Dean Redder watched the Earth closely, he didn’t want to miss a second of what was about to happen. He wanted to be the very first to laugh at the humans’ destruction and extinction. Thick clouds of mist now covered everything in sight. The smoky atmos-phere seemed to dance and twirl as it got caught up in the various jet streams high above the planet’s surface. The whole thing looked like a terrible hurricane. To the Dean it was like poetry in symmetrical motion; it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his entire life. He envisioned the vaporized formula as being some kind of living organic organism that had swallowed the whole Earth completely.
He pictured the humans dissolving away inside the belly of the amorphous cloud beast. He pictured them struggling to take their last breath of air as their insignificant existence crumbled away bit by bit. Soon there would be nothing left of them or their stupid little cultures. Soon everyone would be dead. The Dean smiled ever so slightly at this grotesque image; how he enjoyed his little daydreams.
It’s probably hectic down there in the storm, what with all the darkness and the terror going on, he thought with profound excitement. The humans are probably trying to hide from their new environment. I’ll bet the newly-mutated carnivores are tearing them apart at this very moment. I would bet my mother’s life that that is what’s happening down there.
Dean Redder’s eyes shifted all over the screen. He suddenly realized, this is my glorious victory and I am missing it completely because of the cloud cover. I want to see the humans struggling to survive. I want to see them squirm and desperately try to escape the mutated creatures of Earth. I want to see them yell out for help and then die bitterly at the paws of their pets. I want to see them beg for their worthless, pathetic lives. I don’t want to imagine it happening; I’ve been doing that already. I want to see it happening and I want to see it happen now.
“Come on, come on!” yelled the Dean with frustration. His rough voice reached the microphone orb and boomed loudly over the auditorium walls and ceiling. He fidget-ed around as the echo came back. “Let me see the hairless monkeys run for their lives! Let me see them scream and cry to their Makers for help!”
The crowd slowly stopped chanting there horrid message. They all listened and watched the big screen intently with open mouths and solemn expressions. They all want-ed to know what was going on down there. They all wanted to see.
Dean Redder grabbed his communicator from off of his belt and punched in the Control Captain’s extension again. He waited as the receiver rang several times over the line. After a second someone picked up on the other end. “Hello, this is the command center. How may I help you?”
“Get Captain Toner on the line immediately. I want to speak to him!”
“Who is this?” demanded the officer.
“This is Dean Redder, you worthless dunce. You had better get the Captain on or I’ll have you star blasted to the nearest trash planet without pay, you no good insubordinate fool!”
“Sorry, sir, I’ll get him.”
A profound silence was heard on the other end as the officer set down the circular space communicator and went to get the Captain. On the comm, Dean Redder could hear more people shifting about and whispering to one another in the background. After a few seconds a firm voice spoke up, “This is Captain Toner, how may I help you, sir?”
“It took you long enough!”
“Sorry, sir, I was giving command to one of the other ranking officers. This ship needs constant supervision, even with the new A.I. system in it. How may I help you?”
“You can help me by sending some space probes to Earth immediately. I want to know what’s going on down there. I want to see what’s happening to the humans.” He turned to the crowd and studied them. “And so does the rest of the faculty and students here. We’re growing impatient.”
“Yes, I am sure they do, sir, but we need to wait another hour or so before we can clean up the Earth’s atmosphere and observe. The pressure raising system is charging as we speak, if we suck the chemicals away from the Earth right now it could prove most detrimental to-”
Dean Redder cut him off. “I know the protocol, Captain, and I am not ignorant of the way space travel is to be conducted on a daily basses, especially when it comes to filtering the ships environment. What I am asking you to do is to send some microphone orbs down there, and maybe even some camera orbs. I want to see what’s going on.”
“Okay, sir, we’ll get right on that.”
The Dean hung up and placed the circular communicator back on his hip. He looked out over the crowd and smiled. he was trying to maintain his cool still, “Be patient my students. I am having command send some camera and microphone orbs down to investigate the situation on Earth. I want us all to witness the destruction of our common enemy. Heck, we’re making history here, and you can tell your grandkids about it!” He smiled humorlessly.
The crowd did not respond to the poor attempt at humor. They just kept watching the projection screen with wide eyes. Dean Redder turned and watched it for a bit also. After a minute or two his communicator at his waist started vibrating. He reached down for it and took if off his belt. He turned it on and held it to his lips.
“Hello, who is this?”
“It’s me again, sir,” said Captain Toner
“Yes, yes, what is it? What’s the matter?”
“I am calling to inform you that we have released the microphone orbs and the camera orbs. They will be entering Earth’s atmosphere shortly. I will try and display the live feed on the widescreen.”
Dean Redder laughed. “Excellent, that’s good news. We will be waiting for it. Thank you, Captain.”
“Okay, sir. Give me a minute to set things up.”
The Dean hung up the communicator and looked at the projection screen. The cloudy image of the Earth slowly faded from its white surface. It was replaced by a solid blue background. At the bottom right hand corner flashed the words ‘searching for a signal’; the camera orbs had been deployed. A voice suddenly spoke up over the main intercom system of the ship. The voice sounded strong and compelling. The whole crowd shifted on their feet and looked up at the ceiling.
“This is Captain Toner from command center. I am operating under the request of our beloved Dean, Dean Redder. The microphone orbs have entered Earth’s atmosphere and are now heading to a main city, I believe it’s called ’New York City’ from the history records here, that I am looking at. The camera orbs should be there shortly as well. I am going to feed the sound to you in, three... two… one!”
There was a loud crackling noise as the speakers switched over to the live feed on the planet Earth. The sound of rough static and high speed winds were heard rushing over the microphones. It sounded as if the tiny little orbs were moving at a thousand miles per hour. This weird phenomenon slowly gave way to a million other different noises and sounds. The student body listened to them all with quiet intensity. It sounded as if some-one had recorded a nightmare. Low painful groans were now rising up through the mist on the streets. Blood-chilling screams rang out from all directions. Car horns blared on and off. People called out for help. It was absolutely horrible.
“Do you hear that, my students?” asked the Dean with a maniacal smile. He raised a hand and cupped it over his ear. He closed his eyes slowly, “Do you hear the crying of the damned souls that would have jeopardized us and our children’s future? I have taken care of them. I have killed them and smothered them with their own ecosystem. Their own animals are killing them as we speak. Can’t you just see it in you mind’s eye? Can you see it unfold?”
The faculty slowly took their eyes off of the ceiling mounted speakers and looked over at the red-headed Dean. He was still standing with his head up to his ears and his eyes closed. Behind him the blue screen slowly began to count down from twenty, signaling that the live camera feed would be coming soon.
“I can see it, my children,” the Dean said loudly, “I can see the humans were never the ones to save us from our predicament. They were never the one in whom redemption could be made or found.” He opened his eyes and pointed at the crowd. “The fanatics were wrong, wrong, wrong! The picketers in the halls were wrong, wrong, wrong! Humans were the problem, not the solution, and I… I am your savior! I saw it before it happened.”
The mood in the room grew more intense and shocked with each moment. The Dean was sounding like a raving lunatic on a soap box. The sound of human suffering still blared loudly over the intercom system. The number on the blue screen reached seven seconds. The students and faculty began to grow more uneasy. Some started to cry while others shook their heads in sadness and disgust.
“Don’t you dare feel for them!” yelled the Dean as he pointed to the roof with a crooked finger. He began to shake with anger and frustration. The last thing he needed was for his student body to feel for the humans. “Don’t you dare give into your weak feeling of sympathy and pity for our common enemy. They would not have done so with us. They would have killed us.”
The blue screen behind him suddenly reach zero and activated with a low pop. The lights in the auditorium dimmed and turned off. A smoky gray image appeared on the projection screen behind the Dean. It displayed an aerial view of the darkened city. Dean Redder turned around and gazed at it with anxious eyes.
’New York City’ looked as if a giant snow storm had hit it. Tall, shadowy buildings began to come into view as the camera orb zoomed though the giant skyscrapers. The scenery had turned to ash. Everything looked gothic and gray. After a few seconds of elevated searching the camera began to descend deep down into the mist on the streets. Gray images of cars and trucks began to pop up. Trees and shrouded street signs come into view. Moans and sharp cries were still heard all over the messy avenues and boulevards. Chaos and confusion had reigned with an iron fist, but yet, there were no signs of any humans. From the lofty cameras position it looked foggy, and dark.
It appeared that everyone was dead or dying.
“Good riddance!” said the Dean so that all could hear him. He was going to turn and give the rest of his speech when something weird happened; something that he couldn’t quite explain or comprehend in the slightest. Through the darkness of the mist appeared tons of light florescent green dots. There were hundreds and thousands of them now. Some were lying on the streets and small alleyways. Some were floating on the sidewalks and in the business buildings. Some were even shining through the dark windows of the cars and trucks that stood motionless in the road.
The whole place looked like an endless valley of bright green fireflies. Each one was twinkling and blinked softly in the gloom. Each one was hovering and drifting back and forth. It was practically an infestation.
Dean Redder grabbed his communicator and dialed in the control captain’s extension. He spoke into the receiver quickly. “Hello, this is Dean Redder, I want you to move the cameras closer! Move them to the ground!”
After a second the speaker cracked, “What did you say, Sir?”
“I said move the cameras closer to the ground! I want to know what those things are that are hovering just above the ground. There are hundreds of them.”
“Okay, sir,” said the Captain, “but we might lose a camera or two. It looks like it’s pretty hostile ground down there.”
“I don’t care if we lose a camera. Just do it!”
“Okay, sir. It will be done.”
The Dean watched the screen closely. After a second or two the cameras began to slowly drop into the mist. Shadowy images of people standing in the streets began to appear. The Dean’s jaw dropped and his mind went numb with horror as recognition set in like a slap to the face. These were not mutated fireflies he was looking at; oh no, they were well-set eyes; and not even human eyes. These dots were the unique green eyes of his own people, and there were hundreds of them down there. They looked cold and alone. They looked sad and forlorn.
“What’s going on? What’s happening down there?” whispered the Dean. “This can’t be. How did…” he looked down at his circular space communicator. His mind was racing at warp speed now. A thousand different scenarios jumped through his head. He considered each one carefully.
“How could this happen? Everything was planed perfectly! Evila and the human are dead by now…they couldn’t have done this…what did Professor Denvil do? This is his fault; what did he do?”
He turned around and looked out over the student body. His hearts were pounding like a high powered gravitational jack hammer. Bewilderment and shock spread through the audience like a wild wind through a skinny oak forest. The students looked confused and stunned at what they where seeing and hearing. They looked at the Dean for an explanation of this weird phenomenon. Why were their own people down there? Why were Tenatians being punished? Anger and distaste was beginning to show on their stern features. They had been lied to.
Dean Redder saw this and cringed. He grabbed his communicator and pressed the button down hard. He spoke into it rapidly. “Captain Toner, cut off the live feed! Cut off the live feed now! I repeat, end your transmission! Do it now!”
The speaker cracked loudly. “Sir, there is something strange going on down there. It appears our own Tenati citizens are on the human planet ‘Earth’. They’re even showing up in the local towns and suburbs all across the globe. My biosensors are detecting seve-ral billion of them on the planet. How did they get there?” demanded the Captain, “was there ships sent with out me knowing?”
“No, there wasn’t any ships sent at all Captain Toner. It’s all a trick made by the humans to deceive us! Shut off the live feed now. We are going to have to vaporize the entire planet with the solar lenses. I want it destroyed! The humans will not win this one. I’ll make sure of that!”
“Sir, with all due respect, we can’t use the solar lenses without an embassy authorization. It’s in the law. We would be killing innocent animals and plants. The humans might be a threat, but it doesn’t justify killing everything else on the planet Earth; especially if billions of our own people are down there right now.”
“It’s a trick,” yelled the Dean, “we need to do it now!”
“I am going to contact the T.E. and ask for an investigation of this matter. I will not kill our own people!”
“You idiot. You’re being tricked by the hairless monkeys. We need to kill them! We need to do it now! Vaporize them with the solar lenses!”
“Sir, you are getting out of hand. I am contacting the T.E. right now! I can’t stand by and leave our own people in a hostile environment. We need to pull them out of there and get them to safety.”
“We don’t need to involve the T.E. in this, Toner!”
“I think we do, sir; there are a lot of questions that need answering. I think you might be in violation of some major rules!”
The Dean gritted his teeth. “No, you don’t need to do that! Let’s talk about what’s going on. Let’s make a deal!”
“Enough said, sir, I am contacting the T.E. right now!”
The line went dead. Dean Redder felt like he was going to explode into a million pieces all at once. Everything he had planned was crashing down on him. He had to maintain his cool; he had to turn this around somehow and blame someone else. He had to do it…but how?
He walked over to the podium and pressed a button underneath it. The giant projection screen began to retreat back up into the ceiling. The images of the human hybrids became more distorted and unclear against the back wall. The lights in the auditorium turned back on.
“What’s going on?” yelled a voice from the crowd. “Why are our people down there?” Everyone else chimed in with a comment of their own. Pretty soon the whole place was alive with questions and obscenities. Humanitarians where now yelling and protesting even louder. The Dean was going to try to quiet them when his communicator went off again. He grabbed for it and tore it violently from his hip.
“What is it? This had better be good!”
“Hello, Dean Redder, do you remember me?” asked a feminine voice from the other end. It sounded confident and firm.
“Who is this?”
“A ghost from your past!”
Goosebumps ran down the Dean’s spine as he recognized who was speaking. It took all his strength to keep from crushing the circular space communicator in his palm. “You space tram! You whore! You’re the one who ruined this for me! You’re the one who has doomed us all and when I find you I will kill you!”
The crowd in the room began to shift about and get more physical. The space officers in the auditorium had to use everything in their power to keep order and civility. Human rights activists started to scream for human redemption and salvation. They began to call the Dean a tyrant and a liar. The blindfold of deception was rapidly coming free from their bright green eyes.
Evila laughed, “Stop your meaningless threats. It’s over for you, I can hear the crowed berating your name as we speak. They hate you with a passion. They know you have lied to them. Soon they will know that our extinction problems are over. You lose and I win!”
“No, you’re wrong and I will stop this all from happening. I’ll tell them that… those… those were our own people down there; that we deployed them before the gassing of the planet Earth. I‘ll tell them the humans were killed. I’ll tell them that… that…”
“If you tell them that, they will think you put our own people in danger. You’re trapped and you are going down. Soon the T.E. will know what you have done and they will send people to investigate. Humans are our new future!”
“No!” barked the Dean bitterly, “humans are dirt!”
“Oh, really? Well that’s sad to hear. Maybe you can tell Tony that when he gets there! He’s on his way up!”
The Dean’s hearts sank deep into his chest. The appearance of the human hybrid would ruin everything for him. “You space tramp! You wouldn’t!”
“NO!” repeated the Dean with frustration. He threw the communicator at the wall behind him. It shattered into a hundred pieces. He turned to the student body and yelled at the top of his lungs for order. The room seemed to ignore the loud and hysterical com-mand from the red-headed Dean. They were pressing harder against the space officers at the base of the stage.
Dean Redder’s eyes where burning with determination. He wasn’t going to lose this battle. He yelled at the crowd again, “I will tell you the truth… I’ll tell you what happened… I am not mad… I did it for a good reason.”
The Tenatians started booing and throwing stuff onto the stage. Space officers started stunning the people who were getting too close. The audience was getting too unruly and violent for the officers to handle and keep calm. Then suddenly everything gave way to chaos and the crowd broke free. They clawed viciously through the guards and charged the stage like a pack of deranged jackals. Their voices shook the auditorium like a high-powered supernova. Dean Redder barely had enough time to call out before he was seized and thrown from the platform.
“You’re making a mistake!” yelled the Dean, “I’ll have you all killed for this… you hear me? Killed like a bunch of ship rodents…”
The crowd pulled him into the center of the room and started beating him violently. His clothes were torn off his back and thrown back into the screaming crowd. His pale green skin started dripping blood from cuts caused by the fists and nails that raked him from all directions. Stray kicks bludgeoned his chest and legs, and for a split second it felt as if all were lost. It felt as if hellfire would engulf him into nothingness. He tried crying out for help, but found no support.
GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA! GIVA!
The mob began to chant louder and louder. It seemed the terrible message would come true for the notorious Dean, and then something unexpected happened that caused the crowd to jump and pause.
A bright blue stream of lightning tore through the air and slammed into the ceiling above them all. It vibrated all the plastic fixtures. Everyone gripped their ears and cringed out with terror. Sparks flew everywhere as some of the lights in the auditorium exploded from the energy serge.
The crowd turned quickly and looked over to the blue eyed Tenatian standing by the sun fountain. Sparks were still jumping from his fingers tips as he took a few steps forward into the crowd. He looked powerful and elegant.
“I want to speak to the Dean!”
The crowd slowly parted and let him enter without protest. Tony walked forward and studied the beaten man resting on the ground in front of him. He was hunched over in the fetal position. His arms were groping at his bare chest and belly. Quicksilver blood was now pouring from his skin and running down his back. His appendages seemed bruised and broken from the mob’s merciless brutality.
Tony walked over to him and knelt down. He spoke softly so only the Dean could hear his words. “You have hidden behind a wall of lies for far to long, Dean. I think now it is time to come clean, to tell the truth of what has gone on around here. I think it will be the best thing for you now.”
Dean Redder looked coldly up at Tony. His face was swollen and dark, and his voice sounded as if he had stuffed cotton balls down his throat. “You hairless monster. You ignorant primate” His neon green eyes shifted over the hybrids’ new appearance. He was disgusted, “Look what you have become. I can’t let my people look like you. I won’t let it happen. Truth will get them nowhere.” The Dean paused and coughed out a wad of spit and blood. His face cringed with distaste as he did this, “You humans can’t help us…you’re nothing but dirt!” tears were coming to his eyes.
“Oh, I think we can Dean, and I think we will.” Tony turned to everyone in the crowd. He studied all the curious faces. “My name is Tony Blair. I am a living example of how you can use humans to survive. I am a living example of the future. I was chang-ed by the student Evila to help your race out.”
“Don’t listen to him, he’s mad!”
“I was a human before I was changed into a Tenatian. Your brilliant scientists have discovered how to change us. We can help you!”
The crowd gasped and looked him up and down. They couldn’t believe their eyes and ears. Tony most certainly did look like one of them, only a little stranger. Whispering started to sweep through the crowd.
“I was experimented on to solve this problem. The Dean here tried to keep this a secret from you. He didn’t want you knowing that we could help your species. He tried to kill me and the wonderful scientist who made me into what you now behold. He tried to damn your race by eliminating the human race. He called the humans worthless and pathetic. I can say we are friendly and we are here to help!”
“Don’t listen to him!” barked the Dean. “He’s a liar! He’s trying to deceive you. I had no clue this was going on. He’s vicious!”
“Humans and Tenatians can coexist peacefully. I know this because I have lived and talked with your people. We are not that different!”
“Don’t listen,” said the Dean. He tried to lunge forward but found it too painful to do so. He whimpered slightly, gritted his teeth, and then collapsed.
“I bet you all are wondering what has happened to Earth?” asked Tony as he stood up. The crowd continued to listen.
“The Earth was gassed with the same formula that made me. My people have become your people. Your extinction problems are over!”
“Firah!” yelled a voice from the crowd. The rest of the audience chimed in with the same message. They began to repeat it over and over again. Their thronging sounded strong and comforting. The Dean started laughing at this sudden change in mood. Drops of blood started spilling from his lips. “You’re all fools! The humans are not our friends. They will take us over…”
Tony was going to respond to this shallow comment when there was a loud voice from overhead. It sounded firm and authoritative.
“This is Captain Toner of central command. I have an order here from the T.E. Dean Redder is officially relived from command and is ordered to come back to quadrant Farneer for questioning and judging. He is to be shipped there as soon as possible. He has been charged with the crimes of populating a planet without T.E. permission, and attempted genocide of a harmless species. I will be taking command of the ship from here on out until Ambassador Hugo from ‘Terx’ can come and sort things out. I order all space officers to cooperate in bringing Sami Redder in.”
Tony watched as two space officers pushed their way through the audience and grabbed the red-headed Dean. They picked him up off the floor and dragged him away. Blood was still dripping from his body. “This isn’t over, you hairless monkey, I’ll find you and kill you! I’ll find your girlfriend and kill her. I’ll kill everyone you know and love. You can’t stop me… I’ll find you!”
-In seconds he was gone-
Tony just stood there with his arms at his side. His head was throbbing with a tension headache and his legs felt weak. There was something about Redder’s words that rang true. Tony knew as long as that man walked the universe, he and Evila would not be safe any more. They would have to watch themselves carefully. They both had made a very dangerous and powerful enemy.
The alien crowd slowly began to gather around Tony and examine him. Some even reached out and touched his arms and back. They were in complete awe and wonder at what he was. They studied his colorful hair and gazed deep into his neon blue eyes. Then suddenly, as if someone had raised a cue card, they all started to talk and ask him questions. They started to laugh and get to know him.
Tony was trapped in a sea of curious Tenatian people. He smiled and tried to answer their questions politely. He showed them a few human pleasantries which caused the crowd to laugh and love him more. Tenatian girls started to flirt and wink at him from every direction. Some even slipped him their ‘communication numbers’ with messages written on them like: ‘give me a call for a good time’ and ‘hey blue eyes’. Tenatian guys started to compare themselves with him in every way possible. Scientists and teachers called out to him from the heart of the crowd, but Tony’s thoughts began to focus on one thing and one thing only, and that was Evila. He had to go back to Evila.
-He loved her-
He started to make his way through the crowd.