This had been their first major on land victory, and the Alien Commander was in shock, his intelligence had informed him that the creatures here were of no threat, and that it was only the humans in which they had to conquer.

Within two days Jamie had deliberately bated the aliens and sent a large group of human hybrids to an area near to what looked like a large hill. As the aliens took the bait and advanced in their millions, Jamie had instructed the ants to burrow under the hill complex and place small thermal incendiary bombs. Unknown to the aliens the hill was actually a huge gigantic nest of hornets, holding just over four million adult hornets with their queen deep in its heart, producing babies.

The nest was an amazing construction, and with the compacted snow it was like living inside an igloo, and was warm, keeping the hornet’s semi active. As the aliens started climbing the hill, the hybrid humans had escaped and were themselves now safely away from the action. Jamie detonate the thermal bombs by remote, and instantly the hill came apart as millions of angry hornets emerged to protect their nest. The first thing they saw was the alien troops firing their weapons at them and into the nest.

This sent them into a frenzy, and they attacked without mercy, it was an incredible battle and sight, as the hornets acquired each soldier it lifted it from the ground and stung it in flight, and then carried it back into the nest. Over a million hornets were killed, but that was only a scratch on their numbers and the aliens were again forced to retreat. Now they were less than a third serving and almost all of the dead were active soldiers, the vast majority of surviving aliens were classed as servants, and not skilled in military, only technicians, been medical, technicians and scientists.

Jamie communicated with Elaine and it was agreed that they need to try and capture the High Commander, he still had about twenty thousand soldiers at his call, and the remaining were only support staff. Elaine instructed five of the invisible warriors to infiltrate their way into the Command Centre, and sent another hundred to support them. As they approached the outer boundaries, they changed their shapes to match that of the invading aliens, and then became invisible to the eye.

The reason for changing their shapes was because of the snow, and leaving footprints, it was easy to mimic falling snow, but had the aliens became aware of human foot prints so near to their battle station, they would have been alerted. As it was when the prints were detected, it was simply assumed that their own kind had made them and became over looked.

As they reached the battle station, the five entered while the remaining force set up an ambush and awaited the signal to indicate the Commander was captured. As the warriors made their way inside, they quickly had to learn the location of the Command Centre and kept themselves out of sight and out of the way. Twice they were forced to materialise simply due to the sheer number of aliens, but because they appeared identical, they went by unchallenged.

They soon realised that higher ranking officer were avoided and if seen approaching the lower classes, quickly dispersed to avoid conflict or been given orders. On dispersing the five took upon themselves of the highest-ranking officers they could find, and soon realised they could traverse the corridors with ease. As they went up each new level the ranks increased, and the warriors simply changed to match, observing every time to try and find the highest-ranking officers around.

Whenever they could they remained invisible and eventually made their way directly into the Command Centre. It was only lightly armed, and why the aliens should be scared, was something they had not considered, as there were four levels below them full of heavily armed soldiers, and no one had ever entered a battle station before, not even got close.

Quietly the warriors waited, and then as soon as the room was manageable they appeared and secured the reinforced room, so no one could enter, and then killed every one within the room, with the exception of the Battle Commander. Before his very eyes one of the warriors took upon himself his form and appearance, while his colleagues rendered the Commander unconscious.

As the warriors placed a cloak of nanobots over the Commander they lifted him over one of the soldier’s shoulders, making the Commander invisible, and then the Commander appeared to calmly walk out of the Command Centre surrounded by his personally armed high ranking officers, and simply walked out of the battle station.

They were not once stopped as soon as the aliens saw their commander approaching surrounded by high ranking officers, they blended away, and allowed them to pass unchallenged. As they vacated the battle station, they had given the pre-arranged signal, and the remaining warriors entered, sending in intelligent orbital limpets and killing anyone they saw.

They wanted as much of the battle station undamaged as they could, and in time had cleared all life forms, as the soldiers could not see who was killing them, and when they could see the warriors, they thought they were their own officers. The salvage was vast, as was the intelligence gathered and munitions and equipment. As soon as they had stripped the entire ship, it was cut diced and sliced and taken to the salvage stations, to be made into new weapons.

The wedding was a wondrous occasion with much to celebrate, with music and barn dancing which went on late into the night, and an amble supply of the famous Pas home brew. As usual it went according to tradition, and with the newlyweds been given a barn full of hay to spend their first wedding night in.

The family had constructed them a habitable cavern close to the lake, all newlyweds were initially given residence deep into the complex as it was warmer their and safer in bringing up children. It was only as the children grew and became productive members of the community that they were relocated into the upper chambers and vacating the old home for another newlywed.

The famous home brew had been modified, it was now just over 130% proof, and had to be diluted drastically to make it drinkable, however the reason it was made so pure, was because it was a powerful explosive, more dangerous then Semtex, and a single drop mixed in with military grade Semtex was like a very small nuclear bomb.

It could also be used as a fuel, however this was a most dangerous process as if the mixture was incorrect, and it would totally destroy and kill anything within a few hundred yards. Eventually it was realised that a ratio of 1,000 to one mixed with the lake water, would burn like fuel, and could be used if need to power the older motors, or emergency generators which used to run on petrol.

China was faced with two huge battle stations, they were vast and carried some forty million troops each. China had suffered with the weather and it was almost constantly below minus forty. Yet the brave soldiers were equipped with the most advanced artic equipment available, and their weapons were state of the art, and highly advanced.

Each soldier carried a modern plasma rifle fitted with a limpet mine grenade launcher. They had become inventive and their intelligence gathering was unmatched, and amazingly they had advanced the alien technology, back engineered it, modified and reconstructed, and then armed their troops keeping them at their highest level of readiness.

As soon as they developed a new weapon it was immediately put into production, and also sent to the joint forces for them to use or modify as they saw fit. At first China had taken heavy losses, but because of their sheer number of troops, they utilised their scientist with incredible efficiency, and once items were captured they passed them along the processing line, soon they started equalling the aliens, and before long the aliens were losing more than the Chinese.

Their leadership was impressive as was their research and development, it was the Chinese who came up with a newly formed munition, which could be fired from a hand gun or small rifle, the ordinance was only the size of a .22, yet within was a guidance system and a miniature plasma mine. Basically once the target was sighted, the bullet left the gun and tracked its target, and then on impact it detonated the plasma mine, and not only impacted like a bullet but could cut through heavy armour.

For the heavier munitions, which could fit into a rifle, one single bullet once it left the barrel could track a moving target and on impact could cut straight through a heavily armed tank. This made it easy for snipers who could sit over two miles away, sight their target, fire and then move without been concerned knowing 100% their projectile would find its target and obliterate it. When the design was sent to Elaine, she quickly modified it and it could soon penetrate up to seven meters of reinforced armour.

The invasion was devastating, and all none aligned counties who had ignored Elaine’s requests to join had been totally over run, leaving only the united countries under the umbrella of the Portland Foundation to survive.

Fortunately, with the advancement of new technology and the material which was becoming harvested. The foundation was able to continually produce more and more clones and weaponry. They knew there was nothing they could do for the countries who had been over run, but then they were given the opportunity of joining forces and had made the vital mistake of trying to go it alone.

The moon base had grown and was staffed by a military contingent of Elaine’s warriors, but was mostly staffed with scientist, and protected by the most advanced force field that Elaine could produce and encapsulated the entire moon.

Mars was likewise protected and was similarly staffed, only this time they had a greater portion of engineers who were turning the planet into a liveable planet. However, because of its size, and like planet earth, it was too large to fully encapsulate with a force field, although all important areas were fully protected and prevented invasion.

By the eleventh month, Canada was entirely free of invading aliens and knew it would soon have new battle stations sent their way, what it did do was give them time to prepare. Amazingly the UK, followed suit only three days later, and considering its size, it did remarkably well, but again this was in large thanks to the Portland Foundation based in Dorset.

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